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Soap Opera Genre – Independent Textual Analysis

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OCR Media Studies – A2 Level Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio. Soap Opera Genre – Independent Textual Analysis. Name: Daniel Ah-Wan Candidate Number: 5877 Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College Center Number: 64770. Trailer 1 – Eastenders

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OCR Media Studies – A2 Level

Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio

Soap Opera Genre –

Independent Textual Analysis

Name: Daniel Ah-Wan

Candidate Number: 5877

Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College

Center Number: 64770

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Trailer 1 – Eastenders

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=i4ibCwDEbSg&NR=1

  • Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Dialogue, Voiceover, Sound Effects or Soundtrack
  • Mysterious sound at 0:02 is an example of a sound effect used to create suspense and ideas for the audience.
  • The verbal code of the scream “NOOOO!” by Shirley is an example of diegetic dialogue that indicates to the audience that something has happened to Heather, thus presenting a ‘disequilibrium’ (Todorov).
  • “Your Dad always finds a way to get out of this, he always does” is an example of diegetic dialogue within the trailer that gives the audience the impression that Ben’s Dad Phil Mitchell is quite dangerous and shifty, potentially a ‘villain’ (Propp).
  • The classic incidental music at the end of the trailer is an example of a sound effect used to signify to the audience that the trailer has come to a conclusion and emphasizes the ‘cliff-hanging’ moment.
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Non-Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Setting, Lighting, Costumes, Facial Expressions and Characters

  • The last character the audience see’s before the trailer comes to a conclusion is Phil looking suspicious, has he got anything to do with Heathers death?
  • Heather looks quite upset when she has to pick between Andrew and Shirley, this is an example of facial expressions. The character portrays to the audience that she faces a difficult decision through her upset and sadden facial expression.
  • Different costumes such as the police and paramedic uniform indicates to the audience the different roles in the trailer that are played by characters. This signifies a disequilibrium because something bad must have happened for the paramedics to be called.
  • There are a range of character personalities and stereotypes such as the ‘vulnerable one’, ‘the hard man’ and ‘the villain’ which is shown through the characters appearance. They all seem to wear general, casual wear which shows there in a working class community.
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Technical Codes – Comment on the use of Camera Angles, Shot Types and Camera Movement

  • Each scene is spilt by a ‘Fade In’ and ‘Fade Out’ which is a editing technique used to help the clip run smoothly and consistently. This technical code represents the build up of anticipation and suspense to the viewers. With the use of the ‘Fade In/Out’, it helps the trailer look complete as a whole due to all the individual scenes telling one big story ‘Heathers death’.
  • Towards the end of the trailer Phil, Ben and Jay are all captured by the camera via a close up to portray their facial expressions and so the audience can get a closer insight on how the character has taken the news of Heathers death. Instead of looking sad and upset by the incident, all three boys look worried and concerned, giving the audience the impression that they might have had something to do with Heather’s death.
  • ‘Shot reserve shot’ is constantly used to show conversations between two people to show the audience how each character is reacting at that moment in time (Heather always looked sad and disappointed while Shirley and Andrew looked aggravated). Where Shirley and Andrew have separate conversations with Heather,the audience can see how serious Shirley and Andrew look in comparison to the upset Heather.
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Trailer 2 – Emmerdale

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGXX2ubwoIU

  • Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Dialogue, Voiceover, Sound Effects or Soundtrack
  • The lyrics: “What wicked…”is constantly repeated in the non-diegetic soundtrack the audience hears. This indicates to the viewers that the man the trailer is focusing on is perhaps dangerous or done some bad things.
  • There is a sound of thunder that has been added in (non-diegetic sound) when the ‘villain’ (Propp) bumps into 4 people to ‘signify’ (De Saussure) that something big and dangerous must have occurred with the villain and the other characters present.
  • Non-Verbal Codes – Comment on the use of Setting, Lighting, Costumes, Facial Expressions and Characters
  • Every other character in the trailer is gazing at the man and their facial expressions of disgust and wonder portray the fear and uncertainty within the community. The main character seems to be the bad guy while everyone in the trailer is portrayed as good (Levi Strauss – binary opposition).
  • The trailer is set at night which indicates to the audience that this man and the community have a dark history; potentially the audience gets the impression that something bad has already happened or it’s going to occur.
  • All the characters in the trailer are all wearing black which represents evil or sadness within the community. The colour black connotes dark and evil which portrays to the audience that something negative is going to happen.
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Technical Codes – Comment on the use of Camera Angles, Shot Types and Camera Movement

  • In terms of camera movement,the camera tracks the supposed antagonist throughout the trailer as he encounters a number of people. The technical code of Panning is also used on other characters looking at the antagonist and is effectively used to connote that the trailer is continuing at a consistent pace and is building up in momentum to create suspense and hopefully a thrilling climax.
  • There is a variety of shot types and angles used throughout the trailer, including a high angle shot. The technical code of the high angle shot can be used to portray a characters power or status among other characters in the same media product. The shot makes the character seem small and low in power, hence the title of the trailer ‘Judgement Day’. The high angle shot emphasizes to the audience that the character who will be experiencing ‘Judgement Day’ is in fact the character in this shot.
  • With regards to the pace of the trailer as a whole, the complete trailer is quite slow and prolonged which could indicate to the audience that the problem between the man and the community has been dragged on for quite sometime.
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Evaluation of Textual Analysis –

Compare and Contrast

  • Trailer 1) – Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale)
  • Camera shots such as shot reverse shot are used to portray different characters facial expressions and feelings within a conversation.
  • The editing is smooth, ‘Fade In, Fade Outs’ are used to end a scene and start a new one. By using this technique throughout, the clip runs smoothly and looks like a miniaturized version of the story about Heathers death.
  • Every feature of Mise En Scene is clearly used throughout the trailer to make the trailer look realistic. This helps the audience create ‘Personal Relationships’ (Katz) with the character due to the role a certain character is playing, for example a doctor watching the show can relate to the paramedics easily because of their costume suggesting they are paramedics.
  • In my opinion there are a lot of good aspects of the trailer as I feel it was straight to the point and made a progression from the start to the end on what is going to happen in the series soon. I would repeat the use of the ‘Fade In’ and ‘Fade Outs’ as I believed it helped make all the different scenes fit smoothly and nicely as a whole.
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Evaluation of Textual Analysis –

Compare and Contrast

  • Trailer 2) – Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale)
  • Camera shots/angles are well used to help the audience conclude if someone is of high power or not. The high angle shot used at the beginning of the trailer shows the audience that the antagonist is now at a low and perhaps more venerable then ever.
  • The use of editing has also been used well with the non-diegetic music fitting in nicely with the scene and scenario. The verbal code of the lyrics of the song “What wicked…” is constantly sang throughout the trailer while focusing on one particular character suggests to the audience that this character has done something wicked or that there’s a bad essence about him.
  • The fact that the whole of the trailer is based on one guy is shown very clearly and the audience can clearly understand that the whole storyline is based around him. The fact that the camera focuses on his facial expressions and body language and then show other characters in the trailer can help the audience come to the conclusion that he’s affected all these people in some way or another.
  • In my opinion there are a lot of good expects in the trailer and I would repeat the non-diegetic music, in particularly the music due to the lyrics fitting extremely well with the current situation the audience is presented with and helps makes the understand of the trailer to the audience easier.
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