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Soap Opera Genre – Textual Analysis Name: Zakary Winsall Candidate Number: 2144 Center Name: St. Andrew’s Catholic School Center Number: 64135 OCR Media Studies – A2 Level Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio
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Soap Opera Genre - Textual Analysis

Apr 14, 2017

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Soap Opera Genre

Textual AnalysisName: Zakary WinsallCandidate Number: 2144 Center Name: St. Andrews Catholic SchoolCenter Number: 64135OCR Media Studies A2 Level

Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio

1

Trailer 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6eZy6G8wTw Verbal Codes

The non-diegetic instrumental soundtrack that is present is very sad and quite sinister. This signifies (De Saussure) that the plot of this trailer is quite dark, dystopian and possibly very emotional. The use of diegetic dialogue such as Just drop it will you? suggests that there is a lot of hostility between the main, male characters which could possibly later on break down friendships and cause arguments and major plot twists. This is also evident from the diegetic dialogue They said I was fat. Im supposed to shrug it off which represents that the children in Coronation Street are being bullied, which further damages relationships and has a very sad plot to the series. The diegetic dialogue How do you fancy sharing a pudding? suggests to the audience that there is an element of flirting involved with this soap opera, instead of just all the hate and tension, there is also a possibility of a romantic relationships forming.There is no non-diegetic dialogue present in this trailer, this could possibly place a lot of emphasis on the diegetic dialogue from the characters, in turn evoking more of a last impression onto the audience.

Non-Verbal Codes

The low key lighting present throughout this trailer connotes a very dark and depressing mood to Coronation Street. Traditional settings such as inside a pub represents the typical verisimilitude that the UK audience expects from a soap opera. Character costumes are also very typical of everyday life, with examples of the girl wearing her school uniform. The colour of the uniform is very dull grey colour. This could possibly signify (De Saussure) that their lives in school is very dull and repetitive. The various different facial expressions that are illustrated by the characters are all very aggressive and angry which may represent to the audience that there is a lot of tension between them. Other scenes involved the characters being represented as very distressed and in shock as where the school girl realises she is pregnant.Multiple characters are also seen to have very aggressive postures, which again helps to illustrate the aggression and tension between these characters, however in one scene the character is shielded by the child, which may prevent him from acting aggressively. The setting of this trailer is set in very public locations in prime areas, for example, inside a pub or at a house. In one scene inside of a house the lighting is very low key and dystopian. This may suggest to the audience the struggle that character is going through as he battles his depression.All of the above are very stereotypical to the soap opera genre. This is because we enjoy watching the everday life of other people, as it is far more interesting than our own. The affairs, murders and romance is realism which we as Brits want to see. There is no clear illustration of character roles (Propp) in this trailer.

Trailer 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6eZy6G8wTw

Technical Codes

The low angle shots on multiple characters represents that they believe they are of a higher status that the character which they are talking to. This is then further anchored by the use of their dialogue which is quite vicious and rude such as Just drop it will ya?.Fast cuts between two characters talking also helps to represent the tension between the two characters in their conversion because the perspective is constantly switching between the two characters which may imply confusion and also tension for the viewer.The broken frame shot illustrates to the audience that the school girl is trapped in her life by the people who are bullying her. This is then further backed up by the revelation of her pregnancy in which she is then further trapped.The eye-line-match to the pregnancy test connotes a feeling of shock to the audience because it is revealed that besides her bullying issues, she is now also pregnancy. This may also inflict a feeling of sympathy for this character.The high camera angle at the opening scene illustrates to the audience that the character who is laying on the bed is powerless and has to rely on other people to help her, in her case that would be to help her to walk again.The slow zoom in towards the young female student helps to illustrate her situation and how sad and depressed she could be due to the bullying that is taking place at her school, directed towards her.

Trailer 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0qQ3HFaxpwVerbal Codes

The diegetic dialogue that is present at the beginning of the trailer I am appealing to get my sentence reduced implies that this character is in prison for some crime, but he believes he is possibly innocent and wants to spend less time in prison. However, due to the tone of his voice it may imply that he is out to get some sort of revenge against the people who put him in prison.The non-diegetic soundtrack that is present over the duration of the trailer is also very sinister and dark, this again portrays the feeling that something is not as it actually seems, which of course injects (Hypodermic needle theory Katz & Lazarfeld 1955) suspense into the audience.The diegetic dialogue Hows my favourite brother? which is spoken in a sarcastic and quite cynical tone of voice illustrates to the audience that there is some sort of tension between the two of them, possibly suggesting that he is the one who got him put in prison.The diegetic sound of the heart monitor beeping, followed briefly before the flat-line sound, may connote that time has quickly ran out for the characters involved in this soap opera. There is no non-diegetic dialogue present in this trailer, this could possibly place a lot of emphasis on the diegetic dialogue from the characters.

Non-Verbal Codes

Facial expressions are key in the opening scene to this trailer. The is located in the middle of some woods, with a very angry and distressed facial expression. This connotes to the audience that something bad has happened to him, or he is possibly going to hurt someone else.The setting of the court house is very modern, and contemporary, which may contrast to the background that is associated with the character who is in prison who is expected to be brutal and violent because he is in prison.However, this is contrasted in the following scene because he is seen with a cunning look on his face, because he has actually figured a way to escape from the court house. This illustrates to the audience that this character is actually going to be quite smart and cunning.The costumes worn by the characters in this trailer is very casual and stereotypical to the everyday life of someone in London. The only exception to this is the character who is in prison, as he is seen wearing an orange vest.The lighting present in this trailer is both of a mix of both high key and low key. The high key lighting is usually very natural and has a happier and more friendly feel to it. In contrast, the low key lighting is fairly dark and sinister which may help to build tension for the audience.There is very clearly seen a difference in the character roles (Propp), Will is clearly illustrated as the villain and his older brother is portrayed as the hero as he tries to help the two girls, the princesses, who Will wants to kill.

Technical Codes

The panning shot around the character in the opening scene connotes to the audience that he is going to be the centre of attention. Everything that happens in this soap opera will contain him in some way.The eye-line-match to the court house blueprints followed by the shot of the character in prison illustrates to the audience that this character is actually very smart, and has a plan to do everything that he wants throughout the soap opera. The broken frame shot of the two school children may illustrate to the audience that they are trapped in school, but this is potentially a good thing because they will be sheltered from the character who has just escaped from the court house. At this time there is no known link between these characters.The close up shot of the phone with the sketched photograph on it illustrates that this character again is very organised, and knows exactly what he wants.The speed of the cuts in this trailer between two girls and the escaped convict, Will, is fairly fast as this is helping to connote to the audience that these are the two people he wants to kill and there is a lot of tension because both cannot be helped.Trailer 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0qQ3HFaxpw

Evaluation of Textual Analysis Compare and ContrastTrailer 1) Areas of Strength and what you would repeat (Steve Neale) or exploit (Abercrombie 1995)In trailer 1 there are a lot of uses of different camera angles in order to portray different feelings of superiority. This is very effective at illustrating to the audience who they think really is in charge and this is one feature I would repeat in my trailer. Another area which I would exploit is the narrative. There seems to be a lot of tension which is good as this is the content that draws an audience in. Another good feature to repeat in my soap opera trailer is the non-diegetic instrumental in the background. This helps to also build up the atmosphere of the scene the audience is watching which is very effective as this many entice them to continue to watch the new soap.Trailer 2) Areas of Strength and what you would repeat (Steve Neale) or exploit (Abercrombie 1995)From trailer 2 I would like to exploit some of the diegetic dialogue. For examples, one character shouts Where are they?! this would be very good an enticing the audience to stay because there is an uncertainty and mystery behind what is actually happens which is not fully revealed to the audience. I would also like to repeat the shot at the beginning of the scene which was an 180 degree pan, eye level close up. This is a good shot because it helps to establish the current setting on the opening of the soap trailer. If this is in an unusual place, as it is in trailer 2 it may intrigue the audience to stay and watch the trailer, and mainly watch the new soap.