Wednesday, 30 May 2012

TV Crime Shows - mock exam...

YOU WILL NEED TO TACKLE THIS WITH THE PRE-RELEASE MATERIALS IN FRONT OF YOU - AND REMEMBER: ANSWER IT IN THE FORM OF A LETTER OR EMAIL, WHATEVER THE FORMAT THE QUESTION PAPER IS IN; IN OTHER WORDS, ADDRESS IT TO THE PERSON WHO SIGNS THE PIECE IN THE EXAM PAPER. SET IT OUT CORRECTLY, BECAUSE EVERY YEAR, PEOPLE LOSE EASY MARKS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT DO THIS!!!! 

1.  We think the most important ingredients of successful television crime shows the following:

·        engaging and fast paced narratives
·        maverick heroes/heroines
·        conflict in the characters’ lives

From your viewing of TV crime shows, how far do you think these features are reasons for their success?                               (15 marks)

In all cases, make sure you refer to shows you have seen or read about. The question could well be something like this; however, you will need to refer to other possible reasons for success – and here, you ought to refer to the visual style of some shows.

2.  Let’s have your pitch for the pilot for your own TV crime show. You need to include:
·        an appealing and suitable title
·        a setting and location
·        a brief synopsis
·        three brief character profiles - try to make a point about representation
·        its unique selling point
                                                                                          (15 marks)

Where possible, refer to the way your show uses Propp’s character theory and Todorov’s narrative theory and Levi-Strauss’ theory of binary opposites so the conflict can engage the audience and move the show forward.

3. Tell us why your pitch will be successful. You need to explain why it will be popular with the target audience and how it meets the demands of our brief.                                                             (15 marks)

Again, where possible, allude to features and character traits from existing shows, stressing that your show is using these conventions to maximise the potential for reaching a wide audience. You could refer to your own audience survey to point out how your show has features that the survey found popular. Think how visual style is one of the key factors in the success of Sherlock and CSI – your show needs to cash in on these sort of ideas to appeal to a younger audience.  It’s pre-watershed?  What’s on the other channels? Soaps? Reality TV? Hospital shows? Cookery shows?  Wildlife documentaries? It would help if you had the names of some shows during this time slot so you could refer to them by name. You are also going to have explain WHY your show needs to be popular – remember, it’s a commercial cable/satellite channel, so it will need to be popular enough to attract advertisers to help finance the channel. Make a brief comment about the public fear of TV crime shows influencing vulnerable sections of the public and how you have toned down the violence for a pre-Watershed audience that will probably include children – but also make the point that you believe audiences are active consumers of media texts and hat they develop strategies to deal with problematical material – refer to gauntlet, Buckingham or Uses and Gratifications. You won’t have a lot of time to this, but it will get you marks if you show awareness of the fact.

4. We need to know how you could market your pilot.
·        Either create a 30 second television trailer to promote your film, using the ten frame storyboard sheet enclosed.
·        Or create the homepage for this website. You should use the A3 design sheet enclosed.                                                     (15 marks)

I would advise you to do both, just to be sure, but the basic question suggests you need a written section on the various methods used to promote a show like this, so even if you do the storyboards, discuss the advantages of using the internet.  Look at the CSI and Sherlock websites and note the various features used to market the show, especially the interactive ones, which will give the audience a sense of ownership and may help convince them to continue watching.  When designing your own website, base it on one of those and give it the same kind of features and links, but remember to link it to the TV channel so there will be cross promotion! Finally, think about the use of social network links and various gimmicks to promote your show virally and make some reference to the ability of the audience to access material on their smartphones.

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