Monday, 11 June 2012

To recap...

Revision Recap
1.        Start the response as if you’re replying to a letter (or an email, if that’s the form the brief in the exam takes) – and try to remember to sigh it when it’s finished.

      2.       When you discuss the ideas for your show and the storyline, you will need to say
a.       how your show uses an ENIGMA CODE – i.e. how it sets up a problem to be solved or an issue to be resolved – probably pre-titles, like CSI or the first episode of The Killing – this will act as a hook for the audience.
b.       how it fits elements of Todorov’s narrative theory – but  suggest that you say how there are a series of disruptions (e.g. putting a character in peril, like a cliff-hanger) and states of equilibrium throughout the episode in order to engage the audience so they continue to watch to see how things are resolved.
c.       how it fits Levi-Strauss’ ideas about binary opposition.  Remember, the idea is that conflict drives narrative.
d.      you should reference other shows you have seen or know about

3.        When you discuss the two or three major characters
a.       refer to aspects of characters you have seen in other shows, especially those who have been critical or commercial successes.
b.      Think about the representational issues – try to have a strong female character or character from an ethnic minority – although there are some good examples, they do tend to be marginalised on television.
c.       you could briefly refer to the other characters
d.      explain how they can fit into Propp’s character theory – you may have to merge some of his ideas and you may not be able to fit all types.

4.       Remember that this is a popular genre across the age ranges, although its primary audience is often male, as reflected in the fact that the majority of the shows feature male lead characters. Not only are there many sub-genres (series that involve legal proceedings, like Silk or the historically set Garrow's Law; series that concentrate on forensics like Silent Witness or CSI; private detective series like Sherlock; series about criminals, like The Sopranos; series that take a broader look at law and order, politics and society, like The Wire) but there are also hybrid series that mix genres, like the paranormal investigations of The X-Files, or the comedy of A Thin Blue Line, or spy series like Spooks.

5. The timing of the show’s broadcast is important and the intention is that it should appeal to and be suitable for a family audience.  This doesn’t mean no violence, just be aware that it should not be gratuitous. Guidelines state that the earlier in the evening a programme is placed, the more suitable it should be for children to watch without an older person.  Programmes in later pre-watershed slots may not be suitable for the youngest children or for children to watch without an older person. 
6.       Therefore, you need to explain that crime shows have been criticised for too much violence and the possible harmful effect on vulnerable viewers, so you have toned down any violent content, EVEN THOUGH, LIKE MEDIA ACADEMICS LIKE DAVID BUCKINGHAM AND DAVID GAUNTLETT, YOU BELIEVE THAT AUDIENCES ARE ACTIVE VIEWERS, ABLE TO DEVELOP STRATEGIES TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMATIC MATERIAL.
7. You must make sure that you have no more than three long shots in the storyboards and ensure that the images you draw match your shot description. You ought to have at least one high or low shot so you can explain the significance of the camera angle. If you look at the editing on the Scott and Bailey trailer, you’ll notice that straight cuts have been used, but don’t shy away from using a dissolve to imply the passing of time. You ought to increase the pace of the editing (i.e. make the shots shorter) when you have an action sequence – and explain this. You’ll need one shot with the show’s title and a logo for the Crime Channel.

        8.       Make it easier for the examiner: number your shorts; put in the timings, camera angles AND distances    
        and any kind of explanation as to why you’ve chosen that particular angle/distance and DON’T FORGET  

/       9.       Sound – crescendo = build-up of sound/music so the audience can anticipate something happening; sforzando = sudden sound to shock or emphasise a scream or some diegetic noise. Diegetic = sound that comes from a source within the sequence; non-diegetic = sound imposed on the sequence. If you want music, think how tempo of the music can enhance the excitement of the scene. Remember: major key music usually relate to love, hope, joy and pleasure while minor keys relate to mostly gloomy, sad and anxious emotions. You won’t have to pick actual music, but you could explain it in terms of the mood you want to convey – or you could stick with fast-paced music to enhance a chase/action scene…
10. I can’t stress enough how vital it is to look at a couple of websites – for CSI and Sherlock, for example – to see how they are used to promote the shows.  Look at various features, especially the interactive ones that are used to engage the audience and give them a sense of ownership so they will be more engaged and more likely to watch the show. Suggest a twitter-style forum page. Look at the way they have links to social networking sites – and check these out a home, because you will need to know how they work. Look at the gimmicks these sites use – clues about the show; information about the characters’ backgrounds; virtual tours around locations; interviews etc etc.
11. In terms of promotion, consider how the Crime Channel will have its own website, which will have a link to the website for your show, which could have links to other Crime Channel shows, so you are constantly cross-promoting each other.

12. Think about uploading the trailer to Youtube.

Websites and marketing: Check out this site and steal ideas liberally:

Language of websites – make sure you use the correct terminology!

          Home page – the main / first page
          Branding – the logos, images, graphics and colour-scheme which create the recognisable image of the website / institution.
          Above the fold – what you can see on the webpage without scrolling down
          Banner – a horizontal section of the webpage, often with additional information or advertisements
          Sidebars – a horizontal section of the site, usually at the side of the page, often containing separate or additional content.
          Banner ads / scrolling ads – adverts in banner form. Scrolling banners contain moving information.
          Frame – an area for specific content. A website will have several frames, each for different content.
          Grid – the layout of the frames on the page, similar to the columns in a newspaper, but are more adaptable.
          Links – allow you to navigate between different pages on this website, and to link to other sites.
          Flash content – moving image content such as film footage and animations.

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