OCR A2 Media Studies - Unit G324 - Textual Analysis

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1. Soap Opera Genre Independent Textual Analysis Name: Joseph Gibbs Candidate Number: 6409 Center Name: St. Pauls Catholic College Center Number: 64770 OCR Media Studies A2 Level Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio 2. Trailer 1 EastEnders - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1v_2Xf7Xss Verbal Codes In the EastEnders trailer, a non-diegetic soundtrack is used. The song used is Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones, which ties in with the technical code of the CGI, portraying Sharon as a storm, as connoted by the lyric oh a storm is threatening my very life today in the song. This establishes that Sharon could cause trouble for the characters and perhaps be a villian (Propp) in some aspects. This connotes that Sharon is perhaps a source of trouble and that the other residents of Albert Square should take shelter from the hurricane she is. There is also synchronous diegetic sound from the hurricane itself as it rips through the setting. It is loud, low-pitched and also includes the sound of thunder, which stereotypically creates a miserable atmosphere, and this therefore connotes that Sharon returning might not be a good thing for all of the characters. Additionally, there is a non-diegetic voiceover at the end of the trailer, which denotes that Sharons back. The tone of voice used, however, does not seem happy or overjoyed, it seems quite sinister, as if shell bring trouble with her rather than happiness. Non-Verbal Codes Props are used throughout the trailer to create the effect that danger or trouble is coming. The Queen Victoria sign is shown swinging back and forth in the wind at the very beginning of the trailer, in an establishing shot. This immediately connotes to the viewer that something in Albert Square is not quite right and that, quite literally, a storm is brewing. Also, the facial expressions of some of the characters highlight their surprise at Sharon returning, for example, Phil Mitchell is seen with his mouth wide open as hes sat in his car while Sharon descends from the storm. This connotes that he is extremely shocked and it could cause trouble for him, so this will help the audience believe that they must tune in to see how Phil reacts in the actual show when she returns. Furthermore, the non- verbal code of costume is used heavily within this clip to create effects. Sharon is seen wearing a wedding dress, which stereotypically connotes a time of happiness and joy, but instead she is seen with a storm following her, which is a binary opposite (Levi Strauss) with the costume. The colour of white, as seen in the wedding dress, stereotypically connotes innocence, which is a binary opposite also in comparison with the song lyrics as referenced above, therefore this colour could be perceived to have polysemic meanings in the trailer. 3. Technical Codes Throughout the trailer, fast paced cuts are used to connote potential danger for the characters. This connotes that Sharon could be the one bringing this danger or disequilibrium (Todorov) for the characters. Additionally, there are zooms on many of the characters, for example Phil and Billy, as they look towards the storm. These are both shown in a high angle shot, which connotes that they are weak and inferior in this situation, enhancing how they cannot do anything to stop the storm happening, and that Sharon is back whether they like it or not. This further emphasizes how she could be bringing a sense of trouble for them when she returns. The use of CGI in the form of the storm helps to connote an image that stereotypically means trouble and brings an element of danger, so the fact that this storm is in Albert Square connotes that the protagonists could, metaphorically speaking, have a storm coming, in the form of Sharon who will create havoc. Trailer 1 EastEnders - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1v_2Xf7Xss 4. Trailer 2 Hollyoaks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbr4pEzZOTo Verbal Codes In the trailer, a diegetic sound bridge from one of the characters, Darren, is used appropriately to connote the characteristics of Sienna and and her behaviour. Not only is she good with the children is spoken, just as we see a young boy, Tom, trying to break through a wall where he is presumably trapped. Additionally, she is portrayed as a villain (Propp) through her own diegetic dialogue what makes you so sure theyre gonna find you alive?. This is a threat against Tom, which connotes how dangerous she can be. This links in with the non-verbal code of Toms facial expression he looks scared, which signifies (De Saussure) that he is in danger and is not being held there out of his own will. This adds a sense of irony to the sound bridge used at the beginning from Darren, because she evidently is not good with the children if she is making threats to them. Furthermore, the non-diegetic soundtrack used is very dramatic and tense, with it being fast-paced and quite loud. This contrasts with the compliments Darren is paying to Sienna in the diegetic sound bridge at the beginning, including saying I am totally blown away at the fact that one day soon, shell be my wife. Non-Verbal Codes In the trailer from Hollyoaks, there is non-verbal text used at the very beginning, in the form of Friday the 13th is coming. This connotes that something very unlucky is about to occur as it stereotypically would on Friday 13th, and this will entice the audience to watch because they will expect something dramatic to be shown. Additionally, the use of props helps to enforce Siennas behaviour, as she picks up a Missing poster about Tom, who is seen shouting at her afterwards. This connotes that she has kidnapped him and is hiding him from his own family. However, at the start, Sienna is denoted as wearing a light top with flowers on, that would typically connote innocence, so it is a binary opposite (Levi Strauss) to what we would expect from a stereotypical villain. The use of setting where Tom is being held captive connotes further that he is not there out of choice. It is dark and does not look very homely at all, and the fact that he is trying to break out of it connotes that Sienna is a villain in this instance. 5. Technical Codes At the beginning of the trailer from Hollyoaks, there is an oblique angle shot of Sienna and Darren as he takes her hand. This stereotypically connotes affection between the two characters, before we see an eye- line match, where the camera cuts to Sienna as Darren is looking at and talking about her. This is a contrast with what the next shot denotes, which is Tom trying to create a hole in a brick wall, conveying that he is being held captive, suggesting that it is Siennas fault. The non-diegetic voiceover continues as the scene fades to black, before fading into Tom trying to break through the brick wall where he is confined. The use of the eye-line match followed by the fade to Tom connotes that Sienna is hiding something from Darren that the audience knows about. Also, near the end, there are fast paced cuts as Nancy confronts Sienna, calling her a liar as Sienna denies what Nancy is saying. The fast paced cuts help to connote the tension between the two characters, indicating that they have not always got along. However, Sienna is conveying qualities of a stereotypical victim, whilst Nancys accusations of her being a liar contradict with this. Trailer 2 Hollyoaks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbr4pEzZOTo 6. Evaluation of Textual Analysis Compare and Contrast Trailer 1) Areas of Strength and what you would repeat (Steve Neale - 1980) and/or exploit (Abercrombie 1995) - Use of non-diegetic music throughout. The music used in this EastEnders trailer is extremely relevant to the other verbal and non- verbal codes used, so it only further connotes the idea of danger and trouble within the trailer. I would like to repeat this in my own trailer because its important to help connote something in the trailer that will entice the audience back in to watch the show. - The relevance of costume. Sharons wedding dress costume was a binary opposite to the rest of the trailer and therefore carried some strong connotations, because if she is there in her wedding dress rather than actually getting married, something must have gone wrong. I would like to repeat (Steve Neale, 1980) the irony of using a wedding dress costume for a character who is otherwise connoted as being trouble for the other protagonists. - Camerawork such as zooming. The EastEnders trailer effectively used zooming to demonstrate the facial expressions of the characters as they reacted to seeing Sharon come down from the storm. I would definitely like to exploit (Abercrombie, 1995) the relevance of the camerawork in my own trailer, because it is important in order to connote particular things about the protagonists and antagonists. Trailer 2) Areas of Strength and what you would repeat (Steve Neale - 1980) and/or exploit (Abercrombie 1995) - In the Hollyoaks trailer, I would like to repeat the use of a diegetic sound bed. This allows the dialogue to say something whilst the non-verbal codes display something else instead, which the rest of the characters do not know about yet. This is something I would like to repeat because it creates a binary opposite between the verbal and non-verbal codes, letting the audience in on a secret that the protagonists do not know about in the narrative. - The use of diegetic dialogue was something I liked within the Hollyoaks trailer, because it was relevant to the topic and again furthered the viewers knowledge of the storyline so far, whilst also enticing them in to watch the next dramatic episode. - Non-verbal text at the beginning of the trailer. The Hollyoaks trailer used the phrase Friday the 13th is coming, which connotes that something very bad and unlucky will happen based on the stereotype associated with that date. It instantly gets the audience interested and will ensure that they watch the next episode to see exactly wha