Textual analysis of 2 soap opera trailers

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  1. Soap Opera Genre – Independent Textual Analysis Name: Alex Westbrook Candidate Number: 3152 Center Name: St. Andrew’s Catholic School Center Number:64135 OCR Media…
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  • 1. Soap Opera Genre – Independent Textual Analysis Name: Alex Westbrook Candidate Number: 3152 Center Name: St. Andrew’s Catholic School Center Number:64135 OCR Media Studies – A2 Level Unit G324: Advanced Portfolio
  • 2. Trailer 1 – Eastenders Spring 2017 trailer Verbal Codes Early on in the trailer a stereotypical soap opera theme of someone facing accusation in the verbal enigma code of (Barthes) “I never did this”, this immediately creates mystique as the audience is eager to find out why he is being accused and whether or not certain accusations are true as often the audience are made aware of things which perhaps the characters may not know. “There’s no shame in it Denise” This conforms to Rebecca Feasey (2007) in that Denise is attempting to conform to the soap opera stereotype of a strong woman and so finds it difficult having to ask to be on benefits and is embarrassed yet the other character explains that “There’s no shame in it". The theme of love is also presented later on through the verbal code "Don't fall in love” which suggests to the audience that the character has had previous bad luck with love and therefore intrigues the audience as they wonder why he would be saying that. Non-Verbal Codes Comment on the use of Setting, Lighting, Costumes, Facial Expressions and Characters The first scene is set in a cell and low key lighting is exploited in order to create a negative mood that is enhanced by the negative facial expression given by the character. In the shot when Denise is outside on a bench there is sunshine yet around her everything is shadowed. This portrays the characters negative mood and how it surrounds everyone around her. Technical Codes The camera begins above the character in the cell at the beginning and then switches to an Eyeline Match when he says “I never did this” thus creating confusion within the audience causing them to want to know more and therefore watch the show.
  • 3. Trailer 2 – Hollyoaks 2017 Spring trailer Verbal Codes The verbal enigma code of (Barthes) “Then why lie?” automatically gives off a sense of mystique and intrigue to the audience as they are eager to discover what it is they are lying about and ultimately “why lie?”. The fast tempo soundtrack in the background over dramatizes the trailer in a manor that attracts the audience and lures them into wanting to watch the show. Throughout the trailer there is a continued use of voice overs and sound bridges with pieces of dialogue played over short clips which create suspense and entice the audience. Non-Verbal Codes The first clip in the trailer shows the setting of a crime scene in a rather remote area, this clearly has previously happened in the show. This remote crime scene automatically draws in both new and current audiences by intriguing those who perhaps haven’t seen the show and those who have been watching and therefore want to know more. Technical Codes – Comment on the use of Camera Angles, Shot Types and Camera Movement The faced paced cuts and transitions reveal small yet important details from the shows storyline and therefore captivate and entice the audience through a build up of tension. Whilst a character is seen praying on the floor the camera is at a high angle looking through a structure. This technique accompanies the character praying as it almost appears as if someone is watching over him. After one character proposes to another it cuts to a shot of a women standing behind them witnessing it, the camera focuses on the women in the background which creates a feeling of angst for the audience as it leaves them wondering why she is standing in the background and why they have chosen to focus on her.
  • 4. Evaluation of Textual Analysis – Compare and Contrast Trailer 1) – Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale) or “exploit” (Abercrombie – 1995) A particular area of strength that within eastenders that I would like to repeat (Steve Neale) is the use of enigma codes (barthes) that create mystique and intrigue the audience as I believe this is a key piece of marketing that I should exploit i(Abercrombie – 1955) n order to attract an audience to watching the soap opera. I would also like to repeat the use of eyeline match as I believe that it breaks down the barrier between the audience, the television and the character and really immerses the audience into the characters emotion. Trailer 2) – Areas of Strength and what you would ‘repeat’ (Steve Neale) or “exploit” (Abercrombie – 1995) I would like to exploit (abercrombie) the use of a crime scene or intriguing setting such as the opening shot in hollyoaks as I believe that it automatically dramatizes the trailer and highlights a key theme of the show without revealing a substantial amount.
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