Friday, 13 February 2009

Year 12 Media - TV Drama Sequences for Micro Analysis

I am going to begin to post extracts from TV Dramas here that will be used in class and posted for homework and revision purposes. In this exam, you will have to undertake a 'Micro' textual analysis of a 4-5 minute sequence from a British TV Drama. The drama extract will be screened as part of the exam and you will NOT know in advance what the extract will be.

"The fundamental focus of this unit for exam purposes is understanding the relationship between how meaning within a text is constructed though the use of sounds, clothing, lighting, performance and camera angles, and tpyes of shot used. Much of TV Drama uses the same techniques for creating moving image as film. Core differences are production values which are constrained because of costs. The use of extremly expensive sets and models along with casts of thousands or even extensive use of very expensive special effects which are seen in Action-Adventure Films is simply not possible in TV. Another major difference between films made for cinema release compared to made for TV films is the way in which the characters perform more centrally on the screen. The action tends to take place here because many millions of people still have squareish TVs rather than widescreen TVs. Increasingly TV programmes are designed for widescreen format and if you are watching on an older TV you will lose some of the credits. Having a digital box there will be a "wide mode" on the handset that will change the proportions of the image.

In order to fully understand how a preferred meaning is created by the makers of a media text you will need to understand the concept of media representation. Remember the term media means being in the middle or inbetween things. People and places you see on TV or in film are re-presentations of a real person or event if it is a a documentary or imagined in a particular way if it is fictional like a feature film or TV drama. When you see people on screen for example how you see them is constructed using technical conventions such as lighting and camera shots / angles to create a preferred meaning by the makers." Kinoeye

You will be required to show skill in closely deconstructing how MEANING ABOUT REPRESENTATION IS CREATED AND COMMUNICATED through Mise-en-scene, Camera Angles movement and position, Sound and Editing. The more practice you get at analysing short Drama sequences, the better off you will be in this exam. The extract could be from any British drama - Period Drama, Crime Drama, Soap, Medical Drama, Political Drama etc. 

Here are some extracts to deconstruct at a micro level:

1. Spooks

2. The Tudors: Opening Title Sequence followed + sequence from series

3. Mistresses: Representations of Sexuality

Here is a really useful link to the homepage of BBC Drama where you can read more widely around the policies and institutional procedures associated with the commissioning of British TV Drama:

No comments: