Presentation on theme: "Style Media Language. Style Style is about the look and sound of the programme, the feel of it. The way the camera moves, scenes are staged and cut, the."— Presentation transcript:
Style Media Language
Style Style is about the look and sound of the programme, the feel of it. The way the camera moves, scenes are staged and cut, the mood of the music and the dialogue. All these things give the programme its unique style. Setting can play a part in style.
A drama set on the city streets might use the following: shaky hand-held camera work to copy the movement of people walking or running in the streets, giving a documentary feel fast editing slick dialogue using street jargon urgent, contemporary music grey colours and dark lighting to reflect the grim city life. Two good examples would be Hill Street Blues and Homicide: Life on the Streets
A rural drama could have: panning shots to show the beauty of the landscape and pretty rural locations slow editing rich colours and warm lighting polite dialogue of the middle-class village dwellers scored with orchestral music. Agatha Christies Miss Marple BBC drama is an excellent example.
Mise-en-scene If you were to pause or freeze frame a crime drama you should be able to pick out the ingredients that are typical of any crime drama. By looking at this, you will be analysing the mise-en-scene. This is a French term meaning, placing on stage. It refers to everything you can see in a frozen moment of moving image.
How do you know this is a crime drama?
There are always clues Setting Costumes Objects Lighting Space Figures Try to look at the photograph carefully on the previous slide – what do you notice about the elements above?
Music Something you cannot analyse in freezing a frame is sound. Music plays a very important role in creating the programmes character, e.g. Heartbeat had a 1960s setting and soundtrack. The Whos music is used for the CSI franchise and the lyrics give an insight into the themes of the programme, such as the fight between good and evil, e.g. Who are you? and Wont Get Fooled Again; both echo the heroes quest for the truth.
Realism Realism is also an important part of the genres theme of truth. Popular TV shows which are documentaries include real footage of police activity, such as Americas Most Wanted, Traffic Cops and Police, Camera, Action! TV crime dramas want a sense of authenticity so that the viewer believes the action, so the storylines may be based on real people, e.g. the main character in Silent Witness was based on a real forensic pathologist known to the shows creator. In The Wire, the dialogue is so close to the real street language of Baltimore, viewers sometimes need subtitles to understand the discussions!
Special effects Special effects can also create realism. As the crime drama genre has progressed, the use of SFX and make-up has become increasingly important. From realistic injuries of victims to the almost horror film gore of CSI autopsies, crime dramas try to give an authentic view of the results of murder and bodily harm. Law and Order has a more gentle approach and it seems to focus on the dialogue, character and story. Although CSI and Law and Order are different, they both use glamour to draw the viewer in.
Themes A theme is an idea we think about when we watch a story. All crime dramas deal with one basic theme and that is: good v evil You could also call this: right v wrong or order v disorder These are the binary oppositions Levi Strauss wrote about in his theories and opposition creates conflict, conflict creates drama.
Themes continued We expect the police to be on the side of good and right, the criminals on the side of evil and wrong. In Criminal Minds, for example, the heroes are clearly the FBI profilers and their enemy is always the criminal whose mind they are examining. The main message most crime dramas want to send us is: good should always triumph over evil. When we receive a message from a TV show, we are given a way of looking at the world. Another word for this is ideology.
Moral ambiguity Sometimes the lines are blurred – Detective Vic Mackey in The Shield always crosses over and it is difficult to know if he is as bad as the criminals he chases. This is known as moral ambiguity. Once we have become involved in the detectives lives, other themes appear. These are built around opposites and conflict: freedom v society the individual v the institution career v family
Sub-genres and hybrids TV crime drama covers a lot of different programmes. Sometimes the police officers are the main characters, sometimes its a private detective, a forensic scientist or even a criminal. The different types of crime dramas are called sub-genres and hybrids.
Sub-genres A sub-genre is another category within a genre. Police procedural, e.g. The Billm NYPD Blue & Southland Police detective, e.g. Inspector Morse, Lewis, A Touch of Frost, Zen and Columbo. Private detectives, e.g. The Rockford Files Legal, e.g. Law and Order and Criminal Justice. Medical/Forensics, e.g. CSI, Quincy, M.E & Silent Witness Military, e.g. NCIS and JAG Cosy mysteries, e.g. Miss Marple, Hetty Wainthrop Investigates, Rosemary and Thyme and Murder She Wrote
Hybrid Sometimes, crime drama are mixed with other types of shows, these are known as hybrids or crossovers. Thriller/Action-adventure, e.g. 24 Hospital/medical, e.g. Diagnosis Murder Horror, e.g. Dexter Ghost, e.g. Medium Costume drama, e.g. Agatha Christies Poirot Science Fiction, e.g. X-Files and Ashes to Ashes Soap opera, e.g. The Bill Psychological, e.g. The Mentalist and Wire in the Blood Comedy, e.g. The Thin Blue Line, Psych, Monk and The Detectives Musical, e.g. Cop Rock Post-modern, e.g. Twin Peaks and The Singing Detective.