Monday, 16 May 2016

Textual Analysis and Representation: Areas Covered in Previous Exams

Jan 2009 - Monarch of the Glen - Age
Jun 2009 - Doctor Who - Gender
Jan 2010 - Hotel Babylon - Ethnicity
Jun 2010 - Primeval - Gender
Jan 2011-  Hustle – Gender
Jun 2011 - Merlin - Class & Status
Jan 2012 - Fingersmith - Sexuality
Jun 2012 - Coming Down The Mountain - Disability
Jan 2013 - ER - Age
Jun 2013 - Doc Martin - Regional Identity
Jun 2014 - Downton Abbey - Class & Status

Exemplar Essay Plan

Representation of Age

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Representation of Age

Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of age using the following:

  • Camera shots, angles, movement and composition
  • Editing
  • Sound
  • Mise en scene
50 marks

EAA: Explanation, analysis, argument-20 marks
EG: Use of example-20 marks
T: Terminology-10 marks

Friday, 13 May 2016

Textual Analysis And Representation - Improve Your Exam Technique

This PPTX by Mr Hibbert from Neale-Wade Media is excellent and offers great advice on how to improve your TV Drama technique.

Follow the link below and complete the Coming Down The Mountain activity

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Textual Analysis And Representation Exam - Good Advice

How to begin your essay: answer the question

E.g.: The director uses mise en scene, sound, camerawork and editing to construct a representation of the east End of London by meeting/challenging stereotypes of the region? Or both? 
Tell the examiner - spell it out.  Start strong and focused.

EVERY example you give from the extract must be accompanied by at least one piece of key terminology. Some of you were describing the example in detail, but forgetting to explain which camera shot/angle etc captured these things, or which sound device was used to have that effect on the audience

Revise your key terms - use your big glossary to do this. This is the difference between a poor, vague response and a good, specific one. If you are technical and use your terms accurately, the rest of your exploration sprouts from there. You need the solid foundations of good technical knowledge to see you through. REVISE IT

Signpost which area of textual analysis you are using, so it is clear that you are covering them all.  e.g. 'Regarding the lighting in the scene....'  'In terms of the protagonist's costume...'  'The mise en scene portrays...'

Editing: if you don't understand it, do something about it. There are plenty of past extracts on my blog and Miss Kirkpatrick's's - simply search for them in the search bar of the blog. Watch one of the clips and use the big glossary to analyse it purely for editing. We will be working on activities like this in the lesson, but you will need to have a go at home if you are not comfortable with analysing editing.

Mark scheme here.

Editing Revision

Here is a list of editing techniques taken from the big glossary. You should already have a copy, but if you have lost it, click this link and print it off once more.

It is clear that people have not been revising editing, so here it is. We will apply some of these terms to an extract in the lesson.

Editing Techniques
Cut. Sudden change of shot from one viewpoint or location to another. On television cuts occur on average about every 7 or 8 seconds. Cutting may:
  • change the scene;
  • compress time;
  • vary the point of view; or
  • build up an image or idea.

There is always a reason for a cut, and you should ask yourself what the reason is. Less abrupt transitions are achieved with the fade, dissolve, and wipe
Matched cut. In a 'matched cut' a familiar relationship between the shots may make the change seem smooth:
  • continuity of direction;
  • completed action;*
  • a similar centre of attention in the frame;
  • a one-step change of shot size (e.g. long to medium);
  • a change of angle (conventionally at least 30 degrees).

*The cut is usually made on an action (for example, a person begins to turn towards a door in one shot; the next shot, taken from the doorway, catches him completing the turn). Because the viewer's eye is absorbed by the action he is unlikely to notice the movement of the cut itself.

Jump cut. Abrupt switch from one scene to another which may be used deliberately to make a dramatic point. Sometimes boldly used to begin or end action. Alternatively, it may be result of poor pictorial continuity, perhaps from deleting a section.

Motivated cut. Cut made just at the point where what has occurred makes the viewer immediately want to see something which is not currently visible (causing us, for instance, to accept compression of time). A typical feature is the shot/reverse shot technique (cuts coinciding with changes of speaker). Editing and camera work appear to be determined by the action. It is intimately associated with the 'privileged point of view' (see narrative style: objectivity).

Cutting rate. Frequent cuts may be used as deliberate interruptions to shock, surprise or emphasize.

Cutting rhythm. A cutting rhythm may be progressively shortened to increase tension. Cutting rhythm may create an exciting, lyrical or staccato effect in the viewer.

Cross-cut. A cut from one line of action to another. Also applied as an adjectuve to sequences which use such cuts.

Cutaway/cutaway shot (CA). A bridging, intercut shot between two shots of the same subject. It represents a secondary activity occurring at the same time as the main action. It may be preceded by a definite look or glance out of frame by a participant, or it may show something of which those in the preceding shot are unaware. (See narrative style: parallel development) It may be used to avoid the technical ugliness of a 'jump cut' where there would be uncomfortable jumps in time, place or viewpoint. It is often used to shortcut the passing of time.

Reaction shot. Any shot, usually a cutaway, in which a participant reacts to action which has just occurred.

Insert/insert shot. A bridging close-up shot inserted into the larger context, offering an essential detail of the scene (or a reshooting of the action with a different shot size or angle.)

Buffer shot (neutral shot). A bridging shot (normally taken with a separate camera) to separate two shots which would have reversed the continuity of direction.

Fade, dissolve (mix). Both fades and dissolves are gradual transitions between shots. In a fade the picture gradually appears from (fades in) or disappears to (fades out) a blank screen. A slow fade-in is a quiet introduction to a scene; a slow fade-out is a peaceful ending. Time lapses are often suggested by a slow fade-out and fade-in. A dissolve (or mix) involves fading out one picture while fading up another on top of it. The impression is of an image merging into and then becoming another. A slow mix usually suggests differences in time and place. Defocus or ripple dissolves are sometimes used to indicate flashbacks in time.

Superimpositions. Two or more images placed directly over each other (e.g. and eye and a camera lens to create a visual metaphor).

Wipe. An optical effect marking a transition between two shots. It appears to supplant an image by wiping it off the screen (as a line or in some complex pattern, such as by appearing to turn a page). The wipe is a technique which draws attention to itself and acts as a clear marker of change.

Inset. An inset is a special visual effect whereby a reduced shot is superimposed on the main shot. Often used to reveal a close-up detail of the main shot.

Split screen. The division of the screen into parts which can show the viewer several images at the same time (sometimes the same action from slightly different perspectives, sometimes similar actions at different times). This can convey the excitement and frenzy of certain activities, but it can also overload the viewer.

Stock shot. Footage already available and used for another purpose than the one for which it was originally filmed.

Manipulating Time
Screen time: a period of time represented by events within a film (e.g. a day, a week).
Subjective time. The time experienced or felt by a character in a film, as revealed through camera movement and editing (e.g. when a frightened person's flight from danger is prolonged).
Compressed time. The compression of time between sequences or scenes, and within scenes. This is the most frequent manipulation of time in films: it is achieved with cuts or dissolves. In a dramatic narative, if climbing a staircase is not a significant part of the plot, a shot of a character starting up the stairs may then cut to him entering a room. The logic of the situation and our past experience of medium tells us that the room is somewhere at the top of the stairs. Long journeys can be compressed into seconds. Time may also be compressed between cutaways in parallel editing. More subtle compression can occur after reaction shots or close-ups have intervened. The use of dissolves was once a cue for the passage of a relatively long period of time.
Long take. A single shot (or take, or run of the camera) which lasts for a relatively lengthy period of time. The long take has an 'authentic' feel since it is not inherently dramatic.
Simultaneous time. Events in different places can be presented as occurring at the same moment, by parallel editing or cross-cutting, by multiple images or split-screen. The conventional clue to indicate that events or shots are taking place at the same time is that there is no progression of shots: shots are either inserted into the main action or alternated with each other until the strands are somehow united.
Slow motion. Action which takes place on the screen at a slower rate than the rate at which the action took place before the camera. This is used: a) to make a fast action visible; b) to make a familiar action strange; c) to emphasise a dramatic moment. It can have a lyric and romantic quality or it can amplify violence.
Accelerated motion (undercranking) . This is used: a) to make a slow action visible; b) to make a familiar action funny; c) to increase the thrill of speed.
Reverse motion. Reproducing action backwards, for comic, magical or explanatory effect.
Replay. An action sequence repeated, often in slow motion, commonly featured in the filming of sport to review a significant event.
Freeze-frame. This gives the image the appearance of a still photograph. Clearly not a naturalistic device.
Flashback. A break in the chronology of a narrative in which events from the past are disclosed to the viewer. Formerly indicated conventionally with defocus or ripple dissolves.
Flashforward. Much less common than the flashback. Not normally associated with a particular character. Associated with objective treatments.
Extended or expanded time/overlapping action. The expansion of time can be accomplished by intercutting a series of shots, or by filming the action from different angles and editing them together. Part of an action may be repeated from another viewpoint, e.g. a character is shown from the inside of a building opening a door and the next shot, from the outside, shows him opening it again. Used nakedly this device disrupts the audience's sense of real time. The technique may be used unobtrusively to stretch time, perhaps to exaggerate, for dramatic effect, the time taken to walk down a corridor. Sometimes combined with slow motion.
Ambiguous time. Within the context of a well-defined time-scheme sequences may occur which are ambiguous in time. This is most frequently comunicated through dissolves and superimpositions.

Universal time. This is deliberately created to suggest universal relevance. Ideas rather than examples are emphasised. Context may be disrupted by frequent cuts and by the extensive use of close-ups and other shots which do not reveal a specific background.

Representation Of Sexuality

How does the extract construct representations of sexuality using the following:


50 marks

EAA = 20
Eg = 20
T = 10

Questions to ask when looking at representations of sexuality in an extract:

Are characters being assigned oppositional gender attributes? (e.g. a feminine male or a masculine female)
Is their sexuality being used as a plot device, or are they just an everyday man/woman?
Look for the gaze - often characters who are not heterosexual are portrayed as heavily sexualized individuals - their sexuality is used to define them as a character (a stereotypical representation)
How are these characters treated by other characters? Are they treated differently because of their sexuality?
Are they victimised because of their sexuality? (A stereotype)
Are the being used for humour? (A stereotype)
Does the character appear weak or vulnerable due to their sexuality? (A stereotype)

Here are the gender binaries, to help you:

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Representation of Regional Identity

Regional Identity refers to the part of the United Kingdom someone is from. It could refer to a general area such a “north” or “south”, a country such as “English” or “Scottish” or specific towns such as “London” or “Manchester.”

There are several regional stereotypes widely seen on television:
  • Scottish – often shown as being money obsessed, won’t pay for anything, drinks a lot of alcohol, loves the outdoors, wears kilts, eats haggis, quite aggressive and violent
  • Welsh –Often shown as living in the middle of the countryside, less intelligent, good at singing (Male voice choirs),with people making jokes about them “shagging sheep”
  •  Irish – often shown as living in the countryside, working in rural areas such as farms, being very religious, being good at dancing and singing (love a good craic), very friendly but less intelligent
  •  English – often shown as being racist (think St George cross on houses or cars), obsessed with beer and football living in London. Sometimes the stereotype goes in the opposite direction of showing English people as very rich, posh, happy, living in castles and being very “royal.”
  • London – There are two main stereotypes of Londoners. One is that they are often shown as being rich, posh, snobby, upper class, Hugh Grant types from central or west london. The other is that they often shown as being from north, east or south London, poor, common, lower class, criminalistic, violent “Kidulthood” style
  • Manchester / Newcastle / Liverpool – Often shown as being “chavs”, wearing fake designer labels, or tracksuits, drinking a lot, being aggressive, uneducated, criminals
  •  Essex – often shown as being glamorous but cheap, footballer’s wives, lots of partying, being quite stupid
  • Yorkshire – Often shown as living in rural countryside, with rolling hills and cobbled streets, being quite old fashioned (despite Yorkshire being the biggest county and containing large cities such as: Leeds, York and Sheffield)
  • Cornwall / Somerset – Often shown as being “backwards”, living in rural areas, working on farms
  • South England – often shown as being the centre of culture, modern, classy, clever, sunny, richer, doing middle class jobs where one dresses smartly
  • North England – often shown as being poorer, bad weather, lower class, aggressive, less culture, less clever, doing working class jobs such as builders etc
If you get “regional identity” as an issue in the exam, you should be thinking about the following things when watching the clip:
  • Can I identify where the characters are from within the country?
  • Are people from different areas shown as having different interests, personalities, attitudes, behaviours? If so, how?
  •  Is their regional identity represented as being important in their life?
  • Are people from particular regions portrayed as being better, more powerful, than others?
  • Are people from particular regions portrayed as being abnormal /weaker/ more pathetic than others?
  • How do other characters in the clip treat the characters from different regions?
  •  What is the message the clip is trying to portray about regional identity?

Monday, 9 May 2016

Regional Identity

A very good slideshare presentation from Neale-Wade Media. Worth a look for revision purposes. Read through the various slides and make notes.