Introduction – TV Drama

Textual Analysis & Representation

This module puts a major emphasis on issues of representation. Areas covered by this terms include gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, class & status, physical & mental ability / disability, regional identity, rural / non-rural, Britain / Rest of the World.

Moving Image Grammar & Conventions & the Creation of Meaning

You will need to analyse and discuss the grammar and conventions of the moving image medium in relation to TV Drama in order to discuss the representation of individuals, groups, events or places.

You will need to understand the structure and visual language embodied in moving images. This is a language which has evolved primarily in relation to film as this media form preceded TV as a media technology.

The key aim of this course is to develop textual, analytical skills in relation to the moving image. This should become developed by understanding the concept of representation and its relationship to the way a media text is constructed.  This means that the focus of this unit is not about the genre of TV drama in general and the large numbers of sub-genres which have developed within this.  There is no need to know anything about the history of the development of TV Drama although this is an important issue in its own right.

The fundamental focus of this unit is understanding the relationship between how meaning within a text is constructed though the use of sounds, clothing, lighting, performance and camera angles, and types of shot used.

Much 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 extremely 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.

PowerPoint about the TV Drama Exam

ill be taken from a contemporary British one-off or series or serial drama programme. Co-productions such as Rome could be included. Soaps are included in this category but sitcoms are not.

 

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