Alex Metcalfe

Textual Analysis of Hollyoaks Trailer
The trailer is in a non-linear narrative format, the events don’t follow each
other and aren’t in sequence, this is used to show glimpses from different
episode across the upcoming new series of Hollyoaks. In terms of sound, the
opening few shots have little dialect and background music before developing
into a louder environment with fast paced music and lots of shouting and
arguing between characters in the series. At the start of the trailer, everything
seems peaceful and tranquil, there is a wedding which gives connotations of
love and togetherness, this is the start of Todorov’s Equilibrium theory, with it
being normal at the start of the trailer before dis-equilibrium kicks in and the
main characters relationships become fragile.
The trailer also includes codes from Roland Barthes narrative theory. There are
action codes where the bus is coming up behind one of the characters, this
implies danger and we as the audience expect him to possibly be hit by it. The
trailer also leaves an enigma code with the crashed car, it leaves an extra
question for the audience as when we see the crash, and we expect to find out
that one of the characters has been badly injured or possibly died. This is used
as an open narrative to leave us on the edge and a cliff hanger for the actual
series. We as the audience will want to watch to figure out what happened.
The end of the trailer goes against Todorov’s theory as there is no restored
equilibrium, only questions left for the audience to ask. There are a few
cultural codes within the trailer. For example with the marriage, they don’t
actually have to show the whole wedding, all they need to show is the bride
walking down the aisle and expect the audience to understand a wedding is
taking place. The crashed car can also work as a symbolic code for danger and
recklessness (possibly drunk driving) arising new meanings for the series.
In terms of camera angles and editing, a montage is used towards the end to
show all the characters and their facial expressions in a matter of seconds, this
shows the audience exactly which characters are expected to be seen in the
series, with usually the characters appearing first in the montage being the
main stars of the show. The montage also shows in detail the expressions and
the majority of the characters look concerned and shocked, this makes the
audience want to find out what they are looking at or what they have heard.
Alex Metcalfe
The extreme close up is used to really detail the faces. Non-diegetic
background music is used throughout the trailer with it working with the trailer
by speeding up as the scenes became more intense. The trailer begins with
exposition before leading into development and then complication where the
true feelings and relationships that were hidden now start to arise, leading
through the montage to the climax of the car crash, the resolution is shown
where the woman goes to softly kiss the man before the trailer comes to a
close. There is also plenty of over the shoulder shots showing flowing back and
forth conversation between characters.
The codes and conventions of a soap opera trailer are all shown, such as multi
strand narratives, situations from different points of view, exaggeration of
issues, violence and aggressive nature and last of all stereotypical character.
However, we are not shown one central location where the characters all
meet, we are shown scenes in the household, the hospital and even a bird’s
eye view in the middle of a field. There is personal identity and very informal
language used such as slang and colloquial dialect, something that is often
associated with soap operas.

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