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media products? Our Soap Opera Trailer.
Shot 1 The first shot is taken from Hollyoaks: Messy trailer. It portrays a love triangle between three of the characters, firstly using a mid-shot of the girl and then focusing on the couple kissing connoting jealousy. This then creates an over the shoulder shot so that you could see the girl’s point of view. The male character has his shirt off which denotes his masculine personality. This shot gives the audience a sense of the storylines within the soap but does not give too much away so invites an active audience to question what happens therefore using an open narrative. We took inspiration from this as we decided to use a similar storyline within our own soap opera. Within our trailer you see a loving couple and another girl looking jealous and giving connotations of causing trouble. This is the perfect storyline to use in order to make sure we were following the generic conventions of a soap opera.
Shot 2 This establishing shot is from the Eastenders Christmas trailer and Archie’s death. The music and lighting in this immediately highlight the Christmas theme to the audience. The shot introduces the location effectively and efficiently to give the audience a sense of the setting (The Queen Victoria). A pub is the biggest social location of the community in soaps and a conventional location featured in every episode of the soap. The main setting that we used within our soap is a pub;
we took inspiration from this trailer as it has an establishing shot of the pub which is where the main storylines take place within this trailer. Audiences can relate to pubs as having drunken and violent atmospheres and characters also being drunk and violent. As pubs are one of the more generic locations in soap operas it was easy to decide that we wanted to use a pub as our main location. Within our own soap opera trailer we started off with using an establishing shot of the front of the pub so that the audience know exactly where the soap storyline is going to be set. It is also one of the only places where you see most of the characters in the soap all at once.
This is a shot taken from another Eastenders trailer, it is a close up of the characters feet and in the trailer it is also a tracking shot following the characters footsteps. By showing the audience someone walking you knows that they are going to somewhere in particular and by only showing their feet and not giving an indication of who the character is it creates a large amount of tension for the audience. As soap operas generically have an open narrative, creating tension and not even giving away the characters identity until the end means that the audience are intrigued as to what is going to happen, what the story line is going to be and what characters will be involved. By doing this in a trailer the audience will really want to watch the episode or the soap to find out all of the information that is kept from them in the trailer. We wanted to use this within our trailer at the beginning to build up the tension so we decided to have the characters walk in individually into the pub; we also had the camera in the position so that you could only see the characters legs. With the use of costume we used different trousers and shoes which showed the audience some personality and style that each character had without seeing the rest of them. This again helped to build up the tension so that the audience want to watch the soap opera itself.
Shot 4 This is a mid-shot of a group of characters taken from an Eastenders trailer, where the characters are standing at the bar. This trailer shows the emotions of the characters and that the storyline is about a party that is taking place in the local pub. Soap opera trailers generically follow Todorov’s theory of equilibrium, this shows that there is equilibrium and that the tension is being built up for a disruption to happen and for the equilibrium to be broken. The trailer normally end after it is broken so that the audience watch the soap opera to find out how the characters react to the disruption and then how the equilibrium is restored. For our own soap opera trailer we took quite a lot of inspiration from this particular trailer, our trailer is set in a pub as it is the most conventional location or setting in soap operas, within our trailer the audience sees all of our characters standing in a line like what the audience see in this trailer. We also wanted to follow Todorov’s theory so that the audience want to watch the soap opera to find out what happens. Within our trailer we build up the tension by showing our characters entering the pub individually and between each one we show characters that are locals to the pub and that are already settled in the pub in their own groups. This means that the new characters entering are creating the disruption and building up the tension for the audience at the same time.
Shot 5 This is a long shot showing the majority of the characters that are in the soap opera, this means that the audience won’t get confused by seeing all the characters at different times. This trailer shows a large amount of new characters entering the soap opera, this also follows Todorov’s theory as there are characters that are established in the soap opera and then the equilibrium is disrupted by these new characters entering their territory. All of the characters are dressed in very glamorous clothing as if it is a competition and a cat walk. This also causing a disruption as the audience can see the tension between the characters and the audience then want to watch the soap as they can then see the types of relationships between the characters. We took inspiration from this trailer as this trailer is introducing new characters to an existing soap, this is the closest type of trailer to what wanted to crate, but there haven’t been any brand new soap operas that have been made using new technology. Our trailer is for a brand new soap but we could still have people living in the area and then new people move in to create the soap which is what we decided to do. At the beginning of this trailer the audience are shown all the characters entering individually which is what we decided to do in order to build up the tension, they show the original characters after each new character enters which we also decided to do. We thought that by doing this the audience will be left wondering what could happen between the new and old characters and how the disruption of the equilibrium is going to be restored. At the end of our trailer we have all of our characters stood in a line so that the individuals can be identified and so that our own audience won’t get confused.
Shot 6 Once we had figured out what order we wanted our footage to run we needed to sort out some titles, we wanted to introduce our characters to the audience by either using their names or their individual personalities. We decided to research into titles that are used in soap opera trailers so that we were still bale to follow the generic conventions. We came across this trailer taken from the Eastenders trailer that introduces the characters Ronnie and Roxy, the trailer shows their personalities in quite a bit of detail but the audience are left to decide the storylines that these characters are going to be involved in. However the trailer uses titles to tell the audience their names so that when the characters are in the soap the audience knows who they are. We decided that this is a really good way of introducing the characters and we made sure that the footage that we had really showed their individual personalities. We thought about where in the trailer we would put their names and as a group we came to the decision to add in some extra footage at the end of the trailer when the characters are all stood in a line. We zoomed in on the characters faces where they are all making a certain facial expression to show their personalities and they put their character names in the bottom right corner.
Overall I think that we have followed the soap opera trailer conventions really well and haven’t really challenged them at all. By looking at a number of different trailers it means that we have used a number of different styles in our own trailer. By doing this our audience get to experience a different type of trailer which gains their attention and makes them want to watch the soap opera itself.
Before we could start on our magazine cover we had to do a lot of research into the generic conventions of them. We looked at the colours that are used, the types of font, the size of the writing, the amount of pictures that are used on the cover, the arrangement that is used for all of the writing and the pictures and the other information that needs to be shown on the front cover. The most conventional things that needs to be considered on a magazine cover is the left third, this needs to include the price, the majority of the magazine title, and the bar code. This is because when magazines are stacked in shops it’s the left third of the magazine that is on show. We decided that the best thing to do would be to find the best existing magazine cover that we could and take our inspiration from that. We did a lot of research and went through loads of different magazines when we found this one. All of the writing is clear and bold, it’s really bright and the pictures are the perfect size and organised at the same time. The only thing that we did find with this magazine cover is that it doesn’t comply with the conventional left third of a magazine cover. This magazine cover doesn’t even include a price or a bar code on the overall cover let alone the left side. For our own magazine cover we took five different pictures that show different storylines that are also apparent in our soap opera trailer. We did this so that the magazine can be related to the trailer as being the same soap that is advertised. We decided on the name of the magazine as just being soap but we decided to use the letter o as being a picture of a small TV so that our magazine can be recognised by the logo. We thought about which colours we should use as all of them should be bright so we used blocks of colour and put writing and pictures over the top of them so that the cover stands out and the writing can be seen. We also put coloured borders around each of the pictures and a black line round all of the writing so that they all stand out even more and so they don’t blend in with any other pictures or writing. We made sure that our bar code, price, and magazine title was all in the left third so that our magazine audience would be able to see all of the information needed even when it is stacked in the shops. We had to think really hard about the tag lines that we were going to use for each of the storylines in order for them to stand out and grab the audience’s attention. We decided to use tag lines that make the audience think about the storylines that are involved in the soap opera, by doing this the audience will want to find out more about the individual characters. Overall I think we have followed the conventions of a soap opera magazine really well, with the use of colour, pictures and writing we have made it look like a magazine that would be sold to advertise a soap opera and that would contain TV listings.
For our second ancillary task we had to make a poster to go with our magazine cover and soap opera trailer. We looked at a range of different soap opera posters however it is quite hard to find actual posters that have been used to advertise the soap. The majority of soap opera that use posters are American soaps due to the facilities that they have to use to put the posters up. (These facilities are the billboards that they have up all over the states.) This poster that is advertising neighbours which is the Australian soap opera, however it gets high viewings in England which is why we decided to use it for some inspiration for our own poster. This poster is a long shot of all of the characters that are in the soap, all of the characters are showing their own personalities and the relationships, this means that the audience are able to see these relationships and are more likely to watch the soap as they already know the characters. Posters have a few generic conventions that we wanted to stick to in our own poster and this one has kept to all of these conventions. Posters have to include the name of the soap, the channel that it is shown on and the times and days that it is shown, most posters also have taglines so that the audience have something that they can use to recognise the poster by. On this poster a lot of colour has been used to make sure that the poster stands out and the audience are drawn to it and therefore want to watch the soap opera. For our own poster we have stuck to the conventions really well, we made sure that we had all of the information that the audience need to know about the soap opera so that they are able to actually watch it. We chose to have the title of the soap larger than everything else on the poster as we feel that it is the most important piece of information so it should stand out better than everything else. We also included a tagline of ‘they’re here to stay’ we wanted to use this so that the audience have an idea of what the storyline could be about. The day that the soap opera is starting, the time and the channel are all included on the poster. Finally we have a picture of all of our main characters that are in the soap opera, we have them stood at a bar in a pub which shows the connection between the poster and the trailer that we have made. We did this so that the audience can see the connection and know that the trailer and the poster are both advertising the same soap opera. The only thing that isn’t like an original poster is that the colours that are used in our poster are quite dark, this was due to the location that we used to take the pictures for our poster in. When we were filming our trailer it wasn’t as dark on the camera however when we took photos they came out a lot darker. We did find that this photo was the best one that we took both for the lighting and the personalities that are shown for all of the characters. Overall I think that we have followed the conventions of a soap opera poster really well and that if it were to be put up to advertise our soap opera then it would draw our audiences attention to the soap and therefore our soap opera would be a success.