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Analyse a five-minute extract of an episode of a soap, drawing reference to features which maximise the dramatic effectiveness as seen by the audience.

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9th December 2001 Laura Kelly First five minutes of EastEnders on Monday 26th November Analyse a five-minute extract of an episode of a soap, drawing reference to features which maximise the dramatic effectiveness as seen by the audience. The dramatic effectiveness as viewed by the audience is governed by many different features, for example the camera position and angle. During a peak of tension or drama, the director may choose a close-up shot of a zooming-out shot that fades to either the credits or the next scene. The way the camera captures the picture can either make a scene 'take off' or just blend in with any other. At the beginning of Eastenders, there was a birds eye view of the Square that was interrupted by different conversations about dramas going on in different people's lives. I thought this type of 'spy' camera method was fast moving and really effective in maximising the drama in the character's lives. Another 'spy' camera whisked through the market stalls giving you a feeling of being there with the characters and involved in their situations or dilemmas, whether they be good or bad. I wasn't aware of much editing in the scenes I was analysing, but I often heard sound from the following scene, while the current one was still in shot. ...read more.


Slang is used all the time in soaps, it is like the their own language. I also saw dialogue styles change when one person spoke to different people. A prime example is Beppe. When he talks to Lynne he has a soft, kind and friendly tone, but when Lynne leaves E20 (the setting of their conversation), Steve and Beppe are left alone. At this point Beppe lets out a sigh and his tone changes completely. His harsh and defensive attitude returns as he talks to Steve. Tension in the scenes can be maximised by shouting or screaming. I feel a scene would be far more dramatic and interesting if the characters in it were screaming at each other, rather than discussing things politely. Voiceovers are very subtly used in soaps so that viewers barely realise that they are being used. Sometimes a shot is held for a few seconds longer than usual, while the sound from the next scene is already playing. This tension-building pause is very effective, and maximises totally the dramatic tension present in the scene. This is the only type of voice-over I saw in my five-minute extract. Sound effects or FX are fundamental in the formula of soap operas, they are used in every scene almost. ...read more.


There are very few scenes set outside the specific location in this case the Square. If there ever is the writers will make that whole episode in that place. It just so happened that in the five-minute extract that I was analysing Roy had met his long-lost son Nathan. He had many of the scenes he was in, set at Nathan's mothers house. This is an unusual feature in a soap, and to be honest I didn't enjoy having the new sets and characters introduced. It didn't feel like the proper EastEnders. I feel that, that the location has a big part in the plots and dramas in soaps, as we know whenever a new location is introduced a new plot is too. Costumes add to our understanding of a character by reflecting their wealth and personality. You wouldn't expect Kat (tart) to wear the clothes Dot (pensioner) wears or vice a versa. I have been noticing now Billy has lost all his money he has ditched his designer suits for is old casual, trampy clothes. The costumes play a small part in maximising drama, as the audience wouldn't be too interested if two people in E20 were wearing tracksuits. They would be much more interested if they were wearing trendy, skimpy clothes ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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