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Comparing the opening title sequences of two British soap operas

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Introduction

English Media coursework: Comparing the opening title sequences of two British soap operas In this essay I will compare the opening title sequences of two British soap operas and give my thoughts on which sequence I think is better. The two soap operas that I will compare are EastEnders and Hollyoaks. In order to get the most out of this essay you should have an understanding of what is meant by the term soap opera. A soap opera is a television programme that follows a continuous storyline throughout all of its episodes, has realistic communities, characters and storylines (though these are somewhat exaggerated) and is generally on all year round. Once this point is understood it is important to understand why soap operas are so significant to the television companies that make them. First and foremost soap operas are 'audience grabbers', they attract huge audiences and as the stories are continuous the audience is likely to be 'loyal' and watch regularly. Soap operas also provide a corporate identity for the companies that make them. If a company made a soap opera that was about upper class in the countryside for instance, people would think of the company as for higher class people and likely to make programmes about the countryside. ...read more.

Middle

It also implies that the East End is more diverse than the rest of London with people from all walks of life or possibly to the way that people in the East End 'pull together' and the sense of community in the area unlike the rest of the city. The beginning of Hollyoaks is very different to EastEnders, the first thing that appears is the title 'Holloaks', and this is followed by various midshots of the characters in action superimposed and scrolling down over a desaturated, then saturated blue background. The scrolling mid shots then show the last point of the previous episode three times, then the first shot of the current episode is repeated three times and then zooms in to fill the entire screen. The Hollyoaks title also appears several times throughout all this. As I said above this is very different to the EastEnders opening title sequence, the main difference is on the focus on location or characters. Both title sequences use at least one of the same visual effects but in a different way, to give a different effect. The most obvious visual effect that both EastEnders and Hollyoaks use is superimposing. Both programmes use superimposing for their title wording, but in a different way. ...read more.

Conclusion

And that the programme makers mutually chose to use a plain font to show the 'ordinary','everyday' nature of the storylines and characters; also to they wanted people to remember the name of the programme so they made it white and quite big so that it stands out. In conclusion it is my opinion that: both the EastEnders and Hollyoaks title sequences are effective in their separate in their separate ways, and at attracting their different target audiences. EastEnder's strongest point is that 'everyone' can recognise it, as it has remained unchanged for some time with its signature drumbeat and aerial photos of London. Hollyoaks strongest point is that is so much going on throughout it that you can watch it several times and still notice new thongs, as well as the last six scrolling midshots that change with every episode. Personally I prefer the Hollyoaks opening, as it is more inserting than the EastEnders sequence in which nothing really happens. This simple, minimalist approach could be more affective than the Hollyoaks sequence, if the Hollyoaks sequence was too complicated and had too much going on. But I think the programme makers have got the sequence just right: not trying to be too clever but still being interesting. Also all the different components such as the music and visual effects fit together to make a finely tuned machine of a title sequence. ?? ?? ?? ?? James Thomas 10.6 ...read more.

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