Friday, 27 December 2013

Skins. series 3 episode 1

This episode shows the main young person on a skateboard which is typical representation of a youth and their forms of transport. However, the face of this young person is not revealed until they decide to perform their main dare devil act. Although it is clear the person is young through their clothing as the jeans are ripped and dirty, with a skateboard, this builds the impression of a young person. When the persons face is revealed the shot is a low angle 360 degree shot, this implies the person to be heroic or to be taking on a heroic action. However the action about to take place is more risky than heroic as he is about to skateboard down a busy road with cars driving in both directions. At the point of the 360 degree there is non diegetic sound used of a soundtrack with a heavy rock guitar riff - this suggests danger. This risky travel route comes after a text from a friend stating "smoking ur last spliff". The abuse of drugs is another activity usually associated with the younger generation.                                                    
 this screengrab shows the text which was received. Zoom in of the text emphasis's its importance in what is about to happen.
 this next screen grab shows a mid shot of Freddy, this shows the focus on the character as he is vital to what is about to happen with the skateboarding down the road.
the 360 degree shot shows Freddy in a heroic light when in reality he is thinking about a risky act on skateboarding down the busy road. Through this point, the rocky guitar riff starts.

Whilst skateboarding, the shot used is a tracking shot which then cuts to a behind track shot, this is after a point of view shot from Freddy as he examines the road ahead of him. Through this and the two previous shots, a bruise can be seen under his chin suggesting this is not the first time he has attempted something of this manner. In the second screen grab, a bus is about to pull out from the side of the road, Freddy does not pay much regard to this, possibly suggesting the idea of a young person not looking out for themselves and being fairly reckless.

The next shot we see is Freddy skateboarding onto the pavement, when doing this he nearly knocks over a lady, the lady jumps out of the way. The screen then cuts to a police man, then back to Freddy to indicate Freddy is heading towards the direction of the police man. The police man is seen eating an ice-cream, at which point Freddy skateboards past and knocks the ice-cream out of the police mans hands. The ice-cream lands over his private area. There is a slight pan in onto the ice-cream suggesting the police man has been made a fool out of by Freddy. This also shows Freddy has more power at this moment as he is able to get away without any worry. This is not what would be expected due to the age difference between the two.
To bring the essence of power back to the police man, the police man starts to chase after Freddy, but Freddy has long gone and out smarted the police man.

Freddy's smart thinking is further seen in the next part. Freddy is seen jumping over the road work going on with the help of the ramp. During this jump, the seen is in slow motion and Freddy is clearly seen above ground over the road works. This brings back the previous heroic shot of the 360 degree low angle shot to show his heroic/risky act. Throughout this, the police man is not seen, the focus is on Freddy and the builders.

To follow on from the slow motion heroic shot, Freddy's skateboard is seen to be sparking flames. Although this is perfectly explanatory with the friction of the skateboard and the gravel road, it further emphasis's his risky act. The reason for this sudden need to break is a bin lorry in front of him, without the break Freddy would have gone flying in to the back of the lorry with all of the rubbish. As Freddy stops himself from going into the lorry, the police man does not stop himself therefore goes flying into the back of the lorry with all of the rubbish. This again shows the "responsible adult" in a light of being outsmarted by the younger generation. Through this, it shows Freddy as being cautious and aware of his surroundings while showing the police man as reckless for not being able to stop in time. The typical characteristics of the two characters considering their age are swapped around.
this last screen grab shows two of Freddy's friends - Cook and JJ. They are seen in two shot, representing similar if not the same age. As the are both with Freddy's last spliff they are shown to be on the same side and the same position. Two young people both a mid beer and spliffs is the image that has been drummed up by the media on young people. 

notes from "Creativity and Genre in TV crime drama"

zeitgeist - the spirit of the times.
             - reason for CSI success
             - follows specific scrip and genre
             - first series proved layout worked for audiences, therefore allowing more success and two spin-of                   shows.
BBC TV shows have also tried to go by zeitgeist. women's rights advanced in 1970, out of this came "Prime suspect".
Prime suspect - series one, the role of oppressed women due to a patriarchal society
                      - series two, racism within the police force especially towards Afro-Caribbean people.

throughout the latter 20th century, crime TV drama shows have persisted to show the police as ideological and perfect. Therefore making viewers comfortable with knowing the police force are protecting them. This changed with "the wire". The wire is an American TV show which shows the police force in a less than flattering lime light.

The Wire:
- shows crime through a political point of view.
- series one shows the drug dealers simply trying to survive and live their life.
- The wire was not shown on some networks due to its general message it was conveying.
- The Wire shows a police captain trying to excuse one of his force for his personal career gain.
- This does the opposite to showing the police force in a heroic nature and personality.

"Hill Street Blues" was produced independently and was a mix of genres, this proved to audiences that companies who are not mainstream are willing to take more risks in order to add artistic flavour to a show rather than do everything for the money they could earn. After Hill Street Blues, "The Sopranos" came along, this was similar to Hill street Blues in terms of mixing genres together. The Sopranos consisted of soap opera and general TV Crime drama with gangsters.

The mix of creativity and genres does not work for all as some programs have been cancelled half way through their run due to low viewing figures.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Representations of law

The wire:

IMDB defines this series as "Baltimore drug scene, seen through the eyes of drug dealers, and law enforcement." Thinking generally to stereotypes, the people using the drugs would consist of the ethnic minority. The people situated around are also of an ethnic minority. In the extract above, it seems person of slightly more authority is the member of an ethnic minority. However, just from visual aid, it is unclear if this person is a police man or just someone who the alleged suspect can confide in. 
here some people are shown who seem to be witnesses of the scene. Considering the setting of "drug scene" this scene and choice of casting has followed the stereotypical route. From this screenshot it seems the people around at the scene are mostly female which can suggest the general "stand back" approach thought of by females in politics. The best known female politicians, globally are Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and Julia Gillard. The others may generally known as wives. This shows the possible position of women in the area, possibly showing the thoughts of the law and its officers.

This scene shows a police man noting down some points and evidence of a crime scene. Compared to the other characters, this police officer is standing up suggesting more of authority than the rest of the public, this is a realistic approach and idea conveyed through this. This police man however, is not of an ethnic minority, like the other characters in this extract. This is a stereotypical view of the law. This scene also suggests the location to be a city due to the background street lights, this is also a stereotype - suggesting all the crime and "action" occurs in the urban areas of a town.

This screenshot shows the police handling a suspect, although seem as violent, they are not being violent but this position is the general position held by police when arresting someone. The police men are wearing high visual jackets, these are usually associated with police if they are working a night shift or a when there is limited daylight. Another stereotypical representation of law is the gender. The two members of the police force holding the suspect are both male. Although there are female members of the police force present, they are not seen in a scene with a nature of brutality. This shot shows the characters on the third, suggesting there is fast paced action about to occur due to the way they are facing along with the third.

 This screenshot portrays the general image of a police raid. There are police cars and vans suggesting the order the back up in case of a larger criminal scene forming. There is also a RSPCA van in the background - this shows the caring side of the general police image as they are helping out an organisation for cruelty towards animals. This caring side is not often portrayed within the media, most the police portrayal includes scenes of brutality or mistreatment of a case. This shot shows 3 vans and 1 police car aiding the police raid. There are more police associated vehicles than the actual animal organisation, this suggests they have more of an authority than the others organisations present. The smoke along the background implements the chaotic scene, the steam/smoke represents something that has possibly been over used. The fact the the smoke mainly comes out from behind the RSPCA shows the are a major part of this police raid.

This final screenshot show a female police officer. She is dressed differently showing a slightly higher status, this is not a normality for most portrayals of women within the law field. The female character is also standing next to David Jason, suggesting a similar status within the force. Although there is equal portrayal of gender in this screenshot, there is not equal portrayal of ethnicity. Showing all of the members of the police force to come from an ethnic majority. This scene also shows David Jason as the main police officer, here he is shown wearing a suit showing authority he is also not wearing an uniform alike the other members of the police force. Another idea about this is the age of the main character. The main character is quite old, prior to this scene, there was a slight moment implicating the main character to be clueless. That was a use of the ageing character to their advantage. The two guys who were fooled by the "clueless" facade would most likely have been security guards or body guards ensuring people would not just walk in and see the illegal activity going on. This mid shot shows the leaders in the middle. with the rest of the police force surrounding them, possibly awaiting further instructions.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

class and status (timed)

The class and social status is first represented by Sampson talking to himself in the mirror. This suggest he is possibly nervous about giving his speech. A speech is generally given by a member of an middle or higher class. However, his need to look in the mirror shows he may have some second thoughts or insecurities about the speech. Along side this, Sampson is seen wearing a suit which shows more of a higher status than what may be worn by a someone of the working class. His speech which he is reciting to himself is delivered in received pronouciation further suggesting a middle to upper class manner.  The background of this scene is quite dark, showing further thought and perception of the speech he is about to deliver. There is also the effect of the light shining down straight onto Sampson, further increasing the view of Sampson is the main focus and of a higher status.

This next screenshot indicates quite a working class status, 4 children are seen just staring at the what has just occurred with an ethnic minority being thrown out of their home with a violent push and their belongings being violently thrown out of the tenement. Although this person is of an ethnic minority the, there are 2 other ethnicities being represented by the teenagers who are by standers. They are seen to be starring at the scene in front, looking completely unfased by events which have unfolded in front of them. This suggests this is a regular occurrence and nothing new to be worried or alarmed with. During this duration of this scene there is also the diegetic sound of a baby crying and possibly a young girl yelling out "papa!"this is because of the violent nature of the scene.

The next scene to appear shows a car going under a walkway, the car is black, generally associated with the overall look of a spy, indicating a higher status than those on the estate. The next shot closes up on Harry (head of Spook) his position is shown by him sitting in the back seat of the car indicating a chauffeur driven car. Another indication of his status is the person he is talking to on the phone, although the audience can't hear what the person on the receiving end is saying there is a large hinting to someone below Harry in terms of hierarchy within the work place. Harry is seen and heard barking orders down the phone showing a sense of leadership. At this point there is a close up of Harry's face and he seen and heard giving additional orders to the person on the receiving end. The close up helps to see the concern on Harry's face, showing this problem is a case of an emergency. Throughout this scene, Harry is seen wearing a suit, showing another clue of his high social and class status.

The story then cuts back to the scene on the estate. Here, the women (of ethnic minority) is present looking slightly shaken up, hinting she knew this was going to happen. The two men are seen trying to fore their way into the house with the women outside not trying or doing much to stop them, neither are the teenagers who are watching her suffer, there is also no reaction to help out by the other other members of the ethnic minority who know the same could possibly also happen to them.

Once Harry is back in the boardroom, he talks to the other members of the team whilst standing, the team members are sitting down. A low angle shot is used to show Harry in a higher position in comparison to the other team members. Within this scene there is the presence of another member of an ethnic minority, however, he is not portrayed as a victim as he is part of the Spook team. This scene is recorded with an eye-level shot for the audience to feel like they are also part of the story and on the same level as the Spook team member. This equals the class and status of the audience and the character. The Background of this eye-level shot is brighter compared to the scene showing the Sampson rehearsing his speech. The sound here is of the character saying "surely that's illegal" this shows the character is well educated and comes from a background where he would be able to learn this.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Discuss the social representations portrayed in this clip.

The first episode of shameless sets the scene for the rest of the series showing the a working class father and his many children.

The first scene consists of cross cuts between different shots showing a similar image. These shots portray the location to be to a well looked after area suggesting private housing, however this is a contrast with the accent of the voice narrating the scene (voice of father). The accent of the father is quite northern with short vowels suggesting a location such as Manchester. Within the general Manchester area, the main stereotypical idea is of tennements and coucil blocks. With this image, people visualise the area as run down with over flowing rubbish bins, however this is clearly not the case. In this beginning scene and when he he describing his children with the narration, the positioning on screen in central, not following the rule of thirds as show in the rest of the extract.

The voice of the father is calming showing a lot of affection for his many children. This narration also goes against another stereotype which is the mother being of a more nurturing character and looking after the children, in this case, the father shows more a nuturing characteristic. However, the image of a well dressed man is soon erased as the shot appears of the father. He seen to be wearing an old coat, possibly from a charity shop or something that has not been washed for a few years. His hair appears to be unwashed and seemingly like he hasn't combed through his hair. This image is something which would be associoated with someone of working class situation.

The father talks about his children saying he views them as angels and how he loves them. With this thought, the general idea of the audience would show the children showing the same amount of parental love for their father. However this idea is discarded within the next few scenes. There is a shot of them in the kitchen with the father holding a loaf of bread. He starts to become violent with one his children, the other children then push the father to the floor. The next shots show a high angle and a low angle of the father looking up at his children, and the children crowding around and towering over him whilst he is on the floor. The latter shot portrays the inferior characters to the superior characters. The father is seen as inferior because he is looking up at his children, while they look down on him. A shot that could also be used to portray bullies in a playground.

The next shot and scene shows the children running out in what can be compared to a gang of youths running from a crime scene. The children run out, bring the shot to the next scene which shows the front of their home and a caravan parked in the drive. This presence of the caravan could be used to show the main mode of transport for holiday's as (considering their financial situation) they more than likely would not be able to go on holiday via an aeroplane the majority of the time. Along the caravan there are also bin's along the from which seem to be overflowing. This shot shows the initial idea one may have when picturing an area of tennements (stereotypically).

The next scene goes straight to a night sky, showing a gathering of family members and friends. The children are seen throwing cans of beer onto the bonfire suggesting a lack of concern for health and safety for themselves and others around them. This, again is what would be generally thought of with someone of a similar or the same social status (due to increasing stories of gang violence). The camera then makes a quick pan over to the father who also seems to be enjoying the atmosphere without giving much care to the health and safety of those around him. It is at his point where the bonfire is visible as a burning car (vandalism, again associated with the working class). This further shows the lack of care and concern. It is clear the main objective of the night is to have fun at whatever the cost. At this point there is also a shot of the father smoking and drinking a can beer, something, stereotypically inconjunction with the working class. At this point there is another shot of the father drinking his beer with flames just below his face, which is the sort of effect used to show a satanic or devalish character. At this moment of high up roar, a police siren is heard as part of diegetic sound. There is also us of non-diegetic sound within this scene, there is a soundtrack of what could be considered tribal music with pan-flutes. This scene also imitates a image considered to be of tribal nature showcasing a large, close community.

When there is a police car near, most people would get out of the way or run away, however in this instance, one of his son's start to clap at the arrival of he car. Even at this point, they don't seem to make an escape(another stereotype attached to youth gangs). It seems as if they think they need an arrival of the police as proof and main point in having a good night out.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


The social class represented is the lower class based in Manchester, noticeable from the accent used. This is because of the clothing worn by he father - a jacket which looks old and unwashed. His hair also looks unwashed showing a possible lack of time or money.
This shot shows  3 clear sets of  high rise tenement blocks, usually associated with estates which are gritty and not very well looked after. However this also shows a lot green space suggesting something sophisticated and well looked after with correct treatment.