Thursday, 7 April 2011

ashes to ashes recreative piece

a. Think about our impressions of Gene Hunt (as he is introduced to the viewers) and how they are created. Having filmed and edited the sequence yourselves, you should have a good grasp of what the director did.
Use screengrabs to comment closely on camerawork, editing and mise-en-scene. Make sure you also come up with 4 points on soundtrack. (Detailed bullet point s are fine - also use your home-learning task on gender, completed last week)

b. Now suggest some ways (at least 4) in which we could modify our first impressions of Gene through slight changes in the filming and editing, for instance to make him look less sour, less macho, more serious or anything else...

a) Gene Hunt fits the stereotype of a male police officer in the 80s. He is rude, sexist and quite aggressive judging from this scene and is played up to be an important and powerful character, with the close up camera shots of his snake boots as his feet emerge from the car, and his face just before Alex collapses, a shot which is accompanied by epic, dramatic music. The camera shots even included a 'male gaze' shot and a shot from between Alex's legs, exploiting her sexuality. The mise-en-scene makes it clear that the setting is now the 1980s due to the dress code and the car. The soundtrack is very epic at first when Alex appears after seeing her reflection. A rather typical 80's action soundtrack is used when the car is pulling up. The music turns very dramatic at the end when there is a low angle shot of Gene Hunt, showing his power and status.

b) Our first impressions of Gene Hunt could be changed by using a high angle rather than a low one to make him less intimidating. There could also be less emphasis on his gun. There could also be less of a dramatic soundtrack as he appears, as this makes the scene humorous and over-done rather than serious. There could also be more emphasis on the criminal's bad actions, to show that he is in the wrong, rather than following Gene and making him seem unnecessarily aggressive. The cross cutting shows that he is one in control and makes the women seem as though she is a damsel in distress  this could changed so that editing shows the situation from an angle behind the women to show the realism of the situation. The portrayal of Gene Hunt is quite alarming as the first shot of him is his shoes rather than his face, this puts and emphasis on his alpha male dominance as we are shown his person from the ground up. This could be changed so that we are immediately shown his face to create a more dramatic and fast tempo situation.

By man like Matty and man like Josh

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

law stereotyping and architypes

You will examine and compare the way the "law" is represented in different dramas. Issues of representation to analyse: authority, gender, race as well as whether the representations are sympathetic, realistic etc... How do the producers position the audience in relation to the detectives / officers?

in english and American police dramas the police representation is varied and shown in contrasting view. In both types of drama we are shown the law from the perspective of law enforcers (police/detectives)show we are automatically given a biased view on how police act. Both have very stereotypical presentation of gender and ethnicity for example the white males are normally the leaders of the police and the investigations whereas the young black working class males are normally ones committing the petty crimes and the white males are responsible for most of the 'Organized crime'. However there are certain archetypes which have been fitted into theses shows in order to try and break negative stereotyping.

'The wire' which is an american crime drama set in Baltimore is the self proclaimed "ghetto" where the main problems seen to drugs guns and murder. In the extract of episode one we are shown what is known as the norm in the neighborhood as a young man has been found dead in street. This is negative representation of young black males as they are victims of crime which other young black males have probably caused by other young black males. This is what as seen as a realistic shortcut of this group of how America view this ethnic and age group. It is used so that the audience can quickly understand why the characters have found themselves in the current situation and often answers unasked questions. This is not the desired representation that 'The wire' is trying to put across as they also have young black male who is an archetype as he is on the enforcing side of the law rather than the law breaking side. HIm and Dominic west (the lead) are shown as cops with humanity as they uphold the law but go about their business is what is the correct manor; they are very rarely shown using excessive force. We are also given an archetype view of one of the bystanders as normally crime drama portrays bystanders as often being uncooperative but in this show the bystanders freely offers up information. This is to try and promote a positive commune between the police and the community this could be seen as a motif as often it re-occurs throughout the series.

The audience in crime drama is often positioned from the side of law to try and draw attention to the reality of what police go through on a daily basis. Is to draw sympathy to harsh reality of what they have to have a sympathetic ear towards crime and the victims. The side in which we shown the 'The wire' is the side of the law and is focused on a collection of the police positions and are given their point of view for the stories. During the extract we are given the story from the side of the detective; we are not shown the full extent of the crime committed so that the audience has the story developed at the same rate of the police.

In the British crime drama of 'A touch of frost' is shown from a similar angle. The drama has more intense approach to confronting crime as the characters display a more brutal side of the law. The main focus is around detective frost (hence the name) who uses his wit and composure in order to solve complex dangerous cases.In TV drama’s cops and detectives are represented as being intuitive, they think logically and the majority of them are honest people. Detective frost fits this stereotype as he is cunning clever and committed to bringing justice. In the extract we are shown detective frost showing his cunning mind as he out smarts a bunch of criminals to rumble a illegal dog fighting operation. He simply plays to his strength but as usual with British police shows excess force is used to demonstrate the authority of the side which the audience has been placed on.
The British stereotype of police being heavy-handed forceful men. They are shown from an angle which is just below eye level establishing there position in society as being above the law which could be seen a a motif throughout British crime drama as it is often used. This is often the presentation of police in the media as British society loves to see police not doing there job correctly. However there is an Archetype in the sense that although this men may be using excessive force they seem to doing for the right cause as they do manage to successfully stop the illegal dog fighting and arrest the guilty party. This is the desired outcome which ultimately shows the police in a positive light which is the aim of using archetypes as it breaks negative stereotyping.

In conclusion  the representation refers to the way the media re-presents our perception reality using individuals, groups, events and issues. These stereotypes give audiences a quick common understanding of that person/group. They are used visual shortcuts that have been pre-used in order to lead people to assume that certain traits exist about the characters without being informed. These portrayals usually relate to factors such as their class, ethnicity or race, gender or social role. ‘The Wire’ and ‘A Touch of Frost’ are both examples of television drama detective series. They both cleverly use manipulates societies perception of people and use this information create 3D characters that are believable and this allows the audience to judge the presentation of such characters in relation to real life.