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What Are The Narrative Conventions Of A Crime Drama?

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Nicole Hagan

on 13 November 2013

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Transcript of What Are The Narrative Conventions Of A Crime Drama?

The Typical Narrative Conventions Of A Crime Drama
Narrative

genre - crime drama
Many crime dramas begin with an opening teaser. This is where we see the crime happen but we don't see the perpetrator. However it doesn't always start that way.
it is often set in a busy city.
style
the style is normally naturalistic and realistic-uses realistic props and noises, music is used to add effect to the dramatic scene, often quite dark and eery. fast paced action is used to build suspence.

1. are constructed realities
2. A chase (usually car).
3. Crimes will usually be murder/dramas will usually be to do with family of the protagonist.
4. represent current societal responses to crime
5. use formulas
6. employ some stereotypical representations
7. make iconic use of hand guns, police cars, banks, uniformed and non-uniformed police, and explosions
8.Conflicts due to difference in policing

Next we usually see into the life of the main character before they are called to the crime scene. The main character and the sidekick investigate the crime scene and try to solve it.
Many suspects appear and many are accused of committing the crime until the main character and the sidekick figure out who did it and arrest them.
Characters
Typically the main character is a police officer/detective/CID
However it doesn't always happen
Settings
Parts of the crime dramas usual involve police stations, interview rooms, police cells, dark empty streets and crime scenes.
The main character tends to have experienced an accident of some sort and are going back to work. for example Bergerac.The sidekick tends to be a woman who is either in scientific work, such as a forensic scientist or is a victim of a crime that has happened.For example Alec hardy and Ellie miller from broad church.
Codes and conventions
in crime dramas:
9. Betrayal
10. someones private life becomes public
11. the villain will have an unidentified issue
representations
TV crime dramas have ongoing characters who slowly evolve over time. the audience develops a relationship with main characters like Morse and Bergerac who change very little. the main attraction in crime dramas for the audience is knowledge of the main character, the enigma of the crime and the sense od suburban comfort with the genre
symbolic codes
Symbolic codes show what is beneath the surface of what we see. For example, a character's actions show you how the character is feeling.
a ragged coat could mean hungry or poor.
technical codes
This refers to all the aspects of narrative construction that involve technical decision making. Therefore anything to do with camera angles and movement, lighting, sound, props. shot framing and composition, design and layout and editing. What do each of the choices made tell you about what is going on - for instance, is a character shot from a high or low angle and how does that make you, the audience, feel about them? How are sound effects used to help you make sense of what is going on?
Language codes
The use of language - written and spoken - and signs contained in graphics. We learn a lot about a narrative from what we are told in this way, but the best narratives show rather than tell, leaving the audience to draw their own conclusions.
in a police drama the line ' you are under arrest' are expected to be heard
audiences
it is very difficult to define a specific target audience for this genre because different shows are aimed at different people. For example:
sherlock is aimed at a younger audiences, teen+.
men and woman can enjoy the witty humor and scientific side of the show.
Vera is aimed at 30+, mostly middle aged people because of the personal identity and the main character Vera
This show is aimed at a much older audience because of it is calmer and has less violent crimes. it is mainly aimed at woman because it can be misinterpreted as a soap opera.
technical codes are all the ways in which equipment is used to tell the story in a media text, for example the camera work in a show.
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