* We are going to be discussing all the features
that make a soap
* Then tell you about our own soap „Folks‟.
It is important that everything in the media industry has
a genre, because if it didn‟t it would not have a target
audience and then it wouldn‟t sell. This is no exception
to Soap Operas for example Hollyoaks is for a younger
audience because the characters in it are younger and it
is on earlier in the day compared to most Soaps.
However, soaps like Doctors are on earlier in the day and
therefore are aimed at older people because young
adults and people are at school.
There are three different types of genre for Soap Operas
Glamorous- everything in the soap is more expensive.
The people are upper class.
Light Entertainment- a soap you can laugh at and relate
Social Realist- realistic and more sensibly than light
Eastenders is a light
entertainment soap opera,
with storylines that can be
challenging but occasionally
Dallas is much more glamorous
because it is in America, with
sports cars and designer
Doctors is more of a social
realist, it isn‟t as dramatic as
some of the other well known
Within Soap Operas it is important to have stereotypical characters. They are used to help
the audience identify characters and lets them get a better understanding of the storyline.
Some stereotypical characters appear in most Soap Operas, a few examples of these are:
* Thug – A violent person. Gangster like character. (Phil Mitchell)
* Nosy neighbour – Likes to know everyone else‟s business. (Blanche Hunt)
* Womaniser – Seduces women. Has short meaningless relationships with them. (Carl King)
* Jack the lad – Someone who feeds on attention. Acts like a big man. (Max Branning)
* Young Ruffian – Causes trouble. Bully. Craves attention. (Ben Mitchell)
These stereotypes commonly apply to characters such as, Phil Mitchell, Blanche Hunt, Carl
King, Max Branning and Ben Mitchell.
Soap Operas contain different storylines. For example
Emmerdale had a plane crash that viewers complained about because it
was broadcast close to the fifth anniversary of the Lockerbie Disaster.
Dallas had a on-going storyline, “Who shot J.R.?” It was eventually
resolved months later to have been Kristen Shepard, Sue Ellen's
Narratives are an important part of Soap operas as they
are what causes the audience to continue watching the Emmerdale Plane crash
program. Usually at the end of each episode there is a
mini-cliffhanger that makes the audience watch the
next episode to see it resolved or view the rest of the
series to see the event resolved. Most storylines that
are used for soaps are things that you would find in real
life. For example they include murders, adultery and
people with drinking problems.
Who shot J.R.?
Coronation Street had a storyline that went
on for a week that featured a tram crash. It
effected the characters because they still
mention it in discussions today. It effected
Audiences of soaps like
the die-hard fans of Corrie because they
Eastenders sometimes come
believed it really happened.
from deprived areas and like
to get involved in the
The new series of Dallas has numerous
storylines. The selling of South fork
ranch, and Bobby‟s battle with cancer. The
audience can instantly connect with the
characters because of the storylines and how
they are portrayed. An example of a
storyline is the battle between the brothers
John Ross Ewing and Christopher Ewing. This
storyline brings lots of tension and the
audience can relate to it because they might
have a bad relationship with their family.
* Mise-en-Scene is a French term used to describe the design aspects
of a theatre or film production.
* Mise-en-Scene is split into 5 features which are devised to send
signals to the audience about how we are supposed to feel about a
certain point. These features are
* Settings and Location
* Facial Expression and Body Language
* Position of Characters and Objects in a Frame
* Lighting and Colour
* Props and Costumes and Hair and Make-Up
* An important part in film making either built from scratch or one that
already exists can manipulate an audience builds expectations then takes a
different turn. Some examples are;
* Science Fiction = Space
* Romantic Comedy = Home/Work/Happy/Dark/Candles
* Horror = Isolated House/Woods/Dark/Cellar/Basement
* Coronation Street = Manchester
* Clear indication of feelings smiling/happy (may be different in scary
movies). How a character feels towards another character/body
language. States, reflects relationship.
You can clearly see how these characters are
feeling in these scenes due to their facial
* Power = Looking Up
* Closer to camera = status (and focus) puts emphasis on certain
* Image = two people opposite ends of a sofa, facial expression/ body
* (eg Men in Black2 poster; Double act, mirrored actions, powers,
shades, cool, kick ass, mysterious, covered identity)
* To highlight
lour- Red=passionate/fiery – Green=calm. Hidden Emotions
* Low Key Lighting – backlights light and dark areas – used a lot horror
films – isolations – dark lonely places,
* High Key Lighting – Happy, Sunny – Rom Coms
* The costume, hair and make up play a huge part in showing off a
character in any soap. If they are wearing a suit then you instantly
think that this person is sophisticated and have a good job, whereas
if they were wearing a hoodie, track suit and trainers, you instantly
know that this person is a typical chav.
* You can easily see what time period any soap is in depending on what
they are wearing. If it was Downton Abbey then they would all be
wearing older period costumes whereas if they were in Eastenders
then they would be wearing the chav clothes described above.
* Low Shot = A way of making the subject appear more powerful
* High Shot = A way of making the subject appear more vulnerable
* Close Up = A way of capturing emotion or establishing connection
For a Soap opera to be popular it needs an
audience and because many main stream
soaps have been running for so long they
have not only a huge audience but fans as
Some people get so involved in the storylines
they write hate mail to the actors or
actresses playing the character. For example
in Eastenders there was an abusive husband.
He would walk along the street and get dirty
looks as well as hate mail.
In Coronation Street when Deidre was in
prison there was a campaign from fans to get
Emmerdale had 9.2 million viewers on it‟s 40th anniversary live episode.
Eastenders had 16.2 million viewers on it‟s 25th anniversary live episode.
Coronation Street had 14.9 million viewers on it‟s 50th anniversary live episode.
We decided to set our soap opera in Folkestone
Kent. We decided to set it here because it is very
pretty and it kind of is the place you would go to
get away and start a new life. As you can see from
the pictures it is a seaside town and boats are
always there. It would be busy so it would not be
hard to blend in.
* Mum and a five year old daughter escape after
abuse from the husband. Mum and Daughter
move to a new street away from husband. They
start a new family and after a few months the
husband finds them. At this point the mum has
a new boyfriend to protect them. The husband
kidnaps them. Eventually they are found and
the husband is locked up.
* Farmer Joe has a skeleton in his closet. It turns out he murdered an
intruder on his farm and buried him. The Intruder turns out to be
Seth‟s granddad. Seth‟s parents have a lot of money and manage to
get him out of prison after he had kidnapped his family. He hires a hit
man to kill farmer Joe and his family. Nathan finds something
incriminating on Seth and it is big enough to put him away for a long
time. Everyone from the show turns up at court and gives evidence
to put Seth away. He is given life imprisonment however by this point
the damage has been done. Farmer Joe and his family get put into
protective custody and taken to a safe house. The hitman has rigged
an explosion to occur when they shut the door. The house blows up
killing the family. Allison realizes it is not safe for her daughter
anymore and tells Nathan to take Hope and go somewhere where no
one would find them. They head to Paris. Allison has begun drinking
and fills her glass with brandy. She drinks it and falls over, poisoned.
Mum – Allison Smith – Karen Gillan
Husband – Seth Smith Jensen Ackles
Little Girl – Hope Smith Maggie Elizabeth
Boyfriend – Nathan Green - Bradley James
Farmer Joe – Peter Davison
Ann (Farmer Wife) – Janet Fielding
Mary (Daughter) – Sarah Sutton
* We decided our soap opera should be
glamorous. Like the new Dallas it will have big
houses, nice cars and pretty people.