Tuesday, 12 September 2017

TV DRAMA MEDIA LANGUAGE Class and Downton clips

Two short clips to look at, one 30-second trailer for Class (Season 4, BBC3) and ITV's Downton Abbey season 1 trailer (60 seconds).


  • a BBC3 (online via iPlayer youth [15-34] channel) sci-fi spin-off from Dr Who, but for YA audience (slightly older than Dr Who)
  • here's a BBC summary
  • there is lots of content, including fan art and other UGC, on this BBC page
  • ...and the Wiki.
  • Skip to the bottom for more videos which help put Class in context
HOMEWORK FOR MONDAY 18TH: Storyboard this trailer. Drawings don't need to be complex - stick men/shapes are fine. Denote (write) the basic framing (ELS-ECU range; 2-shot, OTS etc) and angle (LA/HA/MA/DA; worm's eye; helicopter shot). Comment on the media language used.

NEW DRAMA STORYBOARDING TASK: BBC3 is a youth (15-34) channel. BBC4 goes for an older, upmarket audience, and is launching a new drama series called Home, about the goings on in a retirement ('old folks') home. Your job is to come up with a storyboard of at least 12 shots for a trailer that (1) sets the scene (2) introduces 3 key characters (3) one of which is a terrifying bully. EXTENSION: If you have time, you can also add notes on the non-diegetic music you would use; how costume or props would signify or connote [symbolize] character; and any transitions or SFX you might use.
(A) TWIST Like Class, is there a twist or 'hybrid' element? It adds Dr Who sci-fi to the school drama, yours can be outrageous too. 
(B) CHARACTERS - decide on the age, gender and position (resident or worker, manager or owner) HERO - a resident or a worker/boss? VILLAIN/BULLY - a resident or a worker/boss? Male or female? Age? 3RD KEY CHARACTER -  a sidekick, love interest, perhaps the boss/owner? Male or female?
(C) SCENES TO INCLUDE IN TRAILER You might have one longer scene, but include some shots from multiple scenes just as you'd expect a trailer to. Think about shots that help establish the setting; the nature of characters (eg angles, two shot); create some mystery.



Shoes like Class arguably exist because of the high school/horror hybrid Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which also blended comedy and romance into its hybrid genre approach. We call an early influential example, almost a template for further efforts, an archetype.

Here's a longer Class trailer (the 19 seconds trailer is a teaser trailer) which should give you a better idea of how the show works.


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