Selection & Construction of Content, Modes of Address, Codes & Conventions

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‘Doctor Who’ is much more colourful nowadays than it used to be. Obviously when it first started off it was in black and white but even when it went into colour in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, it still wasn’t as colourful as it is now. Also the fonts used are a lot more prominent and bold on screen and they stand out more, not just in the title sequence, but in recent episodes it has even given the year and the location away at the start of the episode in the form of bold text. Obviously in the title sequence the font is much larger and centered as that information is more important than the year and location information, which is small and at the side of the screen. In the title sequence you don’t just have the ‘Doctor Who’ logo, but also the name of the episode and the name of the writer after the ‘Doctor Who’ logo has been displayed, and the actresses and actors names before the ‘Doctor Who’ logo is displayed. Target audience comes into it too, as when ‘Doctor Who’ first started it was quite moody, dark and mysterious whereas nowadays it’s more cheerful and it has more comedy elements, and the colours and font being different in the program over the years were used to reflect this.

Also the ‘Doctor Who’ logo in the 1960’s and it’s background was a mixture of grey’s, whites and blacks, whereas nowadays the logo is dark blue with a orange, red and yellow background. Also nowadays logo had the letters ‘DW’ incorporated into it with a light on top of them and the letters are shaped in a way that make them look like The TARDIS. This is a clever thing that was thought up by the makers of the show as they knew things like that would appeal to the target audience.

1960’s ‘Batman’ was a lot more colourful than ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ of today and this goes back to the target audience thing again as 1960’s ‘Batman’ was camp, comedic and a bit like a Sit-Com whereas ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ is very dark, serious and has a moody atmosphere. It is has more action and adventure elements in it nowadays too as they couldn’t get away with hardly any violence in the 1960’s whereas they can today. ‘Batman’ wasn’t originally intended to be a SitCom, it was meant to be a prime time drama when it was first created, but it’s sorted adopted the role of a Sit-Com over the years.

As far as fonts are concerned, ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ logos use a mixture of greys, whites and light blues with a black background and the ‘Batman’ logo uses a mixture of blacks and whites with a green background. The black being Batman’s cape and the white being the text. Actors and actresses names are displayed in large bold white writing on the ‘Batman’ title sequence whereas they are left to the end credits on ‘The Dark Knight’ films, which still has white writing but is small instead. The actors and actresses names do have one thing in common though: for both ‘Batman’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ they are in the center of the screen.

With ‘Hollyoaks’ the logo is only a tiny bit larger and bolder than it used to be as the target audience hasn’t changed as much with this over the years as it has with ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Batman’. It’s still aimed at teenagers just like when it first started. A twitter hash tag saying ‘#Hollyoaks’ is now displayed underneath the logo in the title sequence as most of their target audience uses Twitter. They have become aware of this in the last couple of years and have got people to tweet along on their Twitter feeds whilst watching the program. They can also send the official Hollyoaks Twitter page any messages/tweets they want which is called ‘@Hollyoaks’.

The logo is a lot more colourful than it used to be, as it is now multi-coloured. When it first started off it was just blue, then it went to grey with a picture of a tree in the ‘o’, then it went to pink and blue, and nowadays it’s red and white. The title sequence itself has become more colourful too, with a montage of most of the characters in the show being the title sequence nowadays, because in the 90’s and early 00’s it used to be just a montage of scenes that you see in different episodes of the show. This is because the target audience nowadays prefers to see all the characters faces rather than major scenes from the show as it appeals more to them because it avoids spoilers among many other reasons.

Also it could come down to the cost it took to construct the old title sequence too and the fact that they don’t film it as fast nowadays so they wouldn’t have the scenes filmed to actually put into the titles. It used to be that they filmed the episodes long before transmission and before they aired so that they had time to put the scenes into the title sequence. Nowadays they still do film them quite a while before transmission and airing but it’s closer to the air dates.

The cost issues are due mainly to the recession, as this hasn’t just affected their title sequences and budget, but also their calendars, as they have to shoot them in the UK now as they can’t afford to go abroad and last year they didn’t even have a calendar at all. I doubt this was because people were refusing to do it, it was probably mainly cost and budgeting issues. This affects massively how much profit they would have gained from product sells. They probably weren’t getting enough sells of their calendars. Profit is essential, especially on soaps when they only have a small budget and want to pull off big stunts.

When addressing audience you have to think very carefully about what content you select to put into a program or film and how you construct that content. Also images, sounds and sequences displayed have to be appropriate and relevant. Words and captions link very closely with fonts and the same goes for them as what I mentioned about fonts earlier. Audio links very closely with sound, it depends whether you produce the sound yourself or you obtain the sound from another source. Technical and linguistic aspects also need to be considered, and things need to be visually appealing to an audience, sometimes symbolic even.

All what I have mentioned in this posts needs to link back to codes and conventions otherwise you get all sorts of problems arising such as copyright issues and/or people accusing you of being offensive. You want to content to be laid out correctly and have a certain amount of anchorage about it. Content needs to have a good narrative, a good plot and good story line. It needs to have a clear beginning, middle and end otherwise it will all fall apart. Most films that have tried to sway away from the classic beginning, middle and end narrative structure over the years have failed miserably, although there are a few exceptions. When people have tried to copy existing content in the past, this has become known as the ‘copycat’ theory.

You also have ‘Hollyoaks’ spin-off show, ‘Hollyoaks Later’ which is aimed at adults and older teenagers whereas the main show is aimed at younger teenagers. ‘Hollyoaks Later’ has much darker story lines than normal ‘Hollyoaks’ and it has much more sex, swearing, alcohol and drug use and violence in it. This is reflected by the background of the logo being black and the I suppose the logo being grey and silver represents that their is more glitz and a glamour in this spin-off than the normal show.

There is a ‘Hollyoaks’ variant logo that was either used really briefly for just a few episodes or wasn’t used at all and this was black and red, with the background sometimes being white and sometimes being black. This would probably be used in episodes which were a bit morbid i.e. involving murder and/or death.

About adambutt2

I am a media student at Bridgwater College and I like Star Wars, Torchwood, Primeval, Atlantis, The Musketeers, Our Zoo, Doctor Who, Hollyoaks, Merlin, Transformers, Marvel, DC, LOTR, Harry Potter and Sherlock :) View all posts by adambutt2

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