Different styles Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 10 July 2017

Different styles

Camera shots are used to increase the tension by introducing a variety of different styles and ranges of shots, ranging from close-ups to wide angles, giving the television audience a change of angle infrequently, and heightening the tension. To begin with, a close-up of the contestant is used frequently, especially when they are nervous. This heightens the tension by revealing how nervous the contestant actually is, and is combined with other elements such as louder background music to intensify the tension as a whole. Another close-up used is of Chris Tarrant.

This increases the tension as he can occasionally become nervous, indicating that there is high tension. The main close-up used, by far, is a close-up of the cheque in the host’s hand. This is by far the most tension-increasing close-up as it shows us Tarrant’s hand, the cheque, the contestant’s hand and the immediate surroundings, these being the two computer screens and part of the chairs. This, added with the other close-up of Tarrant, the background music and the loud sound effects create an all-round tense experience. A different type of camera shot that is used occasionally on the show is a medium shot.

A medium shot is a camera angle that is not as zoomed-in as a close-up, but is not as zoomed-out as a wide angled shot, resulting in an all round image. The most common medium shot used is one depicting the stage before the contestant comes to the seat, showing the remaining contestants who failed in ‘Fastest Finger First’, a small section of the audience, the surrounding stage and the host and the contestant walking towards the stage from the ‘tunnel’. This heightens the tension as it shows the reaction of the audience during ‘Ask The Audience’ and reveals whether they know the answer or not.

Another important camera shot is called a low angle shot. This camera angle is not unlike a ‘worm’s-eye view’, where the angle is shot from the lower section of the stage upwards, giving a lower perspective of the audience. This is used to focus on the familiar face that the contestant knows, often heightening the tension by revealing the nervous friend or relative. Editing on this show is used to condense and manipulate the recorded show into the finished article now available on television, and it heightens the tension by containing all of the periods of the show that are high in tension and cutting the periods that are not.

to produce the high-in-tension finished product that we can see today. Chris Tarrant himself does some of his own ‘editing’ in that he controls the flow of the programme, meaning that the lower question have as much time as necessary spent on then, but not too much, and the higher questions have as much time as possible, heightening the tension by allowing large periods of virtual silence where the contestant is thinking. Lighting is used in various different ways to heighten the tension and increase viewer enjoyment.

One of these different ways is focussed on the ‘tunnel’ that the contestants and the host walk through at the start of the round. The lights focussing on this tunnel change colour at different points of the game. My perception of this is that the colour depicts the amount of tension at that point for example a mellow colour like blue can signify very little tension whereas a vibrant colour like red can signify large amounts of tension. Another variation on the techniques used with lighting is when the spotlights focus on the audience.

This normally occurs during a tense moment of the show such as an important question or the use of a lifeline, and more often than not the lights focus on the familiar face sitting directly behind the contestant, apart from when the ‘Ask the Audience’ lifeline is being utilised. This heightens the tension immensely as it highlights how nervous the person is as well as showing the contestants face immediately after. There is a contrast to this spotlight on the audience in that when the contestant sees the question for the first time, the audience is blacked out completely, adding to the tension by highlighting the centre stage.

During the show, at various points, the spotlights shine onto the stage on random points. These points are mainly focussed on and around the centre of the stage, where the podium-like stools are placed, illuminating the chairs and highlighting the centre of the tension, thus increasing the tension. The main catchphrase used, more to increase viewer enjoyment rather than tension, is introduced by the host, infrequently after the contestant has worked extremely hard to reach the next milestone, and Tarrant gives them the cheque, then snatches it back while saying “…

but we don’t want to give you that… “, meaning that that is the least they can leave with. This is normally used to give the show a lighter tone, usually after a period of heightened tension. Another catchphrase that occurs infrequently is used after a contestant has strived extremely hard to reach a high money question, and they have deliberated for some time over the answer, only for Tarrant to place doubt into their minds by asking “Is that your final answer? “. This is used more to heighten tension by bringing doubt and worry into the show, especially for the contestant.

Tarrant himself creates tension in his own unique way by using a number of different techniques. The main technique he uses is deception. He uses this to heighten tension by bringing guilt and fear into the psyche of the contestant. One prime example of this being used is when a contestant has correctly chosen an answer, but Tarrant makes them believe it is one of the other answers, increasing the tension by bringing worry into the contestants mind, making the audience become involved with the contestant.

Humour is used in a very ingenious manner, with Tarrant adding his own wit at certain points in the game, thus distracting the contestant and heightening tension and viewer enjoyment. The advert breaks in this quiz show are used in a very cunning manner. Tarrant uses them at certain points in the game, and these are probably his greatest asset. They are normally used when a contestant has progressed to a larger question, and he adds these in just before revealing the answer to this question, saying “We’ll take a break” and leaving the tension at its highest throughout the advert break.

The pace of the show can vary depending on the value of the question, varying from fast on the i?? 100 and i?? 200 questions to fairly slow on the highest questions. This is because Tarrant makes the questions short in length or long in length to heighten the tension. This increases the tension as, especially on the harder and higher questions, the length of them means that the audience has to watch for longer to find out the outcome, therefore increasing viewer enjoyment. The show has pretence that it is live involved in it, and this has been established as a central part of the show.

Chris Tarrant stresses that the show may be live regularly, and the confusion that this places into the audiences mind can cause tension. Repetition is used regularly throughout the show, with phrases such as “… but we don’t want to give you that… ” and “We’ll take a break, join us again in a couple of minutes for the next part of tonight’s ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ‘” being heard throughout the show. This repetition is now well known and many people now know these phrases.

These heighten the viewer enjoyment as many people now associate these phrases with this show, and can instantly recognise it purely from these phrases. The main phrase repeated is “Anyone can win”, and this is stressed throughout the show, thus adding to the viewer enjoyment. In conclusion, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ” has been so outstandingly popular as it offers such huge prizes, amounting up to a million pounds, one of the biggest prizes of all time, and it is continually stressed that anyone can win this prize money.

In my opinion, this show is an established ruler of the ‘quiz show’ format and can always bring in the ratings, even when it is criticised. There is no reason why a television quiz should not offer such large amounts of money if it is as popular as this, because this show brings in such massive viewers ratings that it should give out such large prizes. Ultimately, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ‘ has evolved from an unknown show sinking into depression, into the commanding, profit-gaining, unrivalled tyrant of the ‘quiz show’ that it is today.

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  • Date: 10 July 2017

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