In this piece of coursework the task was to write/draw the opening sequence of the first episode of a new crime series. I wanted my series to be a light-hearted crime series because there aren’t that many of them, but I would still have it scheduled for after the watershed because of the crime content and because that is when it would get the most viewers. The target audience for the series would probably be young adults (20-25) because it is shown on channel 4 and people of that age watch that channel, and that is about the same age as the main character so they will be able to relate with him.
I thought the title ‘Murder in Morton’ would be appropriate because it uses alliteration although I am aware that it isn’t very original, so in my re-draft I may change it. The main character is a young maverick and he will be able to provide humour for the audience so I thought it appropriate for Noel Fielding to play him as he is known as a comedian and hasn’t done any previous acting work apart from his comedy show so he isn’t a very well known face.
The series is set in the countryside so the link can be made with the city cop and the countryside cop. The main locations featured are the police station and outside at the crime scene or at the houses of people being questioned which is common for police dramas. I am not using ‘big’ stars for the series, because it will have low production values as it isn’t set in the big city and it isn’t slick, but saying this it still doesn’t have a ‘gritty’ feel to it.
I have already mentioned that it will be shown after the watershed because this means it can include swearing and violence which therefore make it more realistic, after the watershed is also when most people will be watching television. In order to complete the task I had to do a lot of research. The purpose of my research is to identify classic codes and conventions of the crime drama series so my series conforms to typical cop shows. I researched the TV crime genre, screenplays and the function of opening sequences.
I found out that the function of opening sequences is to establish the characters and to entice the audience into watching again. As my screenplay only had to be 600-800 words I found it difficult to entice the audience but I did manage to establish the main traits of the characters Mark and Judy. When researching screenplays I learnt what directions have to be included, and the shortcuts for camera angles etc. so I was able to include them into my screenplay. I mainly used to internet for my research but found it difficult to actually find anything worth using.
I looked at other screenplays for crime TV shows but they were hard to find so the find out the stage directions and shortcuts I looked at screenplays for films as I cam across them easier. I think my screenplay has clearly highlighted what genre I am trying to write for, because even in the opening sequence there is humour and it isn’t too serious. The target audience may not be effectively identified in my screenplay but a wide range of people are interested in and watch crime shows so I don’t think the audience would be limited to the discussed age.
The main character will definitely appeal to the audience because I created him as a likeable character, and young teenagers will even be able to relate to the clothes he wears as he dresses like many people dress today. I think having a character like Mark as the main character provides my series with a lot of originality because my research has proven that the main characters in cop shows are older males/females. My artefact conforms to a lot of the typical crime genre codes and conventions because of its title, type of characters and settings.
It isn’t similar to any other crime genre shows in particular but the settings are similar to those in shows such as ‘Midsomer Murders’ and the types of characters are similar to those in most crime series (the maverick cocky cop and the female sidekick), but I think what provides the originality and innovation in mine is the idea of the city cop adapting to life in the country and learning the countryside cops how things are done in the city, the character of Mark is also quite original because from looking at him people get the impression he would be better suited to being in a band etc.