I have planned and pre-produced my own script based on the crime genre. I have carried out various types of research in order to find out who my competition are, what my audience like and what elements to include in order to appeal to the readymade market. I did research before I made my pre-production artiface. I watched and analysed television crime dramas and films. I did this to find out the codes and conventions of the crime genre, to see similarities and differences and to explore the repertoire of elements in the crime genre.
I watched crime dramas and films such as Bullet Boy, Layer Cake, Silent Witness, CSI, Taggart and The Sopranos. Watching these showed me many similarities to be found in the crime genre, they all seemed to follow the same theme. I know that the crime genre is one of the most popular shown on television and cinema. The audience expects to see the bad guy get caught at the end. Also unlike other film genres, crime dramas usually revolve around one character. The key stylistic element of the crime genre is melodrama.
The identity if the show is determined by the personality of the law enforcer. Difficult material is being addressed much more such as police corruption, psychotic criminals, drug related crimes, serial killers, human trafficking and racial crime. I discovered the crime genre can be divided into four parts. First is the original crime drama "whodunit? " usually the central character has a troubled personal life, there are car chases, the crime always gets solved, and the camera has no point of view. Secondly is the soap-opera influenced crime "how they're getting on?
" less attention is paid to the crime itself and focus is on characters, rules and procedures get in the way of solving the crime. The private life of cops is included. The camera has a point of view expect to see fast editing and home/bar/work scenes. Thirdly investigative teams crime drama "how done it? " women are at every rank, characters have a diverse background, and dialogue is full of technical jargon. Fourthly psycho-crime drama "why did they do it? " it involves gruesome murders, forensic experts, psychological profiles. They are in a more documentary style.
Natural lighting is used, handheld cameras, squalid settings and improvised acting. The crime drama follows a conventional structure. The set-up, to grab audience's attention. The complication, the main characters face a series of crises or problems which increase in difficulty as the show progresses. The climax has the most important sequences; it involves car chases, brawls, and confrontations ending in the capture of the law breaker. The wrap-up all loose ends of the plot are tied up, the audience must accept the solution no matter how farfetched.
Setting is usually provincial cities, London, Liverpool, Las Vegas, New York, and Miami. New York and London serves the purpose in historical crime dramas. Contemporary London for Brit-Gangster movies. Film noir, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Crime and science dramas involve pathology and forensic science labs. Characters usually found are the detective as hero, and there partner. Lawyers, pimps, prostitutes, wife/Lover/Husband of detective, and obviously the criminal. The typical iconography of the crime genre is guns, knives, fast cars, courtrooms, nightclubs/pubs/casinos.
The crime genre is such a feature because the audience responds to them. The television audience who are 40+ are generally much older than cinema going audiences who are 15-24 years of age. The younger audience watch television far less than the 40+ so we must aim to interest them. The younger audience is freer spending which is a problem getting advertisers on board, adverts usually shown are insurance and home/financial safety based, probably because the crime dramas make them question there on safety prompting them to respond to adverts shown.
Crime dramas are usually scheduled 9-11 pm on a Sunday evening and 9-10. 30 pm on a Monday evening to attract a younger audience. I carried out audience research to find out about the demographics of my audience. This helps me to see the target age/gender/class of the viewers I'm hoping to target. I believe the segment of the market I will be appealing to is a professional, middle class male, he's middle aged, likes cars and sport and already enjoys watching crime based programmes and films. The current crime dramas we are currently competing against are Silent Witness, CSI.
Fans of the crime genre provide a readymade audience and probably watch more than one show already. Websites devoted to these shows cater to such fans. I organised a focus group to find out what kind of crime drams they liked to watch. What characters did they like and plotlines. I incorporated my finding into my script, and I believe this helped a great deal. My ideal viewer is a professional male, able to drive, middle class, 40 or over, with a disposable income, he must also be sociable and active, enjoys going to pubs and bars and watches at least two hours television a night.
He would be persuaded to watch my crime drama because of the realism and the fact that it's a more risk taking, factual drama compared to others shown on television at the moment. I believe my script will meet the audience's expectations, as I did a lot of research into the current competition and the popularity of the crime genre at the moment. I did a lot of research into competition, I did audience research and I set up a focus group, this all contributed to the outcome of my final script.