Narratives and formats
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Narratives and formats
Web Dramas –
What is a web based
Wed based dramas are usually fictional with highly dramatized
stories and written scripts. They cover a wide range of genres, such
as …. The target audience for web based dramas are teenagers
and viewers between 20 – 30 years old. Examples of web based
- Animated shorts
- Original miniseries
- Exclusive videos; these are usually in conjunction with or spin offs
from television series. An example of a spin off would be
Becoming Human. This was created out of the television series
The biggest distributors for web based dramas are sites such as Blip
TV and YouTube.
Conventions of a web base
Conventions are composed of specified elements and norms
that govern a particular genre or medium. It is also what we as
the audience would expect to see in a web based drama.
Conventions of a web based drama is;
- The web base series usually lasts between 6-10 minutes long.
- It is a series. This means that the narrative is not limited to one
episode. So therefore the story is featured and covered in a
series of episodes. This means that the audience has to watch
the next episodes to gain the full story.
- Usually features an unknown cast.
- Episodes usually end in a cliffhanger
- Distinguished character roles. Characterisation; victim, hero &
What is the difference
between TV dramas and
web based dramas?
The development of web based dramas is due to regular television broadcasts
becoming increasingly harder to finance. This means that new programmes are not
being produced as the broadcasters can’t afford it. In addition revenue from
advertisements is falling, whilst the costs of producing television dramas is rising. This
has led to a growth in web based dramas.
Web based dramas are similar to television dramas but they are a few key aspects
which separate them. These are;
- Web based dramas are aired on the internet rather than the TV
- Web based dramas have a lower production value (budget). One of the reasons
for this is because they are usually free to watch.
- Web based dramas are usually substantially shorter than television dramas.
- Web based dramas have more freedom than television dramas
-Web based dramas are more accessible to audiences than TV dramas due to the
fact that on the TV the viewer has to have the correct channels to watch the
-Comments and feedback are able to be left for web based dramas whereas it is
harder for the broadcasters to gain feedback on television dramas.
There are multiple narrative structures which are used in web based series. Narrative structures
derive from a repeating story which follow a particular format. Example of narrative structures
- Linear – A linear narrative is when the story will be told in chronological order.
- Non-Linear – A non-linear narrative structure is when the story is told out of order. This means
that the structure can often divert through various twists in the story, where the developments
can lead to differing conclusions .
- Realist – A realist narrative structure is when the story that is told can actually occur in real life.
Thus events, setting and characters can be real.
- Anti-realist – An anti-realist narrative structure is when the events are fictional with no chance
of them ever occurring in real life.
- Open ending – An open ended narrative structure is when the story ends, usually with a cliff-
hanger, with questions still unanswered and details still yet to be revealed or explained.
- Closed ending – A closed ending narrative structure is when the story finishes with all of the
details fully explained and there are no questions left unanswered.
- Flashback – A flashback is a scene which takes the setting back in time. This is usually inserted
during a scene in order to explain, remember or to put further emphasis on something.
Examples of a web based
Emma Approved is a web based series which features a character called Emma Woodhouse. Emma is a
matchmaker with a perfect record. On an online channel in a documentary style she recounts ‘her greatness’
with her purpose being ‘future achievements…life time achievement awards and life style excellence’. This is
all done through a webcam style format.
Emma Approved is filmed using 2 fixed cameras which are presented as if they were a webcam. The
characters are either introduced in front of the camera or they appear on the screen in the top left corner
allowing the audience to see both Emma and the other character. In effect it works much like face time would
on an Apple product. One camera is fixed so that it is up close. This helps to present a more intimate and
personal relationship with the audience whereas the other camera allows for the audience to see Emma sat
beside another character. By having the second camera further away it gives the scene more context and
allows for more interaction between the characters.
Emma Approved uses a linear narrative structure. Also as the series is episodic it uses open endings; this means
that each episode is usually left on a cliff-hanger with questions left unanswered and more of the story is still left
to be told.
There are currently 48 episodes that usually have the duration of between 4 - 6 minutes.
Emma Approved airs on Monday’s and Thursday’s on the Pemberley Digital YouTube channel. Emma
Approved is aired with other web series/ dramas on Pemberley Digital’ YouTube channel due to it being more
accessible and easier to use when they are are located in the same place. This means that audiences don’t
have to look for other YouTube channels when trying to find another web series.
Bonus and extra clips can also been found on either their website or on their YouTube channel.
Synopsis – Compulsions is a web based drama which follows the
story of the character Mark Sandler who is a self processed sadist
living his days at a desk job and his nights as a professional
interrogator. He will extract information from his victims by using
brutal force and psychological games. The series focuses upon
peoples inner compulsions and their dark desires.
Narrative structure – Compulsions uses open ended, realist and
flashback narrative structures.
Genre – Drama, thriller
There are 8 episodes with the duration usually between 3 – 5
Tagline – Some are innocent, and some are killer.
Geek love is a documentary style format which follows the
journey of one subject/ character each episode in the quest to
find love. One of the main focuses is on comics as the subjects
are all considered geeks. The episodes usually take place at
places such as a Comic Con convention where the focus is upon
a speed dating session. It uses real life footage, providing an
insight into the life of the subject and the surrounding events
which occur. It uses a linear structure and a realist narrative as it is
shows the journey step by step in chronological order in a
The duration of each episode is usually 10 minutes.
Genre - Romance