22 Steps Script Writing technique

The 22 step system is the idea that films go through 22 steps, with 7 of them being vital to all film. Created by John Truby, a scriptwriter who has consulted on over 1,000 scripts in the past 30 years and has taught students who have gone on to write films such as Shrek and Scream, the 22 step system is found in nearly every film to date.  When analysing these steps i will be using Christopher Nolan’s: The Dark Knight Trilogy as my example.

The 7 vital steps are:

Weakness or need:

an obstacle for a character to overcome. During The Dark Knight Rises Bruce Wayne must over come his injuries and ignorance to defeat bane.


This is what drives a character to do what they do. During Batman Begins, Bruce Waynes desire is to bring justice to gotham city, to become a symbol of hope.


The synergy between opposing characters is what makes a good film great. The Dark Knight is often seen as the best film in the trilogy, the reason being the relationship between Batman and The Joker. The two character have as many similarities as they do differences and the joker, unlike batman’s previous foes, thrives on fear and chaos.


This is a plan to over come the initial problem, weakness or antagonist, often an initial plan will fail during the first act. During The Dark Knight Rises, Batmans initial plan was to take bane on one on one, showing his ignorance, this lead to batman being put out of action until the final act.


This often takes place in the final act of a film. the battle can be a physical one with the main antagonist, or a metaphorical one with an issue such as going cold turkey to fight an addiction. In the final scenes of The Dark Knight Rises, Batman leads an army of gothams finest in an epic battle with Banes Army.

Self Revelation:

This is a personal realisation, often it happens after a weakness or issue is overcome. In the final scene of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne realises Gotham doesn’t need the Batman anymore, and sacrifices his reputation in order to keep Harvey Dents alive.

New Equilibrium:

This is when the protagonist reaches a new situation on their journey, often how films end. In the final scene of The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne fakes his and Batmans death in order to save Gotham city and continue his life in peace.

The full 22 steps are as followed (no order):

  1. Self-revelation, need, and desire
    This gives the story and character direction
  2. Ghost and story world
    This is often an event from the protagonists past which affects them in the present. The story world is the norm of the main protagonists, his/her family or friends, jobs, hobbies etc.
  3. Weakness and need
    The weakness is a difficulty or problem that the protagonist must over come. The need is what drives the protagonist and is often the protagonist main goal.
  4. Inciting event
    The inciting event often occurs at the start of the second act. This event will usually break the protagonists story world and will start their journey to fix it.
  5. Desire
    This is what drives the story and the main protagonist. Often the antagonist will have there own desires which drives them.
  6. Ally or allies 
    An ally often is used to give a character more depth. An ally could be a variety of characters, but most commonly will be a friend, family member, mentor or love interest.
  7. Opponent and/or mystery 
     The opponent ties in to a lot of the other steps, often getting in the way of a desire or targeting the protagonists weakness. in the event of a film not having an opponent (for example a detective story) a mystery will take its place.
  8. Fake-ally opponent
    A fake ally is a story telling device used. often a film will build on the relationship of the fake ally and the protagonist during the first act before the revelation of the allies true motives creates a turning point in the second act.
  9. First revelation and decision: Changed desire and motive
    This often occurs at the end of the first act, bringing in the second act. often the main protagonist will make a decision or gain some information which changes the protagonists direction.
  10. Plan
    The plan is how the protagonist intends to fulfil there desire. More than often the plan will not work out due to an unseen flaw/circumstance or the antagonists actions.
  11. Opponent’s plan and main counterattack
    This is the same as the plan for the protagonists however the antagonist plan will usually work initially until the protagonist can overcome it in the final act.
  12. Drive
    The drive is the steps the protagonist takes in order to achieve his goal/desire.
  13. Attack by ally
    In the event of a protagonist losing direction or there motives changing for the worst, an ally may step in to straighten to protagonist out and get him back on the right course.
  14. Apparent defeat
    This is when the protagonist believes they have lost and there desire can no longer be achieved, in order for a comeback to be effective, the protagonist must hit rock bottom.
  15. Second revelation and decision: Obsessive drive, changed desire and motive
    a second revelation will often spark a protagonist into making a comeback after hitting rock bottom, this revelation can come in the form of new information, idea or a personal revelation.
  16. Audience revelation
    This is when the audience is given a piece of information that the protagonist does not have, often this will be the antagonists plan.
  17. Third revelation and decision
    This will be the final plot twist before the final battle, often this revelation is the protagonist acquiring the means to overcome and defeat the antagonist.
  18. Gate, gauntlet, visit to death
    this will often be a sacrifice the protagonist has to make in order to achieve there desire. this can come in the form of a death of an ally, or a decision.
  19. Battle
    A film can have multiple battles, but often a larger battle will end a film. This is a battle between the protagonist and antagonist to see who is better. in the case of a mystery the battle maybe a final obstacle to get past before the mystery can be solved.
  20. Self-revelation
    The protagonist learns from the mistakes they have made on there journey to achieve there desires and is better because of it.
  21. Moral decision
    This is a decision made often after a revelation. a moral decision is often a choice between doing what is right and what is best for themselves.
  22. New equilibrium
    This is the telling of the protagonists new story world after the events of the movie.

Not all steps can be found in all films. it is rare to find a film without the 7 vital steps, often a film will use a minimum of 12 steps.



Pre-Production and why its important

When creating a media product, there are 10 steps of pre production you must go through before creating said product. In total there are only 13 steps to creating a product meaning pre-production takes up more the 75% of the process, which is why it is the most important aspect of creating a product. Pre-production is crucial when working for a client, the pre production allows the client to see why certain decisions are made, what research lead to this decision, and why its the best possible decision for the product, based on the circumstances. Pre-production also prepares the crew and creators for the worst, if a situation arise where changes need to be made, the creator and crew can refer to the pre production to work out what the next best option is, wether that means altering the budget, or cutting a scene. The quality of a product can often depend on the quality of the pre production.

  • Brainstorming
  • Research-Primary-Secondary
  • Proposal-Pitch(Synopsis)
  • Production Schedule
  • Budget
  • Storyboard
  • Location Recce -Risk Assessment
  • Contingency Plan -Back Up Plan
  • Shooting Schedule
  • Call Sheets
  • Production-Film Shoot -Shot Blog
  • Offline Edit -Rough Cut
  • Watch-Review-Online Edit


Brainstorming is the documentation of initial ideas, often done in a group, creators will write down a group of related ideas, and then expand on them, eliminating the ones that won’t work and evolving the ones that will. In the event of an idea failing, the content creator can refer back to the brainstorming to see if another idea could work in its place. often creators will find that although an idea might not work, elements of that idea might help make the product better. When creating our TV ad, we found that once we got to the post production stage, our initial idea wasn’t going to work, but instead of scrapping it and starting over again, we combined one of our other initial ideas with the footage we already had, and created a much better product.


Research is often seen as the most important part of pre production. Research is there to protect the content creator, wether its checking the legality of a scene, or the accuracy of statistics. Research also allows for content creators to make educated decisions and, when working for a client, can help to explain why a decision is being made.

there are 2 types of research, primary and secondary.

Primary –

Primary research is conducted by yourself, often in the form of a questionnaire or focus group.  This kind of research allows the creator to determine the target audience and preferences. primary research is used to gauge the audiences interests.

Secondary – 

Secondary research is research collected by an outside source. this could be anything from statistics, to personal documents. secondary research can be used to fill any gaps left by the primary research.


this stage of pre production is important for a number of reasons. when working for a client a proposal will be needed before production can start, if the proposal does not get approval you must revise your idea or create a new one. This is a situation where the brainstorming documentation would come into play. The Proposal is often presented in 2 parts; the treatment and the synopsis. A treatment is a detailed break day of what you are creating, how you are going to create it and what equipment is needed. A synopsis is a paragraph detailing what content you are creating and why.

Production Schedule:

This is a move by move plan of what is being done, when, where and what/who is needed. This gives the crew an idea of what to prepare for and helps keep the production on track. In the case of a cast or crew member not turning up, the production schedule protects the content creator from being accused of not informing said cast/crew member of when and where they needed to be.


When working for a client, often the client will provide  you with a budget to create the product. prior to receiving funding a client may ask you to present a budget plan. this is a document stating how you intend to use the funding. When creating a budget plan you must consider the following –

Cast/Crew Wages

Equipment Hire

Location Hire

Set Design

Costumes/hair and make up supplies



Rights Acquisition



Contingency plan


This is the final evolution of an idea, the storyboard is a culmination of all the ideas previously thought out. this is a documentation of how each scene is intended to look like, it creates an initial structure for the product and gives the cast and crew and idea of what each scene is supposed to look like. most commonly done in drawing form, a storyboard is the first complete look at what the product is intended  to look like. alternatively, a story could be created if a location has already been found, as stand ins can be used to portray ideas however this may impact your budget as you may be charged to use the location.

Location Reece:

This part of the pre production is important because it leads into all the other aspects. the location reece is when the content creator seeks out viable locations. when performing a location reece it is important to consider many aspects from camera angles, to lighting to health and safety. The location reece is important because it helps when perfuming other steps of the pre production such as the budget, storyboard and even the contingency plan.

Contingency Plan:

This step of pre production is one of the most important, a contingency plan is a back up plan incase something goes wrong during production.it is important that the contingency plan is detailed so that in the event of an emergency production can switch to the contingency plan with ease. contingency plans are there to prevent the need to cancel shoot days which would cost you or the client money.

Shooting Schedule:

this is a day by day timeline of what shooting is being done when and for how long. This is one of the more complicated parts of the pre production as it requires you to know the availability of all the cast/crew as well as the availability of the equipment hire.

Call Sheets:

Call heats are documents giving to every cast and crew member. the document details what is required of each member,  when it is required and the location they need to be at. This document, when done correctly, also covers the creator in the situation of a cast/crew member not turning up and claiming they were never informed of when they were needed.




Radio ad analysis

what is a radio ad:

a radio ad is sound only ad  that can either persaude or inform its audience. an ad that persaudes the audience will have to include more then the an ad that informs the audience as it has to engage the audience, persaude the audience, and then give the relevant information need to purchase the product they are persauding them to buy. where as an ad that informs only has to focus on engage the audience and informing them. an ad that informs may be known as a public announcement.

what is the purpose of a radio ad:

to advertise:

its simple, a radio ad is put out to try and persaude the public to buy the advertisers product, alot of the time a radio ad will be part of an advertising campaign which will include radio ads, video ads and print ads. radio ads are also often used by local businesses as smaller local businesses wont have the money to pay for a full tv advert and an radio ad is a cheaper alternative.

to help the radio industry:

the radio industry is split into 2 sectors commercial radio and public radio.

public radio is funded by the government and is therefore technically owned by the public. this means the radio has a duty to cover every type of music and broadcast nationwide. the largest public radio is the BBC. The BBC manages to cover every type of music by having a wide range of stations aswell as regional stations. The BBC are not allowed to have commercials on there radio and must include national news, it must also be a non profit organisation. it must also be completely unbiased.

commercial radio however is funded by advertisers and do not have the limitations that a public radio does. commercials represent 20% of a radios out put that means for every hour of commercial radio at least 12 minutes are commercials. the rest of the hour will then be split between music, presenting and the news. radio ads are often split up through it the hour in ad breaks. these ad breaks will be placed at the peak times os they reach the maximum amount of people. without radio ads there would be no commercial radio industry. radio ads are commercials radio main source of income.

rules and regulations:
there are many rules and regulation radio stations must abide by. these can be found here:
i will now look into some of the more important regulations that relate to advertising as there are to many regulations to list them all.

– Advertisements

‘Advertising’ in this Code refers to any items, including spot advertisements and promotions with advertisers, which are broadcast in return for payment or other valuable consideration to a licensee or which seek to sell to listeners any products or services. It does not cover product placement or sponsorship.

This Rule excludes promotion of radio stations’ own-branded activities, goods and events (such as websites, T-shirts and concerts) which enhance listener involvement and are not designed to make a profit or promote commercial partnerships.

Radio advertising should be legal, decent, honest and truthful, and these Rules should be applied in spirit as well as in the letter.

Licensees must make it a condition of acceptance that advertising complies fully with all legal requirements. Advertising for an acceptable product or service may have to be withdrawn if the ASA considers that a significant effect is indirectly to publicise an unacceptable product or service. 

– Pressure to purchase

Advertisements must not falsely state that a product, or the terms on which it is offered, will be available only for a very limited time in order to deprive consumers of the time or opportunity to make an informed choice. Advertisements must not mislead consumers about market conditions or the possibility of finding the product elsewhere in order to induce consumers to buy the product at conditions less favourable than normal market conditions.

Advertisements must not falsely claim that the advertisers are about to cease trading or move premises.

Advertisements must not mislead about the nature or extent of the risk to consumers’ personal security if they do not buy the product.

Advertisements must not explicitly claim that, if consumers do not buy the advertised product or service, the advertiser’s job or livelihood will be jeopardised. 

radio ads are monitored by a governing body called OFCOM. OFCOM regulate the commercial sector. this includes TV, Radio, and print. there job is to make sure that the public is happy with the service they are getting and that adverts are appropriate for the public. they are also there to protect the public from scam artist and company that falsely advertise products. OFCOM is fund by the industry and therefore must be completely unbiased.


an average radio ad is 30 seconds in length but can go up to 60 seconds. very rarely are ads 45 seconds long. this length is often avoided as it would usually make an ad break un even in length.

a radio ad consists of:

  •  SFX – sound effects – sound effects can often be used to grab the audiences attention. it can also be used to create an atmosphere or tone, or to influence the audience into feeling a particular emotion. it is also used to make an ad sound more realistic for example, an advert for an energy drink could try to create the image of someone opening a can by having the SFX of a can opening.
  • narration – often narration is used to either tell a story or give the audience important information. narration in a radio is more important as the audience has no visual aid to refer to and therefore have to create an image for themselves, the narration is one of the simplest, easiest ways to help create this image.
  • music – music can be used in a variety of ways. one of the most impactful ways music is used to create  an atmosphere. music can completely change the tone of a advert. another way music is used is when a company uses a catchy well known song in there advert. this is a great technique as the audience will likely already know the song and therefore be able to relate to it.
  • jingle – a jingle is used by a company to create an imprint on the audiences mind. usually it will be short, snappy, catchy and easy to remember. often the jingle will rhyme as well
  • slogan – this is often incorporated into the jingle. many companies will already have a slogan that is well known by the public so it only makes sense for a company to use it in an radio ad. many well known slogans are used in ads such as ‘because your worth it’.
  • contact details – these often come at the end of a radio ad, this is the information the public needs to know so they can buy a product or get in contact with the relevant people.
  • terms and conditions – this will always come at the end of the ad and is often a legal requirement and is there to protect the company. however the terms and conditions are often spoken in a fast and very monotone voice which means often the mind ignores them which can lead to various issues.


there are 4 different styles of radio ad:

serious: often this is used by charity’s for serious issues such as poverty.

seductive: this is often used by perfume adverts, or lingerie adverts.

factual: this will often be used in public service announcements

humorous: this can be used in a variety of ads, one of the most used ways of using it is when an advertisement is ironically taking the mic out of advert cliché’s.

meow mix – 1970’s

unfortunately it has proven overly difficult to find the exact date this radio ad launch but it has been confirmed it ran throughout the 1970’s. the radio ad was actually just the audio from meow mix’s tv commercial. the commercial consists of sound effects, music and voice over. it also includes a jingle and a slogan.


the commercial has background music. this music is made up of a piano being played in a old upbeat melody. its the sort of music you might hear in a bar in an old western or an silent movie comedy. it also has backing vocals of what sounds like females meowing along to the tune. this give the advert a very upbeat feel to it. also the tune is quite repetitive, simple and catchy. this imprints the ad in the listeners mind.

sound effects:

although im unsure as to wether or not this classes as a sound effect or lyrics but the advert starts of with the sound of a cat meowing in a repetitive manner, almost as if it was singing along to a tune. then the music kicks in and the two sound clips fit together. this helps with the imprint that the music has created, as the meowing is very catchy and gets stuck in the listeners head.

voice over:

towards the end of the advert a voice over begins. the voice is of an american man who speaks in an upbeat tone. the man give information about the product and finishes on the slogan. this is very effective however it doesn’t give any information on how to buy the product, how much it cost or where to buy the product.


in the ad the voice over is followed by a small jingle. the jingle is simply a cat meowing to a tune. this follows the slogan ‘taste so good, cats ask for it by name’. this claim, technically this isnt false advertising it is merely word play.

target audience:

this advertisement can only really target a small range of people. this would only attract the attention of cat owners. this puts the age demographic from bout 18 all the way up to 65+. the use of an american voice over implies that the advertisement would only be broadcast in america and therefore narrows down the target audience even more.


Regulation bodies.

in the media industry the various media outlets are regulated by various companies. these companies are paid by the industries themselves in order to make sure all companies are treated fairly.


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the BBFC stands for britsh board of film classification. these are the people who give each film a age classification.

the process(BBFC.co.uk):

Typically, two examiners view a film for theatrical release. In most cases a Senior Examiner will confirm the examiners’ recommendation. But if the Examiners are in any doubt or fail to agree, or if important policy issues are involved, the work may be seen by other members of the Board up to, and including, the Director and Presidential team. Occasionally we need to take specialist advice about the legal acceptability of film content or its potential for harm.

The same process exists for DVDs and Blu-rays though generally these are seen by one Examiner. However, opinions from other Examiners may be required for more difficult works.’

the BBFC looks at issues such as discrimination, drugs, horror, dangerous and easily imitable behaviour, language, nudity, sex, and violence when making decisions. The theme of the work is also an important consideration. They also consider context, the tone and likely impact of a work on the audience.

The BBFC is an independent, nongovernmental organisation. this means have no power over the BBFC or there choices. Because of this the BBFC have to charge any film that is submitted for classification. The BBFC works with local authorities to make sure films that haven’t been classified don’t make it into cinema.

The BBFC are also a lot stricter when regulating DVD and Blue-Ray releases as there is a higher possibility of people under the recommended age watching the content.

The BBFC also have to take into consideration many laws such as the obscene publications act 1959/1964, The protection of children act 1978 and the licensing act 2003.


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ASA stands for the advertising standards authority. ASA is the regulator of advertising across all media in the uk. like the BBFC, ASA is a completely independent authority and gains money from the industries it regulates.

the aim of ASA is to make sure that advertising in all media is decent, honest, truthful and legal. it also tries to make sure it is beneficial for the consumer, business and society.

this means they have to make sure every ad takes the appropriate approach the situations, portrays various races, sex’s and ethnicity’s in the correct way.

it also means it makes sure the advert abides by all the laws, and finally it makes sure the adverts doesn’t lie about any product or deal its trying to advertise.

ASA also acts on complaints. for example if an advert is shown on public television and then ASA receive a large amount of complaints about it, ASA has the right to take that ad down.

From http://www.asa.org.uk/About-ASA/About-regulation.aspx:

The UK advertising regulatory system is a mixture of

  • self-regulation for non-broadcast advertising
  • co-regulation for broadcast advertising.

Broadly this means that the system is paid for by the industry, which also writes the rules, but those rules are independently enforced by the ASA. For TV and radio advertising, we regulate under a contract from Ofcom.

The UK Advertising Codes are written by two industry committees: the Committee of Advertising Practice writes the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) writes the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising.

The system is a sign of a considerable commitment by the advertising industry to uphold standards in their profession. All parts of the advertising industry – advertisers, agencies and media  have come together to commit to being legal, decent, honest and truthful in their ads.


Ofcom are a independant regulator for the uk communications industries. this means they regulate every that cross over the airwaves from tv and radio to mobiles and the postal service. they are there to make sure the consumers get the best from their communication services and that the industries themselves maintain a high standard of quality.

unlike the other 2 mention regulation bodies ofcom operates under the communications act 2003, in this act it is spelt out what ofcom should do. ofcom can do no more or less then what that act says.

also unlike the other regulation bodies ofcom is funded both by the industries and the government.

from http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/what-is-ofcom/:

Our main legal duties are to ensure:

  • the UK has a wide range of electronic communications services, including high-speed services such as broadband;
  • a wide range of high-quality television and radio programmes are provided, appealing to a range of tastes and interests;
  • television and radio services are provided by a range of different organisations;
  • people who watch television and listen to the radio are protected from harmful or offensive material;
  • people are protected from being treated unfairly in television and radio programmes, and from having their privacy invaded; and
  • a universal postal service is provided in the UK – this means a six days a week, universally priced delivery and collection service across the country; and
  • the radio spectrum (the airwaves used by everyone from taxi firms and boat owners, to mobile-phone companies and broadcasters) is used in the most effective way.

What we do not do

We are not responsible for regulating:

  • disputes between you and your telecoms provider;
  • premium-rate services, including mobile-phone text services and ringtones;
  • the content of television and radio adverts;
  • complaints about accuracy in BBC programmes;
  • the BBC TV licence fee; or
  • post offices; or
  • newspapers and magazines.

my opinion: in my opinion the regulatory bodies are necessary in order to maintain a standard in the media industry however i feel some bodies arnt doing their jobs well as seen in recents many stories, especially in the print industry, of various incidents that have not been picked up on such as phone tapping.




Legal and ethical.

When a producer is running a show or film they have 2 factors to consider, legal issues and ethical issues. a producer must know what lines they can and cant cross, for example; a show can legally show a women being raped, but it can be seen as un ethical and morally wrong. however the morality of a piece can change depending on what context it is used in, for example; a show showing a women getting raped is generally unethical and wrong, however if that show is a hard hitting drama, that intends to educate an audience on what to do to prevent these situations, it may be acceptable.

on the other hand a show can be morally okay yet be illegal.


Law: [mass noun] (often the law) the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties:

Ethical: relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge.

Tomas pauls definition of ethical in the media: ‘set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behaviour helps and does not harms’

Ethical issue’s ar eoften very subjective and it often comes down to how things are portray and what approach shows take on various issues.


There are many laws a tv show has to abide by. a producer must know these laws a check a show doesnt break any of them before it makes it to tv.

Wikipedia definition of entertainment laws: Entertainment law covers an area of law which involves media of all types (TV, film, music, publishing, advertising, Internet & news media, etc.), and stretches over various legal fields, including but not limited to corporate, finance, intellectual property, publicity and privacy.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

in the media industry this requires all producers to have a risk assessment conducted at every location they or their employees have to work. risks often found on a set include cables, plugs, lighting, sound and heavy equipment.

Intellectual property:

Wikipedia definition: Intellectual property (IP) is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognised. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, trade dress, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.

this basically means the original creator of content has exclusivity over there content. this means no other person can use this with permission from the original. it also means the original creator must be credited, for example; although the batman comics are no longer written by him, bob kane the creator of batman is credited in each comic as the creator.

a producer must check if the tv show they are running conflicts with anybody elses intellectual property, for example, if a producer is given a show about a time traveller travelling through space in a blue box with a companion, then doctor who can claim its a complete rip off off its show and it conflicts with there intellectual property.

Intellectual property can be sold, which means all rights are transferred over to the buyer. for example the original creator of superman sold the rights many years ago, and now his son is trying to claim some sort of rights to the money made by the superman franchise. the son has lost many times in court because his father sold the intellectual property and therefore his son has no rights.

European Convention of Human Rights

Britishcouncil.org definition:

Article 10, Freedom of Expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent states from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law

This is where the phrase’ this is a free country’ comes from. this law means media outlets have the freedom the express any opinion they wish to do as long as it doesn’t conflict with a variety of laws. those laws include the intellectual property act. some companies such as the bbc are not allowed the same freedom as other companies as it must remain unbiased in its opinion. this is another case where ethics and law clash.


as previously stated a producer has to take into consideration an ethical issues a show might face.

for example, although legally a show is entitled to freedom of expression, if an opinion is expressed that the majority of the audience will find offensive then it is un ethical to have that opinion air on tv.

other ethical issues a producer might face is the portrayal of gender race and ethnicity. this has been a major issue in recent years as often groups feel tv portrays there culture in a negative way, and often over exaggerate a stereotype.

ethical issues are the most difficult the define as what is right and what is wrong as alot of it depends on your personal opinion or view on a situation. generally a ethical issue is defined by the dominant ideology. this means the idea that the majority of the audience has is seen as the ‘right’ point of view.



Radio/Tv Advert Analysis.


Telvision adverts have 3 different purposes; to promote, to raise awareness or to sell. adverts that are to promote tend to be for political campaigns or for tv shows. adverts that are there to raise awarness are most commonly made by charity raising awareness of particular problems in the world. finally adverts that are made to sell are often made by product companys or shops.

all adverts have to follow particular guidelines. there are different guidelines depending on when your advert is shown( for example; adverts can swear and be more adult after the watershed)

adverts also tend to focus on a few key features such as target audience.

Call of duty: Black Ops 2 ‘Surprise’ trailer:

This advertisement has a very specific target audience, however it finds a way to appeal to the general public. Call of duty have be known to do a lot of live action trailers and this one was no different, the advert starts with a man dressed in soldier gear sitting on a tire playing with some equipment, the camera then pans out to reveal he is in a war torn city with many destroyed buildings and vehicles. this sets the tone of the rest of the ad.

the start of the advert instantly makes it obvious who the target audience is. the advert targets mainly gamers, anyone who is into gaming will recognise the setting is similar to a multiplayer game of call of duty. the fast paced action combined with the ‘killstreaks’ zooming about really creates the same vibe the multiplayer game does. this makes the advert instantly connect with the target audience, it also makes the target audience feel special, as if they are in an exclusive group that only they will understand what this advert is about.

the advert then moves into a shot of a sniper targeting the man at the beginning this leads to a series of different characters each trying to kill one another with a different item from the game. the advert flows well as it uses the various weapons to transition between characters for example a women fires a tomahawk towards the sniper which leads into the reveal of the women, who is shot at which leads to the reveal of the shooter and so on. this sort of transitioning makes it feel one complete video as opposed to a group of clips put together.

this leads to my next point, the majority of the characters are played by ‘internet famous’ stars. only a particular group of people would recognise these people, a minority compared to the size of people that would watch this advert. this gives the advert a certain edge, makes it special for the people who are in the know and can suddenly change their attitude towards the product. However it still appeals to the mainstream audience by feature hollywood megastar (and all around badass) Robert Downey Jnr.

Batman: Arkham City – Hugo Strange Trailer

the batman arkham city takes a different approach and instead of trying to appeal to the products primary tarket audience (comic book fans and gamers) it appeals to a mainstream audience by creating a action pack, fully cinematic trailer. this can work out well considering a wide majority of people atleast know about batman, and know the basic idea around him. this trailer appeals to that, by having dramtic action sequances, but also educates the audience on what the game is. the reason i say this doesnt appeal to thew products primary audience is because it features no actual gameplay, and rtherefore didnt show that demographic what they would of wanted to see.

the advert takes alot of inspiration from hollywood blockbuster film trailers, the way its set up, showing the evil villain torturing a victim before showing the hero beating up a bunch of henchmen before finishing on the major plot twist, the shots used are reminiscent of James bond trailers.

the advert also features arguebly the best looking cgi of the past 10 years, at some points it genuinly look real, the lighting and particle effects made it feel 3 dimensional and added to the tone of the advert.

Comparing the 2 modern adverts:

the 2 adverts take a very different approach to target audience, the first appealing to its minority audience more but still managing to appeal to the mainstream audience, while the second avoids its majority target audience in an attempt to appeal to a more mainstream audience, and takes alot of inspiration from modern action film trailers. personally i feel the COD trailer is better, but that is because im part of the audience the ad is targeted at and I’m ‘in the know’ about who these people are, however i believe the arkham city adverts is truly amazing and one of the best cinematic gaming adverts of its time.


The nintendo entertainment system was by far one of the most popular gaming consoles of its era, and part of its success can be put on this ad. similar to the modern batman advert; the NES advert takes some inspiration from film adverts, with its quik pacing and upbeat rock and roll music. it also establishes its target audience by feature 2 young males. another tactic the advert uses is it features gameplay from 2 very popular titles: batman and super mario. Batman had recently released a very high profile movie which was revolutionary for the batman franchise. NES used the hype surounding the batman film to sell there product, this makes the system appeal to people who enjoyed the film, aswell as casual batman fans. it then showed gameplay of super mario which had already established itself as one of the leading products in the gaming industry. it also stated that it came with over 60 games, which back then was unheard of and a very large gaming libary for a console. the script and voice over for this ad must be commend too, as it made super mario, a cartoon childish game, seem like a epic action battle to save a princess. it also highlighted alot of the NES’s features such as the 2 different controllers, quik loading cartridge system, in fared red controller as well as the various accessories.

Sega Genesis Blast Processing:

This advert is great for all the wrong reasons. it uses very dirty tactics, and many may see it as un ethical. Sega directly attacks the nintendo NES which some may see as slander. it claims that the sega genesis has ‘blast processing’ where as the NES doesn’t. it then goes on to compare the Genesis to a high speed race car and compared the NES to and old broken van, it even went as far as to strap a NES to the back of the van. the advert also shows some gameplay of games such as sonic the hedgehog, which ties in well to the advert as they are high speed action games. it also shows nintendos own super Mario karts, and displays it as a slow paced game.

these very dirty tactics are effective but un ethical and in the modern day would not be allowed on television.

Comparing the 2 retro ads:

the 2 ads are for the same type of product yet take very different approaches. the NES aims it product at teenagers with its high action advert, where as the Genesis uses dirty tactic to both slander to competition whilst still promoting its own pro ducting and claims it has something that the other console doesn’t. personally i find the Genesis ad to be the most effective however i feel the NES ad is the better ad of the two because it does its purpose without the need to slander the competition.



audiences watch stuff.  To understand what audience want to watch it is important that producers can recognise how audiences are composed and how to identify them. a producer would define a audience based on a variety of variables. although it is easy to define a audience it is often subjective and can often change.

the most common variables used to define audiences are

  • gender
  • age
  • beliefs
  • race
  • social class
  • hobbies

the social class refers to the nrs system, the is a demographic classification originally used by the nation readership survey. this puts individuals in specific classes based on the occupation of the head of the household. the classes are:

A upper middle class Higher managerial, administrative or professional
B middle class Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional
C1 lower middle class Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
C2 skilled working class Skilled manual workers
D working class Semi and unskilled manual workers
E Those at the lowest levels of subsistence Casual or lowest grade workers, pensioners and others who depend on the welfare state for their income

only 2% of the UK population is classed as ‘upper class’. this system is often used as part of market research by a lot of large companies and producers when trying to work out there target audience.

the hypodermic needle theory suggests that an audiences can be controlled and influenced by a messaged being ‘injected’ into through the use of media.

quote from wikipedia:

‘It suggests that the media injects its messages straight into the passive audience (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). This passive audience is immediately affected by these messages. The public essentially cannot escape from the media’s influence, and is therefore considered a “sitting duck” (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). Both models suggest that the public is vulnerable to the messages shot at them because of the limited communication tools and the studies of the media’s effects on the masses at the time (Davis, Baron 1981).’

this theory has now been disproved (wikipedia):

the research movement, led by Paul Lazarsfeld and Herta Herzog, that would disprove the magic bullet or hypodermic needle theory, as Hadley Cantril managed to show that reactions to the broadcast were, in fact, diverse, and were largely determined by situational and attitudinal attributes of the listeners.

this proves that an audience can not be accurately categorised as reactions are subjective and can therefore only be generally categorised.

once a producer has defined an audience it must decide what its target audience is to the product they are presenting. this will be determined by looking at the product and deciding what type of audience would enjoy the product the most. i will be using toy story 3 as an example. the obvious target audience for this film would be children with the age range from 2 – 12, however the audience is subjective as the toy story franchise played an important role in the childhood of many people, so people between the age 16 – 21 would also be interested to see what disney had done with the franchise that had them repeatedly watching the films in there childhood.





Video Killed The Radio Star.

Thats the name of the first music video to be played on a channel that would become the worlds largest music video broadcast company.

MTV launched in 1981 with the sole purpose to showcase music videos. the original plan was to showcase the music videos and be hosted by a variety of people who would be called VJ’s. since then MTV has created many sister channels and began creating its own tv shows. nowadays the music videos have moved to the sister channels and MTV main channel shows reality based TV shows aim at the 14- 25 demographic.

MTV started of broadcasting in new jersey but has evolved to broadcast all across the world from the UK to asia.

MTV has gone from a small time channel to a pop culture phenomenon. the channel has developed from music videos to reality shows to award ceremonies. it has even branched out into children’s TV and one of its sister channels( nickelodeon) is one of the largest children’s tv channels in the world second only to the disney channel.

MTV, in total, has more then 20 channels world wide:

  • MTV
  • MTV +1
  • MTV HD
  • MTV Live
  • MTV Live HD
  • MTV Music
  • MTV Base
  • MTV Hits
  • MTV Dance
  • MTV Rocks
  • MTV Classic
  • VH1
  • Viva
  • Comedy Central
  • Comedy Central HD
  • Comedy Central +1
  • Comedy Central Extra
  • Comedy Central Extra +1
  • Nickelodeon
  • Nickelodeon HD
  • Nick Replay
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nick Jr. 2
  • Nicktoons
  • Nicktoons Replay

Where Would We Be Without MTV?:

personally i believe we would only be a few years behind in terms of music videos, not long after mtg the internet would come into play and eventually music videos would have gotten to the point it is now, but the journey there would of been very different.

Whats next for MTV?:

There is only one more place for MTV to go and thats onto the internet, however it is going to be very difficult for MTV to do well in that market unless they find a unique selling point they have to much competition that can offer the same thing for free. companies like youtube and vevo already have the video market on the internet and it will take something revolutionary to take there place.

Did Video Kill The Radiostar?:

when was the last time you listened to the radio?

review: chase and status ft plan B

Chase And Status, as well as plan B are 2 of the uk best talents. chase and status’s unique dance beats mixed in with plan B’s soulful voice is a perfect and unique hybrid. these 2 artist have collaborated many times and today i will talk about the music video for there collaborated track, end credits.


the music video is about the death of a character played by plan B. we see Plan B fall to the ground in slow motion, this indicates either suicide or his been pushed. this then leads into many flashback scenes which plan B is Watching, This works with the idea that your life flashes before your eyes when you die. the music video also includes footage from the film, harry brown.

Bad Points:

the video often gets confusing as it often randomly switches from the music videos narrative and the movie footage, both of them have similar story lines and makes it hard to tell the difference, it left me unsure as to wether or not plan B was also in the movie.

good points:

firstly, the song is very very good. the tone of it fits the video perfectly as well as the song being very well produced. moving on, the video started of well with the clip of plan b’s body falling to the ground slowly. it served its purpose well as it grabbed the viewers attention

, also once the body hit the ground a man walked by his body, this leaves the viewer intrigued and wanting to know more.

we then moved to a close up shot of plan b’s face as he begins to sing

, this is followed by a clip of plan B watching himself in a police questioning room. this sets the scene for the rest of the music video as it makes clear that we are watching him review his own life.

the music video also does well in setting a dark tone, as most the sets are quite dark, run down and unpleasant.

Personal Opinion:

spike jonze

spike Jonze Is A legend. the man has directed music videos, movie, television, commercials and plenty more, many of you have seen his work but may not of realised it. the man has directed many pop culture classics such as

Fat Boy Slim – weapon of choice


kanye west and jay-Z – otis

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

back story:

he began life as adam speigal, but in his teens he was given the nickname spike jonze by mike henderson, the owner of the bethesda community store.

his first major success came when he produced the video for the beastie boys – sabotage, this lead to him to work with many other artists such as tenacious D, Fat Boy Slim, R.E.M, Daftpunk and kanye west.

Fatboy Slim – Praise You:

praise you is often touted as the most original music video of all time. the video is of ‘fan footage’ of a dance troupe performing out dated b-boy moves in a movie theatre lobby. the most interesting aspect is the fact that the dance troupe is lead by spike jonze himself. this music video is now often seen as a cult classic, a legend in the history of music videos.

Ikea Ad:

this ikea advert is pure genius. through the use of music, camera angles, lighting and pathetic fallacy (the weather), spike has managed to provoke emotion from us towards a lamp. the ad makes you feel sorry for the lamp that has been left on the street my its owner. it is made to seem asif the lamp is looking at its previous owner as he plays with his new lamp. this personification of a lamp is genius and he makes the audience carry this emotion through out the ad. until a german man in a large coat walks on and calls you crazy for feeling sorry for a lamp. because the new one is obviously better.

spike uses various technical elements perfectly to create the illusion that the lamp has feeling:


spike uses a lot of great shots in this ad, one of the shots he uses to give the lamp feelings is the point of view shot. this gives the lamp feelings by creating the idea that what the audience see’s is what the lamp is seeing, which creates the idea that the lamp has eyes and therefore a mind and feelings.


spike use’s a variety of sounds to create the tone and atmosphere of the ad. to start, the music he uses can be seen as depressing  and sad. this is so the audience will link those emotions to the lamp which will create the idea that those are the feelings that the lamp is feeling. spike also uses sound effects like thunder and lightening, again this is to make the audience link emotion to the lamp as thunder and lightening is often associated with fear.


spike uses i variety of different things to create the mis-en-scene, one of the most noticeable objects are the trash cans and trash bags outside the owners house. the lamp is placed by the bags to portray being thrown out. another ver noticeable object is the lamps lightbulb. halfway through the ad, as the the lamp is “looking on” at its owner playing with his new lamp, the light bulb goes out slowly, this creates the idea that the lamp has lost hope.


spike has been very clever with his editing, a scene in the ad shows the old lamp watch on as its owner plays around with the new lamp. this scene starts of with an over the shoulder clip from the point of view of the old lamp and then flicks to a close up clip of the new lamp being played with. this could be seen as a point of view shot as we are looking at the new lamp from outside the building, through a window. this is when the editing gets interesting as it quickly switches between shots of either lamp, both from the point of view of the other lamp, until the final clip of the old lamps light going out. this piece of editing builds up the tension and makes it feel as if the old lamps emotions are building up quickly until the bubble over and his light goes out.


spike jonze creates instant classics. his unique style and creativity ebbs and flows through all his work. he has the ‘anything he touches turns to gold’ effect and thats because he has mastered his trade and worked to do it. spike jonze is a legend.

The 15 steps of production

  1. Brainstorm/Generate an idea- Done
  2. Research (Primary and Secondary)- In process…
  3. Analyse research
  4. Develop idea
  5. Proposal
  6. Production Schedule
  7. Budget
  8. Storyboard
  9. Location recce (Risk Assessments)
  10. Contingency Plan
  11. Shooting schedule
  12. Call sheets
  13. Production!
  14. Offline edit
  15. Online Edit