SWAT Codes Refresher

What are SWAT codes?
■ A series of codes used to describe how a text (film or TV) has been constructed
■ The codes are:
Symbolic codes
■ The secondary meaning behind symbols or objects in the text
■ Symbols help give a deeper meaning to the text
Examples of Symbolic codes
Written codes
■ Any text (writing) that appears on the screen
■ Writing can communicate important information more easily than visuals
Examples of Written codes
Audio codes
■ Any sound that we hear throughout the film, such as dialogue, music, sound effects
(SFX), laugh tracks or applause
■ Sound can provide additional information, set the mood for the scene, add
suspense, create a realistic feel
Examples of Audio codes
Technical codes
■ Techniques used in the construction of the image through camera shots, camera
angles, camera movement, lighting and special effects
Extreme long shot
■ These shots give the viewer more details of
the setting
■ Helps us understand the world or situation
which the characters are in.
Long shot
■ Provide information about both the characters
and their surroundings (setting)
Medium shot
■ A typical medium shot shows the character from the waist up and limited amount of
the background
Close up
■ Mainly used to show facial expressions of a character.
Extreme close up
■ Used to show an object or part of an object in great
They may make the reader feel uncomfortable with
the image
High angle camera shot
■ High angle shot from above
■ Looking down
■ What does this suggest to you?
Low angle camera shot
■ Camera is down low and looking up
■ What does this angle suggest to you?
■ Lighting is primarily used to create mood or
■ Sometimes lighting can be used to emphasise
certain characters/objects