Theory Task - Power

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1. Theory Task Dan Corr 2. CONTEXT 3. Power – A Quick Description Power is an American crime-drama TV show based on the drug gangs of New York City. It follows main…
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  • 1. Theory Task Dan Corr
  • 2. CONTEXT
  • 3. Power – A Quick Description Power is an American crime-drama TV show based on the drug gangs of New York City. It follows main characters Ghost (James St. Patrick), Tommy, Kanan and more on how the drug game effects them and there families. The show starts with the opening of James St. Patrick’s brand new night club “Truth”, originally opened to clean the money from the biggest drug business on the east coast, but when business picks up Ghost thinks it can be more than just a way to keep his money clean, as Ghost gets more and more into the nightclub he tries to get further out of the drug game. This starts off through showing Ghost as the man who has it all, perfect family, perfect business, but everything isn’t all as it seems throughout the five series of the show.
  • 4. Who are the people behind Power? Power has had big names involved with it from the start, the executive producer being Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent, he also plays the character of Kanan in the show. This is good for the show as it gives it an instantly recognisable face due to the fame of 50 Cent. 50 Cent is an American hip-hop artist releasing most of his music in the early 2000’s, most well known for songs such as “In Da Club” and “Candy Shop”, and the Juno awarded International Album of the year “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”. “Fifty” was born in South Jamaica and brought up in Queens, New York, where the show is set. It is well documented that before his career as a musical artist Curtis Jackson was selling drugs from the age of 12 during the crack epidemic in the 1980’s. This makes 50 Cent perfect to work with for this TV show, both as a producer and as an actor as he has been through the pain and joy of the game that all the characters are in, as well as it being in the exact same place that the show itself is set in, therefore he can bring a realistic approach to the way the show is presented.
  • 5. Who are the people behind Power? As well as Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson there is the creator of Power who is also behind the success of the series. This is Courtney A. Kemp, who is an American television writer and producer born in Connecticut, a state in USA. The show came about when she met up with 50 Cent and Mark Canton, an American film producer and executive, in a coffeehouse in LA. This is where she pitched the concept of a guy is becoming destined to leave his life as a drug dealer behind him to become a successful night club owner and businessman, as soon as she penned the script along with Fifty and Canton the show was green lit by on June 17 2013 with an eight episode first season set to air the following year
  • 6. Characters and Actors The main character of Power is James St. Patrick, also known as ghost, who is played by Omari Hardwick, an American actor who has also starred in films such as “Kick-Ass” and “The A-Team”. Ghost starts the series as a top drug dealer just as he is about to open up “Truth”, his very own nightclub, inspired by his late father, who owned his own nightclub, but mostly used as a was to clean his money made from drugs and running the largest drug corporation on the east coast. At this point Ghost has a successful life as well as a wife and three children and everything seems perfect in his life. Until his attempts to get out of the game and his family life crashes at the same time. St. Patrick has an affair with a woman he used to date at school, Angela, who is also a DEA agent who happens to be looking into the case of “Ghost”, who at the time, she does not know is James St. Patrick. Another one of the main characters is Tommy Egan, who is played by Joseph Sikora, an American actor of Polish decent who has had a long career in acting, starring as a child actor in a McDonalds advert with Michael Jordan. His role is the best friend of James St. Patrick as well as his business partner in the drug trade, Tommy has also worked as a bouncer in the Truth nightclub so that there won’t be any suspicions when money comes into his bank account from the nightclub. The origin of the friendship of Tommy and Ghost comes from there childhood, when Tommy, raised by a single mother, who is also a heavy drug addict, in a black neighborhood was being bullied for being white and being different to the other children, St. Patrick would stand up for him regularly and this is how they became as close as they are. The closeness of the two characters of Tommy and Ghost is tested multiple times throughout the seires as there are many points of conflict between the two, this ranging from the drug business to family life, due to the two being close Tommy is seen as an uncle to the children of Ghost, and this causes many arguments and conflicts during the series due to some of Ghost’s mistakes when it comes to family life. Both of these characters were introduced to the criminal life by Kanan. Kanan Stark is 50 Cent’s character in Power and another one of the main characters, he acts as a mentor for Tommy and Ghost towards the start of there criminal career but soon turns into an enemy as Tommy and Ghost want to takeover the business and run the east coasts drug game. He has taken on many different kinds of characters, from an ally to Tommy and Ghost to there mortal enemy, many conflicts throughout the series are based on Ghost and Kanan…
  • 7. Characters and Actors Due to the previous relationships between the two, it is believed that Ghost and his wife Tasha were the ones who set Kanan up at the start of the show and this is the reason he is behind bars and in prison for much of the beginning of the show, as well as this there have been plenty of times where each of the characters of Kanan and Ghost have attempted to kill each other. Another group of main characters is the family of James St. Patrick, there is his wife Tasha St. Patrick, his son Tariq, his twin sister Raina and the youngest child, there daughter Yasmine, who is very young when the series starts, it isn’t told what her age is but it is believed to be around 1 or 2 years old. They play a main role in the series due to a lot of conflict between Tasha and James, as well as a lot of mistakes being made by Ghost to do with his family. Also towards the end of the series (this currently being season 5, with season 6 in production) his children become more of a focal point of the show, with many emotional moments coming from the twins Raina and Tariq and what happens to both of these throughout the last couple of series of the show. The last main character I will detail is Angela Valdez, played by Lela Loren, an American actor who is portrayed to have Mexican descent on the show, she is also known for a role in the film Snitch, with Dwayne Johnson. Her character on the show is of an FBI Agent, officially known as a U.S federal prosecutor. She is introduced in the series as the affair of James St. Patrick, due to a rekindling of there relationship they had in high school, all while James was still married to an unaware Tasha, they meet in the Truth nightclub where she becomes suspicious of how St. Patrick has done so well since his school days, from there they fall in love all over again and St. Patrick eventually leaves his wife and family behind in order to pursue a relationship with Angela. This relationship becomes more and more strained throughout the seires due to Angela investigating the drug gangs of New York, and originally not knowing St. Patrick was involved, but knowing that Tommy was involved and knowing of the friendship between the two, she becomes very wary of all the movements each of them make.
  • 8. What was happening? The TV show is set in a modern day New York, where drug fueled gang war can be found anywhere. This is the influence for the series, due to the high rate of crime at the original time of writing, this being 2012/2013, where the gangs of New York, mainly being the bloods and crips were in the height of the “beef” and war between the two. As well as many other smaller drug gangs fighting over the territory that they want. This inspired the writers, as well as 50 Cent’s past, being involved in certain parts of the drug trade before he could get out of this game and pursue a career in music.
  • 9. THEMES
  • 10. What is the product really about? The main storyline throughout the whole of the TV show Power is Ghost/James St. Patrick’s attempts to get out of the drug business and out of “the game” as they constantly refer to it, there are many different conflicts that stop this from happening throughout the series, this being due to relationships with people as well as threats to his life and to the people close to him. The main story throughout never changes and this is why everyone is constantly hooked onto this show, due to the storyline always being the same, and just as you think he has a chance, just as he is making his way out and everything seems perfect, something drags him back in.
  • 11. Narrative Themes As said on the previous slide the narrative theme throughout the whole of the series is following Ghost and his attempts to escape this lifestyle. Each series seems to be based on a way on which he believes he can get out of the game, and the obstacles in the way of this, and in each series as he seems to be out something happens that puts him straight back to square one, this is the main narrative theme throughout but there are many side stories that focus on the other characters, for example Tommy and his life has become a man storlyine in the past, as well as James St. Patrick's children, mainly being Tariq and his attempt to find out more about his parents and what they are up to while being sneaky around him, this leads him down a dark path and almost puts him into the drug game, unbeknown to his father and the rest of his family. The main storyline is always the same, but used in different variations, yet the side storylines always change, keeping the show fresh and relevant with the times.
  • 12. CONTENT
  • 13. This is a screenshot from one of the early episodes of PowerThe two characters James St. Patrick/Ghost in the foreground and Kanan in the background. This series is based on the drug gangs of New York and James St. Patrick (Ghost) constantly trying to get out of the drug game, but always somehow being dragged back in. At this point in the show they are in slight conflict due to a disagreement over other characters. The first point I would make about this picture is that the camerawork is done very well and makes Kanan look sly and sneaky. This is as he is in the background of the image and the camera isn’t focused in on him, this is so it is less noticeable to the majority of the viewers as his actions are supposed to be less noticeable to Ghost. This could also be a metaphor for the way Kanan goes about his business, as it is all very sly and behind Ghost’s back.
  • 14. Another point could be the way they use the location in this scene. The location here is on the rooftops of New York City. This builds tension in the scene as the height and dangerousness of the setting and situation add to the conflict between the characters in this scene, they use this in a ‘Chekhov’s Gun’ sort of way, where every element of the story should contribute as a whole, an example of this is if a pistol is hung up on a wall and shown in the first act, by the following one it should have been fired. This gives the audience viewing a reason to believe that the fact they are showing and emphasising the dangerousness of the setting means that this will pay off by the end of the scene.
  • 15. As well as this it can be a metaphor for where the characters are in the drug game of New York, as they are at the top and above the rest of the city, they believe they run everything. My final point on this scene is the way colour is used. The example being in the screenshot everything is very dark. The reason for this is that what they do is very dark and the conflict between these two current partners has the potential to turn very dark as it has in past series of the show. This can also be used to show the past of the characters as a lot has happened between them and the majority is very dark, ranging from Ghost attempting to kill Kanan, Ghost framing Kanan, and Kanan kidnapping Tariq, who is Ghost’s son. It is used in this scene very well as the camerawork also makes Kanan darker in the background as in this scene the audience are lead to believe that he is plotting against Ghost and planning to undermine him.
  • 16. Bibliography: 1. IMDb. (2018). Power TV Series. Available: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3281796/. Last accessed 12th January 2019. 2. Power. (2013-2018) Starz. 3. Anon.. (2018). James St. Patrick. Available: http://starzpower.wikia.com/wiki/James_St._Patrick. Last accessed 13th January 2019. 4. Starz. (2014). Power Season 1 Trailer. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bbwp6feNwM. Last accessed 13th January 2019. 5. ‘New Man’ (2018) Power S4 E6. Starz/Netflix.
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