My aim is to create a 5-minute short film that will entertain and inspire. I will use contemporary themes and issues and thread them in to a film that will be aimed at a teenage audience onwards. My following research will analyse similar texts in order to help me create a conventional, yet original piece of text. After the research, my aim will be more concise and relevant. Research Planning Making of Film Evaluation
My research of the films that I have mentioned on my blog, show a common target audience of 16-26. Even going to the cinema and physically looking at the type of audiences in the screen has also convinced me of this age group. audience is the first area in which I will research. I aim for my film to be attractive to a late teenage audience, therefore 16-26. I wish to attract the social-network audience as not only is my audience a large consumer of social networking, the fact that web 2.0 is growing and growing means that it will be instrumental in the success of my film. Therefore, I will aim to attract as much as audience possibly in order for my film to be accessed through multiple platforms. My first task is to use a questionnaire and send it out to my target audience of 16-26. In order to attract my audience to this questionnaire, I will send it out in a message to facebook friends of that age group. I believe this will be seen as a more convenient way of gathering the information. The use of web 2.0 will help me connect directly to my audience.
A Questionnaire in what the audience of 16-26 year olds like to see in a film aimed at them.
What is your favourite type of genre? Action/Adventure Romance Comedy Horror Thriller Sci-Fi
What most attracts you to a film? The actors The production company The storyline The conventions (e.g- Action- guns, explosions etc. Horror- violence) The ideologies
Do you tend to stick to films with formulas that you are more common with or more experimental? Tried and trusted formulas/ conventions Experimental and different films Both
Do you prefer films that have a feel-good factor or films that make you think and question your own motives? Feel-good factor Films that question ideologies and conventions
How important is a soundtrack/ music to a film for you? Highly important Important Semi- Important Not important Highly un-important
From my findings, I have found out the following:
Prefer action/adventure films,
Most attracted to actors and storyline in a film,
Enjoy both experimental and ‘tried and trusted’ films
Prefer films with a feel-good factor
Finds the music used in a film ‘important’
From my findings, I have found that my target audience does like an all round package when it comes to a film. By this I mean that the sound, narrative & theories behind a film, to name a few, are all considered important in a film. I will incorporate all of the above in to my film in order to reach out to my audience. Knowing this information from my audience will also let me get a preferred reading across. An example of this is using the fact that my audience prefers films with a feel-good factor to present my character as likeable and perhaps and underdog who comes good.
Research in to similar films In order for my film to withhold successful conventions, I must study and analyse similar films in order to grasp the positive and negatives. Such things I will analyse include the following: Media Language
What the mise-en-scene represents and what effects it creates
The effect of camera angles and how they link in with the other concepts
The quality of the transitions and how it ultimately makes the film run smoothly
What formulas and iconography are used in relation to genre
Potential links to classic marxist theory and of hegemony
Why are certain characters presented as they are & who do they target?
Are character representations intertwined with any theories, such as personal identity in the uses and gratification theory.
Are stereotypes used?
Does Hartleys 7 types of elements have any impact on the audience or the characters?
Are audiences condensed in to certain social groups in order to be attracted to the film?
Do any films present any media effects to the audience, such as Behavioural change?
Is there a formula, such as the Equilibrium theory?
What type of narrative is it? Does it have disruptions, such as flashbacks?
Are there any similarities in the structures?
Case Study: Adulthood http://youtu.be/rhrJBUMxNMQ
From watching the trailer, much can be derived from it. What appeared most obvious was the sense of ‘moral panic’. The trailer was heavily centred around violence & such iconography, such as guns and baseball bats reinforced this. There were also many signifiers such as ‘hoodies’ and joggers being worn by the majority of the characters. These all contributed to stereotypes and the representation of youths today. Youths were heavily represented and gave off a strong preferred reading of being violent, abusive, dangerous and a threat to society, thus creating this moral panic. This then can be related to modern society as the film used modern relevance in the sense that it uses stereotypes to emphasise the moral panic of abusive youths in Britains. From these macro findings, a micro-like formula can be constructed. Commonly associated Iconography + Signifiers + Modern Relevance + Stereotypes= Moral Panic This is no coincidence as the director would want to emphasise this moral panic as much as possible. The effects of this The audience are presented with this preferred reading and therefore a moral panic is created. Therefore this attracts not only a target audience but perhaps an audience of much older as the modern relevance may reflect society . However, during the trailer there is a hint of reform. By this I mean that the main character is seen as wanting to put right what is perhaps wrong. This then makes the film much more complex as first perceived, as it can perhaps enforce Behavioural change. Price explains that Behavioural change is meant to occur as a result of traumatic exposure to media input, which is exciting, or in this case, depressing and therefore demands an altering of the way people think. This theory of abusive and dangerous teens can be linked in with classic marxism as it has always been a topic that has been under the microscope. The 1996 film, Trainspotting, can be an example of this moral panic of dangerous youths. This can be an example of the mass media circulating ideas that keep them in power as the capitalist class exploit the lower class and with the mass media being ultimately run by the capitalist class, this explains why the idea of unruly youths has been a topic of many years. Ultimately, its the fact that there is a noticeable concern about youths today that helps the mass media exploit this, therefore making stereotypical characters appear normal.
Case Study 2: Shank http://youtu.be/kfapOIPCRik
The film, Shank, is extremely similar Adulthood. The film plays on this moral panic and propels it in to a huge, exaggerate state. This confirms and evens heightens what was explained before. Other things that are noticeable in Shank that will help me to create my own film is the genre. It is very similar to Adulthoods and I believe that the media language and narrative affect this. I have learnt that media language, genre, representation, audience and narrative all intertwine in to each other in order for all the concepts to be successful. An example of this is how the media language reflects the genre. This screen shot here shows the mise-en-scene as dark, grim and almost underground. The lighting does this by using weak lighting and grey colours. This appears to make the two black characters look vulnerable and defensive. This then makes the genre appear grimy, intense and dangerous. The media language here is similar of the one above. It emphasises the genre of action/adventure, but more importantly it emphasises the topics within the genre of gangs & violence. This medium/wide shot shows covered faces, all in dark, black colours. The lighting is low and dark and the fact that it is light outside and the characters are dark emphasises how dangerous this mise-en-scene appears.
The representations of youths are similar, that being violent, aggressive and affiliated with gang culture. The audience are presented with a moral panic and are asked to think about these behaviours. Both films use their own soundtracks of UK Grime music to emphasise the street-gang warfare. These are only half of what my questionnaire findings show. There is no sense of a ‘feel good factor’ in these two films, nor is there an obviously experimental approach that separates the two films or even separates the film from the common formula of these types of gritty, urban films. Therefore I have chosen to analyse the film Anuvahood, which is like a light-hearted version of Adulthood. The film is almost making a joke out of these gritty films, but more importantly, it is showing a light-hearted, more naturalistic view of youths today. http://youtu.be/PPsQBNxt-Y8
Although the film uses the same concepts of the previous two, such as gang culture and violence, Anuvahood puts on this unexpected twist by using it in a comical way. The media language fully emphasises this by fully contrasting the previous two films. The lighting of these three shots is a lot more brighter than that of Shanks. The greys are traded for pinks and it is always bright, a place where the audience wouldn’t be afraid of being. Although the second shot, being a slight low angle shot, would usually mean that the gang has authority and power, they have twisted this by using 5 comically looking characters as the gang, therefore breaking any types of formula or signifiers and using it for comical value. The film presents a ‘ feel good factor’ and perhaps a concept that has not yet been used in film. That being comical street culture and obviously acting differently in order to fit in to a certain social group.
I have worked on an idea for my film. It centres around a character who is trying to pursue his career in music. He loves to write lyrics and record his own music. However, it all turns sour when he has no success in distributing his music. This turns him fed up and depressed. He then experiences some unfortunate events, leading him to question his identity. The equilibrium is finally restored at the end when a random character approaches him and asks him for one of his mixtape/cds. This then restores the equilibrium and produces a feel good factor. The music I will use will make a big impact on the film as it will form a soundtrack. I will use binary oppositions frequently, such as bright lighting for when the character is optimistic and happy and then low, dark lighting for when the character is depressed and down.
I have constructed a timeline of 11 scenes in chronological order. Within these scenes, I have noted the music that is playing in it, the actions of the scene and some brief camera angles. I have only written in note form just so it can show me every scene and how they flow in to each other. I can also begin planning on the transitions that I use. I have then created an actual timeline in bullet points. This timeline shows every shot that I will use. I have decided to write it as I believe it will be more worthwhile than drawing them out. Also, there are over 20 points and some of these have two or three shots within this. I do not think it would be practical to draw all of the shots out. A scanned version of this can be found on my blog.
Characters I chose Lewis as my main character because I am striving for the naturalistic look. I believe that by using Lewis and making him relaxed, he would just act naturally in which I believe would make the character believable and natural. I wanted the audience to confide in this character and perhaps seek personal identity as Lewis is a person who likes to put on different personas. This will work perfectly as I wanted my character to act like someone he wasn't all the way through. It would only be until the end of the film that he would notice that acting himself is the best way to be.
I chose Adam for the final scene because he restores the equilibrium. He is a naturally uplifting and an exciting person to be around and I hope to show this through the character that he acts. Also, I plan for him to act normal and natural in order to show Lewis that it’s fine to just be yourself. Adam’s character is pivotal to the film as he represents the light hearted approach of the film. He is the representation of being yourself and seeing the brighter side of things. I chose Tom to be the person who makes the break of the equilibrium reach its climax. I chose my characters to strike poses to reflect their characters. Although Tom plays a small part, he breaks Lewis down to the point of Lewis giving up on everything. Tom is arrogant and dismissive of Lewis because he represents the bad side of society; the side that tries to bring you down. These three characters all represent opposites but it’s the bright side of Tom and the dark side of Adam that makes Lewis realise who he is and thus creating a new equilibrium.
I’ve investigated different camera angles and how I’m going to utilise them in my production. I believe that the camera angles and the camera movements is pivotal to everything, from how my characters are perceived and represented to creating a successful mise-en-scene. I want my characters to be represented from a macro and micro level so that my audience can read in to the characters and begin to form opinions. I captured two shots that are hugely similar when testing out the camera angles. I tried to take a deep filled shot in picture A in order to create a lonely and isolated feel. With shot B, I took it at an angle and then captured the image as a low shot. I did this as I wanted the character to appear important & striking. I believe shot B is more of a successful shot as it captures the characters importance within the mise-en-scene as well as making the audience appear more closer to the character. It’s vital that my audience warm to Lewis and really form a bond with the character. Shot B fulfils this as as the audience, we are right up close to him whereas in A, Lewis is away from the audience and not fulfilling the purpose of the intended shot. Shot B Shot A
I find music extremely important to a production. As does the audience who answered my questionnaire. I wanted to get the same type of music that all Anuvahood & Shank used. Using original music was hard to come by and therefore I search over google and youtube for free audio beats. I came across several websites but it was perhaps a website in which a group named ‘The passion hi-fi’ struck my attention. The beats that they remixed, sampled and produced fitted the image I had of my production. I believe that the songs that I chose would fit my gritty genre. I believe that the music would contribute in the fact that it would help the narrative to flow and use it to dramatic effect such as using it as contrapuntal sound. My research took me to http://www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/ where I came across a short film that followed a boy working overnight in a supermarket. I found this film very insightful as there was a lack of dialogue, hardly any. Instead, the film used diegtic sound to emphasise the loneliness of this boy. There was no soundtrack or music that played over this film. It created an extremely lonely and isolated feel. The sound of a trolley or a light switch became effective as it was the only sound that the audience heard meaning the only sound that the boy came in to contact with. This created a connection between audience and character because the short film solely focused on this one camera and what he did. I decided to use music to dictate my production as it would reflect such things as the boys isolation. However, I would use music to represent my characters feelings and perspectives as it will form a second layer for the audience to decompose. Ultimately, it well let the audience analyse the use of music from a micro level and what it represents about the character.
Research & Planning Of Ancillary
I have chosen to create a film poster and film magazine review page for my ancillary task. I will begin to research both, using as much type of media as possible. I will begin with the film poster. I believe that the images used will be the most important aspect of the poster and therefore I will study the angles and of course, the mise-en-scene. I will also analyse the headings and use of slogans.
Slogan creates an enigma. Draws audience in. Eye-catching title. The font is large and the colour is very striking. The character in the middle of the ‘A’ hints at the genre as he is perhaps holding a knife. Giving off connotations of knife crime. This line mentions a very similar film. This makes the audience aware of what type of film to expect due to the director being the same. Multiple imagery of gangs and gang signifiers, such as hoodies and masks. Main character forming the majority of the centre of the poster. Facing the audience, showing the genre of action/adventure. Dark, grey colours suggest an eerie and dark setting/narrative. The character running, looking serious shows that the narrative is fast paced and intense, as although they are trying to escape, they are coming at the audience, meaning they are becoming closer to the audience, making their characters connect.
Review and rating to reassure the audience and to add significance and importance to the film, therefore making the audience want to know what the fuss is about. Graffiti style used throughout the poster, utalising the same ‘style. Gang wars are shown but the characters are manipulated in order to represent a lack of identity Slogan containing slang, targeting a specific target audience. Therefore making them feel as if they are in an exclusive group.
Although The Football Factory is different from Shank as in its narrative is about football, I found that the gang aspect still shone through. I have learnt that a big, striking centre fold is required for the poster. It must be eye-catching, drawing the audiences eye to the centre and then the information around. A big title is required in order for the image to have significance. Slogans can create enigmas and hint at possible narratives or topics within the genre. Reviews could also be added to the poster as The Football Factory uses a star rating successfully.
During my research, I came across a website http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/02/7-elements-of-a-great-movie-poster-design/. It explained 7 elements of great film posters. These were:
Attention, encouraging passer bys to look
Iconography, showing without telling
Interest, create an incentive to see the film
Appeal, create interest to fans as well as non-fans
Style, a consistent look throughout
I believe I can fulfil most of these elements in my poster by using the tools that I have learnt from my analysing, such as a big striking image. I definitely want to create an enigma in my poster in order for the passer- by to spend some time with the poster and not want their eyes to move away from it.
I have research several film magazines, including empire, Total film & premiere. I have came across many styles but one of the most attractive and eye-catching reviews to me, from an audience perspective, was the Avatar review. Striking, colourful & eye-catching shots to instantly attract the reader. The ‘Avatar Facts’ box makes the reader read and look around the whole poster, thus taking it all in. The large images, that were spread over two pages are extremely eye-catching. The characters direct address to the audience is to blame for this. My eyes were instantly drawn to the main image and then to the title ‘Avatar’. I wish to create the same impression with my review.
I believe that the ‘7 elements of a great film poster’ can not only be applied to the film review itself but also intertwine in to the film poster. For example, ‘Style’ is said to be a consistent look throughout and therefore if the film poster and review share the same style, the film as a package will look consistent & professional. ‘Attention’ is also a key element that can be applied to both as the review and poster must shoot out at the audience in order to grab attention. The film poster and magazine review both show the main character looking deep and insightful. The same ‘style’ continues as the jungle/Avatar world is shown in both. The poster as a whole as a much more collected look about it as the reader is brought in to the world of Avatar through the imagery. The review does the opposite by using multiples images and texts to bombard the reader, making them spend a lot of time on that page, where as in contrast the poster has a much more simplistic look about it, yet it is still insightful enough to engage the passer-by, due to its iconography.
This Alice in Wonderland review contrasts the Avatars as its approach is much more different, bringing focus on the imagery, rather than the other factors such as the title. However, what is very similar is the big, striking image that takes up the majority of the spread. This eye-catching technique is one that I will utilise in my review as it is a successful approach as it draws the eyes to the centre-fold. The colours used also flow well together as the purples and reds create a ‘style’ that is associated with Alice in Wonderland.