Evaluation 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?Title cards:One of the first conventions that our thrilleropening has challenged is the title cards. Thetitle card that we used was is the followingpicture:B.E.A.T – stands for Ben, Ed, Alex and Tom.We are hoping that this will give our film apersonal feel, and conform to such film titles as‘Warner Bros’. If this is achieved we believe thatwe will have effectively engaged the audience.For the visuals of the title card we decided to usean organic moving visual theme, we are hopingthat this will help connotation the naturalconventions of our film, as well as show that overthe film the audience will hopefully become moreengrossed throughout, as connotated by theever-growing vines on the title card.A filming production company that oftenconforms to this idea is ‘LIONSGATE’, who produce films that are thrillers that aresimilar to the one that we have made. By doing this we hope that our film has usedand developed a typical thriller convention.Another convention of the title card that our one represents is through sound. Thesound that we have used in our title card is a ‘thunder clap’; this is a non-digeticsound that we hope will engage the audience and create an element of suspenseearly on in the film. Other production companies that use similar themes are DisneyBuena Vista Movie Intros; follow this link for an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64aM_1FROVI&feature=player_detailpage
Lighting:Throughout the first part of the film – i.e. thesequence when Alex is not inside the house, wechose to reduce the saturation to 40%. We werehoping that this would create a sense that theaction earlier in the day compared to the otherevents. We have also used it in the scenes justbefore Alex enters the house – this is because weare hoping that the transition from not being inthe house (saturation reduced) and entering thehouse (normal saturation) will have connotationsof leaving the environment of risk and entering asafe place. This is an appearance ofVerfremdungseffect, as the audience believe that‘Alex’ has entered a safe place, when in fact he hasentered an unbeknownst violent and hostile environment.Another case of when we have used lighting to great effectinclude when we, the audience, see the evil characters. Theevil characters start of by being seen in a fairly lightposition, but as the sightings of the evil characters continuethroughout the film we see them in a more and moredarker light. This could have connotative conventions tothe audience in that they believe that as the opening goeson a very violent act is going to happen.We also used light to good effect when Alex answered hisphone in his bed. We kept the lighting very dark, so as theaudience would focus on the digetic sound, and the lightoccurring from the phone. We hoped that this would createan element of suspense, and we believe that we haveachieved this.Throughout the lighting phase we mainly used most of the conventions for lighting inthriller films, but we also challenged and developed our own ideas.
Characters:The characters that we have used in our opening conform and use typicalconventions of thrillers. The ‘evil’ characters do this by acting secretively and forlarge parts of the opening remaining hidden, they also act how you would expect abad character to move – this being hiding in the shadows in darkness. The nature ofthe ‘evil’ characters also conform to conventions of thriller films, this being that theyare very aggressive, brutal, silent, and scheming.The good character in our opening, ‘Alex’ also conforms to the conventions expectedof him as a victim in a thriller film. This is done by Alex appealing very vulnerablethroughout, and also seeming confused to the situation at which he is in. ‘Alex’ alsodresses fairly normally, this once again makes him seem vulnerable because of thestrange situation that he is in – he seems out of place, and so more vulnerable.Clothes/props:Once again weconformed toconventions ofthriller films with theclothing that we used within our opening. The bad characters were all seen wearingvery dark clothing with their faces obscured. What we hope this has succeeded indoing is presenting these characters as very mysterious and dark in nature beingsthat are dangerous and violent. The props that they use also conform and use typicalconventions of thriller films; ‘tom’ is seen as holding an axe – which connotations areextremely dangerous violent, as well as represent brutality and most importantlydeath.The clothing of ‘Alex’ is very important as well because the clothes that he is seen aswearing are a fairly normal outfit for a good character to, and this complies withforms of the genre. We have further developed this by selecting all of the clothes tobe worn to be in a green colour – as green is often seen as a very neutral colour, andso this uses typical conventions of thriller films as the victims are often seen as fairlyneutral in nature.The clothing choices that we have used all conform to the convention of White hats/black hats.
Camera shots:For the camera shots we have used the typical conventions of thriller films – thesebeing that most of the shots were tracking or panning ones, but when ‘Alex’ was indanger or near to it, there were shot angles that looked down onto him, creating asense of vulnerability. However, for one of the shots we see one of the badcharacters from a high angle, and so in this shot we have challenged the typicalconventions of camera angles.We also have included a shot that is a hand-held close-up moving shot of ‘Alex’, thatallows the audience to engage with him through his view point. For this shot wehave also used a typical form of thriller camera angles.Location:The phone box scene conforms to the forms of locations because it is a very isolatedlocation that creates a sense of vulnerability for the victim.We decided that we would try and develop our own ideas and even challenge someideas for the house scene. We did this by allow ‘Alex’ to enter a well lit house thatlooked fully secure, and so it is presumed that he will be safe there. But, wechallenged this as the ability of the bad characters to get in, also by ‘Alex’ closing thedoor on himself with the character waiting outside, makes the at first presumed safehouse, feel as if it is now a dangerous, violent environment where ‘Alex’ is nowtrapped.Synopsis:Our synopsis has used some of the forms of thriller films, one of these being that weend the synopsis with a cliff hanger. What we hope to achieve with this is that theaudience are left on the edge of their seat, and throughout the synopsis we havecreated suspense.Soundtrack:
In many ways the soundtrack that we used throughout our opening uses typicalforms and conventions of thriller film soundtracks. One of the main types of musicthat we use that uses these forms is the wind howl used in the scenes outside of thehouse, it portrays that something is hidden from ‘Alex’ and that when it falls silent,the thing that has previously been hidden from him will arise.Another main form that we use and develop is the use of eerie music inside thehouse to create a sense of suspense and danger, as well as mask the impendingviolence.Script:We decided to not use any dialogue for the bad characters, so as to use theconnotations of suspense and mystery in the phone calls – which are typicalconventions in thriller films. But, we chose for ‘Alex’ to use words repetitively torepresent his confused and inquisitive state – both of these being conventions fromthriller films. 2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?A social group that is represented in our thriller film is male adults. The male adultsin our film (evil characters) are represented as being smarter and more cunning thanthe younger teenagers in our film (Alex). So the social groups that are beingrepresented here are adults and teenagers, with the adults being depicted assmarter as and cleverer than teenagers.The males are another social group that is represented in our thriller film, with theopening being male dominated. Both of the evil characters are males, and this couldpresent them as being the more brutal/violent gender, as well as the ones that aremore capable of committing violence.The final social group in our film is presented through our victim, Alex. He isdepicted as being a vulnerable, confused person that is oblivious to danger. Whichcould have connotations towards himself being obnoxious and naïve, which is a formthat teenagers are often associated with. 3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
I believe that to start off with getting our mediaproduct distributed we would use such internetsites as Facebook, You Tube and Blogger. Wewould do this because it would give us a greatnumber of audience responses, on our limitedbudget, and it also conforms to the targetaudience – with a high proportion of internet usersbeing males in their late teens and 20’s.After this I think that if I media product wassuccessful it would be screened straight ontotelevision. I think that if it were to be screened onto television then it would mustprobably be on Film 4, with a late night screening, between the hours of midnightand 4 in the morning – this being to suit the target audience, but also because itwould not be as well received during the prime time film viewing audiences. 4. Who would be the audience for your media product?I believe that the audience that we are targeting for our media product are malesbetween the ages of 15-30, who enjoy watching horror thriller films. I think thisbecause our film is a horror thriller and so the audience we are targeting must likethese types of film to be a success.We believe that the ages that are most likely to want to watch these thriller films are15-30 because in the questionnaires that we handed out the general age that wereceived were between these ages.We believe that males would particularly enjoy this style of film because at this age,males are very interested in violence and suspense, and fully become engrossed intheir films, so by us creating a horror thriller film that conforms to these typicalconventions our target audience would enjoy our media product.
5. How did you attract/address your audience?We attracted and addressed the audience by a fairly simple method. We made aquestionnaire for the audience to complete during our first/draft screening of ourthriller, with a variety of questions ranging from ‘Did you enjoy the thriller film youhave just watched?’ to ‘Do you think the sound track creates suspense?’We hoped that by doing this we could tweak our thriller opening to appeal to theaudience. For instance, comments about whether sound track created suspensewere fairly low rated, so we decided to add the track ‘demented dreams’ to createan element of suspense in the house scene, when we showed the modified versionto a new audience, they found that the sound track does create suspense.Mise-en-scene: 2 3 1 4 1. We have attracted the audience with a high angle shot looking down on ‘Alex’, to make him appear vulnerable and so the audience is attracted because they feel suspense. 2. The light is shining directly down onto ‘Alex’s’ head, this is a technical aspect and typical thriller convention, that addresses the audience that ‘Alex’ is the centre of attention and shows that at this point he is very vulnerable. 3. When ‘Alex’ closes the door, this attracts the audience because they get a sense that ‘Alex’ is now trapped, creating a sense of death and violence, as well as huge suspense. 4. ‘Alex’ attracts the audience by appealing to the audiences target range and conforming to their dress sense. (see question 4)
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?We have learnt a lot about technologies from the process of constructing thisproduct.Camera angles – what we found out is thatwhen constructing a shoot, we needed tomake sure that there was enough light to getthe desired shot. This could make certainangles tricky, and so we tried to stay awayfrom angles that would not produce enoughlight, or visually be good. So we did not useany bird’s eye shots or ground shots.Movement – when shooting, we kept most of the camera shots ata fixed position and did not zoom in or out, so as to minimise theblur and any shots that were not visually good. For instance, in afew of the walking scenes, the camera pans to follow the characterfrom a distance so as the shot was not compromised in any way.Camera – we leant that the camera could be a very simple to use tool. We quicklylearnt most of its functions, and were able to use a few of them in shots.We also learnt that the camera was not a very good piece of equipment touse in dark areas, as the vision became blurred, and so we tried not to useany of these shots.Overall we learnt that from the technology from which we were using hadmany good points in the ability of function that they could perform. However, theywere not so good when the movement was moderate to quick, and there wasn’t alot of light, because the shots would become blurred and lose their focus.Editing:I have learnt a lot during the process of editing, such as how to usethe technology. When I started of I was not too sure as to how to editthe thriller opening; such as clipping scenes; adding effects; music;and transitions.Clipping scenes was one of the first things that I undertook, and afterputting things in the order that they needed to be – which wasdifficult as the ‘story board’ 7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
I feel that I have learnt a huge amount from the preliminary task. To start with, in theplanning phase we learnt that we should try to keep more of the shots and locationseasier to film, and that we should allow the ability to change the shots and languagejust before and during shooting. However, we noted that during planning we neededto make sure that we were thorough in which scenes required what, in terms ofactors and equipment, and so we needed to make sure that we were organised. Wealso noted that we needed to create shots that would help link two different scenesseamlessly, enabling better transitions.When working in our group we learnt that we needed to communicate well andoften with one another to make sure that every member of the group understoodwhat was happening, and it also enabled people to express their ideas more often.When planning what soundtrack to use we realised from the preliminary task thatthe soundtrack had to be in keeping with the genre of the film, and it also needed tohelp create an extra dimension when filming. The title for our film had to representthis, our preliminary task title expressed a lot about what would be happening in thefilm, whereas we tried to stick to the conventions of thriller films and create an auraof suspense and mystery with the title ‘Final Call’.One of the major things that we have learnt throughout this process is the use ofaudience research. We learnt that although some of the comments could be harsh,we should try and see their point to improve our product. We believed that this is amajor point of improvement from our preliminary task, because it enables us toengage more with the audience.When using the music to keep in theme with the genre of film, we used a lot ofsound that helped create an eerie atmosphere, including ‘Demented dreams’, duringthe house scene. We learnt this when choosing music for our preliminary task andrealised that the music had to be in keeping with the product, otherwise the productwould not be in keeping with the genre.