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AS Media Evaluation - The Game

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Amy Hindmarch

Amy Hindmarch


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  • 1. EvaluationAmy Hindmarch The GAME
  • 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?Before beginning this task I looked at a variation of thriller texts and analysed Whilst creating the finished product The Game, wetheir use of camera, editing, sound and Mise en scene. This allowed me to have used, developed and challenged traditional formscorrectly identify the generic conventions seen in particular sub-genres. and conventions of real media products. For example, we have used one typical convention of a thriller with the extending lines and letters in the ‘Catch me if you can’ title sequence. We incorporated these lines into our own title sequence to give the effect of a real thriller opening.As well as this key feature of editing, whilst researching crime thriller, we found that the colours red, white and black were commonlyused throughout other title sequences as these colours connote death, mystery and evil. We however wanted to challenge theseconventions. As you can see, we still used the common white writing seen in ‘The Departed’ but however changed the background toblue . Using the colour blue in our title sequence will fit with the theme and story of our thriller and represent a blue print.Our thriller incorporates generic conventions of other crime thrillers. Forexample, our thriller follows the narrative sequence of other real crimethrillers such as ‘Goodfellas’ where there is a short piece of film, then the titlesequence and then the rest of the film. This helped our audience to know andunderstand straight away that it was a crime thriller as apposed to anothersub-genre. c
  • 3. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?In other real media products such as ‘Sin City’ an establishing Close up’s of key items/props have also been used in manyshot has been used to indicate to the audience where the other crime thrillers. Because of this, we decided tocharacters are. We used an establishing shot before the MI5 incorporate close ups in our opening. In the film ‘Goodfellas’scene (See: 1:22) A close up of the gun has been shown. In our opening, we showed a close up of the box of money (See: 0:42) Our MI5 scene Sin City Close up’s of main characters faces have also been used in other crime thrillers, for example in ‘The Departed’.During our opening we have tried to challenge the Therefore, we used a close up of the police officer in the MI5conventions of a typical crime thriller. For example, other real sequence (See: 1:36)crime thrillers such as ‘Sin City’ often used low key lighting toconnote a sinister and dark mood. We purposefully filmed theoutside scenes in broad daylight to challenge other crimethrillers and to connote a brighter atmosphere that juxtaposedthe storyline. (See: 0:05) The use of conventions such as the close ups of main characters and key props show the audience that it is a crime thriller as opposed to another sub genre such as horror thriller. However, by us challenging previous real media products through lighting, the audience may become confused of what sub genre of thriller it is. The real media examples that have had the most influence on our finished product are ‘Catch me if you can’ – title sequence (See: 0:43), ‘Goodfellas’ – Our outdoor scene Sin City outdoor scene sequencing and ‘Sin City’ – Establishing Shots (See: 1:22)
  • 4. How does your media product represent particular social groups?Throughout our text we focused on the representation of our Gender is also represented in a stereotypical way withmain characters in relation to class, race and gender. Hugo (male) being the dominant character and the police office (female) being the passive character. As well asHugo Grant (The antagonist) is a young man and due to the fact Hugo being the main character, he has been representedhe is attempting to commit a crime, this could fit the typical as being the dominant character through a variety ofstereotype of young people and portray young people in a camera angles. For example the low angle shot makes himnegative light. seem bigger and more important. In contrast to this, we have also purposefully presentedAt the beginning of our opening, the scene is set at a large manor the female police officer as being on the same level andhouse (See: 0:03) which connotes wealth and upper class. This relatable to the audience through the camera beingis a binary opposition to the two men dressed in all black positioned at eye level.running out from behind it, this is because black connotes alower class. This diverse range in representation of classes willattract a wider range of audiences which I feel is important toour text.As well as the antagonist being represented as middle class due The women in our opening have been portrayed as beingto the all black attire he is seen in, He is also seen to be wearing strong and powerful. This has been shown through thea purple shirt in the outdoor inter cutting café scene. Purple protagonist female character having a high status andconnotes royalty, wealth and upper class which combined with powerful job.his previous dress would present him as upper class. However The female is wearing a black suit (See 1:31). Black connotesdue to his previous actions of running out from behind the power, elegance and formality. This challenges the stereotypebuilding, the audience as forced to see him as middle class. that women should not have as important and high status jobs as men. One piece of audience feedback stated in response to the question Do you think the representation of characters was accurate? If no, why? - No, Female was in a position of power which is un- convential for a film.
  • 5. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Men in black suits connotes upper class, Dream Works business and wealth. This could suggest that the ‘Catch me if you can’ is a crime thriller character has an important produced by the media institution ‘Dream or perhaps secretive job Works’. such as with the MI5, like ‘Catch me if you can’ is ‘A true story about in ‘The Game’. Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor’ (IMDb). The white minimalistic As ‘Catch me if you can’ is a crime thriller and background symbolises follows a similar narrative sequence of an the fact of mystery about antagonist possessing money that was not the film and does not give strictly theirs to ‘The Game’, it is likely that anything away about the the audiences that enjoyed and watched it plot. will be interested in watching ‘The Game’. ‘Dream Works’ is also heavily dominated by animations which evidently we have in our The idea of a true story opening during the title sequence. This is creates a more relatable another reason why I feel that ‘Dream Works’The hat signifies that he works for a sequence for the audience will be interested in producing our work as itcruise liner or ship connoting travel. as if everything they are is again, similar to previous work they haveThe arrows and the film title work watching is true, they will produced.parallel to the connotations of the find it easier to relate tohat signifying moving forward and a it.sense of adventure.
  • 6. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? The only character in shot Universal which represents a male ‘Universal Studios’ is one of the “Six major lead, similar to ‘The Game’. American movie studios” and is one of the longest –living Hollywood studios around today. The institution has experience producing and distributing many other sub genre films such as Again, the clothing he is ‘Love Actually ‘ and ‘Winchester 73’ meaning wearing is similar to that of that they may be best to produce and distribute Hugo Grant in ‘The Game’. our opening. This shows a similarity ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ is an Action Thriller between characters. produced by the media institution ‘Universal’. ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’s’ plot summary is ‘Jason Bourne dodges a ruthless CIA official and his agents from a new assassination The gun signifies crime and program while searching for the origins of his danger but also connotes life as a trained killer’ (IMDb). This is similar to action and perhaps a fight that of ‘The Game’s’ plot summary as in ‘The scene. Game’ Hugo Grant is trying to run away from MI5 whereas in ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, Jason Bourne is trying to escape from the CIA. Due to the similarity in plot, Universal studiosSimilar to ‘The Game’, the colours blue and white have been used may be a good institution to distribute ourwithin the text. This signifies a link between both films meaning that product. However, they have not got as much‘Universal Studios’ may be the best institution to produce and experience of distributing and targeting crimedistribute our product despite the lack in experience with crime thrillers as Dream Works.thrillers.
  • 7. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?I believe that our product does have the potential to be produced by the a major Hollywood title such as ‘Dream Works’. This isbecause I feel that the narrative structure of our film has real potential to be developed and altered so that ‘The Game’ can bedistributed to cinemas.I feel that ‘The Game’ will be best suited to the distribution of a cinema as apposed to online etc. as this way it has the potentialfor a bigger and wider range of audiences, meaning that ‘Dream Works’ will then have the potential to make more money.Our product will also work well as it is not a traditional crime thriller film sue to the conventions we have challenged such as thelighting aspect. This may make more people want to watch the film in the cinema rather than a traditional thriller which oftenhas something scary or frightening within it.I also believe that the mise en scene works well with our product and within the crime thriller genre. This is because we haveused typical conventions of a crime thriller such as money however we have not used them in a typical crime thriller settingwhich would be in a dark alley way or such like.After researching a number of different media institutions I have come to the conclusion that our film ‘The Game’ will be bestsuited to be produced and distributed by ‘Dream Works’ as opposed to ‘Universal Studios’. This is because I feel that ‘DreamWorks’ have far more experience in producing and distributing crime thrillers meaning that they will be able to target the rightaudience and make the best sellable product out of our film that could have a future for publicity or merchandising.
  • 8. Who would be the audience for your media product?Before creating our Thriller opening, we decided tocarry out research into the ‘bbfc’ about what we couldand couldn’t include in our opening depending on theage category we chose. We also decided to carry out asurvey to help decide on the sub genre and help 16-20towards deciding on the age category of our film.Overall we decided on an age range of 16-20 and a‘bbfc’ rating of ‘15’.Many other crime thrillers such as The BourneUltimatum have this age group as their target audienceand we feel that this age group would enjoy our filmthe most.If we had decided to classify the game as an ‘18’ film,we would lose the majority of our viewers as theywould not legally be able to watch it in the cinema orbuy it on DVD. Due to the fact we have developed and challenged genericThrough our preliminary survey, we also found out that our conventions of typical crime thrillers, this widens our audiencetarget gender would be male. This is because out of the range and may make our film more relatable or enjoyable for a masspeople we asked that would be interested in our film, the market.majority were male. However, due to the content of parts of our opening, youngerThrough other secondary research, we found that the viewers may not be engaged by the long narrative and the plot mayleading target audience gender throughout previous real be too complex for them to comprehend. This limits our audiencemedia crime thrillers such as ‘The Departed’ were also male viewing slightly but however does not affect our target audience.which helped reinforce our decision.
  • 9. How did you attract/address your audience?During the research process, we developed As our target audience gender was male, we decidedquestionnaires to gain knowledge of our audiences to make our main character male. This gave theinterests; from this we learned that the majority of majority of the audience a chance to relate to thepeople enjoyed crime thrillers. At the end of our project main character due to their similarity in gender.we all posted our final piece on Facebook and Twitteralong with our survey to gain feedback on what went The alarm sound going off outside the manor housewell and what did not. could shock some viewers as there is a large contrast between the quiet viewing of the house andAlthough this strategy worked well, I feel as though our the loud alarm sound.audience feedback process could have been improveddue to the people being targeted for feedback were all During the opening, we used a variety of cameraaround the same age meaning that we did not receive as angles to help the audience put themselves in thewide a range of feedback that we had hoped for. position of the main character. For example, at 00:40 the audience sees a close up of the box ofOur attempts to attract our audience could have also money which is exactly what the main character isbeen improved as during the research process we seeing. This again, allowed the audience to relate tofocused more on the genre and not so much on finding the character more.our target audience. This could have been resolved bymore people carrying out our preliminary Close up ofquestionnaires allowing for a wider range of results and moneyit would have meant that we could have improved theoutcome of our final piece basing it around theimproved target audience.
  • 10. Target Audience FeedbackIn order to evaluate our finished product, it was important to gain as much feedback as possible from the widest range ofpeople possible. As part of the evaluation process, we posted our product on YouTube and sent out a link to the video and oursurvey on both Facebook and Twitter. We then got as many people as possible to watch our thriller through verbalcommunication and through e-mails. After people had watched our thriller, they left comments and/or filled out our survey.These included: • Age 41+: ‘It lulled me into a false sense of security. lovely sunny day, beautiful house, then wham, the alarm goes off, straight into the action of two men running...exciting...why are they running....’ ‘Intriguing; I wanted to find out what happened? What was the robbery? Of what? By whom? Good guy or bad guy... And then I was told some of this by the MI5 sequence’ ‘Very clean, simple and professional’ ‘It left me wanting more’
  • 11. Target Audience Feedback• Age 16-20:‘I loved the animation and think the concept of The Game is really good and grabs the audiences attention from the very beginning’‘Very professional’• Age 11-15:‘It makes you wonder if MI5 are going to catch this villain and how’The feedback we received from the survey was very complimentary, a lot of people found that the juxtaposition between the quiet beginning and the alarm sound going off worked well with our crime thriller genre. Many people also really enjoyed our title sequence due to the quick animation and moving words. Nevertheless, we also received some criticisms of our work which we can build upon and use to help us to improve in the future. They included:Do you feel the font and typography was appropriate to the opening?‘No, Too basic for a film’‘No, the colours could be more darker’
  • 12. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?Throughout the process of preparing and creating ourthriller opening, I learned new abilities such as a variation For editing our opening we used a programme calledof editing skills and how to use the camera effectively. This Premier Pro. This is a large piece of software that iswas a vivid change from our continuity task where these extremely useful when wanting to edit large pieces ofskills were not present so simple mistakes were made such footage.as the camera moving or jolting on what was supposed tobe a still shot. I was not the main editor so therefore did not use Premier Pro as much as other members of the group however particular effects and tools that we found useful were the split tool as it allowed us to quickly cut and edit our footage when and where we wanted it. Also the lighting effect was extremely useful as it allowed us to change the lighting (high/low key) in different situations to either fit the mood or previousThe camera equipment we used included an SLR camera shots. For example during the MI5 scene, we had toand a SONY recording camera. tamper with the lighting as the lighting was differentOne strength about using the SONY camera was that is was during re-shoots and to keep continuity, we had toextremely easy to operate meaning that on shoots, we could make it the same.easily reflect and improve upon previous footage withoutany inconveniences. This feature was especially importantto me as I was the cinematographer.One weakness of using the SONY camera was that aftermoving it, the lens would take a while to re-focus meaningthat especially during panning shots, it was hard to quicklypan and then re focus the camera. Before Editing After Editing
  • 13. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?Through the progression from creating the continuity task to I have also learned the importance of storyboarding. Duecreating our full media product, I can see the vast progression to the lack of time available to complete our continuitymade in members of my group. I feel all of our editing and task in, we were unable to storyboard our narrativecamera work skills have improved tremendously meaning that sequence as much as we had liked to. In the end this didour product will be the best it can be. not have a huge effect on our finished product however if we had not storyboarded as intensely for our opening, itSince the preliminary continuity task, I have learned the may have has a bigger effect of the finished product.importance of research and planning. We only had limited timefor research and planning during our continuity task which One dilemma we faced during the planning stage of ourreinforced to us the extent of research and planning that needed opening was that we had storyboarded our opening 30to be done. This meant that when it came to creating our seconds short of what it needed to be. This meant that weopening, we were able to leave enough time for extensive had to re storyboard and extra 30 seconds onto ourresearch and planning. opening. This problem reinforced to use the importance of a storyboard as we could then refer back to it whilst reOne of our strengths during this projects was our shooting storyboarding a new sequence and it also made us realiseschedule and keeping to it. Our shot list was also extremely that without a storyboard, we would have just gone ahead and created our opening and realised that we wereuseful as it related directly to the storyboard but would not have 30 seconds short after it was too late!been successful if we did not follow it one hundred percentwhich we did.When looking back at the preliminary task, we did not use ahuge variety of shots. This limited us to the effect our productcould have on the audience. We changed and improved on thisaspect when creating our opening as we used a variety of shotsincluding close ups, long shots, tracking and panning shots,along with high an low angle shots.