In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My understanding of the codes and conventions came from watching a multitude of real life media texts. After watching the short films I compared and contrasted similar conventions that appeared in the texts. (See Blog Posts: (See Blog Posts: Elevator Music - Serdar ferit (2008), Thursday, 9 July 2009) It was from this process that I was able to make conscious choices about how I would use and subvert my findings in my media product.
The first convention that I feel to have met is that my narrative is presented through the camera and mise-en-scene rather than through dialogue. This is common to most short films for example ‘Killing time at home’ and ‘ Elevator Music’ (See Blog Post:See Blog Posts: Elevator Music - Serdarferit (2008), Thursday, 9 July 2009) In addition the majority of the narrative is linear – similar to TzvetanTodorov conventional narrative theory– however in parts of scenes (See 00:26 – 00:54 final cut) the narrative is presented as a series of clues of which the audience must decipher – similar to Barthes Enigma Code narrative theory. This narrative technique wasn’t common in most of the short films I studied. For example ‘Micheal Lau’ and ‘The First Time It Hits’ I decided to challenge this convention, as I believe the disjointed narrative adds to the feel and mood of the text. In addition it is symbolic of the protagonists mental well being which adds to the linear narrative of the rest of the text.
Another convention I decided to meet was the prominent use of close ups and mid shots. This technique allows the audience to engage with the character create an understanding of the protagonists personality and form a relationship between audience and the character. (See 00:00 – 03:46 final cut). This influenced my decision to subvert the convention of including a voice over in my short film. I believed that it was more suited to my art house/drama genre if the relationship between protagonist and audience was established through camera, sound and mise-en-scene rather than a voice over. I believe this technique to be very effective at enforcing the connection between the audience and the text, which is similar to most art house films.
Further to this I met another convention of short films by utilising mise-en-scene to make sure the representations of the characters reflect those of contemporary society. This technique can be seen in ‘Elevator Music’ and ‘Wrong Side Of Bed’ (See Blog Post: Wrong Side Of The Bed - Daniel Lucchesi (2006), Thursday, 18 June 2009) Even though I took costume and props into consideration I don’t feel I have met this convention fully. This is due to the fact that the male character in the lift was supposed to reflective of the contemporary working class and I don’t feel his costume fits the representation.
How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts?
Creating Synergy The main source of synergy in my products is through the use of the face of my main character . To do this I include a large amounts of close ups in my short film as well as using his image for the poster advertising the film and also including screen grabs of him in the review page. To further create synergy in my products I used a consistent font in the title of the poster and the title in the review page. This allows for it to be easily recognised by the audience.
To effectively evaluate my ancillary texts they must be compared to real life media texts thus it is important to consider a release plan. Therefore it is important to consider where my target audience will most likely find and consume my products. I think my film poster would be most effective in a magazine similar to ‘Movie Maker’ magazine. (https://www.moviemaker.com/magazine/backissues/winter_2010_20100119) This is due to the fact that ‘Movie Maker’ magazine is targeted towards individuals working in the film industry. As a result it this audience who will be most interested in my short film due to the nature of their occupation. I chose ‘Movie Maker’ magazine over a more mainstream magazine such as ‘Empire’ due to the fact that the readers of ‘Empire’ are more interested in feature length films as opposed to art house short films.
I believe my magazine would be most suited for release in a magazine such as ‘Aesthetica’ (http://www.aestheticamagazine.com.) this is due to the fact that ‘Aesthetica’ Is a contemporary art magazine that reviews art, music and film and includes reviews on contemporary short films. I chose ‘Aestheica’ due to the fact that its audience are interested in both art and film and thus will be interested in my short film. I decided against such magazines as ‘Total Film’ due to the fact that the majority of its content is based on feature length films.
When considering my ancillary tasks and main task as a single piece of synergy I think they work effectively together. The mood and feel to the main task is reflected in both my poster and film review. However I think the poster and main task work better together than the review page and the main task. This is due to the fact that the review page takes the form a magazine template with features of my short film included. On the other hand it is quick and easy to make the connection between my poster and main task due to the fact my poster matches the dark mood and feel to my piece and the main character is instantly recognisable. This is similar to such real media products as ‘The Lethal Innocents’. The poster to ‘The Lethal Innocents’ is very typical of a short film and matches the feel of the main task in a similar way my poster and short film do. Similar to ‘The Lethal Innocents’ my ancillary texts and main task have a lot of inter-textuality. This allows for the creation of an overall image for my products which can be easily recognised.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? Attention to continuity is key. Makes the product feel less professional. Well edited and professional looking. Effective at getting narrative across. Good use of special effects which help to add emphasis the fact James isn’t normal. Good music choice as it fits well with editing style. Office scene was to long and didn’t fully fit with narrative of piece. Should of kept closer to conventions by not including dialogue. Could of shown aggression of character better. Editing is best technical area displayed. Really helped to carry the narrative Use of close ups are effective at engaging audience with character. Felt the engagement was lost when James starts to speak.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Research for my media product involved the use of many new media technologies. Firstly I used Blogger to create a blog in which to compile all my research and show my progress and development. This was similar to my AS coursework. I feel my skills in using blogger haven’t improved from AS significantly however at A2 I found myself creating more posters with more content and combining multiple forms of new media technology (See blog post: Codes And Conventions Of Magazine Film Review Pages, Tuesday, 26 January 2010) For the majority of my research I researched, watched and anaylsed real media texts. To find these texts I used the video hosting website YouTube. From YouTube I was able to view and embed videos into my blog. At AS I would spend a long time searching for texts to view and analyse however at A2 my searching skills on YouTube had improved by using the pre-constructed playlists. From these playlists I was able to find texts similar to those I was looking at. This made my searching much faster and more efficient. research
Planning The main use of new media technology in my planning stage was the use of the website Issuu. Issuu allowed me to upload the images of my storyboard and turned them into an electronic book, which I could embed within my blog. (See Blog Post: Storyboard, Monday, 26 October 2009). This was much more efficient and significantly improved upon my AS storyboard which was just all the storyboard images uploaded to a blog post. Using Issuu reduces the amount of space the images take up and allows easy viewing and scrolling through shots in my storyboard.
Construction I used multiple numbers of new media tech in the construction of my media product. Firstly I used Adobe Premier Pro to edit my footage. This is the same software I used at AS however I feel my skills using the software have significantly improved. Firstly my control over editing the lengths of clips had improved from AS and gave my work a much more professional feel to it. (See 02:08 – 03:12 final cut). As well as editing footage my ability to manipulate diegetic and non-diegetic sounds improved greatly. I was able to create multiple sound ‘tracks’ in premier and effectively cut and change the levels. I was also able to add in additional sounds to improve the feel and look of my production. ( See 00:29 – 00:50 final cut)
In addition I used Adobe After Effects in the construction of my media product. After Effects allowed me to manipulate my footage and create a slow motion and blurred edge effect on some of my footage. (See Blog Post: Creating a Slow Motion and Blurred Edge Effect in Premiere and After Effects, Wednesday, 27 January 2010) This effect highlights how I have improved from simply adjusting colours of footage at AS level. In addition I used After Effects to create my titles and credits. I personally feel my skills in creating titles and adding effects to titles are of a similar level as they where at AS.
Evaluation During the evaluation of my media product I decided to use the social networking site Facebook. I set up a page where viewers can watch my media product and leave comments. Facebook is used by millions of people each day and as a result a large audience can consume my product. This however has constrictions due to the fact that the comments can be open and may not be of any help in my evaluation.
In addition to Facebook I decided to use the website Survey Monkey which allowed me to create an online survey which could be e-mailed to friends. However the issue with this is that it requires the person to have seen my product already. As a result I e-mailed the link to YouTube along with the survey.