Evaluation of Main Task Charlotte Thistle Emma Young Vicki Cole
In What Ways Does Our Film Use Forms And Conventions Of Real Media Products? Our production is a psychological thriller, and it uses many of the typical codes and conventions of real media films in this field. Characters
Typical vulnerable female protagonist who is presented as such through the use of handheld camera shots, costume and acting, via facial expressions. Additionally, the location contributes to a sense of vulnerability because of the darkness that shrouds her.
Our male antagonist is stereotypically dressed in dark clothing; his hood is up concealing his identity, reinforcing the negative perception of his character.
In What Ways Does Our Film Use Forms And Conventions Of Real Media Products? Lighting There are a couple of specific shots included in ‘Absent are the Saints’ whereby Ed is connoted as a schizophrenic. This is achieved by the use of light cast halfway over his face, in comparison to the other half which is in darkness. This could be used to represent the two conflicting personalities which exist within him, with the dark side being destructive, as demonstrated in our film. Alice is displayed as angelic because, in one specific shot, the light can be depicted above her which has connotations of a halo. Moreover, it can be interpreted as a means of protection, much like a guardian angel or suchlike.
In What Ways Does Our Film Use Forms And Conventions Of Real Media Products? Mise-en-Scene: Ed’s bedroom is displayed as dark, dingy, dangerous, uninviting and isolated (all conventions of a psychological thriller film) There are beer cans, a line of sugar to look like cocaine, and a lighter all used within the mise-en-scene in various shots; this represents alcoholism, drug use, and pyromaniac tendencies. Polaroid photographs are used as a motif throughout ‘Absent are the Saints’. These are used as a method of reflection of the memories shared with Alice, and Ed’s obsession with her. Polaroid photos were used as opposed to regular 6’’x4’’ prints similarly to ‘Memento’ by Christopher Nolan.
In What Ways Does Our Film Challenge Forms And Conventions Of Real Media Products? Audience Themes Most psychological thriller films follow a narrative, whereas ‘Absent are the Saints’utilises montage-style editing. This was done to create an active audience whereby they use their own ideas and imagination from the range of shots that have been shown. This can add to suspense and tension as it plays on humans’ innate fear of the unknown. Location The church used in our film is presented in a negative way which opposes the general stereotypical view that churches are a place of sanctity and purity.
How Does Our Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups? Ed is a stereotypical male youth and this is established by the use of costume (hoody and jeans). Within society, teenaged boys wearing this attire are immediately labelled as negative influences on the community. This point is reinforced within ‘Absent are the Saints’ as he is an alcoholic, a drug user and an obsessive psychopath. Alice is a typical teenaged female who is a vulnerable victim within our film. Within society, girls are portrayed as being less of a threat in comparison to men who are aggressive, due to the higher levels of testosterone.
Who Would Be The Audience For Our Media Product? We decided that our film was most closely suited to a certificate rating 15, due to the nature of the suspense and tension featured within it. Additionally, the idea that ‘Absent are the Saints’ included the use of drugs, knife crime, blood, psychological illnesses and such contributed to this decision. We felt that our product was a little too gory and brutal to be a certificate 12 as it may cause distress in an audience that was too young to deal with the mental illness that is displayed within our antagonist, Ed. However, if we had opted for an 18, this would mean a more narrow target audience rather unnecessarily.
Who Would Be The Audience For Our Media Product? ‘Absent are the Saints’ is not targeted specifically towards either males or females. For example, a romantic comedy would be far more suited towards girls and women, whereas science-fiction would probably be more appealing to males; psychological thrillers, on the other hand, often attract both genders very successfully. The audience for our media product would largely be those who have an interest in thrillers and enjoy being active when watching films. This is due to the concept of the montage editing employed throughout ; it requires the viewers to use their imagination and thoughts to piece together the aspects that are not given to them.
How Did We Attract Our Audience? Our film was based on a young male and female character; by using young people to star in our production, this would attract younger people to want to watch it because they would be able to relate to it. Due to our film being certified as a 15, it would appeal to anyone of this age and older. Additionally, a film based predominantly on relationships would result in the attraction of a teenaged audience as love and romance is a key theme associated with this social group. This extreme case of a relation gone totally wrong would be exciting for most people over the age of 15.
How Did We Address Our Audience? We addressed the audience by increasing the involvement that they had in our media product. For example, the use of montage editing results in the idea that they have to be active and use their own thoughts and interpretations to piece together key scenes. Another way in which we addressed our audience was through the use of stereotypes that were portrayed within our media product. Teenagers can easily relate to these and therefore, it may well increase their enjoyment of our film. The main stereotype which was represented within ‘Absent are the Saints’ is the negative associations of young males in society today.
What Have We Learnt About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing This Product? How to apply good framing to our shots, including the rule of thirds horizontally and vertically, even if they were not captured appropriately. This was achieved through the use of the ‘cage’ tool on final cut express, the editing software on apple Macs. Additionally we learnt that we must remain on one Mac computer to edit the whole of our filming as it would not be possible to continue after transferring the files across to a different Mac. This caused problems, as we were not the only group who needed to use this computer and the computer was at school, so any editing needed to be completed at school, within appropriate hours. As a result we needed effective time management.
What Have We Learnt About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing This Product? Live type files can be transferred and utilised on different computers however, with final cut express, it can only be used on an Apple Mac. Consequently, creating the credits had to be done at school (no one in our group owned an Apple Mac). Through the use of live type software to create the credits and titles and including them in the final product, we learnt how to apply different text formats, effects and speeds at which the transitions progressed. Further aspects of editing that we learnt included the ability to change the contrast, brightness and overall colour to alter the atmosphere of the shot, such as to darken the shot to create a sense of tension, in conjunction with psychological thrillers.
What Have We Learnt About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing This Product? On the other hand, effects could not be applied as effectively to make the scene appear lighter. Therefore our original intention to film late at night resulted in unusable footage, forcing us to re-film much of our work. The LCD screen on the camcorder when played back showed our filming to be much lighter. However, when captured on the Mac it was less clear. From this we learnt, during re-filming, to film the outside shots during lighter conditions.
What Have We Learnt About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing This Product? We developed upon our understanding of how to use the lights from our preliminary task, our aim being to create the best effects to represent the male as a schizophrenic. This was done by the light casting shadows across his face as though he has a split personality. Additionally we learnt how manipulating the lighting was only possible when filming inside, due to the requirement of a power source in the mains. However, there were motion sensitive lights already at the graveyard site which we effectively incorporated into our filming such as in the low angled hand-held shot of Alice as she walks under the light above the church door entrance.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? Planning In our preliminary task, we failed to adhere and refer to our storyboarding. This meant that we were forced to revisit the location on numerous occasions which wasted valuable time and was very tedious. Conversely, in our main task we created detailed storyboards which we followed throughout the filming; this allowed us to be time-efficient and ensured that we captured all the shots that were required.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? Planning Continued In our preliminary task, there was a great absence of props and mise-en-scene which we felt resulted in lack of effect and detail. For example, when filming inside there was no vivid evidence that it was the inside of a church. We felt that this needed alteration, therefore in our main task we utilised a range of props relating to the psychotic character of our male antagonist. These included the bloody knife, cigarettes, beer cans, the lighter and the photographs. Also in our main task, the bed-sit is smoky and dark, reflecting his negative character portrayal.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? Planning Continued Prior to filming our preliminary task, we analysed a number of already-existing psychological thrillers; however, we didn’t maximise the potential ideas of codes and conventions that they presented us with. Before planning our main task, we re-analysed our textual analyses and realised the essential codes and conventions – these were included in ‘Absent are the Saints’, helping us to achieve the genre which we strived for.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? Filming During the preliminary task, we realised that we did not utilise enough close up shots. As these are a code and convention of psychological thrillers this was one of the key missing links that needed to be rectified in order to make our main task more effective at fulfilling its proposed genre. In our preliminary task, mid shots were predominantly used as opposed to these close ups however, these do not display the facial expressions or emphasise objects or people enough.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? Filming Continued Also, in our preliminary, there were not enough quick cuts which resulted in a film that was not successful in creating suspense. To alter this, in our main product, we used a greater number of quick cuts, for example it cuts between Alice’s feet and handheld camera work – this created a greater sense of tension. Additionally, in contrast between the preliminary and the main task, in the former there is a fixed shot of the character’s feet whereas in the latter, a pan follows the feet in a way which contributes to creating a sense of tension, due to the obtrusive editing.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? Editing In our preliminary task, we used only fade-in-fade-out cuts to progress from one scene to the next. In comparison, in the main task, the majority of transitions that we used were cross-dissolves. This presented greater sophistication and also reinforced asense of schizophrenia through distortion (one of the codes and conventions of psychological thrillers). This helped us to achieve the sense of genre which we had aimed for. This style of montage editing through the use of photographs has relevance to ‘Memento’ directed by Christopher Nolan, which was one of the inspiration pieces for film.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? Editing Continued Moreover, within our main task, we learnt how to alter the opacity and overlap shots. This was used when displaying the photographs lying on the coffee table and contributed to a sense of obsession because it over-exaggerated the number of pictures that he had of her (some voluntary and some involuntary because he stalked her). The music within our main task was also used very effectively because it intensified as Ed’s state of mind progressed, which can be seen through the layers of photographs put together.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? In our preliminary, we showed the film in black and white to make the shadows appear more predominant and significant to comply with the codes and conventions of the psychological thriller genre. In our main task however, having tried applying this setting throughout the film, we opted to show the film in the original colour. This is because it appeared more aesthetically pleasing to the audience and the use of shadows was not so effective in showing Alice in an innocent and vulnerable light. Also, the film had to be consistent in colour or black and white, as it would not make sense if only certain shots were in black and white and the rest of the film was not.
Looking Back At Our Preliminary Task, What Do WeFeel WeHave Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Project? On a day we did film by the church the weather was overcast, producing a much more appropriate setting. Whereas in our preliminary it was sunny which created great shadows, which looked even better when shown in black and white, the film would have not fitted the codes and conventions of a psychological thriller due to sunshine typically being associated with a lighter, happier atmosphere. As the weather was overcast for filming our main and we eventually chose to show it in colour, this appeared more effective in creating a darker atmosphere but not so much for the film to appear too dark in the final product.