Name : Charlie Zazzera Candidate No : 1336 Name : Dean Kay-Barry Candidate No : 1324 Name : Emily Greenwood Candidate No : 1091 Name : Lauren Persaud Candidate No : 1364 Media Studies Unit G324 Evaluation
After completing the research & planning section, as well as the construction section, we arrived at the evaluation part.
Our evaluation has been completed as a group and we each answered a question provided by the exam board.
This slideshow shows our groups review of our own work as a whole, through a series of specified questions.
-When we analysed many different Similar
Texts, including posters and film trailers for our
chosen genre (Horror) we noticed many
common conventions regarding the use of
colour within them.
-The main use of colour throughout these
examples is a dark and often violent shade of
red, universally symbolising blood.
- Most horror trailers we looked at initially
started the trailer using lighter colours and a
familiar environment such as a school or party.
This was used to create a clear contrast before
the turning point in which the mood, direction
and atmosphere of the trailer completely
-This use of colour to portray the
horror genre and sinister themes are also
evident in the title shots.
Sorority Row Trailer Establishing shots of familiar environment, bright positive colours used. Turning Point – darker colours used. Red – warning and danger. End montage of the trailer. Dark and dangerous settings shown with darker lighting and colours symbolising fear, isolation and the unknown. Title Shot – slash like effects, black and red colour scheme with sinister and violent connotations. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
How we interpreted these conventions in relation to our trailer. Our establishing shots similarly feature a familiar and relatable setting to our target audience, a school. We also used bright, natural lighting for contrast later in the trailer. A shot of our main protagonist’s (Wesley) legs dangling while he hangs himself to death is used as a vivid turning point. Unnatural top lighting is used to create a sinister shadow and a lightning effect is also used to reinforce the change in atmosphere. Our end montage includes many shots all using darker lighting to create a feeling of panic, isolation and helplessness reinforced by shots of doors and locks closing. Our title shot appears just after the fast paced end montage and an eerie rare close up shot of the killer. It uses a dark background with a blunt and contrasting colour for the text along with an earthquake effect, reinforcing the sense of urgency and panic.
After analysing our STA’s, our next element of our trailer we needed to decide upon was our use of sound and music.
Specific to the teen horror genre, we noticed that the establishing music of a trailer runs parallel to the initial shots, in which a normal and sometimes upbeat lifestyle and surrounding is shown; contrasted against the rest of the trailer.
For our establishing shots we used ‘Teenagers’ by My Chemical Romance. This was a well known and upbeat song which we believed could attract our teenage target audience and which also worked well with our shots, especially the dolly shot, a point of view shot in which our main protagonist Wesley (the geek) walks down a hallway surrounded by the different cliques of the school and looked down by all of them, fitting in with none of them.
The lyrics of the song include ‘The boys and girls in the clique, the awful names that they stick, you’re never gonna fit in much kid’. This relates directly to our opening shots and narrative of the geek being an outcast at school.
The lyrics also include ‘We’ll make them pay for the things that they did’, this line suggests our plot of our film in which Wesley comes back to get revenge on the people who bully him. This also can be used to relate to a specific section of the target teenage audience who could have been affected by bullying.
The last lines we use from the song are ‘strike a violent pose, maybe they’ll leave you alone’. These sinister lines in a fast paced song establish the horror genre straight from the beginning of the trailer as well as immediately suggest revenge attacks.
Establishing shots of the school and different stereotyped cliques in hallway.
Different teen horror trailers all used very different types of music for each part of their trailer. With the narration element, we analysed the three different types. Firstly there was the use of a voiceover, however, we found this to be too clichéd and would go against the gritty and realistic approach we wanted for our trailer.
An example of a trailer using Voice Over - Scream http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =UTWf9QGdJCQ&feature= player_embedded #
Secondly, there was the use of text narration. We looked at this in more detail as we believed it would work better for our trailer and also leave the role of the narrator ambiguous to the audience.
UK teen horror film ‘Tormented’ use this approach-
The third approach is that of using dialogue from the film clipped together to create a linear path following a rough idea of the plot. We initially used a mixture of both text narration and dialogue but we felt the dialogue gave too much away, did not fit in well with the atmosphere and background music of the trailer and changed the pace of our trailer. So we decided to use a limited amount of text narration and instead just portrayed narrative through the shots and music. This allowed the trailer to give off a mysterious theme, urging viewers to find out more about the film and its plot.
The sudden change in atmosphere after the turning point in all teen horror trailers had an effect on the use of music and soundtrack.
This usually consisted of firstly a slower, eerie piece symbolising the consequences of the turning point which was then followed by another sudden change in pace – the end montage.
This end montage consisted throughout the STA’s of a number of shots all shown for a split second, usually highlighting a chase, a death or an attack. The fast paced music usually also consisted of a female scream, a classic aspect of a horror film.
We on the other hand, felt this again was too stereotypical of a trailer and wanted to emphasise the feeling of isolation and helplessness that even their voices and screams for help are not heard.
The trailer for teen horror film ‘I know what you did last summer’ challenged the usual conventions regarding the used of music for the end montage. Instead of using an eerie and sinister piece of music, they used ‘Hush’ by Deep Purple an upbeat rock song which ironically works well with the trailer, creating a strong contrast between the music and visual shots.
‘ I know what you did last summer’ Trailer - http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =s46Nurfe_Bs&feature= player_embedded The link below is the music entitled ‘She told me’ which we used for our fast paced, end montage. The drop one minute into it is the section we used along with the quick cuts of the montage. We believed this reinforced the eerie and fast paced panic which wanted to convey in the montage, as well as the music being unpleasant to listen to symbolising the situation the victims are in.
Narrative and Characters
The common aspect regarding narrative in relation to teen horror films is the use of stereotyped clichéd characters.
Many films of this genre revolve around upper middle class white students, usually with ‘token’ ethnic characters. However, we challenged this convention and cast a black actor to take on the main male role.
Much like many of the films we looked into, we included a representative from each social clique such as an emo, popular girls, jocks, a bimbo and a geek; similar to a scene in ‘Mean Girls’ where many of these groups are identified.
The conventions analysed concerning the plot had a certain impact on our own storyline. Other examples opened the film with a normal location and environment which the audience can easily relate to such as a school or the suburbs, leading them into a false sense of security. We used this aspect to base our story against a school backdrop, directly relating to the teenage audience.
Narrative and Characters
The theme of bullying was apparent in a number of existing film plots including British teen horror film ‘Tormented’.
We chose this theme in order to represent a real life and very common and relatable situation for teenagers as well as a motive for the killer.
Other themes such as sex, lust, betrayal, isolation, discrimination and social hierarchy are all apparent in our plot symbolic of the stereotypical teenage lifestyle.
The title of our film was an issue for a matter of time. Existing examples differed vastly from ‘Scream’ to ‘I know what you did last summer’.
Our initial idea was ‘Monkeyshine’ meaning prank. This was a unique title, which we hoped would spark interest in audiences who would want to find out more about the film as its title leaves a lot to the imagination.
However, we realised this title had light hearted connotations and after our target audience research we decided to change it based on the feedback.
Our final working title ‘Deadbeat’ works well with our plot as well as instantly suggesting a horror theme. Other connotations surrounding this title suggest a ‘loser’ character who has nothing going for them, nothing to live for, symbolising Wesley’s role in school and attitude.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? By the main character being on the front of the film magazine; his character promotes both the film and him as an actor. Our main character features in the trailer most predominantly, so when the audience see the trailer, he will be the biggest association to the film. By having him on the front of the magazine, as you can see on the right, when the audience see his face they will automatically get a sense of recognition. The Preliminary Task: magazine & How it promotes our film (Clip from trailer to be inserted) Our character features in every scene from this clip which is why we used him for the ancillary task.
How we depicted Genre in each task
In our ancillary task we depicted our chosen genre of teen horror through the different conventions such as colour, font etc. for example we used a broken scary font to suggest teen horror. The ideology that the teenage generation is broken and corrupt is suggested in the font as well as the horror element being shown through its Sharpe edges.
In our main task we communicated genre from the lighting the contrast between the start of the trailer and end of the trailer shows both teenage life and a horror film. By the lighting being bright at the beginning the audience can tell the school lifestyle and the laid back approach to life. However towards the end killing montage everything is dark and hard light is used to connote the evil of the film. Filming in the dark was the best way to suggest horror.
Unlike most movie pictures, we have used an image of a school shirt, to represent a geek in school. However, the blood on the knife in the pockets, gives the audience an idea that it is a horror film. The strong red colour on the background white of the shirt is brought to the audiences attention and is a great way to summarise the film and the genre of a teen horror film. Other conventions of an image for a film poster will be the actors in an scenario from the film for example….. We decided to follow the film poster that use a particular image to capture the film and a symbolic image that will make an automatic link to the film. Both symbolic icons are famous and have been the main associations to the films.
Whilst creating the magazines our initial idea layout was to follow the conventions of the most successful film magazine, ‘Empire.’ In order to make the film recognisable, Empire magazine always make the font of the magazine name in the same theme as the film for example Film-Hell Boy Theme Flames We wanted to employ the same conventions to make the film more noticeable by having the title of the magazine in a geeky font The background was going to be black and the font red to portray horror again to summarise the film and make it as familiar as possible so once the audience had seen the trailer they could pick up signals from the magazine. Empire magazine are the most successful film magazine because they advertise the particular film as much as possible to increase audience recognition.
The technology used over both tasks
In order to make our main task accurate we had to create a storyboard through images of each scene. We used a standard camera to take this shots in order to help us when filming.
We took a picture of the first scene and its location to see if it would have the effect we wanted to portray. We camera was an important component in our ancillary task as we had to take images for an image for both magazine and poster. Software was another main factor for the editing of our tasks the software we used were Pinnacle and Photoshop.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? Research & Planning Target audience research before production of trailer helped our group recognise what our target audience would potentially want to see in a horror trailer. The research provided us with a fundamental basis of what sort of location, characters, music, lighting and colours our target audience would expect to see. Our graph of results for the question ‘ what colours do you expect to see in a horror trailer ?’ From this graph, we decided to use lots of black in our trailer. Obviously, opinions varied depending on individual students taste and preference, but we took an overall statistical average from this. Mark scheme and general conventions did preside over audience opinions.
Construction We reviewed our trailer part-way through editing in the form of a showcase, open to other students in our school. The students were all roughly around the age of our target audience. Approx. 30 students viewed the showcase, which allowed a wide range of reviews and opinions of our trailer. Made appropriate changes, such as lightening shots, deleting and re-shooting others, etc. Seeing the trailer up on a large screen with a decent sound system helped us see the effect it had on an audience. From this, for example, we noticed that the music was generally too loud so we turned this down on pinnacle.
“ i think the dark shots in the cupboard scene are very effective and appropriate. Yet, throughout, there could have been more lighting effects to add to the horror theme” = from this, we decided to use a few more flash- effects in transitions between scenes. Quotes from students reviewing our trailer included: “ Good soundtracks – the beginning one was very catchy!” = this helped us conclude that our tracks were appropriate for our genre and appealed to our target audience. “ the lighting was a bit too dim in some places” = We realised that the shots appeared a lot darker on the showcase screen in the room, comparatively to the laptop screens we had been working on. To ensure a viewer would be able to see every shot clearly, regardess of the type of screen it was viewed on, we lightened everything slightly. “ i feel that the title was a bit irrelevant to the story” = After lots of difficulty in agreeing on a title for our film, we stuck with the name ‘Monkeyshine’ for our rough-cut showcase. Opinions like this helped us decide we needed to change our title, and after some research, we settled on the name ‘Deadbeat’.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Research – Used Fronter to create pages, upload documents, links and embed videos from ‘YouTube’. Used ‘Google’ for research and images. Planning – Took photographs and stock shots uploaded onto Fronter Construction – Video camera with crane for high angled shots and dolly for movement. Edited images using Adobe Photoshop CS3 and footage in Pinnacle Studio Evaluation – Powerpoint and Podcast.