A2 Media Studies Advanced Portfolio Evaluation Candidate Number: 4021 Centre Number: 71615
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My media product uses and challenges conventions of real media products through the use of general trailer codes that include a variety of shots, editing, settings, characters, narrative, music and titles. In my media product I have tried to combine and create a teaser trailer that has aspects of horror but to try and remain less gory and “slasher” style than most movies. I wanted to create a different side to the thriller genre and decided to focus on the sub genre psychological thriller. My advanced media product utilise and challenges the forms and conventions of a variety of genre trailers, including the action film genre and more evidently psychological thriller. The genre of teaser trailer I have chosen is a sub genre of Horror film, common conventions fro thriller trailers usually contain fast cuts with a little sophistication in the music employed. This is evident through many Quentin Tarantino films. In my research I have challenged and developed conventions from real media texts in my research of teaser trailers and many conventions have evidently influenced my final product.
A typical thriller convention and similar to the Horror genre is the focus of the main character who has a troubled or ominous background. Typically a female character, I have decided to develop and remain with this distinctive convention as it allows for the audience to clearly see the focus of the film. Mystery and drama are evident traits of the thriller genre, I focused on the character in the film Donnie Darko as the character Jake Gyllenhaal portrays an ominous, dark troubled young man, which is a common focus of a psychological thriller and is heavily evident through the traits of the character I have utilised. Although not a psychological thriller I challenged forms and conventions from Tarantino’s teaser trailer for Kill Bill. Though it does take a slow paced editing technique from the very beginning that steadily increases in pace through shot movement and fast cuts. I developed these conventions through my editing style which is evident in my teaser trailer.
Short Shot by shot development and challenging of Teaser Trailer This shot features a caption “A Thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat” gives the audience an idea of what is to come in the film. There are three of these caption shots throughout the trailer. Here is the film rating screen for the film. I created this shot as a typical form with a film trailer is the green screen. Stating the specific audience for viewing. This is a shot of the opening credit, featuring the name of the production company that I have created. The back shot was originally a black background but then edited ground level motion camera footage to add substance to the shot. This shot is a definitive one in that like in most thriller/horror trailers a gory or violent image is often evident. This shot of a “murderer's” blood covered hands allows the audience to establish the level of thriller the film is. The second last shot of the trailer just contains the name of the film in a large grand font. In keeping with the minimalistic tone and them of the teaser trailer, the loneliness of the title is reflective of the character with the film. In this shot the audience are able to establish the main character, although it does not give a great indication in to what is happening in the film but combined with later shot the audience can gather the basics of the storyline. In this shot we have an over the shoulder composition again not giving away too much but enough to gather an idea of the storyline. Here there is a sense of urgency as the sounds track speeds up in pace. Last shot which is apparent in most teaser trailers is the concluding shot containing the release date, promotional website information and the usual “Coming Soon” slogan.
Ancillary Task – Film Magazine In my magazine front cover the product challenges and develops many forms and conventions of real media products. In order to understand film magazine conventions better, research was carried out to help me develop ideas and to create and construct my media magazine. I researched and analysed two specific film magazines, TOTAL FILM & EMPIRE that both contain typical forms and conventions. As you can see I have tried to follow and develop typical magazine conventions whilst simultaneously giving mine more of it’s own promotional theme, keeping in tone with the film genre and featured film. On my own front cover I took on the typical forms and conventions in a way that fitted my specific genre of teaser trailer. I challenged the convention of film magazine genre as most magazine do not associate with one main genre. Whereas my magazine cover by convention and style are related to my specific genre of psychological thriller. Conventions I further developed are.. The masthead in bold red font meaning that it jumps off the page when the reader sees it. The dark red helps to create a sense of danger and reflects the thriller genre tones of the magazine. Took a shot from the teaser trailer of the main character, making sure that I chose an image that portrayed a melancholy frightened facial expression , allowing for the reader to know this is the central character of the film. Placed to the right hand side of the front cover this challenges typical magazine conventions of the image usually focused center of the cover. I allowed for the image to become the only image on the cover thus no attention is lost.
Ancillary Task – Film Poster In my second ancillary task in the making of my teaser poster I have challenged and developed forms and conventions of real media products. In order to do this I researched and was influenced by many film posters of the Thriller genre, most of these posters tend to focus on the face of the main character, usually the eyes. I have went against the usual conventions of film posters and challenged the form of the masthead that normally go along the bottom of the poster just above the billing block, but I felt this would get in the way of the main image therefore I put it along the top. Like in most film posters I have decided to use an image from the film itself, an image that repeats throughout the trailer. The focus on the main character and the close up shots of her face and evidently her eyes. Allowing the audience to recognise that this film and specifically this main character are vital to the storyline. I have used a black, white and red colour scheme, colours that are evident in typical thriller genre film posters which allows me to keep to the normal conventions of professional film posters.
2)How effective is the combination of your media product and ancillary task? As part of the coursework we were asked to produce a teaser trailer as well as two ancillary tasks. The two ancillary task were created to advertise and promote the teaser trailer and eventual film. When all three are combined demonstrating a marketing campaign for the film itself. It is very important for new films to have efficient and effective advertising I feel I have done this successfully. The combination of both my main product and the ancillary tasks is vital in keeping a house style image, mixing it up confuses the consumer and doesn't maintain the genre's aesthetics. I feel that all three of my products follow a specific scheme. The poster is there to grab the audiences attention and perhaps persuade them to find out more about the film. Information such as date of release, billing block and age certificate are provided to attract a certain audience. The magazine cover is there to advertise the film with more background and information about the film itself and other typical conventions within a film magazine. Both of the ancillary tasks drag the attention toward the teaser trailer. The trailer presents a very ominous view of the film which creates more tension and suspicion within the storyline. Bothe the magazine and poster help to create this effect.
3)What have you learned from your audience feedback? Audience feedback was a key part of my product, it allows for my media product to sign off as a success of their chosen genre. It is incredibly important for the audience and readers of the media products to relate to the genre as they are the consumers of the product therefore they are key to the production of the tasks. From audience feedback I learnt that it is important to have constant feedback through out the different stages of design and production. For example in the construction stages of my ancillary tasks feedback from the audience allowed be to quickly chooses a specific colour scheme and style for both products, so I was aware of their input at all times. Feedback was gained through various methods including; Written Questionnaires, PBworks, Youtube and Facebook At the beginning of our research and planning we decided to try and obtain a better understanding of our target audience, to do this we write up questionnaires that contained multiple choice answers on the genre of horror film, leading on to the more specific sub genre of psychological thriller. Within the questionnaire the target audience were allowed to give their own ideas and perceptions of a typical thriller and what else they would like to see within a thriller film.
4)How did you use media technologies in construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? New media technologies were vital for the construction, research and planning of my Thriller trailer. For the construction we used Imovie on an IMac to edit my teaser trailer, Microsoft office programmes such as word to write up analysis and publisher to create flat plans for my ancillary tasks. Photoshop to create my magazine and poster. Garage band and Itunes to create a soundtrack and Idvd to finally publish the finished trailer. For my research I used Google to search for helpful sites that improved my understanding of trailer forms and conventions and how we can apply them to my trailer. I also used this method to gain a better understanding of film posters and magazine covers. I used YouTube to view horror and thriller trailers and get ideas to influence my media product. For the planning, I created hard copies of storyboards that I was able to edit and change before scanning and uploading to my blog for further feedback. For my poster and magazine cover I created flat plans through Microsoft publisher to give me a clear and concise plan to follow in my construction.