In what ways does your media product use, develop, challenge forms and conventions of real media products? For our media product, after watching many different teen drama genre films we decided to follow most of the conventions to make our film just as successful as the other films. We followed things such as simple shots to keep realism and storylines based on teenagers. However we decided to develop conventions of media products by having the film based on a typical teenage girl instead of either the rich and American youth. By doing this we hoped to get a message across to our target audience. As a group we also challenged conventions of most teenage media products in the market. Most products based on the youth of today portray all of them to be bad people and suggest they all drink, smoke and do drugs. We wanted to show that this is not true at all. To do this we did not show any alcohol, drugs or cigarettes in it, and just showed the girl facing normal troubles of her home life.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? Our media product is based on the youth of today and targeted to youths. So the main social group we are representing is youth. We wanted to represent two completely different types of young people within our opening sequence. First is our main character who we wanted to come appear lonely and an outcast from everyone else. We did this by using only two friends of the main character in the film. However the character did not really belong in a particular social group, she was more just the average college girl with some normal problems, but not so normal luck. We did not want to follow convention of most television shows who show the youth social group and give an over exaggerated representation of youth and also show they are all bad as they do drugs, smoke and drink. We wanted to show as we said a typically normal college student. However we did want to show that there can be some horrible youth out there, but they are a very small minority. We represented this at the end of the opening sequence when she finds a letter in her college locker that brings Siobhan to her knees in tears.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Through research and questionnaires we decided distribute our media product through Film4. As they are a British company our film would obviously be seen in Britain first which would be good as the narrative is about typical British teens, therefore attracting our target audience. However the main reason we decided on the company is because of its young target audience. Film4 is owned by channel 4 who own channels such as E4. E4 we found out in our audience research is the channel that most teenage and young people like to watch, and Film4 productions are quite often shown on there. So by producing our film under the channel 4 brand we can get it shown to our teenage target audience. Through our film research we found that one of the films we viewed was produced by Film4. We really enjoyed their opening sequence and used some of their techniques within our film; also we discovered that the film was very successful so this encouraged us more to use Film4 as we know that the film will be distributed well. We also discovered into further research that Film4 productions have helped to create many other British teenage films which went on to be very successful.
Who would be the main audience for your media product? The group decided our target audience is from ages 12-20, the youth. We chose this as our target audience because we ourselves are their age and believe that we could make the film that little bit more successful as we may know more about what the youth of today would like to see. The other choice behind choosing this age range for our target audience is that young people tend to have more time to watch films then anyone else. Also as they are still young they have more imagination than adults to like a wider variety of films also are more intelligent than children to understand meanings behind the narratives of films. So by choosing 12-20 year olds as our target audience we give ourselves a wider variety of genres and ideas to play with and can attract more people. However audience research afterwards helped to narrow down the choices of genre.
How did you attract/address your audience? From audience research drama was one of the most popular genres that our target audience like so we decided to have this genre for our film to attract the audience. Through research into teen dramas we found out that most of these films are based on the normal lives of teenage children but all have a twist to it. So we decided to adopt this to our film. We used young actors of the same age to attract the audience as they maybe can relate to the characters they are playing. The use of location which was the college also would attract the audience as everyone between that age range would be in education or just finished, so by having this as the main location they can relate it to their own lives. To keep the film feel dramatic to attract the audience to want to watch more we have the main character Siobhan have something very bad and unordinary happen to her. The use of varied camera shots helped to keep the audience interested however we kept some simple to make it more naturalistic so they can relate it to their lives. Finally we wanted to address the audience and educate them as well as entertain them, so behind the narrative is the message, be careful who you trust.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? During the construction process none of our group really had much experience with cameras, however the preliminary task helped us to gain confidence then in main task we built up on our skills. We learnt to how to use the camera and tripod for smooth panning shots, how to zoom in fast and slow and many more shots such as tilts and medium shots. We also learnt how to edit on movie maker for the first time. We learnt how to download our movie onto Movie Maker and learnt basic editing skills. We taught ourselves how to incorporate shot transitions such as fades, cuts, cross fades and cut to black. We also learnt how to add in sound to our film, from this we then learnt how to blend one music track into another and how to make it sound like it fades away into the background. We discovered how to do other things such as colour brighteners to make the shots and scene run more smoothly one after the other. We hope to develop our skills more in the advance task and hopefully use Adobe Premiere editing software.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you might have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
From the preliminary task to the main foundation coursework we have learnt many things. Firstly we learnt about varied camera shots and edits. We learnt that these can help us to keep the movie looking as actively paced as we wished, and to help show representation of the characters and match the action on scene. For example the significance of establishing shots really make it easier to help the audience understand what time of day it is like in our establishing shot is a panning of some trees and there is non diegetic sound of birds singing. We think this will make the audience associate it with early morning and set the location.
Another thing that we learnt is that everyone within the group needs to take part in the filming and editing stages of the film so that we can create the best possible opening sequence as there will be a wide variety of ideas from the group.
Overall from the preliminary task we learnt and experimented with a wide variety of shots to get ideas on how things would look and work out in our final product.