In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products?
The genre that was chosen for the film trailer was drama. This therefore focuses on
using different forms and conventions held by drama films to identify with it. During
the pre-production stage, research was conducted on the forms and conventions of a
film drama by analysing factors relatingdrama.
Mise en scene
The film traileruses the forms and conventions of real media productsthrough the
Mise en scene. For example inspirations were taken from the film the "Pursuit of
happiness" which included a similar storyline to the one created. The location used in
the film depicted both a suburban and inner city environment showing the
juxtaposition between the two settings. Italso shows the protagonist’s development
into success. This influenced the choice of location used in the film trailercreated.
Shots from my Trailer
Shotsfrom The pursuit of happiness
The aim of my trailer was to capture the story of a young man living in the heart of
London struggling to become successful in life. I therefore chose to capture scenes in
Liverpool Street for an inner city environment as highlighted in the beginning of the
trailer. I also filmed in an area called Camdeninorder to capture a suburban
environment for the typical Mise en scene thus creating verisimilitude.
In addition to the chosen location, the lighting used in my trailer was another form
and convention that was followed. For example the lighting used in the “Pursuit of
happiness”trailer was very dull in certain scenes to portray a gritty and bleak nature.
This therefore required editing to the background colour in order to create the same
effect in my trailer. This was achieved by increasing the hue and saturation levels in
the RGB curves using Adobe Premier in order to create a realistic environment. The
shots below are examples of how similar lighting from the pursuit of happiness was
used in my trailer. This lighting was applied because it sets the scene for the
audience and also reflects the character’s state of disequilibrium through the dark
lighting. Furthermore filmdramas conventionally exhibit real life situations and real
life characters, therefore by applying this bleak lighting to my trailer it emphasised
this exhibition creating verisimilitude.
Shots from The pursuit of happiness
Shot from my Trailer
The story featured in the trailer also followed the conventional concepts of other film
dramas such as the film “Precious”. In both my trailer and "Precious" the story line
covered deals with social realism in which it portrays real life characters dealing with
real life issues. For example the film “Precious” deals with issues such as child abuse,
rape and poverty whereas my trailer deals with homelessness, neglect and death.
Furthermore both trailers reveal the protagonists development in their journey
throughout their situation. However the trailer challenges Todorov's structural
theory of films, for example the protagonist starts off in a state of
disequilibriumwhere he is homeless and is then disrupted by an event where he
meets the rich accountant. The story is further developed to the characters state of
equilibrium where he changes his life around and becomes successful.
The protagonist is also portrayed as a young teenage orphan who is homeless; this
breaks conventions as homeless characters in films are usually portrayed as being old
or middle aged. An example of this will be the film "The soloist" as indicated in the
Shot from The soloist
The trailer also sets out to challenge the conventions of teenage characters. For
example the protagonist is depicted as hard working and eager to be successful after
with his encounter with theaccountant. This contradicts the stereotypes of teenage
characters as they are ussually associated with antisocial behaviour, drugs, and as
violent in films. Therefore may not be shown in a good light where as the trailer
created seeks to portray teenagers in a good light.
Text was also another form and convention used in my trailer. The shot shown below
from the trailer "seven pounds" uses similar texts to the one I included in the
beginning half of my trailer. Both “Seven pounds” and my trailer begin with the
protagonist introducing his story to the audience and then is then broken by a fade
into the text provided. This establishes the main character to the audience and
suggests that the film is based around his life. Barthes suggests that using texts allow
the audience to encode information in different ways and also sets an enigma code
grabbing the attention of the audience and causing them to clarify the texts. An
enigma code has therefore been set in the opening texts as it encourages the
audience to question, "Why the protagonists has one chance only", as with the texts
provided in the seven pounds trailer.
Seven Pounds trailer
The media product created also developed the forms of conventions of real media
products through the editing used. For example editing skills were further developed
using Adobe Premier, which is a well, knownindustry-editing site. The edits included
in my trailer were transitions such as fade, dip to black and white as well as lighting
and text included as previously discussed.
Shot from Robin Hood
The shots above are taken from the film trailer“Robin Hood” along with a screen shot
of my trailer in which the same editing software was used to create this film. The
editing used in"Robin hood"included fade in transitions and fast paced shots which
were also depicted in my trailer. This was also used in other film dramas analysed
which influenced me when creating the introduction half of the trailer. For example
slow transitionswere used to symbolise the protagonists state of disequilibrium in
the first half of the trailer as opposed to the fast past transitions used in the final half
edited by my film partner.
The shots and camera movements used was another convention followed in which
influences weregained from the film "the pursuit of happyness". For example a pan
was used in the opening scene of my trailer similar to the one used at the start of
"the pursuit of happiness" trailer which was accompanied by the character narration.
This as a result set the scene by capturing the Mise en scene.
Pursuit of happiness
In addition to camera movements, close ups were used in the beginning of the trailer
to highlight the significance of the image held in the protagonists hand, which was
also a feature used in the "pursuit of happiness". The shot of the close up used in my
trailer is an image of the protagonist’s friend "Jim" who died. This is displayed when
the character references him in his narration to indicate to the audience who the
character "Jim"is. This is likewise with the example shot given from the pursuit of
happiness in which the close up of the wallet is displayed with reference to the
landlord asking for his money.
Pursuit of happiness trailer
The product also uses an over the shoulder shot similar to “The pursuit of
happiness”. However this convention was developed as the character is not featured
talking to another character as conventionally depicted with this shot. The character
is speaking directly to the audience; therefore the shot allows the audience to see
things from the characters point of view as if they are entering the journey with him.
Pursuit of happiness trailer
In conclusion the evaluation has highlighted the ways the media product has used,
developed and challenged forms and conventions of real media products. This was
achievable by comparing my product with other media products which allowed me
to identify particular features held by film dramas. Furthermore this has further
developed my media skills and built my confidence in media.