Conventions of media. In producing my media A2 product I tried to use and develop ideas from conventions of real media products which I could carry across into my work. One convention of other real media products which I focused on and did a lot of research into was genre specific elements of docu- dramas. By gaining a good idea of lighting, movements, sound etc.. Used in docu drama films I managed to apply them to my own short film. I watched a short film called inside which was based on the same idea I had for my film and I tried to develop the ideas of the lighting I got from the film as it was effective for the audience and it really helped with the representation of the narrative but I tried to apply it to my own film and as I had turned my film black and white the constant flickering of the lights was not as effective and therefore I had to reshoot the scenes with just natural lighting. Another factor I considered in my own film was the mise en scene in this I considered the location, set, costumes and the continuity. I wanted the set and costumes to be as real as possible making the film more relatable to the audience and more believable. I used a white warehouse for the set of the asylum as it was similar to the first set on the film Inside and I noticed that the character was wearing a plain white gown and gave my character a simple white dress to wear, by using this costume I thought it would also help with the representation of the character and possibly the location as both a plain white rooms and simple white gowns could be a connotative meaning of an asylum. In doing 13 short film analysis I found that the silent films were the most effective and made the message and theme they tried to portray stronger than dialogued films. This is the reason for choosing to do a film with no dialogue as I think the audiences concentration would focus on what the character was saying rather than their actions and costumes etc... First sequence of inside, white gown, white room.
... It wasn't just looking at real conventions of media to help with my final product it also helped me develop my ancillary tasks , both the film poster and magazine review. After analysing a variety of different film posters and magazine reviews I gained a good understanding of what makes them both effective for example the colours used, positioning, images and backgrounds etc... And using this information I created a film poster using colours which represented the narrative of the film, so I used black, white and grey. The main image I used was taken from a still of the actual clips I had shot and this one is of the main character in the city at a stand still watching everyone and everything pass her by. The Title will be in big bold but simple writing and this is to emphasise “ White Walls” this too will also help the audience with the narrative and storyline .
Main product and ancillary task. I think that the combination between my main product and ancillary tasks work well together and are effective as I did a lot of research into the products and found what was effective and how the two have to fit and work together. The purpose of a film poster is to attract a certain audience and give them an insight in to the film advertised, so baring this in mind I decided to take a still shot from the main product and use it as the main image for the film poster, I think this is effective as this has allowed the audience to make an assumption of what the film is about and by the clear and simple image used it is easy for the audience to understand the representation and narrative of the film. The magazine review gives a quick summary of the short film with images to back it up and make the page spread more interesting to look at. As I didn't want the magazine to look boring and uninteresting to read I had to slightly alter the colour scheme which is seen mostly throughout the film and the poster and add a colour. I think the magazine hasn't got too much writing but has just enough for the audience to read and understand a bit about the film. The combination of the 3 products are effective as they all clearly represent the same film and the ancillary tasks help the audience to gain an insight to the film and fulfil their purpose.
Media technologies. Creating this media project would not have been possible without the use of media technologies. I used media technologies in every part of this A2 media coursework in researching, planning, evaluating, filming, editing etc... In doing the research into short films, posters and magazine reviews the internet was prime source of information. I used websites such as IMBD to get images of the film posters which I then analysed using Microsoft PowerPoint, I used YouTube to watch a variety of short films and get screen shots again to analyse and then in researching magazine reviews I bought the film review magazine “Empire” and scanned the reviews in to analyse and evaluate. In planning for this coursework again I used the internet and a range of different web- sites as my main source of information. To find my target audience I used a website called “Findyourtribe.com” by answering a series of questions as if you were your audience the website concluded a tribe that best suited a target audience for you and your product and from there you looked at conventions of media that appealed to the concluded audience and apply them to your final product. For legal issues I had to write an email to the producer of the song I wanted to use in my short film which was “mad world” by Gary Jules and to do this I had to use email as a way of contacting them. The production of filming and editing is where I used the majority of major media technologies, e.g. Camcorder, adobe premiere, adobe encoder etc... I chose to use a hand held camera as if found this one easier to use than the slightly bigger ones and considering one of my locations was London City I decided against taking it as I thought a smaller one would be more subtle and not distract the public around therefore getting more natural clips.
... With this camera I used a tripod in order for my shots to be still and consistent, I found difficulties in doing this in such a busy place in the city as a lot of people were constantly walking through the shots or standing directly in front of the camera, so in the end I decided to place the camera on walls to still get that still shot but where it wouldn't be constantly walked into and out of, the result of this is that not all the shots are a still as I would of liked them to be. Editing is where I found the media technologies most challenging. I used a piece of software called “ Adobe premiere CS4” which I had not previously used as in my last product for A1 my group used “Windows Movie Maker” This was a more complex way of editing my film but hopefully with better results for my end film. In my first few lessons I experimented with the software and gained the basic skills of how to use it in order for me to complete my final product and to the way I want it to look e.g. Black and white clips, Speed and duration of clip increased. On a few occasions I had to search on the internet and on YouTube how to use and construct the editing programme but in having to do this I am now confident in how to use the programme in basic terms. With the soundtrack I was using I had to use my laptop at home to copy all the files off a CD and onto the music software ITUNES in order for me to then download it on a USB to then insert the song on the computer used at college. One thing that I really struggled with was rendering/converting the film so that I could now burn it onto a DVD or USB, the computer I had been working on didn't seem to be able to covert the whole film only either the first or last two seconds, and it took a lot of patience in completing this. I used some media technologies without even realising for example mobile phones to keep in contact with my group and actors in order to pass on information etc... Blogger.com/Slideshare.net to upload all my work I had done for A2 media. Emails to send work back and forth to college, home, group and the teacher.
Audience feedback. Audience feedback is vital in learning whether your product was successful in its purpose and if your research and planning had been correct and thorough enough in making your e.g. Film effective to the audience and if they understood the narrative, themes and messages. When is showed a group of individuals my film ranging from the ages of 15-45. Their first instinct to what the film about was generally correct, they said with the combination of the music and the first few scenes gave them a good idea and perspective as to where the character was and what issues she suffered from. Something I learned from my audience feed back was to really think about the positioning of the clips in accordance to the timeline and the order they run in as some of my audience didn’t understand why one minute the character was locked in the white room and the next she’s in the city until the very end where they see the character writing “ Time stands still” down, which is when they then understood it was for the contrast of the two locations. I also learnt that silent film can be harder to understand than films with dialogue for example choosing music to accompany the silent film is vital in order to portray the correct narrative, characterization, location etc... The feedback I got was that the soundtrack “Mad World” by Gary Jules fit very well with the story I was trying to tell and narrated it for me. Target audience is something that I should of considered to a higher level as when I showed 3x 15 year olds it took them longer to grasp the concept of the film than the adults and I'm not sure whether it was the content of the film or the messages, but I think that if I could do it again I would definitely look more into depth about target audiences and maybe have done more primary research to be sure that I have chosen a suitable target audience to aim my products at.
... Here are some post-it notes of the opinions and feedback from the audience I showed my finalized short film to. SCANIN.
Conclusion . In conclusion I think that overall I am satisfied with my coursework, especially the end result of my final product which was my short film. From the audience feedback I feel I have managed to produce a film which has been successful in portraying the correct narrative and messages to the audience. Learning from this if I had to do this coursework over again I would improve on my time management, so I would strictly follow a timeline which assigned all the pieces of work I had to complete in order for me to complete the deadlines set without rushing to finish my work. Looking back I feel that I have definitively improved my skills and understanding of media products from my A1 coursework as this year I used a more complex editing programme which I now know how to construct, I used a much wider range of experimentation with angles and movements of the camera in order for the audience to get a better understanding of the characterization etc... Instead of printing out and producing all my work on word documents I created slides for all my work and presented it in a much more displayable way and then uploaded it all to a blog. So all in all I feel that my coursework and final product are effective and are successful in their aims.