In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Jordan Reynolds Evaluation Question 1
IntroductionIntroductionThe most efficient way of answering thisquestion is to look at my final products, tocompare them to real products and discuss howit either challenges, develops or uses theconventions.
My PosterWhen creating my poster I knew I wantedsomething that represented my short film. Theposter needed to be well composed andtechnically crafted as I have decided to make itfrom a singular image rather than bringing overimages creating layer masks and blendingalthough I am capable of doing this it is not inmy visual interest.
Notes Vexatious PosterLooking at this image it is easy to see that this is agangster film because of the conventions derived from thegenre. Costume is black suits and trench coats associatedwith the gangster look. The character in the foreground isholding a gun again reinforcing this idea. The darkness ofthe poster is also a convention of this genre of posters.This piece was edited in Photoshop however it is asingular image so what skills have gone into this?A majority of the technical skills were executed during thetaking of this photo. The poster contains the two maincharacters the first is in focus in the foreground cleaning agun. The second is in the mid-ground not in focus, thechange in focus of the two is because of the use of ashallow depth of field. The image uses leading eye to leadthe viewer from the man in the foreground to the man inthe mid-ground, this has ben achieved through thecomposition and the use of lighting.
Notes Vexatious PosterFor the poster I wanted Notes who is in the mid-ground tobe mysterious and add make the viewer think who is that.This is created by the fact he is not in focus and theshadow that is formed by the lighting. I wanted to give it aclassic noir feel to it. The vignette makes the audienceseyes focus on the subject matter and blends the imagewith the typography and other texts that are commonconventions of most posters.The rest of the poster is constructed using typical codesthat make a poster, Title, Credit Block, Starring and TagLine. Overall I was very pleased with the outcome becauseit conveyed my visionary and also represented the shortfilm for what it is.
Notes Vexatious Poster ComparisonThis is a comparison between my poster and a couple I looked at during my research stages. As you can seethey are all different and in different ways my poster both conforms and challenges the conventions. Thepositioning of the texts is the first noticeable difference. Most gangster films are different from another andtheres only so much I can compare mine to real products however it fits in as its own individual posterdifferent to the rest yet familiar nevertheless.
Notes Vexatious ShortAll along this project I have always stated that the screenplay was themost important factor in the making of this short. When making ashort or any film, every single element that goes into making it isimportant to its success however if the screenplay/script is not good,proper audiences will not enjoy it. I am making this as a cult filmessentially my narrative structure doesn’t comply with a theoristsstructure. Notes is a post modern film. I wanted to break someboundaries and make this unpredictable. The main challenge was thedialogue. To myself it was very important that the characters wereconveyed in such a way it made the audience want to know moreabout them. Connecting with the audience was again another strongpoint of my film with a combination of violence suspense, humour andwitty conversation, I wanted them to be captivated and to think. Thescreenplay, casting, performance and style was the most importantpart of the short.
Notes Vexatious Short: How to ImproveMore time, the key factor is time. What made this project so hard wasbecause I was working on my own and securing location, props and the caston a day I could bring all of them together on was very difficult. I did a lot ofnetworking for this short. The first was location which was shot at an airfieldand a old WW2 RAF building I called the warehouse I would have to complywith the days that were available for shooting. The second was Props whichagain through my connections was allowed to use props for free, all verygenerous for letting me use them. The last is the cast, the only member of thecast from my 6 form was the hostage played by Tom Price the other two(STARRING ACTORS) lived far and have there own lifes to run. With all that inmind its about getting all of them together on one day which I managed fortwo days (delayed by two weeks because one of them couldn’t make it) whichI can not thank them enough because everyone is doing this for free. Its theretime they are giving to me which I am very thankful for. It’s the comingtogether of all parties on one day which is where the problem lies because inorder to improve the quality I would need more filming days. Setting thataside I want to look at areas of improvement in my film that are visual andaudio related.
Notes Vexatious Short: How to Improve• Camera Movement: I would of liked to have just neatened up a few scenes so it ran smoother. This would be achieved by looking at existing shots and just doing another take.• Audio: This was an nightmare for me because were at an airfield one of the days had planes flying in and out which didn’t help with the end quality. The second problem was an internal problem with the mic and the camera which couldn’t be helped however would have been much better without it.• Quality/Lighting: Inside the quality was effected because of light and gives a slight grain effect not as crisp as it should be. To avoid this again I would use lighting and also I have installed Magic Lanturn which offers setting to help eliminate this problem. I have also since shooting brought a better lens. Unfortunately quality also come from the technology as well.
Notes Vexatious Short: Looking at existing productsIn terms of costume it conforms with convention and other existing productsthat’s a given. Straight to the point, this short is most recognisably beeninspired by Quentin Tarantino. I want to pay homage to the genius that isTarantino. As a Director and Writer I admire him because his films areexecuted brilliantly, theres so much to go into but his style and his innovationin knowledge of past styles, bringing them together to create something newis something I have been inspired by. Quentin has created his own genre, hehas a very particular style that can be identified with his style. What I tookfrom his style and developed is how he writes. Conversation between twocharacters should create the illusion of realism, relate, interest and make theaudience think. I used a similar situation from his film Reservoir Dogs. My filmrevolves around a hostage situation, my main reasons for this is because frommy research into shots I found that they tend to be set at one main locationand defiantly the most successful ones did this and I felt the hostage scenariowas the best way in which to keep the characters there.
This scene from NotesVexatious, where Noteswalks around the hostagewas from my blockinghowever if you think whatscene this is similar to Iwould say from Star Wars ANew Hope (1977) whenHan Solo talks to Jabba .This was not antenatal butmerely a comparison ofwhen this has been used,when shooting it brought asmile to my face because itreminded me of thisparticular scene.
Costume had to be againconventional because itssuch an iconic part ofgangster films(Pulp Fiction1994). There tends to betwo main characters aswell. Master andapprentice is again a idea Ienjoy, the relationshipbetween two differentpeople going through thesame journey as oneanother, is alwaysfascinating to watch. (StarWars Phantom Menace1999)
Pistol Whippingsimilar to the filmGoodfellas (1990)very violent yet veryeffective scene.
NotesNotes character is very similar to what you may see in a Spaghetti Westerns. I love developinggreat characters. I believe that characters in gangster films should be cool (excuse my loosedescription) and what characters are cooler than Django (Django 1966) and Blondie (The Good,the Bad and the Ugly) Taking conventions from other genres and applying them into another isa good way of developing genre. I wanted Notes to be this character that had a presence abouthim, this element of mystery. Bringing qualities from characters from Spaghetti Westerns wasan obvious choice. Notice that Notes hand gun is a revolver which is iconic to the westerngenre, this is just a little detail I made sure was in my short.
The Third Man 1949Example of Film Noir The Third Man that is a 1949 mystery thrillerBritish classic. On the right is the character Harry Lime (OrsonWelles) This helps to reinforce this idea of character they all havesimilarities however bring something new to film
VincentI knew when creating and casting that Vincent had to have thiscertain look. Vincent is the rough experienced partner of Notes. Heis the rogue and the guy that gets it done. I found what I believe tobe the perfect actor that could portray this character properly.Stephen Howard plays Vincent, my reasons for selecting him washis acting abilities and this look. He is sort of the Big Chris ,VinnieJones character (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) Stephen hasnever really acted before which I took advantage of. I wanted hischaracter to be realistic and the way his lines where delivered hadto feel genuine avoiding any cheesiness or any indication that itsnot believable. Stephen can act and acts very well. He defiantlybrought the character of Vincent to life.
Post ModernismPostmodernist film attempts to subvert themainstream conventions of narrative structure,characterization and destroys (or, at least, toyswith) the audiences suspension of disbelief.Typically, such films also break down the culturaldivide between high and low art and oftenupend typical portrayals of gender, race, class,genre, and time with the goal of creatingsomething different from traditional narrativeexpression.
How does Notes Vexatious fit into Post Modernism?(Post Modernism challenges real media products which is why I feel it necessary totalk about it)Notes Vexatious fits into Post Modernism very subtlety. I havent pushed the boat outtotally because I needed the audience to have that sense of familiarity also torecognise the genre. Notes Vexatious fits into this post modernism, first because ofthe characters. English professional gangsters is not common in film, there are ahandful that dabble in it however that mobster gangster feel you have in films set inAmerica havent been properly transferred to an British setting. The next is thecharacter of Notes. I have always wanted to follow a young character in this darkworld. Taking the posh boy and putting him into a criminal situations was a cool ideawhich I havent seen successfully done before. I also wanted Notes to have thatspaghetti western protagonist feel to him, this sense of coolness and mystery whichcomes through in both the short and poster ( also notice Notes gun is a chamber handgun which is iconic of western and spaghetti western films) The narrative structurealso was to link with the title of Notes Vexatious focusing on the vexatious part. Iwanted to cause a annoyance in the short by slowly revealing information on thepurpose and also make the characters turn and do something unsuspected.I challenge real media products in terms of story and narrative to break out of themainstream and create something enjoyable and different with familiarity
ConclusionIn what ways does your media product use, develop or challengeforms and conventions of real media products?I feel like I have both challenged developed and kept conventions ofreal media products. Certain conventions are hard to stay away fromfirstly because conventions are there because they are relatable to thegenre. Crime Drama or Gangster/Mobster films are a well establishedgenre with both historical and fictional history. It has to berecognisable to the audience which is why costume is veryconventional and the situation in terms of a hostage scenario. Where Ihave developed is mainly with the screenplay and script. Dialoguebetween characters has developed from a Tarantino style of writing.Where I have challenged conventions is the characters and setting. Ifmy short was to be a feature film it would have been able to give memore time to explore, develop and push Notes Vexatious further. I feellike Notes has a good mix which is both recognisable and innovative