Media questions 1 7 jessica spiteriDocument Transcript
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products?
The thriller genre is a very split up genre which can be merged together to create
different interpretations of the thriller genre. The thriller genre is made up of a lot of
components that put it altogether, although when looking a thriller films they do share
codes and conventions such as lighting is dark, locations are usually very similar and
repetitive and also the setting is very restricted so the characters will feel intimidates,
victimised and there is no way out which is very often of how thrillers tend to end.
Thrillers provide the narrative of the unknown, yet an adventure is taking place
despite the audience are unable to see through the complex narrative due to false clues
which make us think something else they are misleading the audience. The characters
within the genre show strong emotion such as anxiety, revenge or sadness which
come across through actions, sound, setting, events that take place. More over as
Propp’s theory of characters each film has the common characters that the audience
would expect such as the antagonist, protagonist, the victim and the false hero.
The preliminary task we produced is called ‘Torment’ it is a psychological thriller.
Torment challenges usual forms and conventions of thriller films as we challenge
stereotypes for example our main character a woman at the end shoots the man
whereas stereotypically the male would usually be more powerful and kill the woman.
Torment is set in the 1920’s era and so the ways in which it follows forms and
conventions is we used suspense to build tension. We used circular panoramic shots
which creates a sense of mystery since the camera angles we used build tension as the
music builds the sinister atmosphere.
We developed the female character from her being troubled on the phone the damsel
in distress; the audience is left wondering what’s that about, and that’s typical of
thriller films where the characters is at a lost. So as the female goes out in a rush, we
see her entering a spiral staircase the audience is unaware of the exact location and at
the end the audience can see who the more dominant character is as the female
character pulls out a gun and all we hear is a gun shot. This shows how we surprise
the audiene by challenging stereotypes. From watching, one would think that the man
(Patriarchy) would threaten the woman (damsel in distress.)
With the main task “Rumour”, we decided to change the style but adopt the
conventions of thriller in a different way in order to challenge our skills.
‘Rumour is an action thriller, the two main characters experience and uneasy
experience in the woodlands this ends in conflict and being killed. It incorporates
elements of action and mystery as the characters are being killed by an unknown
creature. Due to characters being hurt by something unknown it creates and emphasis
upon mystery and uncertainty of the setting. There is a suspense element in the
opening sequence produced by the second character is scared and vulnerable at this
point as her friend has been killed, there is then a sudden blackout as they backs up to
the bushes. The use of the black out when editing creates tension because it implies
something bad is now going to happen.
In order to create individuality and variety to our production we aimed to focus on
challenging several of the codes and conventions of the action thriller genre. Alfred
Hitchcock used to create suspense through the lack of speech. We enhanced this in
our production, there wasn’t much dialogue and at the point once a character was
killed off the other only breathed heavy creating suspense and tension.
The ideas for the opening sequence of ‘Rumour’ were highly influenced by Blair
Witch Project. The film explores the idea of supernatural power or an unknown
creature living in the woodlands. We showed slight resemblance in our main
production to show research and planning.
Our case study was Blair witch project which is a free style filming with very simple
locations. It was a low budget film which made a huge success due to the unique style
of filming which involved tracking and dollying. Our inspirations come from that film
and we also decided to choose the woodlands for the main task setting of our opening
sequence. We wanted to follow the conventions of thriller films where extraordinary
thing happening in an ordinary place. The woods create an eerie atmosphere that
already creates a sense of discomfort for the audience. We were very selective in the
use of our camera shots since from the preliminary exercise we learnt how camera
angle create meaning. Use a variety of shot, also allow the viewers to get a better
understanding of the plot or characters. Besides the audience would be involved.
By following the 180 degree rule, the audience was able to follow the action whilst
making them familiar with the setting and context. On shot that we found effective
was the use of low angle shot which gave importance to the surrounding. The variety
of shots and the high angle made the characters vulnerable to the empowering setting.
We tried to conform the conventions as much as possible such as we added a
mysterious character to confirm it was of the thriller genre as in many of this
particular genre there is a mysterious unknown character that we the audience want to
find out about. Another way he withheld thriller conventions is, by The atmosphere
and setting we created, we set it in a woodlands this is a popular setting for the thriller
genre, however we created a weary, uncertain atmosphere creating tension and
By studying the different films it contributed to part of the
planning and development. By watching the films it helped
us to gain an understanding of how the thriller genre worked
meaning learning all the codes and convention and being
able to identify the similarities and differences of the film,
this then helped us to come up with ideas which showed
challenged them to
We had the same
idea of being
similar to the Blair
witch Project, although we showed a distinction by doing it in a different way to show
Our Image Image from Blair Witch
Our Image Image from Blair Witch
Shows similarity between the two videos, both showing the woodland setting and the
character looking innocent within the location.
2) How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Torment would attract the old generation of the audience due to it being set in the
1920s era. By being in 1920 vintage Torment gives off a sense of class. The location
lives up to the 1920 set as the setting consists of old furniture, clothing and props.
Hence creating realism making the plot more authentic.
To be exact Rumour would apply more to the middle class people, and to the younger
generation of people who prefer to watch action thriller films. We represent social
groups by using young actors in the production but also the language is very simple
English so anyone can understand it. We don’t have any explicit language so we aren't
excluding the younger aged audience however as stated before scenes may be too
distressing for some. Rumour is the total opposite of Torment as in Torment we cater
to the older generation of audience, and due to it being a psychological thriller the
storyline plays on the mind and so is suitable for any age however I believe it
specifically caters to older generation as it is set in the 1920s era, and so maybe the
older audience could relate to it more and get more of a experience out of it.
For our opening sequence of ‘Rumour’ we decided to use young actors of the age 17,
due to our target audience being for the 16-24. By the use of young actors the
audience can relate more and understand their actions better, and so therefore able to
relate to our protagonists. By representing the young part of society we had to make
sure we represented them correctly by their actions, language, costume and narrative.
By the costume we chose to use which was casual wear this was similar to Blair witch
Project which also represented young actors. We lived up to expectations of the
thriller genre audience as in many thriller films the victim is a female who comes
across innocent and vulnerable, relating to this ‘Rumour’ is based on two female
characters. The stereotypical female in the thriller genre would be a blonde ditsy
female who has no idea what is going on. Despite the fact the audience knows
something bad is going to happen as a lot of problems occur in the thriller genre, we
didn’t give the audience much information of who was going to get hurt as there was
2 main characters it made the audience question which one was the victim? Or where
they both? These are false paths which the thriller genre is made up of. By both
characters being young (17) this implied to the audience that older female teenagers
are vulnerable and are not able to stick up for them selves as much, this representation
could be negative in a way as not all teenagers are like this however it can also be
seen as positive as the audience are use to seeing thriller films where all victims are
young females and so are ok with this representation in ‘Rumour.’
Our use of representation of social groups is some what similar to the representation
in Blair witch project, as the main characters are female, costume is similar although
our opening sequence has limited dialogue as the use of silence is key to build up
tension and suspense giving the audience no information to what is exactly going to
happen. And so we are able to say we followed common ideologies of the victims in
the thriller genre.
Our actors are seen as middle class people who are not over privileged in anyway you
get an idea of this by their costume which were very common clothes, although this
was only the opening sequence we were not able to make the film a full circle,
althought thinking about this it might be harder as in our opening sequence the to
characters die, and so if we were to carry it on you may see their family which would
get the point that they are only middle classed people, just ordinary people. So as a
result our media product does represent the majority of the audience who are
watching the film, which are a bigger spread of the audience and so are catering to a
Our opening sequence is not very confusing as the narrative isn’t to complex although
by the editing which consists of flashes, blackouts and merging shots together the
audience may not get everything that is going on as its quit fast near the end.
Although we have used just one location, the soundtrack is very symbolic, dialogue is
limited and simple language is used, therefore the mainstream of the audience would
be able to relate and understand our production.
The narrative of our main task was they were planning a trick to play onto people
however this backfired and it ended up happening to them. This represents teenagers
of wanting to make fun of people, looking more on the funny side of life however
they end up being represented as not being serious and therefore getting hurt. In the
media teenagers are represented as carless and not very serious, and we followed this
in our production, this enables us to relate to these teenagers and the majority of
audience who believe this representation also.
The soundtrack I decided to use for ‘Rumour’ was not copyrighted and we had to
make sure of it, the particular soundtrack consist of weary music which then had
screams and crying this related to our production as something bad happened in the
ending which would cause screams and crying creating a sense of realism. We used a
combination of diegetic and non diegetic sounds as they work together well, showing
that we researched into music to use and we recorded our own sounds. This built up
tension as the audience would be wondering where are the entire screams coming
from which leave the audience wanting to know.
3) What kind of media institution might distribute you media product and why?
The Blair witch project is distributed by Artisan Entertainment, they distributed other
films such as dirty dancing, House of the dead and Pi. This distributors produce films
of a variety of audiences they don’t stick to on type of audience. For the Particular
case study of the Blair Witch Project had a budget of 20,000 this is quite low
considering being of the thriller genre as they are usually quite eccentric with the
setting, costumes and everything that makes up the mis en scene. Although with the
narrative of the Blair witch project was wanting to be very home made, this budget
allows them to limit themselves. They ha the age certificate of a 15, they had this
restriction as it contained some strong language, violence and horror. Therefore I
believe Rumour would have the age certificate of a 15 also.
Another institute that might distribute ‘Rumour’ could be ‘20th century Fox’, they
have distributed films such as ice age, Alvin and the chipmunks and planet of the
apes. Although the majority of these films would be audience to children. I believe
they could stretch to distributed our media product, because as they have distributed
planet of the apes although this is of a different genre this s for a different audience,
and so with ‘Rumour’ they could widen their audience by distributing another genre
and therefore making a bigger profit, by stretching their audience, of which would be
young adults, such as teenagers from the age certificate of 15.
Rumour is an action thriller production and so incorporates elements from action and
thriller sub genres. I researched into who would distribute this particular genre films. I
found out that Blair witch products was distributed by Artisan entertainment, this
distribution company was successful in earning a reasonable profit although this
particular film wasn’t automatically a success with the audience. Artisan Entertain
would distribute the film into the home industry so into the DVD market. Another
institution that could distribute Rumour is Hammer films as they produce low budget
films which I feel ‘Rumour’ would be as the set isn’t to complex, further more they
make use of quality British actors which our production includes, British actors. More
over they distribute world wide and have considerable financial success which is a
positive, because they would partner up with the United States studios linking with
other institutions such as Warner Bros. By this information I get the idea that these
institutions have the right ideas and get across to the audience and consumers well
with a enthusiastic eye by them investing in our production it could be a successful
distribution. By Hammer Films merging with Warner Bros it shows they have clear
connections and interaction therefore achieving the maximum distribution possible
which I feel is extremely beneficial to ‘Rumour’, again making me feel that this
company could be positive towards our production and do it justice.
4) Who would be the audience for you media product?
The audience for my preliminary would be an older group of people, specifically
between the ages of 25+ approximately due to it being representing a vintage 1920 era
; a very classic style has been adopted. In contrast the audience most attracted to the
main task ‘Rumour’ would be teenagers and young adults around the age of 16-25,
due to the conventions of thriller genre such a blood and quite disturbing scenes. The
ways, in which Torment would apply to this particular audience as it shows
similarities to the film God father, I created the misenscene by clothing and furniture
to add sense of realism to 1920 era and so our audience will be able to relate to it to
the fullest. In contrast the way in which Rumour will have to audience of 16-25 is that
it shows likeness to our case study of The Blair Witch Project, and according to
research this is their target audience and so with all the shots we used and the plot of
the storyline this would have to be our target audience.
The age we decided was 16-25, because our film is rather serious as there are scenes
of violence and blood. Anyone who is a fan of the thriller genre could relate to
‘Rumour’ as it does show the conventions of the thriller genre and therefore could
show some relevance and relation to them. Younger children would not enjoy this
film due to gore and blood, which could be off putting for younger children, and in
that case we could there imply that the older generation of people may not enjoy this
opening sequence either.
There is no particular gender that we would target, as it isn’t gender based we feel that
both sexes could watch this and enjoy it as it isn’t extremely scary it is an action
thriller showing evidence of codes and conventions. However it could scare people
some people for example people of the faint hearted. The nationality for our film isn’t
any in particular although I believe the British audience would relate to this more, as
it was produced by the British however other countries could be targeted as it could
be distributed in other countries if successful.
The more we researched into the thriller genre industry we found out we were correct
in appealing our film towards the audience of 16-25, in particular ‘Rumour’ would
appeal more to the female audience due to emotions coming across to the audience I
feel that women are more into emotional thriller rather than violence within thriller.
Although our production opening sequence ends in violence you don’t see it happen
whereas the male audience would be more into seeing this violence take place, but
some males might take an interest into ‘Rumour’ I feel it is more for the women.
More over as the protagonist is female, the female audience could relate to this
production more through emoting and understanding the narrative.
5) How did you attract/address your audience?
Torment attracted our audience targeted by the wide range of shots we used we tried
to use a variety of shots, making them as interesting as possible. Such as in the
preliminary task we done a panoramic shot this was an appealing shot and gains
attention. The audience we were aiming for was male and females who like action
thrillers, with slightly gory storylines. Although we did stick to conventions that the
audience would be expecting in some way or another as they may be interested in
particular shots or scenes. Such as Levi-Strauss’ theory of binary opposites, including
good vs. evil, hero vs. villain (or in our case victim vs. murderer our unknown person)
this is a usual convention in the thriller genre, although to draw the audience in
further, we wanted to use interesting and different shots such as a really high angle
from the bushes this was filmed very effectively.
With ‘Rumour’ the way in which we addressed the audience is by the way in which
we edited. When editing the opening sequence I used techniques which we common
to the thriller genre such as fade outs, and dip to blacks to show that ‘Rumour’ was
part of the thriller genre and did follow the code and conventions of the genre.
Furthermore I added more unusual effects such as roughening the edges of the film so
it look even more homemade, which showed similarity to the Blair Witch Project.
Although I did show some uniqueness and originality as with the most dramatic scene
I used a visual effect called ghosting. They made the action layer on top of each other
creating an interesting unusual scene. By the way in which this could attract more of
an audience if I didn’t of edited it in any particular way.
Death was a theme in our main task, the build up to the death of the two young female
characters, caused suspense and tension towards the audience as they would be
thinking what’s going to happen? How did that happen? Who did that? What exactly
done that? By all these ideas popping up it creates a flow of excitement and interests
making the audience want to keep watching. This engages the viewers making them
want more, as this is an opening sequence the theme of death is pretty much a
common theme that is shown in the thriller genre I feel that we were successful when
watching it back as it did show originality yet did stick to the thriller genre, by mixing
both of these thing together they would attract a wider audience.
Rumour is a thriller genre and so the audience would expect some action within the
production, they would want to gain a visual image of what’s going to happen. The
protagonists are just simple girls; on the other hand the antagonist is a mysterious
character the audience get no lead on to who it is. They are given no clue; the
mysterious character has a strong power and these results into pulling the girls into the
bushes and killing them. The audience don’t see this character at all through the
opening sequence; this leaves the audience wondering who they are.
The way we wanted to address the audience is with a threatening and disturbing tone
the way in which we done this is by including sounds of crying and screams this
would make the audience feel intimidated and endangered. As we used a soundtrack
on top of the diegetic sound it added more creativity which could draw the audience
in further as the music is weary and more interesting than if there was no sound.
Although the music is drowned out in parts of the opening sequence as it up holds
tension as this is the climax of the sequence building up tension and fear towards the
Our main task is an opening sequence compacted with a variety of camera angles,
been edited to a fast pace and roughly that are deliberately done to attract the
audience. We included 18 degree rule, panning, and high angles to establish the
location of which the audience are being placed in. it allows the audience to gain an
understanding of the area and come up with ideas of what’s going to happen, thinking
ahead. We broke up the different shots so that there would be a shot of the area then
of the character then the area again, this broke up the shot and showed the audience it
in a much more interesting way, that these two shots are happening along side each
other. This addresses the audience by pulling them in through engagement, as they are
interesting in what’s happening next keeping them wanting more due to excitement
and keeping them on the edge of their seat.
6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this
Overall I have learnt quite a lot, and have developed my ict skills in general on both
the laptop and Mac software. I have also improved my production skills in filming
getting steadier with the camera and becoming more confident to experiment and film
appropriate shots. For editing we used the program Adobe premier. This software was
totally new to me and so had to learn how to do everything from scratch. At first I
found this practically hard although I soon got the hang of it when editing the
preliminary and mains task. When editing the preliminary this was where I
experimented the most trying out different techniques and effects, and s when I
moved onto editing the main task I was more aware of which transition and effect
would fit each shot and so knew where to find them.
When editing the main task I found the effect called ghosting I thought this particular
effect was great and very interesting, as it allowed the shot to echo the movement,
which in fact layers two of the shots over each other. By using this effected it added a
more dramatic effect to the shot.
When using the filming equipment such as the camera, tripod and microphone. When
looking back at the preliminary task you can see how some scenes could have been
filmed better although moving into the main task, the filming did improve as the it
took much practice and slight technique to keep a steady camera. I had practice with
camera movements, with taking different angles and when zooming in and out you
had to keep steady pace otherwise it would become out focused.
When producing our productions it involved us using different technical appliances
that we had to learn to use and at a good standard. We had to learn to use Adobe
Premier, video cameras and all the attachments that went with it. It did take some time
to gain a good understanding of how to use them however before we even touched our
preliminary and main productions we took trips to the CLC centre where we were
aided with professional help, in a day we learnt how to work the video camera, adobe
premier and how to put all our ideas into footage. One exercise we don’t first was we
were given pre recorded footage of making a cup of tea, there was a variety of shots
we could choose from and we had to choose which shots we wanted to make up the
process of making tea, we then put it altogether individually experimenting and this
helped us learn where everything was on Adobe premier and it showed us exactly
what you could do. We done exercises that helped us to improve our level of filming
as we recorded a short clip of our choice although we only has 30 minutes to film and
get every shot we needed. After the 30 minutes we uploaded the footage onto Adobe
premier and firstly cut all the shots which were useful and then finally put them
altogether, experimenting as we went along with transitions, effects and a soundtrack.
We were taught a number of tools that we could use, shown what all the transition and
effects do and how they could be usueful to use when editing our actual productions.
When it come to filming our actual productions despite having much practice I found
it hard as we were given the camera over weekend of which we had to film
everything. This meant to had to make sure we had all the timing right but also we
filmed everything the way we wanted it to be as after the weekend we had no more
time to film extra bits. Therefore when recording we took a variety of angles for each
shot as when editing we may feel that one shot flows better, or one is better quality.
7) Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in
the progression from it to the full product?
When looking back at the preliminary task, I have learnt and improved my technology
skills enabling me to improve the footage we filmed for the main task.
When looking back at the preliminary although we did prepare for the production I
feel that it is evident that we didn’t do enough, meaning that our fluency with the
technology we used wasn’t greatly shown to our best ability. By how our preliminary
task turnt out I feel that when it come to the main task, it was evident that we were
more confident with the camera and our planning was more shown by the end
product. Another thing that I learnt more about was premier pro, during the
preliminary task editing I was experimenting with what everything was and how it
changed our footage, and was harder to use but when going onto editing the main task
I found it easier to edit as I knew what I wanted, was more familiar and confident with
the software and was able to edit at a better level than in my preliminary task. The
preliminary task taught me to watch what is seen on camera by going over everything
in detail so we knew what we did and didn’t want in the shot to make sure the mis en
scene is the way we want it.
The production of the preliminary task did help us prepare for the production of the
actual main task, as it was like a practice run of how it was going to be, this
automatically taught us the things we needed to improve so that we could enable the
main task was going to be much better and an improvement. During the main task we
made sure we went though everything that the actors needed to know to make sure the
acting would come across the best it could be by gaining background knowledge. And
as we have done this al before we knew what we had to make sure we got right in the
main task for example our 180 degree rule as in the preliminary task it wasn’t shown
very good and in the main task we proved that we could do it as we gained knowledge
and practice using the camera. Another problem we was made aware of was to not
rush through scenes as to get them done and so we can do what we want to do, as by
rushing in the prelim task it was clear that we never got all the shots we wanted to as
many scenes we shot could be improved in one way or another. Whereas in the main
task I believe we never rushed and took our time when recording as so to get every
shot we wanted to and we were reassured that the shot was necessary and useful to us.
Something useful we done with the main task is we took extra footage, from different
angles to vary the options we had when editing. As when editing some shots I
believed didn’t go together and so took another shot which suited it better by taking
the extra shots.
There is a clear distinction from ‘Torment’ to ‘Rumour’ as I believe the use of
planning we did was much more and developed. The mis en scene was more clearly
though in Rumour as we were aware that in Torment some of the mis en scene was
not correct due to people were in the way or the shot was not filmed to the best of our
ability, where as in Rumour we had more variety of shots, which were filmed to a
high standard and considering the mis en scene was clear as we checked thoroughly
before we filmed to check that when recording nothing possibly could go wrong and
so when editing we had a maximum amount of shots we could lay about with to make
sure the main production was success.
When using the equipment the second time I feel that we had more of an
understanding and were defiantly more confident when using it, this helped us to get
better shots, but I also feel we were more experimental and more conscious of what
our target audience would want and so were more creative with the camera angles,
creating a better opening sequence the second time round.
As I worked with the same partner on the main task as the preliminary task I think our
connection grew as we understood what we both wanted and worked together well to
make a successful thriller. The more we worked together our ideas merged together
better and once we decided on a narrative we were able to plan more and research into
what the audience would want, and try to challenge what the would expect through
the codes and conventions of the thriller genre.