Evaluation A2 Media Studies Jordan Cruickshank & Fran Matthews
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? It is not just the same camera angles and editing style which we have taken from Shane Meadows film, both films are quite gang related. We both have 3 main characters within the film, and something goes wrong which could potentially get them in a lot of trouble. So in that sense we have quite a similar narrative, but I would say that “Where’s the money Ronnie?” is a bit more of a comedic version. We took quite a lot of ideas and conventions from the short film by Shane Meadows, Where the money Ronnie? We chose to make our film black and white like Meadows has done in his short film, it shows a different style of editing technique meanwhile being reflective upon the dark, urban storyline. Our film as well as Meadows film has an interview scene, he used a close up shot in this scene to convey this character being centre of attention and show off their emotions pretty well. We chose to shoot our interviewing scene in more of a medium shot so that the audience got a better idea of the environment which they are in because it might not be very obvious from the speech. Another idea which our film has in common with Shane Meadows’s short film is the titles at the end which round up the story and tell the audience what has come of the events which have occurred throughout the film. It is basically rounding up the story in a quick and easy way, but it still makes the audience wonder and feel for the characters who they have grown quite fond of throughout the film. I would say that our film make the audience identify with the characters a bit more than in Meadows film. We have our main character (Woody) describing his friends to the audience, this makes the audience get to know our characters and feel sorry for them when they find themselves in a spot of trouble.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? A common set out for numerous media products is Todorov’s Theory of Narratives. How it is applied to our film... SKArred I personally think that our short film fits quite well into Todorov’s theory of narratives without us meaning to do so, it is quite difficult for a short film to fit into the theory because it means that there isn’t a lot of time for each specific part of the theory therefore making everything quite crammed. In our film Todorov’s theory is applied well considering there isn’t a lot of time to fit everything in. The story begins with all the characters in a state of equilibrium, they’re walking home from the pub after having a couple of drinks so they are all in a relatively good mood. The second and third parts of Todorov’s theory all happen pretty quickly within the film. When the gun gets handed to them, that is when there is a disruption to the equilibrium and shortly after they realise that there has been a disruption to the equilibrium because they know of the repercussions which could occur from being found holding a gun. They try to repair the situation by running away, there is a return to the equilibrium once they have been put in prison because they are no longer running. The theory which is displayed by Todorov and can be applied to many films, it states that at the beginning of the film there is a sense of equilibrium meaning that basically everything is going fine. Then there is a disruption to that equilibrium, which is usually caused by an event. The third part of the theory is that the disruption has been recognised, and obviously the fourth part of the theory is that there is an attempt to repair the damage which has been caused by the disruption and finally a return to the sense of equilibrium or most frequently a entire new equilibrium.
How effective is the combination of your main product and your ancillary tasks? Generally I think that our main product has combined pretty well with our ancillary tasks, by actually using characters from the film rather than just using props like other film posters which we looked at. Just using props gives a strong sense of mystery within the poster, but by having the main characters on our film poster I think that they all make the film more appealing to the audience. The film poster was quite difficult to achieve, it took quite a lot of editing to get it to how we wanted it to look. We used ideas such as having out characters all stood against a wall in the same way in which the main cast of this is England do so, we took quite a lot of other conventions from other work of Shane meadows in the actual filming of our product. So by using him again I think it created quite a strong link between our main task and ancillary tasks because of basing our work on just one persons work who has a very particular style, therefore making sure our work carries the same trend the whole way through rather than having loads of different styles and threads being produced. We looked at a lot of film posters and advertising campaigns, this meant we came up with quite a solid idea of how we wanted our film poster, advertising campaign and magazine review to look. Seeing as we have quite an 1980’s trend running though our film we thought it was more than necessary to keep this theme well within our ancillary tasks. This trend is more dominant in our film poster and marketing campaign, our film review is quite a relatively standard looking review because we chose it to feature in Empire magazine therefore we had to keep it quite formal so that it was in keeping with the rest of the magazine. The magazine review doesn’t have the same quirkiness which we see in the film poster and marketing campaign, but by taking images from the film and using them in these other tasks I think it creates quite a strong link between our main product and our ancillary tasks. For our ancillary tasks, we took quite a lot of ideas from “This Is England” which is another film produced by Shane Meadows and from a Fred Perry campaign for our extension task.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? Generally we have found our audience feedback to be quite positive, in the end our short film turned out really well and we were very pleased with it. People who watched our film found it quite enjoyable , they liked the storyline and think that we had filmed it in quite an interesting way. Our audience also agreed that the use of voice over recordings worked well within our short film, this is because quite a lot of people relied on the camera picking up the voices of the characters therefore they were quite muffled of quiet where as ours was generally quite clear and easy to understand. We asked our audience if they thought out story was a bit far fetched, they agreed that the prison sentences which the lads received were quite unbelievable but the other comedic values which the film had meant that it worked well within the film. Even though the story line was slightly comedic it did keep the audience gripped, they found things moved quickly and made the audience want to keep watching rather than getting bored and losing focus. The only negative feedback which we really got was about a couple of our camera shots, for example our shot at the end of the short film in which the titles appear over of the murderers feet as he is walking away has a slight bit of movement meaning that the shot isn’t as steady as we would hope it to be. We were glad to receive quite positive audience feedback because we put a lot of work into this production, in order to improve our short film I would say we should use a tripod as much as we can in order to get steady shots of the characters. It would also have been better to of made sure that all of the separate interview shots were the same.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? We used quite a variety of media technologies throughout our coursework, we have tried to be experimental as much as we could but I generally prefer to do most of my coursework in a written format purely because I find that easier for myself. Therefore we made sure we included a lot of images within our work to break up the text, it is better for us to include images also because it is therefore showing what we are referring to within our writing. Seen as for a majority of our coursework we had used text to document what we were doing we decided that for our planning we would try and include quite a lot of pictures, this is because we got quite a lot of our ideas from other media texts therefore it was a better idea for us to show where our ideas from and how we developed them. By having most of our work written down we thought it would be better to put everything on a slideshow and publish it on a blog, this can show all of our work in one place and has taught us a new way in which we can present our work. Blogging is also a relatively new technology, meaning that our work can look more professional and available for people to see. During our evaluation stage we decided to do directors commentary , we did this by having another copy of our film but with all of the sound taken off it. We then recorded what we had to say about the film whilst it was playing, explaining why we did things in certain ways and how the shots are beneficial to the story and maybe highlight a couple of things which went wrong whilst we were filming. Hopefully this will gain us extra marks in the process because is it quite a different way of explaining all the elements within the short film we thought it might also be a good idea to do a small question and answer session with the film makers, where we could be asked what our favourite parts of the were and why etc. But sadly we ran out of time to fit this in, this was a shame because it could have been really effective but having a directors commentary is quite similar therefore it hasn’t made a great difference by having to miss it out. For our audience feedback we also took photographs, we got people to watch the film and write a good point then a bad point about our film. We then put all of the pieces of paper together and took a photograph of our results. Hopefully we have used a broad range of media technologies within our coursework, like I mentioned before it was quite difficult for us to adjust to this because we are both quite used to just writing everything down rather than having to portray out information in plenty of new and quirky ways. So overall I think we have adjusted well and have learnt quite a few new ways to use other media technologies in the process.