Joseph Beard - The Runaway - Evaluation


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Evaluation of my Media Coursework opening sequence of our film, The Runaway, created by me, Alex Holden and Charlotte Gerrard.

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Joseph Beard - The Runaway - Evaluation

  1. 1. The Runaway - Evaluation Introduction… Our opening sequence created for AS Media Studies coursework is the opening to a film named ‘The Runaway’. I created the video in a group with Alex Holden and Charlotte Gerrard, which we contributed to equally in different ways. For example, I helped out with the storyboard and a some filming and editing, but it was also one of mine and Alex’s main jobs to create a soundtrack to it, which we wrote and recorded ourselves. … By Joseph Beard
  2. 2. In what ways does your product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>The genre of our sequence is Horror/Teen Drama/Thriller hybrid. This also widens the audience as it has all of the aspects of three genres, which can match to three audience’s tastes. </li></ul><ul><li>The conventions we used were important. The use of a location such as the woods is typical of a horror/thriller as it is isolated and shows the audience that something bad will happen here. The mise en scene was especially important as it helped to emphasize the plot and situation, such as scruffy clothes and the location being a woodland area. From this, it is obvious who the protagonist is. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical conventions of Horror: Young attractive female victim, isolated landscapes (woodlands), typical ideologies (fear of death), villain who is trying to cause harm to the protagonist etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Thriller - Lots of enigmas are set up for the audience, which is typical of the Thriller genre. Music and cinematography are typical of the genre also, with use of stalker shots and high angled shots, which are then accompanied by a slow paced leading to fast paced instrumental song. </li></ul><ul><li>Teen Drama – Teen issues such as family issues, social problems, drugs etc. In our film, the issue is family issues. </li></ul><ul><li>These conventions were important for our film as it made our film more unique than the typical horror or thriller film as it combines with drama. </li></ul>Setting typical of horror/thriller genre… Although the movie Eden Lake doesn’t have similarities in the plot, the locations are very similar as it is the typical horror setting, being in the woodlands.
  3. 3. How does your media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>Our product focuses on a social group of young people and problems that some may go through with abuse from parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Costume played a big part as it helped to show the character’s appearance to be untidy. This was done by the use of casual untidy clothing such as a hooded top, jeans and a rucksack. </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance was important in many ways as, just like with costume, it was important to make the protagonist look untidy. This was done by the use of dirty clothing that was the costume. However, the appearance of the protagonist and the villain, who is shown in flashbacks and the last two clips of the opening sequence, is casual in order to show that the same thing happens to many people in the country. This also fits in with the stereotype of teenagers as being scruffy. </li></ul><ul><li>The narrative’s use of flashbacks was effective because it showed the audience the story in detail, which creates enigmas and makes the audience want answers to their questions. </li></ul><ul><li>The setting being the woods and the girl’s home shows is important to show as being like an average location in order to show that places that may perhaps seem safe, may in fact not be. </li></ul><ul><li>Lighting, media language and sound also played a big part to our product as they gave the film an effect of fear, with the music building up with the low key lighting. </li></ul>Costumes and appearance are shown in this clip by use of clothing. Flashbacks in grayscale to show the situation as being unpleasant and as being a memory. Thos makes the clip clear to being a flashback.
  4. 4. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? <ul><li>In order to make our product realistic, we chose to use the British production company, DNA Films . We chose this because it has produced films such as 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later . </li></ul><ul><li>The reason for us choosing to use this production company for our film was because the audience that DNA Films has attracted is a similar audience that our film is aimed at as a target audience. </li></ul><ul><li>The institution may consider our product as it would match many of their genres that they work with, such as drama, thriller and horror. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>Our target audience for our media product is teenagers of ages 15 - 18 of any ethnicity and gender as it is about people of this age in any background suffering from abuse. </li></ul><ul><li>This was a good audience to target because people of this age are the most likely to visit the cinema, as well as the main audience for horror films are people of this age. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, a secondary target audience for our product is teenagers of around the age of 15 who may relate to the type of film in some way. </li></ul><ul><li>Our product got a good reaction from our target audience. When we showed it to a class of 16 – 18 year olds, it got a great response from the majority of the group, showing that it was a success amongst the audience who it was expected for. </li></ul>The protagonist of our film is of the age of the target audience, which is typical of this genre. This is because in Horror/Thriller films, the main character/protagonist is usually around the age of the audience in order to let the audience feel more in common with the story, letting them relate to the characters.
  6. 6. How did you attract / address your audience? <ul><li>In order to attract our audience, in the opening sequence, we set up a disruptions to the equilibrium straight away in order to set up enigmas for the viewers. This was important in order to make the audience feel excited and wanting to know the story. This was done by showing the protagonist running away from her memories of her family, until she ends up running back into her problems, being her father at the end of the opening. </li></ul><ul><li>The sequence doesn’t run in chronological order as flashbacks are used throughout in order to show what it is that the protagonist fears. </li></ul><ul><li>Tension and suspense is built up by the use of music. This is done through the gradual build up from quiet and slow paced to fast paced and up-beat, this way it reflects on the fact that the situation is getting worse, which makes the audience fear for the protagonist. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideologies are set up throughout, one being that running from your problems will not solve them. These is done in order to create meaning within the film, and to tell the audience that problems can’t be solved by trying to leave them behind. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Shots such as stalker shots were important to use as it shows the audience that the protagonist isn’t alone and is being watched, setting up enigmas such as: </li></ul><ul><li>What will happen next? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is watching her? </li></ul><ul><li>Will she be safe? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Shots such as these were important to show the protagonist as being vulnerable... </li></ul><ul><li>This high angled medium long shot and high angled close up of the protagonist were used in order to show the character as being weak. This is shown by the character being on the floor as if she has been knocked down by who is watching her, or by the character being on the floor being attacked. </li></ul><ul><li>The over the shoulder close up of the protagonist is important to show her as being vulnerable and in-trouble. This is done by showing her scared facial expression and by being from over the villain’s (her father) shoulder, to show the audience that she is in fact in trouble and that this man is the cause of it. </li></ul>
  9. 9. A long shot of the protagonist is used here in order to show the location and the character’s whereabouts, but is from behind some trees. This is used in order to show that what she is running from has found her. Shots that make the protagonist look as if they are being watched are used throughout, such as this shot. This is used in order to show that no matter how much she tried to leave her problems behind, they are always watching her and will find her. This also can associate with the ideaology: ‘Problems can’t be solved by running away from them’.
  10. 10. Close up shots such as these were important to show emotion and the character’s feelings, shown through facial expressions. The first shot is a high angled of the protagonist trying to work out how to face her fears, and may give the audience hope that she will face her problems. The second shot is a close up of the protagonist running away, which is important to show fear and desperation to get away.
  11. 11. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? <ul><li>I have learnt, throughout the process of creating our product, that websites such as Google , Youtube and Wikipedia were very useful in the making of our opening sequence. </li></ul><ul><li>Google and Youtube were useful for searching for similar products because it meant that we could not only run off our own ideas for a film, but we could also get inspirations from others. An example of what we used these for was for creating our soundtrack, which was inspired by 28 Days Later. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia was useful for searching for our institution for our opening sequence to go under. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Looking back on your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full project? <ul><li>Our preliminary task was the start for us in making our product. I feel that we have come a long way since then as, when we made our preliminary task video clip, we didn’t fully understand what we were doing, unlike now with our final product. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel that we have come a long way since then as our opening sequence was a success, unlike our preliminary task that was slightly untidy due to inexperience of making videos using the Apple iMac computer software, iMovie. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel that our final product is lot more professional and experienced than our preliminary task. The transitions and editing all fit in smoothly and we used better lighting, effects and music than that of before. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel that our product is original as it is interesting and effective, with the use of our own shots, unlike our preliminary task (being given a series of video clips to put in order and create a film out of it), which meant that we could make the sequence unique. </li></ul><ul><li>Our final product can be viewed on our blog: </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conclusion... <ul><li>Our opening sequence did everything that we intended it to. It was effective as it set up enigmas for the audience such as who the character is, who are they running from and why, until it is answered at the end of the opening. </li></ul><ul><li>I believe it was effective as it had the right element of the genre such as camera shots (stalker shots, high angled shots, etc.), effective editing to show flashbacks and the right mise en scene to show that the character is in trouble (isolated area, shown by an establishing high long shot of the protagonist in the woods at the beginning of the video). </li></ul><ul><li>It was important for us to have a soundtrack that could portray what is happening, such as a slow paced song, building up to be fast paced, loud and upbeat. I believe that this played to our advantage as it was unique because it was written and recorded by me and Alex. </li></ul><ul><li>It was obvious that we had made a successful video clip as we got good feedback overall for our use of editing, mise en scene, cinematography and music, except for the odd small proportion of the audience who didn’t find the music effective enough. A video of our audience feedback can also be viewed on our blog ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>I believe that the strengths of our sequence is the use of cinematography and music as they worked well together to create a tense mood. However, I also believe there are weaknesses, but few of them. For example, I believe that some of the camera shots used could have been a bit more interesting, such as the use of over the shoulder shots and extreme long shots. I also believe that if it was filmed at a darker time of the day, to make it seem more tense and to create fear amongst the character and the audience. </li></ul>