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Media A2 Evaluation
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  • 1. Evaluation Amber Rawlings
  • 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 3. Vladimir Propp’s theory was used in our advanced production. This theory states that characters can appear, in our production we have both the hero and the dispatcher, the hero being our main character, Shanice, as she is the character that is on a journey, trying to figure out her life. As the hero in a film is usually male we have therefore challenged the traditional conventions of a Propp’s theory using the feminist theory in which the main character instead of being male is a strong female character who finds her own way in life. The dispatcher in our trailer is the mother as although she is not in the trailer she is the reason that Shanice is on the journey.   Our trailer also follows the conventions of Tsvetan Todorov as the main narrative shows equilibrium at the beginning of the teaser trailer and disequilibrium in the middle of the trailer and you then need to watch the film to see the final equilibrium. This worked well for our trailer as it left it at a cliff hanger which engaged the viewers and made them want to find out what will happen by watching the film.   The final theorist that we used was Levi Strauss who believed that films show juxtaposition of binary opposition this is done in our film by showing upper and lower class, this juxtaposition is represented by lighting in our teaser trailer as the lower demographic areas are in low key lighting whereas the upper class areas are in natural and high key lighting. Another film that uses Levi Strauss’s theory in the way that we have is ‘ Save the Last Dance ’. This shot shows Shanice in an upper class area (notice the high key lighting) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? This shot shows Shanice in a lower class area( notice the low key lighting)
  • 4. The forth theory that we have used in our teaser trailer is the ‘Proairetic Code’ and this is where tension is built that refers to an event that shows that something else is going to happen. This is shown in our film because of the conflict and the fact that the girl is beginning to move on, however the boy isn’t which creates yet more conflict. The fifth theory that we have used is the ‘Symbolic Code’. This is where connotation is used in the trailer to give additional meaning and shows organised semantic meanings. In our teaser trailer this is used when we have a split screen representing the two sides of Shanice’s life, to the left her new life and to the right the life that she has had to leave behind. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 5. Through research we found many of the structural conventions of teaser trailers of our genre. For example we have included the website address, ‘Coming Soon’ titles, and the fact that they are frequently 90 seconds long, they include credits, a preview screen, and a production logo. There are also many conventions that we followed for our ancillary texts for example adding in actors names to the poster and DVD cover, having a certificate rating on the DVD cover and including the ‘Empire’ logo, strap line and website address on the magazine front cover. As well as this there were many more conventions that we used from our research. Other structural conventions that we found were that of the magazine front cover, DVD front cover, the website and the poster     Title Date and Price Website Address Strap line Barcode Cover line Teaser (Exclusive interview) (Massive Preview Special Featured Films Featured Films The photo is layered over the title In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Date and Price Strap line Website Address Barcode Although this particular real empire magazine doesn’t have the photo layered over the title in many of their others do, many of their others also have a large cover line like the one in our own text.
  • 6. Starring actors and actresses Titles Strapline Coming Soon Coming Soon Credits Website Website Title Strapline Below is a comparison of our poster and a real media text for ‘The Lovely Bones’ In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 7. Plot Plot Starring actors and actresses Starring actors and actresses Certificate classification Certificate classification Title Photos From the Film Photos From the Film Review Review Barcode Barcode Running Time, Language and Subtitles Running Time, Language and Subtitles Credits Credits Below is a comparison of our DVD Cover and a real media text from ‘Me, Myself & Irene’ In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 8. When researching into the structural conventions of a teaser trailer we found that there were usually titles or a voiceover. Due to the lack of good audio equipment we chose to mainly use titles as we believed that this would make our teaser trailer look more professional, however once we had been given the ‘Apple Macs’ we found that it was easier to create a voice over and therefore included this as well. We used locations that were conventional and stereotypical of a romantic drama, for example we used the busy city of London which is romantic and an expensive hotel. We also then used a rougher area for the second half of the trailer which is conventional of a drama; however we also challenged the conventions by trying to bring romance into this area as well.   We also used many conventional shot types of a romantic film including two shots and establishing wide shots to show a bond and connection between two characters and also to show the romantic settings. However we also used many shots to make the character look lonely and lost which are not typical shot types of a romantic film.   In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 9. Due to our extensive research at the beginning of the course (links to our previous research 1 , 2 , 3 there is a lot of intertextuality in our film where we have used, challenged and developed shots from other films. For example we have used a shot from ‘500 Days of Summer’ where the two characters are sitting on a bench and the shot is taken from behind, this is a shot that we have decided to use in our teaser trailer as we believed that the two shot was a typical of a romantic film genre. In this shot the bench signifies a romantic social interaction and you can also see the romantic setting around them. Another shot from this film that we have developed is a close up of the characters hands which we have developed by having it as an over the shoulder shot which is shown in the comparison below, we chose to use this shot as we thought that it was ambiguous and signified the bond between the characters. This show is also generic of a romantic genre. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 10. A shot that we have used from ‘ 500 Days of Summer ’ is a split screen and this created a juxtaposition which enhanced Levi Strauss’s theory. Other shots that we have used are the framing that was used in ‘ Alice In Wonderland ’ of a tree and the establishing wide shot of the main characters hugging which is from ‘ Time Travellers Wife ’ which we believed shows the romantic scenery and is typical of our genre. Our plot line is related to that of ‘ Save The Last Dance ’ with a similar plot, characters and location however we have developed this by adding in our own themes and taking our the main theme of ‘ Save The Last Dance ’ (dancing). In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 11. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
  • 12. As a group we made sure that our main product and ancillary texts were cohesive as we felt that this was very important to create an effective combination. Firstly we made sure that the same website address was used at the end of the teaser trailer, on our poster and on our DVD cover so as to make sure that as many people as possible look at the website and confusion isn’t caused as there would be if the web addresses were not the same, however due to problems in publishing the website this is not the actual website address which if we could redo this task we would make sure that they were to make it more cohesive.   As well as this we used three main colours for our colour scheme making it look professional and recognisable, these three colours were dark blue, light blue and white (Shown Below) as we believed that these kept up our main themes gives the connotation of sorrow and were used throughout both the main teaser trailer and the ancillary texts.   In addition to this we tried to use the same font throughout, ‘ Corbel ’ and ‘ Edwardian Script’ for the titles and ‘Ariel’ for other text. However due to the fact that each programme on the ‘Mac’s’ had different fonts we had to use slightly different fonts on different programmes that were as similar as we could find to what we had originally used.   How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? A Day To Remember One Event Can Change Everything.
  • 13. Photos from the film were used on the website and on the DVD back cover to show cohesiveness and let the viewer see some of the shots from the film, as a group we felt that this was a good idea as the photos therefore had meaning and brought across our main themes. To add to this we had the same production logo throughout to show consistency and the same strap line so that it is memorable for the audience.   In addition to this we made sure that the credits and character names were the same on the DVD cover, the poster and the teaser trailer as we felt that this would make sure that this would make the combination of texts stronger.   How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
  • 14. Finally we used the same main photo throughout all of the ancillary tasks as we felt that this would make our film more recognisable, distinctive and memorable to the audience. This photo also portrayed the main themes of loss, loneliness and seclusion and also kept up the theme of blue with our main character wearing a dark blue jacket which we enhanced through editing. Click the images below to see the enlarged versions of the ancillary texts. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
  • 15. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
  • 16. From our audience feedback we learnt a lot about what potential viewers thought about our teaser trailer. We used two forms of feedback the first being a questionnaire on uses and gratifications in which we gained knowledge of what genre to peruse and conventions and expectations that the audience had from the teaser trailer, this therefore made sure that we made our teaser trailer best suited to the audience to ensure the captivation of the audience’s attention. An enlarged version of the questionnare that we asked can be found here    What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
  • 17. Secondly we chose to ask a variety of people what they thought of our trailer to get a range of results, we asked members of our media group on a frequent base as because of their extensive knowledge about media we believed that they would be able to pick up on any major changes that we needed, we then asked a wider range of people what they thought of our teaser trailer after we had finished our draft copy so that before we put it to disk we could change things that our group and media class hadn’t picked up on and believed should be changed we did this second feedback on ‘Facebook’ in which we created a fan group page for our film and uploaded our rough copy and asked the audience for feedback. This form of feedback used ‘Marshall McLuhan’s’ theory in which he stated that ‘The world has become a global village – constructing out views and ideologies online had broken down traditional barriers of borders and governments’ and he therefore believed that electronic technology unified the world. We have therefore decided to use ‘Facebook’ as then anyone in the world who had it can give us feedback on our teaser trailer. Below is a print screen of the ‘Facebook’ page, to view the page in full click on the picture and it will link you through!! What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
  • 18. The first thing that we learnt from this feedback is what the audience liked about our teaser trailer and this included the music choice, the choppy shots to create tension, the split screen showing juxtaposition and the interesting locations used.   We then asked them what they thought that we could improve on, the first thing that was mentioned was to improve the titles and title transitions by experimenting with the new ‘Mac’ editing software that became available to us. The second was to extend the heart beat sound effect over the coming soon titles so as to look more professional and keep up the style for our genre. As well as this to keep the teaser trailer looking as professional as possible we were told to add in institutional information which once done we felt improved the conventions and style of our teaser trailer.   Finally a recurring problem that we found was that as we knew what we wanted our teaser trailer to portray and the story line we didn’t realise that for those who hadn’t been told about our ideas were not understanding what the trailer was about and the points that we were trying to get across, therefore from our feedback we saw that viewers felt that titles making things clearer but without giving to much away would be a good idea, once we had done this and got more feedback the respondents felt like they had a clearer picture. Click here to view our rough cut Click here to view our final cut What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
  • 19. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
  • 20.   In the construction, planning and evaluation stages media technology was a huge element. Firstly in the planning stages the internet was used extensively to research into existing teaser trailers, film websites, posters, DVD covers and magazine front covers using search engines such as Google , YouTube , IMDB , TrailerSpy and many more websites. We did this so as to deconstruct the conventions of these texts and make sure that our own texts fitted the forms and conventions of professional texts. This was a critical part in our planning as it helped us to make the correct decisions.   Once we had done our drawn story boards we scanned them into the computer using a ‘Lexmark Scanner’. We then used a Nikon Coolpix 10 mega pixel still camera to see how our shots that we had planned in our drawn storyboard worked through the camera. By doing this we could make sure that our shots were possible and experiment with the mise-en-scene, lighting, angles, movements and locations to make sure that they portray the main themes of our teaser trailer.   Social networking sites played a role in finding our cast members for our teaser trailer as because of the online era that we were in it is easy to contact people through networking sites such as ‘Facebook’. This is therefore what we used to ask a number of people that we believed to be best suited for the role if they were willing to be in our teaser trailer. Once we had found cast members we also used ‘Facebook’ to schedule for our filming. ‘Facebook’ also helped us with our audience feedback and for a promotional campaign as we created a ‘Facebook’ page that promoted our film as well as asked for feedback on our rough cut teaser trailer. This therefore used ‘Marshall McLuhan’ as it created unification as anyone in the world could give us feedback.     How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? These pictures link to the appropriate websites!!
  • 21. Once we had found our cast members we used a ‘JVC digital video camera’ to film our footage and a ‘Jessops’ tripod to make sure that our footage was of a high quality. Once all of the filming was done we uploaded our footage onto ‘Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5’ in which we made some editing adjustments such as cutting the footage, ordering them onto the timeline, adding fades and transitions and creating a split screen. Once this was done we used an ‘LG USB Stick’ to export our rough cut teaser trailer to the new ‘Apple Mac’s’ that we were provided half way through the course to then finish the editing on ‘Imovie 9’ in which we added transitions, edited the colour, contrast and brightness, split the shots to make them shorter and snappier, edited the speed, added sound affects and music from garage band, changed the sound levels to make some of the sound more ambient and others more deliberate, adjusted the volume and added fades, added font panels, preview screen, the website address and coming soon. We also played around with the different fonts and font transitions and the colours and backgrounds. We found that in using ‘Imovie 9’ we were able to make our piece look more professional and edit it to a higher standard. 
  • 22. We used many other programmes on the new ‘Apple Mac’s’ that we had been provided to make use of the new technology available, one of which being ‘Garage Band’ as this helped us overcome the fact of not using copyrighted music as this way we could create our own music, being able to edit music beats together adding layers and instruments and adjusting the music. This therefore made our music original and fit our teaser trailer, previous to deciding to use garage band to create our music we researched into websites with copyright free music, for example ‘ Moby Gratis ’ and also researched into the music from other teaser trailers of our genre so as to make sure that ours would fit the genre. Due to bad sound equipment we also had to cut the sound out of our teaser trailer and add it back in using the ‘Apple Macs’ and ‘Garage Band’ to adjust the pitch and sound levels. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
  • 23. Other programmes that we used from the ‘Apple Mac’s’ included ‘Idvd’ and ‘Iweb’, we used these programmes to create a DVD menu and a website. We found these two programmes to be very effective as in the DVD menu you could add in clips and photos from the film and links to the trailer. However when using this programme we found the problem of not being able to change the colours or adjust anything on the menus which meant that some of the menus although stylistically correct the colours were not correct so we therefore couldn’t use it. When creating the website we found it very easy to create working links however again it had some limits in what you could adjust. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? iDVD iWeb
  • 24. To create photos for our website and our ancillary tasks such as the magazine front cover, the DVD cover, and the poster we used both ‘Adobe Indesign CS4’ and ‘Paint Shop Pro’ to edit our photos. We used ‘Adobe’ to edit the colour and brightness for example making the blue on the main characters jacket stand out more and the character brighter than the background to make her the focus of the picture. We then used ‘Paint Shop Pro’ to blend photos together and used the background eraser to add the ‘Empire’ logo to the photo. We found that these programmes were very easy to experiment with and adjust the photos in the way that was wanted. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
  • 25. Finally we uploaded all of our research and texts to blogger which made everything very clear and interactive. We found that this was a very good way to store our work uploading both films and photos, embedding links and adding ‘PowerPoint’s’. We added ‘PowerPoint’s’ onto our blog as we felt that this made long posts look very neat and interactive. To upload these we used both ‘SlideShare’ and ‘AuthorStream’ which allowed us to upload ‘Microsoft PowerPoint’s’ to blogger. (Below are print screens of these programmes. Click on the logos to link to the website) How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?