challenge & develop conventions of real media products
In what ways does your media products use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Laura Robinson
Researching recent products at the start of the project made me realise the typical forms and conventions of real media products out today. ’30 Days of night’ is a typical horror film which I chose to briefly analyse. However, as a group we did look through around 20 horror films including ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘The Amityville Horror’ and ‘The Exorcist’. Analysing these trailers both physically and mentally we found that the typical conventions were:
<ul><li>Gentle diegetic and/or non-diegetic sound to start off with (Equilibrium) • During the ‘disruption’ lots of fast paced shots and sound that complements the action on screen. • A disturbing shot, often someone killed, dead or hurt. • More disequilibrium (horror scenes) than equilibrium. • The editing becomes more apparent, more shots. </li></ul><ul><li>More cuts and more transitions during the disequilibrium scenes. • Most often has a vulnerable character and a villain. • The soundtrack often changes to create a thrill. • Text cards • A scare shot at the end of the trailer. • Title card and credit block. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In our horror trailer we follow some of these conventions: </li></ul><ul><li>One soundtrack that is gentle and eerie to start off with, then crescendos into heavy bass. </li></ul><ul><li>We have equilibrium at the start. </li></ul><ul><li>Flashbacks </li></ul><ul><li>A disturbing shot, often someone killed, dead or hurt. </li></ul><ul><li>During the ‘disruption’ lots of fast paced shots and sound that complements the action on screen. </li></ul><ul><li>The editing becomes more apparent, more shots. </li></ul><ul><li>More cuts and more transitions during the disequilibrium scenes. </li></ul><ul><li>Text cards </li></ul><ul><li>Fade to black to create suspense. </li></ul><ul><li>Title card and credit block. </li></ul><ul><li>A scare shot at the end of the trailer. </li></ul>
We challenged conventions of a typical horror trailer by having a young vulnerable male as the victim. This is challenging conventions because stereotypically it is a fragile female who is the victim. We also had a dominant female as the villain. We switched the gender roles in order to challenge the normal conventions.
Looking further into forms and conventions of horror films/trailers, I found that horror trailers don’t often follow a narrative. Although the actual film will follow a narrative the trailer it doesn’t as it would give too much away. Narrative theorist Tzvetan Todorov states that most films follow a narrative theory. LINK : TODOROV IMAGE
Our horror trailer doesn’t follow the correct form of this theory. It is not a linear theory. As the trailer is not in chronological order the narrative cannot be followed. Todorov's narrative structure states that the narrative of a film should go: - State of Equilibrium - A disruption - A recognition - An attempt to repair the disruption - A return to equilibrium - New Equilibrium. Our horror trailer follows: -Equilibrium, Disruption, Equilibrium, Disruption, Recognition, Disruption, Disruption, Equilibrium, Disruption I've used elements of Todorovs theory, but there will not be any links to 'new equilibrium' as we needed to keep the audience guessing on what is about to happen.
Following traditional generic conventions of a horror trailer I looked into styles of genres. Genre consists of “patterns/styles/structures which transcend individual films, and which supervise both their construction by the film-maker and their reading by an audience” – Tom Ryall Also, I looked into how it attracts the audience. Neale 1990 – “Genre is constituted by “specific systems of expectations and hypothesis which spectators bring with them to the cinema and which interact with the films themselves during the course of the viewing process.” Therefore I believe the audience will bring their own knowledge of the horror genre and have certain expectations of the trailer that we can play with in order to give them pleasure.
As well as looking at trailers we also anaylsed magazine covers and posters, which are both used to create an audience and promote the product. Red writing – connotations of danger. Credit block – allows audience to know who is involved in the film. Scary image – manipulated lighting for greater outcome. Image inside of an image – lady screaming showing vulnerability and scariness. Effects on the image to add effect. Distorted title text – creepy.
Bold, easy to see title at the top of the page. Main Image/feature easy to see, biggest hook. Website, date, issues, price and barcode. Image corresponds with hooks. Hooks all around the edge of page. Red writing to connotate danger. Blood spatters (SFX issue) Free Gifts. I decided to base my magazine on a already existing magazine product in order to make the magazine cover I made, look more realistic. My product:
Overall I believe my main product and ancillary tasks both, challenge and develop forms and conventions of real media products. I believe they look realistic and would easily fit into the horror genre on shelves in shops. I feel that our horror trailer does actually challenge conventions via the character gender switch. But, uses traditional horror tropes and follows the form of an original horror trailer.