In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My media products follow some generic conventions of typical teenage romantic comedies however there are elements which challenge these typical conventions.
A geek girl going to a new school where she is enticed by a group of girls to make the ‘popular’ boy fall for her and then to break his heart, this is where the other boy comes into the storyline as she uses him to break his heart.
The word ‘revenge’ in the title is derived from the revenge which the group of girls seek in breaking the ‘popular’ boys heart using the geek and then the ‘popular’ boys’ revenge on the other boy who is flirting with the geek.
This storyline has been built up from existing teenage films as many consist problems and then a solution with elements of romance and the struggle separating them, almost like a ‘fairytale romance’.
As our target audience was mainly teenage girls, we thought is was important to have an attractive strong male character like most ‘chick-flick’ trailers in order to attract the female audience and to maintain the interest in the love-story. Furthermore the characters are representative of teenage cliques as there is a popular boy, an ordinary boy, a geek and the most popular girls to reflect on teenage lives therefore being more representative of that social group and add realism. Also these cliques are common in the majority of teenage films for example, ‘Mean Girls’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YjSIvmNjT8
Research I analysed many existing film posters which linked to romantic comedy movies. Including ‘The Ugly Truth’ as it follows the same genre.
Followed convention by using a plain backgrounds to avoid it looking crowded and allow the image and text to express the film instead. The small text at the bottom of the poster featuring the film companies etc and some text identifying some cast members. Also a combination of bold and regular font to make the poster look more playful than sophisticated to suit teenage audience which is typically found in film posters.
The image is bold and defining to suggest what ideas or themes are to be expected in the film.
‘ The Ugly Truth’ a couple, each holding a heart as a connotations of romance.
Narrative suggested The woman is shown holding the heart in the air as if she is expressing her search for 'the one' while the man is shown holding the heart near his genitalia which is of direct contrast to the woman suggesting the woman to be typically feminine in her red dress connotating sex appeal while the man looks typically handsome and masculine rough. Barrier between = conflict. To follow this ‘comedic’ convention, the image I used shows the ‘geeky’ girl in large size to present her as the protagonist in the film also her pose and costume is quite humorous to the audience as she is presented as a ‘proud nerd’ therefore reflecting the comedy genre of the film. The irony is the fact that two attractive boys show interest in her, the mystery of the film to attract the audience.
Only few colours used for the font, I similarly fixed the pink and blue as the colours for my poster to show the genre of romance and represent boy girl relationships and conflict.
To develop this convention further I used gender symbols hanging on the title to suggest that the film is about boy and girl interaction which could mean relationships therefore suggesting the film to be about romance
Follows trailer conventions:
Does not give all the plot away leaves the audience to want to watch the film. The problem is made obvious but real reason and the ending is left as an enigma.
Action and enigma codes - The audience recognise the genre and to attempt to recreate the narrative by understanding these codes. For example:
The problems in the storylines trigger the audience as their first instinct is to solve it because they are familiar with the narrative in the same genre. So when the ‘propositions’ are given to the geek to obey, the audience attempt to solve the problem therefore unconsciously being drawn into the film.
Enigma codes - the setting as the audience immediately know that the film is based around teenagers as it is set in a school.
Therefore the audience can recognise these codes and their attributes because they mirror elements from films of the same genre and social group (teenagers) so follow convention.
We used medium close-up shots as well as over-the-shoulder shots and high angle shots because these are common shots and angles used in the trailers which we analysed followed convention.
Over-the-shoulder shots as if to appear into their personal lives, therefore drawing the audience in as if they are getting involved. High angle shots focus more on the subject and diminish the focus of the setting. Medium shot to show the setting as well as the characters and illustrate their actions too.
Trailer does not follow the 5 stages set by Todorov which is the classic narrative pattern. But our trailer consists of a narrative with many interlinking storylines. For example, there is a number of problems in the narrative like the girl’s revenge on the ‘popular’ boy and the ‘popular boys’ revenge on the other boy whereas Todorov proposed only one disruption.
My trailer does not have a voiceover but is followed through by music therefore not following the typical conventions of existing trailers. But the song is very upbeat and vivacious therefore can be stereotypically associated with teenagers and is considered an iconography.
Most trailers contain music which flows throughout the trailer and may be only audible in some scenes as the dialogue is emphasised in romantic comedies, but we used the music differently in the trailer making it unconventional to other existing trailers. The music was used to add comedy value to the trailer. For example to song ‘All By Myself’ is purposely added for comedy effect which is unlike most comedy trailers as the majority of these trailers rely solely on the dialogue.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Audience feedback :
to give an insight of what viewers would think about our media products allowing us to mark where the strengths and weaknesses are. And to determine whether our products are understood in the way in which we want them to be. Therefore we can match the audience’s ideas with the ideas we aimed to achieve. For example, we were able to establish whether our target audience and genre are easily recognised therefore showing how successful the products are to show who it is aimed at and what genre category it fits into.
It was perceived that our target audience was ‘teenagers, mainly females’ of around the age of 15 years which is right. They came to this conclusion because of the:
Setting of a school environment
Editing i.e. Text in the trailer is a combination of both masculine and feminine fonts and colours as well as the gender symbols on the title text therefore showing that the themes in the film are about relationships and interaction between boys and girls.
These are conventions of typical teenage movies and so the trailer can be easily recognised as being aimed at a teenage audience for the topic of relationships and the iconography in the trailer are usually associated with teen groups.
The film genre also came across successfully to the audience for they correctly assumed it was a romantic comedy also known as a ‘chick-flick’ , through the themes and plot lines in the trailer. ‘The genre is identifiable by the relationship between a boy and girl and the comedy element’. Therefore the narrative and the themes can be considered conventional to teen romcoms because they were easily recognised by the audience.
The audience feedback also showed us whether the narrative which we tried to portray is consumed correctly by the viewer. We are glad that the film is observed in the way we want it to be. We asked the audience how the narrative was obvious to them, one group claimed that you can ‘clearly see partial signs of a relationship building’ and another group stated that it was ‘the structure of the trailer’ which suggested the narrative. Therefore narrative the was considered a strength in our work.
Positive response to the products - some of the audience said that the main emotional response provoked by the trailer was ‘interest’ to want to know more. This reaction may be produced by the hypodermic model as the products have had a direct, immediate and powerful effect on the audience and drew them in to want to watch the film.
How effective is the conventions of your main product and ancillary texts?
When producing the final product I wanted there to be a connection between the elements of the trailer and poster so the audience can link the two.
However the magazine front cover does not follow the conventions set by the poster and trailer as a magazine has its own set of conventions.
The main element shared between the poster and the trailer is the colour theme. The two main colours used are pink and blue to show a contrast between the boys and girls in the film.
Therefore by seeing just the title the audience can make an instant link between the two products. The title remains a combination of both bold and regular font in these two products in order to appear playful and to be recognisably the same, it is therefore successful in doing so.
For all three texts the chosen font was bold and clear font to stand out therefore not to appear too sophisticated but to appeal to the teenage audience.
Simplicity in font and layout is presented in the poster and magazine front cover because the geek is the symbol of the film, so it is the image of the geek which needs to be outstanding for the audience. Clearly the geek is the main character in the film, therefore she features in all three products. The character is almost in all scenes of the trailer and she is the first character introduced. Therefore it was mandatory for her to be the cover image on the front cover magazine as she is the symbol of the film and it is her who the audience will recognise due to the stereotypical geek clothing she is wears. The image also creates a strong connection between the products. So by simple glance, the audience will see the cover image and identify her with the trailer and poster.
To follow the trailer, the poster features an image of the two male characters because they play an important part in the trailer. The poster shows the boys on the opposite side of the geek therefore showing some friction, which follows the trailer as there is a build up of tension between these characters due to the revenge wanted by some of them.
Overall, in my opinion the trailer and the poster are more commonly linked as they follow the same pattern/convention however the magazine front cover has more of its own structure and convention so may not appear to be obviously linked to the trailer and poster.
The two main colours used are pink and blue to show a contrast between the boys and girls in the film. Same text and graphics used . Both bold and regular font. All three texts use the same bold and clear font and feature the geek wearing the stereotypical ‘geek’ outfit, therefore recreating her as a symbol of the film and any associations of her character can be recognised by the audience. Simplicity in font and layout. Geek is the symbol of the film so needs to be the main focus. The costumes and props act as representations of that character for she presented as a stereotypical geek.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Media technologies played a very important role in the planning and production of my coursework.
Research and planning:
set up a blog on the website and to do our own research which we then posted on the blog.
Researched existing film posters and film trailers as well as magazine front covers, for example, ‘The Ugly Truth’. And ‘Empire Magazine’ using the Google search engine to research the posters and the magazine front covers and then saved the images which we then added to the blogs where we also analysed them in preparation for our planning of our own product.
The film trailers were found on the YouTube website where we found trailers matching the same genre of our products and then added the link to the blogs while we also analysed them. Once all the research had been done and had been posted onto our blogs, we had to draw up a storyboard for our film trailer and dialogue which we scanned into the computer and saved them as an image to later add onto our blogs in proof of our planning.
All the research and planning were saved as blogs on www.blogger.com We also kept track of our progress using a diary blog.
Video camera to record all of the footage needed. The camera was used to create different angles and shots for our film. Once all the footage had been taken, we used a USB to capture all the footage into the editing software known as Adobe Premiere Elements . By doing this we could now edit the video and cut all unnecessary footage. This piece of software was essential for us to add in our text, to speed up or slow down certain scenes. It also allowed us to add music which we had imported and cut the music to fit the video. The software also enabled us to add effects to text and certain transitions as well as control the volume. Therefore during construction this was an important media technology needed to finish our trailer and we then saved it as an mpeg file .
This is the Adobe Premiere Elements which we were able to construct our trailer on. The top screen showed us the footage of our trailer, while the bottom box shows the film in its scenes allowing us to edit using tools such as the razor tool. The box also included the music for our trailer which we were also able to edit.
For the magazine front cover and the poster we needed to take images of what we were going to use. We took these images on a digital camera and then uploaded them onto the computer using a USB . From there we selected the best images and then opened them up on the software for that ancillary product. The images were both edited on Adobe Photoshop where we were able to erase the background and use a tool known as the lasso tool to select only parts of the image, this was then saved.
For the magazine front cover we simply opened the image into a new Photoshop document where we were able to add text and change font to produce our magazine front cover.
For the poster we opened up Microsoft Publisher where we imported the image and created the poster there by adding the text and changing the font etc. These two ancillary products were then saved as jpeg files .
The ‘Lasso Tool’ enabled us to click around the image that we want and then delete all the aspects of the image that was unnecessary. This was mainly used to delete the background. This is where we created layers allowing us to work with different text, images and shapes and establish their compositions.
Evaluation Stage : the only media technology we used was this Microsoft PowerPoint software allowing me to type up my evaluation which can be saved and later put on my blog. I then added images using print screens or simply copying and pasting them.