Media Studies AS:Foundation Portfolio Anna Hickling
Introduction For my project, my group and I filmed and edited an opening sequence for a film. I worked with two other girls, Cassie Kinsey and Sarah Nightingale. I contributed to the project by firstly acting in the video; taking on the role of Sophie. I gathered together the costume for this and co-wrote the starting voice-over dialogue with the other two group members. I filmed part of the sequence too – the close-up of Ashley’s hand holding a mobile phone. I also did a lot of the editing for the sequence.
In What Ways Does Your Media Product Use, Develop or Challenge Forms and Conventions of Real Media Products? We also used flashbacks and cross-cutting in the strangling scene; these unusual conventions make the film more interesting and make the audience want to watch on. We cut between these two shots, it was cross-cutting making the film non-liner as well We created a psychological thriller. The film used some classic thriller conventions; it’s non-linear, we used a hand-held camera and it raised enigmas. It was vital to used these elements as it makes the film recognisable as a thriller.
Our innovations proved successful because we fulfilled the requirements of an opening sequence and at the same time showed it was a hybrid of the thriller genre. We didn’t give away much of the plot but we still raised enigmas and introduced our main characters. Our choices were effective as 100% of our audience agreed it was a thriller film and 80% of them said the opening sequence appeals to them.
How Does Your Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups? In our film we represented the social groups stereotypically show in youth; ‘rejects’ and then those who are ‘cool’. There’s Sophie, the ‘reject’, who lives isolated (the location during the tracking shot of her running shows this), wears unfashionable clothes (the pink jumper), and has pills as a prop. Ashley contrasts this, he is ‘cool’, wears fashionable clothes, has friends (the scene where he is talking to a friend on his mobile phone shows this) and has up-to-date gadgets (the modern mobile phone).
The initial representation is stereotypically that of what the media represents as the conventions of these two groups. However later on the film challenges the belief that the two groups can’t be friends as Ashley and Sophie do become very close. We represented them like this because it fits better into our narrative and would also make the shock twist, that the two become friends, even more surprising to the audience.
What Kind of Media Institution Might Distribute Your Media Product and Why? After researching different institutions I decided that our film would do best by being an ‘Indie British Film’. I then looked deeper into it and discovered that the best company would be as they have produced other famous indie films like ‘Trainspotting’ (1996). I think Film4 would back our film because it’s like their other films; low budget, with simple camera shots, natural lighting and it fits in with their theme of making controversial, odd films that don’t often make sense. (E.g. ‘Trainspotting’ 1996). Film4 is the most famous British company for making ‘indie films’ that have twists in. To see my research into Media Institutions follow the link below: http://casansac.blogspot.com/2010/01/institutions-that-have-produced-films.html
Audience Feedback on Institution 6. What film institution do you feel would have made this film? B= British Film Company A= American Film Company (B) FilmFour: 50% (B) Working Title Films: 10% (B) BBC Films: 40% (A) Universal Studios: 0% (A) Newmarket Films: 0% (A) Haxan Films: 0% The audience all thought that the film would have been made by a British Film company. This goes with the idea that it is an independent and indie film as most British institutions produce. The majority of our audience chose FilmFour; the most renowned for doing 'indie' films in the above choses.
Who Would Be The Audience For Your Media Project? The film is aimed at 16-25 year old British people of both genders because we want a young audience who’re old enough to understand the meaning of the film. It’d be British because it’s ‘British Indie’; dark, grungy with twists. It’d be aimed at the working class too, because the film’s problems are dealt with by working-class characters, there’s nothing extravagant about it. It’d be aimed at those who are interested in finding out more about mental issues as well.
It’s a good target audience because it’s specific about who it’s aimed for, therefore we would more likely get a click following with this film as it wouldn’t appeal to everyone. It is good for the product financially because the click following would most likely see the film more than once and buy it when it is released on DVD. http://casansac.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html This is the link to the audience feedback, the answers to our questions proved that the sequence was a hit and that we aimed the film at the correct target audience as well. All those that participated in the watching of the film were aged, 16-18, the medium of the age range of the target audience.
How Did You Attract/Address Your Audience? We attracted our audience because we started off with a voice over to establish the main character. However, the twist in ours was that we started off with the disruption, in that Sophie was dead already, on the ground. It then went into the equilibrium – her daily routine of taking the pills.
This attracted the audience because it raised enigmas as to why she was dead and who killed her. To establish a time-line we had her explain in the non-diegetic voice-over dialogue that what had happened she ‘saw coming’. We then used a title shot when she was running to show that events about to take place had, in fact, happened two weeks earlier. The audience weren’t as confused then. ‘Cool’ ‘Reject’ We had two binary characters, one a ‘reject’ and Ashley being ‘cool’, these two characters would seem to conflict each other.
We kept the audience captured by building up suspense through our music and through raising enigmas, for example, lots were raised when Sophie was running. We also established the film is going to involve mental issues, this would keep the audience interested as they would want to find out more information on the issue raised. The transitions are interesting as well, as we have used a variety of them to keep the film interesting. Also, the pace of editing is changed, in order to build tension. The cross-cuts in the strangling scene would’ve been interesting to the audience as well as enigmas would’ve been raised through them. When the strangling took place we used a ghost-trail special effect which looked visually interesting and was captivating for the audience as they now don’t know if what happened is real or not.
What Have You Learnt About Technologies From The Process of Constructing This Product? Through the making of the product I have learnt how to use several technologies. Firstly, through our preliminary task I learnt how to use a Panasonic DAV camcorder and a tripod, I then learnt how to edit a movie to make it look continuous and smooth using the IMovies software. Through IMovies I also learnt how to edit clips and extract audio from them, and also how to put transitions and effects into a movie. I also learnt how to record onto a camcorder using a microphone and then how to import the audio separately into a movie (this is what we did for the voice-over dialogue).
I learnt how to import separate songs into a movie to make a backing track score. Through learning this, I also learnt how to merge different songs together to let one song run straight into another without any pauses. Most importantly, I learnt how to use blogger effectively, and how to convert videos into different file styles so that they could be uploaded onto our blog. These are some ‘behind the scene’ pictures of my group and I editing our footage together to make our sequence. Sarah editing This is me editing Cassie editing All three of us editing together
Looking Back At Your Preliminary Task, What Do You Feel You Have Learnt in the Progression From it to the Full Product? http://casansac.blogspot.com/2010/01/preliminary-task-video-and-reflection.html Above is the link to our Preliminary Task and our reflection upon how well we did. In our Preliminary Task we had a limited range of shots and the camera was shaky. We didn’t use a microphone to record the diegetic dialogue nor did we edit much of the sound either, rather we just got rid of some of the sound all together. We didn’t use any music in our video either. In the finished product we have used music and used a hand-held camera more effectively, and our pans are a lot smoother now too.
We used transitions as well for the first time and learnt how to put sounds in to a scene before an image appears. We used titles as well for the first time and learnt how to smoothly put them in so they look effective. The editing is a lot smoother in our final task as well, with no sudden jumps from one camera angle to another. Our main character in the final task, has been better established as well, it is a lot clearer who she is and what her personality is like whereas in the preliminary task, we weren’t sure which of the two characters was the main character and both their personalities weren’t reflected very well either.
Conclusion I feel our final product is really good, it can easily captivate an audience, it raises enigmas and it looks really visually interesting. The soundtrack is fantastic and is parallel to the images in the sequence. The transitions are interesting and the use of the hand-held camera works really well too. The only weakness is that sometimes the editing might not be as smooth as we wished it to be but we did try to sort through this as best we could. I believe if we filmed the full product it would work really well, be a very interesting film and it would look very professional.