AS Media Evaluation on our two minute film opening “The Unencounted” By Sagar Babbar, Justin Edlagan, Jamie Burton and Harry Butler
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Our media product doesn’t really challenge any forms or conventions of real media products i.e. from the horror genre however there is one part of our film where this occurs which is the lead up to the zombies attacking the students in detention which is filmed during the day time instead of the stereotypical time of day associated with the horror genre film being at night when it is dark. There are many ways in which our media product uses and develops ideas from real media products for example the makeup we used in our film opening for the zombies is used to make the zombies seem realistic and scary for the audience watching which we did by creating blood made from mixing red dye, blue dye and golden syrup, one of the key things used to make horror films seem realistic and scary. Also we used sound effects such as the heavy breathing, moaning, growing of the zombies etc and the non diegetic music to create suspense and a scary atmosphere for the audience watching. Another way in which our media product uses and develops conventions of real media products is by using stereotypical editing techniques in a horror movie such as the frequent cuts we used when the zombies attacked the students to create a scarier atmosphere for the audience. Also another editing technique we used was cross cutting between the students in detention and the zombies approaching them in order to delay the attack which created suspense and tension for the audience a stereotypical technique used in horror films.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? We also used camera shots such as medium close ups used to show the blood and damaged wounds of the zombies in order to create a realistic and scary atmosphere for the audience. Shot reverse shots were also used between a zombie and the student making fun of the other students in detention to again build up tension and suspense for the audience watching. The way in which we used the hand held footage to show the zombies attacking the students is also stereotypical of horror genre as it generates suspense and tension as the audience are intrigued to know what happens and uses conventions from real media products such as from the films paranormal activity and district 9. We have used a filter in the editing software Sony Vegas Pro to clearly distinguish the hand held filmed footage Finally the text in the beginning of our two minute film opening introducing our production company name is a stereotypical way to start a horror film as the writing and non diegetic music illustrates clearly that our film is from the horror genre because of the way the text looks and because of the way the instruments are played of the non diegetic music.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? In our film opening due to the fact that we filmed in a school and our actors were in their mid teens, we based our story on students at the school and therefore there was really only one main social group represented. This was the scene of the students in detention in the sports hall. The students were represented in a negative and stereotypical way. This is because the boys for a start are in detention which shows in some way or another they have miss behaved in school. They also look very scruffy and untidy and several of them are also in incorrect uniform which shows they do not care about the rules and there appearances. There is also a pupil who although is not in detention has hung around after school hours to tease the other pupils by getting his phone and filming them and uses youth orientated words such as ‘dossers’ meaning lazy people that misbehave and do not do work. This not only represents students stereotypically in the fact that he uses some sort of technology (his phone) to start filming them, but also represents them in a negative way in the fact that he comes across as a bit of a fool and he isn’t even in detention, which leads you to believe that the students who are must be even worse. These students however attract our target audience as they were also teenage males; with the fact that they are also misbehaved makes them and the plot a perfect recipe for a perfect zombie film as they can relate to this.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? The zombies in our film are represented typically as other zombies in a majority of other zombie films as they were unable to speak, they walked very oddly and were flesh eating blood soaked monsters, these are identical to other zombies in films such as Dawn of the dead and 28 days later. They reached out to our target audience however as they were, like the students, teenage males. The Deputy Head master of the school who spoke a few lines in the interview was represented in a positive, stereotypical way. The depressed look in his eye and emotional facial expressions when talking about the decreased students showed he cared a great deal about the pupils and was deeply upset about their tragic deaths, this shows him positively in the fact that he is warm and genuine person. He was shown in a stereotypical way in the fact that he wore a smart grey suit, and had what looked to be a spacious well looked after office.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Our product might be distributed by Lions gate Films or a company similar as one of their recent successful film “The Last exorcism” like our film was shot in both the conventional cinematography style and the less conventional way, the documentary style, interfacing the two together. The Film made 66 million during it’s time in exhibition, after being made with only 1.8 mil, We think that our film, is a perfect buy for a company which generated a lot revenue through a film with the same style of cinematography. Lions’Gate Films is a semi successful distribution company which caters to a wide range of audience worldwide, which is what we need for our final product, The UNENCOUNTERED.
Who would be the target audience for your media product? Our target audience for our media product is aimed at 15-24 year olds, being 60% male and 40% female with the social class c1 as this is the typical target audience that horror movies are aimed at which is supported by the demographics of other horror movies such as paranormal activity 2 and scream 4. We also issued a questionnaire to twenty people in our media studies group asking them what they think our target audience for our film would be including the questions: what age group do you think are film is suitable for?, what percentage ratio of males to females would watch our film? what psychographics do you think would watch our film? and what class do you think would watch our film?
How did you attract/address your audience? As a group we spent a lot of time trying to attract and address our audience in the right way, with the time we had and the technology available to the group. We came up with a few ideas to do this but addressing our audience accordingly. We made sure that the age range wasn’t too ambitious so we kept the range with our own age group which would make it easier to address our audience and intrigue them to our film. The genre of the film was therefore, important as we wanted it to be as exciting as possible and therefore, attract our audience; we chose the film to be a Horror film of which Zombies would be included as this was our best idea and which is what we thought would attract our audience the most. Once we had sorted all of this we wanted a good name for the film which would give our audience un-answered questions as to what the film may be about and therefore, make it more exciting, we ended up calling the film ‘The Unencountered’.
How did you attract/address your audience? This name was successful and brought the film across in the right way. As the film was introduced to our actors, we made sure the actors were up for the correct job and were good enough to perform properly and as real as possible. Included to our actors props had to be up to standard along with the Mise en Scene such as costume and make up. We used syrup and food colouring to make fake blood which would also attract our age range perfectly and the make would therefore, be as real as possible and attract and address our audience in the right way. Also we used fake wounds which also looked real to the audience and made it more exciting. Finally our director ‘Justin’ who has been involved in many different film openings also attracted a good audience as he is known for his skills in the position and recognised for it.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Through the making of The UNENCOUNTERED we went through a wide variety of processes, from researching products similar to ours, using the internet, using the software “Slideshare” to upload both our script and storyboard. Through the use of a software called “Celtx” I constructed my script through which I learnt the “Real” way of writing screenplays. The most difficult part of constructing our product, the part which we learnt a lot from is, Editing, we used a software called Sony Vegas 10 to edit our film, in the editing process there’s a few things we found difficult during the editing of the film, one of them is making the “Camcorder” Effect, we had to go through all the clips we shot which took us a bit of time, considering all the shots we took, one thing we’ve learnt from that is after a “shoot” label the clips you took and save them in a separate folder so it we can easily find clips we want during editing.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Another thing that we found difficult during the edit is adding and editing the music, for the music used in the film we found a website that lets people download royalty free sound effects for free, downloading the sound effects was the easy part, editing them to fit the environment of the film is the semi-harder part, for some bits of the film, we had to keep a constant flow of non-diegetic sounds which infuses terror with the moving pictures on screen to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. Another thing we learnt through the process of constructing our film is, the wild shots that can be used in the horror genre through the use of “Shaky” camera work and the documentary way of shooting, in one part of the film, when the camera falls to the floor, the student is shown in the framing of the shot, with his arm and head showing, as the other students scramble away.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Another thing we learnt through this experience, probably the most interesting shot, in terms of actually shooting is the interview shots, It’s probably very unnoticeable due to the fact that it’s just zooming in to the interviewees face, but what we learnt is that the slower we zoom in, the more unnoticeable it gets which works out well so when the camera’s on close up on Mr Titheridge’s face the audience wouldn’t be swayed by a quick cut, instead they’re served with a slow zoom focusing on the emotions that come off the interviewees face; originally the interview was going to be shown at 1 section of the film, instead we cut it to little bits, interfacing it with shots of people, dead on the floor. The ending of the film, probably the most fun part of the film in terms of both editing and shooting, is when there’s a close up of the zombie quickly interfaced between a slowly moving panning of the “Buffet” that was occurring, this followed a convention that a lot of thriller/action films nowadays and somewhat contradicts conventions of a horror film, which in some cases uses long shots and some hard editing to inflict terror onto the audience.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? The preliminary task was massively helpfully in the fact of learning different media and filming techniques and also starting to use editing software such as live type. However due to a lack of time and experience we felt that we were not able to experiment and push ourselves as much as we wanted to never the less we thought the preliminary built a good foundation to really show off what our group was capable of for our film opening. We learnt many things once we got going for our film not only did we improve massively on live type being able to add a wider range of media techniques and sounds but also being able to do it to a high quality and in reasonable timing as well. We used a piece of software called final cut for the first time whilst making our film opening we hadn’t even heard of this software during our preliminary task but helped us a lot when coming to make our company name. Our editing became much better during our film as well we were much better at getting the film to run smoothly. We were also much sharper to make sure there were no continuity problems during our filming we learnt how much of an issue this can be when filming our preliminary task as that took us, like our film opening, more than one day.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? We soon realised that there is a lot more behind the scenes work needed than first thought as we found ourselves doing risk assessment sheets and photo copying around 20 sheets of filming times so not only would all the actors no when they are filming but also when the camera men and directors would need to be present, this was not an issue in our preliminary task as there were only five of us taking part. Looking back at our preliminary task we can easily notice a massive improvement within the whole team not only has our knowledge on a whole improved but we are much more aware of what is needed to make a film successful. Although our standard of filming and editing wasn’t very high during our preliminary task it was very helpful and defiantly started us on the right track to filming our ideal film opening that the whole team can be proud of.