1. In What ways does you Media film Develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My media product has developed from ideas on paper into an engaging thriller film. It has developed by going through1 out of the 3 stages of the film industry process, of Film finance and production.It contains many of my researched conventions, for example the plot has a crime narrative. Most thriller movies use real life situations in their storyline, e.g child abuse - child seeking revenge and drug dealing. I did not just pick the idea of drug dealing because it was an interesting idea, I wanted to highlight important issues, most teenagers are involved in either taking or selling drugs. This film shows the danger drugs can lead to. It starts from the point of view of the protagonist however It manipulates the audience to assume Sara is the antagonist as you can see the police officer and her with the drugs. While all along it was the customer in the car.There is slow suspenseful non - diegetic music throughout the action, similarly in thriller films there are slow music to build up tension for example The inside man. The titles had their own background with the credits, moving from left to the centre of the screen. Most thriller films have some credits running before the movie starts, e.g Se7ven. Film opening titles always are in colour, this suggests the themes of the movie, e.g in Vertigo opening title, the colour red is used. This represents murder-blood-romance which is all in the film. Our titles were in white but on a black background, this shows the film deals with the underground world, death and mourning - the colour black is worn in funerals. This shows I have understood what a thriller film is, as I have included a variety of conventions of real media products.My film challenges some conventions of media thriller product, the film was shot in broad daylight, in murder and criminal situations, the scenes would be shot at night or with silhouette lighting and low key lighting. Due to health and safety reasons we did not shot at night. In thriller films when there are running scenes the music would change and become upbeat and faster, however in my film it was still slow. Also in thriller films the main character is usually male however in my film the main character Sara is a female. This challenges films stereotypical role of women and men -masculinity - are women not in lead thriller roles as they tend to be weaker than men? We did not change the music during the running scene because it did not match the previous music.
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My media film presents to a variety of teenagers of both gender, it appeals directly to them, (the thriller genre is popular amongst them). However it depends on their personality, the personality of a person determines how your media product represents to them. A person who is adventurous and loves excitement will be eager to watch a thriller, a person who is reserved and quiet would not like a thriller as it may not meet their specification of a good movie. My media film is particularly representing to a teenage social group who are outgoing and like a mystery packed with violence.It represents the problematic adolescence, drug dealing is an emotional issue, teenagers who sell drugs always have a reason to do it. This may be the only way of surviving, providing money for food and bills. Teenagers who take drugs may be pressurised or are in a false illusion that it takes their problems away. It raises awareness and tries to represent this social group of problematic adolescence. This representation tries to show the reality of these situations, it is realistic as the main character Sara is a teenager. More social groups are presented such as dominating males - the police officer and drug customer.
3. What kind of media institution Might distribute your media product And why?
Many films are made in the United Kingdom but are never seen or heard of as they do not have distributors. A distributor persuades exhibitors (cinemas and DVDs) to show/ rent their films. My film was produced by teenagers, it is unlikely that a large , well known distributor will take on my film and attempt to exhibit it. I will upload snippets of my film on an internet service called Snap Films. This will promote my film to people. Various media institutions will distribute my film such as Film 4 and Channel 4. Film 4 seeks to develop the British film industry with fresh new British talents (New directors, actors producers etc). Most of the films they distribute are shown on their channels. My film will definitely be distributed by channel 4 as I have meet their demands, on what they and the public expect from films. Their demands are that the film should be creative, experimental , it must appeal to a different range of cultural society. My film includes all of the above, it is creative as my storyline is unique. I experimented with different camera angles and shot and it appeals to cultural society as there are different ethnic minorities in my film . Sara is Asian – Bangladeshi, The police officer is White – Irish and the customer in the car is white-scottish. My film can be distributed by the Vail Film Festival as they specialise in short films, they will showcase a variety of films. Community centres could show my film to encourage the youth if they put their mind to something they can achieve it. It can be used in Media A-Level and Gcse classes, to show students the reality of film making, they can analyze it and use some ideas for their own media project
4. Who would be your audience for you media product and why?
The OCR criteria demands that our thriller film should be aimed at an audience of 15-18. This age group is prefect for my thriller movie. I specifically choose the age 15. From the results of my questionnaire I found out thrillers are commonly watched by people aged 15. All of them like thriller films , a large majority even said it was their favourite genre! I knew if I aimed my film at this age group, there would be a higher chance of my film succeeding in exhibitions. It would be popular amongst this age and young people will spread the word of how good my film is to friends and family. I am really glad the age group was set was between 15-18, as it has given me the freedom to use more violence and inappropriate language - ( I did not use and inappropriate words in the opening as it was not a violence confrontation.) If my film was aimed at a 12 year old audience I would not be able to use as much violence or harsh language as a film that is targeted for the certificate of 15. Teenagers can relate to the storyline more.
5. How did you address your audience?
From my audience research the results gave me information on what my target audience likes and dislikes. There was a high percentage of 15 year olds who liked crime narrative, I addressed my audience by making my film a crime thriller. From my focus group I learnt boys of this age enjoyed fast pace action and car scenes. I achieved this by having intense running scenes, for example Sara running out of house through her garden into an alleyway. The car scenes were effective, I used different shot distances to show the action. Most teenagers around this age were engaged by a good storyline and music, my storyline was interesting as it is based on real life situations, the music was the same but I included various diegetic sounds which made the film more engaging. They were also appealed by the suspense that was created within the film, the suspense was created by the low key lighting while Sara was getting changed. Also by the dissolve transitions from the different point of view shots, (Sara running then the customer driving). The audience want to be surprised, it would be boring if they could predict what would happen in the end, when Sara died it was unexpected. I have fulfilled the desires of teenagers by including everything they want in the film. My product is visually entertaining which will address our audience by giving them the ‘thrill’ they long for. After all if a thriller is not thrilling you it is not doing its job! Everything that is in my film addresses directly to my target audience, I have considered their favourite aspects of a thriller movie.
6) What have you learnt about technologies From the process of constructing this Product?
Throughout this project I have learnt different technologies throughout the process of production. For example I have learnt how to use a camera, tripod, microphone, Imac and Imovie software. In the beginning I did not know how to use the camera as I have never used a digital camera, as I filmed constantly I finally learnt how use the camera. It was quite easy when I learnt the functions of the buttons and how to put in/take away the tape. I have learnt how you should set up a camera on a tripod if you want to have tilt, pan and steady camera shots. I learnt that if there is a lot of dialogue in your film/documentary you must have a microphone above you. In my focus group I did not use a microphone I thought the sound would have been recorded by the digital camera, and it was however there is a buzzing sound in the background and the voices are quite low. If I used a microphone the voices would have been louder and there would not have been the background buzzing sound. I learnt from this experience so when I was filming my final product , I used a microphone even though there was little dialogue, I did not want to take any risks, all of my dialogue came out clearly and loud. It was very difficult to learn how to use Imac, as I have never used them before, my teacher gave us a tutorial on the basic features of Imacs, then showed us how to edit. I learnt the different transitions for scenes such as dissolve, overlap, fade in and out. I learnt how to cut two scenes in half and put them in different areas of the film. I did not add any special effects e.g. black and white scenes and fast forward as it was not needed in my film. However I did experiment with them in my final film, it gave me more experience on the editing. The Imovie software has made it possible to make movies that look professional at an affordable budget. I also learnt how to carry the equipment correctly for example a tripod must have all of its legs closed and then should be leaned on your shoulder so it does not poke someone eye, the camera was kept in a bag and then put to our side so it will not fall off.
7. Looking Back at your preliminary task What do you feel you have learnt in the Progression from it to the product?
In Media I have learnt so much, Firstly I have learnt the dedication of teamwork, my group and I were in it together, nothing could have been possible without Paul’s camerawork, Patience’s editing and my ideas and strong will to guide our project. The preliminary exercise gave me an opportunity to become familiar with the equipment, if I did not familiarise with the equipment, I would not be able to complete my media product to the best of my ability. In this task we filmed basic camera shots such as medium and over the shoulder shots. When we edited the task we imported the scenes and cut the parts that we did not need, (the camera shots that were wobbly or in a bad angle). We mostly added dissolve transitions and fade in. At this point we did not know how to add music, so when it is played the dialogue is jumbled up because of the cute scenes. I did not know how to upload my video onto blogger so I followed the instructions that were on blogger, after a couple of minutes I uploaded it! Looking back on my preliminary task and my final product I can see how far I have progressed in both editing and filming. I have learnt how to achieve different angle and camera shots. For example there was a high angle steady shot when I was near the fence. For a point of view shot I would put the camera in my hands and move it (when I was running), I never thought of doing this type of shot until after the preliminary exercise, I was discussing the different angle shots we could use, and a point of view shot came up while my group and I were talking, we decided to use this shot as it makes the audience feel their a part of the action. I learnt how to cut scenes, add transitions reduce the volume of certain sounds and add music. I constantly cut scenes in the preliminary task this helped me realize what to cut and keep. Transition were very easy to add in specific scenes, some of my scenes were to short to add a transition so I had to delete that scene. Not only that, I learnt that you reduce the volume by moving the sound line down, to add music I had to download it then add it in to my film. I wanted to increase or decrease the music I would put the music line up or down. I have learnt how to plan for my film, every detail counts. In depth I have researched the costume, props, location, costume, cost and health and safety. From the preliminary task I have learnt if you do not plan things then you have no control in production, you need control to ensure that you make a good thriller.