1) In what ways does you Media film use, develop or Challenge forms and Conventions of real media Products?
1. In what ways does your 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 gone through 1 out of the 3 stages of the film industry process, of Film finance and production.There are many conventions of a thriller genre for example, they tend to have an obvious antagonist and protagonist, the film is revolved around a criminal plot which can be based on real life situations/ story. The antagonist is usually on a race against time, it is fast paced and contains enigmas and cliff hangers, also it has elements of mystery. The colour of the film symbolically represents the themes in the film and music changes throughout the action.My film has many of my researched conventions, for example the plot has a crime narrative- the drug dealing, is similar to the movie Shifty, where a drug dealer is caught between life and death. Also Shifty is a teenager just like Sara.Most thriller movies use real life situations in their storyline, e.g child abuse - drug abuse and drug dealing. I used this convention as it would relate to my target audience (young teenagers are mostly around drug dealers).The film Untouchables was based on a real life event on the alcohol prohibition. 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 morally flawed protagonist.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 (has slow music). 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 products, 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. We did not change the music during the running scene because it did not match the previous music. Also in thriller films the main character is usually male however in my film the main character Sara is a female, a drug dealer tends to be a male, this challenges the stereotypical film roles of women and men -masculinity - are women not in lead thriller roles as they tend to be weaker than men?The film that influenced my idea was Shifty, Shifty at heart is a good person but is obsessed with material objects, this led to his down fall. But the audience connected with him, it made them feel sympathetic towards him. Similarly Sara is a good person, I wanted the audience to feel sympathy for her. Her death was very significant as I knew the audience would want to see her killer be avenged, which is what would happen later in the film. This would engage them more to the film.My film is an original drug dealing film, however it is still different from typical drug films, most drug films have the main character killed at the end of the film, however my character was killed in the beginning. In drug films women are usually the partner (lover) of a drug dealer, however in my film Sara is the drug dealer. The differences show that my film is unique.
2) How does your media Product represent Particular social groups?
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 a teenage social group who are outgoing and like a mystery packed with violence. I have shown the representation of gender through the role of my characters, women are shown as being strong (Sara's role as a drug dealer), confident and brave. She is not afraid of the conflict drug dealing raises. Men are represented both good and bad, you can see a police officer who fights crime this shows not all men are bad. The drug customer is shown as a bad, needy person who is obsessed with drugs and will do what it takes to get it, this shows he is mentally unwell.It represents the problematic adolescence (young age group), 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 of the problematic adolescence. This representation tries to show the reality of these situations, it is realistic as the main character Sara is a teenager. Young people are shown in a negative way, it shows the stereotype of teenagers is true. Most teenagers are involved in violence or criminal activity, this is the reason why society labels them as criminals. Middle aged people are shown to be problematic as well, (the customer in the car). It shows most age groups are corrupt.
I presented a wide range of ethnic minorities, the main character Sara is a Muslim Bangladeshi girl, the Police officer is Catholic Irish and the customer in the car is a Scottish person. This shows any ethnic minority can be involved in the drug trade.I represented working class people because it has been proven in Sociology that they commit the most crime. Middle class and High class people have everything they want/need so they do not need to commit crime. From the location and costume (house, roads) you can obviously see Sara is not wealthy. The house is very small and a high/middle class person would not wear high street clothes, they would only wear designer.
3) What kind of media Institution might distribute Your media product and Why?
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?Most films are made in the United Kingdom but are they are never seen or heard of as they do not have distributors. A distributor persuades the exhibitors (Cinemas and DVDs/Blu-Ray) to buy/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 would distribute my film this way because it is cheap to produce DVDs and Blu-Ray, It will increase my profit if people buy DvDs.I will upload snippets of my film on an Internet service called Snap Films. I will use this method to promote my film to my target audience. 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). Most of the films they distribute are shown on their channels. The film What's Eating Gilbert Grape was first released on film4 and later hit the cinema. This shows a film can get recognized and then be released in the cinema. I chose this company because it is very popular and cheaper for my audience (the channel is free).My film will definitely be distributed by channel 4 as I have meet their demands, on what they and the public expect from the film. 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 angle and camera shots, and it appeals to the cultural society as there are different minorities in my film. Sara is Asian - Bangladeshi, Paul is white - Irish and the customer in the car is white - Scottish. I chose this company because I want numerous film institutions to promote my film, the more it is shown the more people will hear about it and buy my DVD/Blu-Ray.
My film can be distributed by the Vail Film Festival as they specialise in short films, they will showcase a variety of films. This will immediately show large film industries the high quality small industries can produce. Community centres could show my film to youths who want to study media, it can encourage them, if they put their mind to something they can achieve it. It can be used in Media A-level and Gcse classes to show the reality of film making, they can analyze it and use some ideas for their own project.If I wanted to extend my film (make a Dead End 2) I could use the metrodome microwave scheme, where they give me a budget and I have to make the film within a short time frame. I would use this film as it is a stable way of receiving funding for your film.
4) Who would be the Audience for you media Product?
4. Who would be your audience for your media product and why? The OCR criteria demands that our thriller film should be aimed at and audience of 15-18. This age group is perfect for my 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, they would watch it, 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. From the focus group I learnt young males favour car chases, I did not include car chases put I did have a car scene in my film, involving a car will attract males to it. Young women will also watch my film, as the main film is revolved around a female.There are many other reasons why my target audience would watch my film, it involves fast pace action and dramatic music that matches the scene. Their costume is realistic - from my interview with Kiran and Safia they told me they liked the costume as most working class teenagers would wear clothes similar to mine. One of the main conventions of a thriller is that there is an antagonist and protagonist, since Sara died the main protagonist is the police officer, from the interview I learnt this engaged them more to the film. In my film I included everything young men and women like, for example there was car scenes, chase scenes and professional titles.I am really glad the age group was set between 15-18, as it has given me the freedom to use violence and inappropriate language - (However I did not use inappropriate language in the opening as it was not a violent 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. All the responses I got from my questionnaire and focus group made me decide I should aim my target audience at the age of 15.
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 old who liked the crime narrative, I addressed my audience by making my film a crime thriller, this sub genre will make them watch my film. 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 ran out of her house through her garden into the alleyway. The car scenes were effective I used different shot distances to show the action. This is how I will maintain their focus on the film.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. This will make them more interested in the film, thus they will continue to watch it. I was the young actress in the film, men who find me attractive will continue to watch the film, as they would want to see my past history and whether or not my murder will be avenged, When Transformers 2 was released most young males went to see it because it was staring Megan Fox. (I found this out from a general discussion in media about gender).My target audience will continue to watch my film after the 2 minute opening as they were 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 transitions from the different point of view shots, (Sara running then the customer driving).My film holds the audience attention as they are surprised in the end, it would be boring if they could predict what would happen in the end, when Sara died it was unexpected. This will maintain the audiences attention and they will want to watch further on than the two minute opening. 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 then it is not doing its job. Everything that is in my film addresses to my target audience, I have considered their favourite aspects of a thriller movie. Also the location is realistic and it will interest people more as my film is very realistic.
In the end of the film there is a cliff-hangers, (Sara dies and the drug customer drives off), this will give the audience a desire to find out what will happen next. Will he get cause and will Sara have justice? This cliff-hangers will make sure the audience watches the film until the end.
6) What have you learnt about thetechnologies from the process ofconstructing this product?
6. What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing this product? Throughout this project I have learnt different technologies of 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 a camera as I have never used a digital camera, as I filmed constantly I finally learnt how to use the camera. It was quite easy when I learnt the functions of the buttons, on the dial there was a white button that was the record and stop recording button. There was a dial on the camera I used it to forward and rewind the tape, and I learnt how to put in/take away the tape, I had to press the eject button on the bottom of the camera and wait for the case to come up, then I took the tape out and pushed the case back in. I used a digital camera so my video quality would be good.I have learnt how you should set up a camera on a tripod, you must make sure the legs are placed on the floor and clipped down, if you want a tilt, pan and steady camera shot you must move the lever. I used a tripod because it would help me achieve steady camera shots and other camera shots for example panning.I have learnt 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 though 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 thought there was little dialogue, I did not want to take any risks all of my dialogue came out clearly and loudly. I placed the microphone above the camera and it captured the dialogue.
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 how to use different transitions for scenes such as dissolve, overlap, fade in and out. 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 legs closed and then should be leaned on your shoulder so it does not poke someone's eye, the camera was kept in a bag then put across our body so it will not fall.I have used blogger for my coursework because it was set my the exam board, I can easily upload films and photos showing what I have done. They can easy access it.I used YouTube so I could easily upload videos onto blogger, I had to make a YouTube account then download all my videos, before I could upload them to youtube I had to change the format to quicktime then click share on the web.I used one true media to make a collage of my favourite Bollywood thriller films, I uploaded the picture then added music and the transition of the scene, it was very easy to do.I used slide share as well, I made a PowerPoint presentation of my evaluation then uploaded it on this website, then embeded it onto my blog, I used this technology as I know it will be more interesting for people to look at it.I have also used Word to make my questionnaire, I wanted to create it on word as I could add as many questions as I liked and I could set the layout the way I wanted.
7) Looking at you preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the product?
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 our hard work.The preliminary exercise gave me and opportunity to become familiar with the equipment if I did not familiarise myself 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 scenes that were cut. 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 the 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 shot when I was near the fence. For a point of view shot I would put the camera in my hands, and movie 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 involved in 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 exercise this helped me realize what to cut and keep in my final product. Transitions were very easy to add in specific scenes, some of my scenes were to short to add a transition so I had to delete the scene. Not only that, I learnt that you reduce the volume of sound by moving the sound line down, to add music I had to download it then add it to my film. If I wanted to increase/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 to be in control to ensure you have created a good thriller.
From these two videos you can see how much I have learnt from the preliminary exercise. I have acquired life long skills and have learnt a lot, for example I know how to place the camera on the tripod and level it to make sure the camera angles come out straight. I know which parts I should cut, and the transitions I should add the make the scenes flow. Also I have learnt where to position the camera and tripod if i want a specific lighting, for example for silhouette lighting I should make sure the actor is in front of a window the bright light of the sun will create this effect. Before the preliminary exercise I did not know how to create these lighting effects.
Pictures (Screen grabs) of My film in comparison of Real media films
Titles In comparison to Vertigo and Se7en Point of view shot from my film and Untouchables Similar camera shot of Bourne Identity and my film. Medium shot of talking on the phone. (My film and Phone booth
Screen grabs from my preliminary exercise and Final film
It is evident I have learnt a lot of skills from my preliminary exercise, these pictures show I have learnt how to level a camera and how to position the camera to allow these different camera angles. I have improved a lot since the preliminary exercise.