A2 Media Studies Evaluation
By Thomas Paul Robinson
In what ways does your media
product use, develop or challenge
forms and conventions of real media
• Narrative – The narrative for our short film “Social Enemy” is told in
a style similar to Tzvetan Todorov’s Theory of Narrative. He
suggested that conventional narratives are structured in five stages.
The 1st stage, which is a state of equilibrium at the outset, is shown
at the start of the film when the lead is seen acting calm and at
ease in the coffee place. The disruption of the equilibrium is when a
letter is given to him by a mystery person, and he recognises the
severity of the disruption of equilibrium, when he receives a
Facebook message informing him that his wife has been taken. His
attempt to repair the disruption occurs through going to the various
locations the antagonist sends him. However, the mystery killer
confronting the lead, “Ben”, at the end of the film does not match
the 5th stage of the reinstatement of equilibrium, as the disruption
has not being repaired.
• Genre and music – I feel that the genre we needed to aim to
achieve for the short film is the action-thriller/horror genre, and
through the storyline we were able to add suspense and drama to
the film. We also felt that the music we inserted into the film via
Garageband would add the suspense to the film, especially at the
end of the film when the lead “Ben” is approached by a mystery
person. As in the traditional horror film, the music builds up, to add
the suspense and the expectation that something is going to
happen. The clip on the next slide is a scene from the film “Freddy
vs. Jason” and this showcases an example of a rise in music to add
the suspense. The voiceovers were needed to tell the readers what
several texts or messages said. We did it in the style of thoughts.
So, you hear his thoughts reading allowed the texts to him.
• As you can see, when Freddy got closer to the
two people, the music rose in sound, in order
to build up for a climatic finale. I felt that in
our short film we needed to have the music in
the final scene, where a mystery man
approaches the lead, with the same
conventional horror rise in sound in order to
build the suspense.
• We kept to the rules of filming in woods in
Guisborough, which I uploaded on our media
pitch which is on my blog, because it felt like a
conventional venue to film a horror-like film.
• The editing with Final Cut Pro for my short film is
important as the cuts from scene to scene needs
to be in flow in order for the audience to follow
the storyline. So, jumping directly from one scene
to another without a small time gap would make
the film seem unprofessional.
• Poster – I’ve seen in a lot of film posters, of
films using a shot of one, significant object
and putting the spotlight on that object.
Here in a poster promoting
“The Dark Knight Rises” the
Poster lights up the image
Of a broken bat mask,
which teases the possible
demise of Batman in the
I decided to go with the
Same philosophy of put the
Spotlight of an important
Aspect of the film being
Clearly showcased, and in my case
It’s the phones used. So I decided
To have all 3 phones as part of my
Film poster, as they all significant
To the plot.
The reason I went with “The Time For
Talk is Over” as my tagline, is because
It plays on the theme of technology
And the use of the phones in the
In my poster, the Forenames of the Actors are much Smaller than the Surnames, something I saw used on a film poster for
the Dark Knight, and I used the same tactic, because It emphasises the actors involvement in the film. A date and a website
is displayed, as it gives the viewer an indication as to when the film will be released, and where people can learn more
about the film. I also put in quotes from reviews as well as a star rating to show different publications praising the film.
• Double Page Spread – In AS, I was asked to
produces to double page spread for a music
This was it, but looking
Back it, I didn’t think
Using the same template
For the double page spread
Would work this time
Around. I feel the color
Scheme I used for the
Double page spread didn’t
Work. I also think it lacked
Images, and one photo
Covering an entire page
meant the interview was
Left on page, and it should
Have spread out.
So I decided to take it upon myself to have the main article spread out within the double page
Spread. The feature photo, which is a still image from the short film, is significantly showcased
in the double page spread, and also has a quote from within the review itself, a technique I used
in my double page spread. A caption is shown above the secondary photo of the double page
spread to inform the reader of the details of the photo.
Also I decided to have something extra to support the article. So I did a list of “films that Thomas
Robinson has appeared in”, which gives the reader something else to have a read of other than
the main article. I took inspiration of a double page spread I saw in Kerrang! magazine which
showcased a list of 5 bands that changed the life of Myles Kennedy (Lead Signer of Alter Bridge,
along with the main article, which was an interview.
And this is my list of “5 films you may have seen Thomas
Robinson in...” in comparison to the Kerrang! List of “The
5 Bands that changed Myles Kennedy’s life…”
How effective is the combination of
your main product and ancillary
• All 3 products all share the use of technology in each product. In
the short film, technology is the most dominating method when it
comes to the lead Ben and “Social Enemy”, as in the film they
contact through Facebook and the use of several mobile phones. In
my poster, phones are displayed in large In the middle of the poster
to emphases its’ importance. In the double page spread a photo of
the lead reading a text message is shown, and the review showed
actually mentions the use of technology in the film. Also, the poster
and double pager spread both share the same dark color scheme
with a hint of red and white. The list in the second page of the
double page spread, has a red background with white font, where
as the font in the film poster is predominantly white, and 5 red
• I have tried to reach my target audience of a younger generation
and thriller and horror fans, by making my making my
productions socially relevant. The use of mobile phones and social
networking meets the younger generation ideals so by
emphasizing the theme of phones in my productions relates to
them as they use mobile phones all the time, and they use social
networking sites a lot of the time.
• I feel that double page spread is better than the poster,
because I feel that the quality of my double page
spread has improved from my AS, much better than
the quality of my poster from A2 has improved from
my poster from AS. I feel that my short film could have
used a much clearer storyline, as I think the storyline is
too complicated, and could have been expressed
better. I’m disappointed at the color blend of the
background of leaves in the background of my film
poster. I thought it was too dark than I initially
intended. I’m happy with my double page spread, as it
includes more photos and the article is more spread
out over the spread.
My film poster and double page spread would be an
Effective way to publicise because on my poster, I added a
“website” address for people to find out more information
about the film, as well as a release date for those who want
to watch the film. I included quotes from Newspapers
praising the short film, which publicises it as publications
are praising the film and giving the film its due.
Compared with mine, major film companies’ budget is
significantly large so they have a lot of money invested into
their campaigning. One particular instance of viral
marketing campaigns is “The Dark Knight” which saw . In
May 2007, 42 entertainment started the campaign with
showcasing “I believe in Harvey Dent” campaign, in which
posters and websites promoting an electoral candidate
“Harvey Dent” running , which followed up with a
vandalised version of the poster called “I believe in Harvey
Dent too”. This followed up with A WhySoSerious.com
release which sent fans on a scavenger hunt for the teaser
of the film and photos of the Joker, and much more.
. What have you learned from
your audience feedback?
• From our audience feedback on the initial pitch they
wanted us to address the issue of police involvement,
which we failed to do in the pitch. And we did that, by
having the villain threaten the life of the women in
danger if the lead rang the police.
• Someone in the audience suggested that we used
Social Networking as a form of communication. So we
had the “Social Enemy” talk to Ben via Facebook.
• They wanted us to give the antagonist “Social Enemy”
have a motive, so we decided to have the motive
addressed at the start of the film, by saying that Ben
Shepherd “failed to pay up”.
• The audience feedback I received really
changed the initial idea of the film. After our
pitch in December, someone in the audience
suggested that we used Social Networking as a
form of communication. I agreed with the
notion, and the initial phone scavenger hunt
idea changed. The original title of our film
changed from “Phone Call Killer” to “Social
Enemy” because of it.
• After we did our initial Short Film Pitch in
December 2011, we received written and
verbal feedback. We responded through a
video addressing the feedback and what’d we
hoped to do about the issues. We uploaded
the video on Vimeo, and the video link is
• An example of Audience Research and Feedback influencing films is the Batman
franchise. When they released “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin”, they
were critical failures. Reasons for this was for the studios decision to make it
more “Family-Friendly”. Joel Schumacher, who was the director, even said "We
decided to do a less depressing Batman movie and less torture and more heroic.
I know I have been criticized a lot for this, but I didn't see the harm in that
approach at all“. The negative reaction towards the series, eventually resulted in
the next film “Batman Triumphant” being cancelled, and the entire film
franchise being re-booted, with Christopher Nolan being the new director,
focusing on a more darker approach to Batman with “Batman Begins”, “The Dark
Knight” and the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises”, and it paid off and was a
critical and financial success, and encouraged more producers to take a darker,
more depressing edge to superhero movies, like “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” by
FOX studios, for example. The reason it’s so important for film producers to
focus on audience feedback is because the audience, at the end of the day, will
make or break their film. When films don’t get the response they wanted, they’ll
have to take their feedback on board, because if they don’t, people are going to
lose interest in the product.
How did you use media technologies
in the construction and research,
planning and evaluation stages?
I used the website “Blogger” to upload my blogs for the A2 Media Coursework. This website is
Able to embed several types of Media onto your blog, like:
• YouTube videos
• Vimeo Videos
• Sound cloud files
• Word Documents
• JPEG Images
• BBC iPlayer Videos
This has been very useful to me as a research uploader, as the embedding allows me the chance
to use various types of media to present my research.
I have used YouTube for my research several times. Due to the popularity of YouTube, there are
So many videos uploaded, that it wasn’t difficult to find videos that helped my coursework, Like
Film trailers and short films. YouTube has been the hosting site of Simon’s Cat videos created by
Simon Tofield , who has some videos generating over 20 millions views worldwide, which I used
In my Short film research.
Facebook was used by us, as one of the scenes shows Ben using Facebook to uncover a
Message by “Social Enemy” to himself. This is to tie in the theme of technology and social
Networking, and we used a Facebook account to make a “Social Enemy” Facebook account
And we then created a message, which was sent to “Ben’s” Facebook.
I used Prezi to create several presentations that were to be uploaded on my blog. These
Prezis have different parts of research for the short film, including Genre and Short Film
Posters. We did our pitch through a Prezi, as it allows you import media like YouTube
Videos at whatever size you want them to be seen in. Prezi has very good design options
Like in background color and font, and we felt it was better, than Microsoft PowerPoint,
As a presentation creator program.
I used Microsoft PowerPoint for this evaluation, because I felt it was better to have the question
Parts Appear in slides, rather than Prezi. While I prefer Prezis design options to PowerPoint, I
Felt PowerPoint was more formal, and that the evaluation needed formality.
A MAC computer was used for the production of the short film. By production, I mean editing
And the Sound Track. To put the film together I used the Final Cut Pro software exclusive to
MAC, while I used Garageband software to create the soundtrack.
As far as I’m concerned, Garageband is the best music production software to use, because
With several sample loops and the ability to use your vocals and music in the programme,
This gives the user a lot of options and choices. The music provided was great for the
Horror/thriller short film I had to create.
Final Cut Pro was used for editing and using the clips gained through the filming to
Create the actual film. It was difficult to use at first, but I was able to grasp the controls
And the effects, and we were able to put together the short film well.
• Photoshop was used to create the Double
Page Spread and the film poster. My skills in
Photoshop have improved in AS, in which my
Photoshop skills weren’t great. I knew how to
blend images better, and I could explore with
the uses of the images available.
• Computers have made it easier for me as a
film producer to edit the clips our group
filmed. With Final Cut Pro, it didn’t tale long
for the images to upload, we were able to trim
and cut some of the clips easily. We had
problems with some of the clips being in a
different quality then my previous clips,
despite using the same camera, but in we
were able to fix the problem, be re-uploading
the images with different settings.