FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION - LUKE NICHOLLS
? FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 1 Question? Question? In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 2 (I’m glad you asked…) I have created my teaser trailer for new fictional production ‘Face The Truth’ based on forms and conventions of existing media products. Prior to constructing my own teaser trailer, I spent time researching similar products, and analysing how they use conventions such as pace, edits, narrative structure, misé-en-scene, and different camera shot types and angles to create meaning and atmosphere – as shown on my blog. I have kept the overall details of the teaser trailer similar to these existing products, ensuring the trailer looks more professional and realistic. This is evident from the use of institutional information at both the beginning and the end of the trailer. I have used both fictional and real institutions, so that audiences will be drawn into the production through use of recognisable logos. Audiences may have a desire to watch the production based on the companies producing and distributing the film; they will have seen previous releases from these companies, and desire to see the latest release. By keeping the construction of the teaser trailer similar to existing products, target audiences will have a better understanding of the purpose of the product, and feel familiar with the teaser trailer. The audience gratification relating to this convention include audiences anticipating entertainment; they will have been entertained by films produced and released by these companies – for example, ‘ Cloverfield ’ (Matt Reeves, 2008) and ‘ Star Trek ’ (J J Abrams , 2009) .
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 3 I used real institutions to make the teaser trailer look and feel authentic... Want to see more films from these companies? Just click on the logos... ( (
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 4 Another form I used in my teaser trailer was the number of cuts. This is proven by over thirty cuts being used throughout the relatively short duration of the teaser trailer. I discovered that the vast majority of teaser trailers – including those promoting films not of the action-thriller genre – use this form. The quantity of cuts also leads to a fast pace in the production. An example of a teaser trailer which uses fast cuts is the teaser trailer for ‘ Terminator Salvation ’ ( McG , 2009) . Initially, I decided to strongly challenge this convention, and use long takes in my teaser trailer to create atmosphere and tension. I discovered that this convention which challenges the norm within teaser trailers is rarely used, and decided it would well suit my own production. It would be a risk by strongly challenging the seldom-unused convention, but I believed it would enhance the atmosphere of the production. However, as I did use the feature – as seen in the rough cut version of my teaser trailer (view the Rough Cut on my blog, here ) – audiences were not very receptive during audience feedback, and suggested I use more cuts and a faster pace. This resulted in the making the teaser trailer shorter, however, I will agree that it improves the quality of the teaser trailer
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 5 I’m using enough cuts in my teaser trailer. Why aren’t you?!
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 6 The handgun I have included in my teaser trailer is a frequently-used signifier within the action-thriller hybrid genre. It is used very often in similar productions, and audiences understand that the person holding the object is, usually, the character within the scene that has the most control. It is seen frequently is high-grossing action films such as the 48-year movie franchise Bond, the latest release being ‘ Quantum of Solace’ (Marc Forster, 2008) . According to feminist theory – in particular Laura Mulvey ’s theory of the male gaze, and even within Propp’s narrative theory where the female is the ‘princess’ – females are often supporting roles within productions, and used for their beauty and elegance. Mulvey suggests that male audiences do not expect females to take a leading role, but instead simply remain an object, thus allowing audience members to become voyeurs. This is again evident in the popular Bond productions. At the point in my teaser trailer, where the innocent and vulnerable looking female picks up the gun and has power over the male, audience members should experience ‘juissance’. Therefore, I have used the convention of a gun as a signifier, but challenged the convention of expectations from a female. I have created for audiences a scene they did not expect the opening sequence to lead to, which intensifies the following dialogue, and teaser as a whole. What male gaze? Olga Kurylenko, Quantum Of Solace
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 7 I discovered that teaser trailers are designed to be enigmatic; they offer some information on the narrative of the production, but leaving the viewer with questions. This is a successful convention, encouraging them to view the production in its entirety. I applied Todorov’s theory to my production, by beginning with a very short period of equilibrium as the news reader informs audiences of the disappearance of Daniel Woods, and as the female walks into the kitchen. At this point, everything seems reasonably calm and unremarkable. The disequilibrium begins as the female picks up a handgun, and points it at Woods. The teaser now turns on its head, and it is now apparent that the female is not the everyday harmless girl she initially appeared. After some sections of short dialogue, the teaser trailer abruptly finishes, just as Daniel Woods was about to have an input. Audiences will have a sudden desire to know the information Woods was about to give, and gain a better understanding of the situation. I subverted the audience's expectations from the female. Now she has the power...
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 8 ? Question2 Question2 How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts?
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 9 In order to interest and inform target audiences, and reach out to the biggest audience possible, all demographics and their preferred method of promotion should be considered. By just creating a webpage to promote a new film would only reach those who spend a large amount of time surfing the Internet. Therefore, multiple forms of promotion should be created in order to interest and be consumed by a large, varied audience; thus increasing chances of increasing revenue from the film. With this in mind, I decided to create two ancillary text – a promotional front cover for a magazine, and a promotional website. (Click on the webpage to access it.)
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 10 In order to ensure these products were authentic and convincing, I kept the styles of each consistent. I did this by keeping features like fonts and colours similar throughout each of the products. For example, I used exactly the same font on the teaser trailer for the title of the film, as I did on the webpage. In addition, I also ensured that the colour in the teaser trailer matched the colour in the webpage – where the fonts are white on black, but the pictures have a slightly yellow tint to them. Moreover, by producing both a magazine front cover and promotional web page, I would be covering both the two-step flow audience theory, and the hypodermic needle theory; by producing both forms of consumption for audiences, they are more likely to become receptive to the information offered to them. This will result in an increased interest in the film. I think Luke deserves some freshly baked apple pie for his efforts in Media. Or just an ‘A’ grade…
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 11 For the magazine cover, I used the same female as audiences would have been familiar with from the teaser trailer. If I had used a different person, who was not recognised from the teaser trailer, the promotion may not have been as strong. However, I decided to put her on the cover of the magazine not in costume; in my research I found that some cast members featured on the front cover of Empire magazine were in costume ( Keira Knightly ), while others weren’t ( Megan Fox ). Therefore, I thought it could be good for audiences to consume promotion of Face The Truth, but also become acquainted with the girl behind the character. This would create a relationship between the reader and the female, and they could have an increased desire to view the film. I decided to use Empire magazine as the front cover for my film. This is because my film is being distributed my Paramount Pictures, which is a large company with a very large budget, and would want the best possible promotion for a forthcoming production. Empire is one of the most successful and trusted brands of magazines for the niche ‘film-fanatic’ audience, and by promoting Face The Truth on this magazine, a far wider audience is likely to be reached than if the film was promoted on independent and little-known film magazine Little White Lies. Even customers who don’t purchase the magazine are often subjected to the image on the cover as they pass the magazine in shops and supermarkets. This increases audience awareness of the film.
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 12 As I was constructing my magazine cover, I looked at existing magazine covers to ensure that mine looked as authentic and professional as possible. TITLE, ISSUE, DATE, PRICE TAGLINE, WEBSITE BARCODE, PUFF COVER FEATURE EXTRA ARTICLES
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 13 The website I have created to promote Face The Truth is very simple, but contains information to inform audiences about the production. I have included pictures from the teaser trailer – such as the handgun and the gun being pointed – to stay consistent with the style of the teaser trailer. Consumers can see the cast of the teaser trailer, and learn their names. This will help them recognise the cast on the cover of Empire magazine. Also included on the website is a countdown to the official release date of the film. In the teaser trailer, audiences are told that the production is just ‘coming soon’, but on the website they can discover the official release date, and become excited for the release. Finally the teaser trailer is on the website for consumers to view. It is important to remember that this form of promotion makes use of the ‘global village’, a term popularised by Marshall McLuhan. Digital promotion is available for viewing from any person in any country anywhere in the world – all they need is access to the net, and search engine. This could, potentially, mean that the website is a far better source of promotion than the magazine cover; the magazine can only be viewed wherever the magazine is distributed, which, for Empire Magazine, is throughout Britain, Australia, Turkey, and Russia. Digital technologies being used to promote ‘Face The Truth’ allow word-of-mouth promotion to occur rapidly, meaning those who knew nothing about the production can find out about it within a matter of clicks, potentially increasing awareness of the production very quickly. However, it is still an excellent method of marketing to include both forms of promotion to really engage and excite audiences.
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 14 ? QuestionThree QuestionThree What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 15 The audience feedback I have received has been essential to finishing my production. I have, as I have described earlier in this evaluation, obtained feedback at different points throughout the development of my production. I have gained points from my varied audiences which have led to the enhancement of my production. “ We’re a varied audience!” “ We gave Luke feedback throughout his creative process!”
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 16 One example of obtaining audience feedback was after the completion of the rough cut of my production. Although the rough cut was, as the name suggests, not the completed version of the production, it was a strong representation of the finished product. For example, as I have stated previously, I increased the pace of the production after receiving audience feedback, which enhanced the production. I believed that the slow pace and long shots within the teaser trailer effectively built up the tension of the teaser trailer, and lead to the unexpected learning that the female is holding the male hostage. However, audiences, although they thought the convention did work, almost unanimously agreed that increasing the pace would make the production feel much more like a teaser trailer than an opening sequence. It really was a rough cut!
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 17 Audience feedback also helped me find other improvements to apply to the teaser trailer. For example, within the teaser trailer, audiences noticed that the lighting within the news scene did not well reflect the time of day within the remainder of the trailer; the newsreader scene took place with midday light outside the windows, then as the scene changes with a cut edit, at what is suppose to be the same time of day, there is darkness outside the window. This is poor continuity, and resulted in the need to reshoot the scene. As I reshot the scene, I also changed the location of the shoot, thus improving the misé-en-scene. I also ensured that the sound of the dialogue was improved, to increase the professionalism of the production. Audiences from feedback sessions also suggested that I improve the authenticity of this scene by including an institutional logo in one corner of the frame, and an image of the subject of the news piece – therefore, I ensured that I included these conventions within the final product.
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 18 During my audience feedback, audiences also explained to me aspects of the teaser trailer they enjoyed. Some of the gratifications viewers received from my teaser trailer included escapism and personal identity. Audiences became involved with the narrative – even during the short duration of the teaser trailer. Females especially felt that the female in my teaser trailer represented women very strongly, and felt that she was a good role model. Audiences enjoyed the enigma at the end of the production – this making the teaser trailer more exciting – and explained that this encouraged them to see the film at its release. I included the hermeneutic code at the end of the teaser trailer, described by linguist Roland Barthes , ensuring the dialogue and narrative is equivocal by not giving audiences the complete answers, thus increasing the tension of the product, and encouraging audiences to see the film at release
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 19 ? Question#4 How did you use media technologies in the planning, research, construction, and evaluation stages? Question#4
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 20 Technology is allowing those who were previously consumers of media, to become successful producers of media. As the Internet and technology is constantly evolving, more power is given to everyday people, allowing them to creatively develop their own media product, and share it with the world. Technology is also allowing research and information to become more accessible, with high-speed search engines like Google, and incredibly huge information databases such as Wikipedia and IMDb. (Click on the logo to access the page.)
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 21 For example, I have used Blogspot to represent my Media work from the beginning of the academic year. It includes all of my analytical research and production updates. I researched and incorporated a template into my design, and then – after researching the necessary information through Google – manipulated the hyper-text merge language of the template to suit my needs. For example, I ‘un-hid’ in the Blogger navbar, added comment boxes, and fixed problems with the main banner. All of the Media work is represented digitally, meaning an increase in knowledge of the websites used to show our work is necessary. I have learnt so much more about HTML and Blogger as I have been constructing and improving my Media blog. A further example of this is the construction of the table used for my shot list. This took a lot of time to research, and some trial and error before completing the table The HTML for the completed table...
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 22 Before I could begin creating my production, I had to gather ideas from existing products by analysing some successful teaser trailers, magazine covers, and websites. I, again, used the Internet to aid my research, and represent the research on Blogger; even though I did extensive research, looking at far more teaser trailers and Empire magazine covers than shown on my Media blog, I could only include so much information on my blog. In my research stages, I used famous and highly popular Internet sites such as Google, Youtube, and IMDb.
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 23 During the production, I used a JVC GR-D860 digital video camera to shoot the production. I also studied and carried with me the user’s manual, to enable me to try out some new techniques, and gain a better understanding of the camera. For example, I learnt how to manually focus the camera, and incorporated this into the filming. I also took my personal camera along to the shoot with me, to obtain still images to use at a later time – for example, on my promotional website. My Sony a350 DSLR captured excellent images to use for my production and ancillary products. Technology allows us to take a picture, review the picture, then make any necessary changes, before shooting again, stopping only when we get the perfect image we desire. We also often take for granted the ease of digitally transferring the images from the camera to a computer, to further edit the image.
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 24 After the shoot, I was ready to upload the footage, and begin editing. I used Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 to edit the footage, being familiar with the programme after using it extensively to edit both my Media coursework in Year 12, and some personal projects of my own. I designed the promotional website using iWeb on our new iMac computers . I had had no experience using an iMac before the new academic year, and had to adapt to using the Mac OS X 10.6, also known as Snow Leopard. I also included pictures on the website which I had taken with my DSLR. I copied over the completed teaser trailer using a USB pen drive, and dragged and dropped the teaser trailer into place on the website.
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 25 For the magazine cover, I had to educate myself on how to use Adobe Fireworks . I used my a350 to capture and appropriate picture for the front cover, and then used Microsoft Office Word 2003 to construct the remainder of the magazine cover – such as the fonts, titles, puffs, and other wordings. Finally, I then needed to add the Empire logo at the top of the page. This was the most difficult part of the construction, and I had to use multiple programmes, and some trial and error, before managing to successfully complete the cover. I used Adobe Fireworks to extract the red logo from an existing Empire front cover, and then pasted this logo into Microsoft Paint to touch up the edges. Meanwhile, I also had to use Adobe Fireworks to cut the female’s body out from the blurred background, and save this as a separate image. Then, opening a new, blank canvas on the programme, I added both the original image to the canvas, and the image with just the female and no background. I then copied the logo back over to the canvas, and layered it above the original image, but below the image of the female. The effect made the cover look professional. Finally, saving this as an image, I could add it back onto the Word document, thus completing it with the puffs and straplines already created.
FACE THE TRUTH A2 MEDIA EVALUATION 26 Simply put, within the advanced technology at my fingertips, I would not have had success in the creation of my productions; I have relied on technology to research my products, educate myself on programmes, and actually create the products.