In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
A conventional teaser trailer is typically made following Todorov’s theory which is made up of four parts. The equilibrium, agent of change, disruption and new equilibrium.
If followed the start of the trailer would contain scenes of normality, the equilibrium stage, then it would show an interruption of the equilibrium caused by an event or person, the agent of change stage. Next it would shown scenes of this change, the disruption stage and finally there would be scenes of a new equilibrium, where the main characters have over come the change and things are back to normal or a new normal.
I did not follow this structure as I decided that I wanted to create a teaser that left you guessing instead of giving away the whole story.
In this way I challenged the conventions but I did included scenes of the agent of change and disruption though it may not be obvious which these are. This adds to the viral aspects as it gives viewers more to guess about and to discuss.
My film dose follow the conventions of Carol Clover’s ‘final girl’ theory. She suggests in films there will be one girl who survives through some horrible ordeal that others have failed to do, because she has greater courage and bravery and doesn't have other things tying her down like the previous victims had enabling her to escape their fate.
Christina was set to be the 12 th victim but because of what she and Sam manage to do she is saved from murder despite been in the clutches of the antagonist. In this way in it also develops Carol’s theory as a part of the reason she survives is through Sam, a male main character, interacts and shows great courage and bravery.
My film also follows the conventions of Laura Mulvey’s ‘male gaze’ theory. She suggests that the audiences takes on the view of a man and so see the women on screen as objects worthy of desire or worthy of punishment.
Christina is seen as worthy of punishment as she is taken by the antagonist who knocks her unconscious and tries to kill her by burning her alive on a bonfire. Later on she could then be seen as worthy of desire as she gets herself out of that situation.
My teaser trailer follows other teaser conventions such as it uses fast switching scenes, it is short and doesn't reveal much of the plot of the film. It raises lots of questions so has an enigma about it which adds to the viral aspect.
My film poster followed the conventions of a traditional one. The back ground is taken up by a large portrait photo with text onto with the title of the film and the year of release.
Many film poster now show the main characters with text around them, I decided not to follow this convention as that works best when people recognise the actors and so gain an interest through that link.
For the film website I wanted to create something that would be very viral and enable the public to interact and get a feel of the characters of the film and the background of what has been happening in the lead up.
I decided to create a blog website for the main character Sam as he is investigating what has been happening this would be a good way of getting across the information in an interesting way. Since most people in my target audience will be familiar with either blogs or social networking it would be more likely they would feel at ease interacting on my website.
This however is not like a traditional film website, I couldn’t find one that had a way for people to interact in this way. Though mine is similar in other aspects such as the way the lead up is detailed has been done for many films such as The Blair Witch Project where information was given through a time line, a diary of one of the missing students and police evidence.
My site will include a lot of text from characters and the public which is again different from a traditional website where text is kept to a minimum, but there will also be lots of images and film in the galleries as Sam is a photographer.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
The teaser trailer and poster link very well as they are both in the same style and looking at both you can see they are connected through the effects on the image and the style of text used.
The website however isn’t obviously linked to the two but this doesn't matter as it’s focus is on the social network users and getting them involved in the film creating a viral campaign unlike the other two which are more traditional.
The website is presented as been a real blog with only the production company’s logo linking it to the film. This means that many people may not realise that what they are reading and looking through is about a film and by the time they do they will want to see the film to find out more and how it all turns out.
Hopefully this will attract a larger audience as the film is presented in a new different way from previous ones.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Throughout the project I have continually gone back to people from my target audience to gain their opinion on what they like best and on what could be improved. This market research is very important as it gave me a clear idea of what works and what doesn't enabling me to create effective products.
At the very start I created a questionnaire to find out what they liked and disliked about films. I asked them questions about film genres and about teasers they had seen recently, what worked, what didn’t. I also asked about the three main characters to see if they wanted the conventions of gender to be kept or changed. From the questionnaire I learned that they like horror films best and that they wanted to stick with gender conventions, a male hero, a female victim and a male villain.
When I had completed the film synopsise I asked them to comment on it and through their comments I made a few changes to improve the credibility of the story.
I got feedback on my rough cut which was very useful in deciding what needed improving and what I should add to make the trailer both more realistic and more effective. Some examples of possible improvements were:
To add length – which I did as it was only 10 seconds long the first time
Move the studio logo to the beginning – which I did as looking back at other teases this is where they traditionally are
Add a production logo – which I had planned to include in the first but had left out unnoticed
I did the same with the final version which most thought was really good but there were still some comments on what could be improved, however I was happy with how it was so decided that I wouldn’t change it anymore.
Next I asked them to comment on which photo they thought best suited for the film poster and I went with the most popular choice. I did the same with the writing and again went with the most popular choice.
How did you use new media technologies in the research and planning stages, construction and evaluation?
I used a range of media technologies in order to create this project, from everyday ones such as word processors to specialist programs like flash.
Microsoft Word : I used word to type all the text I have used in the products and for the blog and also to create the designs for the poster and website and the questionnaires.
Final Cut Pro : I used this to edit together the clips into my teaser trailer. It was the first time I had ever used this program and I only had a basic knowledge of other similar software like Serif Movie Plus. This meant I spent a lot of time working out how I could create the effects I wanted but I soon picked it up and got the hang of it with little difficultly.
Soundtrack Pro : I used this to create the soundtrack for my teaser trailer. It was the first time I had ever edited sound so had to learn everything from scratch but I soon picked up how to use effectively to create the sounds I was looking for.
Motion : I used this to create motion graphics for my teaser trailer but in the end didn’t use them as they weren’t a good enough quality to be included. This was the first time I used this program so again I had to work everything out as I went along.
Macromedia Flash : I used flash to create a production company logo/animation but it wasn’t a good enough quality to use. I’ve had limited experience using it before but still spent a long time working out how to get my idea across.
Macromedia Dreamweaver : I used this to create my website. I’ve only used it a couple of times, unsuccessfully and this time was not much different.
Windows Media Player : I used this to show my teaser trailer which is as simple as pressing play and pause.
You Tube : I used this to share my rushes and trailers. It was the first time I’d uploaded anything but it was very simple and easy to share with the provided embed code.
Image Shack : I used this to share my images and photos. This to was very simple to do and it was easy to share with the provided embed code.
Slide Share : I used this to share my PowerPoint's. This was also very simple to do and it was easy to share with the provided embed code.
Paint Shop Pro/GIMP : I used these to edit my images. It was the first time I’d used Paint Shop Pro to do this but it was easy to pick up and I have had lots of experience using GIMP before so it was simple to get the effects I wanted.