EVALUATION QUESTIONSAlsid Bajramaj – Media Studies
QUESTION 1: IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USEDEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OF REAL MEDIAPRODUCTS?Naming our project „HIDDEN‟ follows the typical action/war genre convention of having a mysterious and deceptive title. The short title does not clearly represents the genre of the film as it does challenge the norm. Typical action/war films tend to have a more descriptive title such as „Behind Enemy Line‟ or „Black Hawk Down‟. We decided to go against this because I believe a long title gives away too much of the story line away and thus removing a sense of mystery about the film. However there are aspects of our title that do conform to the conventions of our chosen genre. The type of text we have used is one typically used in army documents. This was used in order to let the audience know what is expected in the film. To help come up with the name our group looked carefully through films titles of this genre and found that the shorter they were the more intrigued we became thus making us want to watch the film.
This army text is used throughout the opening sequence in order to continue to set the mood and tone for the film. We decided to follow the conventions by having a quote before starting the film. This has been done before in „Black Hawk Down‟, we thought it was very effective in adding to the mystery and suspense to the opening sequence.For our locations we decided to continue with the conventions and have a very remote and isolated place, this is common as this genre tends to have difficult situations for its characters to get out of. „Behind Enemy Lines‟ is an example of this when their plane is shot down, this gives the film a darker atmosphere. The film colours being very heightened with lots of greens and brown areas allowed the group to give it a more natural, relatable place making it more believable for the audience and this made the recording process easier. The best war films have very high contrasted colour to empathises the emotional conflicts and difficult situations they are faced with. This intensity then reflects on the audiences feelings towards characters and places in the film.
Again we opted to go against the normal conventions by having our protagonist being alone from the very start. Other films normally start of in groups or squads of soldiers and then become alone later on the film. We did this because we wanted to create energy and tension from the very start, by having our character alone and isolated the audience are given no clue as to who is going to help him and why he is in this situation. This in turn adds to the mystery and suspense we are trying to create, but by also having no background information on the protagonist the story can have any twist or turn we decide. However the situation we have created is very similar to other films, alone being hunted by an unknown enemy. This helps to keep the familiarity with the audience in order for them to get an idea as to the events unfolding. Keeping with this familiar feeling we also decided to have very conventional costumes for our characters. Native green colour for our protagonist and greys for our enemy, we did this in order for the audience to identify the characters and also relate to our chosen protagonist. More feeling will go towards the know than the unknown. We also used varied short and long takes in order to build tension when it is needed. Using long takes at the start helped us to build and form a story line for the audience to understand the situation. As things progressed we used shorter takes for quick action shots to add a level of uncertainty which helps build then tension. This is seen to be used throughout all action/war films to inform the audience when a tense moment is going to happen.
One of the key shots in all war/action films is the close up, as seen above and below these shots are used throughout our film and are very common in all types genres. We used this shot to magnify the importance of the final shot about to be taken but also to highlight the expressions on someones face. The close up takes us almost into the mind of our character, this helps the audience understand feeling and emotions that they may be feeling by the use of facial expressions. The close up of the gun however gives the audience a feeling as if they are the ones being targeted or looked at, by feeling this they get and understanding of the intensity of the scene. They also feel more involved in the film as they get up close and personal with characters as it is a very intimate shot. We have used these shots to make the audience feel extra comfortable but also very uncomfortable about the character being shown.
QUESTION 2: HOW DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT REPRESENTPARTICULAR SOCIAL GROUPSOur media product is different in a sense as we are not trying to portray the ordinary person but a soldier. We tried to represent the situations that they may face in battle when in the army. This is the group that we targeted, the army and the people who serve in it. Most soldiers in war films that I have seen are operating in a distant land, not a regular place in society. Whether it be jungles, forest, deserts or any remote locations around the world. We have shown this in our opening sequence by having filmed in a near by forest in order to get a feel of the places that our represented group are mostly associated with. Linked with this is the idea of the moral fiber of the soldier. The soldier doesn‟t value material possessions or wealth, while the soldier needs the tools (e.g. a weapon and armour) they are not devoid of other wants. Again we show this by having nothing but a natural surrounding in order to show that what is has is all that he needs. Another aspect we included is that our protagonist stands alone, this was done to give the impression of strength and courage. Qualities that we all relate to the group we have chosen.
THINGS WE INCLUDED TO REPRESENT THE SOCIAL GROUPClothes: Themes:They are usually matching to the “side” they are Heroism, cowardice, absurdity of war, brutality on. If the good guys are in red, then all good of war, underdog guys are red. If the bad guys are black, then all bad guys are in black. The color is important as Plot: well because the good side is usually the Two groups or more at an impasse or conflict lighter color as the “evil” side is usually more of and decide to go to battle, usually many die. a darker tone.Makeup:Unless the “savage” is portrayed as the “good guys” then any more than regular face makeup would mean these are people from an invading country or the country being invaded. It symbolizes a difference from the enemy.Lighting:It is usually dark, and depressing. War is not fun, nor is it the place where there is happiness. The only time in the movie where you would generally see the sun or any bright lighting would be at the very beginning and at the very end. The points of the movie where the climax is not close. Most of the movie will be unhappy or dark, so there won‟t be that great of light unless they are fighting during the day in the dessert because no matter what, it‟s very bright there.
QUESTION 3: WHAT KIND OF MEDIA INSTITUTION MIGHT YOUDISTRIBUTE YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT AND WHYFirstly I want to start with a definition of what film distributors and what they do. A film distributor is a company or individual responsible for the marketing of a film. The distributor may set the release date of a film and the method by which a film is to be exhibited or made available for viewing: for example, directly to the public either theatrically or for home viewing (DVD, video-on-demand, download, television programs through broadcast syndication tc.). A distributor may do this directly, if the distributor owns the theatres or film distribution networks, or through theatrical exhibitors and other sub-distributors. A limited distributor may deal only with particular products, such as DVDs or Blu-ray, or may act in a particular country or market.My personal choice would be to distribute through Summit entertainment, I have chosen this because after research into what movies they have been involved with I believe it would be most suitable. Films such as Memento, Mr and Mrs Smith and The Hurt Locker all relate to our production in some ways. These films follow some of the same conventions and also establish many of the themes that our production does.
The other reasons for which I would do so is that they have had many years experience and have gained a reputation by distributing successful movies in the industry previously, so I believe that they would be perfect for the project to ensure maximum profit. I also believe that in the above compilation of selected films from the Summit Entertainment site, they have shown a great understanding of the various vital codes and conventions that are used in successful media productions in order to make it appeal to the intended audience. They also have a major influence in the UK film industry, I will be getting the publicity and recognition in the film industry strong links with UK cinemas, I also may have the opportunity to work alongside many other movie distributors not only in the UK but worldwide in order to make J.A.F a successful film company.Summit Entertainment was acquired by Lionsgate in 2012 so this would mean that we would have strong links to one of the world leading film distributors. Summit also has an extensive network of output partners worldwide, including Universal studios and iTunes along with other leading services. They have also been recognized for having very good financial credibility which suggests more of an inclination to opt for Summit Entertainment this will mean that I can trust them in ensuring that the financial aspect of the project is kept intact.One area I could take advantage of is social networking. By linking with Summit I would be able to produce a trailer of Hidden and upload to sites such as Facebook, twitter and Youtube. This is a great way to attract new potential consumers and gain attention in a world wide scale, updates can also be posted in order to get the consumers involved with the film. This would mean they would have information such as when the film is released in theatres, dvd/blu-ray or aired on TV. Promotion is key to selling a product so every technique would be used together in order to attract the biggest audience
QUESTION 4: WHO WOULD BE THE AUDIENCE FOR YOUR MEDIAPRODUCT?The target audience for this genre is usually adults and young adults because of its content. They are usually geared in the direction of betrayal and gore. A younger audience wouldn‟t understand who is doing what because the plot is usually more complicated than most. Though in most cases, war films can be a little gory, and or bloody. The film tries to capture the essence of war, and war is not a pretty matter. When the producers and directors make a war film, the only reason they make it is to prove a point of a real historical event that maybe people 16 and up can watch, or to make an epic, bloody, action packed war film. These are generally for the male adults because they love the idea of war and blood. In most movies, the hero is a male role, so the male audience is more targeted. Most of the time it is not a child that is the hero either. So the obvious target audience is the adult male part of the population. As we have a BBFC certificate of our final opening sequence is 15 and above, so we have to aim for the teenage/young adult group, of between 16-25years old. Also due to Vue Cinemas doing great deals, such as Cheap Tuesdays, Orange Wednesdays and Student Discounts the cinema has become more affordable for a younger audience from the lower socio-economic classes, making them more likely to watch our film.
As we can see from the graphs above more and more young adults are connecting and sharing information with each other. This is why we have targeted this age gap as we believe that through different media devices used by the population we can gain more of an audience. By sharing experience with one another other people will also what to have the same experience thus going to see our film. We also get an advantage by being able to directly target our audience as we can see from the graph the majority of the own a console, this will mean that we could advertise through the console in order to attract their attention. With other media products growing such as tablets and smart phones we are able to do the same thing creating a wider consumer profile. When the DVD comes out for purchase we will be able to sell through these media devices as well knowing that we reach our target audience rather than advertise through posters and TV spots. This would save money but also be a more effective method.
QUESTION 5: HOW DID YOU ATTRACT/ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCEOne of the key themes throughout this genre is the uplifting feeling you receive when the „bad guy‟ has been neutralised. People like to hear stories of good intentions rewarded and that is something war/action films have to offer. The narrative that we were experimenting with gave us plenty of options to show this prevail through heroic actions, although the time fame was not big enough to show the whole story we tried to make it as action packed as we could. This action theme is very popular with the male audience and that was who we were targeting. The loud bullet noises for our logo are there to draw these action junkies in, this along with the army colours and writing helped to give the audience a feel as to what the film will be about. We wanted to get the messages and theme through to the audience from the start in order for them to be intrigued and want to see more.The location and situations are also unusual to the normal audiences they do not deal with gun fights in the forest in everyday life. This adds a level of excitement to the viewer as they are experiencing something unknown to them. The music and sounds used also help to set the audience into the moods we wanted, by using music from Hans Zimmer gave the images a more powerful feeling. The sound effects used also helped the audience understand why the characters were behaving this way and set the tone ready for battle. This helped to draw in the audience as it created a sense of mystery and suspense through different elements and adding and interesting element to our sequence. We add this music to add a more serious mood to our sequence in order to address our more mature audience.
The costumes and props that we used also helped to draw our targeted audience as it help create a heroic image for our protagonist. Using the guns and having POV shots from our characters almost put the audience in their position. Having these shots gave the audience more interaction with the film as it let them see through the characters perspective and understand more as to how they may be feeling. By having shots taken through gaps in tress and bushes made it feel like something was following and stalking our character, this again added to the mystery that we wanted to create. Blocking the view around the tress added more focus on our protagonist and gave very little away of the location he was at. We did this purposely and we wanted the audience to get closer to our characters as we got more into the sequence.
QUESTION 6: WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES FROMTHE PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING THIS PRODUCT?During the different stages I come across a whole range of different programs, websites and equipment that I had never used before. I had never been involved in creating a piece such as this before so everything was basically new to me. One of the first things that really surprised me was the website blogger.The blogger dashboard I found to be very user- friendly, I was able to change and update everything from one screen. Changing templates and comments were and controllable from this one screen. The site was also available on my iPhone so if I wanted to quickly change or alter anything it was really easy. We used blogger over other methods such as scrap book due to bloggers features which allows you to correct or change old posts. It also allowed you to embed videos, images, and sounds. I found blogger was a very easy way of archiving my media journey, it‟s a great website and it free. Other sites I found very useful in the planning and research stages were Google, Wikipedia and IMBD. Google proved to be very useful in finding out information about basically anything, I was able to look through ideas, help with camera techniques and different programs etc. The other two site gave me plenty of information about films that I needed to know.
YouTube was also very helpful with this stage. I used YouTube to research previous short films that other media students did in order to get an idea as to what we wanted to do and what could be done. It provided me with a verity of sequences based different genres and inspired our idea to create our sequence. It also helped us understand the familiar conventions used in real films but also by other students. Viewing a verity of videos also helped us with how we presented our titles as we wanted them to have as much impact as possible. Another great feature was the fact that we could get feedback from other users once out rough sequence was uploaded, this helped us to make the sequence to the consumers needs and give it a more professional look.When it came to filming I was the cinematographer so I was left to get most of the footage.I had not previously used the camera so filming the preliminary task proved to be veryuseful as I got a chance to get some experience with the equipment. I found that thecamera was very easy to move around as it was compact, it was crammed full of usefulfeatures that I wish I had more time to explore. It was remarkably easy to achieve greatresults with if you took your time and correctly adjusted it and it had a good zoom to playaround with. However it was slightly awkward to hold and the sound did not come out towell. Overall I got what we needed from it, from different angles lengths and sides.
Although I was not the editor I still wanted to play around with the footage I had filmed so I got on a computer and got on adobe premier pro and messed around with the clips and effects. It was and enjoyable experience learning about the colour contrasts and how to add different sound clips to the footage.Prezi was also another very useful site that I used a few times. I found that Prezi was veryuse when presenting something long that you may not have wanted to fit into one post. Itallowed to include pictures and have paths from one thing to another which made it a littlemore interactive. You could also personalise you presentations so that you could present itto other people. It worked great for my story board as I could include lots of information in itat once without have to create numerous posts. I also used slide share because it was an easy way to embed PowerPoints that I had created. It looked a little more professional than Prezi and I could have more slides on it without looking messy.
QUESTION 7: LOOKING BACK AT YOUR PRELIMINARY TASK, WHAT DOYOU FEEL YOU HAVE LEARNT IN THE PROGRESSION FROM IT TO THE FULLPRODUCTPreliminary Task Final SequenceOur preliminary task I feel was very rushed, The final Sequence was however due to time issues we had to complete different, we spent a few hours the task in a very short period and thus discussing the titles in order for it to best a few mistakes were made. We didn‟t suit our sequence. We aimed to leave enough time to add some titles so transition them in dramatically in order to it didn‟t look very professional. We also blend with the action happening in the cut of a part of the character‟s head background. We chose for them to fade because we made a mistake in the in and out of the screen so that attention spacing for the pieces of equipment stayed on the sequence rather than the used. words. It was easy to set up the equipment as there was plenty of space around the forest.
Preliminary Task Final SequenceThe camera shot used to start our task In our sequence we made sure to a few failed to establish any sort of location wide/establishing shots in order help the just a building with someone in it. An audience familiarise themselves with the audience would have be confused of area they are going to be show. This where and when this was shot. also built a little tension as we didn‟t show our character until further into the sequence.We used very few angles for this task and used very basic match on action camera This was very different, I wanted to shot of our character going though the experiment with a whole verity of shots door. This gave the task a very robotic from long to short to show actions feel as it was just movement from one emotions, and expressions. We wanted side to another. We also only to include some slow motion but the end experimented with only a few different product just didn‟t look right. Using both shots which didn‟t really give the short and long takes also help with the audience much verity. narrative in order for the audience to understand whats going on but also keep a few things short and quick to add more tension and suspence.
Preliminary Task Final SequenceOur first over the shoulder shot was This over the shoulder shot comparednot filmed very well. We left the to what we did in the preliminary taskcamera too far back so it looked like is very different. We wanted this shotsomeone was sitting behind them to get the audience closer to the actionrather than over the shoulder. It makes and more intimate with the characters.the audience feel more distant to the We got as close as we could without itconversation happening and the being an extreme close up. This shotaction, its as if they are being moved is there to give the audience theaway rather that pulled in. This gave perspective of the character and helpvery little effect and energy to the shot them relate to his position so they feelas it also lacked movement from the more involved. Colours became verycharacters. The colours used in my important in our final sequence andpreliminary task were very bland and they helped to create a darkerdidn‟t really capture the audience‟s atmosphere. With this the audienceattention. No colours were enhanced also started to understand the moodby editing and we left the light natural and tone that the film way portraying,which gave a plain look to the video. this helped to give it a more serious element throughout our sequence.
Preliminary Task Final Sequence There was no soundtrack in my preliminary We greatly improved our opening sequence task which didn‟t build up any tension for by adding a soundtrack to help set the the audience. There was a lot of diagetic fast pace that we want to portray. We sound used in the preliminary task but found something aggressive but also most of it was unnecessary sound such intense to compliment our footage. We as squeaking of a chair. There was also chose to have a music piece as well so a lot of pointless dialogue which made that the whole sequence wasn‟t sound very fake and inconclusive as it instrumental, this added an emotional just stops. edge to our piece which I believe set to tone for the rest of the film. We decided not to have any dialogue due to the nature of the story telling that we wanted to have. Having pointless words shouted out in the action sequence wouldn‟t have made sense. The lack of words however added to the intensity of the events happening.There are also a few other skills which I have improved on such as the usage of mediadocuments; scripts, storyboards and shooting schedules. These enabled us to be moreorganised into what we were filming on the specific day. The use of professional scriptsoftware meant that we could correctly write our script and distribute copies to our actors.When planning for our Preliminary Task, we didnt use any of media documents(mentionedabove) hence I feel this lead us to a poorer film idea and lower quality preliminary task film