In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? – Trailer.
Precise continuity: The continuity of the trailer is smoothly conducted through the use of fade ins between shots.
Tease devices and cliff hangers: The dialogue within the trailer could be seen as an indication of foreshadowing events within the soap.
Combinations of action (information for the viewers) and enigma (questions raised for the viewer): Within the trailer characters are displayed to the viewers, allowing them to know who is within the soap. The whole overview of the soap is indicated by the voiceovers, and collectively create suspicion for the viewers.
Dominance of two-shots and over the shoulder shots: The trailer challenges this convention, as I used panning establishing and close up shots instead.
Establishing shots (of locations) and tabluex (groups of people): Establishing shots were used to convey the setting of the location.
Meeting places that allow for gossip to circulate: Even though there were no specific shots of any interior setting, specific locations such as the local pub, local high street and park use this convention effectively.
In terms of narrative, the trailer does not really consist of one, however through the use of voiceovers a sense of suspicion is created towards the area and people who live in it. In this way it challenges the convention of narrative, but it does use clips of certain characters who represent who the soap will be based around, showing that the narrative will consist around them and their lives.
Music used as a motif: Unlike a ordinary soundtrack being used, I used a piano instrumental beat from Michael Myers ‘Halloween’ soundtrack and created a continuous loop alongside the video footage. This helped tie in with the suspense and tension.
Set designs and mise en scene: The setting shots are set in a small town-village named Langley Green. It consists of a park, small high street, local pub and a canal. The suburban feel of the town is given off by the scenery, as the buildings are generally old and very non-city-like. The characters on the other hand are portrayed as modern young people, some fashion conscious and some are not, however are total contrast to the town itself. Here, I have challenged the convention of the characters representing certain stereotypes as they simply reflect the target audience.
Microelements of soap trailers.
The lighting generally tends to vary, as it can either be quite dark and mysterious, or bright and inviting. Natural daylight is also sometimes used to reinforce the realism of the soaps. Within the trailer, the lighting of all the footage used is natural daylight lighting, however the shots of the area which the soap is based in is slightly dimmed, portraying the idea that the town is not a happy place to be. The lighting of the character shots on the other hand has been brightened, and this has been done to reinforce their youthfulness.
Typically in soap trailers we often see medium shots of setting and characters. Over the shoulder shots, pans and wide shots are also included. Sometimes the camera can be set on a track and follow character movements, representing the idea of one thing leading to another.
Within the trailer, the character shots are standard mid shots from their waist upwards, however the town shots are a mixture of horizontal/vertical pan shots.
Each shot does not last longer than roughly 5 – 7 seconds, and each shot generally has a fast speed motion. The reason for this is to create a fast and upbeat advert which does not lose the audiences ‘grip’ and keeps them attracted. Some transitions used are normally cross fades or a fade to black to indicate the ending of something. Like the camera being on a track, the cross fades are sometimes used between shots to indicate the idea of one thing leading to another. Therefore, it creates a sense of tension and can be used as a build up to the cliff-hanger at the end, causing the audience to be more eager to watch it. Another element of editing would be the use of text. Each trailer consists of the name of the soap and when it is broadcasted (i.e. date and time).
Instead of having short snappy and fast shots, I decided to slow the motion of the footage down, allowing it to be slower paced and less snappy. The shots of the individual characters however were not slowed down, and are displayed as quick cuts, as the cross fade to black sharply and open up the next shot of a setting slowly (due to it’s slowed down pace). Text is also used within the trailer right at the end. The name of the soap appears at the end, however the date and time is not mentioned, as I have deliberately wrote ‘Coming Soon on 7’ to reinforce the idea that it is new and upcoming.
Mise-en-Scene: Characters are normally associated with specific stereotypes, and this is generally reflected throughout their costumes/props. The setting is also vital as well, as it can determine what sort of lifestyle the characters may be portraying.
The setting shots are set in a small town-village named Langley Green. It consists of a park, small high street, local pub and a canal. The rural feel of the town is given off by the scenery, as the buildings are generally old and very country-like. The characters on the other hand are portrayed as modern young people, some fashion conscious and some are not, however are total contrast to the town itself. Here, I have challenged the convention of the characters representing certain stereotypes as they simply reflect the target audience.
Normally the sound is non-diegetic, with not so much dialogue and normally is a soundtrack associated with the narrative. Some sounds can be seen as synchronous.
Unlike the ordinary convention where a soundtrack is used, I used a piano instrumental beat from Michael Myers ‘Halloween’ soundtrack and created a continuous loop alongside the video footage. This helped tie in with the suspense and tension.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? – Poster.
Posters generally consist of minimal text and indicate the name, a slogan and perhaps the date of it’s release/showing. My poster follows this convention effectively as it consists of the name of the soap – ‘Northerners’ – and has a slogan relating to the soap – ‘One person. Three sides.” The slogan helps indicate the possible narrative storylines of the soap, and portray the idea that it is revolved around people and their lives. Also my poster consists of the logo of the channel it is going to be broadcasted on and the date too. Both are situated together in the bottom left-hand corner.
Typography on posters can be complex or simple, depending on what is being promoted. My poster consists of simple, black typography as I did not want it to draw attention away from the main image.
Photographs and illustrations – body shape:
Posters normally consist of one main image instead of many different ones collectively put together. Depending on what is being advertised, photographs are generally of people and something that relates to the product, and are simple and attractive to look at. My main image consists of the same model repeated three times in different opacities, which is linked to the slogan. The difference in opacity levels highlights the idea of someone ‘having three sides’, and this is also reinforced by the fact that the model is the same person (‘one person.’) and repeated three times (‘three sides’).
Posters again can vary according to colour. Unless there is a distinct colour theme to the product, posters can be of any colour, however generally do not adopt a busy nature by having contrasting colours. My poster overall consists of little colour. The background of the actual poster is a charcoal grey, as the model herself was quite pale, so I did not want to use a light background in case it clashed. I also used a glow effect around the model’s figure to make her stand out more, and this was also reinforced by her black dress. The typography is also black. Overall I wanted a clear focus on the image, and to do this I used minimal colours in order for it to look professional. I also wanted the colours to be appealing to the overall target audience (18 – 35 year olds), and by using minimal colours this helped relate to the age range well.
Certain elements of posters can indicate the genre. The slogan and main image collectively indicate the genre, as they both link together well. The model herself is a young teenager, indicating what type of characters may be in the soap and it also reflects the target audience.
Microelements of soap posters.
Normally posters consist of characters posing, representing certain stereotypes. Sometimes the setting is used as the background and text is positioned on top of it just to advertise when the soap is going to start. Different colours are used to emphasise certain aspects of the poster, for example, a plain solid background can look effective if the image on top is quite complex and draws attention towards it. The background of my poster consists of a grey gradient background, which gets darker around the edge from a off white centre. The three images of the model are repeated in different opacities on top of the background, and then the text is also positioned on top of it too. This uses the conventions effectively as neither the background or typography draw attention away from the main images. The model herself is placed in a normal black dress, reinforcing the idea of simplicity and keeping it minimal.
Dimmed light levels can portray a sense of negativity and evil, whereas bright light levels indicate the idea of happiness and positivity. The overall lighting of my posters images are quite natural and do not necessarily differ between each other.
Camera shots are typically close up or medium shots. The shots of the model on my poster are medium shots showing her face to her waist downwards.
Images are generally in colour and of high saturation. The middle image of the model is of a high saturation, which follows the convention of a soap poster. However the other two images are low in saturation and opacity levels. The outer glow of all three images allow the shape of the character to stand out, and reinforce the idea of it being new and visible.
Typography is simple and non-complex, however tends to be quite large. Normally the logo of the channel the soap is broadcasted on is situated within a corner. The typography on my poster is simple and non-complex, and is not too large either, and this challenges conventions as normally it tends to be. The logo of the channel on the other hand is also situated on the poster.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? – Magazine cover.
The masthead is the name of the magazine and is usually the first thing people see. It is normally a logo or normal text. The masthead of my magazine is red and bold, which stands out to the audience. It is capitalised as well making it stand out more. The shadowing of the text allows this to ‘pop out’ of the magazine showing that it is bursting with information. It follows the conventions of a soap magazine cover as the text is visible and represents the magazine.
At the top of the magazine there is normally a skyline promoting something within the magazine or a catchy slogan which is associated with the magazine. My skyline is situated underneath the masthead and this challenges the convention of one. Instead of promoting something my skyline indicates that the magazine is all inclusive, and this is toyed on through the use of the word ‘every’, indicating the magazine has everything.
Strap lines and strap images:
Strap lines are mini headings which indicate the content of the magazine. Sometimes specific images are attached alongside them. Each strap line on my magazine cover has a strap image, showing the characters that are affiliated with what is going on in that soap. Underneath each strap line I have also included the soap that it is from which is a common feature on most soap magazine covers.
The main image shows the main story of the week and what the magazine has focused on more between all the soaps. The main image on my cover is simple and effective as it is placed on a white back ground which draws all the attention to the model herself. It also indicates that she is part of the main story this week and that being the fact that a new soap is being broadcasted.
Headers are normally situated underneath the main image or across the bottom however mine challenges this convention as it is situated at the top in corner and on a slight tilt. Instead of being a dramatic phrase I have simply placed the name of soap in capital letters. The fact that it is new is reinforced by the strap line ‘new soap!’ and also by the mini kicker at the side indicating the date of broadcasting and channel.
Normally soap covers consist of three to four colours and portray a ‘busy’ feel across the page as they consist of many strap lines and images. Colours tend to be bright and bold. The overall Mise-en-scene of my magazine cover consist of bright colours (bright yellow, pinks and blues) and there is also plenty of information on one page to represent it’s busy nature.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? The main image in the poster and the magazine cover consist of the same model with the same clothes. The pose within the image s are also similar. The model is significant as she is a character within the soap. Box shapes have been used to frame text/images. The magazine cover conveys bold and bright colours in order to attract attention. Dimmed colours are used within the poster, and portrays a subtle and attractive feel. Same use of typeface. The contrast between both ancillary products are because of their purpose. The poster is not necessarily created to sell, but more so to promote and advertise the soap. The magazine on the other hand is also created to do this however in order to generate sales it needs to be attractive to people, hence the bright, bold colours.
Within the trailer, characters and setting also display the element of continuity. We notice that there is a repetitive occurrence of
young people, and the locations shots indicate the type of ‘northern suburb’ setting. Collectively, the trailer substantially sets the
foundations of the soap and highlights it’s target audience.
^^ The characters are all young teenagers and their shots are repeated throughout the trailer, thus indicating that the soap revolves around them and their lives. The mixture of ethnicities also indicate that the soap will be quite diverse and can include all sorts of storylines. ^^ The setting shots indicate the setting of the soap and where the soap will be based around. The ‘cottage’ style pub, old victorian housing and overall suburban setting indicates that it is set in a non city/urban like area. This contrasts with the characters as they represent a urban and youthful look. This is further highlighted by the fact that the setting is in a gray scale colour and the characters are in colour.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
After completing all three tasks, I showed my products to two people, and collectively I received some positive and negative
All three products are professionally complete, and match the standards and expectations of a poster, magazine cover and a soap trailer.
The poster was unique and different, and consisted of the relevant information that needs to be on there (i.e. Channel, time, name of soap and slogan).
The slogan on the poster is cleverly thought out as it implies the nature of the soap and indicates the type of storylines that may be in there. This is also reinforced effectively in the soap trailer through the use of voiceovers over the individual character shots.
The magazine cover conveys a typical listings magazine cover, with the use of bright colours, strap lines/images and overall busy nature.
The images of the model in the poster and magazine cover are professionally taken. Alongside this, the strap images are also effective as they represent soap characters effectively.
The trailer was professionally edited with the use of fades and background music, and footage was clear and steady.
The footage of the location in the trailer clearly represents the type of setting the soap is situated in and alongside this the character footage also represents the target audience effectively.
The use of establishing shots for the settings and close ups for the characters represent the soap overall well.
Typography between all three products is effective as it is similar.
The model in the ancillary tasks is not seen within the trailer and this can be seen as confusing as she is the main focus in the two.
The text in the trailer exits too quickly, and is positioned in an area that is not necessarily directly in front of a viewers eye.
Even though the narrative is represented through the use of voiceovers, perhaps footage of actual conversations or scenes from the soap itself could be used, as to understand the narrative is quite complex.
How did you use new technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Construction and research:
For the construction of my trailer, I used programmes Final Cut Pro Express and LiveType. Final Cut Pro allowed me to cut certain clips from video clips, change the colour levels and slow down the speed at which they played. It also allowed me to place sound alongside the moving image and add fades in between the shots and sound. LiveType allowed me to create text which I could place on top of the moving image.
In order to create my ancillary tasks, I used Photoshop. Within Photoshop, I was able to create layers of text and images for both. For my magazine cover, I first began with the masthead, and worked my way around that as it was my starting point. I then added the strap lines and strap images, and changed colours of the typography. For my poster, I first created a solid background and then pasted the three images which I used the lasso tool to cut around. After I then changed the opacities of each one and add the glow effect and text.
For research, I used search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo in order to collect images of soap magazine covers and posters. I also used YouTube to analyse different trailers and watch various clips from soaps to see how they represented their characters and overall settings.
layers Lasso tool Planning: For Planning I used Microsoft Word to plan out the Layouts for my magazine cover and poster. I handwrote my storyboard for my trailer but used Photoshop to test out different ways to present my masthead. Similarly for my poster, I experimented on changing the opacities for the images. Evaluation: In order to complete my evaluation I used Microsoft PowerPoint to present it and the online software programme of Slideshare to upload it to my blog.