Media Studies Evaluation Group K1 -Amy Gallacher 3079
When evaluating our media product (opening sequence), I had to consider how we used, developed and challenged the expected conventions of our opening sequence. I think that we included all the key conventions whilst also managing to challenge the expected. This helped to make our product unique whilst remaining within the expectations of our target audience. USE?: Our media product uses the conventions of a real media product in the form of titles, sound, camera, editing. In our opening sequence we used these conventions to hook the audience into wanting to watch the rest of the film and to become intrigued by the characters within the sequence. The titles we have used help to realise that our sequence is not a trailer and also makes it look professional. DEVELOP? Our opening sequence develops the forms and conventions of a real media product by the original music choice, by not using a well-known artist. Our music supports the genre of our opening sequence although there are different genres of music used. Our music choice could also be seen to challenge certain conventions as there are different genres of music used. The harsh rock music used at the start has a contrasting effect with the mellow music used for the date scene flashback. CHALLENGE? The ways in which our media product challenges are through the main idea of the film – the main character that will feature is the female although this is not clear from our opening sequence. This challenges the conventions of an action film as it is usually the male character that is the lead in the film. Our media product also challenges a typical action film as I think that we have more suspense and more of a “hook” to keep the audience interested. The music used does challenge the expected conventions of an action film, however it works in an effective way that breaks expectations of our film. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our opening sequence represents social groups through male and female representations. Our opening sequence features three main characters, the male lead, the female lead and the driver. The male lead is represented in a positive light. This represents perhaps not a particular social group as the male lead is part of MI5, but it does link with the secret desire of the majority of males who have at least once in their lives wanted to be part of a secret organisation and be the hero. The female lead challenges the expected within an action film. Usually the female is the one being rescued, however within our film the female is the one searching for the male. This represents independent females that are confident in themselves. The Villain within our opening sequence is secretly in MI5 too. He is however represented in a negative way in the opening sequence as he is seen to “kill” the male lead. Although this does not represent a particular social group, some members of the audience may associate with the bad character or make a connection with him. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
When considering what media institution might distribute our product, I looked into EM Media, a distribution company in the East Midlands. A distribution company like this would be ideal to distribute our independent film. ScreenEast is a screen agency for the East of England. It works to develop, support and promote the media and film industry. ScreenEast distributed Lottery funds through the UK Film Council. ScreenEast supports local counties including Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. Another local company is New Town Films. This company specialises in developing, co-producing and producing commercial motion pictures for the international market. We could apply to the UK Film Council for a grant as they focus on allocating funding to independent film producers. Alternatively we could approach a foreign distribution company in order to distribute our film. This may however have downfalls on our media product in the way that we may have had to have included a foreign actor within our film in order to receive a deal with the distribution company. In conclusion I think that the best option we could use to get our film distributed would be to try and get a contract with ScreenEast in order to distribute our film. We could also apply to the UK Film Council for a grant if we did not receive funding from the distribution company. Alternatively approach a larger distribution company that deals with a lot of British productions, such as London-based Ealing Studios. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
The target audience for our media product is mainly teenage males to middle aged males. However we tried to appeal to a wider audience and include female audience members as the female lead becomes a bigger part of the story. This would appeal to women perhaps from the age of about 15 upwards. We decided on this target audience as it would be the age groups most likely to see the genre film we were producing. We decided on a 15 rating for our film due to the violence featured in the opening sequence and the violence that would feature in the rest of our film. We decided after we rated our film that aiming our film at younger teens would not be necessary at all, and then focused on aiming directly at our main target audience of males above the age of 15 by using the expected conventions that would feature in an action film. Advertising our film would lead to the audience being interested in seeing our film. This would mean we would have to make a trailer to show on TV and in the cinema. We could also create posters that could be displayed in cinemas locally, however we would have to get a distribution company on-board first. Who would be the audience for your media product?
We used various methods to attract and address our audience. Our main target audience is teen males and above. We also tried to appeal to a female audience with the female lead being a vital character within our storyline. We used different methods to appeal to a male audience. In the results we gathered from our questionnaire, we looked at the male responses to the question of conventions they would expect in an action film’s opening sequence. Some of the things we included were fast paced music, action introduced early on in the opening titles, a male lead that they could aspire to or associate with. When thinking about things to include to attract a female audience, we looked at the female responses to our questionnaire. We realised we would have to include a female lead that would play an important role in the storyline. This was the main response from females, however the responses also showed a continuous agreement with the male responses. We included both a male and female lead in our opening sequence as well as in our storyline, we also included interesting camera shots and angles. Another feature that we included in our opening sequence was the fast paced music to match the action along with an interesting storyline overall and interesting titles. We also used a lot of action in our opening sequence from the beginning to hook the audience, this was possible by including action before the titles. We also used a cliffhanger at the end of our sequence to keep the audience interested in the action of our film. We hoped that all these factors would help to attract our target audience and make our opening sequence a success. How did you attract/address your audience?
From the process of creating our opening sequence I have learnt a lot about the technology behind filming. The standards of our filming has improved largely from the preliminary exercise. The process of constructing our opening sequence has taught me a lot about the work behind creating a piece of film. I have learnt about camera angles, framing a shot and using the rule of thirds effectively. When using the editing programme to put together our final piece of film my knowledge of the editing process has risen from the preliminary exercise. From using effective transitions and cuts to using edits such as black and white overlays to create an effect. Another form of technology that we used was a blog. I already had knowledge of how to use the blog site we were to use in class, but throughout the process I have furthered my knowledge of how to upload certain images to the blog and also discovered how to upload a PowerPoint presentation to a blog using the “SlideShare” website. I think that the whole process of creating our opening sequence has enabled myself and others to get an insight into the long process of creating a successful film and has also widened my knowledge of how to use certain technologies, especially Adobe Premier Pro for editing as I had not previously used this programme before. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
Looking back at the preliminary task we did, I have learnt a lot about the method of creating a successful piece of film. I now feel comfortable experimenting with the camera and trying to make a successful shot. I have I learnt how to use the camera and lighting in order to create key shots for our sequence. This skill was improved from our preliminary exercise by playing around with different shot types and lighting. Another skill learnt was the rule of thirds this involves the correct framing of shots. We experimented using different placements of the subject within shots to see what worked best. This helped to improve the quality of filming for our main task. Using Adobe Premier Pro 1.5 to edit our film, we first read a tutorial on the basic skills. When creating our preliminary exercise we experimented with the basic editing techniques using different transitions and cuts. I think that the standards of our editing has largely improved since our preliminary exercise and this has enabled the quality of our film to be of a higher standard. We also worked to create meaning through transition. A major example of this within our opening sequence is the editing we used to create the sense of a flashback. Another progression I have made in the process is from using the blog on a regular basis. We used the Blogger website to host our blogs and I had previously used this site for my personal use. I feel I have been able to develop my skills using a blog as the ways in which we uploaded documents and images differed to the ways I had used a blog before. Overall I think that the progression from our preliminary task to our final product was successful in advancing our camera-work to make a more professional-looking end product. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?