In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products?
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? When evaluating our film we considered the forms and conventions of the thriller genre: Mise-en-scene – dark/night time, domestic setting of house, domestic items e.g.. Phone, TV, kitchen facilities. Characters – hero, villain, victim. Narrative – battle between good and evil, rescue Themes – Supernatural, death, violence Camera work – close up to show facial expression in moments of tension, long/ establishing shots to show setting, low angles to make villain appear powerful and high angles to show vulnerability of victim . Editing – straight cuts, some continuity - some jump cuts, flashes, fades … Sound – diegetic: screams, creaking door, heartbeat, footsteps, non-diegetic sound track may be fast to match action in the scene Evaluation
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? The conventions of a short thriller should promote these ideas: Intense excitement, suspense, high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectations, uncertainty, anxiety and nerve wrecking tension. Setting: The setting of most existing short thriller products is fairly simple but it creates the impact of tension for the viewer. The simplicity gives away nothing to the viewer. The settings are normally set within a single room or a domestic setting. The idea of pathetic fallacy usually enhances a plot by adding tension. When researching other types of film for example feature films we found that the settings they used were too elaborate for the thriller we wanted to make. Feature films had settings such as; forests/woods. We actually decided to use a more domestic setting for our thriller to try to relate to our audience. We thought that the viewer would be able to visualise and become more involved with the film if they could relate to a setting they are used to. Evaluation
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? Props: The props that are usually used are everyday objects. Objects such as; telephones, computers and picture frames. They are usually stereotypical objects for wherever the film is located. The props within short films aren’t as revealing as the plot of the story (enigma coding) however; the props can act as hints throughout the film. In our film we try to limit our props and we used props that could be related to our setting because we thought that this convention was key to a short film. This convention was one that we felt we need to follow because most all the short films we looked followed this convention and made the films very successful in terms of realism . Evaluation
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? Characters: When looking at characters and specific characters we have to consider the stereotypical characters that can be found in short films. Characters can be split into groups or types, types such as; hero, helper, villain, monster, victim . We included in our product a villain and victim. A stereotypical Villain is normally male, or a large stature and a shady character whom is not to be trusted. In trying to create our villain we enigma coded these aspects and our preferred meaning of this is the element of the unknown about the character. Throughout the film you never see the face or the identity of the stalker until the very end when only; parts of the face are revealed. We constructed an element of mystery to the villainous character. We also took the idea of having a victim but in our film the victim is a mother and a child. Most stereotypical victim is vulnerable women. We choose to use a mother as she would be more likely to protect the child who could be seen as the typical vulnerable character but in our film the mother almost acts as the protector from the vulnerability . We can say that we kind of broke the conventions because we had the two characters. Evaluation
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? These things can be analysed when looking at conventions of a thriller poster: Film title: a thriller film title has to be suspicious and add mystery/ reflect the film content/ plot. With our film title we considered similar titles and then decided on things like ‘The Uninvited’ ‘The Unidentified’ ‘The Unknown’ but these have all been used before and normally with a new film it is called something that people haven’t heard off and not another films title. Anonymity is different and has not been used before. It also means anonymous and adds suspicion and freight to our film. You can tell from this title that this is going to be a thriller film and that something bad is going to happen in it. This may make the viewer want to see it. On our poster, the title is in the middle for various reasons. This is because it has to be easily identified and easily remembered, allowing the viewer to have it in there head and go and see it. An image (either from the film or of main actors/ actresses): the picture on our poster was carefully selected. Our ‘door’ picture adds an element of freight, the door being open and having leaves on the floor may suggest that something bad is going to happen/has already happened. This image had been taken from our film and is the same front door as featured in our clips. This shows continuity and also may make the viewer watch it more. Evaluation
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? Name of directors and actors (usually at the top of the film poster): we went against the conventions when choosing where to put the production credits. We put them at the bottom, allowing the image to be seen clearly and not to block any major features. The actor’s names are in slightly bigger writing than the rest of the credits, allowing the reader to see clearly and easily who’s in the film. The production companies logos were made by ourselves, allowing us to make up names and symbols for them, adding to the realness of the poster. A film tag (usually under the title): Our film tag ‘There’s much you don’t know in this world…’ makes the reader think about the possibilities of what might happen in the film, this could be the main part for example, the stranger coming into the house and not knowing who he is. It hints at the plot and adds suspicion again to the film. The reader may then feel worried for the characters or want to know what happens to them Evaluation
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? Evaluation Colours : In the conventions, the colours of red, black and white. These may suggest white for innocence, black for mystery and red for death. The colours of the poster are mainly dark, suggesting eeriness and suspense . They are quite dull and bland and may connote that it is a normal domestic setting and not a glorified sci-fi setting. Layout (usually the image takes up the majority of the film poster ) We followed conventions and picked one major still image to represent our film. It makes a bold statement and draws the reader to the picture. The fact the title is in the middle is also conventional of other posters, allowing the reader to see clearly what the name of the film is.
FILM In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? Evaluation Columns - The text within a film review is set out in columns, this organises the writing into a structure, making it look a lot more presentable to the reader. Image - An image from the film in action is usually taken and printed on to a film review. This makes it look more eye catching and is the element of the review that attracts the reader to the film; making them want to see it. Headline - The main heading of a review immediately alerts the reader of what it is about. It makes them aware of the name of the film and usually, by the name of the film, people decide whether they would like to see it. We used columns which structured our review and made it look neat and presentable. The headline we used for the review stood out and made the name of the film very apparent. Our Review
FILM In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms, conventions of real media products? Evaluation Name of director For big budget films, usually produced by well known, experienced directors this is a good way of attracting the right audience. If an individual recognises the director’s names for other successes then the reader is guaranteed a good film. Name of main actors This is partially for the same reason as the director’s name being there. If a reader recognises a name from a previous success, or knows what the person’s work is like, then again they are almost guaranteed a good piece of film. Release date -The release date is a common convention of any film review. It alerts the reader of when the film is coming out, enabling them to go and watch it as soon as it does come out, attracting many people. Rating -The rating of the film, is one of the most significant elements of a film review. This tells the reader how good the film is. The rating is out of five stars, with a five star rating being the best. If film has been rated three or above stars, then the reader will know that the film is usually good.
We included all of the conventions to the left to give it a true sense of realism. We decided to put them at the top to capture the readers attention immediately.
I looked at various other film reviews as part of my research, in order to follow the typical stereotype.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Both texts use: Low key chiaroscuro lighting (we chose to do this because it reflects the thriller genre and it creates a sense of mystery) Production company logo we included this as a continuity device Images for example the iconic image of the front door is used in both texts. The door is iconic because it represents a barrier between the unknown against the innocence of the house and all it encapsulates inside. Copy we used the same font/colour/effects in both texts to anchor the continuity of our release campaign How we made the poster and film consistent Evaluation
How we made the poster and film consistent Logo – production company logo Lighting Copy – location/size Main image- iconic important image Evaluation
How we constructed the media pack It was hard to keep consistency throughout all three products because the review page, would not be written by the production company, JBH Productions . However, the production company would release a media pack containing essential details (synopsis, credits, release date, quotes from director and main actors) along with stills from the film. This would then be used by the reviewer to write an article that the production company has controlled to some extent. Evaluation
Examples of the media pack in action Images from media pack Information from media pack
It was hard to keep consistency throughout all three products because the review page, like existing reviews in magazines, are not written by the production company. The production company release a media pack containing key details and stills from the film. This is then used by the reviewer to write an article. Unfortunately we were unable to send information packs off to the reviewers, but we did conduct viewings of our product from which we were able to include real quotations and comments in our own review. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Evaluation
Within the short film and the poster we have included the production logo. We did this because is brought more audience awareness to the production company and increased the publicity for the production company. Overall, we feel that all three products that we have made would be part of a successful release campaign. Each represent our product positively. They would guarantee a profitable release. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Evaluation
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Audience Feedback Audience feedback allows us to edit and adjust our text to gain the best possible outcome. We have used a variety of different methods of research including; focus groups, questionnaires and screenings. We also considered whether we wanted to generate Qualitative or Quantitative data… Evaluation
Strengths of Qualitative Data Weaknesses of Qualitative Data Strengths of Quantitative Data Weaknesses of Quantitative
Undertaken by observation
Researcher can explore in more depth
Participants can give rich and in depth information
Its hard to achieve objectivity from it
It is difficult to analyse the data
It doesn’t generalise and target the whole population so only zones in on one person
Participants can give informed consent
The data can be put into graphs and easily analysed
It can easily be replicated
It is quick, easy and cheap
You can collect a lot of data
Participants could lie
Different answers could be given on different days
It could possibly lead to a poor response rate; if sent in post for example
You don’t discover how a person would be behave themselves, only their attitude towards the subject
Informed consent is indirectly given out as the participant is able to see the questions.
The data Is easy and efficient to analyse
It is a reliable method as it could easily be replicated
It is quick, easy and cheap
You’re able to get big amounts of data
Participants could lie
Data could be lost if the questions are closed
Different answers could be given on a different day
People might not respond if sent in the post
You only get answers that give across peoples attitudes and not how they would behave.
Audience Feedback The Questionnaire The questions consisted of media language as we wanted technical feedback. We used open and closed questions in the hope of gathering qualitative and quantitative data. Evaluation
Quantitative Data Our quantitative data suggested that we hit our target in achieve our brief. However, we could improve on the editing by sharpening up some of our match cuts. Evaluation
Qualitative Data Our qualitative data was in general positive and we found that the audience noticed deliberate features we included. However, some of the participates had opposite views (Q4 above) it creates uncertainty in making improvements to our texts. Q7. which was the most convincing part of the film ? “… all the indoor shots..” “… when she was cooking and looked over shoulder..” “… the outside shot of the man’s feet walking up pathway…” Q4. What do you think of the camera angles? “… interesting because they were unconventional..” “… interesting because it created suspense..” “… they were conventional…” Evaluation
Audience Feedback Participants were selected from an A2 Media group. We decided on this sample so we could use their expertise to gather technical feedback. The screening took place on a large projector screen in the media studies room which is blacked out to prevent any light ruining the viewing and there was also professional speakers and an amplifier set up to increase the validity of our research. Focus group Evaluation
Focus group Feedback “ The bedroom scene could have been lighter” “ The ending could have been less obvious” “ The sound was good and effective” “ Could have had a longer shot on the actresses cup of tea” “ I thought the mobile phones vibrations sounded good” “ The extreme close-up of the girl climbing up the ladder was good and effective” Evaluation
What we have learnt Our audience feedback provided us with a good understanding of our production. However we were faced with some limitations…
Next time we would use a greater range of age groups when it comes to questionnaires and focus groups.
Next time we would have used a one to one interview technique in order to gather more qualitative data.
Next time we would have two types of people, media students and non media students, rather than just media students.
Next time we would make them do the questionnaire on their own rather than with people doing it next one another. To try and prevent plagiarism.
Next time we would try and find out more about their behaviour and not just attitudes.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
Image editing -Photoshop In our poster we used the paint brush tool to refine edges of text and make them stand out. We used the picture cropping tool to adjust the size of the picture to how we wanted it. The shape tools enabled us to create production company logos. We used the blur tool to blend in images. Evaluation
Video Editing Transition button This allows us to add effects from one shot to another Audio button This allowed us to crop and trim audio clips Time line This was used to organise our visual footage Time line This was used to organise our audio footage Import button This was used to transfer footage from the camera to the Mac The filming footage This was used as an organisation for a footage Audio button This was used to add in audio to our film Font button This was used to add in credit to our film Evaluation
Blog Slide share Slideshare is a programme that enables you to upload and share your PowerPoint presentations, word documents and PDF portfolios. We used this to upload our presentations onto our blog, for others to see. It’s easy and efficient to update and helped us to consistently evaluate our work. Our blog allowed all three members of our group to access our work online with the need of only a password and username. Our blog allows feedback, for example the poll feature at the top of our blog. This enables people to rate our production. Evaluation
Two members of our production company have not worked in film before. Therefore we had lots to learn. For example, the effects lighting can have upon a film and the difficulties of lighting. We learnt how to compose various shots and what they can connote about the character, for example a low angle shot can make a person look superior and powerful. We learnt the importance of a schedule and how vital it is to stick to it in order to meet deadlines.
We learnt the fundamental skills of film editing, including: re-sequencing, importing, editing audio, adding transitions and titles and creating continuity.
W hat have we become better at?
Bearing in mind that two out of three of us made print work last year. It has become clear to us that our work has developed much more sophistication. We have become more confident in using and exploring Photoshop which has enabled us to become more advanced in using the different tools within it. The third member of the group whom made film last year, has developed her skills in editing and has in depth explored the range of shots that can be used.