In what ways does the media product use, develop, or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Continuity Continuity is an essential factor in all films, which allow them to run smoothly, and professionally. In order to do this at technical level, during the filming process we made sure that we continuously obeyed the 180 degree rule, and we did not break this through the film. During filming however, we came across problems which could not be altered. For example, during the end scene, due to the bright sunlight, against the shimmer of the water, it was difficult to effectively change the white balance. Therefore, we tried to edit this on the software Final Cut Express, but was unable to create the colour which matched the rest of the scenes. We then made the creative decision as a production team, that we could actually present the end scene in a dreamlike manor, denoting the genre, but also making it more mysterious. Therefore, the overexposure worked well. Another problem which we came across was the props. The protagonist’s prop. The bag which we initially began filming with broke, and therefore we had to use another one in the same colour. Small continuity errors like this don’t particularly effect the film in terms of how successful it is, but if there was more time, I feel we could have shot some of the scenes featured with it again, to make the continuity perfect.
In order for the film to be unusual, but equally as professional, we used the following special shots, and editing methods; The contrast of the black and white against the normal colouring of the frame, shows the audience that she is having a flashback, which challenges the convention of a stereotypical narrative, as we decided to have a non-linear narrative, which loops to create a cliff-hanger. GRAPHIC MATCH (present day to past)– shows how the protagonist feels during the flashback, and how she feels in the present day. FAST PACED EDITING- This emphasises the characters loneliness, and it’s important in showing the time lapse of how she feels the world moves around her, and how it does it reality.
GENRE We obey the stereotypical thriller conventions throughout the film, in order for the audience to recognise the genre. However, we challenged the idea of having an equilibrium at both the beginning of the film, and at the end. As the narrative is non-linear, the opening features dark framing, underexposure, and handheld camera shots, to create tension, as a pose to an equilibrium. This engages the audience immediately, and keeps them hooked to the film. Not only this, but we also subvert the audience’s expectation of our thriller film, as we have exposed a character whom the audience can sympathise with, and can be taken on an emotional journey with, as a pose to stereotypical action, and violence, featured in most thriller films The research from narrative theory, enabled us to incorporate the following characters in our film, which are influenced under Vladimir Propp's character roles.
THE VILLAIN Under Propp's theory, Daniel Cooper would be the villain of the film, as he disrupts the equilibrium, and bullies the protagonist. The audience should feel resentful towards the character, and sympathise with Ruby Fox
HERO In accordance with Propp's theory, Ruby Fox is the hero of the narrative. She takes the audience on a journey of self discover, an belief. She also represents the themes truth and illusion, and is able to show the audience that you shouldn't always believe what you are being told, as you aren't able to trust everyone.
DONOR The unidentified girl is the donor of the narrative, who provides an object with some magic property. It could be argued that perhaps she is the key to the whole film, as she provides the narrative with a twist, which is used to engage, and add tension to the film.
INVISIBILITY The invisibility effect also subverts the expectations of the genre, as it is not widely acknowledged by film producers, which makes our film unique. It should be a shock to the audience, which is pleasing for us as a production team, as it is the reaction which we wish for from our target audience.
INTERTEXTUALITY The most widely acknowledged film which incorporates the theme invisibility is Harry Potter, which is presented through the use of a cloak, linking both films, as it is the power of an object which turns the protagonist invisible. I researched how the editors of Harry Potter created this effect, but we did not have the technology to create such an effective way to present invisibility, therefore we had to present it through the use of fades, dissolves, and garbage matte.
A big inspiration for our film which I analysed, was the film “Belly Button”, another short film. It wasn’t the narrative which influenced our film, but the interesting shots and editing techniques which are used. This particular shot was an influence for the flashback which we used in our film. We initially were going to use a spilt screen as featured in the photo, but we decided to create a black and white flashback instead, to emphasis the characters past. However, we decided to use a side shot of the protagonist, as featured in Belly Button , as it is effective in connoting the characters feelings.
A tracking device which we found useful for our film, was the handheld camera shot/over the shoulder shot, which increased tension, but also allowed the audience to feel that they were part of the film, which further engages them to film.
The long shot featured here was also suitable to use in our film, as it shows the character relocation, but from the long shot we were able to fade the character slowly forward, to creative different ways to engage the audience, it is also a form of elliptical editing, which allows the audience to see a time lapse, without boring them.
Conventions In order for our film to be successful in denoting the genre thriller, we made it imperative to present the conventions of a thriller film throughout. 2. Non-diegetic Eerie Musichttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmbAuJmr0_8&feature=player_embeddedWe believe that the music which we chose was a perfect paradigm of the thriller genre, as it connotes mystery, and danger. It also builds tension, which is effective for us as a production team, as it allows the audience to be hooked to the film.
2.IconographyIn order for the audience to recognize that it is a thriller film, as a pose to a fantasy, we used the following conventions which are stereotypically presented in thriller films;Shadows, street lamps, foreboding trees and underexposure of night-light.
3. NarrativeThriller films are normally shown from the perspective of two characters; the first being that of the protagonist, which involves the audience in events and creates empathy for the character, and the second, influencing the protagonist in their situations. As thriller films aim to hook the audience, and give them excitement, they often consist mainly of action. We therefore incorporated this into our film, which can be shown through the protagonist Ruby Fox, and the bully Daniel Cooper.
AUDIENCE PLEASURE Richard Dyer’s theory of entertainmentThis theory applies to our film, with the transparency aspect of entertainment appealing to the audience - particularly presented in the flashback scene, and ending mirror scene, as it shows the audience an honest, open character – they can relate to her, and empathize with the character.
Laura Mulveys Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema theory This theory also applied to our film, as it has an element of voyeurism in it; looking at someone without them acknowledging you. This allows the film to be dramatically pleasing for the audience, as they are able to see two points of view; the protagonists, and the characters who bully. The film also offers a port of escapism for the audience - they are able to express emotional release through the protagonist, becoming lost in her troubles. It also educates the audience upon the issue of bullying, and reflects how it can effect a person, raising awareness about the certain topic.
CONCLUSION Overall I feel that we have successfully provided the audience with these particular types of entertainment, through the use of interesting shots, and editing techniques, but also through the complex non-linear narrative, which allows the audience to delve into the protagonists life; empathising with her emotional journey.