In what ways does your media product use, develop or
challenge forms and conventions of real media
In the production part of my coursework I have developed and
challenged real media products. My media products are a 5 minute
short film, film poster and a magazine review double page and the
genre was a romantic drama.
Beginning with the short film ‘Gabriella’, for planning I have developed
the idea of Todorov in my story. Gabriella started in ‘equilibrium’ when
everything was at balance, with everybody living their normal lives,
meeting new people as normal etc. This is then disrupted by a problem
to cause ‘disequilibrium’ which is noticed in our short film as the ‘Fight
Scene’ were the two main male protagonists fight over the female
protagonist Gabriella. Todorov’s theory would then go on to say that a
series of events take place before the ‘new equilibrium’ is established.
However we have broken this idea in our film, as it does not end in a
new equilibrium but rather continues in the disequilibrium adding a
twist to our short film, making it unique and different from all the other
romantic dramas. This is also found in real medias such as the ‘Titanic’
as there was no happy ending to the story.
Codes and Conventions of Romantic
Forms and Conventions are things that make a
media product recognisable.
The settings that are usually used for Romantic
- Beach towns/Beaches or Town Centres
- Variety of places the characters can meet
by “accident” throughout the film
- Places we associate with romantic –
restaurants, couples homes, cinemas, the
- Places were the main characters are on
their own/isolated which enables them to
show affection freely.
- Workplaces of main characters
The props usually used in romantic dramas:
- Flowers/Chocolates – Gifts
- Nice clothes/ swimwear
- Mobile phones
- Suitcases for travel
The typical action used in Romantic drama:
-Boy meets Girl (vice verse)
-Boy and girl grow close
-Boy and girl fall in love /one of them falls in love first
-Boy and girl pulled apart by tragedy, betrayal,
jealousy or mistake
-Period of time boy and girl or just one moarn the
loss of the other
-Through spontaneous moment boy and girl pulled
-Friends of both main characters
-A competitor for one of the main characters
1. Boy meets girl
2. Spend a lot of time together – fall in love
3. They become separated through tragedy
4. Spend time mourning the loss of other
5. They are drawn back together
6. Live happily ever after
Opening Sequence of film:
Our opening sequence starts with an establishing shot of the school, this
was used to present the location of most of the scenes, and where the
opening scene takes place. This is often used in many forms and
conventions of real films such as 'Easy A' where there has been an
establishing of the school at the beginning of the film. This has helped us
establish time in the film. Through this establishing shot at the very
beginning of the film we have guided the viewers understanding of the
action. This exterior shot of the school building in bright day was followed
by an interior shot of Gabriella and Emily talking which implies that the
conversation is taking place in this building in the bright day time.
We had decided on the title ‘Gabriella’ as it is short and simple to
memorise. The title of the film ‘Gabriella’ comes in at 0.15s which follows
right after the first establishing shot of the school. This was because we
thought that it would look and fit perfectly having the title of the film at
that point to make the viewers aware of what the film is called.
The font that was chosen was quite simple pink font on top of a black
The opening of the short film starts off as any normal modern romantic
drama, by introducing the main characters. As we see Gabriella’s face first
right after the title appeared on screen, we directly know that this is
Gabriella. Through the editing of placing their names above their heads it is
also easier for the audience to find out who the other girl Gabriella is
talking to is.
Quite early in the film we see the significance of the twos relationship
which is also often found in many real medias such as 500 days of summer.
Romantic dramas rely more on the dramatic side of
romance and plot rather than the complex shots and
editing therefore I was able to follow the conventions.
Over the Shoulder Shot
We used many over the shoulder shots which we
have found to be typically used to show that a
conversation between two characters is taking place.
We see this in the film ‘No Strings Attached’ as
Emma’s body language and facial expression appears
to be happy and relaxed. Over the shoulder shots
allow us to see what the characters are seeing from
their view point.
Shots like these are used to potentially establish a
relationship between two characters or more if so. In
our film we have included this to make sure that the
audience knows the relationship between Gabriella
and Emily very early on in the film, giving the
audience the idea that these two girls are very close
Camera Conventions: Two Shot
Two shots are often used throughout the
romantic genre to show how the
relationship develops throughout the film.
A two shot is also used to portray a
particular relationship between two
characters. Two shots are also known to
be mid shots meaning that they bodies
from the middle up are shown but not
their legs. This is seen in many romantic
films, one being Love Actually. We see the
relationship between Karen and Harry
being comfortable around one another
and quite close as there seems to be no
gap between the two. And that is exactly
what I have used in my film.
Camera Conventions: Close-up
For the audience to be able to make a
judgment on what the characters may be
feeling or thinking or to relate, close up’s are
used to establish just that. In romantic films
these shots are usually used to show whether
a character may be in love, hurt, rejected,
surprised in shock etc.
In this screen shot you see Jamie and Dylan
very close with Jamie having her hands around
Dylan’s face and Dylan looking very intimately
into Jamie’s eyes. This makes it obvious to the
audience that the both have feelings for each
other. This has been used in our film to give
the audience the same kind of message as
intended in the film ‘Friends with Benefits’.
Gabriella has her hands around Lucas just as
Jamie has her hands around Dylan’s face,
creating a sense of security and comfort.
Camera Conventions: Mid Shot
These shots are used very frequently in order to determine
the characters body language towards the other
characters, seeing whether they care for one another, shy
around each other etc. In this screen shot you see Adam
from ‘No Strings Attached’ looking comfortable and relaxed
around Emma. However, Emma on the other hand looks
quite stiff and quite awkward/uncomfortable. Suggesting
that their feelings towards each
other may be different than actually we initially had
In our film we see Christian sitting next to Gabriella in a
mid shot. Gabriella’s back is slightly turned towards
Christian suggesting that she may not be interested in
sitting next to him or communicating to him. Christian on
the other hand looks over to Gabriella very distinctively
almost like he is watching over her without realising that
she has little care for his presence.
Both of the characters Emily and Gabriella feel a different
way towards their male companion than actually initially
Camera Conventions: Long Shot
Long shots enable the audience to see the
characters entire body, along with some of
the scenery. A good judgement for the
audience on how much the characters
like/dislike each other is simply done
through the long shot determining how
much space the characters have around
them and how close the two main
characters are to one another.
In the film titanic a long shot was used here
to portray the closeness of the two
characters. We see the characters being
deeply in love and free as the wind is
beautifully hitting their faces. We are able to
see the whole of the two characters body
and a little bit of the scenery that they are
on a ship.
This was also used in our film, as we have
Emily and Gabriella in a long shot standing
very close against each other just like in
Titanic. This suggests that there may be
another level of a close relationship going
Extreme Long Shot
Extreme long shots are usually used in
order for the audience to distinguish
the scenery and where the characters
are. In romantic comedy the scenery
will normally be a famous landmark or
town that the audience can easily
identify and relate to.
In the screen shot you can see that the
scenery juxtaposes the action of the
characters. The characters are arguing
and fighting even though the lighting is
romantic and is filmed at night time.
The only extreme long shot that we had
used was in the opening sequence in
front of the school. This was done to
help the audience identify that the
scene is being taken at a school, making
them further identify that the
characters are going to be teenagers in
that small space of few 13 seconds.
Editing describes the relationship between shots process by which they are combined.
The editing pace often varies depending on the way the characters are feeling and what
they are thinking. Editing pace in the process of boy and girl falling in love always slow
down to make sure that the audience grasps the concept.
Fast paced shots are used to create intensity in some of the scenes to help the atmosphere
build up to show the character not being able to control their feelings and emotions.
In Dear John, the titles and credits fade transitions were used giving a dreamy romantic
loving mood before the characters or film have been appropriately introduced.
In our film the main characters names were included throughout the first few
seconds/minute of the film to help the audience understand who is who in the film. This
was done to not just save time but to also give a different way of introducing each one of
Fades are used on different parts of scenes and shots to help the audience determine what
is going on in the action of the scene. Shot reverse shots can be often used in a romance
opening scene or throughout the film to show the interaction between two characters
were relevant or not looking and speaking at one another. This should could be filmed at
completely different times, it can be therefore used very effectively to make it look like the
characters were speaking at each other at the same time.
We had used this technique in our film to show the interaction between the characters on
several different accounts throughout the film. This made it effective enough for the
audience to understand what the characters are going through. This has also been a useful
technique in building up tension between the characters.
Props such as flowers and chocolates have been mainly used towards
the end of the film to follow the romantic convention. Other everyday
ordinary props such as phones, water bottle, school equipment and
books etc. were used to all make it fit into the reality of the teenagers
being students at school. Props are essential to any and many films,
romantic or not. Dear John again, spoke about his collection of coins in
the film, the coins are shown on screen and have a significance in the
progression of the film. Helping to draw attention to the audience by
making them wonder why this prop was used.
Most romantic films, are stereotypically set in places such as urban
environments, beaches, schools etc. places where chances of
encounter is likely to happen and make it seem “romantic”. Depending
on where they are situated, this is able to help the audience
predict/interpret what may be happening in the film or where the
action of the scene or whole film is going to take place. Helping the
audience to relate. In Dear john, the film begins, panning cameras and
long shots are shown to suggest to the audience that places that they
saw such a trenches and buildings in war and the beach, may be the
main settings that are going to be used within the film. Both of the
settings help to establish the tone and mood for the film in quite
As we had used mainly the school and Wootton area to film, the
settings may be quite familiar to people who know where these places
are. As they are teenagers in education still, using the school as a main
setting was very important as much of the action would realistically
take place in a setting like school.
To help set the tone mood and atmosphere sound is very important within a
romance. If the film was intended to be sad, the music will establish this by
the use of instrumentals of sad songs or including the lyric of the song which
talk about something sad, or simply having sad instruments playing in the
background such as violins work as well. Romances usually have a variety of
different songs in them. Depending on the sub genre the choice of music is
often influenced by the intention of the atmosphere in that specific scene.
The music played in the background of the narrative, the pitch and volume all
help set the mood and help the genre to be identified.
Foley is often used in many romantic films such as footsteps, door opening
and closing anything that can be heard in the real world. This was used quite
effectively throughout our film even though it was initially intended to be a
The dialogue had to be put over the film, to make sure that we had absolute
full quality and that the audience would be able to hear and understand the
characters efficiently. In the movie ‘The Last Song’ the dialogue was used for
the characters to talk to one another some how just as we would in the real
world. To help the characters bond and develop opinions of one another. At
the same time this also allows the audience to create connections between
the different characters.
Through the progression of women in society, I was able to
break the emotional vulnerable female character in a romantic
drama and create a female lead that was strong, confident and
courageous and dominating over the boys. Which is seen in
many films such as ‘Friends with Benefits’ ‘Easy A’ etc.
Also, majority of the popular romantic dramas were based on
lives of adult characters, therefore I chose to focus on
teenagers and focus on how they deal with these kind of
issues of love yet in a different and twisted way.
We thought that it was important to have attractive male
characters like in most ‘romantic dramas’ or ‘chick flicks’ in
order to attract the female audience and to maintain the
interest in the false leading love-story.
Did my film break away from any
codes and conventions?
• One convention that me and my partner had decided
to challenge was the use of narrative in a romantic
genre. We did not want the predictable boring ending
of every typical film and therefore decided to deviate
from it by incorporating something new.
• In general we have kept many of the conventions that
were found in real media texts just to make sure that
the audience would not get too confused if we would
have deviated a lot from the genre which would not
have been healthy for us.
Conventions of a Film Poster
• Many different film posters were analysed on my blog to get the
necessary inspiration that was needed. I was already familiar with
the features of a film poster through the help of watching many
films. However, through the research that I had done I had found
out that there were some conventions that I was not familiar with
which resulted in me finding this research very useful as it also
helped me in creating my own film poster.
• One of my preferred/ favourite film posters was the ‘The Holiday’
film poster. This was due to the fact that that I liked the high quality
and professional look it had. I also thought that it would have been
a great idea to use that style in my own poster to show the
distinction between Gabriella with Lucas and Christian being alone.
This helps to emphasise the characters roles.
The colour scheme of the poster is bright and
does not use many colours in the text, rather
works with the colour that is given by the two
images. Just like ‘The Holiday’ I have used
images from certain scenes of the film in my
poster to give the poster some truth. So when
the audience sees the film and the poster they
will be able to identify where they have seen
this before. In many romantic posters the use
of bright colours is used, keeping it fresh and
Because I really liked this film poster I have tried
to get a font that was as similar as possible yet
The small font at the bottom was created to add
verisimilitude and allows the audience to see
that this is a real film poster. The small font at
the bottom contains all the people that have
been involved in the production of the film and
the production company.
The slogan that was created is effective, it is short
and to the point suggesting that even though on the
film poster we see a girl and two guys suggesting that
there is a love triangle the slogan then suggests
something else, warning the audience to expect the
unexpected. The slogan was placed underneath the
title of the film to make that the second most
important thing the audience should read right after
the title of the film.
Did my poster break away from any
codes and conventions?
• No my poster did not break away from any
codes and conventions and I wanted to keep it
that way. I had made sure that my poster
followed the codes and conventions to gain a
professional and balanced look which would
be appreciated by my audience.
Conventions of a Film Review Page
The key codes and conventions of a
review page are very easy to
distinguish and spot. They are not
broken by magazine publishers and
the structure is often kept the
same. These include a big main image
of a still image of a part/scene of the
films or even at times a image of the
making of the film. The images give
the reader a sense of genre of the
film showing key events from the film.
The text is always kept in the same
colour, size and font throughout the
article. Some review pages often also
highlight quotes from the film,
director, actor etc. by changing the
font, size or colour to help them stand
The review itself was kept in a traditional fashion by using the same font and size and colour in the review, but highlighting
key words. The characters were introduced by name at the bottom of the review so that the audience will get a more
explicit look at who exactly is going to be part of the film. I have made sure that the date of the release of the film was
included so that the audience has something to look forward to, instead of leaving them to wonder when the film will be
out as they may even be very excited to see it. Throughout the actual review I made sure that I included bits of the plot in
the review so that the audience will have an idea of what the film is about. Character profiles has been places in there as
well so that the audience can get to know the characters and relate to whoever they wish. I had made sure that Gabriella
being the main characters image was bigger than all the other characters images and that she had her own little box which
contained her character profile, as it was important that the audience knows who Gabriella is exactly before they watch the
Overall I had tried to make sure that the audience’s needs were provided for throughout the whole magazine review page.
I therefore did not break any of the conventions of a magazine review page.
In my review page I have made sure that the
conventions were in my own style and design. I have
not made the film name as obvious as the other film
reviews that I have looked at. Instead I have used a
quotation that I wanted to draw the audience
attention and make them read the article. With a
question challenging their ideology of what a
romantic happy ending is. This suggests that there
may be a series or tragic events happening
throughout the film. I have made sure that relevant
images from the certain scenes of the film were
used. The main image of Gabriella and Lucas was
used to emphasise that Gabriella has found an
interest in someone and that the film will be
focusing on her development throughout the film.
Other images that were found from key scenes in
the films were also placed in there just to make sure
that the audience is aware that Emily and Christian
also play a significant role in the film.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
• Audience feedback: - In order for us to know where the strengths and weaknesses are we had to
give an insight on what viewers would think about my media products. This was also done to make
sure that our products were understood in the way we intended for them to be.
Our audience had perceived that the target audience for this film was ‘teenagers’ of the ages of 17+
They came to this conclusion due to the:
1. The setting being a school environment
2. Teenage actors
3. Editing i.e. the text that was used above or next to the characters heads using neutral colours such
as white to make sure that there was no gender bias.
4. Through the poster of the film with the images of Gabriella, Christian and Lucas the audience was
easily suggesting that the film was about relationships and interactions between boys and girls.
These are successful conventions of typical teenage and romantic films, meaning that the film was easily
recognisable as being aimed at a teenage audience in terms of the topic of relationships.
• The audience had correctly assumed it was a romantic drama meaning that the film genre came
across successfully, through the themes and plot lines in the trailer. ‘relationship between boy and
girl with a drama element helped the genre to be identified’. The themes and narrative can be
considered as conventional to teen romantic drama as they were easily recognised by the audience.
• Our audience feedback also helped us to see whether the narrative that was portrayed is consumed
in the correct manner by the viewers. We are very happy that the film had been consumed in the way
that we initially intended it to be. one group claimed that it is clear that they can see ‘partial signs of
the relationship building up early on in the film’. Another group stated that the ending of the film
had ‘surprised and shocked them, as it was something that they had not expected to see’. This was
a great response to us as that was our aim from the beginning of the project. Therefore, the narrative
in our short film was considered a strength.
• Positive response to the products – some audiences said that the film had an emotional response
which was provoked by the magazine review page first which made them ‘interested’ and they
therefore wanted to know more. All together the products had a direct, powerful and immediate
effect on the audience and drew them into watching the film.
How effective is the combination of your main product
and ancillary texts?
• Throughout the production of the final products I wanted there to be a connection between the poster, review page
and the actual film page. I had made sure to link the poster to the short film in terms of looks and themes according to
how I saw it and tried to re-create that in the themes of the poster.
• The review page however does not fully follow that as it has a more teenage feel to it rather than a serious, mature
romantic look that the poster has.
• The main elements that were share between the poster and the short film are the colour schemes. The short film is
very bright and airy which I tried to create in the poster, giving it a light look.
• For all three products the font was clear to read however they did not all interlink. As the film title within the film is a
bright bold pink, the title on the poster is a casual black using georgia font and the review page using a bold pink font
which went back to the title within the film. However the pink colour that was used in the film and in the review page
suited the name as it was also a very feminine name.
• I have presented simplicity in font and layout in the poster and given a little bit more edge to the review page. Gabriella
features in all three products as she is the main character, so does Lucas. Gabriella is almost in all scenes of the short
film, making it mandatory for her to be featured in all products as well, so that the audience will immediately recognise
• To follow the short film the poster had features the Lucas and Christian as well, as they also play an important part in
the short film. Lucas is right next to Gabriella on the poster, showing their relationship straight away. Christian has been
placed underneath them on his own, to suggest that no matter what he does to gain Gabriella’s heart, Gabriella will
always place him beneath her and her relationships. Showing that Christian had no power what so ever. This allows to
build up tension between these characters which is seen later on in the film as well.
• Overall, in my opinion the short film and the poster are very commonly linked even though the font and colour of the
title was different it still followed the same convention. The review double page however, has more of its own
convention, suggesting that it may not be obviously linked to the short film and poster.
How did you use new media technologies in the
construction and research, planning and
• Media technologies have become very
useful when it came to the construction,
research and planning of my final
• Without them no one would be able to
create successful products.
• They have enabled me to learn new skills.
• Blogger has been a very vital place for my
production of my product. On there I was able to
record and effectively demonstrate all my work.
Presenting my work online has proven to be more
effective as it would allow me to post as I am
going a lot or even do lots of my work on the
actual site, instead of having to go back to a hard
copy or a production log.
• It is great to see the process that I have gone
through from the first day that I have started till
• Using this software has been very essential to my
making my final products successful. This software
is filled with various tools and features which
ensure success picture editing which has been very
beneficial for me. Being able to control the
brightness and contrast of my images has helped
me to achieve a smooth and professional finish to
the images. It has also allowed me to create my
film poster and review page on there using
different shapes to act as boarders, adding the
images, resizing the images, cutting out the
background and using the writing tools to add my
text. Photoshop has many functions that has made
the production of these things possible.
• Google has always been a very useful tool/website
when it came to finding appropriate information for my
blog process/research and the production for my final
• It has also helped me to teach myself how to
statistically analyse my research findings and put them
into percentage forms on Excel, by showing me
different codes that can be used.
• It has also helped me to research into the different
conventions of films, posters, review pages and genres.
• It has also helped me in the process of editing the film
by offering me different types of tutorials which I was
able to use for free.
• This was used to help me record a quick video
on me creating my first draft of my film poster.
Just to show the process I went through
• This was the main technology which was
needed in the creation of my short film. It
allowed me to capture my work professionally
and efficiently. It helped me to capture my
thoughts and ideas in an appropriate way. I
had also learned various buttons on the
camera for future cases in which I may use my
• YouTube has been helpful in uploading the
film online to gain some responses and views
and to then upload that video onto our blogs.
• It has also been useful in helping me gaining
some skills in terms of the filming by giving me
new techniques to film and different camera
settings to use.
• Facebook was our main source of audience
feedback from all different kinds of people.
• This was done by posting the finished products
online, sharing them a few times and waiting for
the responses to jump right into the comments
• It has allowed us to see the likes and comments
in a sufficient and easy way.
• Facebook has also been useful when it came to
the communication of the actors/actresses and
scheduling different days for filming.
Sony Studio Platinum 12.0
• This was used to create our first draft of the film on. It was
useful in terms of it gave us a nice structure and quality of
the film from beginning to end, however we had technical
difficulties when it came to the exportation of the film, as it
always turned out very jumpy throughout the whole filming
cutting off our camera work and making it impossible to sit
through and watch.
• We had then switched over to iMovie which allowed us to
re-edit the film together with the already there structure.
We had also then added in foley and sound effects which
we had intended to do on Sony Studio but did not manage
to find on that software.
• Overall iMovie gave us a fantastic finish