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In my short film I have used, developed as well as slightly challenged existing real media products, this can be seen in my planning stages as I was deciding the genre of my short film, In the end I went for a western/action sub genre short film. I originally wanted to create a horror genre short film, however after researching the codes and conventions of horror films as well as looking at real media products I decided against this as I found a main convention was a lot of graphic effects which I felt would be a bit too challenging for me as my skills using Adobe premier Pro and After Effects are not perfect. Therefore I continued research into a different genre namely the Action/Western Genre’s. After researching the conventions of Western/Action Sub Genre films I have found the inclusion of the following things: lots of cutting, Fades used to end the scene and more than one or two characters and camera is very important in terms of shot types e.g. cu, ecu etc in different situations. The way in which my media product uses conventions of real media products is through my use of camera, mise en scene, sound and editing in an attempt to create narrative. “Narrative theory studies the devices and conventions governing the organisation of a story (fictional or factual) into a sequence.” this is what I have attempted to achieve within my short film, Tzvetan Todorov (A Bulgarian structuralist linguist) suggests that “stories begin with an equilibrium where any potentially opposing forces are in balance. This is disrupted by some event (A.K.A Disequilibrium, setting in chain a series of events. Problems are solved so that order can be restored to the world of the fiction (A.K.A Re-equilibrium). This is how I tried to present narrative in my short film where at first everything seems balanced, however the spies have their meeting with “The Boss” and chaos ensures until finally The Spies get revenge on “The Boss” to restore equilibrium. However it is not often that Short Films contain a lot of dialogue nor a lot of characters as there is not a lot of time to properly allow the audience to interact with the characters, a great example of this is a short film called “ Traffic Warden” starring David Tennant (blog post July 1 st 2010) where the story is told through the eyes of a traffic warden who falls in love, with a rich upper class girl whom drops her handkerchief and leaves, determined not to let her go the traffic warden chases after her. In the entire short film there is barely any dialogue from the main characters until the very end of the short. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My short Film “Life, Death & Other Consequences” also uses codes and conventions that can also be seen in existing texts mainly through props and costumes. In all Action/Western films costume, props and setting are arguably three of the most important things in the Western/Action genre as they help tell the story as well as allowing the audience to relate the film to the genre. I have attempted to use the stereotypical props and costumes in my short film to allow my audience to do just this. An example of the types of props that I have used are: costume: All three of the spies in smart clothes (Image 4 seen throughout the film), this is mainly seen in the action genre where we see famous spies such as James Bond in a suit most if not all of the time. Props: these include: the packages which contain photographs of the other spies which explains who is forced to kill who (image 6 once again seen throughout my short film), the gun carried by my main spy who kills the Boss right at the end of the film (Image 4 seen from 4:32- 4:38), this is a prop seen in both styles of film whether it is Western or Action there is always one person with a gun whether or not they are good or bad. Finally the mobile phones, (image 1 seen from 3:16-3:46) this is the type of prop that only relates to one of the genre’s (action) as it is up to date and again you are more likely to find this type of prop in a James Bond style action film. In terms of setting I have selected to film the spies receiving their packages in an office, (image 2 seen from start of film-2:14) I wanted this to be a formal occasion and again looking at other action films, most set the spies missions in an office of some sort. For my chase scene I decided to film in a more urban location, some action films use urban locations for this style of scenes however not that many. (image 3 seen from 2:16-3:45) I feel that people will be able to relate my film to the action and western genre because of the use of existing products because of the similarities between the two genre’s thanks to the research I did into the two genre’s.
The way in which my Short film develops forms and conventions of real life media product is my idea to attempt to create a sub genre film. What I have tried to do is create an action film however with a western sub genre because of my scene shot inspired by a scene from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly where I have challenged the conventions by following a similar pattern in terms of filming in terms of camera angle, shot type as well as pace of scene where I tried to make my stand off scene as fast paced as possible (as seen on the right). I tried not to include any cliché’s in my short film, to do this whenever I would have to create a scene with a cliché moment I tried to do the opposite of what the audience would expect to happen, I really good example of this is towards the end of my short film during the stand off scene. Most of my audience where probably expecting that the first time the Spies would meet they would kill each other, however in the end of my short film what actually happens is the spies end up working together to kill the Boss. I on purposely did this to develop some of the stereotypical scenes that you might see in the action/western genre as well as linking in here to my film catch line which is “What would you do if your boss was out to get you?”, this adds to the comical yet serious side of the film and I felt that using this catch line would allow me to connect with the audience more as the audience are likely to have been forced to do something that they would not have wanted to do. A further development of my short film was having a large use of characters and not necessarily one main character. I decided to use a lot of characters to challenge the conventions of a short film which state that really there should only be two or three characters max, yet I decided to use four characters as I Wanted to try and make my short film as unique as possible. I decided to include two main characters (The Boss and The Spy who kills the Boss) I decided to do this because I wanted to make my short film as different as possible and I didn’t want there to be a “main character” as all of the characters play a part of importance in some way and I believe I have developed these codes and conventions in my short film. A very good example of this is a short film called “Black Button” (Blog post 23 rd June 2010) where there are only two characters in the whole of the short film and both can be considered a main character.
My attempt at shooting a similar stand off scene in a more urban location. The infamous standoff scene between the good, the bad and the ugly. The two characters in Black Button My four characters
I have also challenged the forms and conventions by changing the dialogue and adding in a few more shots once again to challenge the conventions of an action/ western film. I have also challenged the forms and conventions by using two blonde haired actors as leading parts against the stereotypical darker haired actors which are more common in Action/Western films. I looked at a variety of action films as well to see how to protagonist's where given there missions and how their bosses where presented for example I looked at Casino Royale and how the character M is played by a woman as opposed to the stereotypical male role and how she always seems in control of Bond and knows exactly where he is all the time as I have portrayed in my short film in the scene where The Boss sends a text to the spies telling them to go to the train station. Similarly I looked at the opening of Mission Impossible where the protagonist receives his mission over the phone whilst he is climbing a mountain, whilst I haven't gone to such extreme lengths to film in terms of location I have used the idea of a task being received from someone of a higher power. Another example of how I changed the codes and conventions of the action/western genre is in my opening scene of the spies receiving their packages in different ways e.g. ones slid across table, one is banged down on the table etc. The opening scenes of Casino Royale where M is giving Bond his mission. Close ups of the protagonist face whilst receiving his mission from a mysterious source. One of my blonde actors as “The Boss” A stereotypical actor such as Tom Cruise who is darker haired.
Earlier in the evaluation I talked about Todorov’s theory of narrative and linked it to my short film. There are also a lot of other theories that can both relate and criticise my short film. Some examples are below: The Male Gaze theory By Laura Mulvey: This theory suggests that men view women as objects and that women are over sexualized in films and television show. The way that this theory can be related to my short film is the fact that I have not used any female actresses in my short film, and since Laura Mulvey is a feminist writer she would criticise my work in the eyes of a feminist and say that it is sexist towards the female gender as it presents them as “weaker” because I have not used any female actresses. She would also criticise my work because of my use of camera in presenting the male gender as more dominant and powerful by using a lot of cu and ecu to connote power and status. To improve I could have either used a female actress to play either The Boss or one of the spies (possibly the spy who kills The Boss) to show equality in gender and representations as neutral. Another theory that can be related to my short film is the spiral of silence theory . What this theory states is that people may be afraid to voice their opinions about my short film because they are afraid of how society and their peers may view them. This can be related to my short film where there could be incidents in real life where people’s bosses are making them do something that they would not want to do and are being blackmailed into doing something e.g. kill someone. This is a very sensitive issue and I tried my best to work around this as I know some viewers could see my work as offensive. To improve I could have perhaps offered an alternative ending, however with the time limit and issues filming I had this would have proved to be quite challenging and possibly unrealistic.
How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts? My Film Poster: My Movie review:
I feel that the combinations of both my main and ancillary texts are very effective. All three of which were inspired by the research I have done into short and feature films and how they are presented to the public on cinematic release. All three of my texts have synergy which is the ability to link the three pieces of work together so for example if you saw my film poster would you be able to tell that it goes with my film. How I have accomplished synergy is by using the same style of text on the Title on all the texts, as well as using similar images on my film review and poster. I have also created synergy by including similar if not the same images in all pieces as seen below: As you can see both my film review, poster and film use the same text style to create synergy as well as the same black and white colour scheme. From My movie review: From my Short Film: From My poster:
As you can see all three texts are quite simplistic and easy to follow as they all are relevant to each other and all centre around my main protagonist’s as shown below: I looked into movie magazines such as Total Film and Empire magazine to formulate ideas and a template before actually creating the final poster and review (Blog Post: Monday 6 th December 2010). I researched short films and how they were created and the effects they can have on audiences. I researched the conventions of an action/ western film posters and film reviews (Blog post: Monday 28 th November 2010). I tried to make all products as accurate to fit forms and conventions of existing products e.g. I did not create any drastic changes to my final products only added in a few more shots or a bit more editing in places. Overall I believe my ancillary texts are effective as they do give my audience a lot of information about my short film as well as giving them an idea of what it contains without giving a lot of the detail. I believe that this will attract people and make them want to watch my short film.
A simplistic poster that clearly shows all of my characters clearly. A couple of shots from my short film which again show the dominance of my main characters. Finally my film review again showing my main characters in their most notable scenes.
I believe that my short film would be an online feature rather than a television or cinematic feature as unless at a special event short films are not really shown on the big screen. There are a variety of websites however that do show a variety of short films and show off peoples work to industries an example of these can be seen on my blog (Blog posts: June 27 th 2010, June 25 th 2010). I could also perhaps put my short film on the website www.shortoftheweek.com . This is a website that promotes anyone's short film and lets anyone view each others work, I believe my work would be best suited on this website.
The most notable short film of the week (the short with the most views) Opportunities to enter you’re short films into competitions Rating system similar to Youtube
I think that my short film poster and movie review would belong in Gorilla film magazine, this magazine focuses mainly on student and graduates work rather than industry and I believe that my poster and review would be perfect in this magazine as industries do look through this magazine and have contacts so this is the most likely place for my short film to get recognized.
The places the films get distributed to. Events such as awards, festivals etc where work gets shown. How the company help sell your short film to the public. Future issues information. About the company.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? After I used YouTube to upload my Rough Cut I posted a link onto Facebook and asked my friends to give me critical feedback on how they thought my work was going and I received the following bits of feedback and tried to take all bits of feedback into account when completing my Final Cut: I specifically took Andrews feedback into consideration when editing for my Final cut as I felt his feedback was the most detailed and useful. A comment about my choice of location/ setting which I took into account and cut some shots of walking as they where too long. I also got feedback from fellow students.
I used new media technologies all throughout the planning stages, creating and evaluating stages from Photoshop for drawings and sketches. I used the internet with websites such as blogger and Google to help with my research stages. I used YouTube to look up short films and the ending scenes of action/ western films. I used cameras, Imovie/premier pro to edit my Rough Cut and Animatic. This was to give me inspiration for the narrative of my film and I used the software's and cameras to edit the footage that I have shot and to edit the clips to the forms and conventions f an action/ western. I used cameras, tripods Macs premier pro I movie, YouTube and Blogger to manage and create my final project and Facebook to receive feedback from others to hear their opinions. I used presentation software’s such as PowerPoint and slide share to create and upload my evaluation. I used websites to teach me how to do a split screen effect in premier pro with tutorial videos of how to make these effective. I used a variety of company websites to look at short films and how they were created. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? An After effects tutorial I used. I used Premiere Pro to edit my whole project.
The research that I did was influenced by a lot of new media technologies. I used blogger to blog about my research into the action/western genre as well as both of my types of audience research into finding out what my audience expected from the action/western genre. I have used blogger before and so I already had skills using blogger however I felt that this year I have developed those skills, this can be seen where I created my shotlist on Google docs and uploaded it to blogger directly which meant that whenever I updated the list it would update automatically in blogger.
I researched short films using Youtube.com, this website is the home to millions of videos that can be viewed for free all of the time. I used Youtube to find and analyse five short films to help understand the codes and conventions of a short film (Blog post June 27 th 2010).
Planning: In this stage I started out by researching the difference between a mind map and a Rico Cluster (blog posts 27 th June 2010). I then decided on creating my own mind map (Blog Post July 8 th 2010) using Bubbl.us, what this website is is an online mind map creator and I created an online mind map showing my thoughts and ideas of what I wanted my short film to be based upon. Then once I had done this I compiled my questionnaire and asked a variety of questions about the action/western genre (Blog post July 15 th 2010). Then once I had my idea figured out I created a rough drawn storyboard by hand of what I wanted my shots to look like and how I wanted to film them e.g. angle distance etc. I used slideshare to upload my storyboard online and then worked on my props, setting and actors list again using blogger to blog about who and what I was planning to use to film and where about I was planning to film. Once this was complete I used adobe premier pro to create an animatic of my storyboard including sound effects showing near enough what I wanted my shots to look like.
The main new media technology that was used the most throughout my projects in both As and A2 would have to be Adobe Premiere pro, of course I used a digital camera to complete my recording however all of the edits and finishing touches where made in Premiere pro. My skills have improved a lot from AS to A2 as last year I hardly new how to use Premiere Pro and this year I was creating everything on my own. Last year we split into groups and edited different parts of the project, however this year I had to edit a 5 minute project on my own. Of course I needed some help so I looked up tutorials online on Youtube. My ability at adding sound and effects has also increased dramatically where last year we hardly added any sound effects or effects, however this year thanks to the help of online tutorials I have included a couple of tutorials I have managed to add in some sound effects and some effects. To do this I used Adobe After Effects which I have never used before until now. Finally I used Youtube again to upload my completed project as well as sharing the video on facebook to allow everyone to view and comment on.