How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Every film that is released for the public to watch , has undoubtedly spent a large chunk of money in advertising which enables them to speak to their audience and tell them that their film is being released. Otherwise how would the consumer know that the next Harry Potter movie is being released? They need to advertise and this means creating different kind of products which can advertise their film through different media texts e.g. Television, Newspaper, Magazine etc. Our task was to create a poster that matches our Short Film and a corresponding Magazine front cover. This is only two out of a variety of ways that a film corporation can spread their advertising campaign to their mass audience, and sometimes a niche audience. Having not had much experience in advertising, we had to research into Film companies who have released successful films which we knew about through their advertising techniques, and what styles they used to get their point across. Having created 6 movies, and rumours that there will be 2 more, Harry Potter has taken the box office by storm. But how did we get to know about this? It wasn’t just derived from a book and plonked onto our cinema screens – no chance. Warner Bros had the gigantic task of telling us, the consumer, that this film will be released. And after smashing box office records, people eagerly waiting for the next sequel, I can safely say that they have done their job well. Regarding the fact that they spent millions on advertising, they still had to sit down and design the advertisements to suit their film to the highest standards. The first film is always the hardest to ascertain due to the audience being clueless to what the story line beholds – so they had to create a poster that not only showed who’s involved but simultaneously giving just enough information for audiences to see it and immediately want more, hence keeping them interested so they come and pay to watch the film. With no previous films of this storyline, magazine companies would be taking a risk by placing a new film on their front covers because they don’t know what the audiences reactions will be when it is released. So for Warner Bros it was a quite a hard task, (back in 2001 when the first film was released) to advertise in popular magazines that people read the every issue of. Before it’s release and before critics reviewed it, it had no leg to stand on. Harry Potter was making its debut on cinema screens and it was Warner Bros’ task to sell it to us. This was our corresponding task which we faced, as we had to create a poster that would try and sell our idea to the consumer, making them want more as they look at our product. As a part of research and planning we had to look at aspects of other posters/films to see how they used their ideas and see if we can incorporate them into our final poster. On the next slide I have retrieved the first ever Harry Potter poster released, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, so I can analyse what they have included for a “first-timer” in the film business. A brief description of the first film is that a young boy enters a school of witch and wizardry, thanks to his biological parents who risked their lives to save his. He is a well-known wizard who delves into places at the school (Hogwarts) with his friends, Hermione and Ron, where he isn’t allowed – he finds a secret which is being chased by his arch enemy. He defeats his enemy with the secret at the climax of the film.
I will analyse the poster from top to bottom, pointing out styles and techniques that this poster uses in order to inform the audience/ consumer what they can expect from this film. The poster jumps straight in with a highly attractive slogan, something that will want people to think , more than their imagination – this film will take them some place where no other film has taken them. This will intrigue the consumer and they immediately want to know what it’s about. A picture of what looks to be a castle (Hogwarts), to the consumer it looks to be a very daunting place. The editors have put this on the poster so the people viewing it can get a sense of setting and mise en scene. Pictured almost centre-like, the boys face is the biggest image of this collage of images. With the title below, the consume can acknowledge that he is “Harry Potter”. With a stern look on his face and a mysterious scar on his forehead, the audience will want to know his turn of events during this film. With the slogan already in mind, the consumer and viewer of this poster can begin to develop a non-reality story line, and with the picture of an owl it can give a clue that witchcraft will be used because an ideology is that, every witch has either a cat or an owl. A very largely-sized character can once again hint at the unreality to this film – he represents a large oaf like creature which is something that isn’t usually seen. They look a similar age to Harry Potter, so the audience deduce that they are his friends, but how do they fit into the story? This is how they are luring the consumer to come watch it to answer questions. Evil, angry looking characters, one wearing a pointed witch –like hat which immediately portrays to the audience that the likelihood is that witch craft and wizardry is included. Another character who looks very wise, and looks like a very stereotypical wizard – white long beard, spectacles etc. But how does he fit in with the film, what’s his role? 1 4 3 2 8 5 6 7 As you can see this poster is ram-packed with a collage of images all with different possible meanings – but no answers are given away. You can deduce quite a lot of little factors like the witchcraft for example just by the mise en scene, characters clothing, but nothing is a certainty, and that’s why Warner Bros have released enough information to interest the consumer but leave the core of the story to the imagination, hence what attracts everyone to watch and find out the real plot.
With advertising, via posters, accounted for and completed, it was time to focus on other ways of selling this brand new film to the desired audience. This meant reaching out to the public using an alternative media text so people are reached by a variety of different products. Our second task was to create a Magazine front cover displaying our short film, which would be effectively released – so we had to use techniques from other magazine covers to enhance and develop ours so that we would grab the audiences attention. Magazine front covers is a different and in my eyes a harder way to advertise compared with a poster. I think this because a poster is entirely dedicated to your film and your film alone. Whilst a magazine front cover may dedicate the main front picture to your film, but the sub headings lead away from your film and to other companies’ films. With a magazine you have to put as much information in as possible, so the audience pick up on it when you try to catch their eye. Below is an issue of “Entertainment Weekly” which is a very renowned magazine in the entertainment business. This issue was released September 2001, as the Harry Potter was duly released. Entertainment Weekly had obviously made a deal with Warner Bros to show their brand new film on the front of their magazine for extra exposure and advertisement. The headline reads “The secrets behind Harry Potter The Movie” which immediately suggests that they have background information on the new film and have been allowed to spread the word. This would immediately interest the public as they have only the poster to rely upon their guesses of what the film may be about. This may persuade the consumer to buy this magazine because they are very intrigued by the new film and want to find out as much information as they can before they eventually go see the film. I think the headline is most attractive because the word “secret” is like a subliminal message for the consumer, it means that they have something, information, that could be key to the plot of this exciting new story. So this is a technique to draw the audience in, it all depends on the effectiveness of the words used and the picture involved. The picture used here is also very effective because “Harry” has a very smug look on his face and his arms crossed, as if he knows something that we don’t, hence corresponding to the secret involved. It’s all very simple yet highly effective, all these techniques are used to advertise the film as much as possible so that every corner of every audience is reached and as many people know about it as possible. So after looking at the poster and cover that Warner Bros used to advertise their film it shows that the go “hand-in-hand” with each other, both showing and using different techniques to keep the audience guessing as to what happens – so I think this Harry Potter used both media texts to their advantage and it was very effective in the end – as seen by the success the film and its sequels have achieved. This was a part of my individual research towards the product, my next analysis of magazine front covers and posters are ones that we as a group researched and used for help with our final products. This was an analysis of a successful, established film and how it became so popular in its early stages.
As a part of group research we looked at film magazines such as “Empire” and “Total Film”. Fig 1 shows one of our posters that we analysed in order to help us create and enhance our own poster. What I have done here is taken the main film on the magazine, Iron Man 2, and found the corresponding photos to the same film. Now we can see the effective combination between both the posters and the front cover to see the similarities. The first immediate similarity is the bright shining blue light on his chest. Empire have cleverly taken this colour and assigned it to their logo to correspond to the “heart” of Iron Man. This is a sort of landmark/ trademark of Iron Man, so somebody sees this kind of blue light they can trace it back to this film. In Fig 2 the clouds are also of the same shade of blue, and could represent the lighting bolts that Empire have also used on their logo. They all interlink with each other to give a sense of similarity and people pick up on this and can assume that (Fig. 1) the lightning is a sign of evilness, and his heart is a sign of power. It’s little denotations like this that the audience can pick on and begin to build an image in their head of what is to be expected. (Fig. 2) But looking at both posters and magazine front covers they have kept the same colour coordination. This is very effective because it means that all of them give off the same message about the film. This is how we’ve looked upon this task and that’s why we have kept the colours corresponding on both poster and magazine front cover so the audience and consumer can easily recognise our film when it’s released. Our film is a silent movie and therefore has a Sepia (brown tint) tone to it, something which we have carried on and applied to our poster and front cover. This means that the audience can see it and by either one can immediately recognise that the film will be shown in this colour. Showing our characters in colour would mean that we were sending the wrong message to the consumer because they wouldn’t immediately know that our video is in black and white. The similarities between our video and poster/front cover can be seen in the next few slides along. (Fig. 3)
This is a different poster and magazine front cover we researched and analysed – again I believe that they should both link in with the actual theme of the film itself so the audience can get a taste of what is to come. As shown in Iron Man on the previous page, the poster and the cover are effectively corresponding to each other. In the actual film ‘New Moon’ the front character on Fig.1 (Robert Pattinson) has to protect the girl in Fig 1 from the evil characters. In both the magazine front cover and the poster it is clearly showing this. Fig 1 shows the character looking over his shoulder as if he is checking if she’s okay, and the ‘evil-looking’ character behind is putting on a vicious facial expression as he is the evil character. The poster on the other hand shows the story line a little more clearly. This time he’s keeping a hold of her tightly as if to convey that no-one except him is allowed to have her – he is protecting her from the evil that is following her. The other characters look on, some with very malevolent expressions – which corresponds to the story. On the magazine front cover you can obviously see that they have taken the title ‘New Moon’ and made their magazine correspond to the literal words. The magazine logo “Total Film” is printed in a luminous white as if the portray the moon sitting in the sky reflecting the bright white light, a full moon. This could convey the meaning of eeriness to the consumer and they can start to picture where this film takes place and what kind of storyline it beholds. (Fig. 2) (Fig. 1) The poster and magazine front cover also have trees in the background, this can give the audience an idea of setting and also it conveys a supernatural mood/atmosphere as ‘something’ may only come out at night in a full moon. This is how the posters and front covers try make the audience think without giving too much information or too much of the plot away. But obviously the film companies don’t want to give away their plot, so they keep the audience guessing which is something we have done with our poster and magazines to correspond to the professionalism of real posters that have been released. They make their film look as appealing as possible through the use of posters , covers and other advertisements – of which all correspond to the actual film.
Here are our final ancillary tasks, the magazine front cover (Fig 1) and the poster (Fig 2). In answer to the question I think our main product and ancillary tasks are very effective. I believe this to be true because all 3 correspond to each other. First of all, when I analysed Iron Man 2 we could see that the colours matched each other and it told part of a story, well we have used that technique when creating our ancillary tasks. The main product is in ‘black and white’ with a Sepia tone, so we incorporated this into our poster & cover. This way the audience can immediately deduce that the film has a vintage feel to it, as there is an absence of colour. Just like our research and analysis into Pineapple express – on both tasks we had ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Michael’ each have a different facial expression to match their personality. So on Fig 1 the audience can assume that Charlotte is the geeky one because she displays a beaming smile, with her glasses on (ideology of a geek/nerd) - whilst tightly grasping school books. This is something the audience can recognise and begin to build an image into their heads, then they look at ‘Joe’ and see an ‘attempt’ at a smile and will realise he may be the opposite to Charlotte. This is then evidently shown in the poster where ‘Joe’ doesn’t even smile and has an almost-befuddled look on his face, now the audience can begin to assume that comedy may be involved in this two – thanks to the ‘dopey’ character and the ‘happy’ character. The title itself draws attention to itself because the audience can deduce that the film will be in some kind of rush, due the “Madness” in the title, but yet again nothing is clearly given away and only little snippets of information is released . Along with the alarm clock displaying “Too Late” and the word “Morning” in the title the audience can just about guess when it takes place, just like New Moon with its ‘luminous white’ colouring effect which portrays to the audience that the film could be set in the night. It’s all done so the audience can receive enough clues about the film to determine whether they like it or not, but not enough for the film to reveal its plot. That’s why I think our ancillary tasks correspond to our main product, by effectively revealing to the audience minimal information about it but simultaneously give them clues upon what the story line could potentially be. (Fig. 1) (Fig. 2)
What have you learned from your Audience Feedback? For our audience research we had to show the public our rough cut and final cut , for them to comment on so we can see whether they liked it or not. We chose to create a Facebook group because we could invite all our friends to comment on it as these are the intended target audience for our video. Here is the link to our Feedback Group Page; http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=360244752270&topic=13495 (Or click on logo) On this page we uploaded or video and then set 7 different questions in the discussions section for the viewer to fill out after they have seen our video. Here are the 7 questions and the reason why we chose them; For number 1 we wanted the viewer to describe to us what they thought was going on, so we knew whether we portrayed the plot well enough For this question we wanted to see which factors of the video they liked Then which factors they didn’t like, and reasons. We then wanted them to analyse our music choice and see if it fitted in well Then we wanted a closer analysis from the viewer whether we used sufficient shot types to make sure it didn’t become boring We asked them to give us some constructive criticism so we knew what we could improve And finally a question where they are free to say anything else about the short film.
Here was our first piece of feedback from our rough-cut; Vickie Page 1) Give a brief summary of the Storyline: The teacher tells both the male and female characters that they have an exam soon. The female character is hard working and stays up all night revising. The male character is lazy and stays in bed. In the morning both characters over sleep. The girl rushes to get to school whilst the boy takes his time but when they arrive at school they realise their exam is on a different day.2) What did you like about the video? The music fitted together well with the action and there was good use of a variety of shots. It all fitted together well.3) What didn't you like about the video? Some parts were a little confusing. It wasn't clear who the person in the frame was and why she did piano practise (although was that to show that she was hard working?)4) Did the music fit the on-screen activity well? Yes it did.5) Was there a good variety of shots? Yes, a good mixture of close ups and wide shots.6) What do you feel we could improve on? Showing the picture in the frame more clearly (but that is a really minor point!)7) Any other comments and feedback! Really good, well done! :) As you can see the feedback is relatively satisfactory, she understood the plot and liked the fact it all fitted together. The factor she didn’t like was that parts of the film were a little confusing, for example when Charlotte stands in the mirror at the beginning and why she practiced the piano. Although Vickie answered her criticism correctly, she was hard working, we wanted to make sure the audience understood this. So to do this we made sure in the credits at the beginning it was clearly stated who plays which character and how many there are. We then made sure there were enough slides telling the audience that she wanted to do her revision first but instead does her piano to convey her intelligence. This was all amended in the final cut. But other than that this piece of feedback was very positive for us, when creating our short film.
Here was our first piece of feedback from our final cut; James Paddock 1) A teacher warns two pupils (Charlotte and Joe) that their work is not up to standard, and that they have an exam after the weekend which they must attend. Charlotte puts off all her revision for the exam until Sunday evening, but drops off to sleep halfway through, and eventually hurries off to bed - at 1 AM. Joe, however, sleeps for what seems like the whole of Sunday. On the following Monday morning the two go through their daily routines, with Charlotte's being the more hectic and rushed, while Joe hardly bothers with getting ready. They meet on the way to school, both late for the exam, and after a bit of a rush to get to the exam hall, they discover that it is in fact on Tuesday.2) The concept of the video being a silent movie was great. :) A lot of funny elements, in particular the clock appearing out of nowhere, and the character's interactions with the camera, were used to great effect. The result was that the movie was very funny overall, and very spontaneous - I never really knew quite what to expect. Plus, the ending gave me a good laugh. :)3) Can't really think of anything. I think I'll just answer question (6) instead. 4) The music fit each scene extremely well and really helped to convey the attitudes of the two characters. :) I noticed, however, that Charlotte had several different bits of music while Joe seemed to only have one. Perhaps the music could've been a bit more varied in that respect.5) Shots were varied well. Angled shots (like the one where Charlotte lands in her chair) were used effectively. The only part which seemed to recycle clips was when the video kept cutting back to Joe, asleep, although this was actually pretty effective. :)6) While this was a very good video, it does appear to be a parody of the "silent" movies, so the intro (with Mr. Bliss's voice) and the parts with added sound effects were not absolutely necessary (unless I'm wrong and the syllabus states that you HAD to include sound effects somewhere in your video ). The emotions of the characters came through very well, but I'd have liked to see a few more of their facial expressions - quite a lot of the time they had their face away from the camera.7) As I said, this was a really funny video. :D I love the contrast you guys created between the two characters - Hermione's over-the-top facial expressions and Foxy's slouching movements were perfect. Great job, you guys! :) This piece of feedback was overall a more thorough analysis. But definitely a more satisfying one due to this being our final cut. Nothing is mentioned this time about the confusion between characters and Charlotte’s intelligence. The only criticism given was in correspondence with the music/sound effects. The viewer didn’t know why the teacher was talking at the start because it’s a silent film. We can’t actually physically explain this through the video because it was actually a challenge against the forms and conventions of a silent movie, that this time we had one person speak so the audience can really feel and hear his authority – whilst the rest of the film has an absence of dialogue. He also mentions that he doesn’t feel that some of the sound effects were necessary. Once again it was hard to portray this through the short film but we again wanted to challenge the conventions by adding a modern style by using sound effects – sometimes to create spontaneous humour. But apart from that he liked the short film a lot especially the contrast between the two characters. I think our feedback helped us tremendously because we could see first hand what our target audience liked and didn’t like. This enabled us to work on our video to make it near perfect for all. But we could see that some factors people liked whilst others didn’t, so we looked at the feedback and if the majority didn’t like something, we changed it and if they did like it we would keep it the same. We have learnt that it is very difficult to please everyone’s taste in film so we had to try our best to give each and every viewer something to enjoy.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Throughout this project we as a group and I myself used a lot of technology which was key to our final product. It wasn’t just the obvious Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier but it was also the lesser-known software which contributed to our final work. Below is a picture of our group, holding sheets of paper displaying every single piece of software we used in our project;
With the addition of a Hardware including; Digital Video Camera, Digital Camera, Scanner, Computer etc. this is all we used to create our final short film, Monday Morning Madness. The process in creating the final products (ancillary included) was quite a long one bearing in mind we were introduced to a complete new piece of software again, Adobe Premiere. This is where we did the main editing of the footage filmed on camera, it’s where we tweaked and cut out all the unnecessary clips and finalised our film. The main tool we used on Adobe Premiere was the ‘cutting/slice’ tool where we could chop up our film sequence and delete the scenes we didn’t want in our final product. It is a simple click of the tool shown in the tool bar, and then click on the timeline where ever you would like to cut the film into two. A very simple but vital tool in our process. But this was all we used in Adobe Premiere as the Audio/Video effects they were offering didn’t quite match our needs and we had to go on the lookout for more effective transitions and effects to enhance our film. As our film is a silent film we wanted to have a ‘flickering’ on screen to match the authenticity of an old silent movie where the reel of film is being played on a film projector, and to find this we used Window’s Movie Maker – Vista edition. Movie Maker offered vast, easy to access, video effects which were very efficient. They matched our requirements and we used the effect called ‘Film Age, Old’ pictured left. This gave us ‘grains’ and lines on screen corresponding to the conventions of a silent movie. There were several to choose from as you can see, but after trial and error we came to the conclusion that the one we choose was most effectual and really made the film look as vintage as possible without going over the top. To make our film all but authentic we also used the ‘Sepia Tone’ effect to correspond to the convention of silent movies where the was a lack of colour, but had slight tints of brown to the on screen action. This is something we thought to be quite useful because it gave our short film that slight edge compared to when it was just black and white. To put these effects onto your film is relatively easy as all you have to do is select your effect and then drag it over your film sequence, and it will change it according to your choice immediately.
To create our ancillary tasks we used Adobe Photoshop and its vast range of tools to make it as professional as possible. Below are both of the tasks, the poster and magazine front cover; Here on the left we have the magazine front cover. We used the digital camera to take two close up photos of our characters , one of the “Music Man” caption and the other “Hulk” caption as well. We wanted to keep the same colour scheme running throughout both ancillary tasks and short film, so we edited the pictures using the “Colour Balance” tool where we could give them the equally Here on the right we have the poster. We once again used the digital camera to take two close up photos of our characters but this time more of an extreme close up, to really show the distinct features of our characters to advertise our film even further. Once again we wanted to keep the same colour scheme running throughout so we used the ‘Colour Balance’ tool and changed it to Sepia again. We used the lasso tool (circled green) to cut out both heads of our two main characters. We found out that after cutting it left a jagged edge around the sides of our images, so we used the blur/smudge tool (circled orange) to make the edges blend in with the black background of our poster. This way it looked more presentable and most importantly, professional. Once again we used the font tool (circled red) and put in our recognisable fonts which are a theme running through all out tasks. The alarm clock is also used in both poster and front cover and it’s creation is explained on my blog in great detail. We then positioned everything according to our research to enhance it as much as we can. So Adobe Photoshop was a vital piece of software needed to create our ancillary tasks and we’ve learnt that a lot of research and knowledge of this software’s tools really helps when creating advertisements for any media texts. same Sepia tone as shown in the final short film. To get the fonts we used the text tool (circled red), to create our uniquely named magazine – so if we were to put it out onto the market, this is how consumers would recognise us. We used the fonts “Reprise” and “Stencil” to create our headings an sub headings which also match with the poster – situated right. To create the green-looking hulk figure we first of all cut round the edges of the face using the lasso tool (circled green) and then changed the Hue/Saturation of the selected area, making the colour balance a dark green – to correspond to the original Hulk character. To create the rectangles and other lines found on the front cover we used the shapes tool (circled blue) and moves them into the position where we thought it would look most effective, then we placed our fonts on top and made sure the colours complimented each other so they look more attractive to the eye.
WORDPRESS ROYALTY FREE MUSIC The internet was very beneficial and highly useful in the process of creating our project. First of all, in the top left hand corner we have WordPress, where we were able to upload all our work easy and simply and we were allowed to customise our header to make it more personal to us. Secondly, we have ‘Incompetech’ which is where we received all our royalty free music and were able to easily download it. Thirdly, we have Facebook where we were able to create a group for peers to mark and comment on our final short film and enabled us to have critical audience feedback to help us improve our film. It also helped keeping all comments in one place and not on loose A4 questionnaires. And finally we used YouTube for our initial research so they could inspire us when making our own. YouTube owns vast amounts of old and new videos so we could research into silent movies quite easily whilst simultaneously looking at modern day short films to see what ideas they had as well. Overall the internet was again a vital part in making our video a success. FACEBOOK YOUTUBE
Overall I think we were very successful in creating this video, from all angles possible. We researched enough resources to get our guidelines for the actual short film, we have shown good editing skills in our final pieces and also good ideas when creating all of our tasks. I’ve learnt many things and would definitely change some factors if I were to do this project again, for example booking in actors to film – I would make sure they would know when, where and how long WELL before it was going to happen so they have plenty of notice. That way we wouldn’t feel so bad if they cancelled because we could schedule in an earlier date which is something we should have done this time round. I’ve also learnt that even with basic knowledge of computer software, if you spend a little time learning or ask advice you can discover new tools to enhance your film/ancillary task a lot and make it look really professional. With plentiful research it also helps because you can create things quicker as you have an idea where you want things and what you want them to look like. In conclusion I feel everything went really well and all the hard work was worth it, seeing the successful short film that is ours. It was a lengthy process and I now understand how much preparation goes on behind the scenes of films made in the modern day and techniques they use to capture our attention. Everything we planned all helped towards our final production and I’m very happy with how everything worked out. By David Martin