LAUREN’S PRODUCT EVALUATION An evaluation of my magazine, poster and the group trailer
My film poster evaluation *Work created by me
In the final draft of my film poster, I used a clear font throughout. I sized the film’s title, ‘Soul Switch’, in the biggest font to make it stand out to the audience and signify to them that it was the film’s title. I chose to use italics for the ‘switch’ to make it different from the ‘soul’ and represent a switch between the two words, which is what happens to the characters in the film itself. I chose to present the names of the actors, their first names smaller than their last names, the way I did because it gives the allusion that their names are well known just by their last names and therefore this would encourage people of the audience I am trying to reach to see it. However, I have chosen to make the two female names bigger than the male names towards the bottom of the page as this will signify that the females are the main characters of the film. I have chosen to present the tag line in a smaller font than the title of the film as, like a headline and sub-heading, it is meant to go with the title but is as important as the actors/actresses that are in it, that’s why I have presented it in the same size. I have presented the credits in the smallest font to the rest as it is of least importance on the page and the audience is least likely to take notice of it. I have used a larger font for the date of the film, when it is being released, as the audience will see it and remember it so they can see it when it comes out. On this version of my poster, however, I have added a comment from a reviewer and who made the film. I have made the creator of the film bigger than the comment as this is more important than what has been said about slightly. If gives the audience the idea of how good the film might be by the other film mentioned. I have decided to present the comment in bold font though as this is more important than who made the comment and stands out to the audience on the page.
The colours I have used in this version of my poster contrast each other. For example, the title of the film uses obvious contrasting colours: the ‘soul’ being in purple with a black outline and the ‘switch’ being in dark blue with a yellow outline. Not only do the two words contrast each other but so does the colours within the words. I have chosen to do this to make them stand out from each other and also to make them stand out on the different colours background clearly. I have used a colour scheme of yellow, purple, blue, lack and white and have made sure they are the only colours present on the page. I chose to make the names of the actors/actresses contrast each other, for example, the first names in black and the second names in another colour which followed the colour scheme. This was to make the names stand out more to the then audience and add variety to the page, instead of having the names on in colour only. I have chosen to make the reviewer’s comment, the maker of the film and the tag line in different colours but placed them together on the page. This is to separate them from each other and shows they are different. I have kept to the colour scheme for this and it gave me the opportunity to use the different colours. The colours also stand out from the coloured background. I have chosen to use a contrasting colour, white, for the date the film is coming out. This is because I didn’t use white at all at the bottom of the page and so it would stand out more to the audience and they would remember the date. I used black for the credits to make it stand out from the background and to use a colour that wasn’t used lot on the page. I have chosen a pink background for my poster as it is a stereotypical girly colour and so it refers to he film’s contents of being a Romantic Comedy.
I have chosen to lay out my poster so that the image has been placed in the centre of the page (Primary Optical Area). I have chosen to do this to show it is an important element of the page and it covers a larger area than any of the other elements so that it can be clearly seen by the audience. The title of the film ‘Soul Switch’ has been placed so that it overlaps the image slightly. This is to make it look more professional and to relate the title to the image, signifying the two characters shown will switch souls. I have placed the two female actresses’ names at the top of the page as this is the first thing the audience will see if they follow the ‘route of the eye’ according to the Principle of Thirds. The audience will be influenced to see the film due to who is starring in it and these two will be important to that. I have also chosen to place them above the opposite person whose names it is to signify the switch in character will occurs in our trailer. I have placed the makers of the film, the reviewer comment and the tag line one after the other as they will be in order of importance. ‘From the makers of Freak Friday’ has been placed first as this will give the audience an initial idea as to how good the film will be, followed by the comment which will also influence their views to go and see the film or not due to what people thought who had been to see it previously. The tag line has been placed after this to give them a hint as to what the film will entail and also influence their thinking; therefore I have chosen a catchy tagline. This covers two of the top ‘hotspots’ which shows its importance to the audience’s viewing. In the other two ‘hotspots’ there is the title and the other actors names. This shows they are of equal importance and the title relates to the tagline which was in the other ‘hotspots’. I have chosen to place the two other actors names under the title to show they are still important but not as importance as the ones at the top and, according to the ‘route of the eye’, the audience will be more likely to see those after the female actresses names. I have placed the date the film comes out in the middle of the actors’ names but slightly down the page more. The audience will hopefully look at this after those and remember the date. It has been placed after everything else so that as their eyes work their way down the page and decide they want to see the film, they will want to know when it comes out. I have placed the credits in the ‘terminal area’ to show they are of least importance on the page.
Hotspots Route of the eye Primary optical area Terminal area
For the image I have chosen to be present on final poster, I have used a Long shot of the two actresses. This is to show the props as well as the characters in a school setting. This relates to the audience we are trying to reach as the actresses are of a relevant age, as shown in the image, and the setting will apply to the ages of our audience. They will be able to relate to this and the stereotypical features of the characters. For example, Hetty (the ‘popular’ girl at the back of the image) is preparing to throw a paper ball at Hannah (the geeky girl). This shows an act of bullying and how your reputation means everything at school as Hannah has no idea she’s about to do it. The characters have been placed so that Hannah (the geek) has been placed at the front of the class. Her props signify she is hardworking and this is where her interests lie. The clip art images around her also signify this and have been chosen accordingly. Hetty, on the other hand, has been placed at the back of the image but on the other side of the table to Hannah. This is so the audience can see her clearly and what se is doing, indicating her obviously as a bully towards Hannah. The characters also take on relevant costumes to signify to the audience what kind of characters they are. For example, Hannah (the geek) can be seen with her top button done up, glasses and hair in pony tails which are stereotypical features to a geeky character in Romantic Comedy films. Whereas Hetty can be seen with her top button undone, visible jewellery and her hair down which are also stereotypical features of a popular girl and they also show her rebelliousness towards the school rules, which the audience may be able to relate to and this therefore will influence them to watch the film. The props used in the image demonstrate that Hannah is a geek and Hetty is not due to the books being open or closed. This overall, shows the contrast in the two characters and signifies to the audience that it should prove to be an interesting storyline when these characters switch places. Using this shot type also, the audience can see Hetty’s facial expression which presents her s quite devious whereas Hannah’s signifies she is engrossed in her work. This shows another contrast between the two characters.
The mode of address for my poster is that the film is of the Romantic Comedy genre. The audience will be able to see this from, for example, the images such as the heart, the mention of male and female names and the fact it has been made by the same people as ‘Freaky Friday’ which will signify romance as the audience may know what happens in that film already. This element could also signify the comedy by knowing what happens in ‘Freaky Friday’ and that is why I chose to mention that particular film. The image will also signify comedy as Hetty (at the back) is about to throw paper at Hannah (at the front) and this will make the audience laugh. I have applied this to my audience of teenagers ages 13 – 19, male and female as I have mentioned, for example, male and female actors’ names, used females in my image and used a collection of colours associated with male and females. The age of the people in the image will also show which audience I am aiming at.
When I analysed existing film posters at the beginning of the project, I found that they had certain content. I wanted to make my product as realistic as possible and so I made sure the content of my poster was similar as it contained the following in similarity to the one I analysed earlier in the project:
• A slogan/tag line
• One image
• Actors/actresses names
• Title of film
Dyer's theory on stereotypes is clearly shown in my work. In the image, the two completely different personalities (geek and popular girl) are represented through costume - Hannah wearing glasses and has a book for a prop immediately makes the audience assume she is the geek. Stereotypically geeks wear glasses. Whereas Hetty is shown in her costume wearing jewellery and is about to throw a piece of paper at Hannah, signifying her status within the school as she picks on people 'below' her in the social circle. This also refers to Will Wright's theory that this creates a symbolic meaning for the audience. Although, school in reality is not exactly like this, the audience can follow and relate to what they see as it reflects certain social institutions.
In Katz's theory on 2 step flow, he says it is important that groups influence the audience. In this case the image suggests there is a female dominance within the film. If a male audience were seeing the poster, they would immediately assume that this is what girls behaved like and would therefore influence them. If an audience can relate to the goings on in the image, it will influence them to see the film as they will understand what is going on and why it has been shown like that. This shows a male and female audience using the media in their everyday lives as they take things from what they see in the film away with them so it is important that the poster complies with audience needs. It will more likely make the audience want to see the film if they are seeing something they like.
As for the Narrative, Levi Strauss came up with the idea of binary oppositions, which can be seen within the poster as it shows two completely different personalities being present in the same film and this will make it more interesting for the audience to watch.
My film magazine evaluation *Work created by me
In the final version of my magazine cover for a film magazine, I have chosen to use a clear font so that it will be easier for the audience to read and understand. I have used the biggest font for the title of the magazine ‘Film UK’ to show it’s the most important element on the page and to show clearly to the reader that it is the title. I have chosen to contrast fonts in the main headline ‘Beauty and the Brain’. I have used an italic font for the word ‘beauty’ as this would be considered as font which would go with this word. I have used a bolder and plain font for the word ‘brain’ as it too goes well with the word it is representing. I have chosen to present these two words in bigger fonts than ‘and the’ to show they are the more important words in the headline and to make these contrasting fonts stand out even more on the page and its background. I have chosen to make the headlines and the sub-headings in different fonts to show more clearly what they are and to separate them, making it clearer for the readers to see. I have presented these headlines in a bigger font then their sub-headings. This is to distinguish one from the other and also makes it look more professional, similarly to the ones already out there. I have made the title ‘also this month’ bigger than the following bullet points as this will stand out to the reader and seeing this, they will read on to the bullet points. I have chosen to put the film names at the bottom of the page in the smallest font as it shows it is has little importance on the page. However, the date and time are smaller as these have the least importance out of all the other elements. I have made the text in the heart, to the left of the page, small but because I have situated it inside the heart, it will stand out to the reader. This is what I hope to achieve for the other boxes on the page as they stand out from the background well.
For this version of my magazine cover I have used contrasting colours. I have used black and white within the title of the magazine so that it stands out more to the reader as it is on a pink background. I have chosen to use a Union Jack pattern for the ‘UK’ part of the title which represents the country the magazine was made in and signifies the audience I am trying to reach. I have also used black and white as contrasting colours for the headlines and the sub-headings. This is so the readers can tell them apart and makes it clearer for them to see this. With the exception of the main headline, I have kept to a colour scheme of red, blue, back, white. This is to refer back the ‘UK’ in the title and also stands for the country it was made in. I have chosen to use red boxes, situated in different parts of the page, so that their content stands out from its background. I have chosen not to put them so close to each other so that it adds variety to the page and there isn’t all of one colour in the same place. I have also used white boxes to serve the same purpose. I have chosen to use a pink background to signify the audience I am trying to reach. This is more a female colour so this represents that quite clearly and refers to the ‘chick flick issue’.
I have laid out my magazine so that it follows the ‘route of the eye’ according to the Principle of Thirds’. This can be proven by the fact that I have placed my title at the top of the page, similarly to existing magazines, as the audience will see this first. I have made the title take up a significant amount of space on the page to represent its significance. I have placed the image and the heart shape on the page so that they over lap the title slightly. This is to give the allusion to the reader that the magazine is well known and it doesn’t matter if these things cover it as the audience would know the name of it anyway. I have chosen to place the main headline next on the page so that it sits in the Primary Optical Area. This is to show its importance to the page and to show it is the main headline. By placing the sub-heading and the white box underneath it, it represents that these three things go together. Following the ‘route of the eye’ the readers will work their way down the page and this will be the next thing they see anyway. I have placed my other headlines after this and to the left hand side. This follows the ‘route of the eye’ as the readers will move from left to right. Also, by placing them here it signifies they are to read after the elements mentioned above. I have placed the red boxes so that they present in the ‘hotspots’, signifying their importance and I have placed the white boxes, either to accompany the main headline or to show a free offer to the readers. By doing this, they draw the reader’s attention to the page by giving it variety and as these stand out from the background, their contents stands out to the reader and implies importance. I have chosen to place the names of the films at the bottom of the page to show they are of little importance to the other elements and should be read last if the readers follow the ‘route of the eye’. The image has been placed in the Primary Optical Area to show it is the most important thing on the page and that it accompanies the main headline. Finally, I have placed the barcode in the ‘terminal area’ to show it is the least important element on the page.
Hotspots Primary optical area Route of the eye Terminal area
We have used a Long shot for the image I have chosen to use for the cover. The reason for this is that the audience can see the actresses’ full outfits which would signify what type of character they are. For example, Hetty (the girl to the left of the image) is wearing a skirt, a loose tie and jewellery with a compact mirror. This signifies to the reader that she is the popular girl due to the fact the shot shows them Hetty looking at herself in her mirror, which also signifies her vanity. This is a stereotypical quality of characters present in Romantic Comedy films already out there which is what we were going for. This image of Hetty can be contrasted with Hannah (the girl to the right) as she is wearing the complete opposite: her tie done up, long trousers and glasses with her hair tied up and a text book. This signifies to the reader that she is engrossed in her book by her facial expression, which can be seen and that she is serious about her work and nothing else. This is typical of that type of characters present in existing Rom-Coms. I have chosen to use this particular image for my final magazine cover as it looks as if they have done a shoot for the magazine as they are not in a setting from the film, it is just them. This therefore makes it look a lot more professional. This image also goes clearly with the main headline as Hetty can be seen as the ‘beauty’ and Hannah as the ‘brain’. The fact they have been presented as completely different characters, also refers to the title of the film in the sub-heading ‘Soul Switch’ as it is obvious they will switch places. The ages of the two girls signifies our audience due to their age and gender.
The mode of address for my film magazine is that it shows the audience clearly that the genre I am trying to present is Romantic Comedy. I have shown this to the audience as I have used, for example, heart shapes for boxes on the page to signify romance and the costume of the actresses in the image signify comedy as the audience know from this and knowing a bit about the film, that two people with different personalities will switch souls and cause havoc. I have applied my magazine cover to our chosen audience of teenagers aged 13 – 19, male and female as I have mentioned, for example, males and females on the cover and I have mentioned films which would appeal to people of that age. The age of the people in the image also signify the age of the audience they are trying to draw into the magazine. Due to these elements, the audience we are trying to attract will see this and know the magazine is for them.
When I analysed existing film posters at the beginning of the project, I found that they had certain content. I wanted to make my product as realistic as possible and so I made sure the content of my poster was similar as it contained the following in similarity to the one I analysed earlier in the project:
• Actors names mentioned throughout the magazine
• Barcode, price and date
• Title of magazine
• One image
• Interviews with actor/actresses
• Free give away
• Films that are mentioned are suitable to the genre I have chosen
Dyer's theory of stereotypes representing certain social groups, is present in my magazine cover, as was it in the existing one i analysed. In the image, it is shown clearly the type of character they are, Hannah being the geek and Hetty being the popular girl. These are two completely opposite personalities which have been shown according to how they are stereotypically seen. For example, Hannah is shown wearing glasses and has her head down in a book which makes the audience immediately assumes she is a geek whereas Hetty is shown as being rebellious with her jewellery and her vanity as she looks into a mirror.
This then goes on to agree with Will Wright's theory as he believes it creates a symbolic meaning for the audience. The image represents certain social institutions and attitudes and tells the audience about themselves and their society as they can relate to the image and understand where it has come from, to an extent.
My final poster and magazine questionnaire *Work created by me
(Please circle your answers)
1. How old are you?
13 – 15 16 – 19
2. Which gender are you?
3. Would you be able to tell which genre of film the poster is for?
4. Do you think the background colour I have chosen is relevant to the Romantic Comedy genre and content of the film?
5. Do you think the image is relevant to the Romantic Comedy genre and content of the film?
6. Do you feel I should have used one image to show the two main characters or other images of the actors as well as this one?
Just one image Other images
7. Do you think the props and costumes of the characters in the image show what kinds of character they are clearly?
8. Do you think the images around each of the characters heads are relevant to help you, as an audience member, distinguish their character type further?
9. Do you think these images are relevant and should be used?
10. Do you think the title of the film is suitable to the content of the film? (completely opposite personalities switch places)
11. Do you think the tag line is catchy and would it make you want to see what happened in the film?
12. Do you think the use of bright colours is relevant to the Romantic Comedy genre?
13. Would these colours draw you into the poster?
14. Do you think the poster is laid out clearly and is easy for you to understand?
15. Is the font suitable and easy to read?
16. Do you think the colour scheme is relevant to the Romantic Comedy genre?
17. Do you think the content of my poster is similar to existing film posters? (such as actors names and film reviews)
18. Do you think the poster looks as if it’s aimed at males and females?
19. Are there any improvements that could be made? (Please state below)
An example of a completed questionnaire *Work created by me
My questionnaire results *Work created by me
Examples of my poster and magazine questionnaire results *A full set of my results can be found on my blog.
Questionnaire feedback analysis First of all, i asked an equal amount of male and females and an equal amount of 13 - 15 and 16 - 19 year olds (5 each) to obtain reliable results. This way they wouldn't be from a male or female point of view or i wouldn't gain feedback from more of one of the age groups than the other. From the majority of the questions, i gained feedback which meant that the poster and magazine cover i had created was suitable to the chosen audience. For example, 10 out of 10 of the people i asked said they thought the colours i used were appropriate for the Romantic Comedy genre. However, the only the problem i came across was that the majority of those asked said my poster and magazine cover didn't look as if it was aimed at males AND females. This was a problem as that was our chosen audience. Although, my poster and magazine cover were proven to look like existing, professional ones, as said by those asked. I think the genre of Romantic Comedy wouldn't really appeal to males by the advertisement or promotion side of things but the actual films do. I looked at existing posters such as 'Freaky Friday' for ideas, which is also a romantic comedy, and my poster follows the same conventions as that one, but still the 'Freak Friday' film appeals to both sexes. As you can see from the example of a completed questionnaire, i asked the audience for feedback on anything that could be improved to me poster and magazine cover. I did not receive any advice on how to improve my products, therefore they must have been suited to my audience. So, overall, i think my poster and magazine cover were appropriate to our chosen audience and would appeal to them.
The trailer questionnaire *Work created by me
The following questionnaire was created so we could gain feedback from our target audience on the trailer we had created to see if it was suitable to them. These are the questions we are going to ask to 20 people, male and female and aged 13 - 19.
1. Which gender are you?
2. How old are you?
13 – 15
16 – 19
3. Our trailer was made for the Romantic Comedy genre. Would you be able to tell the genre of the film from the contents of the trailer?
4. Do you think the music was suitable for the genre and related to the contents of the trailer?
5. Do you think the length of the trailer was the same as existing Romantic Comedy trailers and was therefore conventional?
6. Do you think the voice-over was suitable to the trailer?
7. Did you think the costume of the actors was appropriate to the genre?
8. Do you feel the various locations used were suitable?
9. Did the trailer look as if it was aimed at males and females?
10. Do you feel the trailer would appeal to your age range and would you be encouraged to go and see the film if it came out?
11. Do you think the name of the film is appropriate to the contents of the trailer?
12. Do you think the credits and dates were necessary and should be placed at the end of the trailer?
13. Do you feel the actors names were put in the right place within the trailer and were necessary?
14. Do you think the storyline was conventional to existing Romantic Comedy trailers?
15. Was the storyline easy to follow?
16. Do you feel you were shown just the right amount about the film?
There was too little given away
It was just right
There was too much given away
17. Do you think the edited red screens within the trailer were suitable and helped you understand the storyline better?
18. Finally, is there anything you feel should be changed or improved in the trailer? (please state below)
An example of a completed questionnaire *Work created by me
Trailer questionnaire results *Work created by me and Kim Deller
Examples of our trailer questionnaire results *A full set of these results can be found on my blog
Our trailer evaluation
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
*Work created by me
COMPARING MY PRODUCTS TO THE TRAILER For both my final poster and magazine cover, i have used the same pink background to link them clearly. In the images on the pages, i have used the same actors and the same costumes so that it is easy for my audience to identify that it is about the same film. I have used 'Impact' and 'Arial' fonts on each of those pages. the reason for choosing a pink background was to refer to the genre of film we have chosen and also to refer to the target audience we are trying to reach. It is stereotypically a girly colour and insinuates this to the readers. These products can be linked to the trailer we have made as the same actors are present and therefore shows all the products are on the same film. The costume of the actors in the poster and the magazine cover, implies the mise-en-scene shown in the trailer. It would be very easy for our target audience to distinguish that these products are all for the same film as it is so clear. This makes it effective to the audience.
COMPARING MY PRODUCTS TO EXISTING PRODUCTS For my poster, it is easy to see that it is similar to the poster i evaluated at the beginning (She's the man). This is because of the plain background i used to make the fonts and images stand out, the use of a tag line, the title of the film being in the biggest font so it is noticeable, the mention of actors names, one image to show the most important characters in the film, a colour scheme throughout and credits. By using all of these elements on my poster, i have created a conventional poster of my own which looks realistic to an audience. An audience would be able to tell it is a poster from the layout i have used and the above elements. For my magazine cover, it is shown to be similar to existing magazine covers such as 'Film star' magazine. This is due to the Masthead being placed at the top of the page in the biggest font to show it is the title, a catchy main headline located in the centre of the page, one image to go with the main headline, a colour scheme throughout, articles relevant to a film magazine, a date, price and barcode to show it is a magazine and a plain background colour to show these elements clearly. By doing this, this makes it effective to it's audience as it is of near professional quality and can be easily recognised as a film magazine.
Images to show how realistic my final products are
For the trailer, i believe it is effect because it is the same length as existing Romantic Comedy trailers, it uses the same age actors to distinguish the audience, it uses a mix of males and females, it uses the appropriate costume and setting for a trailer of this genre (school setting can be referred to in existing film such as 'She's the man' evaluated earlier. See http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =D4OhwrMidSU to view the trailer for She’s the Man), a voice - over is used and so is background music suitable for the audience, it uses fast paced editing to distinguish it as a trailer, the title is similar to existing films (Freaky Friday - Soul Switch) and follows a similar storyline also so it fits in well. This makes our trailer particularly effective to it's audience by being so similar to existing products as they can see clearly which genre it is and what ages it is meant for.
What have you learned from your audience feedback? *Work created by me and Kim Deller
To get audience feedback for our trailer we made a questionnaire to ask whether our product did as we intended it to, create interest, and get across the genre and narrative. We asked 20 people, 10 boys and 10 girls. 10 of the people asked were in the age range of 13-15 and the other 10 people were in the age range of 16-19. When asked if you would be able to tell what the genre was from the trailer 17 out of 20 people said they would be able to. This shows that our narrative was clear enough to convey our story and genre easily. When asked was the music suitable 15 out 20 people agreed that it was. This shows that our music fitted in with the genre and trailer reasonably well and that our audience could relate the music to the story. 20 people felt that the voice over was suitable. This is probably because a voice over is a key convention of a romantic comedy trailer. Therefore we added it and all of our audience felt it was appropriate. All 20 people also felt that the trailer was conventional in its length. Only one person disagreed that the costume we used in the trailer wasn’t appropriate. Again all 20 people felt the location of the trailer was appropriate. We set most of our trailer in a school setting. We did this as it’s aimed at teenagers and they would be able to relate most to this setting.
When asked if they felt it was aimed at both males and females only 14 people agreed with this. The reason behind this is probably that the overall genre of the film is stereotypically aimed at females rather than males.
Again all 20 of the people felt that the trailer was aimed at their age group. This is good as it means if it was to go to cinema the whole film will appeal to the group we wanted it to.
All of the 20 people we asked said our film’s title was appropriate. We chose to use this title as we followed the titles of other Romantic Comedies such as ‘Freaky Friday’. This is a catchy title and we wanted to make ours catchy too so we chose ‘Soul Switch’ which follows a similar storyline to ‘Freaky Friday’ and has an alliterated title. Therefore, due the audience’s feedback, we found that our chosen title worked well with our film and they could obviously see why we chose ‘Soul Switch’ as the name of our film.
All of the 20 people we asked said our credits and dates were necessary and were placed correctly. This shows we have followed conventions from existing trailers as the audience know where they should be placed, making our trailer more professional and realistic.
18 out of the 20 people we asked said the actors names were put in the right place and were necessary. This shows that the majority thought they were essential to a trailer and needed to be used in order for an audience to know who’s in the film before they chose to watch it, as this might influence them more. It also shows we clearly thought out where we were going to put the names so they would look best on our trailer.
16 out of 20 of the people we asked said our storyline was conventional to existing Romantic Comedy trailers. This means that the storyline would appeal to our age group and that we researched the correct trailers in the first place to get our ideas. This also shows that the audience would be able to tell which genre the trailer was for straight away as the storyline was so clear.
19 out of the 20 people we asked said our storyline was easy to follow. This again shows that it would appeal to our audience as they would be engaged in what was going on to be able to understand it. Also, they would be able to tell which genre the trailer was for clearly. It means our editing, sound, camerawork and mise-en-scene were all suitable in order for our audience to be able to understand it.
14 out of the 20 people we asked said they thought they were shown just the right amount about the story to our film. This shows we used just the right amount of footage and followed the length of other Romantic Comedy trailers correctly in order to not give too much away. This also shows that the audience we left wondering what was going to happen in the film, a key feature to any existing and successful trailer. A small amount of people said they thought they were either shown too much or too little but this was a small minority and did not effect the overall view.
All of the people we asked said our edited red screens were suitable and helped them gain a better understanding of what was going on. We got this idea from existing Romantic Comedy trailers and we ourselves found this helped us understand. Together with voice over, the audience clearly found our editing successful and thought they were an essential part to a trailer.
We received no negative comments for this question from our audience. An example, of one of the comments we received (as shown in the example of a completed questionnaire) was: “no, it was of professional quality and clear to understand.” This proves our trailer to be realistic and conventional overall and that it appealed to our audience as we’d hoped.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? *Answer created by Hetty Cliss
Research and Planning
To look at existing media products; trailers for the Romantic Comedy genre, we used YouTube. Which was a fast way to access the information we would need to make our trailer relevant to the conventions and therefore more successful. This meant that we could view each trailer quickly and be able to make notes on areas that we would like to follow - i.e. the conventions like the use of fast-paced editing and mainly mid-shots in the trailers.
To get an idea for the locations and costumes as well as images for the magazine and poster, we used a digital camera to capture pictures of the two main characters in costume and in the right locations. This enabled us to also think about where we would like to film our actual trailer and therefore make filming more time-efficient and the sets more relevant.
Development of the Products
Perhaps the main use of media technology in the actual production of our trailer was the use of a Mac to edit our footage and a digital HD camera to create it. The use of this camera made our footage high quality and therefore made it seem more realistic to the audience - and wouldn't interfere with the storyline. The Mac was something new to us as we hadn't used one before but felt that we managed to pick up the necessary techniques pretty fast and enable us to cut the clips down to the appropriate size and delete any unwanted elements. The iMovie program also allowed us to add in additional effects - such as the slow-motion as Erica blows out the candles to emphasise her longing to change and the text across the screen to help outline the story. The use of the Mac also made us be able to alter the order of the clips easily to make the film more effective, for example we altered the way the clips are shown when Erica and Samantha walk in so that the shots of the feet are side-by-side in order to emphasise the contrast between the two characters clearly. The Mac also made the use of athe voice-over much easier to capture as it had features which could record it straight over the film in the places it was needed.
The program we used to create our posters and magazines was Microsoft Publisher as it is best suited to what we needed - as we could easily adapt the layout/fonts/colours to make our products more successful as we could easily cater to the results of our questionnaire and the conventions found out from our research.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? *Answer created collectively as a group
• Mostly used mid-shots as we found out from our research were conventional for the romantic comedy genre of trailers. This allows the audience to see the emotions/expressions of the characters to help them to relate to them as well as showing them their costumes – which can also help them to identify with them and allow them to understand more as to what they are like. This relates to Michel Foucault’s theory of idealised norms as Samantha who fits in with the typical ‘gender roles’ is rewarded for being at the top of the social hierarchy, whereas Erica who relies more on her intelligence than her looks (which isn’t a typical role for a female character) is punished for being at the bottom of the social scale. This helps the audience to understand why Erica wants to change and be more like Samantha so much.
• As was also in some of the romantic comedy trailers analysed, we used panning to help identify with some of the locations; for example as they walk passed Erica’s house as she is watching. This helps the audience to both associate with Erica (it is from her point of view) and identify with the scene.
• We used a voice-over in our trailer as we found in many existing trailers a voice-over is put in place to give the basic outline of the over all story. This allows the audience to understand the whole thing a lot more making it more interesting. Therefore finally making enough interest to see the film as a whole product. This makes use of Rick Altman’s genre theory as it helps the audience to understand the story and therefore its genre and in also influences the way they interpret what is shown.
The Mise-en-scene of our trailer consisted of a secondary school setting. We used classrooms, a dining hall and corridors within the building. This is similar to existing Romantic Comedy trailer such as ‘Freaky Friday’ as this is setting in a school also. The costumes we used were school uniform which complied with our location choice and would appeal to chosen target audience as they can relate to the types of characters shown. We chose to use casual clothing in the scenes of Erica’s home (the geek) as this would represent what teenagers at the time would wear. Erica’s overall costume shows her in a smart uniform (e.g. tie done up and glasses) or in a check shirt and other items which don’t match. This refers to her character as a geek. This can be compared with our choice of costume for Samantha (the popular girl) as she is dressed oppositely in fashionable clothes and a scruffier uniform to show her status within school clearly. The costume can be compared to existing film ‘Wild Child’ as this is set in England also. As is said by Levi-Strauss’ idea of Narrative theory of binary oppositions as the contrast between the two characters’ costumes and their personalities is so vast – and also represents their opposition in their social standing (one is at the top and popular whereas Erica is at the bottom).
• The use of costume also follows Laura Mulvey’s theory of the representation of women, coupled with the camerawork (the tilt up Samantha’s body when she is first introduced) as it makes use of objectification. This relates to the way the ‘Plastics’ are filmed in Mean Girls as they walk along provides voyeuristic pleasure for an assumed male audience; ‘Male Gaze’.
• The narrative behind our trailer also relates to the target audience and the research we conducted as all those we analysed show the main characters experiencing some sort of change. In a Cinderella Story, the main female character changes from a tomboy to a girlie girl and in Mean Girls, the main female character goes from new girl to a popular girl. Although our change is more physically obvious, the end of the trailer shows how they change after they switch back. This would be something which particularly relates to our target audience of female teens who can identify with the problems our two main characters face.
• The music used is generally up-beat which makes the trailer fast moving and exciting. However, the music we used also helps the audience to relate to what emotions the characters are experiencing; for example when Erica is upset that no one has turned up to her birthday party slow music is used – this music then increasing in tempo when she makes the wish to mark the start of the change. For the fight scene we used a more rocky-style music to relate to the aggression the characters feel. To create a link from the end of the fight scene and the end of the trailer (the insert of the holding hands) we used the same soundtrack to make the trailer be more connected.
• By putting the scene of Tom (Geek) and Samantha after the film title we are also following convention as the trailers we analysed all contained a funny clip at the end of them. This is because it makes it more memorable and appeals to the target audience as romantic comedies essentially need funny light-hearted elements.
• The length of the trailer is typically longer than the conventional romantic comedy film trailer. However, not by too much, this is as we didn’t want the trailer to exceed the conventional two and half minutes as it would be too long for the audience to take in. Despite this, our trailer is slightly longer as it gave us more chance to put across the storyline and would make the audience understand the storyline more clearly – and therefore increase its appeal.
• The editing used was overall conventional as it was typically fast paced which would keep the audience interested through its upbeat style. We also used shot-reverse-shot for conversations which is conventional as it makes it clear to the audience who is talking and show reactions/expressions; which helps them to relate to the characters. In addition, at the end we used an insert to highlight the connection between the two characters who are so different in personality and would emphasis its comedic value.
• We used titles across the screen to help tell the story which would help audiences to understand what it is about. The colours used were red as this relates to the romantic side of the genre; connoting love and passion, we used a white font purely to make the text clear to read.
• Sound was used to draw attention to some elements of the trailer. For example to emphasise the screams, the music was stopped to make it more dramatic. This makes the change obvious and shows their shock. This is evident in the She’s the Man trailer where the sound also stops to emphasis certain parts; as is the case when Viola is speaking to Duke and trying to come across as more manly which is comical for the audience and therefore makes it more appealing.
• As with the trailers we looked at we included the names of the main actors in the background as this is something which may increase interest in the film, if it is someone they recognise and like. They were positioned in places which made them clear to read and clear as to who they were naming – when there are mid shots of the two characters screaming.
• Another editing technique we used was slow-motion; which we also saw used in the trailers we looked at in our research (She’s the Man). This helps the readers to identify with Erica as it emphasises the longing to be more like Samantha.
• The age of the actors also would appeal to the audience as they relate to their characters and the age of our target audience.
Which institutions do I think would produce my products?
For my poster and the film trailer, I think a major media conglomerate such as Disney would be the producers. I think this because I have mentioned existing films being similar to my product, such as ‘Freaky Friday’ which is also made by Disney. This means my product would apply to Disney’s audience of children to teenagers, boys and girls as films already made by Disney are mostly for a family audience. As Disney is possibly the largest media conglomerate out there, it means my product would be more likely to be seen by my target audience. (To view ‘Freaky Friday’ to see the similarities in comparison, see this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UShtvCen6So)
My magazine cover would be produced by ‘Blackfish Publishing’ as it published the existing magazine cover for ‘Film Star’ magazine, which I analysed earlier. This particular publisher would be good as it has made a film magazine dedicated to the existing Rom-Com ‘500 days of summer’ and therefore it would apply to the genre of my magazine. ‘Blackfish Publishing’ is a British based company and, as my film includes British actors and locations, I thought that too would make it suitable. However, it does not just deal with films in the UK, it also deals major motion pictures such as ‘500 days of summer’. ‘Film star’ magazine was founded by the same man who publishes ‘Total film’ so the magazine would be more likely to be seen by vast amounts of people and, hopefully, reach my target audience intended.
The ‘Film star’ magazine cover for ‘500 days of summer’
The film poster for ‘Freaky Friday’, produced by Disney