Milton Rabbit ProductionsEVALUATION A2 MEDIA ADVANCED PORTFOLIO G324
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Our trailer challenges other forms of real media products because it is a very creative and original piece. It is easy to follow as well as playing games with the mind as it builds up a lot of tension and creates an eerie atmosphere for the viewer. Our trailer uses different forms of conventions to challenge other real media products, such as the opening title, actors and snippets of information throughout the trailer. Some examples of techniques used are:
Unique cinematography – the trailer opens with a handheld point of view following the victim. This straight away gives the viewer a foreshadow of what’s to come.
Eerie atmospheric sounds – the eerie background music used creates an eerie atmosphere and creates tension to make the viewer feel more involved as well as more scared.
Low key Lighting – part way through the trailer a shot of the murderer is taken in a subway. This is a dark, secluded setting which suits the characters personality.
Crime thriller requires a tense atmosphere to keep the audience interested in the film and to keep them guessing about what’s to come. .
The Crime Thriller Genre Crime fiction is the genre of fiction that deals with crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. It is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction and other genres such as science fiction or historical fiction, but boundaries can be, and indeed are, blurred. It has several sub-genres, including detective fiction (including the whodunit), legal thriller, courtroom drama and hard boiled fiction.
Posters and Trailers researched The genre of our trailer is a crime thriller and before filming we had to research this genre throughout different trailers and posters as well as magazine covers. We used the same genre as we had to connect them to our own product. Both these posters have large images on the front to attract the reader to the magazine. Dark colours such as blue, grey and black have been used on both to create an eerie feeling towards the reader. They have influenced us on making our magazine covers as we know how to layout a magazine and they have used the following media conventions such as direct mode of address, central images and large text to get the audience interested.
These posters are dark coloured with a bright red in the centre of the poster which shows the audience straight away what type of genre the film is and what it will involve as it symbolises blood. The text on both posters is white which shows purity and this is ironic as it is the opposite to what the film will contain.
2) How effective is the combination of your ancillary texts and video product?
Advertising Like any product, the main aim of a film is to make as much profit as possible. The way in which products attract their potential audiences/consumers is by advertising them as thoroughly as possible. The main ways that films are marketed are; posters, magazine articles and trailers. Each of these tools has a different role in order to attract the right people. Posters – these are placed around cinemas, on bus shelters/buses or on billboards. They need to be eye catching and suggest the genre. Magazine Articles – they need to clearly define the genre and hopefully influence the audience to want to see it. Trailers – these are the most important. They are often shown on television, but are mainly shown before other feature-lengths in cinemas. They include visual information about the film, as well as introducing the plot in more detail and introducing the characters.
Posters Posters are used by most companies when promoting their products. They need to get the attention of their potential audiences using just an image and small amounts of text. All posters have specific conventions, but they vary depending on the product. Film posters have their own conventions; Central image Tagline Actors/Directors Title Production Information Release Date
Posters Each of these conventions has a different role to play in order to make a successful poster. Tagline – used to suggest plot features, without ever giving out too much information. Central image – usually of an object or person of interest. Used to suggest other plot features. Title – included so that the audience knows what to look out for. Actors/Directors – certain actors or directors have credibility that would convince people to watch their films regardless of anything else. Production information – simply included to credit the production. Also gives it a more professional look Release Date – again this is simply information that is essential for the audience so that they know when the film will be in cinemas.
Ancillary Texts - Posters Both of the posters we have created include all the generic conventions. Also, as a package it is clear that they are posters for the same film. The colours used on both are red, black and white. The red and the white stand out on the black background, making the posters eye-catching. Also, the colour red has certain connotations that relate to the genre. The main connotations are – danger, blood/gore or romance. It is clear from the tagline that this is not a romantic film, therefore the red indicates danger and blood. These are common in the thriller genre, and also crime. In terms of the jobs that is intended of them, they are successful posters. They include all the necessary information needed on a poster, they are eye-catching and they clearly indicate the genre.
Magazine Covers The cover of a magazine is very similar to a poster in terms of how it looks, and some of the conventions are the same. However, the job of a magazine cover is to attract people to the articles inside and it is the article that is going to promote the film. Title Featured Article/Subtitles Buzz Words Puffs
Magazine Covers Again, the purpose of each of these conventions is to attract an audience. Title – the title of the magazine must relate to film. It needs to be obvious to potential readers what the magazine has to offer. Featured Articles/Subtitles – the subtitles are often headings to articles or sometimes the names of films. These help the audience know what kinds of articles are on offer before they open the magazine. Buzz Words – these are words that sensationalise particular aspects of the magazine’s features. For example; “exclusive”. They make the story more appealing. Puffs – these are small sections of text that give a brief summary of the articles.
Ancillary Texts – Magazine Cover The cover, like the posters, features all the conventions that make it a magazine cover. Featured Article/Subtitles – in this case the featured article is about ‘Fallen’, which means it is getting most of the attention from the reader. Buzz Words – “exclusive” this suggests that this is the only place you will find this article. Puffs – additional information about the article make it more likely for the readers to turn to it. Central image – an interesting image that relates to the film and therefore creates interest surrounding the meaning of the image. Title – the title of the magazine clearly relates to film. Again, the magazine cover successfully markets the film and uses all the necessary conventions.
Trailers Trailers are a short video that includes exciting or interesting clips from the film that will entice an audience. Trailer also have their own conventions that make them enjoyable, memorable and informative. Music – the music on a trailer is very important. Not only can it indicate genre (for example; a love song denotes romance/drama), but it can create a mood that makes the trailer memorable. Voiceover – often, just the images themselves are not enough to show what the film is about, so voiceovers are used to give extra information. Titles – titles, like voiceovers, are used to give extra information. This, however, does not have to relate to plot only. For example, quotes about the film from critics can be included in the trailer, as well as awards that the actors may have been nominated for. Video Clips – the video clips that are taken from the film do not necessarily have to be in chronological order. In the trailer however, they need to have some kind of meaning. It is important that the clips aren’t unnecessary because the trailer could become boring.
Video Product – Trailer The music is the key part of our trailer. We decided not to use a voiceover or include any dialogue, and use the music to create an eerie and confusing atmosphere. The plot relates to feeling guilty for wrong-doings and eventually becoming disorientated and confused by these feelings. So, the music we used is slow and dramatic and comes to a powerful climax at the end of the trailer. This was done to give the audience the same feeling of disorientation and confusion as the characters. Because of the lack of voiceover or dialogue, it was important that we used titles in the video. These titles fill in any blanks that may have been left at the end of the video.
Video Product – Trailer The titles include the names of the main actors and a quote from a prestigious film magazine. Since the purpose of the trailer is to promote, these were included to spread a positive message (through the quote) and to gain a bigger audience by bringing in the fans of the actors that are involved.
Editing Techniques There a certain editing techniques that are used in trailers that we used in ours. The different clips used in trailers are often shorter versions of the clips used in the films and in order to show that time has passed a technique called “fade to black” is used in between each shot. Not only is this to show passage of time, but it also makes the trailer lo0k more professional.
Editing Techniques Montages are used to create a meaning. We used a montage at the end of the trailer. The purpose of using this technique was to show the downfall of the character and give the audience that feeling of confusion once more. By being confused the audience are likely to want to find out more.
Conclusion So, the purpose of trailers is to promote a film by entertaining and informing any potential audience. However, it is impossible to promote a film successfully without using many different advertising tools. The posters we have created are professional – they include all the necessary conventions; they are eye-catching – they use simple colours that do not over-complicate the look of the poster; and they subtly define the genre without giving away too much about the film. The magazine cover could be improved by including a lot more information about the film on the cover; such as a critic’s quote or names of stars. However, again it successfully markets the article inside, which in turn will create more hype about the film itself. The trailer uses some conventions of traditional and professional trailers, as well as breaking some. On reflection, dialogue could improve the overall entertainment factor as well as giving more information about the film, but in terms of it’s job as a promoter it has everything that is necessary to promote a film. Going back to the original question– “How effective is the combination of the products?” , it is clear that the knowledge of good advertising is there, as well as the consideration of audience. The trailer as a product could be more professional, but in terms of a successful advertising tool – it does its job.
3)What have you learned from your Audience Feedback?
Favourite trailers Through our questionnaire given to the public we found that most people preferred the trailers of recent releases, where there was good use of tension to draw the audience in and enough suspense to keep them guessing about the rest of the film. As well as those that provoked emotional reactions, despite the audiences limited exposure to the main characters. From this we understood the relation between releasing enough information about a film to interest and audience, and keeping some mystery end enticement for them to then go and pay and watch it.
What influences audience opinion on characters Shown with family Family not seen Shown with respect Not underdog Honourable Disposable To plot Show victorious Bad guy Hero
Identification Despite many characters from the questionnaire being morally questionable, audiences still managed to identify with them or be drawn in by their character. This is because any developed character can be identified with, and their actions often justified or accepted as part of their character. Such as gangster characters who many would avoid in real life, yet are romanticised and glamorous for entertainment in cinema. This is good to know as it allows us to choose the level at which the audience can identify with out character to keep them interested in the character, or add to the mystery of the film by making them unique or odd.
Expectations Weather consciously or not, the typical audience will pick up on the conventions and expectations of a trailer, such as providing a setting and establishing the hook of a movie to draw the audience in. Most movies will also attempt to grab attention by adding dramatic scenes and key phrases that appear in the film later on, to let the audience understand some of the emotions they would be feeling watching the full movie. From this we could choose to follow the conventions of professional trailers from our questionnaire, and the already proved to work techniques, or perhaps challenge some of these conventions for a surprising and contrasting effect.
Suggestion By asking audiences what expectations they had of movies from what they had seen in the trailer, we could also understand how much of the trailer relies on suggestion and connotations of what the movie will be like later on, rather than the truth of what is shown. From this we could gain a better understanding of the ideas and suggestions our own trailer could make, based on the footage shown and how it is designed to appear to the viewer.
Relative genre We also found that each genre of film influences the conventions expected from each trailer, in order to entice the fans of that genre with trailers that appeal to them. Such as horror movie fans who will be enticed by dramatic tension and expectations to be scared by the movie. Action movies would feature shots of heated battles and a quick explanation for events which may have lead to it. From this we knew that we had to look into the conventions of our own genre and build the trailer accordingly.
4) How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages For the project we had used many new media technologies which had come very useful to us during the four stages. This includes : Blogging, Digital Photography, Desktop Publishers.
New Media Technologies – Digital Photography During the project we had to take photographs for various parts of it; location scouting; and for the posters and magazine covers; and also filming. The digital photography is very advanced from older generations of camera as they can be transported easily to other media from the original source and also secondary media. Photos are much clearer and are produced much more clearly than those one of camera film. The photos once transferred over, either using a memory card or directly from the camera can be edited and manipulated. Digital photography.
New Media Technologies - Blogging Although the internet isn't a new technology, blogging is. Its free and a very useful source and tool which is mainly used for blogs which are articles published by people who want to give their opinion and view on a series of topics. We have used the blogging to upload all are progress of the project( Research, planning, construction and evaluation). Apart from the obvious text that can be uploaded, pictures, videos and other formats can be uploaded on to it for other people to see. At first it is quite difficult to use and get a hold of, but after a few visits it gets familiar and easier to function as a whole learning new sources that are available from it each time. Blogging – www.blogger.com/
New Media Technologies – Desktop Publishing For the making of the posters, covers and editing of the movie we used Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. After using Photoshop before it was very easy to use and create posters, covers and even editing of the photographs, this enabled us to use more advanced tools that are provided by the software to make more professional looking documents. Premiere was more difficult as it was new and a lot of new functions that had to be learnt in order to use it properly and edit the video that we captured so much practise was needed before we started to edit the full the trailer as a whole. This was a problem as when a mistake was made and gone unnoticed it was hard to just edit it out so regular saving periods were essential so that we had no mistakes. Desktop Publishing – Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere.