A convention that we used in our thriller opening was the heroin being seen in a situation of threat. This was incorporated within the scene where our ‘unknown stalker’ is looking out the window at a our main character who is situated across the road. Our thriller opening fits in to the sub-genre of a psychological thriller because it keeps the audience guessing and as the stalker plays with the main characters mind, the same happens with the audience as they try to figure out what's going on and what's going to happen later on in the film. This effect then helps to maintain the audiences intrigue to watch the rest of the film. (1)In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
We also challenged the theme of mistaken identity used firstly for suspense and tension, then comically when our mysterious figure turns out to be our main characters friend.
By using a comical edge into our film, this therefore leads the audience into a false sense of security.
The effect of this relies on the audiences reaction where they realise that not everything is what it seems.
(2) How does your media product represent particular social groups? The social groups represented in our production are young teenage girls, between the ages of 15-17. You can tell they are both middle class and white British. With the stalker being a male, this alone, suggests that the audience are assuming that the more dominant character in our film is to be a man. The female gender that we chose for our thriller opening is quite an obvious stereotype of young girls of today. We chose the female sex to suggest more vulnerability towards our opening scene. The stereotypical parts of our characters is also how the ‘stalker’ is assumed to be of the male sex.
(3)What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Our film has the potential to be produced by a Hollywood studio, such as universal studios as we did take our inspiration from a few popular films produced by the famous American film industry that we feel gave us a good guideline to producing a professional film opening like for example ‘Seven’.
However, we feel our film is more suited to an independent film studio, such as film4 as we took ideas and other inspirations from the plot in ‘Enduring love’.
Possibly but we were expecting our film to be of a longer length that a TV movie and adapted our story to being one that people would want to go to the cinema and see instead of n a TV channel at home. Would it be a TV movie? We also feel that our film would interest a wide range of audience types and therefore generate a more successful approach on actually showing our film in the cinemas. (3)
Would it be an internet release only?
No, as we feel an internet view audience only wouldn’t be fitting to the target audience we are aiming to appeal too.
Most films on the internet have to be paid for and young teens we are trying to approach may not have access to paying.
They are more likely to see films advertise and go to the cinema rather than look online.
Does it offer other opportunities to the public if released? The main feature we could use to sell on from our film is the music. The music edited and created could be used to put on a soundtrack. Other merchandises could be formed too to make more money. (3)
(4)Who would be the audience for your media product? We decided to choose the age range of our target audience to being young teenagers between the ages of 15-18. This is also within the age range of our actors. We felt that the audience could then therefore relate to the characters within our film. We defined our film to be a naturalistic film too which gave us more reason to choose this particular age range for a target audience. Young teens have more of an appeal to realistic films that they can picture themselves in.
(5) How did you attract/address your audience? With our target audience been similar ages to our main characters, we decided that to attract our young audience, we would need to chose a storyline which they might care a lot about or could maybe relate. We also wanted to make sure that we didn’t choose a storyline that they may have seen before in another film. With the classic story of a ‘stalker’, we decided to take on that idea as it would be quite simple and resistibly easy to produce. However, we decided to put a twist to it. With the audience being fooled into thinking that an innocent friend of the main character is the stalker. Our music played a big part in attracting our audience too. We wanted to choose a piece of music that young people would like and would feel slightly scared when listening to it.
During filming we had both strengths and weaknesses of the equipment used. We found using the tri pod very useful. (6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product? Unfortunately, we could not use the tri pod to keep the camera steady in a particular part of our film. There is a shot where we film the ‘stalkers’ feet walking. We needed a low level but then be able to slowly move up the body figure. The tri pod did not allow us to do this. We then therefore had to rely n our steady hands which worked out well in the end . It was also successful as when using different angles we were able to keep the same base position this therefore provided continuity. However, we found some other limitations too …..
We found some limitations with the equipment as often the battery power on the camera would run out very quickly. We therefore had to edit our opening scene to provide a better quality sound. As we would want to film the action from a distance, but still wanted the sound and dialect to be heard clearly, as we didn’t have the chance to use either microphones or over head mic boom. We also struggled with the lack of equipment for sound. (6) ALSO…. During filming as we all shared the overall directing role as a group we all had different ideas of how to film the scene so we often tried different angles as well as acting. We also had to re start part of our filming as on our first day of filming outside as planned on our filming schedule there was no unusual weather conditions, but on our planned days for filming our chosen location had experienced a week of snow and unexpected weather conditions, this therefore prohibited our filming schedule. We therefore had to edit our first sequence and then go back to the out side filming at a later date. We also had a few problems with continuity as our chosen location was on a public street, so we didn’t have any control of either the public or traffic, so often during filming a car would pass, effecting both continuity and sound.
During editing we used a range of different techniques.
We first of all edited and enhanced the contrast, colour and brightness of our ‘photo wall’ to provide a more ominous atmosphere; we believe this is very effecting as it begins to set the scene of a gloomy and psychological thriller.
Also, when we started to edit…. Another technique we found useful was the transitions as we were able to use a simple fade to white to show a brightening instead of having to create that our selves.We also used a range of different sound effects. We didn’t purposely use the sound effects for what they are intended for so for example we used a non digetic sound of a thunder clap to enhance the fear and suspense.
We first planned our original story board and then upon discussion we then edited and rearranged the original to provide us with our final Story board, this therefore enabled us to have some form of guidance. We learnt to discuss in detail the original story board as during the preliminary task we found that the scenes and angles we had planned to use, would be difficult with the equipment. We then went in to further detail with the story board deciding on camera angles, lighting, sound, dialect, characters, and costume. This then gave us a more relaxed and organized plan and atmosphere during our filming. (7)…
Other parts to our evaluation…. If we look back on our film and analyse what worked well and what didn’t, it gives us a great deal of understanding as to how to approach a challenge like this. There is one particular shot that as a group, we really liked and when it came to editing, didn’t need cutting or effects added to it. It was simply perfect from when we had filmed it…. This is the last shot which ends our thriller opening. Its an over shoulder shot. We particular like this for many reasons… 1. We added sound effects called ‘mystery sound’. This added more tension and created a lot of suspense . 2. The blinds move really slowly too. This reminds the audience that there is still movement and that the film has only just begun.. 3. It zooms out slowly. we chose this effect to show a wider range of view from the window. This allowed the audience to be in the eyes of the stalker and see what he has been seeing.
Another shot we are proud of ….. We chose this setting to show more vulnerability to the situation shown. Having the word ‘school’ printed on the road, gave us a ‘childish edge’ to our opening.
(8) Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Things we feel we have learnt during our filming progress is how to work with other peoples opinions. It is easy to come up with ideas when you are just relying on yourself. However whilst in a group, you have to combine all of your ideas to tackle a challenge together. Organization was a big challenge for us as a team as we took so long to decide on decisions at the beginning. We managed to then get ourselves organized by making a rotor with dates and times of our meetings and when we would film. This helped us a lot and allowed us to then create a film to the best of our abilities.