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Media Studies Evaluation Presentation - "Who's Somebody"
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Media Studies Evaluation Presentation - "Who's Somebody"

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  • 1. Evaluation Behind Closed Doors By Sophie Boyce Courtenay Argyle Amber Daniels Will Smith
  • 2. Courtenay’s Film Idea Behind Closed Doors Courtenay's story was one of child abuse. Its target audience would not be particularly specific to age or gender, but however, it would work well as an educational video for children, to be on the safe side it was decided to keep it as a 12+ certificate “The story describes a girl living with her stepfather; we are introduced to her in her bedroom, dreaming. We hear narration over the top taken from the story as she sits on her bed with non-diagetic music. We then hear the stepfather downstairs, shouting at her to leave the house for school and this is then followed by seeing her rushing and running downstairs. When she comes downstairs, she slows down when seeing her stepfather, and there is a sequence of shots between the two of them as he shouts at her. The audience is now aware of the situation being of a fairly sinister nature due to the narration as well as the mise- en- scene. The scene ends with the girl leaving the house; we see her walking down a narrow path, representing her closed and difficult situation. The final shot would be of her walking out to an opening area, into a field type place to represent her attempting to open up into a better life, meaning quot;Behind Closed Doorsquot; the opening sequence would successfully summarize the films plot in these first two minutes.”
  • 3. Will’s Film Idea (this was the second idea) quot;Follow the Beatquot; Will’s second story touched upon the idea of following your dreams. In this case the dream is to be a musician. The story was about a teenage boy who we see alone at school, he seems withdrawn and uncomfortable. We then see him at home, and the non- diagetic sound becomes diagetic as he begins to play his guitar in his room. Here the audience are introduced to they boys talent and we see the transition within him as he picks up his guitar and begins to play. (this would be the opening 2 minutes) He is reformed, a new person when he has his music and this sequence reflects the idea of the story, following what is meant to be. The story would go on to have equilibrium as his music career takes off, followed by disequilibrium where he would loose everything only to resolve and work hard on his own to be back up at the top of his game.
  • 4. Sophie’s Film Idea (this was the second idea) quot;Snappedquot; Sophie's idea was an imaginative, fiction psychological drama. The idea for the opening shot was to have a close up of a girl's face looking blankly at the camera, then to have her hold up a camera and take a picture which would flash the screen out, allowing a transition into the following shot. The sequence would continue to follow the idea that the girl has a special gift that means she takes pictures of everything she sees, allowing her to follow the voice telling her something is going to happen... In this production meeting, we analyzed each of our ideas and began taking into consideration which one would be easiest to convey what we wanted to achieve. During this production, we also thought about which idea would be easiest to carry our successfully. We began deciding on actors for the characters in each film idea. We agreed that Chris from Henley College, would be able to play in any of the films, and that we would be able to use various actors which are friends of ours to play other roles in each film. This meant we did not have to worry about actors when deciding on which idea to produce, we just had to decide which we all preferred and felt would be best to carry out.
  • 5. Amber’s Film Idea Amber’s initial story idea was about a teenaged boy who lived alone with his mum and lived an ordinary life. He starts to have dreams or premonitions of things happening and they start to become true. He continues to have dreams and they continue to come true and he can’t ignore that fact, such as, winning a small fortune on the lottery. So when he has a dream his mother is going to be killed by a stranger he steps in to protect her, but by doing so he accidentally kills her himself; only then does he realise the person he was dreaming about was himself. He eventually ends up in a mental institution and the story is a surreal, slightly psychological disturbing film concept.
  • 6. The Choice We decided that Courtenay’s film was the best and easiest to film (only after much deliberation though). We also agreed that it was best to film this outside of college and with actors and actresses that weren’t from the class. Later on due to technical problems just before shooting we had to change this main idea and tried filming spontaneously going from the idea straight to filming and later writing the script and other pre shooting procedures.
  • 7. Forms and Conventions The voice of Michael’s vision was added in post production, and we used a sound editor to adjust the tone to a low, surreal and scary-sounding voice. The texture of this voice was inspired by the character Frank the bunny rabbit in the film Donnie Darko. One of the most important cases of non- diagetic music to us, was during the scary flashback sequence where Michael first sees his vision. We developed this further, and used a nursery rhyme music, playing eerily in the background.
  • 8. Our production’s storyline structure was done considering the theories of Robert McKee and Levi-Strauss. Referring to Levi-Strauss’s theory of binary opposition, the subject of the film touches upon the idea of schizophrenia which is directly referring to his idea of using opposing ideas within a film.
  • 9. Another convention used by many media products is the denotations and connotations used in the opening sequences to summarise the meaning of the rest of the film. For our production we wanted to use denotations/connotations as a subtle forewarning of what was to come. We added • a warning sign into the very first shot of the film, and it was behind Michael for the entire opening credit sequence. • We also gave our character a hoody with the outline of a strange person on it, another glimpse into what was to come.
  • 10. We also used an omniscient narrator during the production to inform the audience what was happing after an enigmatic opening. We developed this idea, and used a voice that could be that of a psychiatrist. In fact, this became less of a narrator than a voice of the future.
  • 11. Sound We agreed that the non-diagetic music was to be very important to this piece as it would represent, first, the emotions of the of boy who was struggling with his life and secondly to show the tension and confrontation with himself. We decided to use old western movie music as with most westerns there is a confrontation between the good guy and the bad guy. The connotation is that he is facing a battle with something in this piece and as he is the only protagonist seen in the opening sequences we believe that it is with himself.
  • 12. Representation of Social Groups The main character is introduced to the audience as a young boy, who looks anxious, worried and concerned. As we see him running (away from him-self as we find out later) we become concerned for him, and the audience begin to gain a connection. By using character representation, the audience are engaged in the plot as they have put their feelings into the storyline, towards the character; they want to watch to find out what happens to this intriguing boy.
  • 13. For our film we felt it was important for us to challenge the conventional view of mental illness. We wanted to make Michael appear as normal as possible, this therefore makes it more intriguing to the audience when they are informed that Michael was sectioned, and more shocking when they first see the vision at the end of the bed. It could also make our audience think more about mental illness and how it’s not glaringly obvious upon a first glance at a child that they have anything wrong with them.
  • 14. Distribution If the film was to be distributed, we believe it would be screened to a less mainstream audience, As it is an arthouse film, it may be screened in smaller cinemas that are targeted at more serious cinema-goers, such as the cinemas incorporated into Universities Of Film like The National Film and Television College. This particular university has its own cinema that screens independent arthouse movies like our one. The feature film could also be screened at film festivals to network and gain more attention from serious cinema-goers.
  • 15. Target Audience Our film’s aimed audience is a fairly precise targeted group, as the issue of schizophrenia would only perhaps attract people over the age of twelve, and who are interested in films with more depth and realism.
  • 16. We wanted the audience to feel sympathy towards Michael, and an Drawing the association towards him, we made sure he was the first character to Audience in appear on screen, in the very first shot. We also then got a series of close- ups, including an extreme close-up of his eyes so that we could really grow attached to him, as well as tracking around his whole body, as if the audience is getting the opportunity to survey him in full. The attract the attention of our audience further was the narrator claiming that he had been “sectioned”, and so the audience would become immediately intrigued as to what is wrong with the child.
  • 17. Technology For the production we had access to three types of camera: • Sony DCR VX2100E • Canon XL1 • Sony DHR- SR12E. Although the Sony DCR VX2100E and Canon XL1 are semi-professional, we decided that the opening should be shot in High Definition, and so chose to shoot with the Sony DHR- SR12E.
  • 18. For editing we used Adobe Premier Elements provided by the school, as well as Sony Vegas Movie Studio and Roxio Video Editor. After testing the capabilities of each, we would have preferred to use Adobe Premier which provides the most effects and offers the most choices, but for convenience sake it was easier to edit from home. We decided up Sony Vegas as this gave a wider range of effects, and allowed us to increase the colour and contrast to give more of a film look.
  • 19. Skills/Knowledge/Progression We were able to use our knowledge that we have learnt throughout the year to its best effect, as we had more time to experiment and get our teeth into the ideas that we had put forward. By watching opening sequences such as The Italian Job, Sleepy Hollow, Cape Fear, Thelma and Louise, City of God, Trainspotting etc. we had a real foundation to build upon and many ideas were incorporated into our own production.
  • 20. Film Product The best case scenario would have been for us to access a professional/semi-professional HD camera so that we could use focus pulls. Has we been able to do this, we would have pulled from a close up of Michael’s face to the warning sign in the background, to emphasis the denotation. We believe that the opening 2 minutes tells the story well and puts the audience in the right frame of mind for the feature length film that would be slightly surreal and psychological.