Our Main Task Evaluation! By Amir Choudhury - (Candidate Number: 4035) Calum Bowen - (Candidate Number: 4020) Lauren Berridge - (Candidate Number: 4016) Zoe Woodbridge - (Candidate Number: 4236)
In what ways does our media product use develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Section by Zoe Woodbridge
The title of the film The black background on which the titles are ,enhance the sinister and serious nature of our film, this is a technique used in many thrillers. The red writing makes the word ‘Hunt’ not only stand out but also seem more sinister. This technique is also quite common in thriller’s as the title of the film stands out grabbing the attention of the audience The white writing stands out against this background allowing the reader to see it clearly
Setting/Location Typical pin board of a family house. This shows Jack as a typical father who once had a normal life with normal errands to run. In this opening scene however, Jack’s errand is far more sinister. This is a normal everyday kitchen. It is not particularly state of the art yet neither is it old and unclean. It is cluttered with typical objects that would be seen which is not particularly rare in thrillers/ The snooker table seen here is not so typical of a thriller involving an every day family man however it does indicate that Jack once had a far better life enhancing the effects of his daughter’s death
Costumes and props Both detectives are dressed smartly showing them as professional characters. They are both wearing shirts and ties which is a typical costume for police detectives in any thriller. This detective is wearing a camera around his neck indicating his position with his profession and enhancing his purpose in the scene. This again is typical of a thriller The crime scene tape seen here is definitely conventional for a thriller. I implies both an investigation and a death that are both typical of the thriller genre.
Camerawork and editing This shot was followed by a black screen of the fridge door closing which discretely changed to the black of the pan on the hob which we zoomed out of. We felt that this was a good transition that involved careful editing to produce a flowing sequence that would be typical of the thriller genre. We used a lot of transitions such as fade to white and fade to black to create the disturbing dream. This is not necessarily typical of a thriller however we felt that it helped create a sinister atmosphere and tension that is typical of the thriller genre.
Story and how the opening sets it up The dream which Jack has helps the audience to understand the past events. Scenes of the dead girl and the investigation as well as the voice overs of Jack and his wife give the audience a better understanding of the narrative. This is not typical of the thriller genre but worked well in creating suspense in our film. The phone call helps the reader understand what the rest of the film is going to be about as Jack declares that he will kill the man who murdered his daughter. This clears the way for the rest of the storyline to be about the chase itself and the psychological twist of the film, typical of the thriller genre.
Genre and how the opening suggests it The opening door shows that a murderer is entering and shows the audience how the dead girl dies. This suggests that the genre is likely to be either thriller or horror however the end scenes where Jack declares that he will kill her murderer confirm the thriller genre of our film. The shots of the dead girl again imply that the film is likely to involve some kind of investigation into the girls death however the flashbacks show that this has already taken place. This leaves the audience in anticipation which is typical of the thriller genre.
How characters are introduced Jack’s first action is to look at the picture of his daughter when she was a baby. This indicates to the audience that he still is affected by her death as previously indicated in the dream. Shots such as these are classic across all genres to help the audience understand what is on a character’s mind. Jack Watson is introduced as having been asleep on the sofa all night. This indicates that he is careless and lazy. Male characters such as this can often be seen in thrillers. The half empty bottle and glass of whiskey implies that Jack has issues with alcohol. Again it is typical for characters affected by loss in thrillers to turn to alcohol.
How does our media product represent particular social groups? Section by Zoe Woodbridge
The Dad In our media project, the Dad was an alcoholic (add picture of Jack) We represented this by having a half empty glass and bottle of whiskey next to him as he wakes up from his flashback The second representation of this was through the effects of his alcoholism In the flashback, we hear someone telling the dad that he is ‘not cut out for this work line anymore we’re going to have to let you go’ and his wife saying ‘you have to stop drinking Jack, I need you’ This shows the effects of his alcoholism and stereotypes how people react to different situations with the use of alcohol We represented the Dad as old fashioned with the use of his choice in radio station As the Dad wakes up and goes to make his breakfast in the kitchen, he turns on the radio and the song that is played is ‘How do you like your eggs in the morning’ by Dean Martin this indicates a character who does not listen to newer music and is therefore a representation of parents as old fashioned Furthermore the Dad is seen as protective over his daughter Again, in the flashback we hear the wife saying ‘it has been four years Jack, you have to let it go’ and Jack saying ‘I will find who did this’ despite the case having been closed. This shows the father’s determination to find his daughters killer and avenge her death, portraying males as dominant, aggressive and protective.
Comparison to real media examples Noah Bennet from ‘Heroes’ Noah is seen to be protective over his daughter Claire as people try to steal her powers Jack Watson from our thriller ‘The Hunt Jack is also seen to be protective and vengeful over his daughter’s death
The police/detectives In our project, the detectives are seen as professionals We made the detectives look professional through their smart dress. We dressed the main detective in a shirt and tie and slicked his hair back to produce a more professional character. We made the older police detective look slightly more professional This represents older age groups as being smarter and more professional as Mike (the second detective) is dressed in a fashionable super dry coat with a flicked up collar, this indicates a more laid back and casual work approach compared to the professional one displayed by the older detective. Finally, the detectives are shown lazy and unsympathetic This is portrayed through the flashback as the detective tells the parents that they are ‘going to have to drop the case’. As the Dad is able to find the murderer and the police drop the case, we have stereotyped detectives as lazy and unsympathetic as they do not have the drive needed to find and prosecute the murderer of the dead girl.
Comparison to real media examples Our police detective. He is also smartly dress so looks professional whilst investigating the crime scene. His partner is below him in his career and informs him of the scene. Detective from CSI Miami. He is well dressed and professional whilst doing his job as crime scene investigator. He has people below him within his career
Teenagers We have portrayed teenage girls as vulnerable The girl who is dying is unable to fight off her murderer despite her struggle with him. This shows her as vulnerable and weak, a stereotype typical of a teenage girl We have represented their use of technology The girl is said to be on the computer when she died and there are point of view shots of her being killed whilst on the computer. This shows the types of technology that teenagers use and stereotype them as a technically knowledgeable age group
Comparison to real media examples The dead daughter from our film however is slightly older and is not wearing particularly innocent clothing. It is however of high street value indicating her age. Salmon from ‘The Lovely Bones’. Salmon is a teenager who is seen to be young and innocent from her simple and inexpensive choice of clothing. The home made hat on her head makes her seem more vulnerable.
What kind of media institution might distribute our media product and why? Section by Lauren Berridge
What does a production company do? A production company is responsible for a movie being made so that if it is a success it reaps the benefits (i.e. money) and if it is a failure, they are held responsible The production company may be required to raise the appropriate funds for creating a film – lower budget movies being harder to make than high budget ones Production companies have the choice of who would be best to star and direct films It is responsible for ‘the development and physical production of film’ Our production company name is ‘Subtle Productions’ as we specialise in thrillers with subtle psychological aspects that engage the audience
What is a distributor? A distributor is a company that advertises and sells the film on to other retailers and companies They are responsible for the advertisement of a film Certain distributors specialise in distributing to specific audience demagraphs Others specialise in specific genres such as horrors and comedies
Who would distribute it and why? 20th Century Fox One of six major American film studios Created a variety of films such as X-Men, Predator, Die Hard and Alien Produced the movie Taken which was the main inspiration for our movie The Hunt
Who would distribute it and why? Paramount Pictures Company owned by viacom It was founded in 1912 and located in Hollywood America’s oldest existing film studio Produced movies such as The Godfather, Collateral, Sahara and Stardust Produced the movie The Lovely Bones, another movie which sees a father trying to discover the murderer of his daughter just as in our movie
Who would distirbute it and why? Lionsgate Canadian company Best known for creating Thriller movies Founded in 1945 by Frank Guistra Produced movies such as Saw, The Grudge, Hulk Vs and Employee of the Month
Our Final Decision…Paramount Pictures Been around for a long time so would be well known by our target audience An American studio company so would get a lot of coverage in America and worldwide making our thriller more successful Produced one of the greatest thrillers of all time, The GodFather again this would appeal to our target audience as this film was released in 1972 Has already created similar movies such as The Lovely Bones Produces good funding as they use actors such as Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx in their other productions Has an effective budget for films as they are usually well executed
Funding The funding for our movie would have come from the producers who we have decided would be Paramount pictures Our film will have a lot of action and will therefore need a lot of CGI and special effects From previous films such as Collateral and Sahara produced by Paramount Pictures, we think that our budget would be very reasonable enabling us to have an effective execution of The Hunt
Opening Titles Thriller Craft Film This is the name of our film company and therefore is the first in the opening titles as we had the idea for the film itself A Subtle Production This is the name of our production company and therefore it is the second most important of the titles. The production company distributes and funds the film therefore it is important that they are recognised by the audience Starring roles Jack Higgs is the first of the starring roles as he plays the protagonist in our film Charlie Lesley was the second of our starring roles as she is the person who the narrative is based upon and she will feature regularly throughout the rest of the film Michael Scorer plays the main detective and will also feature reguarly throughout the rest of the film. For this reason he is the third of our starring roles Mike Elsayed and George Nicholls are police detectives that feature in our opening and will also have prominent roles within the rest of our thriller. For this reason they have the 3rd and 4th starring roles Finally Stephen Chinnadorai is the murderer of the dead daughter and therefore will be involved in the Dad’s chase making him a prominent character throughout the movie, and our 5th starring role
Who would be the audience for our media product? Section by Amir Choudhury
Teenagers? Could engage of teenagers between 16 and 19 Includes thrilling and engaging scenes for any audience Dead girl is said to be 19 years of age giving the audience a character relationship to sympathise with such as the girl and her father Listen to various music especially younger and newer artists such as ‘Miley Cyrus’, ‘Git Fresh’ and ‘Usher’ Listen to new remakes such as those made by the Glee Cast Shop in low priced retailers due to a lack of funds portrayed by the high street clothing of the dead girl Watch action based and exciting TV programmes some that involve thinking and psychological aspects such as 24, as well as Lost and Heroes
Middle Aged People Based on a story about a family loosing their daughter Gives this age group feelings that they can try to relate to better than teenagers as they are more likely to have children Includes thrilling and engaging scenes for any audience Primarily aimed at males as it deals with issues such as aggression and protection that the male audience would be more able to relate to Offers escapism to this age group as they can directly relate to the characters within the film realising their fortune in comparison Listen to and are aware of older music such as ‘How do you like your eggs in the morning’ By Dean Martin – a song from our thriller Listen to older more upbeat music such as music from Queen, Wham and Duran Duran Have a higher income and are therefore able to shop at more expensive high street shops, this is indicated through Jack’s smart shirt with casual trousers Enjoy crime based psychological and action based TV programmes such as CSI and The Mentalist
We chose… Middle aged audience Can relate to, and therefore engage in, more aspects of our final product Deals with issues that they may be able to imagine and relate to again making it more engaging Listen to older music that is present in our film Enjoy more psychological based TV programmes which often involve murders The protagonist is an older man not a teenager
How did we attract/address our audiences? Section by Calum Bowen
Genre Conventions The shots shown in this video are shots used by us in the opening of our thriller as well as shots used in other thriller sequences such as the close up of the Dad in Taken and the dead girl in Psycho
Films that relate to our Thriller Pyscho Gave inspiration for the shots of the dead girl dying with her eyes open – girl stabbed and lying on bathroom floor Liked the build up of tension and the sinister atmosphere this created and thought that our audience would too From a classic film which may have been watched by our target audience when they were younger as it was released in 1960
Films that relate to our Thriller Taken Inspired the last section of our sequence when the Dad is on the phone to his daughter’s murderer This relates to the scene where the Dad is on the phone to his daughter’s captors in Taken Builds suspense and helps our target audience relate to the character as they too would feel protective and vengeful over the death or kidnapping of their daughter Well known modern film which attracts a broad audience so that our movie had aspects that were engaging for other age groups
Films that relate to our thriller Vanilla Sky The choice of the music ‘How do you like your eggs in the morning’ by DeanMartin was inspired by this film The scene where Tom Cruise is having a mental breakdown to ‘Good Vibrations’ added suspense and an ironic atmosphere to the film which made it more sinister These aspects were used within our Thriller to produce a more sinister atmosphere by juxtaposing the happy music of Dean Martin to the disturbing dream and threatening phone call Music may also engage our target audience as it is an old fashioned song released in 1951 which their parents may have listened to This may also remind them of the innocence of their childhood, again comparative to the sinister dream and phone call
Unique selling point of our movie Has an interesting and engaging psychological storyline which we would have a twist at the end of Can directly relate to our target audience engaging their emotions more effectively than other films Uses a variety of camera shots to keep the audience engaged whilst they follow the storyline of the thriller Includes aspects from a range of films from Vanilla Sky and Taken to Psycho Films that relate to our Thriller making it more interesting for a wider range of age groups Uses ironic music to enhance suspense – a technique not often used in thrillers Interesting narrative that makes the audience think All of the above aspects help to make our thriller stand out from the rest
What have we learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this project? Section by Calum Bowen
Video camera – Using our video camera has been easy and difficult at times, we have learnt the basics of capturing and importing, but more importantly we learn how to use the camera to capture what we want the viewer to see and how varying angles can change the deception of the shot. Mac Book Pro – This is the first and most important piece of our equipment as it is what we use for the editing of our film, researching and blogging. Using the Mac has been a first for most of us and experienced us with valuable editing techniques/knowledge which has been vital for the making of our thriller. iMovie – using iMovie has been a first for all of use and over the course of editing our preliminary and main task we have learnt a lot of techniques and shortcuts for editing making our overall product look more professional. The only problems we have overcome have been difficulties with importing footage into iMovie. Tripod – Without the tripod our shots have been shaky and unprofessional, so having this tool has defiantly been vital to our production. We thought working with a tripod would be simple but as we have learnt there are a number of difficulties we had to overcome. Such as the connector piece which connects the camera and tripod has been lost, the tripod has been squeaking causing us to mute quite a lot of our scenes and sometimes it couldnt get the angle we wanted (e.g. Couldn’t fit in certain places). YouTube - We have used YouTube for a lot of researching as watching clips of past AS level thrillers and other thriller films is great for inspiration and knowledge. We have also learnt about uploading videos as we have uploaded our videos to see feedback and to embed on our blogs. Garageband – None of us have ever used Garageband before and so didn't know how to use everything perfectly. However we managed to record voice over's and find appropriate music for our thriller. Blogger- Using blogger has been a new experience for all of us and has gone relatively well, we have learnt how to successfully upload photos and text however there have been many issues with uploading videos and embedding them from YouTube. Camera – Another piece of equipment that we have used for location/practice shots, actor shots and behind the scenes pictures.
Looking back on our preliminary task, what do we feel we have learnt in the progression from it to full product? Section by Lauren Berridge
Filming the Preliminary We had to film twice because of faulty equipment but this helped us prepare for our second recording as we knew to check all the equipment and make sure that all cameras were fully charged We also underestimated how time consuming filming was and so after we had filmed outside we went inside to film another scene, and when we came back outside the sun had gone down leaving it too dark to film. After this mistake time management became more important to us and so we timetabled our plans for the main task. From all the filming we did in the preliminary we gained a lot of valuable knowledge! Most importantly we learnt how much camera angles and shots affect the atmosphere and effect of a scene, this made us think more about using high/low shots and more technical shots. On our first shoot we found managing our actors to be a difficult task as we had no script and we didn’t explain the scene very well to them, as a result we have since made sure that our actors have a script and know what the scene is about.
Shots used: This is an over shoulder shot but also shows the 180 degree rule in the scene. The 180° rule states that two characters in the same scene should always have the same left/right relationship to each other. If the camera passes over the imaginary line then it would break the continuity and confuse the audience This is a low angle shot which we used quite frequently in our preliminary especially during the discussion when we were looking down on the actors, these types of shots show the character as inferior. This is an over the shoulder shot filmed by Amir showing his point of view. This shows the audience what he would be seeing and puts the audience in the scene. Although we did not use any POV shots in our preliminary we learnt that they can show much of what is going on in the sequence.
Editing the Preliminary: Editing the preliminary was a particularly difficult task for us as all of us had little or no experience in editing and so we had to learn what all the shortcuts and buttons do. After time we have become more comfortable with the software and we now find it very easy to cut, put transitions in and change the colour/contrast of a scene. Whilst editing we wanted to move our partly edited task to another computer, which we found out could not be done. This meant that we had great trouble in getting a computer for long enough to edit our task. However we now know to stick to one computer! After editing the preliminary we found it extremely difficult to find appropriate music to add on as Garageband has a very limited library of sounds and unfortunately this meant that we had to leave our preliminary without any music in it which meant it lacked to build up tension/suspense. We learnt from this experience and for our Main task we managed to ‘get to grips’ with the Garageband software and we found appropriate music.
Techniques used: These 3 shots show the fade to white transition which we have put in during the editing stage. Fades to white can show flashbacks or dreams or thoughts. This shot shows how we have edited the scene to change the colour. The black and white effect allows the audience to see that the events are happening in the past These two shots show where the scene has been cut. There are many forms of cutting such as Jump cut (breaking the continuity of time by jumping forward from one part of an action to another) and a cross cut (intercutting shots from two or more scenes so the fragments of each scene will be presented to the viewers attention alternately.
Overall Benefits Looking back at our preliminary task I think we worked well as a team, being able to change the roles of filming the shoot without having any difficulty. This made it a lot more easier when it came to filming our final task as we had already experienced working together and having our own input into it therefore it was a lot easier when we had to film and edit the final sequence. We have all learnt a great deal from editing to timetable making to filming, and this has helped us greatly with our main task. Our experiences have benefited us when creating our final media product as we were able to film the main task relatively smoothly with only one or two minor mistakes, we were also able to use new effects and sounds to make it seem more realistic
Thank you for listening By Amir Choudhury, Calum Bowen, Lauren Berridge and Zoe Woodbridge