In what ways does our media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products How does our media product use forms and conventions of real media products? Our introductory exterior shots were quite conforming to other movies of the same genre as this, for example ‘Hidden’ (2005) ‘The Shining’ and , which although the shots aren't as dark as we have in our movie, are still introductory exterior shots. They all show exterior shots to introduce the storyline and theme of the movie, which was key to our genre as the exterior shots are almost moving towards something, which is what we tried to get across.
Exterior shots like these, in our movie, are meant to introduce the audience to the genre and the whole storyline of the film. It is, in a way, a sneak peek at what they will be watching. We found this idea works in other horror films, such as the shining, which is introduced through exterior shots, although we have changed the type of shots slightly, instead of using calming exterior shots of mountains, ours introduce the sheer horror of the story to the audience.
Another concept which is similar in other films is the transition from the screaming to the beeping alarm clock, the similarity is chilling, and I think exaggerates the contrast from scene to scene. We also conformed to conventions when we used the end of the movie at the beginning, the ‘killing’ of the main character seemingly happening before he actually wakes and gets dressed in the same clothes we see him in.
This is the same smart dress we saw him in later in the film as he left his home. The obvious similarity between his clothes now and when he has woken up is ominous and may intrigue the audience
How does our media product challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The introduction to our movie, whilst it uses the exterior introductory scenes, it also flashes, not in a very constant order to different locations, this is unlike other movies, which have one long scene, we have many short scenes, and we do this to upset the viewers, and to confuse them. We hoped this would create a disturbed atmosphere. We also felt we challenged conventions when we were filming the exterior scenes, which we did using handheld, we thought this would provide a sense of being watched, especially with some of movements in the camera shots that we used.
This is the bridge where we filmed part of the opening sequence. We found the location using Google maps, and found it very useful in the first part of the sequence as part of the exterior shots.
We also felt that we challenged real media products through our storyline, which did not conform to the action, secrecy and crime part of a thriller, it more played on fears which could be real, using the fact the character seems to be going out for a normal night out, which is normal in society, and something goes wrong. This plays on fears because people relate to it, it emerges out of the surrealism surrounding movies of a similar genre and into realism of life.
How does our media product represent certain social groups? It represents a slightly dangerous lifestyle/social group through specific objects lying about the room ,for example when the character wakes up the audience can clearly see he has acoustic guitar, clothes chucked on floor, alcohol, cigarettes. This shows the character is living an extreme lifestyle. We also see that the character is wearing a suit and lives in a upmarket apartment, this gives the audience the impression that he is wealthy and likes to spend his time going out. All of this represents social groups which are probably middle class professionals who both work hard during the week, but also party hard at the weekend, the evidence of which is shown by the state of the room when the character wakes up.
What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why? YouTube YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can share videos they have made, view others and leave comments on other user submitted videos. YouTube would distribute our product because YouTube makes its money through advertising, and every time it gets a view on a video, from music to a short film, it makes money from either the advert before the video or shown beside it. This would be a good way to distribute our product because, it is cheap and simple to upload, and it also has the ability to get feedback from other viewers, giving us valuable information on our movie and how we could improve it. This distributer also has a global audience, giving our product the chance to be seen by people who are in our audience.
Small British Cinema Institution These are small cinemas in Britain which show just British films, and they are sponsored and aided financially by the British film Institute. They are not as prominent or have as high a revenue as Odeon or Cineworld, but they are more traditional. For our purposes they are also good because they don’t have many big budget films, and our is a low budget British film, which is right in that category.
DVD Extra This movie might be shown on DVD extras for larger British Films as we might be supported by the BFI on a bigger DVD which is of the same genre. This media institution would distribute our product because of sponsorship from the British Film Institution, and because it might be a good start to advertising our film to be bought by itself.
Who would be the audience for our media product? Demographics Our media product is a thriller movie, and therefore this genre of movie has a certain audience. This audience would be made up of maybe 15 year olds and upwards. This would also apply more to males than females as seeing a thriller movie like this would be a real ‘man’ thing to do, and something to watch with your friends. Women don’t really like to watch any movies with blood or too much violence in, although some do. When doing our research, we found that women from 30 upwards, especially if they had children, would not watch a movie like that. Also the main character of the movie is a young man, and this may appeal to a younger generation from 15 to 25 year olds as they feel they understand the character more. Also younger people may want to watch a thriller almost for boast rights of watching something like that.
Psychographic This product will also apply to an audience of people who feel they have something in common with the film other than demographically. Obviously the film will appeal to those who enjoy horror/thriller films with violence and blood, there are some people who would just go to these kinds of movies. Also, as part of the movie is based around a guy going out for a night, and the setting when he wakes up is very much like he had a party the night before, the movie will also maybe appeal to those who are part of what is called a party culture. There is always the worry that you will have a problem when you go out by yourself at night, especially when he drinks a lot, and this movie voices the most extreme fears of these people. This would appeal to those aged from about 18 to about 25 years old.
HOW DID WE ATTRACT/ADDRESS OUR AUDIENCE? Exterior Shots The exterior shots were our introductory shots, being the first thing the audience sees in the movie. Because of this we felt we had to show the audience the genre and type of movie we were going to show them, therefore we made sure the shots we did were filmed without people in them, to create the atmosphere of isolation and tension. We actually filmed the scenes at 3 in the morning to catch this element of tension, creepiness and the entire atmosphere we felt represented the movie. This was an introduction made to appeal to a horror and thriller audience.
1st Interior Shot ( chair ) These shots were the first shots of the main character that the audience would see, and we wanted them to make an impact, despite the fact that they were only shown for a few seconds at a time. For this we generally made the lighting low, the room dark, and the light did not show the full picture. We also used blood, screaming and other aspects of this scene, including lighting to give the aura of death and horror around this. We thought this would identify the most with our thriller/horror audience, especially the blood.
Dark lighting creates an atmosphere The blood on the shirt, and the awkward stance of the figure in the chair show the situation.
2nd Interior Shots For these shots, we entered them with the mix of sound from screaming into the alarm clock, which we felt upset the balance of the scene, which unbalanced the viewers. Then we felt that with the alcohol, smoking and general mess associated with late nights out and parties, we associated the character with a younger generation and a party culture of those who have house parties and go out clubbing every night. We also felt that with the suit we went with this again, the suit being associated with going out, and all of this was part of our plan to associate the audience with the character, and therefore make what happens to him, applicable to them.
What have we learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Planning When we were planning our product, we did a lot of storyboarding about the locations of our shots and the angles etc. But for some of the locations we shot in, especially the exterior shots, it would have been hard to go out and find each location, especially with our limited mobility. Therefore we chose to use Google earth and Google Street View to find our filming locations, this worked well and made sure we stayed on schedule.
Camera When we first used the camera when we started, we were not very proficient with it, and made lots of mistakes, not to mention shaky filming. But now we feel that we have been able to change that, and the difference between our camera work between the exterior shots which we filmed first, and the interior shots which we filmed last is clearly visible. To help problems with shaky filming, we found it was easier to use a tripod after practice. When we were filming the phone with the unknown caller calling, we found it hard to focus on the phone, and we found that after tweaking with settings a bit we found it worked better.
Editing Software We found that, when we started editing, we were short on ideas, short on the knowledge even, needed to edit a film to the extent needed. But, after we had researched the editing software, and how to use it, we found it came to us quite easily. The transitions we used between the shots we figured out after hours of trial and error, and the effects we used on the shots, like making them darker to give off more of a dark and mysterious ambience, an example of this is when we were trying to show quick but hard to see shots of the character when he was tied up, we did this by changing the colour contrast. We also learnt how to match our video with the audio on top of it, and an example of this is when we were using the transitions to keep the exterior shots in beat with the music. Also when we wanted to increase tension in the movie we found that speeding up the shots helped a lot. Also when we were editing the soundtrack into this, and we discovered it was not long enough, we at first found it hard to replicate the tune, but eventually, using Garage Band and Logic, we managed to use the technology available to match it up.
Looking back at our preliminary task, what do we feel we have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Planning When we planned our preliminary task, we did not plan our location very well, if at all. We actually chose the location on the day of the filming, and had not planned where any of the shots were going to be. This meant we wasted time setting up and deciding where are shots were going to be from. Also on the day we used a camera with very little battery, which meant we were very hard pushed to get our preliminary filming finished before it ran, eventually finishing with 30 seconds of battery left. This could have been avoided both if we had made sure the camera was charged and that we had storyboarded the plot exactly, which we had not, and we would not have lost so much time if we had planned the shots and angles better.
Costume/lighting/setting Costume When we filmed the preliminary, we did not think about our costume until the night before, and we brought in basic clothing which was irrelevant almost to the storyline of the film. But in the full product, we planned the costume specifically, and we even used it to appeal to the audience, and that his clothing was all relevant and part of the storyline, even keeping continuation so that the clothes he went out in were the clothes he was in for the killing scene we showed at the beginning. Lighting When we were filming the preliminary, we did not use the lighting we had, even breaking continuation by turning it on and off. On the other hand, whilst filming the full product, especially for the murder scene, we used different types of light for different angles, making it unpredictable.
On the location, we could have scouted better locations before filming but we did not and suffered when we found the location we had picked but not seen, not to our liking, but we were on a schedule so we had to film there. On the other hand, when we filmed the full product, we storyboarded our film long before we shot it, meaning we had a set plan to follow, and we did not have any on-set dilemmas about shots or angles. We also scouted out all our locations in advance, making sure we knew where we were going to film, the angle and the height of the camera, and we even used technology to help us with this, Google earth helping us a lot when planning exterior shots. All of this meant that in our full product, we had time to mess around with shots, see what worked best, and had more time to film, making it an altogether less stressful experience.
Setting When we filmed our preliminary, we were not very good at setting up our scene, which was a desk. But on the desk was a textbook which shouldn’t have been there, and whilst filming, we even let a calculator move places between shots, which ruined the continuation of the movie. On the other hand, in the full product, we were firstly careful not to upset the continuation of the film, as well as setting objects around to co-operate with the storyline, and even suggest thing, for example, in the murder scene, a spade against the wall.
Research Whilst in our preliminary film we did not do any research, but just filmed it by what we thought, in the full product we did this very differently. We set step by step plans which dictated the movies of similar genres we were going to watch the introductions to, and the music of these movies. This helped us a lot in making the movie as the plans we had made aided us in both writing our storyboard, and in the shots we chose.
Camera When we filmed our preliminary, it was messy, jumpy and lifeless filming, which did not utilise camera angles to its advantages. We failed to use our camera well enough to constitute a short movie at all. But in our full product this was different, we used our camera skills to the maximum, trying out many different angles, and not being too static in our filming. For example using point of view shots to portray the panic of the captive.
Editing Our preliminary was not very well edited, with bad quality sounds, not effects, and little in the way of transitions. We only used effects in our preliminary to do the title sequence. Although in our full product we used a good soundtrack, which was thoroughly researched, and worked well with the movie, and we also used effects to underline the darkness and death in the first interior shots, where we used things like flickering black and white to portray the panic of the victim. We also used transitions better, like the change from the first half to the second, from the dark and creepy shots to the light, bright an earlier shots, which were supposed to convey a massive difference in scene.