Media Evaluation ‘ Left Behind’ I will be answering many different questions to explain about our (Woodland Productions) final opening thriller title sequence. I will be looking back at my preliminary task, audiences and what strengths and weaknesses we came across whilst completing the task. Hayley Elliott 3041
Looking back at your preliminary task what do you feel you have learnt in the progression of it to the full project?
Each section of bringing the piece together taught me something different. We had many different aspects of the making which lead to successes as well as facing problems. In this question I will talk about the sections including:
Preliminary Task, Planning and Research,
Preliminary Task This is an example of shot reverse shot from our preliminary task. This helped me and my group to be able to achieve this in our main task, as we had to do a variety of shots. After filming this scene we realised we had a problem with the lighting as we could hardly see Hayley’s (my) face. This made me and my group realise that we’d have to be careful using lighting in our final piece. By doing this preliminary task it meant we were able to try out the equipment as well as put the skills we had learnt to the test. It was a task where we had to carry out different shot types and by doing this it made us realise how to do things more effectively when it came to doing our main task.
Planning and Research Section We researched into “The Blair Witch Project” as we found their style of film was very interesting and we liked the idea of filming in a wooded area and confusion it gave the audience. I felt by researching into this film in particular it helped to create our final piece by looking at the location used as well as the limited amount of people you see. Not only did we research into “The Blair Witch Project” we also looked at many other thriller films including “Leon”, “Seven” and “Memento”. This helped me as it made me understand about thriller films and their aim. This gave me more of insight into making a thriller and gave me ideas to how we could structure ours. We also did BBFC research. This helped me and my group to decide on what certificate to give our film. It also helped me learn about why films were given that certificate and the difference between them as well as what extent your allowed to show filming between a 12 and a 15.
Editing I learnt a lot in the editing section due to their being so many different ways to edit things together. We used the programme Adobe Premier Pro. Before we got onto doing our main editing we practiced editing for our practice and preliminary task. I learnt about how to add in video transitions and effects. After we had completed our filming we then would open and watch all our clips on the computer. I learnt that when you put it on the computer and try and edit it together you can face many problems such as it not being able to edit together efficiently. This then meant re-filming. Also I learnt about the limitations of technology as we also had problems with the wind that we didn’t notice when we were filming.
Feedback We did questionnaires to receive feedback about our thriller opening. The responses we got made a massive impact on changes to our piece. The feedback we got on improvements helped us change our opening to make it more understanding. As on other feedback there was negative feedback on it being “confusing”. From this feedback this female seemed to understand our piece well. She gave some good feedback which helped us keep the effective scenes in our piece. From the opening she was able to understand and she particularly like the wood settings. I learnt a lot by receiving feedback as it helped me on what to change and what was good about our piece. It was good to know that they also realised who the killer was.
What kind of institution might distribute your media product and why? In our opening thriller we used hand held cameras for nearly every scene. This meant that our piece were made in the same style as a few other films such as; The Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Green zone. Greenzone Universal Pictures (an American company) is the distribution company for this film. This style of film is similar to the way we have made ours. With it being based on hand-held cameras. I think Universal Pictures would be interested in distributing our media product due to our film style is similar. Its both fast moving, disorientating and keeping the story through someone's eyes. Left Behind
Cloverfield Cloverfield also used hand held cameras to film. With using hand held cameras this affect (static loop) used in Cloverfield works really well with changing scenes. Paramount Pictures owned by Brad Gray distributed Cloverfield. Paranormal Activity was also distributed by Paramount Pictures. I think that Paramount Pictures will also be interested in distributing our media product as it fits in the same genre as many other films that has been distributed by them have been “thriller” type. Paramount Pictures is popular and well known which would be good for our media product as we would be able to get a wider audience. Left Behind
The Blair Witch Project Left Behind The Blair Witch Project was another film which used hand held cameras. It was distributed by Pathe – run by the Pathe brothers. They have also distributed other films that are in this style of film. I feel they would be interested in distributing our film as they are distributors of many other films that are in the same genre as our media project.
Who would the audience be for your media product? This is a group of students we picked to photograph due to them being our target audience and the audience most likely to watch our thriller film. Age: people between 16 – 25: We chose a group of people between these ages as from researching thriller films we noticed that they were mainly from this age group. A 16 being not so graphical and an 18 being graphic. That’s why we chose to have an age group at 16 or over to aim our thriller at. Gender: Both males and females would enjoy our thriller. This could be because of many reasons such as; there being both female and male actors in our project and both genders enjoy these types of films. Education: People who attend sixth form or college are our target audience as that is the specific age group that would enjoy our type of film. Also our thriller contains students which may interest that age group to watch it.
We have an opportunity to gain a wider audience. This is because “The Blair Witch Project” although aimed at a younger audience managed to attract all ages worldwide. As our media project is similar I feel like we have a good change to get a wider range of audience than we expected. This was a review on how someone felt on the film “The Blair Witch Project”. The writer of this was 36 years of age. I have carefully chosen the paragraph where he talks about the aimed audience of the thriller. This is some research I had found which made me realise that it was a good idea to aim our audience at 16 – 25 due to “The Blair Witch Project” aiming it at that age group. I have learnt by looking at audiences that by having the actors being the same age group you are more likely to attract the same type of aged audience. I feel if we had used older actors then we may not have been able to attract the audience we were hoping to.
How did you attract/address your audience? There are many ways to attract your audience. I feel we did it by using the same age group actors, music and exciting scenes/footage. We looked at audience expectations and we picked up on the younger generation’s expectations. There expectations were to keep them guessing and making them want to know more. We concentrated really hard on making it atmospheric as this is the key scene into disorienting our audience. We used music to help us create this. Towards the end of the opening, we have shots of clothing. The clothing shown is younger adult type wear. This could address the audience in the sense we may have the same styles as them. I feel the scenes of when we are walking through the woods would attract a younger audience due to being that age, it could be something they get up to when messing around.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media productions? I think our main reason to how our media product contains conventions of a real media product is our shot types. Dirty Shot Many thriller films use dirty shots. This keeps the audience guessing and makes the audience want to see more. It creates an enigma code to our media project. It makes the audience feel un comfortable about that character. A film that does that uses dirty shots often is “Leon.” We also have a variety of shot distances including long shots and close ups. Films like to use long shots when starting of a film so audience are aware of surroundings however some films choose to do the opposite and start of with an extreme close up to make the audience dis-orientated and want to know where they are. I think by having a variety of shots we meet the conventions of a real media production as its not all just filmed in the same distance. Close up Long Shot Many films use long shots throughout films to identify places. This helps the audience understand. By using a long shot of louis it means that we are able to see the whole of him and where he is.
Other reasons : Almost all thrillers have an antagonist and a protagonist. We have used this in our media product. We have developed the convention as we have only one antagonist. We have challenged the convention that the protagonist is feminine and also an easy target as the other two are females. We have also in our media product including dark lighting. This makes it very hard to see what’s going on. Thrillers often start with a dark setting and dark lighting. Our media product uses this convention. Music is another important factor. We have used music in our media product and all thriller films contain music as this is the main factor that creates suspense. By using music in our media product it creates more tension and follows the conventions.
How does your media product represent different social groups? The Protagonists The Antagonist I feel our media product represents different social groups as our actors were all very different people. Teenagers aren’t really seen in the first two minutes other than Louis (the Antagonist). We have the threat of Louis as there are very limited scenes of him. We feel threatened straight away by this male antagonist, which is thriller convention as it usually is the male who is the antagonist. By doing research we were able to find out that 16 – 25 year olds were usually the main audience for thriller films. This is why we chose to represent the social group teenagers. Our audience could relate to the characters in our media products or situations due to representing teenagers. Male audiences often relate to the male characters of the films. Which is generally the antagonist, and many male viewers relate themselves to them.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? First thing I learnt was how to use the camera equipment. We came across problems when using the camera due to the night mode not being very effective. It was then something we had to edit on Adobe Premier Pro to make look more realistic and clearer to see. I learnt a lot when it came to editing our scenes together. This was the hardest part of the task as you learn that things don’t fit together properly. It is very time consuming when this happens and takes a lot of thinking to discover how you could do it differently.
I also learnt that even when you plan days to film situations can still occur. We filmed on a day that was really windy which gave us a constant loud sound through the camera however it was also too sunny that there were reflections. I learnt that technology has its limitations as it meant that we had to re film this scene again. When we first started to edit we had so much filming that we tried editing it all together to the point where we just had too many scenes that didn’t fit together. As a group we decided our piece had lost its atmosphere and we had far too much going on in only a short amount of time. In our rough cut we used many shot variety’s however I’ve learnt that the less stuff that cram in the better it looks. We went from having a very confusing piece that audience didn’t know what was going on and weren’t able to follow. To a smooth media product where even though audience get confused they are meant to for a reason however even though the confusion is there the story line still makes sense and flows.