Presentation for a2 ideas mediaPresentation Transcript
Joe Thomas A2 Media Coursework presentation Research and Planning
Contents First Ideas .........................................................................................................3-5 Textual analysis for short films .........................................................................6-10 Textual analysis for documentary ..................................................................11-15 Ancillary Tasks ...............................................................................................16-22 Main production .............................................................................................23-45 Script for main production .............................................................................46-48
Potential Briefs The two potential briefs that I will be choosing between are a short film, designed to last around 5 minutes based on any chosen area or a documentary to investigate any subject. The film would be based around an issue of suicide, looking back on the characters lives
Short Film For my short film, I have decided to create a film about a 16 year old boy, contemplating suicide due to issues at home and bullying at home. I will show this through flashbacks at different stages of his life. To make this easier for the audience to see, I will give the character a distinguishable item such as a watch at an early flashback so that the audience can Identify him. My aim for this production is to make it stand out from other short film similar to this. I am basing the main story line around a certain time, for example 12:40, in each of his flashbacks, there will be a clock showing the time 12:40, and at the end when we see the character close his eyes, it will be 12:40 on his watch he was give. First Ideas
Short Film The film will start off with a fade in looking at a watch, in the background we see the floor, however its 30 feet higher as the character is stood on a bridge. At this point there will be non diegetic music playing (acoustic guitar). There will then be a close up of the characters face, showing his emotion. As we go to the first flashback, there will be a sound bridge. In this flashback i edit the footage so it is blurry, because this is an early memory and will not be very clear, this will also help with the narrative as the main character never new his father and this is his only memory of him leaving. The father will say a line of dialogue, to this I will put an echo/reverb effect over the top to make it seem more distant and further away. This will then go back to a close up of the character, this time, a tear is running down his eye. This shows the audience that this is clearly a sensitive issue for him and is therefore one of the reasons as to why he Is contemplating suicide. First ideas
Textual analysis for short films
Similar texts In this, we see a man who is contemplating suicide, the ideas in this are slightly similar to mine in the sense of flashbacks, however his are of photo frames with blood, possibly representing his wife left him because of his violence and that is why he is committing suicide where as my storyline is about a character who had no control in his life. I liked the idea of how the bench turned to black and white when he left, Which could represent it becoming a memory. The framing and shot composition is also something I have taken into account. All of the shots are on a tripod, and therefore look more professional. The editing is also very precise, for example the fast cuts/fades as he walks down the steps or sits down. There is also the fast zoom at the end of the film which I really liked. I also like how it started off with a tilt shot, showing he may not be mentally stable. http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =fb75wc9Bx-c&feature=related
Sound- in this short film, I liked how the only sound through out was the voice over of the character on screen, this gave a spooky feel to the film, however made it appear more professionally edited together to fit with the film. I also liked how the only diegetic sound in the film was at the end, which was the gun shot, which made it appear as though it came back to reality. Mise en scene- One piece of mise en scene that I liked was the photographs in the flash backs, it helped the audience identify that it was a flashback. I also liked the dress code of the character, a suit, which showed that he wasn’t someone who had been failing at life, but someone who had a family, and to some extent was successful. Editing- I liked how the lighting changed from light when we were in present time, to black and white, to simulate it was in the past. I also thought that the editing in movement was very well done, for example when we see the effect when he is in numerous places at a time. Camera angles- The first shot we see is a tilt shot of the character, this is a clever shot to start with as it connotates that he is not stable and on the edge, I hope to use similar shots in my production to simulate the same things. The use of the tripod made the production appear to be professionally done as we didn’t have any shaky camera work.
Similar texts In this link, we see a young boy contemplating suicide as he feels there is no reason to continue living. The things I liked about this film was the idea behind it, the fact that he tried these different methods but failed however, his was killed without it being his intention in the end. What I didn’t like about it was that I thought it was built up enough. Towards the end it seems maybe he is starting to come out of thinking about suicide, and as much as I like the irony that he is killed, it seemed to Predictable in a way. I also liked how they showed him through the different days. As his conditions worsened. http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =- fr-IaCBYmU
What I have learnt From looking at these two similar texts, I feel that I have learnt a lot about the style of film that I am looking at. For example, camera angles, they tended to use a lot of high angles or tilt shots to show low status and instability of mind. They use slow paced music, making the audience feel sorrow and sadness for the character on screen. There was very little talking directly on camera, if there was, it would have an effect over it such as reverb or echo, I intend to use some of these effects over any speech in my production. The editing is very slow paced because if it were fast pace, it would lose the effect over the audience. I am going to use this as well, however I will also put a screen split by 4 in at the end to show different flashbacks. Finally, the mise en scene in these films is usually the things that will cause the suicide, i.e. a gun or knife. I didn’t want to use these as it shows that they are very common pieces of iconography, instead, the main focus of my mise en scene is a watch, which is very important to the narrative overall, as well as allowing the audience to identify the character throughout the flashbacks.
Textual analysis for Documentary
http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =yuMWo70M0rw&feature= fvst similar texts In this, we see Louis Theroux talking to convicts in san Quentin penitentiary. I chose to look at this documentary as although I realise I couldn’t do a similar type of interview, his techniques are very interesting. For example, one time he will be in the shot, talking to someone. The next shot will be an establishing shot, or will focus on something specific as he talks about it in a voice over. I think that this is a very effective way of composing a documentary and helps to keep the audience entertained. He used only one camera man in this footage, which is useful to me, since we can only use one camera throughout our footage, so it was interesting to see how he got a load of camera shots and edited them together to make it seem like he had numerous camera men.
Mise en scene – with this documentary, the main piece of mise en scene that I really liked was all the inmates in the background. It helped to make the documentary more intimidating in a sense as well as showing the audience what Louis Theroux’s status is in this area. Sound – there is very little non diegetic music, and this is something that I would probably stick to if I was doing a documentary as well. This is because it makes the interviews seem more raw and unedited, giving the audience the sense that all the information that they are hearing hasn’t been edited and that it’s the real thing. Editing – I liked the editing in this because they use a lot of slow editing throughout each interview, so that the audience aren’t constantly being shown a load of random shots flicked in front of them. This also links with the fact that they only use one camera man, so this is useful to me as I can only operate one camera and would probably use the same style of editing.
similar texts http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =xeOaTpYl8mE This is Michael moores “the awful truth” talking about police officers killing people who aren't actually a threat. I liked the editing in this because there are a lot of slow mo shots, giving the audience more time to look at the object on screen. He also does a lot of voice over's and OSG’s to make it more professional. I would hope to incorporate some of these features into my documentary. the mise en scene is also very good in this, no only has he created interviews in proper locations, but he has also got a lot of old police footage in it as well which really shows how in depth he has gone to create these documentaries. Although I couldn’t get any old police footage, YouTube would be my next best alternative for getting official footage of the idea I am creating a documentary on. His camera angles are very “hands on” in a way, they get right up close to the person being interviewed, as well as fighting to get the footage they need. This is an inspiration in a way, that you have to go to extreme lengths to get the best footage possible.
What I have learnt From looking at these two similar texts, I have learnt a lot about the styling and layout of a documentary. I learnt that they tend to use a lot of slow paced editing, allowing the audience to feel as though they are in the conversation, and not just being shown a selection of clips stuck together. I also learnt that when they are showing footage, possibly from old news clips for example, they tend to put non diegetic music over the top, however, during an interview, they will keep it as just diegetic sound so that the footage appears to the audience as being raw or unedited. They also use establishing shots very often, because this tells the audience where they are, and what the local area of the person being interviewed is like.
Ancillary tasks Poster and Film Review
First ancillary task The first ancillary task I have chosen to do is the film poster. I chose this task because for a short film, the poster is probably the most important factor as it shows the audience information such as who is in the film, who produced/directed and starred in it and can also give an idea of the genre of the film. I think that my short film is quite creative, and so I hope to incorporate this in to the poster as well. I hope to split the poster into four sections, with the watch in the middle pointing to 12:40
First Poster review This film poster shares nothing in common with my film such as genre, however it’s the only poster I can find of which is structurally similar to my idea for my film poster. I aim to have the screen split into four sections, 3 will show each flashback at a different stage, the fourth will show the character in the present. Coming out of the middle will be the watch that distinguishes characters within flashbacks. This would symbolise to the audience that the watch is highly significant. The watch will also be pointing to 12:40, to indicate the title of the film to the audience. I will also include a Billing box at the bottom of the screen, showing the cast, institutions, release date, age certificate from the BBFC and the channel that it would be shown on.
I chose to analyse this film poster as well, because again, although it’s a completely different genre, it has a similar theme to it. The main character being in the middle, mine being the watch. Backed by the flashbacks of both good and bad times. We can see there are pictures of him performing, but also others of him with a gun. Mine won’t be as extreme as this, however it does share the same concept that flashbacks are being used. This poster can also be connotated that his past is behind him. Those were the places he needed to go before he could get to the stage where he is now, in the centre of the poster. Second Poster review
Above is a review of the latest film “buried”. I found the review on Empire and have decided to take this layout and incorporate it into my review page.
It has a very specific layout to it with such things as the title, main poster, review page, certificate, cast listing, a picture with caption, review itself and the plot.
When I am creating my review article, I need to make sure that I get the correct fonts, colours and border lines, so that when the examiner is marking the work, they will be able to tell with some ease, that the review is based off of one from empire.
Things to look for:
Correct font and colours
Quotes out loud, funny captions on pictures
This is a screenshot of the film review site, total film. In contrast to Empire, it is a lot more basic and seems to be less interactive or engaging for the audience. It contains similar review material, ratings and the actual review, however it doesn’t tell you who is in the film, its budget or provide very useful pictures. From looking at this layout for the review, I will go ahead with using the same style as Empire, as it has more in-depth reviews, provides better pictures and would be easier to show the examiner that I am trying to copy an empire style of magazine.
The Poster shown above is the one that I created for my ancillary task. This is the second draft of my poster, its not fully completed as the pictures used are not mine, but have been laid out in a similar style to how mine will be. When I start filming, I will be taking pictures on set and adding them to the poster to be finally submitted. I will also be creating a box at the bottom of the poster with all the information regarding cast, directors, music created by etc.
The above two slides show my second ancillary task, the film review. The first screenshot is of the actual review itself. I based my review style from the popular review magazine, Empire. To ensure that I got everything to a similar style, I had a copy of empire in front of me when creating it, so that I didn’t miss anything and could compare how mine looked to the real thing. I did a first draft for the writing, then me and Mr Chart looked over it and improved it, making it sound similar to how an empire journalist may write a film review. The second screenshot shows page 2 of my film review, shows the picture page with the final verdict and rating on it. As with my poster, the picture used isn’t the actual photo as I haven't started filming yet, but I have noted down where in the film to take this photo to make it similar. I based the layout of this page from the empire magazine I had in front of me, so that I got all of the typical language, captions and rating fields the same.
My Main Idea
Chosen Brief The brief that I have chosen to look at in more detail is my first idea of the short film about suicide. The reason I chose this is because although I liked the idea of creating a documentary, I thought that I wasn’t as prepared as I was for it compared to the short film, for example, I had already planned characters, setting and the storyline. I also wasn’t sure with the documentary how you could pick up a high level of marks. With the short film, we would be assessed on storyline, camera work, editing, sounds etc. However with the documentary, it’s harder to create a range of camera angles as well as go into a lot of in depth research about that topic. I also liked the idea of creating my own music and putting it together with the short film, because it will get you more marks for the creativity side of the story. I also liked that with a short film, there are endless possibilities to go into, whereas with a documentary you are limited to certain conventions such as finding out information or interviews. This would help me to score marks on originality and creativity.
Uses and Gratifications theory applied to my text Personal identity – I chose to aim the age of my target audience from 15-30. This is because my main character who is contemplating suicide is around 15/16 years old. Therefore anyone around this age could identify/ relate to that character if they were feeling the same way. For example, statistics have risen recently in the number of divorces between parents with children, one of the main factors why my character is contemplating suicide is because his father left him when he was younger and that he never had a “father figure” in his life. So a population of teenagers could identify with this character.
Personal identity continued - There are also a lot of issues in bullying in my short film, and this can be something people of all ages can identify with as it can affect you your entire life. So this would be another reason why personal identity will apply to my audience. I aimed the class of my target audience from C –E. I chose this because people who are B or A are unlikely to consider suicide as they wouldn’t have the worries of an everyday man, such as money, employment or Bullying in some cases. There is the chance that if they had everything but then lost it that suicide would become an option, but in general it seems to be people from C – E.
Personal Identity Continued - Recent reports have shown that over 4000 suicides occur in the UK every year, top reasons being money issues, employment being low and social interaction. Therefore people in the category I chose would be able to identify with this because they are more likely to be experiencing these troubles. Another reason this would appeal to them would be because of bullying or losing a parent through divorce. It is more likely that people in E haven’t done so well in life possibly because of bullying, so this would allow them to identify to the film.
Entertainment – Although this short film isn’t meant to entertain in the sense of laughing it would entertain an audience in the sense that it keeps them interested. For the younger part of my audience (15-21) I think it would give them some entertainment by showing how social rules and bullying can affect younger people and the lengths to which it can go. For example, if they were the ones who were bullying, then this would hopefully give them an insight into how they are making the others around them feel. It’s also meant to be a sad film, and so I would hope that it could fulfil that, otherwise it simply wouldn’t have the right effect on the audience. Uses and Gratifications theory applied to my text
Interaction and social integration – I think that this part of the theory applies to a more female audience, in particular, mothers. If a mother were to see this and had a son of a similar age, she would take great interest in it to ensure that her son or daughter isn’t going through a similar phase. I imagined a group of mothers sat around talking about this film and what they could possibly do to ensure and prevent these sorts of events from happening again. Uses and Gratifications theory applied to my text
Information – I think that this part of the theory is very important, because the main idea behind my film is to raise awareness of the rate of teenage suicides and the factors that cause it. I think through this film, the audience will be able to relate to this character and therefore feel more emotional to real incidences from this rather than simply reading about it on the news and not caring. My main reason for doing this subject is because where I used to a live, a boy took his own life because of these factors, bullying and a divorced family, and it was only afterwards that the schools in the area realised that bullying was getting out of control and then also therapy sessions for divorced parents and children were set up. So with my short film, I hope to raise awareness about this. Uses and Gratifications theory applied to my text
All based around the time 12:40. Seen in each flash back either on watch, or clock in room. Finally last shot, second hand clicking onto exactly 12:40, extreme close up as character shuts eyes. Different stages in life 2 years old, 6, 12, 14 and present day 16. Shot in Saltford, 1 scene in school (flashback of child sat around table, non diegetic sound of whispering, ND because although he could hear it, I will be putting a reverb/ echo effect over it, so it’s more ND that diegetic. Looking into my short film in more detail
2 years old
Extreme blurred effect simulate an older memory
Reverb over fathers voice, makes it seem distant.
Shot in hallway as father walks out of house
Light shining through door
Close up on watch father gives son, show through the blur that its pointed to 12:40
Looking into my short film in more detail
6 years old
Sat alone on a table, camera high angle panning around
Delayed effect on filming
Voice over of children whispering to each other about him not having a dad
Ensure that the clock in the background shows 12:40
Walking along to the shops (McColl’s)
Everyone along the road, bunched up in groups, purposely turning their backs on him, looking up then looking away, pointing, etc..
Point of view shot
Diegetic music playing over the top
It then goes to him looking at all the things he will miss in the world, builds up to him thinking about jumping off the bridge, I will then edit it so all 3 flashbacks are on screen by splitting the screen into 4, the 3 flashbacks and him in is current state of mind, in each of the flashbacks watching the clock go to 12:40, then the main one of his watch showing the second hand ticking around to 12:40 exactly. Then it goes to an extremely close up, a tear runs down his eye, and he closes his eyes and ends with a cut to black.
Industry Research There are four main production companies for short films, YouTube, virgin shorts, BBC film network and shortfilms. Each offer young, undiscovered film makers the opportunity to create films, up to 10 minutes long and upload them to their website, where they will be able to see how many views their video gets, a rating out of 5 stars as well as comments from the general public. They also will often offer users competitions, where the winner will receive prize money to create a more professional film, or the chance to visit Hollywood studios. YouTube – YouTube offers users the ability to upload as many of their own videos as they want, provided they are each under 10 minutes long. Other users can then comment, rate or subscribe to the user who uploaded the video, giving them their thoughts and opinions, ratings and to share with them, their clips. YouTube admins will take down anything that is copyright, such as unauthorised music videos, film clips or anything from TV such as E4 or 4od if its not authorised.
Industry Research Virgin shorts – Virgin shorts is similar to YouTube, however, there is a prize for the person who creates and uploads the most popular, well planned short film. As with YouTube, other users may rate, comment and subscribe to that user to show their support. Virgin Shorts differs from YouTube as you wouldn’t find and music videos, Hollywood film clips or TV shows. It also differs as they have a strict set of rules for each uploaded video, to make the competition fairer overall. BBC film network – BBC film network is another step on from YouTube and Shorts, this is because when you first see the website, it instantly seems more sophisticated, as well as the fact that users can upload their own films at any given length, rather than being restricted to 10 minutes. The website also offers other unique features such as reviews, filmmaking guides and will send your account notifications of film festivals coming up in the next few months.
Industry Research What I like most about these websites and which would best suit my film: YouTube Pros Cons
Easy to upload
Get a good range of feed back, comments, views, ratings
Not as strict with rules
Only allowed 10 minutes
Used by the entire world, often hard to get over 200 views
Ideas can easily be copied
Pros Cons Virgin Shorts
Currently very popular with my genre
Can share and use ideas from others
Easier to get more recognition
Set of Rules can be hard to follow on occasions
Not as popular as YouTube
Industry Research BBC film network Pros Cons
Potentially helpful reviews
Filmmaking guides very useful
No time limit
Seems to be only high budget short films
Seems to be very commercial
Due to low budget, film may be criticised heavily.
Over all, I think that my Film would be best suited to Virgin Shorts, as it is the only website where they are younger film makers with a low budget, YouTube had some, but also had a lot of High budget films “the black hole”. The list of rules is also more of a use to me than a con, and it is likely that the film would receive good, helpful advice
Ratings and Box office On YouTube, they have a feature that allows you to say whether you like the video or not, by giving a thumbs up or thumbs down. This rating shows that 15 people liked this video whereas 2 people didn’t, this was the rating for the video I showed and looked at earlier with the young boy trying to kill himself. Here, we see that with the second short film I looked at, breaking point, it had a bigger view count, therefore more people had rated it From researching the ratings of these short films, I have learnt that you are likely to get a higher rating from an audience if your film is well put together, edited properly and has clearly been thought about and well planned. The film “the black hole” submitted to virgin shorts not only got a very high rating, but also over 7 million views, which tells me that your film will become more popular as the ratings rise .
Reviews of researched texts The short films that I looked at were uploaded virally to YouTube, so they didn't have reviews from website such as “rotten tomatoes” or “IMDB”, however, YouTube allows users to comment on the videos giving feedback, which can be counted as a review. Below are some screenshots of feedback comments I found under each video. Breaking point: A mind of suicide:
When uploading to YouTube, there are often censorship rules they will give, such as no nudity or racial abuse. Virgin shorts terms and conditions gave rules such as:
Methods of suicide or self harm should not be included unless where editorially justified.
No strobe lighting or fast flashing sequences, or subliminal images within the programme.
Crime - nothing to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder (includes descriptions of criminal techniques, or inclusion of anything which could prejudice an on-going case.)
The main one of these that applies to my text is the one concerning methods of suicide, I will now have to be careful about what I intend to show the audience.
When looking at other forms of media based around suicide, I came across a band called “disturbed” who had uploaded a video to YouTube called “Inside The Fire” which was a song about suicide. After getting well over 2million views, YouTube told them to take it off and re-upload it with the message pictured at the top.
My Target audience For my short film, I am aiming my target audiences age to be 15-30. I chose this age because around age 15, teenagers are usually being taught about bullying and the consequences of it. My film is mainly about a boy around that age who is committing suicide so I think this would appeal to people in his age group as they could possibly relate to him or learn from this. For people who are over this age, I think it would then be more of an education for them in the sense that they need to better understand teenagers. The stereotype is that they are mindless thugs without feelings. It is aimed both males and females because it is an issue that effects them both, as well as both feminine and masculine people. I am aiming this at any one from class A-E because for this type of film, class doesn’t really come into it. However, you could argue that because of the genre it could appeal only to people who are of class C-E. I think that other films my audience may like are kidulthood, because this film shows teenagers growing up and in one case has a suicide.
Questionnaire results and conclusions
Results This tells me that 60% of the candidates that I interviewed were male, this is useful to bare in mind when I am reviewing other results, as it could suggest to me whether certain genres are preferred more by either male or female, and from this, how extremely I should go into that genre. This graph shows me that 50% wanted music playing throughout the background constantly, and 50% thought it may ruin the impact. Although this result doesn’t tell me which is preferred in the audience, it is useful so that I can now combine the two, so that music is playing in most parts, but not all of it. It has influenced me to think more about the impact that music can have on certain texts.
Results I felt that this question is very important in my piece, as certain instruments can create certain moods. This tells me that my participants think that orchestral and Acoustic guitars would be a good combination for creating a raw, sad, music piece to accompany the text and to some extent, enhance it. To some extent, I already knew what I wanted to happen at the end of my film, but just wanted to check that everyone else agreed with my choice, and it turns out they did. Showing the characters death would be very difficult to show without ruining the film through cheesy effects. Leaving it as a cliff hanger to the audience will have such a deeper effect.
Results This was an important question in regards to the technical side of the film, although using creative shots would to an extent gain me higher marks, there is the possibility that it would make the film harder to follow. However, the results show that I should have more creative shots, I’m choosing not to have them all creative though, as four of the participants said it may get confusing if they couldn’t identify what was happening in the shot. These results tell me that the watch will be enough to allow the audience to distinguish between characters in flashbacks. Some did disagree, so im choosing to emphasise other features of the main characters, such as hair colour.
Results I felt that this was an important question as for my piece, the music will be very important to help the audience feel the emotions. 6 participants said nothing but music would be good, however this may come across as a music video and the audience might pay less attention to the narrative. So I have decided to use speech, but not a lot. From looking at other films in this genre, many choose to put the credits at the start. Seeing as I have a small cast, I think that it wouldn’t have to much of a distraction on the audience while the text is playing.
Results This is another result which gave me a 50/50 result, so to meet both of the results, I think I am going to keep the general narrative fairly simple, such as present day, flashback, present day etc. However, the storyline with 12:40 has more of a twist to it. This data is as important as the male or female question, it tells me how many of my participants liked the genre that my film falls into, thriller. 4 of them did, second was horror, so this suggests that most of my results are valid, though some may not be as some participants prefer comedies, romance and musicals.
What I have learnt From handing my questionnaire out to the specific target audience, I have been able to see what sort of preferences they would rather see in the film. I can now take these results away and apply them to my film. I have mainly learnt about the types of sound I should have in my film, such as the types of instruments that should be used for the non diegetic music. I found that I got a draw when it came to whether music should play constantly or stop from time to time, so I took this result and decided that I will have music playing throughout, but will vary the volume levels as well as include voice over's. I have also found that most of my participants are fans of thriller films, so I will mainly have cliff-hangers, as the audience will prefer suspense.
Planning my texts
Script for Main Production
Page 1 of script
Page 2 of script
Page 3 of script
When creating my script, the main intention was to make it as clear as possible to me and the actors, so that when I am filming, I don’t come into any complications about not understanding something I previously wrote. In last years coursework, I didn’t use a script, instead I had drawn up pages and pages of storyboards which I either ended up losing or couldn’t follow as I missed out some vital information. I chose to make a script for my production because, for me, I found it easier to write down what I want to happen in the shot, rather than draw it and attempt to recreate this. It also makes it easier when describing to the actors what I want to happen in the shot. Although the production has very little speech in it, the script is mostly used for telling me everything from sound to camera shots and length of the shots, and not necessarily when the actors need to speak. I chose to colour code the script, so that when it comes to directing the piece, I know which part is for which and that I wont be wasting time, re-reading the script trying to make sense of which section is for which part.