How does your media product use and develop forms and conventions of real media products? My media product consisted of a horror film trailer called ‘DeadGirls’, as well as a promotional film poster and website. All three media products used traditional conventions from real media products such as:
I used conventions of horror film trailers such as ‘Halloween’ and ‘Sorority Row’ . I emulated the structure of the trailers, such as the pace of my media trailer got faster towards the end to make it seem more intense and scary.
Another example is near the end of my trailer when the credits showed ‘DeadGirls’ a fast, scary clip shortly followed to make the audience anxious to see what’s going to happen next, which is a common convention used in horror film trailers.
Other common conventions of horror films were to use attractive young women and a lot of screaming. Therefore I used a purely female cast as well as included a variety of diegetic screams in the film trailer, mainly during the middle and ending of the trailer where there was more intense action sequences so the screaming was used to show the audience that something bad has happened.
How does your media product use and develop forms and conventions of real media products?
Explicitly shows blood and horrific scenes, this is used in most horror films. In some scenes blood is explicitly shown on the killers victims such as when the girls lies on the bathroom floor covered in blood, as well as the close up of the bloody knife in the sink.
I have included several clips of diegetic sounds of screaming so that the audience get an idea that something dreadful is happening however in some parts of the trailer the audience is left wondering why the characters are screaming making the trailer more intense. This is common conventions such as in the film ‘Sorority Row’ the girls are screaming and the audience is left unaware of what is actually happening and the audience is left on a cliff hanger.
The audience are unaware of what has actually happened because it is only a trailer and I did not want the audience to know the entire narrative of the film, only parts so they anticipate the film and are anxious to see it. For example when the main character is running through what is believed to be a forest at the end of the trailer, she is seen being chased by the known ‘killer’, however, it is unclear if she actually survives or not, whereas with some other characters, their fate is told.
There is only minimal diegetic sound, for example when the two popular girls are on the phone and the enhancement of footsteps and screaming to enhance the action in the trailer and ass suspense.
Using conventions of horror film trailers I used ‘The following preview.....restrictions’ as the first shot of my trailer because this is what appears on every single movie trailer and is a very common convention in real media texts, therefore I chose to use it as it would make my trailer motion picture seem more real. It also seems like a requirement because all trailers include it, mainly as it is a legal obligation to show what the film is rated as and the what classification. I also used the ‘Twisted Pictures’ studio logo so audiences know who the producers of the film are, this is again a very common conventions is movie trailer, however, ‘Twisted Pictures’ are in association with horror films such as ‘Saw’, therefore audiences would link this company with scary films which is the genre that my film trailer is based on, therefore using this film producer is more appropriate.
Using conventions of horror film trailers Another common convention is horror film trailer is that they explicitly show blood and gory scenes because people expect to see these things as they associate horror with violence and death.. In my trailer I therefore used bloody scenes, such as a the girl lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood so clearly show that she is injured or perceived to be murdered. Similarly I decided to show the killer holding a knife entering a room to suggest that some type of killing is going to commence. The knife is used to symbolise death and is often a useful convention is horror films as the audience clearly knows this is going to be a scary film as they associate death with horror like most slasher movies.
Using conventions of horror film trailers I used typical horrific colours such as red and black as they are signifiers signifying danger and death. Therefore for ‘DeadGirls’ the colour of the text is bright red which gives the impression of blood and death, this same technique is similarly used in the movie title ‘My Bloody Valentine’.
How does your media product challenge the forms and conventions of real media products? The main ways in which I challenged the forms and conventions of real media products was that I tried to make the media products postmodern, as that was the theory I based around my work. I had an unusual film title, horror films generally have fierce titles such as ‘Saw’, ‘My Bloody Valentine’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. The title of my film was ‘DeadGirls’, the word dead sounds fairly fierce, however I was making a direct comparison to the teen-flick ‘MeanGirls’ which is a completely different genre . However, by doing this makes the film trailer postmodern because you would not normally associate this type of film with horror. I based the trailer around the basic narrative of ‘MeanGirls’ in the sense that there are three popular girls (the girls walking in slow motion in the school corridor) who bully a some what ‘geeky’ girl who wants to get revenge. However, instead of sabotaging the girls like in ‘MeanGirls’ the story has a twist, she ends up trying to murder each one of those girls in order to get her revenge. I have tried to emulate the ‘MeanGirls’ poster by using the same type of formatting. For example the main character is placed near the front of the poster, whilst the three so called ‘Popular girls’ are placed behind in similar poses to suggest that they are powerful and popular. However, in the ‘DeadGirls’ poster I have challenged that stereotype as the main character is in fact the killer not the victim, which is why she is holding a knife in her hand and looks evil, oppose to the main character in the ‘MeanGirls’ poster as she looks rather shy and unconfident.
Narrative Similarities All three media products convey the same narrative as the title of the film is called ‘DeadGirls’ and is used in the actual trailer, poster and website. This shows that all three products link to each other as the audience can work out that death is the main theme. The poster and website shows the narrative of the trailer as the main killer is placed at the very front of the poster to show that she is the main character, the other girls are placed behind her to show they are the victims, the website features the poster which therefore shows cohesion. The trailer shows the basic narrative of the film which is: Equilibrium-when the three girls are bullying the main character, this is a usual occurrence. A disruption in equilibrium – when the main character starts acting strangely The recognition of the disruption in equilibrium- when one of the girls appears top be screaming in the corridor then later shown dead on the bathroom floor covered in blood.
How effective is the combination of your main product and the ancillary texts? The promotion packages go well with my main media product for many reasons, such as: The font of all the text in my trailer, poster and website is the same. The title ‘DeadGirls’ is written in bold red with the ‘Girls’ being placed slightly underneath ‘Dead’ so the emphasis is on the word dead. The colour sequences are the same, in all three media products there is a combination of white, black and red. These colours tend to signify danger and death, especially the red as I have made it the focal point of the film title. Dead refers to death and being killed and the colour red cold be associated with blood and death, therefore is the perfect colour to use in all promotional material like the film poster and website. The background colour of the film poster is a mixture between bright red that fades out into black. This technique is also used on the website homepage to that the two media products are synchronised. Similar images are used on the film trailer, poster and website. They all include the same characters dressed as they were in the trailer. This gives an indication that all three media products combine and go together. The film poster is even placed on the website homepage so that audiences know that this is unquestionably the ‘DeadGirls’ website in association with the film. The film poster and promotional website are similar in colour, fonts and images. This is a common convention, as real media products have similar promotional tools that all complement each other. For example the poster and website of ‘Sorority Row’ has the same black and red background as well as the same fonts on the title of the film. The website also uses the same images used the film poster to make it synchronised.
What have you learned from your audience response? When we showed the trailer to an audience we received much positive feedback on our media products. For example:
They understood the target audience of the film which were teenagers and young adults, between the ages of 15-24. This was mainly due to the characters being aged in that category therefore being more identifiable as well as being set in a school associated with younger people.
They understood the narrative of the trailer which was revenge and the whole ‘MeanGirls’ concept. Mainly instigated by the close up of the killers face which clearly shows she’s unhappy and wants revenge.
They seemed to be engaged as they want to see what is going to happen next as well as slightly shocked to see the bloody gory scenes.
I have therefore learnt that I was successful in achieving my aim as the audience knew the genre of the film as well as the age its aimed at and they seemed to want to see the whole film to know what is going to happen. Therefore meaning that too much is not given away and all the things I wanted the audience to know they did, and all the things I did not want revealed were not, which made the audience seem engaged and anxious to want to know what happens next which is a incentive for them to go and see the film.
How did you use the media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? I used a variety of media technologies in the constructive and planning stages in the work. Some of these include: During the research & planning stage I used media technologies such as YouTube and the search engine Google to find out forms and conventions of horror film trailers. I used the following wed addresses:
I used youtube.com to watch various horror film trailers such as ‘Halloween’ and ‘Sorority Row’ and analysed them in order to find out the forms and conventions of them, so that I could gain an understanding of the elements I would need to include in my trailer. During the construction stage I used a video camera which I had very little experience, therefore I practised filming irrelevant shots at first so that I could gain some understanding of using simple functions on the video camera.
How did you use the media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? I used a digital camera to take the shots for my film poster as well as the website. In addition to this I used many tools on Photoshop to edit these pictures. For instance I cropped an image of the main character so that only she was seen in a particular stage in editing the poster. I then used a colour and brightness technique as well as the filler tool to erase the rest of the background so the edges of her body would be neat. This was more advanced then my previous AS foundation production course as I explored more uses of Photoshop to make the film trailer oppose to my AS music magazine. After I deleted the original background of the first photo I added my own red and black background and used another image of the three girls to add into it so it looked like the same image in my final poster.
How did you use the media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? In order to create my film poster I needed to use another image of the three popular girls to place behind the main character in the trailer. I therefore used another image of just the three girls by themselves and cropped in using Photoshop as well as erasing any other gaps in the original image. I then copied and pasted it onto the same image as the film poster.
How did you use the media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? While developing the trailer I used adobe element software which allowed me to edit the film in order to meet the conventions of a horror film, I used various features from the software such as, time stretching, adding in effects like dip to black, enhancing the light, adding in text, cutting out parts of the captured film, adding in diegetic and non diegetic music, changing the style of the text, and making clips faster. As I had no previous experience of using this software I found it difficult to understand how to do things and therefore the editing of the trailer took longer then originally planned.