Evaluation questions
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  • 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms andconventions of real media products?Before we created our media product, we researched the overall horror genre, bywatching a number of horror film trailers, in order to help us understand whattypical conventions they used to create an effective trailer. Also by looking at avariety of different horror film trailers it gave us ideas of what we wanted toinclude in our media product, for example in the trailers we analysed, ‘30 Days ofNight’ and ‘Jennifer’s Body’ there was a victim, screaming, blood, tense musicoverlay and quick shots.In addition to watching ‘30 Days of Night’ and ‘Jennifer’s Body’, we also looked at‘Let me in’, ‘Orphan’ and ‘The Others’. We did this as they all have the keysimilarity of featuring children, which was one of our main ideas, as we felt thatchildren or a child definitely give the film a creepy element. After watching ‘Letme in’, ‘Orphan’ and ‘The Others’, we both were in complete agreement that wewanted a child to feature in our film as the pure and innocent connotations,which are associated with them work so well in a horror film as nobody suspectsthem. However after brainstorming an idea we felt that the child in the film didnot necessarily have to play the antagonist, which in many films that featuredemonic children are. Therefore we decided to have the little girl in our trailer tobe the protagonist and be a warning to the victim.One of the main conventions we followed was to have an innocent young girlfeature. In all films there is a victim and we saw in many of the films we analysedthat a common victim was a young girl, this is because this type of character isnormally naïve, vulnerable and powerless, which makes her easy prey for theantagonist.Another extremely important element that goes in to creating an effecting horrorfilm trailer is lighting, we saw this in both ‘30 Days of Night’ and ‘Jennifer’s Body’,however it was done very differently in both. Since in ‘30 Days of Night’ thenatural lighting was dark throughout as it was set at night and only in key scenesto show the vampires coming did they have the lighting change, whereas in‘Jennifer’s Body’ the lighting was constantly changing and as the trailer went on
  • 2. the lighting seemed to darken. Therefore taking all these lighting techniques onwe decided to use various lighting throughout, for example the trailer starts off indaylight, however although it is daylight it has a slight tint of darkness and is lightis not bright instead is a little gloomy (maybe put a lighting affect on it). Alsowhen the audience are first introduced to the little girl at the top of the stairs thelighting here is very significant. Since the lighting is much darker at the top of thestairs where she is standing, which means that the audience can only just aboutmake out that there is something or someone there, creating mystery for the restof the film and trailer.We kept to conventions when it came to some of the camera shots we used, onebeing our opening shot which was of the signpost saying ‘Churchfield’ we decidedto use an establishing shot as in many of the trailers they opened with a shot ofthe place where the film was going to be set, also we needed to include the signas it was a crucial link to what happens further on in the trailer and will help theaudience understand what the film will be about. Another type of shot we usedwas a jump scare as this is something which is used in the majority of horror filmtrailers, we created our jump scare by having quite a fast pace scene with thecharacter Elizabeth running and having footsteps of mystery man shown, then theshot goes very still and the music overlay stops. This relaxes the audience as theywill think nothing else is going to happen it is only after the title of the film isshown ‘The Message’ a close up of Elizabeth screaming appears on the screen,which should scare the audience and make the want to go and see the film.The pace of the trailer is another thing that is crucial to get right, as a good trailershould keep the audience on the edge of their seat and wanting more. I would saystarted of slow and fastened up as it when on and the drama heightened, forexample one of the key scenes where the female character Elizabeth sees thelittle girl for the first time is a very quick scene we decided to increase the speedin the editing process of when Elizabeth puts her head down and then up again, inorder to create the drama and confusion of what was there.As I previously mentioned the little girl that features in the trailer is not theantagonist, however I think that it may remain unclear to the audience whether
  • 3. or not she is the antagonist or the protagonist, which I would say is somethingquite unconventional since in the majority of horror films firstly a supernatural orspirit would normally be the antagonist. Secondly in most trailers we felt that it isalways made clear who plays the victim and villain, therefore we have created anenigma by not making the clear.How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary task?The key importance in our project was producing an effective horror film trailer,however we along with this we had to produce an accompanying film poster andmagazine front cover. Since when creating an horror film a poster and magazinefront cover are just as significant, as they are just another way of persuading theaudience into going to watch the film.As we felt the trailer was the key factor out of the three tasks, we decided to linkthe poster and front cover back to this. Therefore firstly our poster included acentral image of thelittle girl who features in the film’s trailer. We used an imagethat was extremely unfocused this meant that the little girls face was very hard tomake out, which is something that we intentionally did as we did not what to givewhat the looked like away in the poster, as we thought it added to the mystery.This is an idea that we got from analysing ’30 Days of Night’ since in there posterthe audience are unable to make out what the vampire looks like, in addition tothis we continued this in our film as we only showed the little girl for quick snapshots.We came to the decision to use the little girl in our poster, as we felt that shedefinitely brought a creepy and disturbing feel to the poster and would hopefullymake the audience want to go and see the film. Since people go to watch horrorfilms to be scared and this poster should show them that this film is going to bechilling and scary. When it came to our magazine front cover we decided to usethe young girl ‘Elizabeth’, as she is the main character in the film and we felt thata good way to entice the audience to come and see the film would be to show herlooking vulnerable and innocent and therefore make the audience want to knowwhat happens to her in the film.
  • 4. One way in which we linked the film trailer tothe front cover was by having themystery hand on the girl’s shoulder this relates to the trailer as in the trailer wesee a pair of footsteps. Therefore we thought the mystery hand would be good asit should make the audience want to know who this mystery character is creatingan enigma.We added a filter to both the poster and the magazine front cover. The filters onboth darkened the images, we did this as we wanted to create an eerie feel anddarken the atmosphere of the overall film.What have you learned from your audience feedback?
  • 5. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research,planning and evaluation stages?New media technologies were crucial in creating our product, as we used a vastamount of them at every different stage of production, from the early stages ofresearching to the final stages of constructing our film.One of the initial media technologies we used was the internet. The internet wasa vital part of helping us with our planning and research, since one of the firstthings we did in order to help us gain knowledge about horror trailers and trailersin general was to go on to the internet and watch them using YouTube. Byanalysing the trailers we were able to see what types of codes and conventionswere being used and also as we looked at both horror trailers and then other filmgenre trailers we were able to compare them and see what makes horror trailersdifferent and what makes them stand out and entice the audience to go and seethem.Another type of technology we used was the green screen; we used it whenfilming our trailer presentation. We both felt that the green screen was the bestmedium to present our presentation in as we wanted to clearly explain and showour extensive knowledge and want we had learnt from researching trailers.Therefore by using the green screen we were able to do this as it allowed us tonot only speak about the films but show examples to the audience using thespecific film trailers we had researched, which added a visual element into ourpresentation.We not only used a camera when filming our trailer presentation, but we alsoused a hand held video camera when filming our main media product we usedtwo different cameras, the first one being Samsung and the second beingsbndfjgjsd. This was because we filmed our film twice; as we felt that our firstattempt did not work very well therefore we tweaked the idea slightly and used adifferent camera in order to get a better final product. The camera was a vitalpiece of technology as it had a number of features on it that really helped us withthe filming, for example the zoom feature allowed us to get close up shots andlong shots, which were need to create a film trailer that had different shot types.
  • 6. Also the camera featured a light at the front, which was extremely useful whenshooting the night time walking scene as we needed it to be dark, as this is whenthe shot was set but light enough so that the audience could just about make outwhat was happening in the shot.Once we had all of our shots, we used an Apple Mac to download them on toFinal Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro was an excellent help in editing our footage, since wewas able to download every shot we filmed on there and then simply select whatones we thought were the best and put them in chronological order onto thetimeline. This made it much easier when it came to adding affects and cuttingcertain parts out since it was in the correct order. After all the editing wascomplete we used Live Type, which is a programme that creates font andtransitions, once we had created all the titles on Live Type we imported them intoFinal Cut Pro and added them to our timeline of footage.Another type of technology we used was Photoshop we used this to create boththe magazine front cover and out film poster. We did this by firstly using a digitalcamera to take picture of the actress in our film, we then uploaded these imageson to Photoshop and added filters, fades and text.Finally once we had finished our main media product and our trailer presentationwe uploaded them onto YouTube. By doing this it allowed us to put them ontoour blog site, we used Weebly. We used our blog site to present all the work thatwe had done this included our research, planning, construction and evaluation. - Internet - Weebly - Final cut pro - Green screen - Camera - Youtube - Live type - Photoshop