Practical Production Media Evaluation By Laura Winnery
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>I believe our media product follows many of the conventions of the horror genre, for instance, we decided to include a female as the role of the victim which is common in horror films of this type. This is because women are traditionally viewed as the weaker and more vulnerable sex, making them the ultimate target for a killer as they have more chance of getting away without a fight. Our product also features the traditional ‘search’ for the killer as the character, as the female protagonist walks into the bathroom, and ultimately her death (or so we think), which features on films such as The Shining, and Saw. We chose the bathroom for the killer to be hiding in because we wanted to make full use of the mirror shot, which we had also seen from horror films such as Jennifer's Body. </li></ul>
Our infamous “mirror shot” that allowed the killer to be seen from behind- inspired by the film Jennifer's Body
How does your media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>Our media product represents both women and men by following certain gender characteristics portrayed by actors in the film industry. </li></ul><ul><li>Women- The female protagonist, Sarah, is portrayed as staying at home - perhaps reflecting the 1950’s attitude of a woman working to ensure the house is perfect for her husband. This is further reinforced by the fact she is cutting the stems of flowers to put in vase for the kitchen. However this representation has been modernised in order for her character to seem relevant to our target audience of young people. The first way of ensuring this was Sarah's outfit of Jeans, t-shirt and a cardigan. As I was in charge of costume and makeup, I decided Sarah should wear this in order for young women to be able to relate to her more and therefore be able to empathise with her situation. Sarah also displays an independent attitude when she shouts “what have you forgotten this time” up the stairs. This allows her to assert her independence in the relationship and shows her husband relies on her to organise him before he goes to work. </li></ul>
How does your media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>Our media product also represents men in the form of Steve, while he only has a small part in the opening, we were able to follow some of the obvious stereotypes of a male figure. For instance, Steve is depicted as going out to work in order to bring money in for him and his wife, which shows him to be a strong and trustworthy figure of authority. This is a contrast to the female who is later killed by the mysterious figure in the bathroom as she is weak and unable to fight it off. Steve also puts his arm around Sarah when he says goodbye to her, a traditional show of masculinity and possession over his wife. </li></ul>
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? <ul><li>Imagining our product to be finished, we would hope to achieve cinema release in cinemas such as Vue, Cineworld and Odeon. This would be advertised on channel 4, as this channel has a high viewer percentage of young people, which is who we are hoping to market our film to. We would also create billboard advertisements and internet advertisements on websites such as YouTube as this type of media is extremely accessible to young people. Upon video release, we would want our main seller of the DVD to be HMV as this is a very young and ‘cool’ shop with a relaxed atmosphere, which young people are likely to visit when they go shopping. We would also distribute our DVD to supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco, and internet sites such as Play.com, iTunes and Amazon. We decided to promote the web release of the DVD as buying it online would aid ease of access, which would attract an audience of busy people who don’t have to go out of their way to buy the new DVD. </li></ul>
Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>As a group, we decided that we would like our audience to be young people aged 15-20 with no specific gender targeted. Because of this, we had to make sure that our film was able to be classified as a 15 by the BBFC. According to the BBFC, a 15 film is described as “ these films may contain offensive or emotionally harrowing scenes or strong language and violence”. Due to the nature of our film (a psychological/supernatural horror) we believed that a 15 would be the correct classification as it does not have lots of extreme gore/violence which would mean it would need to be an 18. By leaving the film gender neutral, we were able to attract a much larger target audience which would bring in higher sales figures when the film was released. </li></ul>
How did you attract/address your audience? <ul><li>When filming, our group made a conscious effort to appeal to our audience in order to keep the movie relevant and interesting. One way of doing this was through the costume choices. I decided that the protagonists should wear casual clothing that reflects what young people wear on the street, so Sarah is wearing a t-shirt, cardigan and jeans, and Steve wears a jumper, polo shirt and jeans. Another way that we attempted to attract our audience is by using a long shot of the demon character from the outside, which gives the house a run down, spooky atmosphere before the film even begins. At the end of the opening, we used a crackling sound (radio static) which is similar to the sound used in Paranormal Activity, which was a huge success with our audience when it was released. </li></ul>
Top picture- an example of clothing chosen in the sequence to represent our audience of young people Bottom picture- the outside shot used to grab audience attention before the film starts and give them a taste of what is to come later in the film.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? <ul><li>When putting together our film, we used the editing software iMovie, as we only had access to Mac computers in our media classroom. This was a major learning curve as we had to teach ourselves how to use the software while we were editing our film. Our group had some problems with the software as we found it to be quite unreliable at times, although we managed to work around it with help from our media teacher. We also learnt how to use the video camera, as none of us had any experience with the equipment prior to our preliminary task. As a group we enjoyed trying out different angles with the camera and working on new ways to make our film appeal to our audience by making the camera angles exciting, for example the shot through the stair banister when Sarah comes up to find the killer. </li></ul>
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? <ul><li>Personally, I believe that I have learnt a lot about how the industry around film making works, as we had to do a lot of research in order to classify the film and market it successfully, this has allowed me to build up a greater knowledge of how film works as a business that could be used later in my A level when I take part in the next practical production. I have also developed new skills such as editing skills and camerawork that has certainly been developed since we did the preliminary task. I feel that the full product is much smoother and more sophisticated as we had by that time got to grips with the camera and were more confident to try more exciting camera angles and editing techniques. Taking part in this production has also allowed me to work on teamwork as I have had to communicate with other members of the group in order to make sure the planning and the production ran smoothly and without fault. </li></ul>
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