In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge the forms and conventions of real media products?
Our thriller is called ‘Voices’ and it is a horror thriller filled with many codes and conventions of the genre. We decided to make it a horror thriller based on all the feedback we received from our questionnaires and in depth interviews. Our thriller is about a young girl called Bethany who is possessed and attempts to kill her mother and those close to her. The sequence begins with a pre-title sequence of her in a bathroom talking about all her thoughts and feelings. It then moves on to show her dad talking to her mum about housework. Her mum then tells her to put clothes in the wash and she becomes aggravated and changes personality and pulls out a knife on her mum. To add some mystery to the thriller, we ended the sequence with a knock on the door. This leaves it as a cliff-hanger so the audience are left contemplating who is actually there at the door and if it is a good or bad thing. <br /> <br /> <br />Our sequence sets up the entire plot because of the pre-title sequence and also because the mum finds lots of papers with drawings on them. The drawings are little enigma codes/clues of what’s going to happen next. The drawings then dissolve into a flashback. There are also three different types of music in the sequence. The music in the pre-title sequence is ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ which brings out the childlike emotions from the little girl. Then, there are 2 chilling types of music which set the horror mood and make it more distressing and alarming. Bethany is at first seen as the innocent little girl who wouldn’t hurt a fly but underneath that, she is manipulative and quite controlling towards others. I would compare Bethany to the little girl from the film ‘Orphan’ (2009). Bethany is also adopted just like the little girl in ‘Orphan’ which lets the audience ask questions as to how she became like that and why she became adopted by this particular couple. <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgxVIB2WuHU – Orphan trailer (2009)<br />We took the majority of the shots in an everyday house which was by the college. We wanted the house to have a homely and genuine feel which did not look unrealistic. We told the actors to dress up in casual wear so that they felt at home and the shots we got were laid back and informal as if it were a real life situation. We didn’t use any props except for the knife, paper and clothes which were all sourced from the house. <br />Like most thrillers, we used minimal lighting to emphasise creepiness and to create a more spooky effect. For our flashback we used a whooshing noise with a dissolve to make the cut more smooth and continuous. For our credits, we used the colour red which connotes danger, menace and threat. <br /> <br />The family is seen as a dysfunctional family, always arguing, and never really talking to each other to let their feelings be known. The father is never at home; he’s always at work or at the pub with some friends and the mother is always fed up and quite depressed considering who she has as a daughter. We set our thriller in modern day and age, which lets the audience relate to the negative aspect of being in a family like that and also how foster children cope with their life. Examples of modern thrillers are: Afterlife (2010), Drag Me to Hell (2009) and The Orphanage (2007). <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_F8lpJXUTA - Afterlife trailer (2010)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUZTybLlWKI - Drag Me to Hell trailer (2009)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUZQgqxIZ6s -The Orphanage trailer (2007)<br />
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Our video represents ‘’the working / lower middle class family’’. The mother and father both have normal jobs. The father works out mostly while the mum stays at home, cooks and cleans which is very stereotypical of a female woman. The mother isn’t as stereotypical as she is quite harsh, pushy and also very powerful while the husband is away. She wears a casual shirt and jeans which show’s that she also wears the trousers in the family. <br />The father is never at home as he goes to the pub with his friends until all hours. He has more control over Bethany as she would rather listen to him than her mum. Bethany has her hair in pigtails showing that she is young and vulnerable while manipulative at the same time. She isn’t a typical girl and would rather be indoors than outside playing with other children. <br /> <br />Age is represented as the parents have authority over the child because they give her responsibilities and expect respect back in return otherwise there will be consequences. The mother is young and pretty while the father is much older which could draw suspicions that the mother only wants him for his money which is represented by the house they live in and the car he drives. She would be perceived as a ‘gold-digger.’ <br />The parents are White British while the adopted daughter is Arabic and from Saudi Arabia. Representing ‘The Other’ or ‘The Feared.’ <br />
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product, and why?
Our thriller is a low budget film; with a British cast set in London therefore it would most likely be distributed by a British distribution company such as Hammer Film Productions. Our film would not attract large Hollywood studios such as 20thCentury Fox and Warner Bros. Our film is a low budget film and thus I believe the UK Film Council would be one of the institutes that would be likely to fund ‘’Voices’’ as our product is original and an independent British film. Although the film industry in Britain is diminutive compared to Hollywood, they have produced lots of box office films such as The Boat that Rocked (2009), Sherlock Holmes (2009) and also Love Actually (2001). <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyXu0mC38SE - The Boat that Rocked (2009),<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Egcx63-FfTE - Sherlock Holmes (2009)<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYCkFTyADJ0 - Love Actually (2001)<br /> <br />4. Who would be your target audience for your media product? <br />From our research we discovered that most thrillers are viewed by teenagers as they like the intensity and the force of the film. Younger audiences aged 15 and under are shocked by our sequence and much older audiences 35+ believed that the film was too gruesome and deplorable. I believe our initial target audience are teenagers from 15+.state was a certificate 15 is, provide details. From our research we found that most teenagers enjoy gore and being immeasurably scared. They also preferred to watch Ghosts and little children in films. For example Paranormal Activity and The Grudge.<br />Popular movies such as Paranormal Activity 1& 2(2007-2010, The Haunting (1963) have all used ghosts. Films which used little children are The Exorcist (1973) and The Grudge (2004). We decided to base our thriller on a little child, as there have not been many movies made about them. We would like our BBFC rating to be a 15 as it would fit into our target audience age range. Our movie isn’t too scary and has no scenes of a sexual nature or too much violence or offensive language for it to be an 18, but it still has an aspect of gouge which would be alarming or startling to the younger audiences, so it could not be a 12 or 12a. <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_UxLEqd074 – Paranormal Activity 1 trailer<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07XbSk7Rjt4 – Paranormal Activity 2 trailer <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq74oz6mf3w –The Haunting trailer <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDGw1MTEe9k – The Exorcist trailer<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMpg6BdHrkI – The Grudge trailer <br />The thriller would be appropriate to both male and females as they both would be able to relate to the characters and the story line in lots of ways. The social group we aimed our thriller at is mainly working class as the characters in our thriller are of working class backgrounds which our audience could recognise themselves with. <br />5. How did you attract/address your particular audience? <br />To attract our audience we had to make sure that our thriller would be easy for them to relate to therefore we decided to expose the working / lower middle class family. Firstly we had to choose a likable character for the audience to empathise with. For this we chose a young frustrated mother who gets a lot of stick from her family. We then had to make sure that the location was familiar to our target audience so we chose a typical house in central London. <br />Our conventional hero in our thriller is the dad; he has to be liked the most out of all the characters. In the beginning the audience is positioned to empathise with the parents as Bethany is shown as the evil one but as the movie progresses the audience learn more about Bethany and why she is the way she is which then makes them commiserate with Bethany. <br />During our script development we had to think of elements like the mise-en-scene, camera work and soundtracks. We decided to have a popular nursery rhyme as the score as this would be most effective. The audience are familiar with the song but it is just put into a scarier context. Doing all of this made our thriller look realistic, produce trepidation and we also stuck to the conventions of thrillers. We posted our video on Youtube and the response we received was amazing.<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKpJPgohgQk – Link to our final video on Youtube!<br />Zayd Hillawi, Irfaah 'taafrii' Mrsmunk, Bianca McGee and 3 others like this.<br /> Tamara Nash I LOVE IT! I would actually pay to Watch It in Cinema! <br /> Shauna Grand Frawley it turned out really good x<br /> Vanessa-Ebii Okii omggggg that’s sick!!!!!!!!<br /> Courtney Lang ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I love you guys, my whole family just watched it and they loved it! omgggg GOOD JOB ;) ♥<br /> Blessing Proud Nigerian TheDundun lolol fav bit the end, keep up the good work!<br /> Maryam Serour Yeah, especially the intro. The effects you used were wicked! If you can try to get rid of the background noise during man getting into the car scene that would be my only point of criticism. Wicked camera shots though xx<br /> Kellie Greenwood Amazingggggggg!<br />6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing your product?<br />The internet helped us a lot in our research as it allowed us to research thrillers online and to also give us detailed information on films, marketing and distribution information. Blogging was a very useful way of presenting our work. I learnt how to blog and how to present my work neatly and tidily on Blogger. I also learnt how to embed video’s from Youtube onto Blogger which made our work easier to present.<br />Using the camera was difficult at first as there were so many different things to learn about but after the preliminary task going wrong and having to redo it, we learnt more about how to use the camera. We had a faulty gun mike which meant that all the sound from our video was taken from the on board camera mic. We learnt to always bring extra batteries in case of emergencies. We decided to use natural lighting for our thriller as most of it was shot in the day. We planned on using low key lighting which succeeded. <br />Our main problem from the shoot was the faulty equipment which left us with footage that was shaky. Luckily, we had enough shots that were not shaky to use in our thriller. From this we learnt to shoot more than one take. Another problem we had were people talking in the shots but we fixed that easily in editing with Final Cut Pro by carefully taking out unnecessary dialogue.<br /> <br />7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression of it to the full product? <br />For our preliminary task we did not research as much as the full product. We only had group meetings to discuss small things. By doing this we missed a vital part of the task which was shot reverse shot (SRS). We also forgot to use the 180 degree rule resulting in our video being a mess and having to reshoot. <br />Shooting our preliminary gave us a basic idea as to what shots worked well and which didn’t. We found that the canted angle worked well as it was creepy and made it look more menacing whilst the pan left and right did not work as the scenery in the room was exposed revealing too much of the mise-en-scene. A mistake we made whilst doing both shoots was talking whilst filming. Although this was easy to cover up with Final Cut Pro, we learnt to be completely quiet whilst filming. <br />Whilst editing we found we did not have the right shots that we needed so we had to reshoot again. Overall, we didn’t struggle with editing. As they were family members and friends, the actors weren’t as difficult to work with like our preliminary task. One of the main actors was not available to work a second time as a result we had to add a new character to make the story line make sense. <br />Overall, I feel like our thriller has been successful as the feedback we have received were all positive with some criticism about the sound which I felt could’ve been improved. I felt like our organisation skills as a group could have been much better. I would have preferred to work alone but because the task was extremely difficult, I’m happy that I worked in a group. Also I am glad that I worked with the group that I did as they were very understanding and helpful. I have learnt lots of new skills such as using the camera, editing and also blogging and so if I have to do something like this again I won’t make the same mistakes like I did in this task. <br /> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKpJPgohgQk – Our final video! <br />Our group! <br />By Marcia Preciosa <br />