Media Evaluation In what ways does your product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The forms and conventions of the thriller film genre In the thriller genre there are many forms and conventions that need to be followed, that go into six different categories, Narrative, Mise en Scene, Camera Work, Editing, Sound and SFX. Narrative in the thriller genre has; someone who has a problem with what is real in the world and what isn’t. Problems with the character’s mind, they may have something bad happen to them so their emotions take the better of them, the character may query why they exist or wonder who they truly are. Death also plays a part in the thriller genre with someone dying close to a character. Mise en Scene in a thriller film is that is normally set in a metropolis, normally at night so it is normally poorly lit, dark so it creates a sense of mystery and tension normally male casting. Camera shots in the thriller genre are usually low angle shots (looking up at the character) to portray power, or a high angle shot (looking down on the character) to portray weakness. Close up shots on the face are also regularly used to show the emotion on a characters face, to help tell the story. Editing for thrillers usually includes quick cuts and changing angle quickly during action or when it is building up long cuts may be used to create tension. Sound will also be added to go with the film. For sound in thriller films there is usually non-diegetic sound added to the film, this helps creation tension, the sound is normally used to emphasize what is going on, on screen. SFX in thriller films are used to add in such things such as explosion sounds or things like that.
The forms and conventions we used In the narrative we included a chase scene on foot, this forms to the thriller convention like other films such as the chase scene in the introduction of Minority Report. We also conformed to the convention of there is a character that is looking for something, in our case the character (James Clarke) is looking for revenge from the government. For the mise en scene in our film we filmed two out of the three scenes in poorly lit areas this helped create mystery especially in the first scene which conformed to the thriller conventions. In the first scene where James Clarke is holding the picture of his family there is a close of shot of his face to show the emotion he is feeling, this happens again in the final scene where he shoots one of the bad guys to show his cold un-emotionless face this conforms to the thriller convention, however we didn’t use low angle or high angle shots. In the editing we tried to conform to the thriller convention by putting long cuts in the first scene adding to the mystery (along with the poorly lighting and the unknown character) Then with the action scenes, the fight scene and the chase scene we made the cuts quick to build excitement. The non diegetic sound track we added went well with the images on screen, high tempo and builds up whilst the images on screen create tension. This conforms to the thriller convention as it helps create the mood of the film. We used only one SFX for the gun noise, this made the killing scene more realistic.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Paramount studios may distribute our film because it is a thriller film; they have distributed thriller films like, the mission impossible films which is very similar to our film. However they may not wish to distribute our film as it is a low budget British film which is something they rarely distribute. Although media institution that may distribute our film might be Hammer Films, they distribute low budget British films such as the phantom of the opera, but they may not as they specialise in old Horror thrillers. Warp Films may also distribute our film because it is a low budget British film but as it is aimed at a wider audience they may choose to not distribute it.
What would be the audience for your media product?
When we were planning and producing our film as well as all our ideas that we had to consider such as the content, narrative and composition of our shots we also had to consider who our target audience were going to be as this would be a factor of high importance when we were making decisions about the film and choosing what to include in the shots.
The target audience we were aiming for was a mass audience of people aged between 15 and those in their twenties. This is because the majority of people who go to cinemas and watch films are of the younger generations in society. Another reason why we chose this age range to be in our audience was because there are a large number of people in this age range which enjoy watching thriller and actions films and we have found out these genres are their favourite genre’s of film. The main sex we were targeting our film at was males as many males in this age range find guns, high action, violence and suspense extremely appealing and entertaining in films and video games.
The evidence behind these statements we have made is taken from the results of our research that came from people in our target audience. To get this information we made questionnaires which we then asked those in our target audience to fill in. This was a great success as it provided us with a lot of useful information, such as why our target audience watched films and what they looked out for in them and what they expected from them. We also asked focus groups and people ‘on the street’ that were in our target audience, we asked these people about what type of DVD’s they had at home and which type of genre of film that they watched most often.
We believe that our film would attract our target audience as within it we have a soundtrack which is extremely fast paced with multiple crescendo’s to climaxes which helps to emphasise their significance and importance. We also have a high level of action and violence including fights and guns, which we believe fulfils the statements made by those in our target audience and also makes our film very appealing and entertaining for those in our target audience.
To make sure we addressed the interests and fulfilled the criteria set by our target audience for what they find appealing in thriller films, we did lots of research to make sure that they would enjoy watching our film and recommend it highly to their peers and other people.
From our questionnaires we found that our target audience really enjoyed high paced action, unpredictable and mysterious characters, intense and interesting storylines and enticing music that accompanies the drama and action on screen.
To make sure that we made our target audience happy and that we reached out to them and met their expectations, we decided when planning and filming our film that the film would be set in the present time so that technology could be incorporated and utilised in our narrative and the action on screen. We also used little dialogue in our opening so that the majority of it was kinetic energy accompanied by a heart racing sound track, so that it would create intense excitement and ecstasy from our target audience as they watched it.
As a group we felt we felt that we had met the expectations of our audience and that our film would appeal to them and be very successful in attracting their attention, however our opinion and assessment could be bias. So we had a showcase in which we presented our films to members of our target audience and also to those outside of it and gave them a questionnaire to fill in assessing the quality and overall attraction of our film. We received some extremely encouraging feedback from those who watched our film and many of those in our target audience said that they thoroughly enjoyed it in their own way using quotes like “awesome, kick ass, classic, supreme and badass” so we were very happy and we had also pleased our target audience which meant our film was very successful and popular amongst our target audience.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? During the construction of my project I have learnt to use a wide range of technologies. For example I have learnt how to use adobe premier to put together my film and how to use the camera to film my project. We also used a boom microphone to record the audio for are film to capture more and better quality audio for are movie. We had to create are own original soundtrack to the film which allowed us to use music software in the music department we learnt how to create music using Cubase 5. We had to mix-down are soundtrack to an audio file using Cubase again. We wanted a narration for are film but we couldn’t use the music department again as other people were using it for there own work, this was a problem for us so we decided to get a USB microphone and use an empty classroom. When we did this we used a program called audacity to record straight into the computer. Here we also encountered another problem in that the audio we recorded for are narration was to quite so we had to turn the volume up in audacity then export the audio but then we had to much distortion so we had to find a mid point where the audio was loud enough but with the least amount of distortion as possible. In the end we had to settle with some distortion so the narration was at a suitable listening level
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Since filming our preliminary task as a group our knowledge of the technology we use in media studies as well as techniques in editing and filming have increased dramatically. Our media studies specific vocabulary has also increased and we are now confident with the use of our new language when talking about our subject and topic areas but also when writing and analysing extracts of television and film.
We have also learnt more about specific genres of film and the ways production companies distribute films. We also have a larger experience and knowledge of editing software and other computer programs that we use and require when advertising and producing film. We have also gained a greater knowledge of film companies from case studies and research we have done about them. When watching television and film since the preliminary we have been able to identify techniques and methods because of the information we have learnt and been taught.