1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Title of the film - I gave my film the title ‘Addict’. I chose to put the title of my film at the end of my film trailer as this is conventional with existing film trailers from the same genre. I analysed 3 existing film trailers by deciphering the content of ‘The Zodiac’, ‘Disturbia’ and ‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed’, I found that all 3 existing film trailers had the title of the film at the end of the trailer and as this fitted in well with my ideas of how I wanted my film trailer to flow.
I used a bold, clear font style so that the audience could read it clearly, I chose ‘Addict’ as my title as it is short so hopefully it would be easy for the audience to remember like ‘The Zodiac’ and ‘Disturbia’. I chose to have the colour white for my title as I felt it would be a good contrast to the black backgrounds I had used throughout my film trailer, I felt this would help continuity in my film trailer as I had a few cutaway to text throughout it so by using the same font, background colour and text colour it added an identity to my film trailer. All 3 film trailers I analysed had this same continuity as they also used the same fonts, background colour and text colour in their cutaway to text throughout their film trailer.
Setting and location - I had 3 settings in my film trailer: my home, Jubilee Park and Kirkby Stephen Grammar School. I chose these settings due to accessibility and suitability to the film trailer I was trying to create.
I found using long shots were suitable as they worked as establishing shots to make the audience aware of where the actors/actresses were, this was especially useful at jubilee park as it gave a realistic feel of a creepy wood as the actors/actresses were shot surrounded by trees. ‘The Zodiac’ and ‘The disappearance of Alice Creed’ both used these longs shots to establish their locations.
Like most murder mystery films I wanted to create an eerie feeling of tension in my film trailer I feel I achieved this in the scenes where I used jubilee park as this wooded area created a realistic murder location as in a today’s society many real murder victims are found in woods so this provides a realistic link for the audience that creates that chilling feeling as they can relate to the situation. This is conventional as 2 of the film trailers I analysed also had scenes with wooded areas where they either murdered or dumped bodies.
I didn’t take any photos of my location prior to filming as I knew the location well and knew that it was perfect for what I wanted to use as the meeting place and eventually the location of a murder. This choice originated from watching many TV series such as ‘Silent Witness’ as well as the 3 films I analysed the trailers of to gain ideas of how to film my own murder scene.
Costumes and props - the costumes and props I used in my film trailer portray both signifiers and the signified. I chose the character of the associative to the business man to have a young dress sense where he always wore a hoody to conceal his identity, this dress sense would be stereotypically described as a ‘chav’ this suggests to an audience that he is the lowest of the low and gives the impression that he is going to be doing the dirty work within my film trailer, here the object of his clothing is used to represent a mental concept of a societal occurrence as ‘chavs’ are becoming known in societies as these ‘good for nothings’ this is the signified. Like in ‘Disturbia’ and ‘the disappearance of Alice Creed’ I have created an image for my ‘villain’ that the audience can relate too as for example in ‘Disturbia’ the ‘villain’ is the creepy old man from across the street,
creating these identities helps the audience connect with the film. The signified was also portrayed in what the business man was wearing, as he was wearing a suit, this suggests someone of importance or high status as well as being linked to occasions such as weddings or funerals, so the audience have to work out what the role of this character is, however it can also be connected with an overpowering drive to achieve and make money which can lead them to do whatever it takes to gain success however sinful it may be.
In comparison the weapon the associate used to kill the girl was a signifier as a gun is almost always connected to death/murder. Using a gun as the murder weapon was conventional as the weapon used in both ‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed’ and ‘The Zodiac’ was a gun.
The daughters costume creates a youthful character which carries the suggestion that she is young, vulnerable and impressionable which could suggest how she became entangled in this drug triangle. Often the victim in murder mystery films is someone who is deemed to be vulnerable e.g. women or children, for example in ‘Disturbia’ and ‘The Disappearance of Alice Creed’ the victims are both women as
women are still seen to be weak and vulnerable so the audience connect with this association with a victim being weak and vulnerable.
In the first scene of my film trailer the continuity is quite poor during the dialogue as due to the sun I had to keep moving my actor and actress and in my film you can see this movement quite obviously, so to overcome this I should have filmed on another day or with the sun behind me, but due to time restraints this could not be done. Otherwise my continuity is quite good quality as when following the feet walking I have made them look as if they have continued to walk whilst not in shot.
In films costumes and props are often used to separate characters for example fairytales often tend to have a princess, dressed in a beautiful dress, a hero, who looks strong and well dressed and a villain, who wears dark clothes and has a mean expression. This reflects similarly in murder mystery films as they have the victim (who is often the princess in fairytales) and the villain and these are made obvious via their costume.
However in today’s film industry where film makers want to keep audiences guessing throughout a film they may make characters neutral so that the audience can’t guess the real motives of the characters and can’t make the decision of ‘who’s done it’ until the reveal of what really happened if there is a reveal, this suspense can often create a successful film as the audience often find the story is quite different to what they had expected to happen.
I used props to create realistic scenes such as the murder scene for example I used fake blood to make my victim look realistically as though she had been shot in the head, I used real police tape borrowed from the local police force to cordon off my murder scene and gave my forensics realistic outfits to wear as well as clipboards to create a really realistic murder scene.
Camera work and editing - I used a variety of different shots in my film trailer to represent different feelings and to create tension. The 3 existing film trailers I analysed all used a variety of different shots from close ups to show facial expressions to long establishing shots to set the scene. I chose to also use a variety of shots like the existing film trailers to keep my audience interested.
I used long shots in the wooded scenes as it kept flicking back to the woods so using establishing shots allowed the audience to gain recognition that the scene
had moved back to the woods. I also used an establishing shot in the presentation scene to show that there was an audience watching a presentation and listening to a speaker.
I used a medium shot to show 2 people in the same shot usually when there was dialogue. This meant you could see both the actor and actresses reactions to what is said.
I used a point of view shot where the daughter is looking down the barrel of a gun enhances the sense of realism and creates audience involvement in the action as they feel like they are looking down the barrel of the gun.
The transitions between my shots could have been smoother as sometimes where the shot is supposed to be consistent it is actually jerky as I paused between dialogue as actors/actresses couldn’t remember their lines so when I started filming again it created a slight jerk in my film.
I used my camera work to give the viewer enough information to get them thinking but not too much that it gives the entire plot away. I felt this was successful as although the audience think they know who the murderer is they in fact have never seen his face they just know he has associations with both the girl and the
business man. I didn’t want to give too much of the plot away but I did want the audience to start making associations so that this would engage their interest in finding out whether their assumptions were true therefore wanting to see the entire film.
My first shot is a panning shot showing a car arriving at a wooded area, this suggests that someone is watching this car arrive as if they are waiting for them and as the woods is the frequently used meeting place between the girl and the associate then this sets up the story well.
I introduce my characters in the first scene by initially seeing 2 pairs of feet walking towards each other, I made sure that they wore obviously female and male shoes so that the audience could decipher that there was a male and female walking towards each other, dialogue follows this which then makes the audience begin to ask questions of what is the relationship between these 2 people.
The business man is introduced later in the trailer in a situation where you may typically see a business man as he was giving a speech informing young people
about the job prospects he had coming up to take on young people in his business. The fact he was wearing a suit emphasised his high status, powerful character. Costumes and actions were key elements in introducing the jogger and forensics team to the trailer as the jogger wore sportswear and came into the scene jogging and the forensics wore white suits, dust masks and had clipboards which made it quite obvious they were a forensics team as well as the fact they were at a murder scene.
2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks?
To show a clear link between my film trailer, magazine cover and poster I used pictures of my main actress from my film trailer as the main image on both my magazine cover and my poster. To show consistency I used 2 different pictures of my actress in the main location of my film trailer which is Jubilee Park which is a wooded area, this creates a link between the film trailer, magazine cover and poster as it is obviously the same location as the surroundings look the same and my main actress is wearing her hair in a similar way and has done her make-up the same so that it looks as though the film trailer, magazine cover and poster are all interlinked.
I also used similar fonts in all 3 products as I wanted to use clear, bold fonts for my products so that it could be easily read by the audience and the harshness of the bold letters reflects the harsh storyline. I used the text colour white in all 3 of my products to show consistency and I also used red text in both my magazine cover and poster. I felt that putting the title of my film and the tagline on the poster in red made this stand out and was eye catching to the audience but also was conventional as I found that existing posters tended to use white
and red text as the red represents blood and an eerie feel. However as a magazine cover needs to be bright and colourful to attract an audience I also used blue text to make the front cover more interesting and aesthetically pleasing. Another link between my film trailer and my magazine cover is that I have used the same picture of the business man from my film trailer on my magazine front cover; this shows a link between them as they involve the same picture.
3) What have you learned from your audience feedback?
My target audience is those who are over 18 who enjoy watching murder mystery films and TV series because my film trailer is based upon the genre murder mystery and due to its violent scenes and glamorisation of drugs it would be certificated as an 18 film this will create a segmentation of the audience which is implied by the certification. Feedback from my audience indicated that I am likely to attract a wide audience which would include people who enjoy murder mystery books such as Sherlock Holmes and Linda La Plante and TV series such as Silent Witness and CSI. They also fed back that a vast audience would be attracted should I distribute my film in cinemas as it held the same appeal and suggested similar intrigue such as in ‘The Zodiac’ and ‘Disturbia’, which were 2 of the films I researched.
When I planned and during production the audience felt that it was a true representation of real life that meaning was created and the narrative was clear and that overall it met their expectations of a film clip or trailer of the murder mystery genre. They commented that the style and form of the micro elements
e.g. costume, props, location, dialogue and editing effects synergised to produce an example of a murder mystery at the macro level. This feedback indicated to me that my film would have the potential to meet the expectations of the target audience.
I trailed my finished product to obtain confirmation that I had achieved the objectives set by my target audience.
4) How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
During the production of my film I have developed skills in the use of a digital video camera and digital camera. I learnt how to shoot footage including effects rather than having to apply lots of effects during video editing. My use of the video editing software adobe elements involved importing images, video and audio files as well as using titles, transitions and effects to enhance my footage and achieve the desired result. in order to be able to import certain files into adobe I had to convert them to a compatible file type. I did this using winFF file converter. I also used winFF to convert files that were supported by my blog wordpress. I have used a blog to present my portfolio and have used categories to group tasks together this is something I did at AS with some support but at A2 I was able to handle the blog independently. To obtain clips for my research and the sounds of a gun shot and police siren I used youtube. I downloaded them using save2pc and converted them into flv files for my blog. I have developed my skills in the use of Adobe photoshop as I first used it
during the foundation portfolio and am now much more competent. I found that after using Adobe photoshop last year, in my AS portfolio, that it was much easier to resize my canvas to A4 in preparation to print both my magazine cover and poster, I also found I could organise layers much more confidently and add text of different colours, sizes and fonts to create the desired effect. I also managed to insert smaller images with ease. Overall I felt that from my previous experience of using Adobe photoshop I gained vital skills that made the production process of my magazine cover and poster much more efficient and having a newer version of Adobe photoshop made the process much easier and less time consuming. I used facebook to share my ideas and get feedback from friends which I found really useful as it was quick and easy to get feedback from peers which helped the quick progression of my film trailer, magazine cover and poster. I also used facebook to contact my actors to ask them for their availability for filming and to confirm the filming schedule. Finally, I used slide share to upload my evaluation as a powerpoint presentation so that I could create a hyperlink so that my evaluation can be seen as a powerpoint rather than just a word document.