AS Media Studies Coursework Evaluation Michael Jones
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My thriller film uses the conventions of real media products by using, in particular the psychological thriller genre. This genre usually disturbs the audiences mind and terrifies them psychologically with the abnormal or weird. My thriller film is typical of a psychological thriller genre because it is very similar to other psychological thrillers such as "Seven" and "Hannibal." By using jump cuts and a lot of fast edits this creates a distorted effect which uses a convention of thrillers where the opening titles often represent the psychological state of the protagonist or in this case the antagonist. The increased amount of close ups, and extreme close ups emphasize the amount of concentration the killer puts into his work, also this echoes the types of shots included in “Seven.” The music we added is very foreboding and gives the impression of a fast-paced thriller which will also be scary and terrifying. http://www.artofthetitle.com/media/film/1995/seven_contact.jpg Screenshots from the opening titles of “Seven” which our thriller is heavily based on. We used several ideas from this opening titles because this was such an effective opening.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Our thriller has represented a dangerous and criminally insane killer and we represented how this person is so shady and mysterious that it could be anybody. The possibility that this killer could be a close friend to the protagonist, or even a family member, and the audience would never have had a suspicion that this person was the antagonist. Our representation gives the message that there are a lot of dangerous people in the world and to not stereotype people for what they look like or how they act, it could be misleading. We used the antagonist as a white middle class male who did not look significantly important from behind, this meant that the killer could be mistaken for anybody. This is similar to the killer in “Seven” where the antagonist is a white middle class male whose name was John Doe, which is a very common name used for unidentified male murder victims. Another similarity is the killer in “Red Dragon” (Ralph Fiennes). Through research into several thrillers we found out that male characters are generally given more screen time and are the dominant gender for this particular role. (Anthony Hopkins “Hannibal”) http://www.librarising.com/astrology/celebs/images2/A/anthonyhopkins.jpg http://poietes.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/silence-of-the-lambs.jpg
We have deliberately used no stereotypes in our film. We went out of our way to make sure the audience would not be able to see the face of the killer and only the back of his head. This gives only a few clues to the killer. It is a male figure who is a white Caucasian leaves the thought that he could be anybody in the film which suggests that this lack of information about the killer is disturbing and that he could be anywhere. We have suggested that the killer is a middle/working class so that this person is incredibly difficult to track down and increases the emphasis of terror because he could be a person who is happily married and have a family. This image of having a family and being married is seen as a perfect life, however when the husband is seen as merciless killer this stirs things up and creates suspense whether he gets caught or if he manages to kill again.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
http://www.slashgear.com/gallery/data_files/7/4/New_Line_Cinema_logo.jpg http://www.gearfuse.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/key_art_universal_pictures.jpg A large American company like Universal pictures (Universal Studios) or New Line Cinema may want to distribute our product to the public. This is because these huge corporations have already produced blockbuster psychological thrillers like “Hannibal” and “Seven” and they may be interested in what we have to offer. By advertising through medias like the internet and through television we could digitalize our film and produce it world-wide to countries such as America and Australia for a wider audience. With the right screen writers and the best choice of actors and actresses the film would be a blockbuster and become a world renowned success. The use of typical thriller conventions with the themes of identity and mystery “who is the killer?” and the elements of suspense and violence is symbolic of a successful psychological thriller.
However if we wanted to use a British film company we would use studios such as Pinewood Studios or Intandem Films. These have been the leading British film companies that have been our closest rivals to the Hollywood studios. We would want to give exclusive access of our film to these British film companies because we would want to help contribute towards the British film industry and increase the popularity and reputation with British films. We would shoot our film entirely on digital film (cinema) because we thought that this would be much cheaper to produce and to distribute. Although this will make our film more vulnerable to piracy we believe that we will still make huge profits from our DVD releases which will include extras that would not be seen in the film. We would want to make as much money as possible from our cinema releases as well as our DVD profits. We would market and distribute our film by the cheapest means necessary. Such techniques as viral marketing, advertising our media product via the internet. In addition we would place trailers on television, YouTube and during the previews at the cinema.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
My chosen audience for my thriller are young adults, more specifically ranging from 15 – 28 year olds. We are mostly targeting males but it will also be enjoyable for young women who enjoy a thrill. The certificate given for our thriller may be considered borderline either 15 or 18 certificate. This is because after researching the BBFC guidelines for content we found out that the certificate may be given an 18 instead of a 15. This is because “Strong threat and menace is permitted unless sadistic or sexualised” This guideline under the theme of horror could affect different peoples opinions of certificate for our film. We would like to have our thriller given a certificate 15 just so that children who are entering the adult world can understand the true dangers of the real world. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/downloads/pub/Guidelines/BBFC%20Classification%20Guidelines%202009.pdf We are not concentrating on any specific race, religion or culture. Only a general wide audience in a targeted age range. This is to show that we should not discriminate other people because of the reputation from certain members of that race or culture.
To attract our audience we set up a survey to ask them what they knew about thrillers and what they wanted to from a thriller. We asked 20 males and 20 females to take part so our results were accurate. You can take our survey from this link: http://freeonlinesurveys.com/rendersurvey.asp?sid=l8p2p20ywa5awkr720251 Our results are shown here: Two other results from the last two questions were: “What do you expect from the opening of a thriller?” The most common answer was mystery “What is the best thriller you have seen in the last 5 years?” The most common was spilt between Taken and Law abiding citizen
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
The camera and the equipment we used was relatively simple to use and we didn’t have much difficulty in using them. However once we uploaded our film onto the Apple imac computers this was a much more tricky and complicated task. None of us could get our heads around the amazingly strange imac system and the application used to edit our film the imovie programme. Eventually after many attempts and mistakes we finally mastered this new technology none of us had used before.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the product?
Looking back at our preliminary I have discovered that we have learnt a incredible amount about the mise-en-scene and how to frame a shot, especially the importance of lighting in film. I have also learnt the importance of the angles and distances of shots on a character, prop or setting. I feel that we have come an exceptionally long way from our humble beginnings with our preliminary task and we all feel proud with our work and have enjoyed making our terrifying thriller. By comparing our thriller to our preliminary task I have found that we have used many more filming techniques. We have used a much more variety of shots, camera angles, movement and a lot of edits. I feel that we have improved since our preliminary because the quality of our work has increased along with our ability with handling the camera, being inventive with what kind of shots we want and by considering the Mise-en-scene we have improved our story and how to manipulate the audience to see what we want them to see.