A2 Media Studies Advanced Portfolio Mollie McLoughlin
1. In what ways does your media product use,develop or challenge forms and conventions of realmedia products?
USE • A basic narrative had to be created in order for Dan and I to be able to even begin planning the construction of our film • First and foremost my media product had to begin with a synopsis. A storyboard was created and although it was developed and changed throughout filming we still used conventional methods and the film was still planned with a vision in mind. Once we had completed the initial plan for our short film we could actually being to film. • To begin with our short film opens with a film certificate providing the audience with an initial understanding of who this film is suitable for and what age ranges should and shouldnt be allowed to view it. • Following this the studio ident we created ourselves plays providing the audience with the first non-diegetic sound they hear. • The screen then fades and the film title ‘BULLIED’ appears on screen. • The music that is to be continuous the whole way through the film then begins to play. • Finally at the end of my film, credits role and the names of those featured are shown as well as who the film was edited by – Dan and I – and also who the music is by. All of these things are conventions of a film and this is why we chose to include them in ours in order for it to appear more professional and make it more enjoyable for viewing rather than basic which is what we didn’t want to do. Our studio ident is unique and fun and when first played surprises the audience and as the music is upbeat it provides a stark contrast to what the audience will hear as the film continues which I think provides a greater effect, surprising the audience and enticing them.My film poster for ‘BULLIED’ follows all conventions of a film poster and features those that make it look the most professional. The featured imageis bold and striking which intrigues the audience and the title is the first thing that is noticed, followed by the release date which I feel is importantas before registering the rest of the poster the viewer is already aware of when they can go and see the film. The poster then features the names ofthe actors appearing in the film which helps to attract an audience because a person is already more inclined to see the film if someone they like isstarring in it before they even know what the film is actually about.
The film review I have created is one that I feel truly represents what a film review should be. It upholds all of the conventions required toinform the reader on what they need to know. It looks as though it has been taken straight from a magazine and this Is feel makes itcompletely believable due to the layout and the features on the page.These features include;• a title (‘REVIEWS’),• a strap line, page number,• name of magazine, month,• logos of ‘facebook’ ‘twitter’ and ‘bebo’• a star ratingThere is a ‘summary section’ which gives the reader precise details of the film before they have even read the full review which is goodbecause even if they don’t continue reading the most important information has already been left with them. The colours used on mymagazine are often associated with film reviews, in particular red because it is attention grabbing and really stands out, often attractingpeople to the page so I found by using the small bit of red in the places I did e.g. the strap line it – made my film review go from lookingsimple to really standing out and obtaining peoples attention. Develop and ChallengeBULLIED Todorov’s Theory of Narrative In media terms, narrative is the organisation given to a series of facts. The human mind needs a narrative to understand and comprehend things which we then use to relate events and make connections to make judgements – in everything we need a beginning, middle and end. Todorov’s Theory is this: 1. All is as its supposed to be – a state of equilibrium 2. Something takes place to disrupt that order 3. Recognition of that disruption is made 4. There is an attempt to repair that damage 5. There is a restoration of a new equilibrium
Our short film ‘BULLIED’ opens with a message being wrote to a girl on a social networking site and it reads ‘you are going to regret joining ourschool’ – the aim of this scene was to show the audience that bullying can take more than one form and it doesnt have to be done in personbecause stereotypically that is what many people believe to be the case when it comes to bullying.Throughout ‘BULLIED’ the audience is shown different incidents involving one girl in a school environment. The film shows how she is abusedphysically, verbally and belittled in front of others and in-between these scenes facts and statistics are shown across the screen and the aim ofthis was to make the audience aware of just how serious the issue of bullying is and the many different forms it can be carried out in.The final scene viewed by the audience is a close up of another actress featured in the film and the aim of this was to give the impression to theaudience that she has just read what has been wrote in the first scene of the film and she is deep thought, contemplating what she should doabout it.‘BULLIED’ challenges the forms and conventions of typical short films as when referring to ‘Todorovs’ theory of narrative it does not follow thatorder: from the opening scene of the film there is no state of equilibrium – something expected in any piece of Drama – and there is disruptionfrom the beginning up until the final scene with no attempt to repair that disruptionMost significantly regarding ‘BULLIED’ there is no restoration of a new equilibrium: It is unclear to the audience as to what the resolution towhat they have just viewed is and the audience is not shown what happens to the victim nor what the contemplating character in the finalscene decides to do.The clips filmed and featured are short and show the actions taking place quickly which has a greater impact on the audience as they have timeto process what has just happened yet their attention is quickly drawn to the next scene or the facts shown in-between every 1 to 2nd scenewhich we tried to relate to the previous.‘BULLIED’ is a short and poignant film highlighting the problems socially in todays society. The facts featured are official statistics researchedand taken from the internet making the effect of the film overall more important and believable which means the audience are able to thinkabout the things they have just read knowing they are true and trustworthy. As well as this ‘BULLIED’ has a great element of a ‘documentary’to it which in turn makes it unique and different to any other which entices the audience and attracts a greater viewing.
2. How effective is the combination of your mainproduct and ancillary texts?
Ancillary Texts Film Poster • The film poster I have produced for my film ‘BULLIED’, I feel has met the conventions of a typical film poster and I believe by looking at the poster a sense of emotion can be detected immediately – one of sombreness and sadness. Alone, the title of my film should be able to derive a sense of emotion from the viewer before they have seen the film as it is not a ‘happy’ or ‘positive’ word so one could assume that the film is also not upholding of these qualities and I feel that the title reflects the genre of the which the film falls into place – Drama – well. Following this, the lighting and shading of the overall poster is dark and dull perfectly reflecting the themes running throughout the short film and also the emotions the characters are experiencing for themselves which stem from incidents that take place. I feel that the lighting of the picture and overall production of the poster is significantly important when trying to produce a piece that is relatable and effective to the overall product as is it would be unusual to project something completely different to what the film entails as it would be unexpected and misleading to the viewer. Therefore the fact my poster is complied of dark colours and shaded lighting as well as the image being taken in the rain outside is completely suitable as only sad events occur throughout the film and only sad emotions are projected from the characters featured. • In relation to this the font style used on my film poster for ‘BULLIED’ is quite simple yet bold with an effect that evokes seriousness which is what my film is about – a serious issue. The font style I feel also has a gothic element to it with parts of each letter being bolder than the other which can be interpreted into the film as we see one character obtain power over the other therefore becoming a bolder influence and this again relates to the continuous themes of my film – fear, sadness and power. Baskerville Old Face (font style)The Image chosen to be on the film poster is the most important feature as it is what will first captureyour audience therefore it has to be the best one to advertise your film.The image chosen to feature on my film poster is a long shot of my central character walking across adeserted bridge. The stance and positioning of the actress I feel suggests she is not at all a character ofconfidence and the expression which can be seen slightly on her face fully supports this. Grey Sky/RainThe fact she is walking with her head down along with her hair falling low across herface can be viewed as an insecurity the character has and the actress also looks verysad and this was the desired emotion and effect I wanted her to create when I was taking this picture. *Bold and dark colours used throughout the whole poster*
feeling for a film can be caused by an image alone – which I believe it can be – Film Review then I think it is more believable and makes more sense to use a still from the film so that the viewer can get a clearThe layout of my film poster is quite understanding in their mind what tostereotypical as far as layouts go however I expect from the film itself.think it works well as a template for thereview of my own film. The image used by me on my film review is an over the shoulder shot with the cameraThe simplicity of it means that the reader is looking over the shoulder of my mainnot distracted when they are reading through character focusing on what she is lookingthe article and they are focused on the article at which is Bishop Walsh School.itself not the surroundings which I believe ismore important. I think this image particularly adds a sense of enigma to the whole film review asThe article itself is written within 3 columns before even reading the article the readerand I think that this reflects a certain is intrigued to know why this girl is staringstructure and a denotation of seriousness, at the school and why it is important toand order can be derived from the layout focus on this school. These curiosities willwhich is effective as the film itself is about a then lead the viewer to read the articleserious issue whilst the facts shown within the which will result in them deriving anfilm make you question certain things in your opinion of the film and whether theyown life as the viewer is hit with a hard would want to go and see the film or not.realisation of high statistics regarding bullying. The small features included on my filmThe colour scheme used throughout the review; the headline running across thereview was red and black which are again two top of the page featuring the magazinesbold and striking colours which I think work website, the page number, the title of thewell as they are not a stark contrast to the magazine and the month all add to createcolour scheme used on the poster. a more believable effect that this is a real film review for a real magazine andThe border of grey running with a red dashed following this the symbols for twitter,line adds a more modern feeling to the film facebook and bebo shown at the bottomreview and gives the review a more appealing Although the image featured on my film review is a still of the page add the element of modernaspect to it which I feel is something the from the short film I feel this is more effective when day society so young readers can updatesreader may like. attracting a viewer – not only for this film but for any. If a and previews without always having to buy the magazine.
3. What have you learned from your audiencefeedback?
Audience Feedback• My audience feedback allowed me to make changes to my film before the final version had to be submitted. Certain scenes such as the one of where the main character gets folder gets knocked out of her had to be filmed again as some members of the audience felt that it had taken place too quickly and they did not have enough time to register what had just taken place.• Also I was told by a number of people being shown the film that the text featured in between the scenes scrolled up to quickly which meant the audience didnt have enough time to read all that was being shown which resulted in them not feeling as though they had all of the relevant information.• Another thing me and my partner Daniel decided to change was our first original ident as most of our audience were not familiar with the subject of media and media equipment so they did not understand the relevance of the moving tripod or how it related to the company name ‘Dollie Productions’. Therefore we decided it would be best to change the complete ident but keep the name the same as the audience would presume our company name was what it is, as it is a combination of Dan and Mollie – our names.• We were also told that we should feature the title ‘BULLIED’ at the beginning of our film something which we previously did not have as it would create a deeper inpact on our audience preparing them for what they were about to view.• Another reason as to why we changed this was because the music played over ident – although perfectly matched the movement of our objects and equipment perfectly – it did not correlate complete with the theme of our film so we thought by stopping the sound and producing a black scene upon which our film title appeared the audience would not be so confused or surprised as to the drastic change in music.• All of the information and feedback I collected was taken from a questionnaire handed out 5 minutes before the viewing of the film took place which gave the audience time to process the questions and think about the answers during their viewing. They were then given 5 minutes to answer the questions at the end of the film.• The questionnaire consisted of 10 questions and a space for the viewer to write and additional notes or comments
Film Questionnaire1. From what you have just seen do you have a clear idea of what the film is about? a) Yes b) No2. What are your opinions on the synopsis (story) of this film? a) Basic b) Ok c) Good d) Excellent3. Have you learnt anything from watching this film? a) Yes b) No4. If you were in any of the positions in the film – whether you were the victim or the bully – do you think this film would lead you to change your actions? a) Yes b) No5. After learning the facts you have done through watching this film what are your immediate feelings? a) Shocked b) Saddened c) Angry6. How well do you think my film poster correlates with the themes and issues shown throughout my film? a) Yes b) No7. After reading my film review do you think you have been given the right amount of information to make you want to go and see the film? a) Yes b) No8. How do you think my film poster could be improved?9. How do you think my film review can be improved?10. Overall have you enjoyed the whole production including the film poster and film review? a) Yes b)No*Any additional notes or comments please write below*
4. How did you use media technologies in the constructionand research, planning and evaluation stages?
Research and Planning directors name names of actors starring *production company* Codes and Conventions eye-catching title/ a presents of Film Posters prominent title that stands out release date producers names, edited by, music by etc Before we were able to begin the production of our short film, research into them had to take place and this was the same when continuing with our ancillary tasks. Above are the codes and conventions typically used and seen on film posters advertised for the coming of a new film release.
quotations star rating summary Codes and Conventions of Film Reviewsstill/stillsfrom the film main review actors starring release date Above are the codes and conventions of a film review and as you can see there are many in common with those of a film poster.
• When researching and planning my short film and overall production the internet was a great source to use to help enhance my knowledge and understanding of what a short film really is – as well as the internet, TV productions and magazines were also used in the research and planning stages of my short film.• I found that the internet was the most informative and helpful source throughout my research and planning stages and particularly YouTube as it enabled me to watch a large variety of short films which provided me with intricate detailing in what to include in my short film and how to make it unique from others.• Although magazines were convenient to look at when examining a film poster or a review I found that the internet was so much easier and by using a simple search engine (e.g. Google) I was able to find thousands in a smaller amount of time, that I could then study for a longer amount of time making it much easier to then refer to when constructing my own poster and my own film review. Magazines such as TOTAL FILM and EMPIRE were great resources to have for graphic and visual purposes as they are of such a quality standard that you cannot fault my producing something to the standard of those magazines. However I found the internet much more easier to use as you could compare something basic to something of a high standard in seconds and this is something you cannot do with a magazine because a magazine does not publish posters or articles that are ‘basic’. I felt it was important to have in front of me something that would be viewed as’ basic’ compared to something of a quality where people would be impressed by so that I knew what to stay away from and I knew what to aim for. Below is the link to a short film I watched during the research stages of my media production: ‘The Dipper’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtZ9fCwux64
Previous to this project I had no prejudgements or queries as I had neverpartaken in something like this before. I had to learn how to use all of theequipment from scratch, as although I have held and used cameras andvideo cameras before different techniques are required in order to gaincertain results. For example, when holding the video camera free hand it is anecessity to hold it as still as possible or else the shot would not be of anyuse because when played back it is not steady enough to be played as aprofessional shot.When filming, everything to do with that particular shooting needs to betaken into consideration and thought of for example;LightingSurrounding noiseWeatherThe ambience of the settingAll of the above are some – if not all – of the most important things requiredto shoot a pristine scene that can be included in a short film and if one ofthese things is not on point then it can potentially ruin the remainder of thatscene which then means that in the event that it cannot be cut the filminghas been a waste of time.During all of my filming I made sure I aspired to have the best scenes Ipossibly could to add the greatest effect to that scene and obtain shots that Ireally wanted because I knew that was what was going to get me the bestmarks.Some of the equipment I used can be seen in the images on the right handside. The first image is of a Panasonic HD video camera that allowed me andmy partner to record clear filming and movement made by our actors andthe camera allowed you to zoom, pause and stop at any given time with justone button which made it easier to operate and saved time during filming.The second is of a tripod which the camera could be attached to and which ensured we had thesteadiest possible shot we could without any shaking of the camera or wobbling due to an unsteadyhand. The bar attached was used to pan the camera from side to side which was a great thing tohave as it saved time and energy and by just moving it left to right up or down a steady shot couldstill be captured.
Research -Film Posters Here is a print screen of the first page of images that are found when I searched ‘film posters’ Google provides you with a fast way to search and use whatever you are looking for and these proved to benefit me greatly when doing some research into film posters as I could simply browse and scan through the pages enlarging an image without even clicking on it to save timeIn 0.27 seconds296,000,000 filmposters were searchedand found by ‘Google’
• After browsing through film posters for a variety of genres I began research into my specific genre; ‘Dramas’ • Below are some film posters I found when researching that I felt projected the genre of the film in a significantly good way • All 3 of the posters are very similar in that the pictures featured are very dramatic and serious • The font style is quite simple as well as the colours and all feature the main actors starring in the film • As well as this 2 out of the 3 posters (FIGHTING and NIGHTS IN RODANTHE) feature tag lines either above or below the title of the film Below are some of the things the 3 posters have in common with one another Film titleActors names Release date These 3 posters alone gave me a clear indication as to what I should include in my own film poster and this was supported further with more research Tagline Credits