For this media project of creating an opening sequence for a film I worked with Daniella and I am very pleased with the choice I made as we both had similar ideas on what we wanted to do.
Our final piece is a hybrid as we used two genres which were romance and action and we came up with this idea from what were our favourite genres of films which we enjoy watching the most.
We jotted down a few films from this genre which we could base our project on and came up with Mr and Mrs Smith, Knight and Day. Etc.
Both Daniella and I decided to base our opening sequence on Mr and Mrs Smith because we thought this would be the easiest one to make most interesting and full of everything we wanted such as a good narrative.
It does have both its similarities and differences which we came up with to put into our piece.
Our media project is about two people which are set out to kill each other but end up falling for each other, just like what happens in any romantic film.
Contrasting back from the romance to the action at the end of our opening sequence we created a good disruption to make the audience want to carry on watching, just like what you need to do with an opening sequence leading up to the actual film.
Daniella and I had the exact same contributions to our piece to make it an equal success such as all the planning, filming and editing. Etc. We did everything together and both had a say on everything that was chosen. For e.g. if one person didn’t like one thing then we wouldn’t have it, we had to agree.
One of our ideas which we chose together to make our film more appealing to our audience was at the end when our opening sequence was ending we changed the colour from sepia to normal, as you can see below
This was so then the film would carry on in the normal colour and people would be more
interested in watching the film as from our audience feedback, we gathered that not many people would want to watch a film made nowadays in sepia tone which was used back in the 1920’s.
Q1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our product used, developed and challenged the conventions of this real media product.
We decided to use sepia for a very old effect on our piece along with a fuzzy effect to add to the idea as television wasn’t as updated as it is now which worked very well.
Our genre of film is the same genre to the film Mr and Mrs Smith of an action/romance.
With our we came across a problem with some feedback that people would see this setting and not want to watch it as we are in the 21st century. To avoid this, we came up with the idea to bring the normal colour back when the disruption comes in towards the end of the sequence, which would then show what the rest of the film would be like.
One main element which we challenged was the setting of our opening sequence because we differently decided that we would like to try something which many people don’t do much anymore nowadays and this was to set it back in the 1920’s which meant using a different colour.
Some elements in our opening sequence and the real media product were very similar, however some very different. In an opening sequence of a film we know that for the majority of the time it doesn’t last for much longer than 3 minutes max. Similarly Mr and Mrs Smith lasted for 2 minutes 2 seconds and ours lasted for 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
Throughout a stereotypical opening sequence to a film, you expect to see certain things which are credits, labels, setting, music and ‘cliff hangers’.
‘Cliff hanger’ is a word people know because it has to be in every single opening sequence, whether it is little or huge. A cliff hanger is something that the audience need to see to keep them wanting to carry on watching the film, this is a thing in any film which can make it either successful or not.
Both of the cliff hangers from each opening sequence are completely different to say they are from the same genre.
We want to find out all of this so therefore would carry on watching. In our opening sequence it is a different case of many things happening. We wonder if they aren’t a normal couple. Footsteps. It is a very interrogative interview. A letter is posted. The audience want to carry on watching to see what comes from that. Mr and Mrs Smith they are just sat down being interviewed by a man as a couple. We wonder why this is going on.
Both of these products are different as ours is more sinister and Mr and Mrs Smith is nothing too big but there both still very intriguing.
Leading on from the cliff hangers in the opening sequences there tends to be music in the background to add an extra effect. For our product we had an old type of music we made to contrast with the idea of the first part of the sequence where it was set in the 1920’s and then changed it when the disruption began and we had a very sinister piece of music. However Mr and Mrs Smith used no music throughout their opening sequence which was strange but it did work for their type of opening although it was against the stereotypical opening sequence. The credits that say the producer of the film as the ones of the right, these are necessary as they are telling the audience who is part of this film and who has made it, therefore this is why you see them on any opening to a film. Mr and Mrs Smiths Labels Differently from Mr and Mrs Smiths labels, after looking at them we developed ours by contrasting them with other ones from other films. Our labels ‘Sweet Revenge’ Then finally to add the effect of this so the audience would see the 1920’s effect we made the font into an Old English type. We decided to place our credits on top of our film as we thought this best fit with the type of opening we were making. We also made up our labels with interesting names that we thought would fit into the 1920’s, these were completely random
We used this certain element as we thought it was vital to make the title stand out to show the audience the disruption in the narrative. The real media products credits and our product had a lot of differences between them however we made one part similar for the effect of the same genre and this was the name of the film. We picked a font which was thin but was bold and stood out, using the credits effect to make it jump out to the audience. This font would give the audience the idea that it’s a romance and action genre. Mr and Mrs Smith didn’t have many credits within their opening sequence, but the ones they had were the film labels but these credits just appeared on an over black screen. Ours always appeared over the film apart from the title of the film credit. All of these credits were in our piece as we felt it fulfilled the requirements of an opening sequence. Within our credits we had our film labels, who the film was directed by, who created the music and the actors. The real media product had none of this, therefore the audience didn’t know much about the film as in who it had been directed by or who was actually in it.
Q2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? As throughout our opening sequence there is no speech, we did this so it would make it more intense for the idea of the man and woman being criminals out to kill each other. To create our image of the woman criminal we dressed her in very ‘lady like’ clothing so her appearance would come through as very elegant and not harmful. But us as the audience would only see the criminal side when she has a gun down her garter. Our opening sequence represents the social groups of men and women and also criminals. This is because the opening sequences show a man and woman with guns and poison at different shots and then in contact with each other so the audience will therefore think they are criminals and what are they going to do to one another. With the connection to our particular social groups that we are representing within our product of men and women and criminals, we are definitely challenging the stereotype of the woman with this as people don’t expect women to be criminals. Especially with the 1920’s effect the audience will be unsure about this woman being a criminal because men seemed to have more priority back then. Also the sound that takes place when the function in the narrative of the disruption comes in, our sinister music begins to plays and this has an even more bigger effect on it all being intense. So this part towards the end with the sinister music is telling the audience about them being criminals, however, the beginning part has more of a happy music playing with a 1920’s sepia tone effect to tell the audience a lot about men and women. The image of the man criminal is not a shock to the audience as a man is stereotyped to be more of a criminal compared to the woman so we see the woman therefore as more secretive which reflects to the disruption at the end of the opening sequence with the revenge letter to the man.
Stereotypical women we looked at. Pinned up hair Short dresses Lots of make up – dark lips and dark eyes Thin and elegant Pearls for jewellery, throw or feather bower
Stereotypical men we looked at. Smoking cigars mostly Always in suits with tie or shirt and braces Very clean Tall and thin Short hair
Q3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
I have decided to choose ’20th century fox’ as my distributor for my film. Firstly I believe it would put money behind our product ‘sweet revenge’ as it is a very interesting piece which not a lot of people create something like this. And if I want my film to be successful it definitely has to have a successful distributor behind it!
If 20th century fox has put money behind the film Mr and Mrs Smith then I don’t see why it wouldn’t put money behind ours as they are quite similar.
They have also distributed ‘Knight and Day’ with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise which is another similar film we took influence on to do our product Sweet Revenge and both Knight and Day and Mr and Mrs Smith are massive films of our time.
I was going to look for a British production company, however, I believe that our film would go further with this distributor as they have also put money behind plenty of other popular films and programs which reach our exact same target audience too.
They would back our product for real because the target audience we have gone for is looking for something new and exciting like this at the moment and if this distributor is the best one around for our type of film then we need to choose it.
Q4. Who would be the audience for your media product? Our audience feedback questionnaire Do you think a 1920’s film would be popular in the 21st century? 3 yes’s and 6 no’s. Do you think action/romance fit well together? 9 yes’s. What genre of film do you like most? 1 action, 0 thriller, 5 romance, 0 horror, 2 comedy, 0 sci-fi, 0 gangster, 1 fantasy, 0 crime. Age? 7 sixteen years olds and 2 seventeen year olds. Gender? 5 females and 4 males. Occupation? All students with 6 employed part times and 3 unemployed. This questionnaire gave us some good feedback to define our target audience. We decided that our target audience would be for people age 16-25 years old. We learnt this because as they are all 16 and 17 year old they all thought that our action/romance genre would fit together therefore they would enjoy it. Also some of them said that they thought a 1920’s film would fit into the 21st century so that means they wouldn’t mind watching a part of our opening sequence which is set in the 1920’s but most of the viewers gender which our film would be most popular with would be females. From looking at demographic profiling and psychographic profiling of defining our perfect target audience I believe for the viewers of our film after taking all of this into account they would be ‘mainstreamers’, their gender would be female, their race white ethnic, age 16-25 years old and for the socio-econiomic status I think they would fit into group C1 because the popularity of our film would come from 16-25 year olds and they tend to fit into this group unless they are unemployed students in group E but for the majority of they time I believe our target audience is from group C1.
Q5. How did you attract/address your audience? As the disruption is at the end of the opening sequence it is full of lots of enigmas to set up things that will make the audience want to carry on watching so they will know what comes out of these things in the rest of the film. Our disruption part at the end of the film consists of the man getting an envelope posted under his door with revenge written on it and we also have a close up shot of the bottom of the door where you see someone's footsteps outside and this creates even more tension as the audience don’t know who it is. In a way it makes the audience suspicious of the woman because she isn’t in these clips anymore. Then when the man opens the letter he pulls out lots of feathers from the woman's feather bower that she wears earlier in the opening sequence. This immediately makes the audience in question of what has happened to the woman. The non-diegetic sound makes it even more tense and interrogative of sinister music, no speech from the character of the man and very low key lighting. Attracting our audience, consisted of many things within our product to make sure this was done well. Firstly, we set the equilibrium up well so the audience got a clear view on what the characters were like and understood them before involving the disruption which could ruin this. Therefore our equilibrium lasts longer in our opening sequence than the disruption, we thought it would be best to have a shorter disruption because then this would make it more powerful like how disruptions need to be. Man holding letter Extra effects we added to the disruption of our product while editing was the pace. For example, while the man was opening the envelope to see what was inside and getting it out, we made into slow motion. This effect was to once again reflect back to the tension in the disruption and to make the audience think many things which would make them want to keep watching the rest of the film such as has the man got a guilty conscience? Has he done something wrong? Or done something to the woman? Our aim for this point in the sequence was to make the audience have plenty of questions going on around in their heads.
To create conflict or contrasts in either character or situation within our product we created ‘binary opposition’ and we filmed the two shots to the left. We decided to do two shots where the audience can see both the woman looking at the man and the man looking at the woman. For the binary opposition they are based to show love and hate between them both but the idea is that the audience don’t know which one, it could even be both. We wanted this to cause conflict in this situation of what is happening between the man and woman and reflect back to what close up shots we see of them with poison and a gun. Our opening sequence seems to give off many messages/ideologies about crime and how you have to be unsure around people because you don’t know who is capable of what. For example, our woman does not look like a woman who would carry a gun around. She is not a stereotypical criminal. Even though men are more stereotyped to be criminals than women the man in our sequence doesn’t look like a criminal either, he just looks like a normal man. So it is telling the audience that people aren’t always who they seem to be. This is effective in our piece as we have plenty of clips of the characters and the poison and gun. Etc. Therefore the audience are seeing what these characters are doing with their life and have to understand this is actually what people are like.
Q6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? RESEARCH AND PLANNING
To get on track with our final product we had to plan it all. Internet was extremely helpful for this part as we could use Google for all our research and then Youtube connected with this for things such as credits, real media product opening sequences but then the best thing was that we had Blogger to make our own blog and could write all our research and planning down on it so therefore if we needed to look back on anything what we’d forgotten that we wanted to do we could go on to Blogger and check.
Now that we’ve finished our final product our two last posts are our final product to watch and then changes that we made along the way.
Looking all the way down, you can see all our research and planning that we wanted to do which is really good and seeing the changes we made which made our piece even better.
Youtubehas been another very helpful site as when we have had to embed videos or sound clips to either get on our product or onto Blogger, with this we have been able to put them onto Youtube and get the embedding codes to do this. Without Youtube we would have really struggling with all research, planning and production.
For our production of the project the main thing which has been the best thing is i movie because without that then we wouldn’t have our final product and the good thing is, is that it is very easy to understand and use because when I was learning at the beginning how to use it I was worried about it being hard to use but if anything it was a good idea to make the opening sequences on it.
A big advantage to i movie is that there is plenty of editing elements you can choose from so there isn’t really a problem, you can have your sequence however you want.
After learning how to use the cameras and tripods they were very useful especially the tripods because with the tripods it was so much easier to get different types of shots, and the handles which you attached the camera to allowed us to tilt it up and down and side to side along with holding it very still so the shots would be of good quality and smooth.
An element of the camera I liked most was the zooming in and out button as you could make it go very slow and once again that would make the shot look at its best quality.
One point of the filming Daniella and I picked up the wrong tripod so therefore the camera wouldn’t fit on, we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to complete our shots for the editing the day after, however we overcame this problem and decided that we would just do them handheld and they still looked very good because before we had decided whether or not to even use the tripods for these certain shots we had thought about doing them handheld in the first place.
Q7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? After completing our final project I feel we have come along way from looking at our preliminary task compared to our actual opening sequence. I believe a lot more effort was put into our full product because we knew it was much more important than the preliminary task, even though the preliminary task was important too. The preliminary task was something to have a laugh with and just to get used to all the elements of filming and editing work therefore we knew what we would be doing when it came to creating our actual product. This meant that not many ideas went into the preliminary task compared to the final product ‘sweet revenge’. With our actual opening sequence we put plenty of thought into what we could do to make our idea the best it could be. The shots for our piece had a brilliant variation and each were very smooth, also if they weren’t good enough we would go back and take the shot again. The shots had to have a lot of ideas given into them and a good choice of elements with the editing so therefore we could tell our story. Finally, I believe I have come along way from the very beginning when I knew nothing about what to do with how the camera works or how to edit the clips, compared to now where I have made a brilliant opening sequence which I am very proud of.
Conclusion. Overall, I am extremely happy with how our final product turned out and it turned out a lot better than I thought it would. Me and Daniella kept on coming across many problems that were making us struggle with sorting out the opening sequence but we came over them and it turned out the best I think it could have been. I think one thing that was putting us off was the idea that it was our first time using i movie. Etc. Therefore personally I thought I would struggle with doing all this but it clicked eventually and I filmed and edited things I didn’t think I would ever be able to do! Our opening sequence to a film has something that every single one needs and that’s a good disruption with enigmas somewhere in it to make the audience want to keep watching and we’ve got that so therefore I believe if our product was put out to the public to watch then they would want to watch the actual film not just the opening. This is because it is a very grabbing opening! We also received some good audience feedback which lead to us defining the target audience we wanted our product to go out to which was very satisfying. I am pleased with our 1920’s effect at the beginning which I love, along with the change in colour to nowadays when the disruption comes in. I love the font choice along with the credits to contrast with that, the transitions, music choice and so on. It has just as many similar elements to Mr and Mrs Smith that we wanted and our opening sequence represents the film very well which is what we were going for in the first place. And finally, I am very proud to say it is a fantastic finished product.