In what ways does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? By Rachael Allen
Typical magazine cover conventions A large dominant title. Extra promotional features such as posters, other films featured within the magazine are also advertised. A bar code, and a large dominant background image.
Conventions of my magazine cover Large dominant title that is situated at the top of the frame, to obtain sufficient attraction and attention. Unique selling point; makes the magazine appealing and individual. Extra promotional features that are included within the magazine. Large dominant background image; allows the audience to recognise which film is the main feature of the issue. Large font size to introduce the main feature film. Barcode, issue number, date and price of the issue; all act as information for the audience.
Empire magazine was one of the main films magazine that I focused on during my research and planning stages. I felt that it adhered to many typical conventions of film magazine covers, and allowed me to clearly implement them within my own work. From my research, I noticed that predominately the empire film magazine uses very large and striking images, that are effectively 3D like, eye-catching and attention grabbing. The images typically are representing the main/lead actor/character, but don’t provide too much of the plot or narrative of the film; because of this aspect it allows the actor to be the main selling point of the magazine, rather than the actual film itself. The colour schemes of a large majority of empires magazine typically follow a similar uniformed colour scheme of red, white and black. This typically varies in accordance to the genre of the film featured, as well as the image that has been used. This variation helps to promote a particular mood and tone to help coincide with the genre and representation of the film, rather than solely the mood of the magazine. It is also a typical convention for the background image to be very dominant within the frame, and the other features included on the cover to be usually situated around the main feature to eliminate distraction and provide adequate space for the image.
Likewise with all other magazine covers, there is a barcode, price, issue number and date that accompanies the cover. The magazine’s title for empire, is typically situated at the top section of the frame, however a large majority of empire covers have the main background image placed on top of it so that the title is slightly cut off and obstructed; this supports the supremacy and importance of the main feature in relation to the actual magazine.
The covers typically advertise several other films on the cover, however these are much smaller than the main feature and by being small imply a sense of insignificance in comparison to the main feature film. These other features, are typically presented in a different font style to the title of the magazine and main feature film.
I found that the empire magazine cover, typically looks very cluttered due to the amount of images and text features that are included. It usually appears too overcrowded.
The total film magazine uses very similar conventions in comparison to empire magazine, however the frame is usually a lot less cluttered and busy. For example, it very rarely uses smaller images, and when it does there are only between two or three. Conventionally, total film covers either use a large amount of text to advertise other features in the magazine, or use very little so that the cover looks very bare and empty.
The barcode, price, issue number, and date are typically situated in the corner or along the edge of the cover so that they do not draw too much attention.
Likewise with the empire magazine cover, the colour schemes used, usually match the mood and tone of the genre and representation of the main feature film. This is paramount when targeting a particular audience, as it would help to interest the audience and furthermore would appeal to them increasingly more as the film would be suited to their interests.
I have included extra content information that is situated across the top of the cover, this is a typical convention layout technique as many real media products implement this as a way of helping to promote their magazine, as well as encourage the audience to buy it.
In regards to the image I have used, I have chosen to use a still shot of my main character away from the setting and surroundings of the film; this is a typical convention as it prevents giving away too much of the plot and narrative. It also allows the magazine to be predominately focused on my leading actor, rather than the film itself. Coinciding with this, the image covers the whole framing and due to this allows other promotional features to be less significant in comparison.
I have situated the title at the very top of the magazine, to help draw as much attention as possible from my target audience, without it eliminating the paramountcy of the photograph used. The title of the magazine is the largest of text used, however following this is the title of the film featured, and I feel by having the title of the magazine slightly larger still implies how the magazine has some importance in relation to the film. This is also a typical convention of both empire and total film magazine covers.
I have used the same fonting style throughout all three pieces of my work for my film, and by doing so adheres to typical conventions of real media products as it allows for a sense of individuality, and emphasises how the film is different in comparison to everything else that is featured within the magazine.
I have placed the barcode, issue number, price and date in the bottom corner of my magazine cover as not only is this a typical convention, but it also helps to reduces its importance within the cover, as well as ensure that it doesn’t distract the audience away from the key features of the magazine.
The phrase ‘Watkins reveals all’ helps to promote the magazine to the audience, as primarily audiences are greatly influenced by the casting of a film rather than the film itself or the magazine that is featuring it. This is a typical convention of real media products, as it helps to encourage audiences to purchase the magazine, and is an important design feature of any magazine.
Firstly, in regards to the image used I have tried to remain a similar colour scheme, tone and mood throughout all three pieces of my work. This is a typical convention of magazine covers, as usually the representation of the image presented coincides well with the genre of the film it is advertising. I feel the bleakness and dullness of the image helps to support the idea of my film being a horror. Similarly, in regards to the text colouring, I feel I have adhered to typical conventions as I have used a set range of colours, these being red, white, black and green. This has allowed my work to appear organised and in a sense sophisticated; I feel this as due to the small range of colours it prevents a feeling of childlikeness to be presented. The empire film magazine tended to use a much wider variety of colours and because of this appeared slightly less professional and tacky.
I feel that my choice of image allows for a deeper meaning to be portrayed; this is because, the character appears very innocent as she looks very lost and isolated, however due to the darkness and emotionless facial expressions presented by the character it helps to promote the idea of her mystery and provides a feeling of tension and fear. This bleakness eliminates any sense of connection between the audience and the character, as the audience is unable to identify with how she is feeling, therefore adding to her mystery; this therefore supports the idea of my film being a horror.
Coinciding with this, the smaller photograph I have inserted of the other characters, has been edited in such a way that it appears as though it has been screwed up; this could be interpreted as a way of demonstrating how the girls in the photographs friendship has been disturbed or interrupted by something, therefore again adding to the mystery and hidden deeper meaning of the film.
Coinciding with this, I also feel that the use of the phrase ‘Watkins reveals all’ can have two different meanings; I feel it would firstly be interpreted as Alice revealing the plot behind the story within the magazine e.g. like an interview and her discussing the film, but also could be used to suggest how her character within the film reveals her true self and in fact ‘reveals’ herself in a different light, and the phrase is there to merely to promote the magazines featured film.
I don’t feel that my magazine cover particularly challenges any obvious conventions, however I feel that the inserting of the gnome on the ‘M’ of the title could be considered unconventionally; this is because, it is quite playful and childlike, and breaks away from the very tense and formal structure of my magazine cover. It is also animated, and so by combining fiction with non fiction sort of contradicts the meaning of the cover, and therefore could limit the sense of the cover having any real meaning or purpose.