For my media product I chose to do an opening sequence to a film.
Q1: In what ways does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media texts Every opening sequence to a film follows certain conventions in order for the audience to feel comfortable watching them and recognise them although I wanted my film to be unique I needed to add in typical conventions in order for the film to sell. Films reassure the audience by demonstrating the conventions of the chosen genre. Comedy conventions Ideologies
Ideologies that are not agreed with by the audience or are seen to be amusing
Enigmas are usually set up, this hooks the audience so they watch the rest of the film in order for these enigmas to be resolved.
Usually ordinary people
Either serious or humorous
Clumsy, accident prone
Places of everyday occurrence
Mise en scene
Props that relate to genre
Everyday mise en scene
Example of a comedy film with an Urban landscape
I chose to do a slapstick comedy film, this is because in my research I found that comedy films were the most enjoyable genres for my targeted age group which was for “teens”. All the participants to the questionnaire were teenagers proving that to be most successful in producing a film and to achieve maximum gross profits, a comedy film would be the best option. An example of a slapstick comedy with the main character hurting themselves which the audience will find amusing.
USP Although magazines need to follow certain conventions in order work and be successful comedies it is important that it challenges the genre and is unique in order for it to sell and not be a duplicate of another film. For our unique selling point of my film we made the storyline similar to a serious film and spoof it, to my knowledge this film has not been spoofed before and the amusement would be down to the comedy swing which incorporates the main character hurting themselves. Rocky in the middle of his serious training in the iconic training montage in Rocky IV. We decided to spoof the serious blockbuster action film rocky IV which is a which has the iconic training montage, adding a more up to date and exaggerated comedy touch the opening sequence shows a sense of recognition to the audience as they are likely to have seen the film but yet it is different with the juxtapositions involved. I felt that this would therefore be a popular option.
How my work follows conventions of a comedy Typical slapstick comedy- Hot Rod My opening sequence Location Everyday location- (suburban street, bedroom) Natural lighting Characters Characters hurting themselves Wearing exaggerated clothes that are specific to there activity
Mise en scene Inferior products-motor cycle Inferior product- small weights Humorous moustache Lots of close-up shots Humorous facial expression Ideologies Ideologies that we find funny- believing in spiritual eagles and the fact that the character thinks he is muscular Enigmas Enigmas over there activities... Why is he trying to do stunts? Why is he working out?
How my work challenges conventions of a comedy Music Typical slapstick comedy- Hot Rod My opening sequence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV1Yf_mJJ1E http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZm-4bMRsrk The music soundtrack to hot rod on the link is a serious electronic style music that stops after his impact with the ramp, while my soundtrack is a cheesy 80s rock Ballard with guitar solos which I believe adds to the humour through sound which Hot Rod is lacking. The soundtrack continues throughout the opening sequence to my film also and is similar to the soundtrack in Rocky IV. The album I received the track “Way of Warrior”
Q2: How does your media product represent particular social groups? Social groups are often represented through stereotypes, whether it is movies, magazines or television however stereotypes are not true representations of social groups as most people believe. In my opening sequence it represents;
Teenagers- this is because most media texts do not represent teenagers in the right way and is usually portrayed in a derogatory way that scare society but my opening sequence is attempting to but a brighter side to teenage life. The character in my opening sequence is a typical teenager.
The teenager is represented as a harmless teenager who is from the alternative stereotype and Is a geek, this stereotype is a commonly used character in vast amounts of comedies and are familiar to the audience as a humorous figure.
Alternative/Indie Stereotypes The alternative stereotype has often been portrayed at the teenage years due to their artistic and experimental approach to life, not following tradition and the rule books and attempting to forge their own paths. This group enjoy comedy and that is why they are an interesting group to target my opening sequence to. They are hardly ever targeted as a social group and therefore my film will be individual in that sense. This genre has gone through leaps and bounds and is now a strong stereotype meaning a large target audience. Jam-jar Glasses Slicked back hair The alternative trend is often involved with the stereotype of geeks. Buttoned shirt Revising large books
In my opening sequence I attempted to represent teenagers in a light hearted fun way instead of the usual negative “Yob” stereotype that frightens most adults and look more at the harmless people they are and how they are misinterpreted. However there is the humorous approach to the geek stereotype which sees them as weaklings but yet the negative representation of a geek is not a negative view as a whole as it is not a real view of society and this group does not exist. A recent fashion trend styled by the fashion designer Gok Wan is called “Geek chic” which has become a major recent trend. Geek Representation Childish fascination of Potato head off Toys Story Geek chic Darth Vader figure- Star Wars is a geeky film Calculator- hard worker, always doing math sums Retro alarm clock- Getting up early, as they are determined characters
Usually represented as weaklings Struggling to lift small weight Small muscles In-game footage Retro headband Retro Casio watch Playing computer games Playing video games
Q3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? In order to be successful my film would need to be supported by a media institution to be put into surplus and gain publicity in order for it to sell. These are 2 British film companies that produce alternative films such as my own; Caveman is a new British film company specialisingin cutting edge comedy, horror and thriller films. Founded in 2009. The Caveman mission to expand the imagination and scale of British independent film-making. Handmade Films emerged in the late 1970s The initial impetus for the company was to rescue the well known comedy Monty Python film - Life of Brian.
Researching into both Caveman Films and Hand Made Films, they both seem like the media institutions that would be perfect in distributing my film this is because they are institutions that are specific in producing alternative films such as comedy films, they will have previous films along the same wavelength as mine meaning they would be able to handle my film with the right decisions being made. Hand Made Films produced the alternative comedy Life of Brian and with its small budget it is similar to my film and it has tremendous recognition for such a low budget production . The audience having prior knowledge of other films that the company have produced will want to watch my film more than if it was with a media institute that did not have the CV that Hand Made Films can boast. I would be able to contact my specific audience quickly. One disadvantage of going with a small British film company is that they are not a conglomerate like Warner Bro’s who own many media institutions which help the media product enhance its resources and get round copyright problems without paying. http://www.cavemanfilms.co.uk/
Q4: Who would be the audience for your media product? The audience that films are aimed at are key ,as getting it wrong will completely ruin the films chances of success. Using the various theories of GRASS (Gender, Race, Age, Socio-economic status) Teenagers aged 12-16- This age group is usually not fairly and widely represented in media texts as they are produced by adults, that is why this film would be different from most other films as well as having witty comedy which teenagers love. However- This film can be targeted by most age groups to the flexibility of the storyline which maximises audiences Target Audience Alternative/indie group- aimed at the group of individuals that like differences and are paired with humour regularly, perfect for a comedy target audience. both male and female audiences- although the main character is male the film will be enjoyable to both sexes because a training montage or working out is no longer seen as a male dominated activity is was first believed but now it is widely done by females. Limiting the magazine to one sex would be halving the potential audiences.
Teenagers are a good group to target my film on, this is because they are the largest users of the cinema as spare time is frequent especially university students. Teenagers also have the largest disposable income as they do not have to pay for taxes and children, this means a large proportion of their income is spent and therefore they will be more likely to spend their time and money on watching and buying films. Secondary Target audiences could be;
Students were the most asked age group and there favourite film genre was a comedy film proving that the right genre was chosen.
Q5: How did you attract/address your audience The Title- my film although partially plain in design offers many enigmas and doesn't give too much away about the storyline and therefore entices the audience to watch, but gives away enough for the audience to recognise that it is an alternative film by the reference to a keyboard indicating such things as computer gaming. Chronology - Time and place have been indicted in the first shot, with a digital clock showing that it is in the 21st century and it shows that it is 6:30, the place is set because you can see its in a bedroom. Enigmas-What's he getting in these cloths for? Binary Opposites- Weak character lifting weights working out, this is a juxtaposition as usually it is usually muscular people that lift weights Enigmas-What's he training up for? Narrative devices- Credits are used throughout most of the opening sequence to give it a professional look, the names are rather comical and add to the comedy in a subtle way. Enigmas- final enigma shows the shot of his in game footage the main reason behind is work out, enigmas can arise from this final shot to encourage the audience to carry on watching- enigmas such as; why was he training in such a way for gaming on his computer?
Ideologies- Most ideologies in my opening sequence paint a positive picture of teenagers compared to most media text who view them in a derogative way, I do this by putting a light hearted approach to teenage life by comedy and this will attract the teenage audience who are sick of being blamed for everything! Showing him working out gives the impression that he is a hard worker who is determined and not the usually lazy dominant stereotype Ideologies-Up early, determined NOT lazy. Ideologies- Doesn't easily give up Ideologies- Cheeky attitude “you talking to me?” this is a dominant representation of a teenager . Funny facial expressions throughout Editing/ Effects- Comical exaggerated time ellipse The music- suddenly changes which shocks the audience but it keeps the audience hooked on watching it as it is very funny Irish folk music which is a binary opposite to the rock music before. The music- on the opening sequence is key to the comedy, there is the cheesy rock Ballard similar to the one on Rocky IVs training montage while the main character in my film is training.
Q6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? In the process of producing my opening sequence to my film I learnt about new techniques and used new software in planning, production and evaluation, such as;
Using the website blogger I made my own page which I regularly updated with relevant planning ideas and information, this helped my preparation work to be organised and allowed me to use it as a check list when retrieving props and prompted me on things that I needed to do making sure that I didn't get behind with my work. I learnt how to use YouTube to put my final opening sequence on to share with the net, I have currently got 99 views and 2 likes on the video showing that people are enjoying my video. Using the camcorder was a difficult procedure but after getting the hang of the buttons I soon learned how to record, fast-forward and rewind footage. The key issue with using the camcorder was getting the lighting right especially as I was trying to have a natural lighting effect. The camera provided wasn’t high quality and we constantly found it hard to get a professional finish and therefore we switched to our own camera. Using the first camera was hard as it worked with a tape and therefore every individual shot needed to be cut from the tape using the crop toggles on imovie. Jamendo was a site that I was not familiar with but after understanding that the music must be copyright free and the fact that I had a specific piece of music in mind that would be key to the humour it became a key research site. I learnt how to download the music and convert the file to work on my blog by embedding it. The internet played a major role in research as I could use it to look up similar films to check what props were used and I could find useful information making sure it was from a reliable source. I could use the internet especially Google images to find relevant pictures to use especially in this evaluation. The IMac was a great piece of technology to use I was fairly easy to use.
Imovie was the most important piece of equipment that I used and it was were I developed most of my new skills such as uploading, which was done by plugging the camcorder into the mac computer, then pressing the import button on the screen. I used cropping by dragging the two small toggles below the play bar to the places which I didn’t want and then pressing the space bar. To Add music I would convert the jamendo file into an mp3 by downloading it and then putting it on iTunes by dragging it in, then I could enter iTunes once on imovie and drag the song over into the music bar, once in I could adjust the sound level for each part by dragging the points up and down. Effects were found on the effects settings and then dragged between the two shots on the still board, this is what I used for the ellipse. I attended workshop classes in order to use the software but it soon paid off and no problems with using it. I first found it difficult in adding music and cropping it correctly but after a bit of practice it has become a valuable tool that I can reuse easily. My favourite part of Imovie was the fact that you could basically do what I wanted and be artistic within your film. The program was very pleasing and made me feel proud to improve my film each time I used it and made me feel a sense of achievement. I used Facebook as an experiment to see if people enjoyed my opening sequence by posting it on my profile as a link and the response was very positive; 35 people liked it! I had promising comments of praise showing that it was very funny to the audience!
Q7: Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full products? Preliminary task Final opening sequence Looking back at my preliminary task it is easy to see the improvement that has occurred from the time of the preliminary to the final product. Although the time and effort was smaller that the final piece, I still put thought into every camera angle. The research like my final piece is not present and therefore wasn’t the most accurate and clean preliminary task that I was able to resist in my final product as I did sufficient research and took notes in similar genre of films.
Credits are not professional like final design and look more like that would come at the end of the film Shooting in black and white looks unprofessional and is irrelevant Shot length are long meaning it is a slow paced clip which are too short and get boring, they do not entice the audience to watch on. Zooming techniques were unprofessional and slow Hand-held camera shots are wobbly and not as still as wanted When lighting changes to colour it looks saturated and artificial not natural Amateur dialogue
Conclusion I think that my final product went very well, I wasn’t expecting to be able to complete the task to the quality that I did. I thought at first that the software that I haven't used before would be very hard and that I wouldn't be able to do what I have done. I particularly enjoy watching it back on YouTube and reading that I have been given positive feedback on Facebook and YouTube which so far has been all positive. It gives me a sense of completion and pride in my work due to the fact it was an interesting piece of coursework.