In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The expected narrative of a teaser trailer from the genre of horror is a linear narrative. Our trailer follows a general linear pattern but with a twist, as towards the end it flashes to points in the film were each of the characters lives are in danger which is similar to the trailer of the descent part 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jjh1uL-RzMU The Descent trailer is a good example to compare to ours because it shows the basic idea of the film but does not give too much away – it shows the killer/monster but does not show death as such. This is similar to ours as it shows the ‘norm’ in these characters lives and then shows them in danger or fear but at the same time does not give as much away as the descent trailer because the killer is not revealed as obviously in Playtime. Only clues are given to what or whom the killer is until the very end of the trailer not throughout like the descent one. Unlike the Playtime trailer, The Descent uses dialogue to create fear and tension where as the teaser trailer we made uses non-diegetic music to effect. For example, a narrator establishes the Descent 2 film by saying the first chapter was named ‘the scariest film since alien’, where as we do not establish anything at all . However, I feel that the music is more effective because it gives less away and creates a more eerie effect. Having said that, as the descent part 2 is a sequel is may not need to establish as much as we had to because viewers already know what it may be about etc.
A typical stereotype for the Stalker/ Slasher Sub genre of horror is -“Films that take our fears about sex, death, mania and isolation and at their best they offer the simple pleasure of transforming these into a personified bogeyman we can shout at in the safety of the movie theatre preferably with our friends" (Mark Kermode) . I feel that our trailer covers that stereotype almost to the point as the setting is isolated and almost menacing. There is a clear use of death towards the end of the clip and it shows fear/mania as it shows the girl rocking forward & backward aswell as shouting for help. However, I believe that our trailer goes ‘outside the box’ to some extent as there is no obvious main character in the sequence or use of dialogue at all throughout the trailer. Also the killer in the film is not typical of the ‘normal’ horror films as it is a child and stereotypically in this sub genre of horror the killer tends to be a physically/mentally deformed person or emphatic misfits in society who tend to kill for know reason. Unlike most horrors, our killer/monster is not eerie to look at or does not mask themselves behind a puppet or disguise. The killer seems normal to ones self, as children are usually associated with innocence and not fear or brutal murdering. On the other hand, the victims in our film are quite stereotypical in association with our genre as they are young adults/teenagers dressed in nothing but casual wear that you would see walking on the street. I feel this is used to good effect as it creates a kind of ‘home-like’ feel to the characters, as in you could pass them on the street and think no different of them than any other person. This can create fear for the viewer as the target audience is similar to the age of the victims therefore the audience can relate to the characters, making it more scary etc. Our trailer also uses a lot of naturalistic low key lighting which is almost created for use in horror movies as it creates a ghostly and eerie effect. It also adds the right tone to the film as the film is set in a dark woods in an isolated place. This is typical of the genre because it presents the element of constant fear and that something could happen at any moment . We also use non-diegetic sound to add tension and fear to our trailer, as it starts the music is slow paced & eerie and then as the trailer reaches the half way point it picks up speed to match what is going on in the trailer. And then it drops again until it reaches the conclusion where the use of a slow paced song is put in to place to represent the killer in the film.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary tasks? I believe that our ancillary tasks create a ‘definite house-style’ for all three and link strongly towards the teaser trailer we created. What links them together is the colour scheme of each one is very similar, for example on the magazine it is a mixture of black, red and grey, where as on both film posters it is mainly black with some grey & red. Also the images on each text are similar as they all show the teddy bear which is linked to the name of the film – Playtime aswell as the killer from the film. The majority of the tasks contain an image of the killer(girl) but it does not make it as obvious as the teaser does that they are the killer, which could in turn intrigue the reader to find out more information about the film or make them eager to view it. Aswell as those factors, the tasks also contain the striking title of Playtime in the same font throughout both ancillary and main product, which creates a good branding factor as their is no change so therefore can easily be recognised and linked together. Also the genre of the film is recognisable from the tasks as horror but it does not necessarily give away that it is a stalker/ slasher, which can give off a kind of surprise element when they watch the film. Each task uses the same caption but in slightly different ways as the magazine quotes one of the main characters saying “if you go down in the woods today your in for a big surprise”, where as it is shortened in the poster of the teddy bear stood at the tree. This creates a good, strong link between them and is helped by at the end of the trailer as that quote is sung in an eerie tone. The posters also use the same aspects as to the text which is on them for example the website address and production company are all the same . This helps create a strong brand image aswell as good advertising for the website etc.
I feel that each poster and the magazine front cover work directly with the final teaser trailer as they all use the same colour scheme, font, similar images /personnel and have the same title. And they create an effective overall brand image. However, having saying that I feel that the imagery could of been varied on the magazine and one of the posters. As one of the posters just contains an image of the teddy bear, yes this links strongly to the film, but I feel it does not show enough and hardly fills any of the page etc. If I were to re-do the ancillary tasks I would spend more time working on getting the correct images and trying to create a more solid and less basic branding structure. Although, the brand we have created is a strong one and follows the key structures to a brand such as consistency throughout each individual piece. And am overall pleased in the way each task turned out.
I have asked a series of questions to 30 members of the target audience we aimed for when creating this film after they watched our teaser trailer. The results are as follows and are shown in a graphical format.... What have you learned from audience feedback?
I feel that the selected target audience was correct as this could potentially be a mass audience which would indefinitely assure a profit was made if this film was released. There is also potentially a secondary audience based on the results of a few questions, as I feel the film also appeals to those aged 19 and above. This is because when I asked the questions to them the reviews/results were very positive. Perhaps next time I were to make a teaser trailer then I would make the sub-genre more clearer as some were confused to which sub-genre it fulfilled – for example only 10 of the 30 thought it was the actual one! I would possibly also add a bit more of the story in there to make sure that the audience understood it clearly in a positive manner. Overall, based on the results of the audience feedback, I feel very pleased that our teaser trailer did everything that we intended it to do according to those questions.
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? In the researching & planning stages of the project, I used the internet in order to gather the correct information that I needed in order to create the right kind of trailer for the genre. For example, I used www.youtube.com, to watch trailers from previous horror films and viewed information on the codes and conventions of horror using http://www.wikipedia.org/ . By doing this I was able to collect all the knowledge I needed in order to create a general but detailed aspect of the genre. I viewed other students work from past years on a DVD in the classroom which showed me an aspect of what I could potentially achieve or better. This gave me a good incitement of the effort I would need to put in in order to achieve a reasonable/ good grade. Using the internet, I was also able to collect valid information about film magazines and posters. For example, I viewed images of several respectable film magazines, so that my magazine front cover could look professional. I used mainly http://images.google.co.uk/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi this site in order to view them. I also used a blog, which is an online journal, in order to keep my work together and view it all simultaneously. It was very helpful as it is easy to edit work and store images/videos – www.blogger.com .
In order to create my ancillary tasks, I used two pieces of software – InDesign and Photoshop. Photoshop enabled me to cut down and crop the images I needed for the magazine and the posters. It allowed me to choose which parts of the photo I needed and which I did not, aswell as allowing me to change the colour & gradient of the photos if I wished to. InDesign was used to put together my ancillary tasks, as it allowed me to place the cut image from Photoshop and add any text/adjustments that needed making. For example, once cut in Photoshop, I placed an image in InDesign and made it smaller in order to fit the page aswell as tilt the photo in order to achieve the affect I wanted etc. I found both pieces of software very useful when completing my ancillary tasks and it made doing them a lot easier than using a program such as Microsoft publisher/word. And I would recommend them to anyone who has to complete such tasks in the future.
When creating the final teaser trailer, I used a program called Final Cut. This is a professional editing software which allows you to cut and edit your film as well as adding any special effects you may need. I found it quite complicated to use, however after a few uses of it, I got the hang of it and was able to make adjustments and cuts to the footage we had filmed. For example, we were able to find the recording square which features throughout our film to show that it is handheld camera work. Also, we were able to repeat shots such as the white noise in between shots etc. We had a few problems uploading the music onto the program as at first it would not render the song, however after fiddling around with it, we managed to secure the music onto the final piece. However, at times the program was annoying as you constantly had to render all the footage after adding more etc. Overall, it is a good program but can be complicated at times. I also used www.youtube.com to record the sound of the white noise for the end of the film, this made it a lot easier to do as it was not available on the final cut program. Our group also used the recording suite to record the song at the end of the film aswell as record some dialogue in case we decided to use any. I found this very helpful as we were able to get the sounds we wanted correctly instead of using a recording from a crackly video.
When evaluating, as you can see, I have used Microsoft PowerPoint aswell as an internet site called www.slideshare.net which is a site where you can store PowerPoint's and upload them onto a blogging system such as www.blogger.com . I find this a lot easier to do than annotating video clips on YouTube or facebook etc. It also enables me to enter graphs and hyperlinks so that I can give examples of work etc. I feel comfortable using this software as it is very simple and easy to use. It also can store vast amounts of information that I used in my research etc. However, I did feel some limits with the technology available to me. For example, in order to do anything complicated such as change the colour of a certain part of an image rather than a whole image was basically impossible with the time available to me, as it would have taken much too long in order to do it. Also I felt the program used for editing last year (imovie) was much simpler to use and get the hang of, and its editing tools were much easier to find. I tried using flickr, which is a fast way to edit photos, but i didn’t particularly like it so I felt best not to use it. For some of the time, our group struggled to find the recording frame which goes around the majority of the shots in our trailer, it was only by mistake did we discover it and were able to use it. But, on the other hand, I felt that the technology that was available and used was very efficient in what we needed from it and worked almost everytime. I feel that technology was the major part in being able to complete this project successfully and efficiently.
Conclusion To conclude, I am very pleased with the overall outcome of my final project. I feel that it represents a good stereotypical aspect of the horror genre but simultaneously is “the same but different” (G Burton 2000). If I were to do it again, I think I would plan my time more efficiently and do things not so last minute. I would also perhaps spend a little more time working with the editing software in order to be able to get perhaps a ‘perfect’ finish to the trailer.