Media Studies AS : Foundation Portfolio By Alix Sampford Video
Qn 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
There are many conventions in which a film has to provide for it to be successful. The consumers watching have many expectations of which they expect to see within a specific genre, for example in a horror film, the consumers expect to given many scares throughout the film otherwise there would be no point to watching a horror film if you didn’t want/ expect to be scared. That’s why I have taken note that any film should consist of the right conventions which are extremely important in creating a successful film.
Conventions usually associated with a horror film. Death Villains Victims Isolated Settings Scary/Sinister Music Screams Ghosts Violence Low Key Lighting Evil Blood
For example “See No Evil” follows the majority of the above conventions in its opening sequence. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNImIEQlP0c ) by looking at this opening you can see that majority of conventions are met. Also in my opening scene the majority of these horror conventions are met ( http://c2asampfordejopsonashah.blogspot.com ). Comparing the two clips you can see that they both follow the above conventions. In both clips you can easily see the conventions used e.g. low key lighting, victims, villains. I believe that my film product follows all the conventions of any current film released, meaning that consumers would be able to enjoy my film. The first convention and probably the most important convention that we had to chose was the genre of the film. A steady amount of research was needed in order to a decision of what type of film we wished to make. We watched many opening of films to find inspiration for our film and we felt that films like “See no Evil” and “Saw” were kind of film we wished to create. After the research was collected and thoroughly analysed we were able to decide the target audience and what would feature within our film. We decided that the film would be targeted to the teen and above audience because we decided upon making a “horror /thriller film”. Obviously a horror film isn’t suitable for children of a young age so decided on 15+ as a suitable target audience. This would hopefully allow us to get an idea of what else would be needed for our product.
I believe its vital for the majority of horror films to stick the typical elements because without these typical elements associated with horror film s they wouldn't be recognisable to the genre. The main reason someone watches a horror film is to be frightened and feel fear towards the villain in the film. Also I think its vital to try and twist these typical elements to create a different and unique form of that genre because without twisting these elements all horror films would practically be the same, for example in part of my research I analysed Saw ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opz1kxZSk10 ) and both the new and old version of Psycho because Psycho has one of the most famous scenes in cinema history and Saw being a very popular horror film.( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdAJrEgsU70 & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VP5jEAP3K4 ).
Saw 1 Psycho (1960) See No Evil Psycho (1998)
Comparing both the Psycho films and comparing them with Saw there is a clear difference between the films even though they are both horror films, yet both the films have twisted the typical elements and made a completely unique horror film. That’s how I got the idea to create a different and unique film which twisted the elements and that is why chose to create a film with an opening scene allowing the audience to gain important information about the what’s going on at that time characters world, while the character is unaware of that information. This allowed the audience know something the character didn’t. I wanted to create something similar to Jaws where when that music kicks in the audience knows that the sharks on it way and in mine the audience knows there’s a killer on the loose targeting people. I think my innovations are to prove successful because it greats a sense of tension allowing the audience to know something is about to happen and that creates the enigma of “when will it happen?”
This is the still from my product which informs the audience about the threat while the girl in the scene doesn’t realise the threat. We have zoom shot and a fade in to show the message on the screen, (1,2) and after the message has finished we zoom out and see the girl leaving the house. (3,4) 1 2 3 4
I think my choice to have include this within our product was a good idea because it made unique and it gave the audience a sense of involvement. We recorded our watching our product and got what they had to say about our opening sequence. ( http://c2asampfordejopsonashah.blogspot.com/ ). I think that my film fulfils the requirements needed within an opening sequence because we introduce the villain briefly and finish the an enigma of “what happened to the girl” and “what will happen next”. Other opening sequences usually end with an enigma for example “See No Evil” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNImIEQlP0c . Start of Film End of Film Audience Feedback This is the evidence of our audience our audience viewing were got people to watch out film and give us a feedback while answering 10 specific questions. My film fulfils challenge the requirements of a horror film because I created a sequence were someone died in front of someone and left the scene with that person left with the killer then blacking it out with a scream in the background leaving suspense and enigmas for the audience.
Qn 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups? Nowadays the Media portrays many different social groups by using stereotypes. These stereotypes are used by most people and are placed into those groups by the eyes of society e.g. Chavs, Emo’s, Goth’s, Gangsters, Criminal, Victims My media product represents different social groups within the sequence. Obviously my sequence represents criminal and their victims. I used the stereotype of having a young blond girl play as the victim within the film. By using this stereotype I have made it clear that she is the victim because people see blonds' as “dumb” in some cases and as the victim. In the sequence the female character does fit the stereotype as a young girl who goes out carelessly to parties unaware of what might happen and not a care in the world. The character then fits the stereotype of becoming the victim of the film. A young innocent girl attacked by someone for no reason, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even though you don’t get to see the girl die in the film, you hear her scream giving the impression she's about to be killed. Stereotypical Girl
The criminal talked about in the news report is stereotypical because usually there is some sort of warning given to people and yet they ignore this warning, so they aren’t aware of the possibility of being attacked. Usually the criminal is some sort of hooded assailant, I used this stereotype within my product because by having a hooded assailant, the audience have no idea of who this person could be, it could even be a main character further on in the film, which would create a great sense of mystery and tension within the film. An example of hooded criminals would be in “50 cent get rich or die tryin” were you can see a hooded assailant pointing a gun at somebody, which gives the impression he is a thief or a killer. In my media product I also defy a stereotype with my male victim. In the sequence there is male victim and before the sequence ends you see this character be stabbed by a hooded figure behind him. This challenges the stereotype because the stereotype says that the man would protect the woman from danger at the cost of his life however in my sequence the male victim is killed first, showing signs of weakness and femininity due to being portrayed as weak within the product. Usually it’s the women who are portrayed as the weak damsels in distress but in my product both male and female characters needs rescuing challenging the stereotype. Challenging Weak Male Stereotypical Hooded Assailant Hooded Assailant in “50 cent get rich or die tryin ”
The use of lighting I chose for my product affects these social groups because the low key lighting I used is used in the stereotypes. Its commonly thought that a murder would usually strike an innocent victim at night unless they were a hit man however in my product my criminal is just a despicable murderer who targets unaware innocents victims.
These stereotypes that I have chosen to feature within my product are easily recognisable especially within my genre because they are already a lot of films that use these stereotypes. These films play on the possibility that the events within the film could happen because they don't have any supernatural/magical affinity within the film instead its just a normal person with a twisted personality, it would feature aspects of social life within the film allowing it to relate to the audience.
The Stalker’s point of view Qn3 What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? There are several media institutions that could potentially distribute my media product. I believe that the film producers for known films like Kidulthood and Adulthood would be interested in producing my film. They have the necessary funds and experience in order to produce my film.
I believe this because my film would contain aspects of a similar social lifestyle as Kidulthood http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57THVZdxJyg and Adulthood however with a sinister twist. I know that my film is in the horror genre and that Kidulthood isn't a horror film however though with my product I believe that we could create a successful film. Qn4 Who would be the audience for your media product? We decided that the film would be targeted to the teen and above audience because we decided upon making a “horror /thriller film”. A horror film wouldn’t be suitable for children of a young age so we decided on 15+ as a suitable target audience. Usually fans of a horror genre are usually 15+ so we decided that we would make it a 15+ in order to get a large amount of viewers for the product. Even though my product is labelled a horror film I would intend to have aspect of social life within it, making it more popular among the age group as well as adding a sinister quality to the film. Within the opening sequence I use a young blond stereotypical girl getting ready to go out care free ignoring the important information displayed on the TV screen.
By having this stereotypical girl in the film I aimed for target audience of 15+ so that throughout the film with similar characters, relate to the audience. Just like well known characters in “Skins”. By using a similar age groups I hope to attract a large audience just as “Skins” has done. I know that this target audience can very large and that my product could become popular very quick.
Appealing to both the male and female members of the age group is also extremely important because relating to different characters and people expand the audience barriers. My Stereotypical Blonde Character Skins Stereotypical Blonde Character
Qn5 How did you attract/ address your audience?
The audience I seek to entertain expects to be given scares and frights from my product and I intend to give them that. After drafting out names for my film I eventually settled with Midnight Psycho. Through the name of the film I hoped to quickly allow the consumers to realise what genre the film is without knowing the contents (hoping to attract people who enjoy horror/thriller films). The title of the film is introduced at the end of the sequence. I have it cut from the last scene to a black screen where the titles comes out in yellow writing. While the title is being shown there is as scream in the back ground of the girl who was just in the last scene. By not showing the girl getting killed by the hooded assailant I hoped to create enigmas for the audience. With the enigmas that I created with opening sequence I hope that it would be enough to make the audience want to watch until the end of the film.
Another aspect in attracting my target audience was the use of a stereotypical girl of that age group. By using a stereotypical I hoped to attract the girls age groups, so by seeing that the film features character of similar age I hope that this will attract them to come and watch the film if produced.
In my audience viewing I received comments which appealed to the audience as well as comments which they didn't approve of. The two people in the audience viewing and others who saw my product were able to see what was going on within the film and who was the main character. ”Well the girl had a big part, and she’s in most of the clips” “You get the sense that the man in the hood is going to be more involved later on in the film” They understood camera angles and they understood they storyline in the product. The audience watching understood what was going on without any narrative, with the girl getting ready to go out. They were able to see the equilibrium at the start of the product and point out were and when the disruption occurred in the product. Other viewers asked questions about what happened to the girl and what would happen in the rest of the film if they were to watch it. All scenes within the clip were in chronological order so they weren't confused by the sense of time used in the product. In the film there was a bit that I didn't like and unfortunately most audience members picked up on it. An audience member said “ Its a bit confusing at the end, uuhhm it kinda just jumps a bit and in the space of a few seconds loads of things happen, so uuhhm, I didnt really like that but besides that it was ok”.
Qn6 What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
In the process of learning to use and film with a camera I found it difficult to create scenes with enough lighting and clear enough sound. Different shots are taken for different effects for example tilting the camera can give a sinister effect. The picture to the right is a still from one of the deleted scenes. We didnt use this scene because its was hard in that area to get enough lighting to have a clear shot of the characters.
When it came to editing I found it difficult to use imovie. I found it difficult because I was using a technology that I had never used before therefore limiting my abilities in what I could and could do however it did provide me with effects and uses that I couldn’t have done without. For example I wouldn’t have been able to place each scene chronologically because some scenes were done on different dates. Now on the other hand I have a lot more experience using imovie than when I began this product.
Using blogger to upload my product for people to see was a lot easier than putting it on a DVD. By using blogger I was able to gather my audience feedback infor4mation a lot quicker and easier because all I needed was a computer with internet. However when it came to uploading things on to blogger was slightly difficult due to having to convert files ect. It was a bit of hassle to do these things however its was convenient. When it came to research for the product it was extremely easy for me to go on to YouTube and look at clips for research instead of having to buy DVD’s and watch the films at my own expense. However some videos on YouTube don't have good quality so it was hard to see what was going on in some of them.
Qn7:Looking back at your preliminary task what do you fell you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product Prelim Task Final Product From This To This Looking back onto my Preliminary task I see a big difference in the quality of videos. For my Preliminary task had film some walking, opening a door and have speech between two characters. Comparing the two and remembering back to filming both there is substantial difference in the amount of time and effort needed to make my final product compared to my preliminary task. I was experimental in the type of camera shots when I did my Preliminary task so I was able to have a better understanding in what kind of shots I should and shouldn’t use for a specific purpose. By using different effects within my final product and using a film within a film I have clearly shown improvements within my work. There are some similarities within my Preliminary task and my final product for example the types of camera e.g. the shot reverse shot as well as close ups of characters.
Overall I believe that my product has its strengths as well as its weaknesses:
I could have included a lot more within my product however there was a set time limit which the film needed to fit in so I couldn’t involve all my ideas for the film.
I regret that some of the scenes within the film because I wanted to be able to redo some scenes however because I filmed while there was snow I was unable to redo any footage because there was no more snow although having the snow gave the film an effect I liked. Also it was something different because most horror associated film aren't done within the snow