Sam Fenton AS Media Studies (Foundation Portfolio) Evaluation
Introduction <ul><li>For our AS Media Studies Foundation Portfolio, I chose the video option, and created the opening sequence for a thriller with a group consisting of three other students. I worked with Charlotte Brooks, Ryan Jones and Luke Woods. My main contribution to the project was being the cinematographer. Furthermore, we all contributed evenly during the research stages, as well as when editing in the post-production stage. I was also responsible for creating and uploading the animatic storyboard. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCiamsCGYUA </li></ul>
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>Our opening sequence uses the conventions of generic films of the thriller genre in order to make it recognizable and to fulfill the expectations and anticipations of the audience. We have used music and cinematography to create suspense. We established place through an extreme wide-angle establishing shot of the forest. Our choices proved successful, in that our test audience was able to recognize everything that we had initially set out to include in our production. It is vital to do new things within a given genre, in order to keep them fresh, and stop them becoming predictable and boring. We addressed this, by including a plot twist where it is revealed the teens are making a film within a film. </li></ul>
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>The age group represented in the opening sequence is the teenager. Costume has been used to reinforce the stereotype, in that Ryan wore a hoody. This hoody also suggested that he was the killer during the chase sequence, due to the connotations that modern society has commonly accepted. Charlotte was the victim, who is stereotypical, as females are seen to be inferior to males and are usually the weaker characters in films belonging to this genre. We can see this with the high-angle shot (bottom right) that shows her vulnerability. We have also portrayed the male protagonists as heroics, having to search for Charlotte, that stay true to the common belief of male superiority. We can see this with the low-angle shot (bottom left) that shows Luke’s superiority. </li></ul>
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? <ul><li>We decided to use an independent production company, which we named ‘ Killer Productions ’ , as it is quite common for British filmmakers to do so. However, our film is likely to have crossover appeal, due to it following the classical narrative system, and so it could have a Hollywood distributor. After research, it became clear that Warner Bros. has invested in films, of this genre, before (e.g. House On Haunted Hill), and they also had the largest market share in 2009, meaning potentially more profit. We would therefore use this American distributor, as it would maximize awareness of the film ’ s existence, due to larger marketing budgets and bigger campaigns. </li></ul>
4. Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>The target audience for our media product would be aged 16-25, and predominantly male. This is the most successful audience to target, as it is the most frequently cinema going. This has been supported by the audience research, as all of the test audience members were aged between 16 and 20, and we received no negative comments, which can be seen in the graphs below. Their socio-economic status is likely to be C2DE (working class). This age group generally doesn’t want to be challenged, and so the linear narrative of the thriller would appeal to them. </li></ul>
5. How did you attract/ address your audience? <ul><li>An audience of this genre would have specific expectations, and we addressed these in order to attract them. We created enigmas through the build-up of tension and suspense (e.g. will Charlotte escape? Where has she been taken? Etc.), which leave the audience anticipating the answers. We included a plot twist, at the end of the chase scene, which our test audience appreciated, as it was not generic and so kept the genre fresh. We start the sequence with a disruption, which allows the action to start right at the beginning, rather than establishing equilibrium before breaking it. We used interesting shot types, to keep things the same, but different. </li></ul>
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? <ul><li>I have mainly learned how to manage a blog, and embed videos from YouTube, as well as from external devices such as pen drives. We relied on technology when gathering the audience feedback, as we were able to type our questions on a Word document and then print 10 copies off to hand out. The Internet also played an important part in the creation of our product, both in the pre-production, and production stages. We used it to research other opening sequence, and draw inspiration. Also, we created graphical representations of our audience feedback using an Internet website. Therefore, the use of technology has played a vital role in the completion of our media project. </li></ul>
7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? <ul><li>The main thing that I feel I have learned is how to manage continuity effectively in order to successfully establish verisimilitude. The editing was not perfect in the preliminary task, as there was a continuity flaw, whereas in the opening sequence, there were no flaws. Our test audience results also support this. It is also evident that the cinematography is much better, as there is many more varying shot sizes and camera angles than in the preliminary task. Sound was quite poorly used in the prelim, but in the final product, it is been considered carefully (e.g. the use of parallel sound in the choice of music to help tell the story). </li></ul><ul><li>Preliminary Task </li></ul><ul><li>http ://lukecharlotteryan.blogspot.com/2010/11/preliminary- task.html </li></ul><ul><li>Full Product </li></ul><ul><li>http ://www.youtube.com/watch?v= FCiamsCGYUA </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>Throughout the creation of the Foundation Portfolio, my group and I have worked together equally in order to produce the final product. The opening sequence has been produced with good, grounded, research, which has lead to it being of a high standard. However, I feel that if we had lived nearer to each other, and had had more time during the production stage, we could have done more. Though overall, I feel that the product has been created very successfully, and contains many elements that could be compared easily to those of real films. The test audience used, were impartial and unbiased, and so to be given 100% positive feedback, is quite an achievement indeed. </li></ul>
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.