Question 1 – In what ways does your media product use, develop or challengeforms and conventions of real media products? The genre of our film is a Horror/Thriller. Our influences for the film include The Lovely Bones (2009) as well as other films like Taken (2008) and The Human Centipede (2009). We chose these films as our influences because all of these films involve torture and abduction. Our opening sequence used many typical conventions of Horror/Thriller. We did this through the theme such as the murder of the girl. We also followed the typical Horror/Thriller narrative structure throughout our opening sequence. The characters are typical of this genre because in most Horror/Thriller films there tends to be a girl that is the victim of the crime, also there tends to be a male killer. Our mise-en-scene doesn’t involve any bright colours because Horror/Thriller films don’t use that colour scheme, but it does involve typical conventions of a Horror such as blood and isolation. Also we used a variety of props such as dolls, purses and keys, we hung these up to symbolise all the young girls the killer has killed. Our opening sequence is set in a garden shed, we chose this to create a sense of mystery and isolation of the girl being tied up all alone. The soundtrack we used is upbeat and gives a sense of tension it goes with the girl being trapped and panting loudly up until she is killed, this is where the music changes to emphasise the death of the girl. The editing we used in our opening sequence is typical of Horror/Thriller films because we used it to emphasise the tension and danger in the film. Our shots are also edited quickly to go with the music and feel of the atmosphere. We used a lot of close-ups in the film to show the girl’s facial expression, we also used mid shots to shows this as well as showing a sense of where she is.
Question 2 – How does your media product represent particular social groups?There are two characters in the opening sequence of our film. There is a young girl who is 18 years old. If we were to makethe rest of the film, there would be other girls appearing in the film between the ages of 10-20. The young girl in this film isrepresented as helpless and vulnerable, these are typical of other female characters in Horror/Thriller films. The male killerin this film is in his late 30s and is also typical of Horror/Thriller films because in many other Horror/Thriller films there is amale killer who tends to be crazy. The male killer is represented as a threat to the young girl. The costume of the young girlis ripped and all covered in blood, this shows that she has been through a lot before we see her in the opening sequence.The mise-en-scene gives a clue to the audience what type of characters there are in the film through the props such as thepictures of girls across the wall show that the male has killed a lot of young girls. Her facial expression tell the audience thatshe is scared and upset. Their social class would appeal to the audience because the characters are middle class. The ageappeals to the audience because the characters are roughly within the audience age range. The mise-en-scene gives cluesthe characters are middle class because lots of people own a shed and there is a lot of stuff middle class people would own.I think the characters are typical of the horror genre in other films I have seen.
Question 3 – What kind of media institution might distribute your media productand why?We have considered many media institutions to distribute our Horror/Thriller film such as Universal, Pathe and Paramount.During my research I found out that Pathe distributed many Horror/Thriller films that weren’t that well known to our targetaudience. Universal don’t seem to distribute many Horror/Thriller films. Lastly I found out that Paramount distributed manyHorror/Thriller films that were very well known to our target audience. Paramount have distributed many films such asShutter Island (2010) , The Lovely Bones (2009) , Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) , Cloverfield (2008) , Eagle Eye (2008) .All of these films have been shown in major cinemas such as the Odeon and Cineworld. Our film is a low budget filmbecause of this we could release it like the distributors did with Kidulthood (2006). They released it on DVD in the UKinstead of releasing it in cinemas first. I found this out from http://itpworld.wordpress.com/2008/07/18/kidulthood-and-adulthood-uk-20067/ .As explained in the article Kidulthood made more money releasing it on DVD. If we did this for ourfilm it may be more profitable, because if we did it in the cinema we would not make a loss in paying the cinema todistribute it for us. But we would have to advertise it at a high scale to make sure we get the money back on our film. Wecould have offers on our DVD such as ‘Buy Target and get another film for £5’ or our DVD could have a percentage off suchas 20%. I did research into the weekend box office figures for the films I have mentioned above distributed by Paramount.My source was from the UK film council. Here is the link: http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/2010BoxOfficeArchive.Below are the weekend box office figures for The Lovely Bones. This table shows the box office figures for 2010. Weekend Gross Weeks on release Number of Cinemas Total gross to date £1,637,579 1 420 £1,637,579 £1,203,251 2 424 £3,848,574 £661,595 3 425 £5,183,763 £343,385 4 359 £5,885,305 £141,459 5 256 £6,193,167
Below are the weekend box office figures for Shutter Island. This table shows the box office figures for 2010. Weekend Gross Weeks on release Number of Cinemas Total gross to date £2,250,178 1 416 £2,250,178 £1,813,282 2 419 £5,483,018 £1,146,259 3 418 £7,677,255 £705,499 4 307 £9,160,010 £336,725 5 315 £10,038,604 £179,237 6 193 £10,431,136 £82,495 7 134 £10,599,763Overall you can see that these two films have been very popular in the box office. The Lovely Bones stayed in the top 15for 5 weeks and Shutter Island stayed in the top 15 for 7 weeks. This shows that Paramount is very successful with theirHorror/Thriller films. This is one of the reasons why our group is going to use Paramount as our distribution company.
Question 4 – Who would be the audience for your media product?The target audience for our film is male and female (15-25 years old). Our film is particularly aimed at middle class people.They would possibly read magazines like Empire and real life magazines like OK! And Hello, as well as gaming magazines likeNintendo. They would obviously watch Horror/Thriller films such as The Lovely Bones and Shutter Island. Our film will beadvertised in shopping centres, at bus stops, on TV, also we could advertise on YouTube, the radio and in the cinema.Another way we could advertise is through social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, because mostpeople we are aiming at use them. Their media consumption would possibly be that they watch TV a lot, listen to the radioand read magazines. We would run test screenings at the Duke of York for a few weeks. We would also show our film tocollege students as well as at film festivals and other picture houses around the UK. Our Niche audience would be 15-25year old, male and female, they would also like Horror/Thriller films and possibly read Twilight and Harry Potter. Ourbroader interest audience would be that they recognise the director or they may of heard/recognise the actors/actresses.Our film will also be watched by people by using word of mouth. We could also use viral marketing and market the film 3months before using posters at public places such as bus stops and shopping centres as well as YouTube.
Question 5 – How did you attract your audience?Our audience is middle class Male and Female aged 15-25.We attracted our audience by putting adverts in magazines suchas Empire because people this age read this magazine. We also made a poster that will be put in a shopping centre to reacha large audience, as well as bus stops because our age group use a lot of public transport. Other ways we advertised our filmis by putting an advert on YouTube because mostly young people use this website. As well as putting an advert on the socialnetworking sites because mostly young people use these websites. We have also created some merchandise such as thedoll from our film poster and a mug and a pen. The cast we chose for the film is Abigail Breslin who will play the Girl whogets killed in our opening sequence. She is well known for Little Miss Sunshine (2006) , Zombieland (2009) and Signs (2002).Christopher Eccleston is going to play the killer in our film. He is well known for The Others (2001) , Shallow Grave (1994)and Elizabeth (1998) . We think the film should be rated at a 15 because we all felt that the content of the film wasn’t toographic and we wanted it to appeal to a larger audience. We used the BBFC website to make sure our film was definitelyclassified as a 15. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/guidelines/15-2. We created suspense in our Horror/Thriller film byusing close-ups and editing them to show up quickly one after the other. Also we used mid shots to show all the belongingshanging from the ceiling to yet again create more suspense as well as tension.
Question 6 – What have you learnt about technologies from the process ofconstructing your product?From this project I have learnt that Pre-Production takes a huge amount of time as well as planning. The Thriller researchtook the most amount of time to do because we had to fully understand the genre in order to make our opening sequenceof our film. The Recce took the least amount of time due to where our opening sequence was going to be set. I also learntthat deciding what shots to have in the opening sequence took a lot of time, especially when writing them on paper for thestoryboard which we all helped Vanessa to do. After she had completed the storyboard she had to scan it into thecomputer. There was a lot of planning and organising involving the shooting schedule as well as the props and costume lists.During the pitch presentation in class we got told we had tried to fit too much into our opening sequence, so we had to adda post on our blog to say what we were going to change on our storyboard. There was a lot of preparation involved forfilming day. In class Beth printed out pictures of girls from the internet, we all helped cutting them out to save time. Beforewe were allowed to film we had to do a risk assessment of the shed, we had to all think carefully what could happen onfilming day that would harm somebody or postpone the filming. On filming day we all helped clear the shed of things thatweren’t suitable for our opening sequence, as well as decorate the wall with pictures of girls and crossing some of them out,as well as hanging objects from the ceiling. The purpose of the preliminary exercise was to prepare us with the equipmentwe were going to use for our Horror/Thriller film. We were in different groups for this. I got a chance to use the camera,learn how to do the white balance and focus to make our footage look clear and professional. Throughout the PreliminaryExercise I got to carry the tripod for a while. Some of the shots I got to do with the camera were doing a panning shot and along shot.
In the edit suite for the Preliminary Exercise we had to make sure the continuity was correct throughout. We all thought itwould be really easy to edit and that we would be able to get it done quickly, but this took longer than expected. We usedAdobe Premiere Pro to edit our Preliminary Exercise. During production we found that we got things done a lot quicker thanexpected, this meant that we finished an hour earlier. We thought it would be better to give us more time just in case. Wealso thought before planning the shooting schedule that it would take a few hours to film. We were wrong. Duringproduction we had a few issues with the lighting. We had to move the camera move a few times to get it right as well asputting the blinds up and down before deciding. We had had issues with the angle of the shots due to the fact that therewere some things in the way that couldn’t be moved easily. We did some of the shots a few times to make sure we had aback up just incase it didn’t fit as we had to keep with the continuity. For the make-up we needed to have blood on the girland at the end of the opening sequence when the killer crosses out her face on the dartboard. Vanessa found the video andbrought most of the things needed for to make the blood. For the girl’s costume, Beth found a black strapped top and ablack skirt with old tights that Vanessa and Beth could rip up to show that the girl has been through a lot. For the eye make-up Vanessa brought make-up to put on to give the effect of a black eye. We thought about continuity throughout the filmingday and made sure the killer was walking right so we could edit it all together. We decided to have a sound effect of the girlscreaming when she is just about to be killed, Vanessa and Beth recorded this. We decided it wasn’t a major problem if thesound didn’t fit with her panting because her mouth is covered in tape. We also took the panting from the footage andmoved it in various different places.When we first entered the editing suite we had to capture all the footage we thought would be good enough to use for theopening sequence. This took us two lessons to do and involved a lot of teamwork and discussion. Yet again we used AdobePremiere Pro to edit. We wanted the pace of our opening sequence to go with the music Beth had found. The soundtracktook a long time to fit in with the opening sequence. We had to find a copyright site, we tried many sites such asincompetech, and we were unsuccessful. We did find a soundtrack to use, we picked bits out which we thought was goodfor our opening sequence on YouTube and left a comment to ask if we could use it. Here is the link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T5_0AGdFic .We also found another piece of music to use for our soundtrack whichwas Royalty Free from Soundcloud.com. Here is the Link: http://soundcloud.com/hypermood/death-sound-system-intro.Chantelle did the entire colour for the opening sequence making sure the contrast and saturation was correct.
We decided to use the fade effect to open and end our opening sequence. For the titles we looked on www.dafont.com anddownloaded a few we liked, we then put it against one of the shots in our opening sequence to see if it fitted well. Weeventually decided on ‘Shaun of the Dead’ font, which I picked. The hardest part with the titles was working out where to fitthe titles and how they should enter each shot and how long before they would exit. Next we had to decide what colour thetitles would be, we thought of many colours such as red and grey. In the end we decided to have them white except when‘TARGET’ showed up at the end, which we decided to have it grey. Next we had to decide on the correct leading and kerningas well as the font size to make sure they would fit in well with the background.
Question 7 - Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learntin the progression from it to the full product?In the Preliminary Exercise I learnt that filming takes a long time to do, each shot has to be filmed correctly and continuityhas to be aware of all the time. I also learnt that white balance, focus and zoom have to be changed before every shot.Working as a group and getting along was important in the Preliminary Exercise, everything wouldn’t have gone wellwithout the rest of the group. I have learnt how to use the camera and how to change the settings, tripod and how to movethe camera on a tripod correctly. The mise-en-scene was fairly important in the Preliminary Exercise and it taught us howimportant mise-en-scene was. I also learnt how to do a shot-reverse-shot and a 180 degree rule. We had to have a few linesof dialogue in our Preliminary Exercise so we had to use shot-reverse-shot and the 180 degree rule. We added a variety ofshots to make sure that the audience wouldn’t get bored and to show our skills. Our planning went very well, we all wrotedown ideas on a piece of paper and then decided on one idea. After we did that we started our storyboard. Our Preliminaryexercise went well overall. The end product turned out better than we expected and was very successful.