In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Our teaser trailer ‘Conspiracies’ is an action film. I feel that the completed trailer shows that we have looked and followed a lot of the conventions that are used in other action films. I did extensive research to ensure that our teaser trailer included all of the forms and conventions that were required within this genre: length of the trailer, speed (e.g. fast paced editing), music, sound, titles, transitions and mise-en-scene. I think that the most relevant forms and conventions, which relate to our trailer and chosen genre are the length, speed and mise-en-scene. In order for our trailer to be a teaser trailer it had to be a certain length, we decided to make it around the 1 minute 30 second mark. As well as this, the teaser trailer needed to limit the exposition of the narrative, hence why it is called a teaser trailer. Another convention of an action trailer that had to be addressed was the speed and pace of the teaser trailer. From the research I had conducted on other films like James Bond and Diehard etc, they all had fast paced teaser trailers (James Bond, Quantum of Solace Teaser Trailer- http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =ImS3Jw__VxY ). If ours was to be successful and portray the right kind of images to the audience, we had to make sure it was fairly fast paced and had elements that we quite intense. I think that this was achieved within our teaser trailer. However, there were some conventions that we did not use. After watching the final trailer, we decided that if there was anything that we would change, it would be to include an extra production logo. We had already used the ‘Shotg8 Productionz’ logo but another one e.g. Paramount would have made the trailer more realistic.
Our trailer was very intertextual and therefore the ideas for the structural conventions came from other texts. Last year, we created a spoof film and looked to texts such as ‘Johnny English’ for inspiration; this year, our generic conventions were developed further to suit the audience expectations of the action film fan with a more serious tone and suitable gravitas. For lasts years production we took conventions from similar films- Johnny English, James Bond and the Bourne films. This was very similar at A2 level, because we wanted to create a more serious action film rather than a spoof action film which we did last year. By looking at the trailers for all of these films, you can see where our ideas for structure came from in terms of order. The elements that were borrowed and incorporated into our trailer were the costumes, lighting, props, music, sound, titles and shot types. If you watch our trailer and compare it to what trailers like James Bond and the Bourne films include, they are very similar. We have achieved this by using similar mise-en-scene. A shot that shows this is the torture scene. We used the mise-en-scene that would be appropriate for this genre, and so that it would create an intense atmosphere. Agent Morris has a suit (costume), there is low key lighting (lighting), weapons for interrogation (props), music and sound effect to show discomfort (sound and music) and the shot type is very enclosed to make the viewer feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. I do not think that there were many parts within the trailer which challenged the forms and conventions of real media products. However, there were aspects of it which were challenged, mainly the antagonists. The antagonists identity was not seen throughout the whole of the trailer and more importantly we have made the antagonist the government. I think that this was a big move for us to make and one that is rarely seen in real media products. The majority of texts usually use the antagonist as foreigners, often highly stereotypical with thick accents, which is where we got our ideas from for our production last year. I do think that by making the government as the antagonists and portraying them as corrupt, our trailer challenges the forms and conventions of real media products. (Click picture to view trailer)
I think that the conventions and forms of teaser trailers were quite difficult to follow for our genre because there were so many that we needed to make the trailer look realistic. I believe that we did use all the conventions and forms that were required and because of this our trailer is effective and works really well and it portrays the right images and atmosphere for the audience expectations.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? The ancillary texts that I worked on in conjunction with the main task were a magazine front cover, website and DVD cover. The website which was created through Google sites benefits the film because of the promotion that it gives. The website is a way for fans to look at the trailer and more in depth information about their favourite characters and the film. I feel that the website has a good design and continues the ‘look’ of the film by using various colours and pictures which relate to the film itself, and reflects the generic style. The colours that the film uses are predominately black and white. However, this colour needed an extra colour for the text which would show, we chose yellow for the website because that is the colour of our production logo and it shows really well on the black and white background. I feel that the combination of the website and the teaser trailer works really well because they both complement each other and both convey a similar mood/tone to the audience. You can clearly see that the trailer is of an action genre and within this we wanted the audience to know the film was quite dark and mysterious. I think the website does this because of the colours and pictures used. (Link to Conspiracies website- http:// sites.google.com/site/conspiraciesmovie/home ) I think that the magazine front cover is very different because it doesn’t allow you to be as free or portray the film like the website does. For the magazine we had to follow the conventions of an existing magazine, we chose Empire. This required us to have a base image that would catch the audience’s eye and it also had to be realistic. The magazine works well in conjunction with the main task because it promotes the film and also lets the wider audience learn more about the film and the characters. It also continues the imagery of the trailer because of the pictures and colours used. This is the main link between all of the ancillary tasks and the main product. I also think that with my magazine front cover, I have challenged the forms and conventions because of the way in which the title Empire has been edited; this works and suits our film. My idea for this was taken from an existing Empire covers which featured Hellboy 2, where the title is on fire. I have chosen to have blood dripping from the titles in order to challenge the conventions and catch the audiences eye. (Link to Hellboy 2 magazine front cover- http:// www.comicrelated.com/graphics/movie/hellboy_empire.jpg )
Overall, I believe that the magazine has been produced very well and it looks very authentic, with the required conventions like a real copy of Empire. It is as effective as the website and links in well with it because they are both giving publicity to the audience about the new film. The website gave us a chance to reference our films appearance in Empire, however, the magazine front cover could not reference our website. If we were to write an article within Empire magazine, the website could be mentioned. A DVD cover was an optional task which I decided to create because it does make our whole film more authentic. After the success of last year’s DVD cover I decided to create one with a similar layout. Again, all the colours and imagery are similar to keep the consistency, and I also included all of the conventions that you would find on real DVD covers. This cover works very well and from the feedback I received, lots of people have likened it to a real media product. For all of the ancillary tasks that were created I wanted to receive feedback to let me know what could be improved and generally what people thought of it. I got some of the feedback through my media class, other feedback came from a BTEC business class. However, the most reliable results came from the survey on the 6 th form forum. This allowed everyone in the 6 th form to have a say in how effective each of our products were. I think that the BTEC business class gave good and helpful feedback because they study things like promotion and therefore they could tell me what the Empire magazine was like and also the website. The majority of the feedback was positive for all of the ancillary products. They said that the website was strong and all of the colours and pictures used linked together well and with the film, however, if there were any improvements to be made it would be to add some more content onto the home page. Other than that all of the feedback given to me for the website was positive. When I showed my magazine front cover to the people giving feedback, I was very pleased with the reply because all of them said it was of an excellent standard and very realistic. There were no negative comments or obvious improvements to add to this. Finally, I presented my DVD cover to the feedback groups, again this got positive feedback. The majority said that it looked very authentic, and there was only really one outstanding improvement, and that was the quality/clarity of the picture. Other than that, there were lots of positive comments about the colour and layout and how it suited our teaser trailer.
The feedback really helped me to understand the quality of the ancillary products. The main thing that I could take from the feedback is that the combination of all the ancillary products link together really well, this is done through similar and consistent colours, imagery and layout. The feedback group think that all my ancillary products work really well together and with the main product. This is also my view on the ancillary products; I think that they are all of an excellent standard and link together well with the main product. When producing the ancillary tasks, the main objective was to create a cohesive promotional package that is authentic and will work within the film industry. I think that overall as a promotional package, the ancillary tasks work well alongside the main task by drawing attention to our production. I think that we achieved this cohesiveness by using similar styles, colours and pictures. All of the ancillary tasks- Magazine cover, Website and DVD cover have a primarily black colouring and have ‘dark’ pictures, for example on the website, there is a picture of an interrogation chair. I think that feedback has given me positive points about how well all the ancillary products work together. In conclusion, I believe that we have a successful promotional package that portrays our whole film in a positive way. DVD Cover (Click Picture for a larger image) Website (Click picture to go to the homepage) Magazine Front Cover (Click Picture for a larger image)
What have you learned from your audience feedback? As I have mentioned, I took some time to ask for feedback for both my primary and ancillary tasks. From the audience feedback I learnt a lot about my production and all of the ancillary tasks: positives, negatives, improvements etc. Not only did I conduct audience feedback for the final cut of my main production, but I also wanted to know of any improvements for the rough cut. The rough cut was a basic putting together of the shots in order, with basic sound and music. Obtaining feedback for the rough cut was vital for the development of the production. The feedback group consisted of my media class, a BTEC business class and surveys were broadcasted onto the 6 th Form forum in order to receive feedback from other students who attended 6 th Form. From the audience feedback on the rough cut, we encountered three different improvements that needed changing for our final cut: Transitions, music and sound. The rough cut meant that we had not put a lot of transitions into our trailer and therefore there was not much continuity. We knew that we had to put more transitions between each of the shots to make it flow better and also look more professional, the feedback groups reiterated this point to us. We needed to add transitions to every shot because we need to make it fast paced and look like a real teaser trailer. The second biggest improvement that almost everyone stated was the music. Because of the genre of film we were doing, it was very important that we found some music that not only suited our film, but also conveyed the right sort of atmosphere to the audience. Since we had not yet added the music, it was very clear that it was missing. When the feedback group was watching our rough cut, they noticed straight away that music was missing and without it, the trailer seemed very plain and boring. The audience feedback also helped with audience theory, for example, the gratification of entertainment was compromised by the lack of relevant music. Finally, the last major improvement that was pitched to us from our audience feedback was the sound. There was one specific point in the rough cut teaser trailer that the sound needed changing significantly- the scene by houses of parliament where the two agents are talking. While we were actually shooting this
scene we thought it was best to take it from three different angles. This worked really well for us because the shot and sound that we had originally had an excellent shot but poor sound. The feedback showed us that this had to be changed because if the sound quality. So when we were editing for our final cut, we took the sound from the other shots and made it in sync with the original shot. These were the main improvements given to us in order make a successful final cut. As I have mentioned in the previous answer, I also got audience feedback for the ancillary products as well as the final cut for the main production. I feel that audience feedback has helped a lot during this production because it lets us know what the actual audience thinks production. This gives us a vital insight into what the audience wants to see, and by following this, it gives the production more chance of success. Feedback also enabled me to receive information on how our film in perceived (reception theory) by the audience as well as all the ancillary products. Before producing the trailer, we had the image that the audience would follow the ‘side’ of Agent Morris and will him on to defeat their own government. I believe that this was the outcome achieved. Everyone that saw the trailer mentioned that they wanted Agent Morris to defeat the villain, even though it was their own government they were fighting. I believe that this shows the success of the characters and storyline within the film (Link to characters page within our website- http://sites.google.com/site/conspiraciesmovie/cast ). As the audience are not passive and take an active role while viewing the trailer, they expressed the gratifications they received. The main gratification was escapism, which is the same gratification the audiences receive from such films as ‘James Bond’ and the ‘Bourne’ series. Finally, the audience feedback commented that our aim of creating tension was achieved within the teaser trailer. This made it more exciting for the audience and also encouraged them to view the film when it is released. I believe that we created this tension because of the mystery that we included in the trailer and the lack of identity given to the villains. We followed the Enigma Code, a theory created by media theorist Roland Barthes. (Link to Roland Barthes’ Wikipedia profile- http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Barthes )
How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? During the production of our teaser trailer, lots of different technologies were used for each of the stages- construction, research, planning and evaluation. The technology ranged from basic technology which I already knew how to use, to new technology which I hadn’t used before and therefore had to develop my skills in order to create a teaser trailer. Initially, as a group we had to plan what we wanted to create. And as part of the planning, storyboards needed to be created so that we could show what we wanted to do. A Konica digital camera was used to take photos of each different shot we wanted to use in the trailer. This was a very simple piece of technology which I had used before and could therefore use successfully to take photos for our storyboard. In order to upload some photos and sketches, I used a HP Scanjet 4070, which is a scanner. This enabled me to upload certain things onto a computer and then make it compatible to go onto our blog, which is another piece of media technology which I used frequently. Blogger is arguably the most important part of media technology which was used to aid our production and show all of the construction, research and planning that was conducted. I have personally used the blog that we created for our A2 teaser trailer production to upload pictures, videos and text to show the work that has been done to ensure that ‘Conspiracies’ is a successful production. Within Blogger, another part of media technology was used to present research. The internet is a part of new media technology that helped a lot. But within this there are certain sites which have aided the research and planning aspects of my production, specifically Youtube. Youtube, allowed me to view various teaser trailers which was a massive help during the preliminary stages where I was looking for what conventions had to be included.
I used SlideShare to convert a presentation I made for research on trailer conventions and on magazine front covers. It allowed me to post a PowerPoint presentation onto Blogger for others to see. There were two different options available to me- SlideShare or Authorstream. Both of them do the same thing, but I opted to use SlideShare. (Link to my SlideShare account- http:// www.slideshare.net/stevebourner ) Again another huge part of media technology which was used in some of the different stages was the JVC GR-D860 Digital Video. This was the video camera used to capture the footage for our trailer. I was familiar with this camera after using it at AS level, so this made it very easy to use and allowed me to be creative with all the different functions available e.g. the lighting and contrast. Along with taking the footage, it needed to be edited so that the audience could understand more and also to give it some structure. To edit the footage, I used Adobe Premiere Pro along with i-movie. The majority of the editing like, cutting up the footage, arranging it, adding video effects and transitions, sound effects and music etc was produced via Adobe Premiere Pro. Like the video camera, I was very familiar with the Adobe editing software because I used it significantly last year. I found this very easy to use, however, I was new to using i-movie after transporting the production over to the Mac. I used i-movie to add titles to our trailer because they are a key convention that is found in trailers. The Macs were also used in our production to create a DVD menu via i-DVD. As well as this, it helped to develop sound effects for specific scenes and additional music to create the atmosphere we wanted, for this we used GarageBand. The production could have been created by only using normal computers, but this would limited the standard of the production. The Macs have been used to enhance and increase the standard of the production by adding elements that couldn’t be done on Adobe- DVD menu, sound effects and industry standard titles and transitions. After only being introduced to the Macs halfway through our production, I believe that this was an excellent piece of media technology that we have used well and which has made our production excel. I feel that all of the different parts of media technology have been a big help in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages. The video camera, editing software and the Apple Macs played a big part in the construction of the
actual teaser trailer. The digital camera, the scanner, blogger, SlideShare and Youtube have all assisted me with the research and planning stages. Finally, the biggest contributor for my evaluation is also SlideShare because it has allowed me to post this presentation onto my Blog. I have used lots of different technology during this production, and it has all helped to make the teaser trailer successful.