How does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products part 1
Before we create our spy trailer, we decided to research existing films, posters and magazines so that we were aware of the typical conventions that is expected of our genre within a trailer. We watched a range of trailers such as ‘Quantum of Solace’, ‘mission impossible’, ‘Bourne ultimatum’, and ‘taken’.
We found a range of conventions in each trailer including: A dramatic soundtrack which compliments the shots A fast, sharp edits towards the end a strong element of suspense /ENIGMA a highly classified information that is normally catastrophic to the entire world. The protagonist is male Car chase scenes Action The organists back-story - flashback Theme – revenge, justice Voiceover to build plot Tension is built up throughout the trailer many fast-paced shots
I am now going to examine whether our group applied these codes and conventions to our trailer, or whether we challenged them. This is the final draft of our teaser trailer; it took 2 drafts prior to this to get it the way we wanted. We also got a lot of audience feedback to help us make the trailer more appealing to the audience.
NARRATIVE Storyline: After witnessing his ex-wife, a CIA operative, Scarlett killing his fiancé’ at gunpoint in an attempt to derive valuable information about Subject 27, Charles, an ex-spy is on the run with the stolen highly classified information, Subject 27 in vengeance and devised an intricate plan to obliterate Scarlett and her appointed team. During our planning process, we thought of the many different ways in which we could present our narrative without giving too much of it away. For example, we knew it was crucial to include scenes with action that highlighted Charles’ despair and agitation in his struggle in locating Scarlett. But we may sure not to include the aftermath of Charles’ and Scarlett’s confrontation in order to tease the audience.
NARRATIVE Unfortunately, our first and second drafts of our trailer were too vague and did not establish any kind of narrative whatsoever as we were unsure of how to structure the shots in terms of editing. It took us a while to realize, and after some audience feedback, we added some voiceovers to give the audience an awareness on what was happening in the trailer. We agree that it was far too vague and begun working on making the narrative visible to the viewer.
NARRATIVE The narrative of our trailer incorporated some conventions of contemporary films of spy genre. In mission impossible 3, Ethan’s wife held at gunpoint at the beginning of the movie was a source of inspiration for the scene of at the start of the trailer, where Charles’ fiancé is at the mercy of Scarlett, who is holding a gun to her head. In trailers of spy genre, the narrative and the theme interlink, there is normally a conflict through the use of binary opposition – the protagonist, Charlie vs. antagonist, which in this case is Scarlett as they both want sole possession of the valuable object, Subject 27. This is a iconographic code that is expected of a spy genre film as there is usually a object of some sort that can cause an adverse impact on the world and lead to catastrophic results if in the wrong hands – this is evident in Quantum of Solace. We were limited in delivering a storyline through the trailer as the shots were cut down and constructed under one minute.
NARRATIVE Our trailer follows most of the conventions of existing products, for example: We have edited all of our shots in chronological order as to give the audience an understanding of how the events unfolded. Our trailer features a much higher proportion of disequilibrium, compared to equilibrium because it mainly contains scenes of action that signify the struggle between the Scarlett and Charles as they both go to extreme measures to obtain Subject 27.
NARRATIVE There was a sense of enigma seeing that towards the end of the trailer, the fast-paced shots and the dramatic music both contributed to the tension built-up as it leads to a highly stressful climax and ends with Charlie holding a pistol in the direction of the camera, which provokes a nervous reaction in the audience as leaves them wondering if he going to pull the trigger and ‘At whom is the gun pointed at?’, and the ultimate question ‘What is subject 27?’
MISE EN SCENE Props: guns Props are often of genre specific iconography. A prop like a gun is a visual code that is element of spy genre as in many spy films characters are seen holding on to one as a means of killing and aid in creating a sinister feeling and anticipation. It also gives Charles’ an image of dominance.
MISE EN SCENE Props: subject 27 Subject 27 is a highly classified information that is stolen from the spy agency, Charles was recruited in. The theft of documents/files/formulas/te chnology - usually something good that can be turned evil – is a recurring theme in spy movies and shows.
MISE EN SCENE Costumes: In movies of this genre, the main protagonist is seen wearing formal attire, suits especially when infiltrating the antagonist’s base in social events i.e. (contemporary James Bond movies). We have applied this dress codes into our trailer in order for the audience to distinguish the central character, Charles as the archetypal heroic figure. He is usually Suave, sophisticated, well dressed to emphasize the seriousness of his self-appointed mission and his well-informed intellect on gadgets.
MISE EN SCENE Lighting - The lighting in spy/action thrillers are mostly dark and mysterious. No character, not even the protagonist is a saint, so the darker toned lighting in this genre of film emphasizes this idea. The genre also deals with dark stories and motives so it is favoured for the lighting to back it up. Our trailer will not use many high key lighting to help us portray the story as a dark and serious one.
MISE EN SCENE Location: Scarlett’s agency This was the first location we filmed a scene in which, Charles and Katy were seen running away from Scarletts attackers, in an attempt to protect Subject 27.
MISE EN SCENE Location: hall The image of the hall was where, Katy and Charles ran into each other arms because they were relieved that they escaped, after being separated and tortured.
MISE EN SCENE Location: screening room – torture room This room was used for two different scenes. the first scene was when Susanna, Scarletts accomplice was confronted and killed by Charles. It was used as CIA base. This room was also used as a torture chamber when Katy and Charles were kidnapped and beaten up. It was also where they join in alliance to kill Scarlett.
MISE EN SCENE Location: living room This is the location of Sashas murder. This was also the angle that the shot was filmed at. The home environment contrasts with the spy genre because every other shot was spy related whereas this shot was in a home which signify Sashas unawareness of Scarletts intention.
MISE EN SCENE Location: city A generic convention of spy movie locations is the city at night. We also had a shot of a boat going by. The darkness conveys a sense of secrecy and a air of mystery which is normally present in spy movies.