In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media productsPresentation Transcript
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Before initiating the production process of our trailer I decided to analyse current products. I was already aware of products that existed such as the Blair Witch Project and Hostel (below) but I thought it relevant to research further into existing products
The product that I carried out a detailed analysis on was ‘The Summer House’. As well as this I also watched many trailers and posted some of these upon my blog with analysis. These three trailers were ‘American Psycho’, ‘Vacancy’ and ‘Funny Games’
The main points I discovered are on my blog and are as follows: -The name of the producers in a text card for example ‘Fox Searchlight’. -Fast shots with little or very little amounts of clarity, this is very effective and leaves the viewer in suspense, leading them to want and watch the film. - Dark lighting is very effective as most people become nervous in the dark. - Pathetic fallacy is often used - The use of rural areas is important, in our trailer especially, because if a very urban location was used the person would not seem alone and isolated. - Text card are often used to tell information - The use of weapons and showing of blood or gore is often popular to horror audiences. - The use of a victim. - The disequilibrium section is very fast and often has very few transitions the use of a final scare.
The main product is very similar to already existing trailers, such as the summer house or the Blair Witch Project, as it is based mainly in an isolated forested area
I found this a very good convention of horror trailers as it represents a sense of being trapped with no way out
The main convention our trailer uses is within the plot. The plot is not necessarily convention breaking but it does challenge conventions. This will be shown in ore detail further in this presentation. The main focus of the plot is the fact that revenge is trying to be brought upon a group of bullies for leading one of their victims to suicide
How conventions are and are not followed
As well as this, the lengths of shots follow the basic conventions of a trailer. They start off relatively slow but, as the on screen action turns more violent the shots become shorter and must faster. As well as this the music itself increases in tempo which helps to reflect the on screen action. Below is a photo of where the speed of the trailer is faster paced.
As you can see, the section in which most of the ‘infliction’ is taking place is where the faster paced shots are, this helps to cause disorganisation as well as panic and a sense of fear
As well as this our trailer follows basic conventions because it contains two separate sections. The beginning section is the happy and nice (equilibrium) and the following section is faster paced, chaotic and unorganised (disequilibrium)
As well as this the second section is much longer then the first section and the shots are shorter and faster paced, they also contain much less edits and all of the shots have been darkened. The majority of this section has been filmed in a wooded area as I determined this to be the best
Our trailer challenges the codes and conventions of trailers in one big way. The victim.
Most trailers and movies feature stereotypically vulnerable women as the victim and the villain is normally a man.
Our trailer however starts off this way but it is then all turned on its head as a group of males are captured and tortured by a woman. This is very convention breaking as normally it would be the woman being captured by the male villain such as in Saw (below)
As well as this the villain is normally in black clothing as this represents the ‘dark side’ and helps the viewer to easily associate with the villain. The best examples of this are films such as ‘star wars’ and ‘Dracula’ (below)
In order to further challenge conventions we decided to place the lead, woman, villain in a white shirt which is normally used to represent innocents
Film Magazine In order to create a strong magazine cover I found it appropriate to analyse an existing product upon which I would base my product. The magazine company I decided to use was ‘Total Film’ because this is an internationally recognisable brand and is automatically associated with films by everybody, even if they are not into movies
The main codes and conventions I discovered were :
The main film was the biggest thing second to the title and often placed at the bottom on the cover, with a different font
The title is always at the top of the screen and is instantly recognisable
The image is often strongly representative of the film and a lead character is normally used
The pull lines roll down both sides of the cover and at least one of the main ones are related to the main film being covered
Other titles are present which are not necessarily linked to the feature article
Poster As well as carrying out research into existing trailers it was also necessary to research existing posters in order to gain conventions and codes to use when creating my product
The basic codes and conventions I discovered were as follows:
The title is always clear to be seen and should be able to be seen from a distance and easily read
The picture is usually of the victim or the villain and either shows the villain being dominant or the victim being tortures or otherwise.
Dark coloured, normally red text is used, normally because of connotations of death or blood
Often effects are added to the poster during post production in order to maximise its effects of being scary or haunting
There is normally text credits including the names of production companies, lighting companies as well as the actors and directors
The main things that Todarov’s theory shows is :
Narrative structure have changed over time
People decide to structure the narrative in a non chronological way
Traditional narrative structure is less clear cut now then it was previously.
Print work can also have a narrative but it is more fitting to moving image work.
In everything we seek a beginning, middle and an end.
I do not believe that it is possible for our trailer, or any other, to follow the conventions of Todarov’s theory. The main reason for this is because if a trailer had a full narrative structure then it would be pointless for people top go and see the film. It is not necessary for any trailer to include a new equilibrium section.
I believe that our trailer contains most sections, excluding new equilibrium. However the order of the sections is extremely distorted within our trailer as to give a sense of confusion and un-organisation. This goes hand in hand with the genre of horror. Our trailer does not contain a new equilibrium section because very few horror films, as well as general trailers, contain this section.
Vladimir (below left) studied many media texts and noticed a common theme between characters in these texts, particularly fairytale texts. He decided that character roles are critical in forming narrative structure and stated 8 different characters. The five main ones he stated are as follows:
HERO – the hero is the main character and is normally male
HELPER – often magical and supports the hero at critical points, such as Dr Watson in Sherlock Homes
VILLAIN - This is the ‘baddy’ of the film and is the opposite of the hero, he tries to stop the hero from obtaining his goals
FALSE HERO – A variant on the villain as he tries to steel the hero’s thunder
DONAR – Gives the hero something special (like a sword)
As our product is of the horror genre it does not follow this structure at all. We have found it hard to decide the roles of each person within our trailer as it has two clear sections. The first section involves a villain (bully) and a clear victim (the girl being bullied). However, as the second section of our trailer has the bullies as the victims and the girl being the villain a.k.a the bully we found it very hard to determine who was who in order of propps theory. For this reason we have decided that our trailer does not follow propps character theory, both then again does any horror?
Overall I feel that all of my work follows basic conventions of their respected area. I feel that this makes each of the products recognisable to the genre of horror. I also feel that our trailer does actually challenge some conventions by having a dominant female character for the majority of the trailer. As well as this I feel that the trailer is representative of the genre horror