We mainly focussed on using and developing forms and conventions of real media products to embrace on the teen genre as wanted to steer away from challenging as this would defeat our choice of genre. Being a teen comedy film, we thoroughly thought through our narrative and researched various teen films to gain suitable influences in which we could interpret into our film. We conducted a lot of research into the hit teen film ‘Mean Girls’ as its stock narrative rigorously explores the realism of teenagers. This being, the social segregation within a college, corrosive nature of gossip , the longing to fit in and the achievement of self-blooming. By using this media product as an inspiration, it certified us that using a similar narrative would attract our audience significantly.
However , we somewhat challenged the forms and conventions of media products by using ‘The flashback’ opening. Taking an audience back in time can be an added challenge to getting them emotionally involved. We specifically wanted this to happen as we want our audience to sympathize with Jennifer’s younger character so found the flash back opening very effective. In our audience feedback one of our peers said “ the title before hand ‘As Time Moves On’ really sets up the enigma code of the main geek character changing”. We purposely listed the title of our movie between shots to elaborate on the time lapse and to bring a sense of mystery as to how and why our fictional character has changed..
We decided to try and use teen stock characters with typical characters a teen audience would expect to see from this type of film. The various stock characters we used were the idyllic couple, love interest and a geek. ‘As time moves on’ matches the stock characters of A Cinderella Story distinctively. Hilary Duff’s character, Sam Montgomery upholds to the same characteristics of Jennifer. Although physically more attractive, she’s the intellectual schoolgirl yearning for social attention but fails to do so as her peers judge her. In ways we interpreted this character but in other ways challenged it. In Jennifer’s medium shot, she uses mode of address to communicate with her audience. We found this even more effective for our audience to commiserate with our geeky character as it promotes her alienation.
Austin Ames plays the love interest in ‘A Cinderella Story’. From the image on the right, we can see he is well presented and good looking un-doubtly proving to be a ‘heartthrob’. We wanted to interpret this into our film to comply with the typical ideal boyfriend. The couple of our film advocate a close relationship. The male partner is seen to have his arm around his girlfriend, suggesting he is protective over her and feels affection towards her. This compares nicely with the image bottom left, again, from ‘A Cinderella Story’ We wanted to use this form and convention as it upholds the ideal relationship any teenager hopes for and I feel we have done so as their relationship is perceptible.
From research we recognised that using a school is common in most teen films. It instinctively sets the scene and focus of the film, creating a realistic atmosphere. Choosing the setting of a school allowed us to use the forms and conventions demonstrated in ‘Mean girls’ by setting the social hierarchy into place and recognizes those individuals who are ‘cool’ and those who are not. We also used the forms and conventions of 13 going on 30 as Jennifer’s apartment contrasts with that of the real media products character Jenner Rink . Both of the two connote prosperity and wealth. Jennifer’s apartment physically signifies her character and well being with the brown silk sheets, sophisticated crystal lighting and spacious room.
Iconography combined with mise en scene takes a major role at conforming to common forms and conventions. The variety of body languages expressed by each character immediately contrasted the attitudes different social groups have – popular girl is self-centred, the footballers are immature and Jennifer is self-aware and cautious. Expression also conveys the same picture with Jennifer being exceedingly envious and jealous of the popular girl demonstrating her social status whereas the footballers simply connotes there lack of interest in Jennifer treating her as if she was invisible. These are shot in POV shots to give the audience an insight and situating them in Jennifer’s shoes. Costume used in our film are conventional as they are costumes and props emblematic of the teen genre. The glasses worn by Jennifer generically show her intelligence, the short skirt worn by the popular girl signifies her self-confidence whereas the zipped jacket worn by Jennifer proves to be a stark contrast.