In what ways does your media product use, develop or
challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
My project uses some real psychological media codes and conventions. For example, my film includes a
character with a mental problem and fast paced shots. The teenager in my film is wearing a hoodie down
an alleyway, this is a stereotype of teenagers that is commonly used in thriller films. Another way my
media product is similar to the usual conventions of a psychological thriller is that my storyline is based
upon real life situations, giving my media product realism. E.g. killing of a girl due to having mental issues. I
wanted to give a large plot twist in mine due to many of the other psychological thrillers I watched also did
this. I wanted to highlight the importance of judging people before you actually know what they’re like,
giving a moral to the storyline. For example my storyline manipulates the audience into believing that Anna
Dylan is the antagonist by what she wears and how she acts suspicious at the start as she states that she’s
“not mad” which makes her seem as if she is denying her madness.
At the beginning I use non-diegetic sound (Muse – Supermassive black hole) I wanted to use this music as
it has the sound of someone going insane adding to the ambiance. Similarly American Psycho uses music
to make the character seem calm, then as the music progresses through the film, it gets louder and more
wild. This portrays the antagonists characteristics of insanity.
Many psychological thrillers have titles that include their own background, some movies have credits
running before the film begins e.g. se7ven. American Pyscho uses colour in the opening scene as you see
blood dripping against a white background, setting the scene for this movie. The colour red is often used in
psychological thrillers to represent murder/blood/romance, which features heavily within this genre of
film. My film uses white text on a black background. My idea of this came from the film Looper, I decided
to replicate this as I believed it portrayed the contrast between good and bad. The white text representing
the main characters innocence, and the black background portraying her past and how she was wrongly
accused. I also use text on top of the film while it runs in the background. I do this as American Pyscho uses
the same technique. This clearly shows that I have understood what a psychological thriller is ans included
a variety of conventions of real media products.
How it uses conventions of a media product
How it challenges conventions of a media product
My film challenges the conventions of a usual psychological thriller as my film was
shot in broad daylight. In usual run away scenes where someone wants to escape
from somewhere, they would be shot a t night so that they would be harder to
find, instead of running away in broad daylight. However due to health and safety
reasons, we did not shoot at night. We did however shoot when it looked dull and
gloomy outside instead of sunny nice weather in order to set the scene as
We did use jump cuts originally in our piece, however, our targeted audience
thought the jump cuts looked out of place in that particular scene. Also as jump
cuts are usually used to skip unnecessary parts of the film which I didn’t feel we
needed to do as many parts of our film are crucial to the storyline.
We haven’t used any weapons or dangerous objects in the mise-en-scene as this
opening scene was shot in broad daylight. Therefore, if Robert Grayson
(antagonist) was to bring out a weapon it would alert someone. However, with this
said I could’ve had a weapon visible in a shot to show the audience that this
weapon may be used later in the film.
When I filmed, I decided not to use any fast pans like in usual thriller films. I did
this as using slower pans built to the suspense when Anna Dylan (protagonist)
turned around slowly to see Robert Grayson standing behind her.
How does your media product represent particular social
The main character for my film opening is a white female around the age of 17/18. I used a girl in my opening
scene as in thriller films, females are usually used in order to portray innocence, which is what I wanted to
Also, the majority of people who said in our questionnaire that they would be most likely to see a psychological
thriller were teenage girls. Therefore, by making the main character a female around the same age as our
targeted audience, it means they will be able to relate to her more. However, when researching, I found that
males are more likely to see psychological thrillers. Due to this I made sure to include elements of actions to
appeal more to that social group.
The gender of the main character (Anna Dylan) is represented in a stereotypical way of her being a vulnerable,
young girl which you see a lot in thriller films. You can tell that our character is middle /lower class due to the
clothes she wears (e.g. black hoodie) this persuades the audience to relate to her as our audience is teenagers,
they are more likely to be of middle class also.
Anna Dylan is White-British race as in many thriller films they use a white teenage girl to further represent
purity with the colour white. I don’t personally believe the race of the main character will affect who views the
film, though there may be some people who feel they can relate more to her.
Robert Grayson is portrayed as a villain in our film due to the way he dresses and the way he talks. I made sure
that their was as many differences as possible between the protagonist and the antagonist in order to separate
them and create binary opposition. An example of binary opposition in the case of my film is the age difference
between the two. These two mutually exclusive concepts creates conflict between the two as the villain would
be stronger due to his age and gender.
The villain in our film is a male around 46 years old. This character allows us to further convince an older group
of people to come and see our film, as we have a character of their age which they can relate to.
The antagonist is upper class which you can tell by the phone he uses, the car he owns and the clothes he
wears. We wanted to portray the character as being well off to show that audience he is of high authority due
to him working for the prime minister.
What kind of media institution may distribute your
media product and why?
Ways to distribute our media product
• Television – available to a wide audience
• Internet – free/easy to access
• DVD – a film that can be watched again and
again and that will be available to an audience
even after the film had been out for some
years enabling it to still generate money.
• Cinema – High budget films with an institution
that are distributed more publically using
As our film is not a high budget film, we would probably distribute it on You Tube. You Tube is a quick and easy
way to create an audience fan base for a film and it’s also free. By putting a film on YouTube we will be able to
get our product seen by a wide market. For example, Paranormal Activity was a phenomenon which was first
shown on the internet. After building a solid fan base, it was converted into a mainstream film.
There is also a chance that our film would be produced by a film company in London called Microwave films.
Microwaves films launched in 2006 with an aim to produce low budget movies over the time period of three
years. This particular film institution distributes any genre of movie which makes it suitable for us. As it
distributes many different types of films, it will have a wide range of audience, allowing us to find out who our
target audience will be. It has produced a thriller before called ‘Shifty’ by metronome, which allows us to know
that it has accepted thriller films before into it’s category of genres.
The ‘microwave films scheme’ uses different ways of distributing the film such as on DVD, in the cinema, and
also downloaded from the internet. Our target audience is mainly teenagers who are likely to favour this type
of distribution as it’s easily accessible for them.
As my film is a small scale budget film, it is likely to only be distributed in Britain as it would be hard to get
attention from a large scale of international attention from places like America that include big institutions
such as Walt Disney and Warner Bros. The film ‘28 days’ was a film originally distributed in England that
managed to obtain the attention of the DNA, a British film company as it was an international success.
However, if I had the choice I would want Warner Bros to be the one to produce our film as they produced
Harry Potter which is one of my favourite films. I also know from research from my own interest that the writer
of the Harry Potter books, J.K Rowling had a bit part in the production of the films, being able to choose actors
to play the characters and also being able to decide what scenes should be included and what scenes
What would be the audience of your media product
This data was collected from our questionnaire. This shows that most people who answered my
questionnaire were teenagers. This gives us a target age group of an audience 15-18. This age
group is perfect for my movie. I specifically chose the age rating 15.
I’m glad that our movie would be within a 15 as it gives us freedom to be able to use violence and
some inappropriate language. If the film was aimed at anyone younger, we would lack the
freedom within our movie, and would not be able to add as much violence /violent words which
build tension for the audience.
How old are you?
16 year olds
17 year olds
Originally I believed that the audience for our film would be teenage girls, due to the
questionnaire feedback informed us that more girls were likely to see a psychological
thriller. Three girls chose Psychological Thriller as what sub-genre they look for in a
Horror. This questionnaire shows that most people chose psychological thriller which
is important as it implies this is their favourite genre.
men/ On this site a survey was
conducted where they also found
that women prefer Thriller films to
men, which is similar to my findings.
I knew that if I were to screen my film, there would be a higher
chance of it succeeding if I aimed it towards teenagers. I learnt from
research that males enjoy car chases within a movie, ours doesn’t
have car chases, but does have scenes with a car in which males
would appreciate. As the main character is a young female, the
women watching this movie would be able to relate to her.
We have dramatic non-diegetic music that matches with the fast
pace action within our movie scenes. Their costumes are realistic, as
Anna fits in with the usual stereotypical teenager “hoodie”. Anna
also portrays a working class teenager, therefore other teenagers
would be able to relate to her better. I made sure that within the
movie was chase/action scenes appealing to males, and a character
which females can sympathise with on an emotional level.
I have also realised that even though our movie is aimed at teenagers,
there is still aspects that could encourage older males to see this film.
For example, we have an older actor around 40-50 who plays the
character Robert Grayson (antagonist). As there’s an older character, it
may influence an older audience to see our film.
My questionnaire informed me that most people who wanted to see a
psychological film were teenagers. This is how I discovered my target
audience. Therefore, as their was a high percentage of teenagers
within the age group of 15-18 that favoured a thriller narrative, I
thought it was only logical to address my audience and create a
Psychological Thriller. Using a sub-genre which my target audience
favours is necessary, as they are the ones who will most likely be
viewing the final product.
From my questionnaire, I did find that 3 women voted that they would
see a psychological thriller whereas only two males voted that they
would see this genre. However, even though women were found to be
more likely to see our movie, I decided to still incorporate cars into the
thriller, and also chase/violent scenes where the protagonist is being
manhandled. I did this as men are known to favouring action scenes
within movies, and are known to stereotypically enjoy thrillers,
therefore I still believed it was necessary to include factors which
would be favoured by the teenage male population. I will also maintain
the captivation of the male audience by using quick shots with
different shot distances to show action.
My storyline is based on a real life events, for example Anna Dylan being based on a
person called Sharon Carr who murdered her first victim at the age of 12. Even though my
main character (Anna) is innocent, and is not the killer in my movie, it still influenced the
creation of the plot within my movie. As you can also see below, the storyline was voted
the most important aspect of a film by our target audience. Our film has a very strong
storyline within it with underlying morals also. Therefore, by making the storyline the
focus of our film, I was able to use this in order to attract our main audience.
This shows that our target audience finds it fitting if rock music was incorporated into our
film as they are a good match. Therefore, in the very first 5 or so scenes of our movie, you
hear rock music. More specifically, this song which is played by a well known rock band
called Muse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj-XfDAdqOM As we used a rock song in
our opening sequence we were able to attract our target audience.
Our leading female Anna was played by my sister Emma
Cottenham is an attractive young female. Men who find
my sister attractive will be more likely to continue
watching this film as she becomes the female interest for
them. The same applies to females, as when I asked some
females within our media class why they would see the
movie “shutter island”, they answered with by saying
“because it has Leonardo Dicaprio starring”.
My narrative structure includes a cliff hanger at the end
which adds suspense, leading the audience to be
attracted to my movie as they will want to find out what
happens. The cliff hanger at the end of our movie is
accompanied by non-diegetic music, which is added to
build suspense. We used this suspense track from
My media address the audience as it includes action which gives them
the thrill they are seeking from watching this psychological thriller. It
uses suspense by the way in which Robert Grayson (antagonist) is
introduced by standing behind Anna Dylan (protagonist) which is an
enigma code as it keeps the audience captivated by out opening scene.
Therefore I feel I have successfully included everything that teenagers
want from our film, The Run.
My film includes realism, therefore my target audience (teenagers) will
find it easy to relate to my characters and situations. My location adds
to the realism as it was shot in an alleyway. This means that teenagers
will be more captivated by our movie as they will find it more
relatable. The low key lighting within our movie makes the location
more believable as the natural lighting helps the audience to feel as if
this is a real setting and not artificial.
My product includes many plot twists such as the appearance of an
antagonist and the diary situation. I have considered in detail their
favourite aspects of thriller films in order to appeal to them.
For our filming we used a
snowball microphone for
voiceovers, a tripod, a canon
camera, iMac, YouTube and
Final Cut Pro
Throughout this project I have learnt how to use different types of technologies.
For example I have learnt how to use; a Canon camera, iMac, Final Cut Pro, tripod,
and a Blue Snowball microphone.
At the start I didn’t know how to properly use a Canon camera apart from taking
photos with it, therefore I made sure I filmed three times before our final shoot. I
found it wasn’t too hard to use as I learnt how to function the buttons properly.
There is a red button on the Canon camera, above the screen that is the button
you press when you want to start recording. I also learnt how to delete parts that
we didn’t need and play back the footage we got. I found this camera to be good
quality, however, it doesn’t let you film at night easily, therefore we just had to
film during the day instead.
I also learnt how to set up a Sony tripod and place the Canon camera on top of it.
I learnt that to get a stable shot, using the tripod was the best way to go about it.
We were also able to get panning shots from using this tripod. For example, when
Anna Dylan turns round to see Robert Grayson behind her.
I have also learnt that when filming and using dialogue, that it’s best to
use a microphone to catch the sound better. However, as I didn’t realise
the sound was bad till after I filmed the shots, I couldn’t of changed it
by this time as it was too late and we didn’t have time to re-shoot
before our deadline. The sound was bad in our film due to how windy
This was the weather forecast for our filming schedule date:
(The weather forecast also stated it would be windy)
Here is a link to the weather report I watched to find out the weather
I came up with an idea to sort our this issue we encountered
which was to use the Blue Snowball Microphone to do
voiceovers on the scenes where you couldn’t hear the
dialogue due to the wind.
By cutting out the sound of the wind and dialogue meant I
could get my dad (Robert Grayson) to re-record his lines
using the microphone then edit it in so that it fitted the way
in which is spoke. I also added in the diegetic sound of the
wind so that it sound realistic. However, I got the wind sound
from another part of the film so the wind wasn’t too loud. I
edited the film this way using Final Cut Pro.
In this respect I found Final Cut Pro very helpful and easy to
use, as I was able to connect the microphone to the
computer, and record the voiceovers on Final Cut instead of
on a separate programme.
For the shots before a flashback in our film, there were
voiceovers used. I believe this helps the audience follow the
I used this link on YouTube to find out how to do voiceovers
on Final Cut Pro:
I also used this link from YouTube which told me how to use
transitions in Final Cut Pro:
Finally, I used this link from YouTube in order to work out
how to add the black and white filter to the flashback shots:
I have learnt how to use Blogger by looking at how other
people have put work onto their blog, such as by using
slideshare which allows you to embed a presentation onto
your blog. This allowed me to be able to use different
forms of presentation on my blog.
I used YouTube to upload my videos easily onto blogger. I
had to create a YouTube account to be able to put up all my
media work on. To put a video from final cut onto YouTube
I had to convert it using Quicktime.
I also used PowerPoint to create pie charts that I could
later use to show my data and analyse the evidence. I knew
I could then upload my work to slideshare and embed that
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel
you have learnt in the progression from it to the full
During the preliminary task I have learnt how to worked together as a team properly.
The preliminary task let me get use to using a Canon camera, on it’s own and with a
tripod. If I didn’t do the preliminary task, I wouldn’t have been able to produce the
film I did to my best ability. In our preliminary task we shot mostly basic shots, for
example over the shoulder shots and medium shots.
Here’s an example of the different shots I used:
(Camera angle example shots from the website:
While creating our preliminary task we created a storyboard to go by. Creating this
storyboard allowed us to plan each shot which really helped when we were filming so
that we didn’t miss out any shots.
From the preliminary task I learnt how to crop the shot by pressing “command B” on the keyboard and making
a cut which I then was able to delete from the preliminary task. I learnt a lot about how to properly edit a short
film sequence such as removing the sound. I found out to remove sound from the preliminary task I had to lock
the film part the highlight the sound and delete it. At this point I didn’t know how to edit music into the film
therefore I only left it silent, however I later learnt how to edit music in by using this link off YouTube:
I also learnt how to upload a film onto Blogger and onto YouTube by following the steps that the two sites took
me through. It did take a while to upload however, therefore I had to leave it overnight to load. Knowing that I
had to leave it over night was good to note as it meant when I came to my opening sequence I knew to leave
the film to upload over night so it will be uploaded for the next day.
Here is the instructions I used in order to upload a film to Blogger:
I can tell how far my skills have developed by looking at my preliminary task and then my finished version of my media product. I
can see how both my filming and editing skills have changed, but creating less shaky shots and by being able to crop and edit a
film so that it looks professional. I have also learnt how to achieve high angled down shots to show the importance of one
I never thought of taking close-up shots before my preliminary task. I learnt that taking shots of the diary in the preliminary task
showed that this particular object will be showed as a enigma code.
Here’s an example of a close-up shot from our preliminary task:
From the preliminary task I learnt how to do a panning shot when the character goes
across the classroom to sit at the desk. I never thought of doing a panning shot before,
however, once I did it I realised they are helpful because it shows you the characters
action and where they are.
In the editing of the preliminary task I learnt how to put transitions into shots.
However, I didn’t need to use transitions I still thought it would be necessary to try it
out just to get an idea of the different edits I could use on my opening sequence later
I also learnt the importance of taking more than one shot for each. Some of the shots
would have people talking in the background, or someone walking in shot. Therefore,
by making sure we had two shots of each gave us a variety to choose from.
A problem we came across with the preliminary task is that the lighting was too dark
when one of our characters was in the hallway. I looked around on the edits that you
can use on Final Cut Pro and I found a colour corrector. The colour corrector allowed
me to make the hallway shot brighter so that you could see her. However, the shot is
still slightly dark. Therefore, I made sure when it came to our opening sequence we
looked at the weather report to make sure that our setting would be bright enough so
that our shots didn’t come out dark.
I have also learnt how to plan for my opening sequence, by writing a list of props that
will be used in the opening scene, and also what location I will be using at what time
really helped me to plan my opening scene as we were able to get our filming done in
all one time.
From the preliminary task I learnt the risks of filming such as equipment not being
charged, not bringing equipment, public walking in shots, the actors not turning up
and it equipment is to be broken on set. I discovered the severity of these risks which
helped me to be more careful while I was filming my opening sequence.