In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products?
The genre that was chosen for the film trailer was drama. As a result of this the
trailer focused on using different conventions held by drama films to indentify it with
its genre. During the pre production stage, research was conducted on the
conventions of a film drama and focused on factors that related to this particular
genre as well as analysing existing film products.
Mise en scene
The film trailer produced, follows the conventions of real media products through
the Mise en scene. For example inspirations were taken from the film the "Pursuit of
happiness" which included a similar story concept to the one created. The location
used in the film depicted both a suburban and inner city environment showing the
juxtaposition between the two settings and also the characters development into
success. This was a main influence taken from the film which led to the choice of
location used in the film trailer created.
The aim of the trailer was to capture the story of a young man living in the heart of
London struggling to become successful in life. I therefore chose to capture scenes in
Liverpool street for an inner city environment as highlighted in the beginning of the
trailer and shots in Camden to capture a suburban environment for the typical Mise
en scene thus creating verisimilitude.
As well as the location, the lighting was another convention that was followed. For
example the lighting used in the Pursuit of happiness trailer was very dull in certain
scenes to portray a gritty and bleak nature. This therefore required editing to the
background colour in order to create the same effect in my trailer, and was achieved
by increasing the hue and saturation levels using RGB curves using Adobe Premier in
order to create a realistic environment. The shots below are an example of how I
used similar lighting to the real product, the reason this lighting was applied is
because it sets the scene for the audience and also reflects the characters state of
disequilibrium through the dark lighting. In addition to this film dramas
conventionally exhibit real life situations and real life characters therefore by
applying this bleak lighting to my trailer it emphasised this exhibition creating
The story featured in the trailer also followed the conventional concepts of other film
dramas such as the film precious. In both my trailer and "Precious" the story line
covers deals with social realism in which it portrays real life characters dealing with
real life issues. For example the film precious deals with issues such as child abuse,
rape and poverty whereas my trailer deals with homelessness, neglect and death.
Furthermore both trailers reveal the protagonists development in their journey
throughout their situation. However the trailer also challenges Todorov's structural
theory of films in which the protagonists starts off in a state of disequilibrium where
he is homeless and is then disrupted by an event where he meets the rich accountant
and then is further developed to the characters state of equilibrium where he
changes his life around and becomes successful. The protagonist is also portrayed as
a young teenage orphan who is homeless; this breaks conventions as homeless
characters in films are usually portrayed as being old or middle aged. An example of
this will be the film "the soloist" as indicated in the shot below.
The trailer also sets out to challenge the convntions of teenage characters. For
example the protagonist is depicted being hard working and eager to be successful
after with his encounter with theaccount. This contradics the stereotypes of teenage
characters as they are ussually associated with antisocial behaviour, drugs an alchol
and as troublesome in films and are not ussually shown in a good light where as the
trailer created does so.
Text was also another convention applied to my trailer. The shot shown above from
the trailer "seven pounds" uses similar texts to the one I included in the beginning
half of my trailer edited. Both my trailer and Seven pounds begin with the
protagonist introducing his story to the audience and then is then broken by a fade
into the text provided. This establishes the main character to the audience and
suggests that the film is based around his life. Barthes suggest that using texts allow
the audience to encode information in different ways and also sets an enigma code
making the audience question something and grab their attention. An enigma code
has therefore been set in the opening texts as it encourages the audience to
question, "Why the character has one chance only", as with the texts provided in the
seven pounds trailer.
The media product created also developed the forms of conventions of real media
products through the editing used. For example-editing skills were further developed
using Adobe Premier, which is a well, known industry-editing site. The edits I
included in my trailer were typical transitions such as fade, dip to black and white
and the lighting and text included as previously discussed.
The shot above is taken from the film Robin Hood along with a screen shot of my
trailer in which the same editing software was used to create this film. The editing
used in the "Robin hood" included fade in transitions and fast paced shots which
were also depicted in my trailer. This was also used in other film drama's analysed
which influenced me when creating the introduction half of the trailer. For example I
used slow transitions to symbolise the protagonists state of disequilibrium when
editing the first half of the trailer as opposed to the fast past transitions used in the
final half edited by my partner.
The shots and camera movements used was another convention followed in which
influences were gained from the film "the pursuit of happyness". For example I used
a pan in the opening scene of my trailer similar to the one used at the start of "the
pursuit of happiness" trailer which was accompanied by the character narration. This
as a result set the scene by capturing the Mise en scene.
In addition to this I also used close ups in the beginning of the trailer to highlight the
significance of the image held in the protagonists hand, which was also a feature
used in the "pursuit of happiness". The shot of the close up used in my trailer is an
image of the protagonists close friend "Jim" who died, which is displayed when the
character references him in his narration, to indicate to the audience who "Jim" is .
This is likewise with the example shot given from the pursuit of happiness in which
the close up of the wallet is displayed with reference to the landlord asking for his
Once again simular to my product the film also uses an over the shoulder shot.
However this convention was developed as the character is not featured talking to
another character as conventionally depicted with this shot. The character is
speaking directly to the audience, therefore the shot allows the audience to see
things from the characters point of view as if they are entering the journey with him.