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Media questions 1 7 jessica spiteri


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Media questions 1 7 jessica spiteri

  1. 1. 1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The thriller genre is a very split up genre which can be merged together to create different interpretations of the thriller genre. The thriller genre is made up of a lot of components that put it altogether, although when looking a thriller films they do share codes and conventions such as lighting is dark, locations are usually very similar and repetitive and also the setting is very restricted so the characters will feel intimidates, victimised and there is no way out which is very often of how thrillers tend to end. Thrillers provide the narrative of the unknown, yet an adventure is taking place despite the audience are unable to see through the complex narrative due to false clues which make us think something else they are misleading the audience. The characters within the genre show strong emotion such as anxiety, revenge or sadness which come across through actions, sound, setting, events that take place. More over as Propp’s theory of characters each film has the common characters that the audience would expect such as the antagonist, protagonist, the victim and the false hero. The preliminary task we produced is called ‘Torment’ it is a psychological thriller. Torment challenges usual forms and conventions of thriller films as we challenge stereotypes for example our main character a woman at the end shoots the man whereas stereotypically the male would usually be more powerful and kill the woman. • Torment is set in the 1920’s era and so the ways in which it follows forms and conventions is we used suspense to build tension. We used circular panoramic shots which creates a sense of mystery since the camera angles we used build tension as the music builds the sinister atmosphere. • We developed the female character from her being troubled on the phone the damsel in distress; the audience is left wondering what’s that about, and that’s typical of thriller films where the characters is at a lost. So as the female goes out in a rush, we see her entering a spiral staircase the audience is unaware of the exact location and at the end the audience can see who the more dominant character is as the female character pulls out a gun and all we hear is a gun shot. This shows how we surprise the audiene by challenging stereotypes. From watching, one would think that the man (Patriarchy) would threaten the woman (damsel in distress.) With the main task “Rumour”, we decided to change the style but adopt the conventions of thriller in a different way in order to challenge our skills. ‘Rumour is an action thriller, the two main characters experience and uneasy experience in the woodlands this ends in conflict and being killed. It incorporates elements of action and mystery as the characters are being killed by an unknown creature. Due to characters being hurt by something unknown it creates and emphasis upon mystery and uncertainty of the setting. There is a suspense element in the opening sequence produced by the second character is scared and vulnerable at this point as her friend has been killed, there is then a sudden blackout as they backs up to the bushes. The use of the black out when editing creates tension because it implies something bad is now going to happen.
  2. 2. In order to create individuality and variety to our production we aimed to focus on challenging several of the codes and conventions of the action thriller genre. Alfred Hitchcock used to create suspense through the lack of speech. We enhanced this in our production, there wasn’t much dialogue and at the point once a character was killed off the other only breathed heavy creating suspense and tension. The ideas for the opening sequence of ‘Rumour’ were highly influenced by Blair Witch Project. The film explores the idea of supernatural power or an unknown creature living in the woodlands. We showed slight resemblance in our main production to show research and planning. Our case study was Blair witch project which is a free style filming with very simple locations. It was a low budget film which made a huge success due to the unique style of filming which involved tracking and dollying. Our inspirations come from that film and we also decided to choose the woodlands for the main task setting of our opening sequence. We wanted to follow the conventions of thriller films where extraordinary thing happening in an ordinary place. The woods create an eerie atmosphere that already creates a sense of discomfort for the audience. We were very selective in the use of our camera shots since from the preliminary exercise we learnt how camera angle create meaning. Use a variety of shot, also allow the viewers to get a better understanding of the plot or characters. Besides the audience would be involved. By following the 180 degree rule, the audience was able to follow the action whilst making them familiar with the setting and context. On shot that we found effective was the use of low angle shot which gave importance to the surrounding. The variety of shots and the high angle made the characters vulnerable to the empowering setting. We tried to conform the conventions as much as possible such as we added a mysterious character to confirm it was of the thriller genre as in many of this particular genre there is a mysterious unknown character that we the audience want to find out about. Another way he withheld thriller conventions is, by The atmosphere and setting we created, we set it in a woodlands this is a popular setting for the thriller genre, however we created a weary, uncertain atmosphere creating tension and suspense together. By studying the different films it contributed to part of the planning and development. By watching the films it helped us to gain an understanding of how the thriller genre worked meaning learning all the codes and convention and being able to identify the similarities and differences of the film, this then helped us to come up with ideas which showed research and challenged them to show individuality. We had the same idea of being similar to the Blair
  3. 3. witch Project, although we showed a distinction by doing it in a different way to show individuality. Our Image Image from Blair Witch Our Image Image from Blair Witch Shows similarity between the two videos, both showing the woodland setting and the character looking innocent within the location.
  4. 4. 2) How does your media product represent particular social groups? Torment would attract the old generation of the audience due to it being set in the 1920s era. By being in 1920 vintage Torment gives off a sense of class. The location lives up to the 1920 set as the setting consists of old furniture, clothing and props. Hence creating realism making the plot more authentic. To be exact Rumour would apply more to the middle class people, and to the younger generation of people who prefer to watch action thriller films. We represent social groups by using young actors in the production but also the language is very simple English so anyone can understand it. We don’t have any explicit language so we aren't excluding the younger aged audience however as stated before scenes may be too distressing for some. Rumour is the total opposite of Torment as in Torment we cater to the older generation of audience, and due to it being a psychological thriller the storyline plays on the mind and so is suitable for any age however I believe it specifically caters to older generation as it is set in the 1920s era, and so maybe the older audience could relate to it more and get more of a experience out of it. For our opening sequence of ‘Rumour’ we decided to use young actors of the age 17, due to our target audience being for the 16-24. By the use of young actors the audience can relate more and understand their actions better, and so therefore able to relate to our protagonists. By representing the young part of society we had to make sure we represented them correctly by their actions, language, costume and narrative. By the costume we chose to use which was casual wear this was similar to Blair witch Project which also represented young actors. We lived up to expectations of the thriller genre audience as in many thriller films the victim is a female who comes across innocent and vulnerable, relating to this ‘Rumour’ is based on two female characters. The stereotypical female in the thriller genre would be a blonde ditsy female who has no idea what is going on. Despite the fact the audience knows something bad is going to happen as a lot of problems occur in the thriller genre, we didn’t give the audience much information of who was going to get hurt as there was 2 main characters it made the audience question which one was the victim? Or where they both? These are false paths which the thriller genre is made up of. By both characters being young (17) this implied to the audience that older female teenagers are vulnerable and are not able to stick up for them selves as much, this representation could be negative in a way as not all teenagers are like this however it can also be seen as positive as the audience are use to seeing thriller films where all victims are young females and so are ok with this representation in ‘Rumour.’ Our use of representation of social groups is some what similar to the representation in Blair witch project, as the main characters are female, costume is similar although our opening sequence has limited dialogue as the use of silence is key to build up tension and suspense giving the audience no information to what is exactly going to
  5. 5. happen. And so we are able to say we followed common ideologies of the victims in the thriller genre. Our actors are seen as middle class people who are not over privileged in anyway you get an idea of this by their costume which were very common clothes, although this was only the opening sequence we were not able to make the film a full circle, althought thinking about this it might be harder as in our opening sequence the to characters die, and so if we were to carry it on you may see their family which would get the point that they are only middle classed people, just ordinary people. So as a result our media product does represent the majority of the audience who are watching the film, which are a bigger spread of the audience and so are catering to a bigger audience. Our opening sequence is not very confusing as the narrative isn’t to complex although by the editing which consists of flashes, blackouts and merging shots together the audience may not get everything that is going on as its quit fast near the end. Although we have used just one location, the soundtrack is very symbolic, dialogue is limited and simple language is used, therefore the mainstream of the audience would be able to relate and understand our production. The narrative of our main task was they were planning a trick to play onto people however this backfired and it ended up happening to them. This represents teenagers of wanting to make fun of people, looking more on the funny side of life however they end up being represented as not being serious and therefore getting hurt. In the media teenagers are represented as carless and not very serious, and we followed this in our production, this enables us to relate to these teenagers and the majority of audience who believe this representation also. The soundtrack I decided to use for ‘Rumour’ was not copyrighted and we had to make sure of it, the particular soundtrack consist of weary music which then had screams and crying this related to our production as something bad happened in the ending which would cause screams and crying creating a sense of realism. We used a combination of diegetic and non diegetic sounds as they work together well, showing that we researched into music to use and we recorded our own sounds. This built up tension as the audience would be wondering where are the entire screams coming from which leave the audience wanting to know.
  6. 6. 3) What kind of media institution might distribute you media product and why? The Blair witch project is distributed by Artisan Entertainment, they distributed other films such as dirty dancing, House of the dead and Pi. This distributors produce films of a variety of audiences they don’t stick to on type of audience. For the Particular case study of the Blair Witch Project had a budget of 20,000 this is quite low considering being of the thriller genre as they are usually quite eccentric with the setting, costumes and everything that makes up the mis en scene. Although with the narrative of the Blair witch project was wanting to be very home made, this budget allows them to limit themselves. They ha the age certificate of a 15, they had this restriction as it contained some strong language, violence and horror. Therefore I believe Rumour would have the age certificate of a 15 also. Another institute that might distribute ‘Rumour’ could be ‘20th century Fox’, they have distributed films such as ice age, Alvin and the chipmunks and planet of the apes. Although the majority of these films would be audience to children. I believe they could stretch to distributed our media product, because as they have distributed planet of the apes although this is of a different genre this s for a different audience, and so with ‘Rumour’ they could widen their audience by distributing another genre and therefore making a bigger profit, by stretching their audience, of which would be young adults, such as teenagers from the age certificate of 15. Rumour is an action thriller production and so incorporates elements from action and thriller sub genres. I researched into who would distribute this particular genre films. I found out that Blair witch products was distributed by Artisan entertainment, this distribution company was successful in earning a reasonable profit although this particular film wasn’t automatically a success with the audience. Artisan Entertain would distribute the film into the home industry so into the DVD market. Another institution that could distribute Rumour is Hammer films as they produce low budget films which I feel ‘Rumour’ would be as the set isn’t to complex, further more they make use of quality British actors which our production includes, British actors. More over they distribute world wide and have considerable financial success which is a positive, because they would partner up with the United States studios linking with other institutions such as Warner Bros. By this information I get the idea that these institutions have the right ideas and get across to the audience and consumers well with a enthusiastic eye by them investing in our production it could be a successful distribution. By Hammer Films merging with Warner Bros it shows they have clear connections and interaction therefore achieving the maximum distribution possible which I feel is extremely beneficial to ‘Rumour’, again making me feel that this company could be positive towards our production and do it justice.
  7. 7. 4) Who would be the audience for you media product? The audience for my preliminary would be an older group of people, specifically between the ages of 25+ approximately due to it being representing a vintage 1920 era ; a very classic style has been adopted. In contrast the audience most attracted to the main task ‘Rumour’ would be teenagers and young adults around the age of 16-25, due to the conventions of thriller genre such a blood and quite disturbing scenes. The ways, in which Torment would apply to this particular audience as it shows similarities to the film God father, I created the misenscene by clothing and furniture to add sense of realism to 1920 era and so our audience will be able to relate to it to the fullest. In contrast the way in which Rumour will have to audience of 16-25 is that it shows likeness to our case study of The Blair Witch Project, and according to research this is their target audience and so with all the shots we used and the plot of the storyline this would have to be our target audience. The age we decided was 16-25, because our film is rather serious as there are scenes of violence and blood. Anyone who is a fan of the thriller genre could relate to ‘Rumour’ as it does show the conventions of the thriller genre and therefore could show some relevance and relation to them. Younger children would not enjoy this film due to gore and blood, which could be off putting for younger children, and in that case we could there imply that the older generation of people may not enjoy this opening sequence either. There is no particular gender that we would target, as it isn’t gender based we feel that both sexes could watch this and enjoy it as it isn’t extremely scary it is an action thriller showing evidence of codes and conventions. However it could scare people some people for example people of the faint hearted. The nationality for our film isn’t any in particular although I believe the British audience would relate to this more, as it was produced by the British however other countries could be targeted as it could be distributed in other countries if successful. The more we researched into the thriller genre industry we found out we were correct in appealing our film towards the audience of 16-25, in particular ‘Rumour’ would appeal more to the female audience due to emotions coming across to the audience I feel that women are more into emotional thriller rather than violence within thriller. Although our production opening sequence ends in violence you don’t see it happen whereas the male audience would be more into seeing this violence take place, but some males might take an interest into ‘Rumour’ I feel it is more for the women. More over as the protagonist is female, the female audience could relate to this production more through emoting and understanding the narrative.
  8. 8. 5) How did you attract/address your audience? Torment attracted our audience targeted by the wide range of shots we used we tried to use a variety of shots, making them as interesting as possible. Such as in the preliminary task we done a panoramic shot this was an appealing shot and gains attention. The audience we were aiming for was male and females who like action thrillers, with slightly gory storylines. Although we did stick to conventions that the audience would be expecting in some way or another as they may be interested in particular shots or scenes. Such as Levi-Strauss’ theory of binary opposites, including good vs. evil, hero vs. villain (or in our case victim vs. murderer our unknown person) this is a usual convention in the thriller genre, although to draw the audience in further, we wanted to use interesting and different shots such as a really high angle from the bushes this was filmed very effectively. With ‘Rumour’ the way in which we addressed the audience is by the way in which we edited. When editing the opening sequence I used techniques which we common to the thriller genre such as fade outs, and dip to blacks to show that ‘Rumour’ was part of the thriller genre and did follow the code and conventions of the genre. Furthermore I added more unusual effects such as roughening the edges of the film so it look even more homemade, which showed similarity to the Blair Witch Project. Although I did show some uniqueness and originality as with the most dramatic scene I used a visual effect called ghosting. They made the action layer on top of each other creating an interesting unusual scene. By the way in which this could attract more of an audience if I didn’t of edited it in any particular way. Death was a theme in our main task, the build up to the death of the two young female characters, caused suspense and tension towards the audience as they would be thinking what’s going to happen? How did that happen? Who did that? What exactly done that? By all these ideas popping up it creates a flow of excitement and interests making the audience want to keep watching. This engages the viewers making them want more, as this is an opening sequence the theme of death is pretty much a common theme that is shown in the thriller genre I feel that we were successful when watching it back as it did show originality yet did stick to the thriller genre, by mixing both of these thing together they would attract a wider audience. Rumour is a thriller genre and so the audience would expect some action within the production, they would want to gain a visual image of what’s going to happen. The protagonists are just simple girls; on the other hand the antagonist is a mysterious character the audience get no lead on to who it is. They are given no clue; the mysterious character has a strong power and these results into pulling the girls into the bushes and killing them. The audience don’t see this character at all through the opening sequence; this leaves the audience wondering who they are.
  9. 9. The way we wanted to address the audience is with a threatening and disturbing tone the way in which we done this is by including sounds of crying and screams this would make the audience feel intimidated and endangered. As we used a soundtrack on top of the diegetic sound it added more creativity which could draw the audience in further as the music is weary and more interesting than if there was no sound. Although the music is drowned out in parts of the opening sequence as it up holds tension as this is the climax of the sequence building up tension and fear towards the audience. Our main task is an opening sequence compacted with a variety of camera angles, been edited to a fast pace and roughly that are deliberately done to attract the audience. We included 18 degree rule, panning, and high angles to establish the location of which the audience are being placed in. it allows the audience to gain an understanding of the area and come up with ideas of what’s going to happen, thinking ahead. We broke up the different shots so that there would be a shot of the area then of the character then the area again, this broke up the shot and showed the audience it in a much more interesting way, that these two shots are happening along side each other. This addresses the audience by pulling them in through engagement, as they are interesting in what’s happening next keeping them wanting more due to excitement and keeping them on the edge of their seat.
  10. 10. 6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Overall I have learnt quite a lot, and have developed my ict skills in general on both the laptop and Mac software. I have also improved my production skills in filming getting steadier with the camera and becoming more confident to experiment and film appropriate shots. For editing we used the program Adobe premier. This software was totally new to me and so had to learn how to do everything from scratch. At first I found this practically hard although I soon got the hang of it when editing the preliminary and mains task. When editing the preliminary this was where I experimented the most trying out different techniques and effects, and s when I moved onto editing the main task I was more aware of which transition and effect would fit each shot and so knew where to find them. When editing the main task I found the effect called ghosting I thought this particular effect was great and very interesting, as it allowed the shot to echo the movement, which in fact layers two of the shots over each other. By using this effected it added a more dramatic effect to the shot. When using the filming equipment such as the camera, tripod and microphone. When looking back at the preliminary task you can see how some scenes could have been filmed better although moving into the main task, the filming did improve as the it took much practice and slight technique to keep a steady camera. I had practice with camera movements, with taking different angles and when zooming in and out you had to keep steady pace otherwise it would become out focused. When producing our productions it involved us using different technical appliances that we had to learn to use and at a good standard. We had to learn to use Adobe Premier, video cameras and all the attachments that went with it. It did take some time to gain a good understanding of how to use them however before we even touched our preliminary and main productions we took trips to the CLC centre where we were aided with professional help, in a day we learnt how to work the video camera, adobe premier and how to put all our ideas into footage. One exercise we don’t first was we were given pre recorded footage of making a cup of tea, there was a variety of shots we could choose from and we had to choose which shots we wanted to make up the process of making tea, we then put it altogether individually experimenting and this helped us learn where everything was on Adobe premier and it showed us exactly what you could do. We done exercises that helped us to improve our level of filming as we recorded a short clip of our choice although we only has 30 minutes to film and get every shot we needed. After the 30 minutes we uploaded the footage onto Adobe premier and firstly cut all the shots which were useful and then finally put them altogether, experimenting as we went along with transitions, effects and a soundtrack. We were taught a number of tools that we could use, shown what all the transition and effects do and how they could be usueful to use when editing our actual productions.
  11. 11. When it come to filming our actual productions despite having much practice I found it hard as we were given the camera over weekend of which we had to film everything. This meant to had to make sure we had all the timing right but also we filmed everything the way we wanted it to be as after the weekend we had no more time to film extra bits. Therefore when recording we took a variety of angles for each shot as when editing we may feel that one shot flows better, or one is better quality.
  12. 12. 7) Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? When looking back at the preliminary task, I have learnt and improved my technology skills enabling me to improve the footage we filmed for the main task. When looking back at the preliminary although we did prepare for the production I feel that it is evident that we didn’t do enough, meaning that our fluency with the technology we used wasn’t greatly shown to our best ability. By how our preliminary task turnt out I feel that when it come to the main task, it was evident that we were more confident with the camera and our planning was more shown by the end product. Another thing that I learnt more about was premier pro, during the preliminary task editing I was experimenting with what everything was and how it changed our footage, and was harder to use but when going onto editing the main task I found it easier to edit as I knew what I wanted, was more familiar and confident with the software and was able to edit at a better level than in my preliminary task. The preliminary task taught me to watch what is seen on camera by going over everything in detail so we knew what we did and didn’t want in the shot to make sure the mis en scene is the way we want it. The production of the preliminary task did help us prepare for the production of the actual main task, as it was like a practice run of how it was going to be, this automatically taught us the things we needed to improve so that we could enable the main task was going to be much better and an improvement. During the main task we made sure we went though everything that the actors needed to know to make sure the acting would come across the best it could be by gaining background knowledge. And as we have done this al before we knew what we had to make sure we got right in the main task for example our 180 degree rule as in the preliminary task it wasn’t shown very good and in the main task we proved that we could do it as we gained knowledge and practice using the camera. Another problem we was made aware of was to not rush through scenes as to get them done and so we can do what we want to do, as by rushing in the prelim task it was clear that we never got all the shots we wanted to as many scenes we shot could be improved in one way or another. Whereas in the main task I believe we never rushed and took our time when recording as so to get every shot we wanted to and we were reassured that the shot was necessary and useful to us. Something useful we done with the main task is we took extra footage, from different angles to vary the options we had when editing. As when editing some shots I believed didn’t go together and so took another shot which suited it better by taking the extra shots. There is a clear distinction from ‘Torment’ to ‘Rumour’ as I believe the use of planning we did was much more and developed. The mis en scene was more clearly though in Rumour as we were aware that in Torment some of the mis en scene was not correct due to people were in the way or the shot was not filmed to the best of our ability, where as in Rumour we had more variety of shots, which were filmed to a high standard and considering the mis en scene was clear as we checked thoroughly before we filmed to check that when recording nothing possibly could go wrong and
  13. 13. so when editing we had a maximum amount of shots we could lay about with to make sure the main production was success. When using the equipment the second time I feel that we had more of an understanding and were defiantly more confident when using it, this helped us to get better shots, but I also feel we were more experimental and more conscious of what our target audience would want and so were more creative with the camera angles, creating a better opening sequence the second time round. As I worked with the same partner on the main task as the preliminary task I think our connection grew as we understood what we both wanted and worked together well to make a successful thriller. The more we worked together our ideas merged together better and once we decided on a narrative we were able to plan more and research into what the audience would want, and try to challenge what the would expect through the codes and conventions of the thriller genre.