In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My media product for example my short film, develops and challenges some conventions of real media products. My decision to develop traditional conventions is to inform my intended audience of my chosen genre by the use of a typical narrative and my use of music and dance. However, the effect of challenging existing products was for me to create something new and different for my target audience. • Flashdance was a big influence in the development of my product. I decided to stick with the variety use in camera angles which is a typical convention of a short dance film. The dance scene had static and moving shots throughout, as well as the variety of them progressing within the sequence which I decided to follow in my short film. I also decided to use an audience to fit my intended message of a person expressing themselves to grab people’s attention and Flashdance was a perfect example of what I was trying to create.I focused on my use of camera angles for my dance sequence as I found in my research that camera wasextremely important for audiences to feel engaged with dance, as a piece of dance can be beautiful howeveran audience needs to be drawn in to what the director wants them to see or feel, which is why Flashdancewas a good part of my research, as it uses various camera angles to draw its audience in.
Close up of audience member tapping his feet Moving foot sequence I decided to use close ups to draw the audience in and I wanted to add variety to my engage with the characters to short film so I decided to have show my protagonist’s moving frames so my audience progression with expressing could follow my dancer and feel herself. connected to her.Close up of audience members tapping their feet Moving foot sequence I felt that this My camera worked well work to show progresses they’re with my enjoying the moving shots performance. as it adds variety.
Character coming into a frame Mid shot of interested audience member I thought this frame was effective and decided to use it in my short I wanted to engage my audience film to add variety. It also with my film audience to show their centralizes my dancer and acts as interacting with my dancer, the use a close up to engage my of this is to show the growing audience with her. attention she is receiving as she dances.Character coming into a frame Mid shot of interested audience members My audience I think I should are to engage of used far more my audience close ups of my which I feel dancer to show they do, and her emotions. is proven by feedback.
To recap…• I feel by developing these conventions my audience are aware of my chosen genre and the message I wanted to portray. However my lack of close ups which is key in a dance film hindered my intention of creating synthetic personalization between my character and the audience. My protagonist is meant to act as a role model for teenagers who have an inability to express themselves, whereas my dancer progresses through the film because of dance, to show that she stands out and is noticed, instead of being discarded and ostracized. My product is postmodern as it develops conventions of existing media products which means the style is being overused. The effect of challenging existing media• Challenging existing media products gives me the opportunity to create something new for myaudience and something they wouldn’t perhaps expect. I feel that some of my creative decisionshave been effective such as making my short film silent and my choice of music, although Ibelieve other ideas haven’t been successful. For example, not filming enough various and riskyshots or not keeping my shots from behind the dancer to show her in front of the audience.
• I also decided to focus on my research of other dance films or scenes. Flashdance had a big impact on my final product, but I wanted to combined it’s ideas with conventions of other genres of film and also different techniques.May- silent film was a video I watched early on in my research and Iknew the use of it being a silent film could be an effective way ofportraying my message of teenage girls not having the confidence tospeak up. I decided to make my dance film a silent one, with nospoken dialogue, it did however have diegetic sounds as well as thesoundtrack so it could be easily differentiated from a music video.I think that combining different conventions and challenging real media products worked well for me inthis sense as I knew I wanted to follow my dance theme, but my message was something I really wantedto put across, and I find the use of no dialogue helped me convey my intentions effectively.. However, thenarrative of my short film could have been portrayed more effectively, I find my message seems vaguewhen I watch back my short film, instead of to the point.
Olympia’s short dance film, Streetdance 3D and Make it happen are also important parts of myresearch when I decided to pick the dance genre. I found my research limited when looking fordance short films as the genre is niche as well as a short film so to extend my research and get asmuch out of it as possible I decided to look for scenes that I had previously seen in feature films. I liked the interpretive dance within this text, and from this decided I wanted to have acoustic music and wanted to have interpretive dance. I found this sort of dance can show how free she feels when she dances. Also the genre of the music would be fitting with my isolation theme.I therefore emailed Natalie Lungley an unsigned artistand asked for permission for her song, which I wasgiven. I decided on this song as the instruments and thelyrics all added to an acoustic style which was what Iwas looking for.
This video had huge significance in the rest of my production and notjust the routine. I liked the intercutting between two differentlocations and I attempted to intercut my scenes, however I found thather progress was made through her dancing so I used intercutting fromthe routine to the audience. I liked the intercutting in Streetdance so I wanted to develop this in my production. This particular scene is also influenced by Flashdance as the audience on screen represent the target audience, as they look to them for emotion to engage with the piece. I decided to use jump cuts from the routine to the audience to show their involvement and growing interest as the audience gets larger and larger.
I liked the variety of shots in this piece and also the use of cutting out parts of the soundtrack to keep sequences from dragging on. I decided to have scenes from behind my dancer, however after facing problems I had to cut them out instead. Although I did use moving camera and also different angles such as her spins which was influenced by this text.My first draft contained jump shots from the dancer tothe audience as seen in the picture. However, when itcame to filming my final audience shots my dancercouldn’t be present so I had to cancel out these shotsand just shoot the audience’s reactions from P.O.V andclose ups.
Pug- to engage the audience Name of the magazine to Main image for the audience to by stating no other magazine remind the audience what get an understanding of what would have this review, as it they’re reading. the film will have in it, as they updates on all the latest are screen grabs. releases. Information box Colourful background for my audience to draw readers in. to get a brief description of Smaller image to what kind of film show different the review will times within the be about. film.My reviewwritten in Rating with a quotecolumns and use from the magazineof sophisticated and also a pagelanguage and number which isalso includes typical in a magazinecritics as well as review.praise.I feel that my review follows the typical conventions of a magazine review. The magazine ‘Empire’ was myinfluence as I used the format of the review itself, also the information box and also the use of multipleimages. I kept the same structure as it didn’t seem cluttered, however I did add colour to my background as Ithought it would be more engaging then Empire’s plain backgrounds.
Acknowledging the producer at the top to show it’s importance. Plain background to being focus to my main image and the title. Main image- for my audience to know my character, it’s also to create synthetic personalization. Title- bold and bigger then the rest of the text so it stands out, informing the audience of the name of the short film. I introduced my actor as this is a character poster and I wanted my audience to feel connected to her.I feel that my poster follows a basic structure to a character poster which I decided on as my short film is allabout my protagonist and her resolving her problem. I feel that the simplicity of my poster challenges realmedia as posters from the magazine ‘Empire’ had backgrounds to their images or stronger colours whereas Idecided to have a simple colour scheme and make her stand out by her dark hair and also her looking awayto show themes such as isolation and loneliness.
How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts?My main and ancillary tasks as a combination are connected because of the same use of style.For example my production and my poster both use the same font to show that they areconnected. They all feature the same protagonist and the themes such as isolation are shownthroughout. However I feel I have approached each of them in a different way. When creating myfilm review I wanted to follow conventions and show the genre through the image, whereaswhen creating my poster I challenged conventions of a character poster with lack of colour orimage, as I wanted to present themes. My approach to all three texts hinders the synergybetween them as they all have different meaning and aren’t recognized as one production.Although I do believe that my intention for each task was the best outcome because of myresearch, preparation and listening to feedback from the audience.
I decided to use a long shot in the review as my main image to show a part of the routine toestablish my dance genre which I think is important in a review for the audience to knowwhat they are reading about. I decided to use a mid shot for my poster as it’s typical forcharacter posters to use mid shots or close ups to engage them with the intended audience.The reason I used different types of images for my ancillary tasks was to have a varietyamongst my products and challenge real media texts. I do still believe all three of my productsare effective and link because of the feminine and bold font choice, however my choice ofimages makes them seem separate and therefore the combination might not be as clear asother products. I feel the font acts as a logo for my products as it’s the same in the film and the poster. The use of the font being feminine is to target teenage girls as my protagonist is a teenager and problem she faces is a common one faced by teenagers in society.
The information box contains information that connects with theposter such as the director’s name and also the actor appearing init. Also the plot connects with the main production as it acts as ateaser to the audience. Also, ‘Unheard’ as a short film contains different sequences such as the title sequence which presents a problem, the home scene which defines her character, the routine where she’s resolving her problem and then the end where she seems happier with herself, my film is about a girl who gains confidence because her friends start to notice her and my review describes the plot and comments on problems teenagers face, and my poster presents a isolated girl and also confirms to the audience of it’s dance genre through the slogan, which proves they are all effectively advertising my production.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?Throughout the process I have been making questionnaires about my chosen dance genre.- My first questionnaire focuses on the genre that I had chosen and what people expected from it such as good music and dancing. It was also to know who would be more interested in watching my short dance film and from this I found that girls between the ages of 16-20 were the most likely, so by this I decided to focus my attention on targeting teenage girls through the use of font, protagonist and also music.- My next questionnaire was aimed at my specific audience to find out what kind of music they listened to, which helped me get a better understanding of how I wanted my character to be.- I then made three final questionnaires on all three of my products with questions such as ‘what would you rate this on 1-10?’, ‘Did you enjoy it and why?’ etc. I also had a final question of which of the 3 products did my audience favour the most. The reason I had that final question is for me to know my audience’s opinions on my finished products and if my use of research and challenging real media products worked to my advantage and if it came across as effective in my main and ancillary tasks.
• Facebook was how I gained my audience feedback. After uploading to my blogger through YouTube I would post my video onto Facebook and ask for positives and improvements I could do on my short film. I found this was effective as I also posted the link to a few of my friends via Facebook chat so I could get their attention. For my first draft I got a lot of feedback from boys and girls, all teenagers. Using the internet was effective as being able to link from your blog was a quick and easy process. The feedback I received was helpful as comments included things they liked and things they picked up on that were editing or camera faults.• I then created the three questionnaires and decided to bring a few people into a classroom so they could watch and read my products and write out their questionnaires there. I found this useful as they had direct questions to answer instead of a general statement I put when uploading to Facebook. The feedback was really useful as my products were commonly marked the same number in terms of quality and their liking to it, so I found the questionnaires to be useful as they proved my audience liked my products and found them engaging.
Feedback on short film first draftThats so good Laura! Youve edited it so well and I love the way more people enter the room as the video goes on :) and great song!• This was one of the feedback comments I received on my first draft. I decided to get feedback early on so I could make changes to my short film in the right direction by using the audience feedback as they are my target.• The quote comments on the build up of the audience within the production. I decided to start off with the room empty and then slowly build up to show the room is full to emphasis her growing confidence and also people noticing her. The effect is shown through the quote as I have done this effectively for my audience to notice and understand my intended message.• Also, this particular comment mentions the song which lead me to believe that my choice of soundtrack worked well with my piece to make it enjoyable for my audience. This is so good, Laura! I love the way you edited it This is another comment about my first draft where it mentions my editing skills. I feel I have improved from AS, as my editing on the production was limited therefore it wasn’t my strong point. However in A2 I decided to choose dance genre where my editing would be challenged for the different movements and to fit in pace with the music. The use of an audience member noticing the editing shows that it has worked in an effective way and made the routine enjoyable to watch.
Feedback on final draft of short film ‘Even without many words it was easy to understand by expressions and the tone.’• This shows understanding of the text, even without any dialogue which shows that my narrative is clear, and my order of the sequences aren’t confusing. My doubts in my narrative and how effectively it is put across are put at ease with my final audience feedback as my creative decision to challenge conventions of a short dance film and make it silent worked well and my audience seemed to enjoy it.• The tone that this audience member is focusing on is created by the music therefore they feel that it works well with my narrative and is a good stand in for dialogue. They also must like acoustic music for them to enjoy watching and listening to the lyrics.• I find that when looking through feedback about my short film a lot of it focuses a lot on the narrative at the beginning instead of the routine. So perhaps I should have included direct questions about the routine to get feedback on that. However, by getting help from friends when filming the routine I was influenced by how they would like the shots to be as they are my target audience, so even though I didn’t get feedback from the majority of my target audience on the routine, I did listen to comments made from various teenagers that helped me film.
Feedback on film review final draft ‘I felt it covered both positives and negatives and I tended to agree with the whole piece.’• The focus on the content as well as the presentation of my review is important as the quality of writing needs to match my hard work during the construction of my short film. A critical journalist will always focus on positives and negatives no matter what their conclusion is, which is confirmed in my research of reading reviews in the magazine ‘Empire’ and other magazines such as ‘T.V Guide.’ I decided to overall focus on the positives however critic my own work with how it could have been better, as I want my audience to trust my opinion and not feel I am being bias.• The use of my reader agreeing with the whole piece shows that my interpretation when I watch my short film is similar to theres, proving that I have targeted my audience successfully.• I do follow a typical review format and style of writing which could show no sense of originality, which could make my product lose its value. Although, I do add colour to my review which goes against traditional conventions, to draw in my audience with colour and pugs such as ‘Exclusive!’ to grab their attention.
Feedback on final poster ‘I like that the image stands out from the background to show her standing out as a dancer in the short film’• This quote is different to the film review questionnaire, as the questions focus on the visual aspect as those are the conventions I challenge of a character poster. Instead of creating a background I decide to leave it blank to allow my image of my protagonist to stand out. The quote shows that they understand my intention of creating my poster like this and challenging conventions.• The comment links back to ‘Unheard’ which shows they understand the products have synergy, because of the connection of the character standing out.• My overall view on my final products’ feedback is positive which means that I have successfully created all of my products to my audience needs by the creative and technical decisions I have made, by the influence of my audience throughout the planning and construction stages.
Overall• I feel that I took my research into consideration more so then at AS, which hindered our final product. My feedback from my target audience has helped me throughout the process to change or add in elements such as more variety in shots because of their needs for good editing, or present a story at the beginning of the production to give meaning and a clear narrative to ‘Unheard.’• Also a few comments pointed out technical faults such as sound playing over the music that should of been edited out, or my protagonist dancing off screen or even feedback from my teacher on over exaggerating expression to really put my message across. My audience feedback helped me to correct myself in my mistakes and to improve the acting as well.• However, I feel I haven’t received enough feedback on my final prodcuts, therefore I won’t be able to base my success through only two audience member’s feedback. Instead of creating written out questionnaires I should have uploaded my final pieces on the internet with a digital version of my questionnaire and asked them to fill it out online, which would have been an easier process.• Because short film is a niche institution, it therefore limits my audience which could effect my feedback as there wouldn’t be enough to consider. However because of the quality and preparation I have put into all three of my texts, my creative decisions pay off as I get praise in the feedback focusing on the creative elements.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?Research and Planning• Media technologies were crucial throughout the entire process. In the research and planning stages the World Wide Web and Premiere were the dominant new technologies. I used Google at first to gain knowledge on my chosen short film brief and then to blog my understanding of the codes and conventions. I decided to use YouTube to research dance films so I could focus on the media terminology aspect, where I linked together the typical conventions of dance scenes and dance short films. When getting to the planning stages I found analyzing the dance videos on Blogger very effective as it let me see the similarities between them that I could use in my production and also a variety of angles or editing techniques to try. For example I linked a camera experimenting video onto my Blogger and wrote a list on the techniques that I wanted to try which I followed through with. I practiced a few camera shots and decided to experiment with Premiere. This helped me as it made me comfortable with a camera again, it also gave me experience with editing as in my previous project I was mainly behind the camera. I also then decided to analyze dance posters using Google, where I decided I wanted to choose a character poster as I want my audience to feel engaged with my protagonist
Construction• When constructing my short film, my research and planning evidence helped me use typical conventions such as centralizing my character and using a variety of shots; both static and moving. I also found it useful for me to challenge the dance genre and short films themselves. However, my teacher feedback and my own opinion I find my narrative couldve been put across more effectively, also my routine could have had more variety in shots which is typical of dance genre. Premiere pro and Adobe Photoshop were the two that I used for my main task and my ancillary tasks, I found that practicing helped me when it came to filming as I was already comfortable with the media technologies. I faced many problems when filmig such as not being able to book out my space when my dancer was free, having to re-shoot because of a number of occasions where I was at the risk of making continuity errors and also having to add more shots to my title sequence to make my message clearer. However, I do think I have moved passed the problems I faced and created a media product I am proud of, creative wise and also because of my technical skills.
Evaluation• Throughout the evaluation process I used Facebook to gain my audience feedback on my final products, and recorded all of my feedback on every questionnaire on my Blogger. I also used SlideShare to upload my evaluation to my blogger for my teacher to mark. I feel I have made a huge improvement from As, as my blogger has far more detail and analysis within it and I’ve kept a record of my progress. New media technology has been helpful throughout the process as it gave me a greater understanding of the niche genre a short film is and how effective the audience are on a director’s product.