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Evaluation Question 1


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A2 Media Coursework Evaluation

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Evaluation Question 1

  1. 1. In what ways does your media product use develop and challenge forms and conventions of real media?<br />EvaluationQuestion 1<br />
  2. 2. FILM<br />
  3. 3. How forms and conventions of real media are used in the film piece.<br />The Research:Before developing the idea further than the original plan, I wanted to do some audience research for our target age group of 12-16 year olds to see what would be a success. To do this I created an online question which was filled in by students from a local high school giving me an insight into the things that would work and be received well. This is typical of companies when producing a new idea, who also use focus groups to discuss ideas and try to improve them to work for the target audience. When we discussed our ideas with the target audience, the plan went down really well, in particular, the idea of using more accessible stereotypes than the generic American choices. I also used planning techniques such as storyboarding and costume and set design before engaging in casting and filming. This gave me a real idea of how I wanted the piece to look and is used in the industry to create a professional process of creating TV shows.<br />
  4. 4. How forms and conventions of real media are used in the film piece.<br />The Credits:The credits I created followed conventions of real media pieces. I credited the actors names alongside the actors video/ image so that the audience could establish which actor is which. I also swapped the side on which the actors name was shown with each actor in style of the gossip girl credits. I also credited the creator of the show at the end as it’s common in real media to credit the creator with examples like Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother and Gossip Girl. I wanted to make the title memorable so I included the title twice in the style of the 90210 title sequence from season 1. The first time the title is shown in this sequence it flashes to attract attention and the second time, it’s featured larger than at the start.To have the same effect, I created an animation where the letters appear one at a time on a quirky angle before the manipulated camera flash, then at the end of the sequence, I used a zoom effect so that the title increases in size to match up to the increase in audio.<br />
  5. 5. How forms and conventions of real media are used in the film piece.<br />The Filming:I decided to use the studio for filming as I didn’t want the filming schedule to be set back by the weather for instance or the editing to be effected by lighting changes from windows etc. Using studio lights, I was able to manipulate the scene to be as bright or dark as necessary and using a strong key light and a weaker fill light, I could create a natural looking scene, a technique used by many TV shows. Using the studio also gave verisimilitude to the ‘school photo day’ set up as I could use the screen and the umbrella light with a classroom stool to create a believable scene. <br />Whilst filming, I set two cameras rolling so that I could capture two different angles. This is used by professionals as it speeds up the filming process as less takes are required and it also makes the editing more seamless using different angled shots from the same take. I also chose to film the clips in high definition, like many shows are choosing to do to give a better quality picture, using a HD Panasonic camera.<br />
  6. 6. How forms and conventions of real media are used in the film piece.<br />The Soundtrack:The soundtrack to our piece is an upbeat song called ‘For the Girl’ by The Fratellis. As with many title sequences that I evaluated, I decided not to use dialogue in the piece. During research I found many successful pieces used music with catchy lyrics so I wanted to created the same effect in my piece. The music often peaks or ends suddenly at the end of a title sequence and I wanted to use this idea to incorporate more of the school theme, ending the track with a school bell. I had to use key frames to increase and decrease the levels of sound. I created a peak in the music at the end of the last chorus and put a decrease on to begin it fading as the school bell starts. The school bell adds a note of finality to the piece as it fades out, similar to the way the last note is held in the ‘How I Met Your Mother’ soundtrack. During the research, I thought the way the 90210 theme song uses the drumbeats in time with the girls walking away a good way to match the audio and visual. I used the ‘clap’ sounds in the song to match up to the letters of the main title appearing on the screen.<br />
  7. 7. How forms and conventions of real media are developed in the film piece.<br />The Characters:As a response to my audience research I wanted to created a more accessible British version of an American teen drama but for a younger target audience. To do this I used stereotypes but developed the characters as I wanted to but a British style twist on the piece. To do this I used a stereotype that isn’t recognised in America (‘Chavs’) and created a set up where the ‘nice girl’ wasn’t afraid to be her own original self, giving a good message that people can be their own person and not follow the crowd. It could be developed into a show like Glee that tackles realistic problems like bullying and teen pregnancy but without the ‘cheesy’ side and making it more age appropriate. The fact two of the characters are shown with cigarettes and most of the characters are shown flouting school rules by changing the uniform, it’s a more realistic view of a high school than other children's drama.<br />
  8. 8. How forms and conventions of real media are developed in the film piece.<br />The Font:When researching open credits of TV shows, I found shows like Scrubs linked the credit fonts with the setting of the show. For example, as scrubs is set in a hospital, they used x-rays for the title and the same style font for the actors names. I developed this idea by using a handwritten style font to link to the high school theme. I also created the animation to make the font appear as if it was being written. This looked realistic and supported the theme well in the way the fonts did in the scrubs title sequence. The font I used for the title was also linked with the high school theme as the ‘varsity’ font is linked with cheerleading uniforms and sport/ letterman jackets.<br />
  9. 9. How forms and conventions of real media are developed in the film piece.<br />The Costumes:I wanted to use a uniform for the characters to make the set more recognisable as a school. It’s typical of British high school dramas for the characters to wear uniforms. I used the same style tie with the ‘school logo’ on to show the characters were from the same high school. I developed the idea of uniforms by making an individual twist to each characters uniforms. For example for the prep I used a smart, fitted blazer and designer handbag, for the nerd I used a sweater vest and over sized glasses, for the jock I added trainers and a sports jacket etc. This is a typical technique used in TV shows to make characters distinguishable and definable. For example, in Glee, the popular girl is shown in a cheerleading outfit and the jock in an American football kit whilst the goth wears dark clothes with dark black hair and electric coloured highlights. <br />
  10. 10. How forms and conventions of real media are challenged in the film piece.<br />The Animation:The actors names in opening credits are normally quite static, possibly fading it in the style of Gossip Girl or including a zoom effect so that they increase in size. I wanted to create a more dramatic animation so I created the handwritten effect on the titles. This made them more noticeable and stand out to the audience.I also created a manipulated camera flash to work with the idea of a photo day and to bridge between some scenes and introduce the still images. It also supposed the idea of the high school year book theme. The use of page curl transitions added to this though are not usually seen in real media, where fades and dissolves are more commonly used. I think this made the piece work better with the theme and made the animation more interesting than just a fade to black. The ‘How I Met Your Mother’ title sequence is based on a series of images with one of the characters shown with a disposable camera, as if she is taking the pictures. I developed this idea to fit the photo day theme as if the photographer was actually taking the stills I used right then. <br />
  11. 11. How forms and conventions of real media are challenged in the film piece.<br />The Credits:Normal, title sequences just use video clips (e.g. Scrubs) OR stills (How I Met Your Mother). For the piece I wanted to use a combination of the two, with animation and still images layers over video. I wanted to create a contrast so I used black and white images over colour video but I found the juxtaposition wasn’t intense enough so I used both in black and white and increased the contrast on the images which gave the title sequence more of a stand out look. The stillness of the images contrasted with the fast paced movement of the video and animation which I thought worked well. I also positioned the credit for the main character in the bottom centre of the screen. Actors names are usually credited on the bottom right or left of the screen. However, I found that crediting the main character in the centre would make it more obvious to the audience that she was important, alongside featuring her photo dead centre instead of on an angle and last in the sequence.<br />