In what ways does your media product use,
develop or challenge forms and conventions
of real media?
I’ve always been a big fan of the crime genre; favourites
being Pulp Fiction and The Wolf of Wall Street. My love for
this genre allowed me to stay entertained and interested
during my research and production. I enjoyed the idea of
youth being involved in crime whilst also being pulled in the
direction of maintaining their education and social life.
The crime genre has become more and more popular of the last 30 years with
notable directors such as: Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorcese playing a
large role in the genre’s development and popularisation. Common themes in
crime genre tend to be gangster/mafia flicks, coming-of-age anarchism and
drug-fueled violence. Extending it’s reach to video games and TV series, crime
has certainly established itself as a dominant genre.
As the audience, we are often put in the position of sympathising with the
criminals; as they are often the anti-heroes of the story. Take Danny Ocean and
his rag-tag team in Ocean’s 11; they are quite clearly breaking the law, however
we are made to support their actions because of their lead roles and story.
I found that using young, teenage males as my protagonists would allow for my
target audience to relate with them easily. I found that the crime genre was
more related to the male demographic; primarily because of the stereotypical
‘manly’ lead roles.
For my opening sequence, I decided to condone the trope of ‘anti-heroes’ in
crime films. I aimed for the target audience to feel sympathy for the crime-
driven protagonist and support his story. This is a feature seen in many crime
films, thus providing many examples.
In Wolf of Wall Street, the audience
see Jordan Belfort as the hero of
the story, despite his massive
history of crime. The FBI are put in
an antagonistic position.
Similarly, in Ocean’s 11, the team
pulling off the heist are made out to
be the heroes of the story despite
breaking the law.
I wanted to make my protagonist a young, white male living
in the working-class north. Similar to a youth you would find
in late 80s-early 90s in a working class society.
I wanted to present the youngsters in my opening
sequence as carefree, crime-driven characters escaping
from the stress of ‘fitting-in’ and pressure to succeed.
I feel like, to deliver this message, any other
race/gender/social class would not have been as effective.
The age and attitudes of my protagonists would allow my target
audience to relate to characters on a personal level; as well as
presenting the demographic effectively. With crime films/TV
Series/Video Games primarily targeting audiences of 15+, enabled for
more effective representation and relatability to the audience.
My analysis of crime opening sequences (Trainspotting and
Goodfellas) often showed white males in the leading roles. This is also
evident in films and TV such as This is England, The Sopranos and
The protagonist, being the main subject in the film, was put
in the position of the ‘anti-hero’. I adhered to this
convention to give a level of relatability and sympathy to
the character; enabling the audience to associate with the
character on a personal level.