Evaluation! By Laura Eddleston. Media Studies AS : Foundation Portfolio Delusion Requiem
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop forms and conventions of real media products? The genre of our film intro, in the beginning, was going to be a horror. But after slight changes to the story, it became more of a physiological thriller. In our film ‘Delusion Requiem’, we used many of the typical thriller conventions such as: <ul><li>The props we used in the film (Shovel and chloroform) , and also the costumes (Regular clothes, to not give anything away). </li></ul><ul><li>The type of lighting we used (Dark, natural lighting). </li></ul><ul><li>The slow, and at times fast paced music, edited to the film. </li></ul><ul><li>The type of eerie, deserted location. </li></ul><ul><li>The actual name of the film . </li></ul>
We thought it was vital to use the typical conventions of a thriller, along with things we came up with ourselves, as we wanted to, using the films first 2-3 minutes, to give the audience a clear idea of what genre the film is, before, and as soon as they start watching. We did use typical conventions of a physiological thriller, such as confusing the audience, keeping them thinking and guessing, but also, we did challenge it a bit with the costumes we used for the actors (clothing you wouldn’t expect in this type of genre). Example: Some films, such as Scream, The Strangers, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, keep the bad guy/killers identity secret until the end, and sometimes they never even reveal who they are.
We did this, because in the film industry, it is vital to do something new, with not just this genre, but every genre. If all the films in a certain genre were the same, the films would lose there excitement and originality, and there would be nothing new and interesting, making you want to actually go and watch it. We decided instead of hiding our characters identity through a mask, that we would not give ANYTHING away about WHO the killer was, by making all the characters dress as normal as possible. A great example of this is the 2009 film ‘A Perfect Getaway’ A mystery thriller where Two pairs of lovers on a Hawaiian vacation discover that psychopaths are stalking and murdering tourists on the islands. The identity's of the killers of the actual killers are kept secret right up till the very end.
Typical Phycological Thriller Conventions. <ul><li>Characters would include some sort of evil/mad/killer stalker person, and usually a victim or a group of victims. </li></ul><ul><li>Chase scene? Builds tension. </li></ul><ul><li>Some sort of weapon. Maybe a gun, an axe, a saw, or knife. Something that the bad/killer character uses, or uses to intimidate. </li></ul><ul><li>A usual setting would be somewhere maybe dark, lonely, not very busy or populated. Many thriller locations include places such as abandoned farms/houses, woods, and small towns, ect. </li></ul><ul><li>Slow AND fast paced music to create tension. </li></ul><ul><li>Scenes which confuse the audience and make them think. </li></ul><ul><li>Death- Someone being murdered, chased, or taken captive. </li></ul><ul><li>The killers identity is sometime covered up, and not revealed completely (sometimes it is kept a secret). </li></ul>
Conventions we used . <ul><li>We included a Stalker/killer, and a victim. But throughout the film we kept the audience guessing as to who is who. </li></ul><ul><li>About half of our opening sequence is a fast paced chase scene, which we used to confuse the audience, and to create tension. </li></ul><ul><li>Our weapons used in the film, were a shovel, and a bottle of chloroform. </li></ul><ul><li>Our setting, was a nearby woods, which people rarely visited, only if hiking or walking a dog. </li></ul><ul><li>We edited eerie slow AND fast paced music to our film. Fast pasted music for the chase scene, capture scene, and at the end. And slow paced music for the moments when not much was happening on screen, and for the shots of Amber walking, to confuse you as to who is chasing/following Darren. </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually when we see the killer, at the end, we keep their identity secret, to create a sort of cliff hanger. </li></ul><ul><li>Also at the end, Amber is murdered, or so you think... </li></ul>
2) How does your media product represent particular social groups? Dominant ways we represented them: In our film opening sequence, are main characters, Amber Phillips and Darren Gregson, were teenagers, so throughout the film, we were representing the social group of ‘Young people’. <ul><li>Their Appearance/Costumes : We told our actors, before we filmed, that we wanted to look and dress as normal as possible. We wanted this because first of all we didn’t want to draw any attention away from what was actually happening, towards their costumes. And also, we just wanted them to look like normal teenagers, so that the teenagers watching the film, could possibly related to them, and know what kind of age they are. </li></ul>
Alternative ways we represented them: Dominant ways we represented them: <ul><li>Actions: At the start of the opening sequence, we go back and forth from shots of Amber walking, and Darren running. The fact that he was running, shows the audience that Darren is in fact a teenager, as he is running away from whoever is following/chasing him, rather than stopping and confronting them, like maybe a adult would. </li></ul><ul><li>Setting/Activities/Props/Speech: First of all, we set our opening sequence in a nearby woods, in a few places, where we knew no one would interrupt our filming, and to set the mood for a ‘Thriller’. We challenged the stereotype of a young person, as the woods isn’t really a place they go to hang out/socialise. Also, at the start of the film, Amber is walking through the woods with a shovel, something at typical teenager wouldn’t do either. And also, the fact that there is no speech throughout the movie, not only emphasises the fact that its a thriller opening sequence, but that we are challenging the conventions of a teenager, as in a typical ‘teenage film’, there would most definitely be a lot of dialogue. </li></ul>
3) What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why ? There are two kinds of institutions that our film opening sequence could possibly be distributed by: A big institution that makes films that come under the Thriller genre (usually American). An English institution that is smaller than ones in America, and less mainstream. <ul><li>Paramount Pictures (Psycho). </li></ul><ul><li>20 th Century Fox (Fight Club). </li></ul><ul><li>Columbia Pictures (Panic Room, Leon) </li></ul><ul><li>Warner Brothers (The Dark Knight). </li></ul><ul><li>Twisted Pictures (Saw). </li></ul><ul><li>Fox Searchlight Pictures (Black Swan). </li></ul>Examples: Examples: <ul><li>Optimum Releasing (This Is England). </li></ul><ul><li>British Lion Films (The Wicker Man 1978). </li></ul><ul><li>Channel 4 Films (East is East). </li></ul>
4) Who would be the audience for your media product? When planning our film, from the start we knew that we were going to be aiming it at the older generation, such as over 18’s. We thought this because at first, we were going to involve a lot of fake gore, and fake blood, and basically a lot of scenes that wouldn't have been appropriate for young children. But after changing our idea, to more of a psychological thriller rather than a horror, and with replacing gore and blood with chase scenes and suspense, we decided it would be fine for the 16-18 age range. Reasons why we wanted to target Women and Men between the age of 15-25. At that age, teenagers/young adults haven't really properly decided on what types of films they favour. Teenagers aren’t picky. Our film will be staring teenagers. Going to the cinema to watch movies is a popular pastime of teenagers. Its a very large audience.
Our results from out Questionnaire: (We gave out a questionnaire to various people around college, to find out who our main audience would be if we make a horror/thriller)
In conclusion, we though, our main audience, would be male , and in-between the ages of 16 and 18.
Teenagers who would possibly see and like ‘Delusion Requiem’ Name : Daniel Age: 17 Activities : Playing Xbox, playing football. Likes films like : Inception, The Expendables, Saw, and The Shinning. Name: Kelly Age: 21 Activities: Reading, going to the movies, studying at uni. Likes films like: The Black Swan and The Blair Witch Project. Vague examples of young adults that would see out film.
5) How did you attract/address your audience? How we attracted our audience. Costumes: We made our actors wear normal clothes, so they would look like normal teenagers so that the teenage majority of the audience would be able to relate, and to also fool the audience about who they actually are, and who the killer is. Lighting: We had no special lighting, but just natural darkish (because of the forest/trees), lighting, to from the start, give the audience the idea that the film is a thriller, and that something bad is going to happen. Mis En Scene: We had just a simple setting of the woods, to create an eerie, almost dangerous effect. We knew it would attract the audience’s attention, as if they liked thrillers in general, they would like the setting as it was empty/lonely/scary.
How we attracted our audience. Ideologies/Messages: I think overall, our film sends out the definite message that any crime, can be committed by anyone, no matter what age or gender. Built up Tension and Suspense: We built up tension and suspense through out the film to attract the audience. We did this through our choice of music, and the editing of certain clips. Editing Style: Since we didn’t use any special lighting, we decided to instead, lower the saturation of all the clips, to make the shots look more darker, and less vibrant. Distribution in the narrative : To establish the characters, and who was in the film, we split up shots of Amber and Darren, black slides (with text), and smooth transitions. We did this so that the audience would have a good sense of who is following who.
6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing your product? IMOVIE CAMERA ITUNES TRIPOD Out of all of the technologies we used throughout the making of our film, Imovie was the most important , as it was what we used to collect all of our footage, cut it down, add slides and transitions and music, and basically edit together the whole project. We used a college video camera to shoot all of our footage, which we had not had any experience using before, so we had to learn the basics such as how to turn on and record, ect. ITunes was what we used to play our music , and store it there , so whenever we needed to edit it into the film, we could easily go into iTunes to find it. We already knew how to use it so there were no problems. We used the tripod for scenes in the film that weren’t handheld, so we could keep the camera still. Just like the video camera, we had no experience with using a tripod, so we had to learn how to set it up, ect.
Blogger - Was the main site that we used to document everything we did, such as planning, decisions, changes, feedback, problems, and all of our progress. On the Internet: We used a lot of online ‘ Un-copyrighted Music’ websites, to find the right kind of music for our opening sequence. Not only did it have to be not copyrighted, but it also had to fit our movie also. We used YouTube right from the beginning of planning, to research different films and opening sequences, that we could take inspiration from. We also used it during the production, to also search for Uncopyrighted music.
7) Looking back at your preliminary task, how do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it, to the final full product? Looking back at the Preliminary task we started with, to practice filming and editing, we have come a long way from that, in ways such as our ability to film, the quality of the footage, the use of props and other settings, how we edited our footage, and what we could add to it. Preliminary Task . Final Product . http://laurahandteigan.blogspot.com/2011/03/final-film.html
Preliminary Task . Final Product, Delusion Requiem . Shots - For our preliminary task we used many basic shots such as Extreme Close-ups (of my hand opening the door), Medium Close-ups (of us sitting down/walking in the room), and Long Shots (of me walking down the stairs). Shots - In Delusion Requiem, we used many shots, and in different angles also. Comparison: We did use similar shots used in our Preliminary task in our final product, but in Delusion Requiem, we interlinked lots of different shots to create tension, confusion, and different effects. The shots were also a lot more interesting.
Editing/Transitions- For our Preliminary task we didn’t use any editing, we didn’t change the colour in any way, didn’t insert extra slides, add any transitions, and we didn’t add any music at all. We stuck to the basic editing of cutting the clips we needed, and deleting the bits we didn’t need. Editing/Transitions- Our final product needed a lot of editing, since there was more clips. We had a lot of clips to sort through, and a lot of things that we needed to cut and get rid of. We added things such as transitions, slides with text (for the title, ect), and we also edited the colour of the whole film, and added in music. Comparisons: It was clear, looking back at both the pre-lim and final product, that the final product was much more professional, due to the fact we knew a lot more about editing, and Imovie, and we also wanted the final product, to look as much like an actual film introduction.
Preliminary Task . Final Product, Delusion Requiem . Characters- The only 2 characters in our Preliminary task, which was myself and Teigan. We were both introduced to the audience at the beginning, there was only some dialogue, and nothing really happened, and our characters didn’t have any particular roles. Characters - In our final product, there were 3 characters, Amber (The ‘Killer’), Darren (The victim), and Me (The actual Killer). We had much more developed roles, and were more interesting. Comparison: The characters in our final product were a lot more developed. They had specific roles to play, were a lot more interesting (in ways such as they had stories behind them which would be revealed later on in the film), and also, the script itself, had the characters do many more things.
Preliminary Task . Final Product, Delusion Requiem . Sound and Lighting- In our Preliminary task, we had no special lighting or sound. First of all, we didn’t really know how to add sound, and we didn’t know how to add lighting. There was also no need for it as we were in college, and didn’t need any lighting. Sound and Lighting- We didn’t use artificial lighting either in our final product, as we didn’t need it due to the fact it was a thriller, and was meant to be dark-ish. The fact that we had no dialogue, meant we could add more music. We added the right type of music for the right scenes, such as up-beat music for the chase scene, and calmer music for transition scenes, ect. Comparison: We may not have used any special lighting in either the Preliminary task or Final product, but we did have better knowledge of how to edit music into the film, which in the end, made is look and sound a lot more professional and realistic.
Title and font- For our Preliminary task, we didn’t use any extra slides, with any text . We didn’t give it a title (only ‘Our Preliminary Task’), which makes our first attempt of editing, unprofessional. Title and font- The title we decided on for our final product, in the end was ‘Delusion Requiem’. We had many other ideas before hand, but we chose this one particularly as Delusion, meaning things such as ‘Confusion’ and ‘A false belief’, and Requiem meaning A mass for a deceased person. We thought this may be significant as the aim of our ‘Thriller’ movie, was to confuse audience, reveal that the first scenes were part of a dream. On our added slides, we used a regular font such as Georgia, to keep it looking more simple, to not draw to much attention to it from the film, and to not give away anything about the film through the font. Comparison: Our final task was in many ways better, since we had a title, mentioned who the production/Distribution company was and who stared in the film. By doing this it makes the whole thing look more professional, like an actual film. We have also now learnt how to insert more slides.
Conclusion. Overall I think, we did a pretty good job making D elusion Requiem . I think throughout, our strengths were the actual script. I think the idea of having the intro being part of a dream, which (later on in the film), becomes reality. I also think, the filming of the film was quite successful also, with our range of different shots. A lot of things did work well, but quite a few things, could have gone better than planned. Such as the fact we could of added more scenes towards the end, to show more of the killer instead of just one scene. And we could have also, even though it doesn’t affect the film badly, we could have gotten a better actor to play the victim, as Darren in some shots, was smiling, and in some shots where his eyes should have been closed, they were opening slightly.