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Media Coursework Evaluation

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Media Coursework Evaluation

  1. 1. Media Coursework Evaluation By Joe Sullivan
  2. 2. Question 1 – Forms and Conventions In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>Opening sequences of Thriller films typically are.. </li></ul><ul><li>The building of suspense </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden Plots (Snares) </li></ul><ul><li>Chase scenes </li></ul><ul><li>Quick camera cuts </li></ul><ul><li>We tried to follow as many of these as we can when planning and shooting our film </li></ul><ul><li>Our opening sequence follows the conventions of real media product in the way that it sticks to the basic ideas for a thriller movie. The 2 character types are fairly stereotypical and what you would expect in a thriller, with an everymen type character taking photos in the park whilst a serial killer is burying his latest victim nearby. As you watch the sequence the non-diegetic music builds up suspense and you sense that the 2 characters paths are going to cross – this again being stereotypical of a thriller movie. The setting of our film is in a quiet place and the only people around are our 2 characters, this is following the conventions of a thriller as you wouldn’t expect the film to start off in a busy or crowded place as it makes it harder to build up the suspense. The opening of our film makes the audience want to ask a lot of questions, which also builds up suspense as they are left thinking how has the killer murdered his victim? Why? Will the photographer be next?? This is what we had aimed for as it keeps the audience watching and they do not know what is coming next. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Question 2 – Representation How does your media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>In our film social groups are represented in 2 very different ways, this is because of the contrasting characters. Jack (the photographer) is represented as a stereotypical middle-aged man, this is represented in the way he walks, holds his camera etc. The audience can tell that the photographer has nothing to do with the killer as he minds his own business taking photos of the forest – the way our shots are cut between Sam and Jack (Parallel Action) help the audience to recognise this. Sam is represented as a typical villain/killer in a thriller film, this is portrayed in the way he acts, cautiously looking around before opening the boot to remove the dead body. The audience then see our killer dragging the body out the boot before burying it, showing the killer has planned all of this – stereotypical of a serial killer in a thriller movie. As there is no dialogue between the characters in our sequence they are also represented in the way that they dress (Mise-en-scene) – Jack wears a large coat, glasses and is constantly carrying his camera until he comes across Sam, this helps to construct him as an innocent everyman character, this was important as we had to make our photographer look older so the clothes Jack wore were essential to this. To construct our killer we looked into costumes of other famous screen killers and found that they usually wear one coloured outfits, usually dark and wear things such as boiler suits, masks etc. In the end we decided on a dark blue boiler suit for our killer and opted not to use a mask as we wanted to put in many facial expressions when our killer is chasing the photographer. Another factor which represents the 2 very different social groups is the choice of cars, after the foot chase sequence our photographer gets in to his modern ford fiesta which is stylish and represents his high quality of life whereas our killer gets in to his 1989 ford escort which looks really old and unsafe – this helped us construct him as a menacing killer. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Question 3 – Media Institutions What type of Media Institution might distribute your media product and why? <ul><li>Having proved we can make a high quality film on a very low budget I believe if a studio were to re-create our film it would be a relatively low budget one. Our project was very ambitious and we proved that projects like ours can be completed on a low budget without losing any quality. That is why I believe a small independent production company would be most likely to create a film like ours. However, if a larger production company were to take on our film they could revamp it, obviously the bigger budget would help as things such as our car chase sequence could be done in busy streets if choreographed correctly rather than down an empty road. The distribution of our film would also be affected, depending on whether we chose a large or small production company. A large production company would be likely to have its own distribution company and could afford a mass advertising campaign to promote our film, this would involve advertising almost everywhere that is possible such as Billboards, TV ads, Newspapers, Radio, Posters on buses etc. This would be done to attract a large audience and example of this is when Sony distributed Quantum of Solace. A small production company on the other hand, would have to use another distribution company to promote the film and would pinpoint a niche audience and only advertise in places where they could get to their target audience, specific newspapers, towns etc. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Question 4 – Target Audience Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>In the pre-production stage we conducted some market research to find out what genre of film people interested in our project wanted to see. We handed out some questionnaires to pupils and teachers and Sam did an online poll on his blog. This helped us a lot and what we found was that the majority of people we asked were mostly interested in Action films. With this information on board we looked at a few examples of Action movies and soon realised it would be quite difficult for us to create one. In the end we decided on a compromise between the most popular genre Action, and Thriller as Thrillers are far easier to shoot than action films. The decision worked out quite well as we have received a lot of praise and a positive reaction to our film, this is because the build up to the foot and car chase is done well, so it really does combine Thriller and Action. </li></ul><ul><li>The Target Audience we decided on having done our research was… </li></ul><ul><li>Male </li></ul><ul><li>Age 15 – 30 </li></ul><ul><li>Aspirers and Explorers </li></ul><ul><li>Any social class </li></ul><ul><li>We Have now shown the film to a lot of people of our target audience and they have all given very positive feedback, most of them love the chase sequence. People outside our target audience have also seen our film and have also been very positive about it, most commented on the many different types of camera shots we used and how well we built up suspense in the opening part of the film. This shows that we can please two different audiences with our film – people who like action and people who like thriller which is what we set out to do. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Question 5 – Attracting your Audience How did you attract/address your audience? <ul><li>In the pre-production stages we researched what people would like to see in a film and tried to create a story around that. The car chase was a major factor in attracting our audience as our research showed that’s what people most liked to see in action movies. The way in which we constructed our characters also helped us attract our audience, especially in the way we constructed Jack as an everymen type character, which meant the audience could relate to him. During production we decided to try and make the car chase as action packed as possible so we watched scenes from a couple of action films that had car chase sequences in them such as Death Car and Gone in 60 Seconds. Instead of merely showing the killer gradually gaining ground on our photographer during the car chase we wanted to make it more exciting so we included many different types of shots and car swerves that, when cut between quickly, almost make it look like the killer is trying to ram the photographer off the road! We created numerous web pages to advertise our film and attract the right audience such as a Facebook group, Slideshare page, Photobucket page and a YouTube channel. Theses sites are regularly used by our target audience and the Facebook group had 187 members within a week, our preliminary task is on YouTube and has had views. The YouTube channel also has 2 podcasts we created to keep people updated on our progress, our final film has been uploaded to the Facebook group and YouTube – without these websites it would have been difficult for us to show our film as they allow us to upload footage for free. </li></ul>
  7. 9. Question 6 – Technologies What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? <ul><li>During this project we have learnt a lot about technologies. I had never made a film before so almost everything we used was new to me. One of the best pieces of technology we used was the High Definition camera, this made the quality of our film look so much better and it also has features such as a slow motion function and great zoom which was vital for our foot and car chase scenes. We also added a wide angle lens for the car chase shoot and a directional microphone to help us pick up greater sound quality. Another thing I have learnt when making this film is that you need a good tripod, and we had a top quality tripod which allowed us to gain a range of shots which would not have been possible before, the most notable shots using the tripod are a high angled one where we held the tripod up against a tree and a shot where we lowered the tripod whilst Jack was running which looked very effective. The use of Apple Macs helped us greatly when editing our film and the easy to use iMovie enabled us to create rough drafts of our film every time we gained a bit more footage. When we got round to editing our final draft we initially intended to use Final Cut Express but found it much more complicated having used iMovie throughout production, so we decided to stick with iMovie as some the effects we had already used on there in our drafts were not available to use on Final Cut. One other piece of technology that enabled us to gain such a differing range of shots was the gorilla pod, which allowed us to grip the camera to almost anything at any angle. It is very small so we were able to grip it to the back of the boot for the car chase shots and inside the cars for interior shots. </li></ul>
  8. 10. Question 7 – Progression from Preliminary Task Looking back at the preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the final product? <ul><li>Since the preliminary task we have learnt much more than we knew before the project and the quality of our work has improved greatly. We recently watched our preliminary task after watching our final piece and the quality of it is comical. We have many shaky shots and poor quality footage as at the time we were far less organised. Having watched it though, it makes our progress from that to our final product very pleasing. One big problem with the preliminary task was that we spent half the time we should have been shooting it looking for a location as we had not prepared well, this was something we did not want to repeat in our final piece so we researched and went to look at locations before we even completed storyboarding. This was very helpful to us as when we did shoot we just turned up and got in with filming straight away. In the preliminary task we did not include much variation in our shots, we had one decent shot reverse shot and that was about all whereas in comparison to our final piece we tried to get as many different types of shots we possibly could and managed to include shots like depth of field, slow motion and high angled crane shots. The use of the HD camera in the final piece compared to DV camera in the preliminary was a huge factor in making the quality of our final film a lot better than the preliminary and this combined with the wider range of shots gave our final film a very professional look. One other thing we learnt since the preliminary task was the importance of a good soundtrack to accompany a film, in the preliminary we used Green Onions which had no relevance at all to what was happening on screen, whereas in our final film we wrote our own score which goes extremely well with what is being shown on screen and gives our film a professional look. It begins at a slow tempo and builds up as the two characters get closer to crossing each other, it then gets very fast paced when they spot each other and as the chase begins. </li></ul>

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