In what ways does your media product use, develop or
challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our opening sequence uses lots of conventions used in a real
Firstly, the editing we did follows the conventions. We used fast
paced editing cutting from clip to clip to help create the action
thriller genre. It did this as it it created tension, but at the same
time set a fast paced atmosphere, making the chase scenes
more scary. Although it was fast paced, for lots of the clips we
manipulated the speed to slow it down. This was done on final
cut, during the clips when the titles came, so that they could be
read without being distracted from the film. Also to add
emphasis to clips where it is more effective to have it in slow
motion. For example when the kidnapper and victim have a
fight, putting some of that in slow motion adds tension as you
can see exactly who is winning in the fight.
Our story line also fits with the action thriller conventions as it is
quite a largely used storyline for this genre. This is, two teenage
girls getting kidnapped. For example this story line was recently
used in a film called taken, which was part of the inspiration for
our film. We tried to make it more original with the rest of our
storyline but as this is not shown in the opening two minutes,
the genre is set up for the rest of the film well, attracting the
There are a lot of the ‘race against the
clock’ scenarios which emphasize that it is an
action thriller. For example this is used when
the victim is being chased up the stairs. We
created the ‘race against the clock’
atmosphere by using different angles showing
the same clips and cutting between the angles
quickly. It was also emphasized by putting it in
slow motion as the desperation was more
We only used mild violence which also fits
with the conventions. As using strong violence
and making it gory would have made our film
more of a horror film. We made sure there was
enough to make it realistic and set the tense
atmosphere. I think that showing that the
protagonist had a weapon, but not showing
him actually use it, would have been
appropriate for our genre, but as we were in a
public location we could not bring any
Our opening sequence challenges the conventions
slightly as there has not been a protagonist yet.
Most thriller films have an antagonist and a
protagonist, but so far only the antagonist and
victims have been introduced to the audience.
The victims are the stereotypical characters to
be kidnapped in a thriller film as they are
On our rough cut of the film our music did
not fit well with the conventions of an
action thriller as it was too upbeat and
didn’t fit well with the sequence.
However, the feedback from the class
helped us to realize this so we are now in
the process of making a soundtrack on
garage band that is more appropriate to
Our mise-en-scene is conventional as thriller
films are often set in disserted places such as
car parks. To make it more conventional we put
it in black and white as on the day we took the
footage it was very sunny and this ruins the
atmosphere which is supposed to be scary.
How does your media product represent particular social
In our opening sequence two social groups are quite
stereotypically represented, middle class and working class.
They wear the clothes that would stereotypically be worn and
also act how they are expected to within their social class. We
included binary opposite characters which are the kidnapper
The two victims represent the middle class. This is shown
through their costume, actions and jewelry. The costume of
the victim caught first is wearing quite plain clothing, jeans
and a colourful cardigan. She is wearing a sophisticated
necklace, all representing her social group which is quite
middle/ upper class. She represents them as being cowardly as
she is barely fighting back and looks frightened. I think the
victim makes quite a pathetic attempt of fighting the
kidnapper so it makes her seem like she is not strong enough to
cope in this situation. This represents her social class as being
weak and used to always having someone there to help, when
realistically there isn’t.
The second victim’s costume represents the middle class .
Without the jewelry she looks like she is in a slightly lower social
class than the first victim. She is wearing a black hooded leather
jacket, black tights with a high wasted skirt, a stripped top and
ugg boots. She also represents the middle class as quite weak
throughout the opening sequence as for a large part she is
running from the kidnapper looking very frightened. However,
she then fights the protagonist reflecting that they can defend
themselves. Her character comes across as less pathetic than
the first as she makes much more effort to get away, and at the
same time tries to help her friends. This makes her start to seem
The antagonist represents a different social class. I think that he
represents the working class. This is because he is wearing what
stereotypically is worn by this social class. He is wearing black
tracksuit bottoms, a black hooded jumper and white trainers.
These are also associated with chavs who are a social group that
are stereotyped and judged a lot by those in other social groups
and classes for causing lots of trouble. This character is
represented as a strong character as he manages to capture two
girls by himself. He is represented as the evil character because
of his actions.
In our opening sequence the two victims represent
teenage girls, and makes them seem quite week. This is
because throughout most of the film the girls are scared
and running away, and when finally fights back she
looses. However, in our film gender is not a big aspect as
it is not clear what gender the attacker is. Originally the
character was supposed to be acted as a boy, and this
would have represented boys being strong and girls
being week but, in the end I played the attacker and
have made myself look like a boy as best possible
however, it is still quite obvious I am a girl because of
the close up at the beginning.
The only age that is clearly represented is teenagers, as
it is it is the only age clearly shown. It shows teenagers
to be vulnerable as the last clip is of them tied up
together looking scared. It also represents them as
having bravery as one of the teenagers eventually turns
round and stands up for herself. This is something that
most teenagers say that they would do, but in reality
become to scared to. The age of the antagonist is not
clear so that character doesn’t represent an age.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media
I think that lots of the major media institutions would be
interested in distributing our product. This is because our film is a
mixture between a action thriller and a crime thriller. These two
sub genres are very popular and the major institutions, such as
new line cinema, create films of these genres all the time. For
example a film called ‘From Paris with love’ is a recent action
film. They are likely to be interested as lots of big actors are
willing to be in thriller films as they are often very successful. In
‘From Paris with love’ it stars lots of big actors, such as John
Travolta and Jonathon Rhys Meyers. I think that our film could be
made into a big Hollywood film, as with a huge budget and A-list
actors it could be made into a very successful film. I think that it
wouldn’t be a problem that it is similar to a lot of films already
made as it has a story line based around revenge which is usually
used more in horror, such as saw 2.
Another big reason for the film to be popular with big media
institutions is because films like this provide the opportunity for
huge amounts of merchandise, making them lots of money. For
example with a film like this there are usually games made out of
it. As there are so many different types of gaming equipment the
opportunities are even larger. A very popular one is Wii and I think
there could be a very fun, popular game for a mixture of ages,
created for Wii.
I think that the film should first be released for
cinema rather than TV as with thriller films, it is
very important to have the best atmosphere and
most impact as possible, and these can both be
achieved in the cinema. This is because in the
cinema the sound and picture quality are much
better than what most people have in there
houses. Having the better quality will make the
film more successful as the audience can
experience it at its best. The film could be shown
at all the big cinemas, such as vue cinemas and
The film could be marketed in many ways. The two biggest ways we will
promote the film will be through posters and a trailer. Posters are very effective
as they can be shown everywhere, attracting as many people as possible. For
example it can be put up in schools to attract teenager. Bus stops are also a
very good place to have posters promoting the film as such a big variety of
people use buses, so will therefore see it. Also, we people just passing bus
stops will be attracted to the poster and see. Film trailers are a good way to
promote, as the video can be shown in so many places. It can be shown on the
internet, in advertisment breaks on the television, and before a film at the
cinema. This will mean that lots of people can see the trailer and want to watch
Who would be the audience for your media product?
The certificate we have chosen for our film is 15.
The BBFC permits the following within the bounds of the 15 certificate:
Theme: No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate
to 15 year olds.
Language: There may be frequent use of strong language; the
strongest terms are only rarely acceptable. Continued aggressive use of
strong language and sexual abuse is unacceptable.
Nudity: There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or
Sex: Sexual activity and nudity may be portrayed but without strong
detail. The depiction of casual sex should be handled responsibly. There
may be occasional strong verbal references to sexual behaviour.
Violence: Violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of
pain, and of injuries. Scenes of sexual violence must be discreet and
Imitable techniques: Dangerous combat techniques such as ear claps,
head-butts and blows to the neck are unlikely to be acceptable. There
may be no emphasis on the use of easily accessible lethal weapons (in
Horror: Sustained or detailed infliction of pain or injury is unacceptable.
Drugs: Drug taking may be shown but clear instructive detail is
unacceptable. The film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug
In our film it will fit the criterea as it has:
Language: When the characters start to speak in our film there will be
frequent use of bad language.
Nudity: There will be no full nudity.
Sex: There will be no very explicit sex scenes.
Violence: There is only mild violence and although there will be lots of
suspense it wont be very scary, as this is not the purpose. The only
violence that all of it is shown is a fight with no weapons, and nobody is
Imitable techniques: We will not show what actually happens to the girls
when they are taken. Only the after damage will actually be shown on
camera and certain actions will be hinted at. There are no serious
weapons used on camera.
Horror: There will be no detailed or sustained infliction of pain as our film is
a thriller not a horror.
Drugs: Our film will only imply that drugs have been taken, it will not be
made obvious and the actualy taking of the drugs will not be shown.
The target audience is older teenagers and young adults,
however I think that this genre is good at attracting people
from a wide range of age groups and also to both genders.
Therefore, we haven’t been really specific on who we are
attracting to the film. I think our story line will engage lots of
people as it is a serious issue that is often on the news, that
affects lots of people on a daily basis. This is because it is
quite common for people get attacked, or someone in
peoples family to get attacked at some point in there life time.
The audience that will watch our film will probably be into a
range of different genres. This is because our film has many
aspects from different genres. They will like films from the
action thriller, crime thriller, horror, drama, suspense and
mystery genres. This includes films like: Westbrick Murders,
Brooklyn’s Finest, From Paris with Love and Fake Identity.
How did you attract/address you audience?
I think teenage girls will be attracted as there is an emotional story line
behind our film. Also because being taken like those girls were is something
that teenage girls do worry about, so they will be interested to see how two
girls, that lots of teenage girls will be able to relate to, react in this sort of
situation. The girls may feel like they can learn from the characters
I think teenage boys will be attracted to watch our film as they enjoy
watching films with fighting and violence in. They will enjoy the opening as it
is a fast paced chase scene, but as the film goes on I think the boys will find
the actual story line very interesting. This is because the attacker is doing it
to fight against the system and higher people in society. This is something
that lots of teenage boys will be able to relate to as lots of them are
stereotyped and accused wrongly often, just on a smaller scale to the man in
I think that adults will also want to watch our film as they will also be
interested in the underlying issue which is the unfair treatment to people by
the system. Lots of adults will have been effected by it one way or another
and may find it interesting to see another point of view, even if it is an
extreme way to get revenge. Lots of adults will be able to relate to the
When showing our opening sequence to the class, which were a
group of teenagers, they were attracted to our film by many different
-nice use of framing especially the "stairs" shots.
-includes slow motion effect which adds nice tension at the
-the black and white effect was really effective
-good use of Mise-en-scene with the mask
-music transitions were really smooth
-good editing means it makes sense
-nice selection of different shot types and angles ( the birds eye view
of the staircase was interesting )
-red, bold title at the beginning makes a really nice contrast from the
black and white
I think these aspects will not be what attract all teenagers, as this is
the opinion of a media student studying it closely. However, all of
these will contribute to them enjoying the film.
I think that our setting will attract a wide audience as it is a realistic
place for an attack to happen, and also somewhere that lots of
people will have been to. I think that if it was set in a fantasy world,
like avatar, our film would attract less people as they wouldn’t be
able to relate to the situation, so therefore all of the fear would be
What have you learnt about technologies from the process?
I think that the biggest thing we have learnt is not to underestimate the amount of
time that is needed to create the final film and so planning is very important.
We have realized that although garage band has a huge amount of choice in it, it is
often difficult and time consuming to find the exact sounds that you want and
sounds that fit together well. We have had to reconstruct our music to improve our
film and it has made us realize that making a soundtrack to fit the mood, genre
and the actual clips is harder than we had originally thought it would be. However,
we have also learnt how much of an improvement it is when you add in the music,
as it adds so much more atmosphere to the film, so it is definitely worth making
the best we can.
Doing the final editing for our opening sequence has made me realise how much
you can do on final cut to create the exact atmosphere and clips that you want. I
have found the razor tool very useful as often in our filming there was just a flash
of something that we didn’t want so it was very easy to quickly remove, without
making our film look like it doesn’t flow well, which is very important. I also found
being able to manipulate the speed of our footage very useful as it meant that
when we were filming we could make it exactly how we wanted as we knew it
could be sped up or slowed down. It is useful how precise the speed change can be.
In final cut we also manipulated the colour of the
background to make it black and white. This was a very
helpful tool as on the second time we filmed, which is
the one we have used the footage from, it was a very
sunny day and it ruined the effect and atmosphere we
wanted. Putting it in black and white takes the attention
away from what a nice day it was and makes it look
more of a grey day. It was also helpful being able to put
the film in black and white as it contrasts with our red
I think that my knowledge of how to use the cameras is
what improved the most. I have realized how important
it is to plan very carefully from which angle the shot is
going to be taken from. This is because when a shot is
taken from a wrong angle the sun can really ruin a shot.
We were careful about which angles we took the footage
from as we did two filming sessions, and so we learnt
from the first one. In one of our clips a door is opened
and so the light streams through. I think that this is
effective as she has been running up so many stairs to
get to this door, so when she goes through and the light
streams through it shows that she thinks when she gets
through the doors she will be okay, however this is not
I have also learnt how useful photoshop is when
making a film. Unfortunately, by the time we had
realized the different things we could be doing
using photoshop it was too late. However, before
making the film we used photo shop to create an
ident. We made it for thriller films, which is why
we called it white knuckle productions. We found
photoshop useful as it gave us the opportunity to
put a selection of images together but make it
look as if they were there all of the time. For
example in our ident we took the background of
the grey sky with sky scraper buildings. We then
added in two helicopters. We could make it look
as if they were always there by changing the size
and using the tools to remove everything else
from the picture.
I also realized how useful it is to have a blog
that can be accessed from most locations. It
was very helpful as it meant that all of our group
had access all of the work that we produced,
making the planning of the film a group effort as
we could all contribute even if we weren’t 17
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you think you
have learnt in the progression of it to the full product?
I think that the main thing I have learnt since doing the preliminary task is that
when making the film it is really hard to stick to the plan that you have. Our
opening sequence has changed a lot from what the original plan was. The main big
change is that we didn’t manage to get a fourth person because we couldn’t all do
the same times as him, we managed to work well round this problem using just one
I have also learnt how to make the film more continuous by editing very precisely.
Our film for our preliminary task had big gaps between the speech because of bad
editing. We learnt how to improve this, but in the end did not need to worry about
speech. This is because we decided the film would have much more impact on the
audience without speech as it often ruins the atmosphere, and becomes less
realistic. We used this skill to make our shots flow into each other well.
The main thing I learnt was how effective using different camera angles for the
same shot is. In our opening sequence we have included lots of different camera
angles, especially of the chase on the stairs. I think this makes the scene much
more interesting for the audience to watch as it doesn’t feel like they are watching
the same thing over and over again, although they actually are.
If I was to carry out this task again
there are a few changes that I would
make. I would have made sure that we
had our planning sheet with the list of
shots on order with us when filming
and editing. As we did not do this we
missed a few shots that would have
improved our film. For example at the
start of the film, we were going to have
an establishing shot of the car park
empty and pan around it. This would
have set a tense atmosphere right from
the beginning and could have set the
audience up better to watch the film.
Another change that I would make is to
add our ident into the film. We created
it to fit our genre and narrative of the
film. However, when we started to run
out of time we decided that making the
music more appropriate to our film was
more important than adding in an ident.