A2 Media StudiesEvaluation By Thomas Paul Robinson
In what ways doesyour media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media products? Question One
• Narrative – The narrative for our short film “Social Enemy” is told in a style similar to Tzvetan Todorov’s Theory of Narrative. He suggested that conventional narratives are structured in five stages. The 1st stage, which is a state of equilibrium at the outset, is shown at the start of the film when the lead is seen acting calm and at ease in the coffee place. The disruption of the equilibrium is when a letter is given to him by a mystery person, and he recognises the severity of the disruption of equilibrium, when he receives a Facebook message informing him that his wife has been taken. His attempt to repair the disruption occurs through going to the various locations the antagonist sends him. However, the mystery killer confronting the lead, “Ben”, at the end of the film does not match the 5th stage of the reinstatement of equilibrium, as the disruption has not being repaired.
• Genre and music – I feel that the genre we needed to aim to achieve for the short film is the action-thriller/horror genre, and through the storyline we were able to add suspense and drama to the film. We also felt that the music we inserted into the film via Garageband would add the suspense to the film, especially at the end of the film when the lead “Ben” is approached by a mystery person. As in the traditional horror film, the music builds up, to add the suspense and the expectation that something is going to happen. The clip on the next slide is a scene from the film “Freddy vs. Jason” and this showcases an example of a rise in music to add the suspense. The voiceovers were needed to tell the readers what several texts or messages said. We did it in the style of thoughts. So, you hear his thoughts reading allowed the texts to him. Voiceovers are used to help the audience understand the storyline, as they reveal the content of the messages involved.
• As you can see, when Freddy got closer to the two people, the music rose in sound, in order to build up for a climatic finale. I felt that in our short film we needed to have the music in the final scene, where a mystery man approaches the lead, with the same conventional horror rise in sound in order to build the suspense.
• We kept to the rules of filming in woods in Guisborough, which I uploaded on our media pitch which is on my blog, because it felt like a conventional venue to film a horror-like film.• The editing with Final Cut Pro for my short film is important as the cuts from scene to scene needs to be in flow in order for the audience to follow the storyline. So, jumping directly from one scene to another without a small time gap would make the film seem unprofessional.
• Poster – I’ve seen in a lot of film posters, of films using a shot of one, significant object and putting the spotlight on that object. Here in a poster promoting “The Dark Knight Rises” the The reason I went with “The Time For Poster lights up the Talk is Over” as my tagline, is because image It plays on the theme of technology Of a broken bat mask, And the use of the phones in the which teases the possible demise of Batman in the Short film. upcoming film.I decided to go with theSame philosophy of put theSpotlight of an importantAspect of the film beingClearly showcased, and in my caseIt’s the phones used. So I decidedTo have all 3 phones as part of myFilm poster, as they all significantTo the plot.
In my poster, the Forenames of the Actors are much Smaller than the Surnames, something I saw used on a filmposter for the Dark Knight, and I used the same tactic, because It emphasises the actors involvement in the film.A date and a website is displayed, as it gives the viewer an indication as to when the film will be released, andwhere people can learn more about the film. I also put in quotes from reviews as well as a star rating to showdifferent publications praising the film.
• Double Page Spread – In AS, I was asked to produces to double page spread for a music magazine. This was it, but looking Back it, I didn’t think Using the same template For the double page spread Would work this time Around. I feel the color Scheme I used for the Double page spread didn’t Work. I also think it lacked Images, and one photo Covering an entire page meant the interview was Left on page, and it should Have spread out.
So I decided to take it upon myself to have the main article spread out within the doublepageSpread. The feature photo, which is a still image from the short film, is significantlyshowcased in the double page spread, and also has a quote from within the reviewitself, a technique I used in my double page spread. A caption is shown above thesecondary photo of the double page spread to inform the reader of the details of thephoto.
Also I decided to have something extra to support the article. So I did a list of “films thatThomas Robinson has appeared in”, which gives the reader something else to have aread of other than the main article. I took inspiration of a double page spread I saw inKerrang! magazine which showcased a list of 5 bands that changed the life of MylesKennedy (Lead Signer of Alter Bridge, along with the main article, which was aninterview.
And this is my list of “5 films you may have seen ThomasRobinson in...” in comparison to the Kerrang! List of “The5 Bands that changed Myles Kennedy’s life…”
How effective isthe combination of your main product and ancillary texts? Question Two
• All 3 products all share the use of technology in each product. In the short film, technology is the most dominating method when it comes to the lead Ben and “Social Enemy”, as in the film they contact through Facebook and the use of several mobile phones. In my poster, phones are displayed in large In the middle of the poster to emphases its’ importance. In the double page spread a photo of the lead reading a text message is shown, and the review showed actually mentions the use of technology in the film. Also, the poster and double pager spread both share the same dark color scheme with a hint of red and white. The list in the second page of the double page spread, has a red background with white font, where as the font in the film poster is predominantly white, and 5 red stars.
• I have tried to reach my target audience of a younger generation and thriller and horror fans, by making my making my productions socially relevant. The use of mobile phones and social networking meets the younger generation ideals so by emphasizing the theme of phones in my productions relates to them as they use mobile phones all the time, and they use social networking sites a lot of the time.
• I feel that double page spread is better than the poster, because I feel that the quality of my double page spread has improved from my AS, much better than the quality of my poster from A2 has improved from my poster from AS. I feel that my short film could have used a much clearer storyline, as I think the storyline is too complicated, and could have been expressed better. I’m disappointed at the color blend of the background of leaves in the background of my film poster. I thought it was too dark than I initially intended. I’m happy with my double page spread, as it includes more photos and the article is more spread out over the spread.
My film poster and double page spread would be anEffective way to publicise because on my poster, Iadded a “website” address for people to find out moreinformation about the film, as well as a release datefor those who want to watch the film. I includedquotes from Newspapers praising the short film,which publicises it as publications are praising thefilm and giving the film its due.Compared with mine, major film companies’ budget issignificantly large so they have a lot of moneyinvested into their campaigning. One particularinstance of viral marketing campaigns is “The DarkKnight” which saw . In May 2007, 42 entertainmentstarted the campaign with showcasing “I believe inHarvey Dent” campaign, in which posters andwebsites promoting an electoral candidate “HarveyDent” running , which followed up with a vandalisedversion of the poster called “I believe in Harvey Denttoo”. This followed up with A WhySoSerious.comrelease which sent fans on a scavenger hunt for theteaser of the film and photos of the Joker, and muchmore.
. What have you learned from your audience feedback? Question Three
• From our audience feedback on the initial pitch they wanted us to address the issue of police involvement, which we failed to do in the pitch. And we did that, by having the villain threaten the life of the women in danger if the lead rang the police.• Someone in the audience suggested that we used Social Networking as a form of communication. So we had the “Social Enemy” talk to Ben via Facebook.• They wanted us to give the antagonist “Social Enemy” have a motive, so we decided to have the motive addressed at the start of the film, by saying that Ben Shepherd “failed to pay up”.
• The audience feedback I received really changed the initial idea of the film. After our pitch in December, someone in the audience suggested that we used Social Networking as a form of communication. I agreed with the notion, and the initial phone scavenger hunt idea changed. The original title of our film changed from “Phone Call Killer” to “Social Enemy” because of it.
• Also, I felt that in order to get feedback from These were the comments for the film poster the audience I am trying to target, predominantly young adults, I had to showcase the photos on a popular website used by this audience. So, I uploaded my ancillary tasks onto Facebook, and asked people to comment on the tasks, and tell me what they thought.
And these were the comments for the double pagespread
B E F O• This feedback was R very helpful as it E pointed out some HERE’S THE ERROR grammatical errors which I have went back and changed. A lot of the feedback was very positive, A especially on the F colour choices for the double page T spread, although I E did get some R constructive feedback which I AND HERE’S THE ERROR took on board. CHANGE
• After we did our initial Short Film Pitch in December 2011, we received written and verbal feedback. We responded through a video addressing the feedback and what’d we hoped to do about the issues. We uploaded the video on Vimeo, and the video link is below.• http://vimeo.com/33283234
• An example of Audience Research and Feedback influencing films is the Batman franchise. When they released “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin”, they were critical failures. Reasons for this was for the studios decision to make it more “Family-Friendly”. Joel Schumacher, who was the director, even said "We decided to do a less depressing Batman movie and less torture and more heroic. I know I have been criticized a lot for this, but I didnt see the harm in that approach at all“. The negative reaction towards the series, eventually resulted in the next film “Batman Triumphant” being cancelled, and the entire film franchise being re-booted, with Christopher Nolan being the new director, focusing on a more darker approach to Batman with “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight” and the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises”, and it paid off and was a critical and financial success, and encouraged more producers to take a darker, more depressing edge to superhero movies, like “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” by FOX studios, for example. The reason it’s so important for film producers to focus on audience feedback is because the audience, at the end of the day, will make or break their film. When films don’t get the response they wanted, they’ll have to take their feedback on board, because if they don’t, people are going to lose interest in the product.
How did you usemedia technologiesin the construction and research, planning andevaluation stages? Question Four
I used the website “Blogger” to upload my blogs for the A2 Media Coursework. This websAble to embed several types of Media onto your blog, like:• YouTube videos• Vimeo Videos• Prezis• Presentations• Sound cloud files• Word Documents• JPEG Images• BBC iPlayer Videos This has been very useful to me as a research uploader, as the embedding allows me the to use various types of media to present my research.
I have used YouTube for my research several times. Due to the popularity of YouTube, theSo many videos uploaded, that it wasn’t difficult to find videos that helped my courseworFilm trailers and short films. YouTube has been the hosting site of Simon’s Cat videos creatSimon Tofield , who has some videos generating over 20 millions views worldwide, whichIn my Short film research.
Facebook was used by us, as one of the scenes shows Ben using Facebook to uncoverMessage by “Social Enemy” to himself. This is to tie in the theme of technology and soNetworking, and we used a Facebook account to make a “Social Enemy” Facebook acAnd we then created a message, which was sent to “Ben’s” Facebook.
I used Prezi to create several presentations that were to be uploaded on my blog. ThePrezis have different parts of research for the short film, including Genre and Short FPosters. We did our pitch through a Prezi, as it allows you import media like YouTubVideos at whatever size you want them to be seen in. Prezi has very good design optLike in background color and font, and we felt it was better, than Microsoft PowerPoAs a presentation creator program.
I used Microsoft PowerPoint for this evaluation, because I felt it was better to have the queParts Appear in slides, rather than Prezi. While I prefer Prezis design options to PowerPoinFelt PowerPoint was more formal, and that the evaluation needed formality.
A MAC computer was used for the production of the short film. By production, I meanAnd the Sound Track. To put the film together I used the Final Cut Pro software exclusiMAC, while I used Garageband software to create the soundtrack.
As far as I’m concerned, Garageband is the best music production software to use, becWith several sample loops and the ability to use your vocals and music in the programThis gives the user a lot of options and choices. The music provided was great for theHorror/thriller short film I had to create.
Final Cut Pro was used for editing and using the clips gained through the filming toCreate the actual film. It was difficult to use at first, but I was able to grasp the contAnd the effects, and we were able to put together the short film well.
• Photoshop was used to create the Double Page Spread and the film poster. My skills in Photoshop have improved in AS, in which my Photoshop skills weren’t great. I knew how to blend images better, and I could explore with the uses of the images available.
• Computers have made it easier for me as a film producer to edit the clips our group filmed. With Final Cut Pro, it didn’t tale long for the images to upload, we were able to trim and cut some of the clips easily. We had problems with some of the clips being in a different quality then my previous clips, despite using the same camera, but in we were able to fix the problem, be re-uploading the images with different settings.
• My understanding of the use of digital technology has certainty developed during the production of the short film and the ancillary tasks. My skills on Garageband and Final Cut Pro weren’t great at first, but I have since developed good skills on both to produce great music for my short film, and then to create a good short film as well. I learned how to effectively cut clips on Final Cut Pro, which I struggled with at first.