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Evaluation final final final

  1. 1. Evaluation Courtney Lang<br />In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge the forms and conventions of real media products?<br />“Voices” is a horror film which follows the main codes and conventions of the genre in many ways. Straight away the audience is made aware of the situation of the girl on the screen. She is portrayed as having something very wrong with her by the way she is talking, moving and even by the things she is saying. <br />By having the girl alone at the start of the film we become closer to her and understand her more. This is similar to the film SAW (2004) http://youtu.be/QXtItSJfiYo where the start of the film introduces you to the main characters and allows you to develop a personal relationship with them. The clip fades into a flashback of recent events involving what seems to be at first “a normal family.” However it is early on in the next section of the film that we discover that the girl wants to kill her mother and the reason, well we will never find out why! This follows the forms and conventions of a thriller movie because we are not letting the audience completely in and we are only revealing what we want them to know. This leaves the audience guessing what is going to happen next and how the story will end so they become immediately hooked by the suspense of not knowing.<br />http://youtu.be/pKpJPgohgQk<br />The blood around the girl’s mouth and her dark eyes also follow the forms and conventions of a horror film because they tend to be gruesome and gory such as Death Line (1973) put a web link so that we can see the commercial of the movie where the killer has blood around his face from eating his victims. Also the music and font of the opening credits immediately relates to the horror genre as the music is slow and atmospheric which keeps the audience on edge whilst the font is in bright red to represent the gory themes. The use of flashbacks, drawings and knifes slowly reveal to the audience that the girl is possessed and has real hatred for her mother. As to the reason why? This remains unexplained. <br />Our locations were not typical of a thriller film as we used a normal family home. This adds a twist because to the outside they look like an average middle/working class family but what goes on and happens inside the house is a completely different story. The father is seen briefly and is also oblivious to what his adopted daughter gets up to, leaving all the strain and pressure on the mother. The scenario we created in our film could happen in any normal environment and is a convention that can be seen in other films. For example in the film The Descent (2005) http://youtu.be/4mujk825LXk the story takes place in what seems to be a normal countryside environment and as they explore the caves they find an un-normal group of flesh eating “crawlers” living there. <br />How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br />In our thriller we twist the male and female roles. Normally men are associated with the “killer” stereotype but we created a girl who is capable of anything, even murder. In our thriller we kept to the stereo typical vulnerable woman character who tries her best to lead a normal family life. In our sequence the woman cannot control the type of adopted daughter she has bought into the family. We have one male character in our film but he appears only at the start of the sequence which enables us to show the audience how the mother is left with all the stress of bringing up a child by herself. As a result, men may not be able to relate with the film as there are two females. The young girl is typical of her age as she wears normal fashionable clothes; she has magazines on the floor and pictures of flowers in her room. Her hair is styled to show the side of innocence which she very rarely shows. <br />The family is represented as a typical middle / working class family. The father is portrayed as a typical male by working long hours and leaving the mother behind to take care of their daughter and home. This “family” narrative is similar to the film 28 weeks later (2007). http://youtu.be/eunaclr-WgU The film starts off as a normal family and one of them becomes a monster leaving the others to deal with the effects of this. <br />What kind of a media institution might distribute your media product and why?<br />Voices would probably not be funded by a major Hollywood film studio like Paramount or 20th Century Fox because it is a British Independent Film. Companies that could fund our production would be the UK Film Council or the BFI as they often fund low budget films and use lottery’s money. Our sequence would attract British Independent Film companies and distributors as our storyline is simple but scary and uses British actors and settings. <br />A successful British funded film is Billy Elliot (2000) http://youtu.be/JoiVEyCosEE which is about an old fashioned mining family with a young son who discovers a hidden talent from sneaking in and taking part in a girl’s only ballet class. When his Dad and brother find out about it they are ashamed of him however he has support and forms a very close bond with his Ballet teacher, who believes he has a rare talent so she sends him for a very important audition at the Royal Ballet School. Years later his family go and watch him perform and they then realise how good he is and feel very proud. This film was funded and distributed by the Arts Council of England, BBC Films and Studio Canal. However these companies may not relate with to our particular Thriller because the storyline is not a common one and is also quite disturbing. <br />From our research we discovered that our target audiences would be between the ages of 15 – 40. Our research informed us that our target audience enjoy the suspense and disturbance of a horror film and it is a popular demand in the UK. Younger children would be advised not to watch our film because of the gory, bloody scenes. A film with a similar storyline is Orphan (2009) http://youtu.be/WgxVIB2WuHU which covers the same issues such as the normal family environment, adoptive children and their unknown hatred for the mother. Our film is a modern version and is made to be scarier. Tanted angles, close-ups and long shots, POV shot make the use of camera techniques more advanced which create suspense throughout the sequence. The audience’s response to Orphan was very good so we think our film will do very well as both films are very similar but ours is more of a modern version. <br />There are many different things that could come out of the film such as a sequel or a late night TV screening because we have left the end of the film an open ended. This attracts the audience’s attention and provides us with an opportunity for a sequel. We could also have many late night TV screenings as the film is a rated 15+ meaning it contains a form of horror and gore therefore it would need to be shown late at night so it reaches the correct target audience. People may not want to pay to go and watch our film but we could definitely gain a different type of audience by showing it on television screens.<br />Who would be the target audience of your media product?<br />Our target audience are mid-teenagers and young adults. Our research revealed to us that this particular target audience preferred horror films to actions films as they were more suspenseful and scary. We have portrayed these requirements through the use of the main character, which is the twisted adopted daughter and is first seen in a medium close-up shot with blood around her mouth and her hair flying everywhere like she is possessed. We have not revealed everything all at once which keeps the audience involved and at the edge of their seats as they will are anxious to know what happens next. To help build up tension we used eerie music throughout and faded it out when the dialogue reaches its climax, “I’m here to save you mummy.” <br />We also discovered through our research that our particular target audience thought that using normal ordinary locations would better; as they make the storyline more unusually tense, know the plot could happen anywhere such as The Descent (2005) which I have previously talked about. <br />The BBFC classification we were hoping to achieve is a 15 because our thriller has elements of gore and blood as well as some violence. This may be very disturbing to people under the age of 15. Also the film Orphan (2009) was rated a 15 and as our storylines are very much similar and as a result we thought it was appropriate. The reason why we didn’t make it an 18 is because there is no nudity, sexual relations or bad language within the movie therefore we think it is acceptable for 15+ people to watch this film. <br />A 15 rated film issued by the BBFC (British Board Of Film Classification) means that the contents of the film would contain swear words, intense horror, gore and torture or nudity etc. An 18 rated film also issued by the BBFC means that the contents of the film contains hard drug use, supernatural horror, explicit sex, sadistic violence and sexual violence. <br />How did you attract/address your particular audience?<br />We attracted our audience by using a good range of camera shots and angles such as medium close ups and POV shots. As the film begins, the main character is talking directly into the camera which immediately involves the audience and attracts their attention as they feel like the girl is talking to them. Our thriller does not have a difficult story line and the audience do not have to think about things to understand what is going on. Our feature is not like Inception (2010) http://youtu.be/66TuSJo4dZM which is about a group of people who can get into others heads and through the different layers of their dreams. This film has a complicated storyline and involves people having to use their brains to gain an understanding. I think this is very bad for a film as an audience like to relax and enjoy what they are watching. <br />http://youtu.be/pKpJPgohgQk <br />As we did not have much money for advertising we posted our opening sequence on a social networking site YouTube, so our target audience could watch it and pass it on through word of mouth technique. The response from using this technique was very good. People enjoyed all the editing techniques especially at the start and end of the film where we revered the shot so it was backwards and made the girl look crazy and possessed. We used a short catchy title (Voices) so the audience could remember it easily. <br />The audience is asked to sympathize with the mother as we use a lot of close ups of her face to show how sad, concerned and helpless she is. Many mothers can relate to her character as it partly shows the struggles of motherhood. The whole first part of our storyline is one big cliff hanger as we do not reveal why the daughter hates her mother so much and why she wants to kill her. We attract the audience as they want to know more and we have left the ending of the film open so there is an opportunity of a sequel which will get the audience excited. <br />What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?<br />I learnt how to use Google for research purposes, for example when we were learning about BBFC classifications I needed information to give our thriller the correct age rating. I learnt how to upload a video onto YouTube when it came to releasing the sequence for feedback and this skill will come in really handy in the future. <br />We did really well in finding out how to use the camera but one problem was using the equipment that came with it. We learnt how to hold a camera which came in handy as our tripod had broken and we had no choice but to go ahead and film handheld. We learnt how to keep silent so there was no noise disturbance within our shots and as we were in a quiet location, we didn’t need to use a microphone as the camera picked up the sound perfectly. <br />When it came to using Final Cut Pro it was difficult at first to work out how to use all the buttons, shortcuts and controls. However I did learn how to use a wide range of effects and techniques to make our sequence look really good. For example I learnt that we could add a soundtrack, change the font, we could cut the scenes and fit them together and use effects like “dissolve”. We used the soundtrack throughout most of the sequence and the bright red font was used when names of the director and actors etc. appeared over the shots. We were able to use two shots and intercut them in an affective parallel editing sequence. I learnt how to use the dubbing technique which is when you select a part of your thriller to attach a voiceover. When our main title “Voices” appears, we have used the dubbing technique to add the screaming voiceover of the mother. <br />We had a problem with a few of the shots as we had broken the 360 degree rule and had to reshoot. Also some of the outside shots had a lot of un-wanted noise disturbance. As a result, we discovered that we could make the dialogue louder, which enabled the audience to hear the character speaking. In the future I think it would be wiser to film in a quieter place or to use a gum microphone to pick up the dialogue better. <br />We added a spooky, atmospheric soundtrack throughout most of the sequence to build suspense and entwine it with the different shots. We used many sound effects like a heartbeat and screams at the correct moments of the sequence and to add tension and suspense to the shots. We had also previously taken some sound recordings via our mobile phones and we connected and transferred them onto our sequence when necessary by using Final Cut Pro. We added different text fonts and colours to go with the genre of our film. This was a bright red colour and an uneven squiggly font. From doing all of this we learnt that Final Cut Pro offered many different ways to make our thriller sound and look really professional. <br />With the blog we learnt how to create a new post which we then copied our work onto so the examiner could mark it. Additionally we were able to add slideshows of our work and pictures with reference to our thriller. This made our blog look more presentable and neat. <br />Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?<br />Our first attempt of the preliminary task was a complete disaster as none of us had a clue how to use or set up the equipment and we couldn’t all agree on one idea. We had bad communication issues and we were really un-organised as we didn’t have a location or any actors etc. <br />When we edited our film using Final Cut Pro for the first time, the sequence looked awful, there was a lot of background noise, there were un-needed objects in the shots and it looked really unprofessional. Not to mention the acting was terrible as we had just picked up any random college students! We were told to reshoot a new sequence which eventually turned out much better as we worked together more as a team and were able to compromise on each other’s thoughts and opinions. We had finally mastered most of the important equipment however we still had different ideas about what we wanted to do with the main project. <br />During our main project we had fewer problems as we had learnt from our previous mistakes. We worked together as a team by having regular group meetings to discuss the sort of things we needed to do in order to gain a good grade. We sat and discussed our initial ideas and which one we thought would be best and easier to shoot. I produced a very good project schedule for everyone to follow and most of us were good at keeping to our deadlines! Everybody knew what their role in the group was however we did help each other out when needed. All the work we had to do before we came to filming the thriller was really helpful, as we gained a deeper understanding of how to use the equipment and what we were exactly trying to get on camera for example the shots and the characters etc. We were able to overcome many problems as we thought about everything thoroughly such as the days and times we were going to shoot our film and edit. We had found our location and actors and made sure that they came prepared and dressed to our description on the day of filming. We discussed what shots and angle’s to use like a medium close up shot as the sequence starts. This was done so that viewers could see the girl properly and gain an opinion of her. We also had to make sure that we had enough shots to use when cutting together the final sequence in the editing suit. This is a short video of us working together whilst filming at our house location. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=&feature=player_embedded <br />When it came to the editing suit we had fewer problems as our editor had become familiar with how to use Final Cut Pro. We spent a lot of time as a group helping each other and deciding how to cut our shots and what effects to use to make it look like a thriller film. <br />Overall I think our team worked incredibly hard to produce a good thriller sequence. We overcame our struggles and pulled it together when most needed. We became more organised and well trained in the roles we had chosen. I believe the standard of work produced has met the brief and was very successful. It contains a high standard of professional work allowing us to gain the skills needed for working further within the film industry. <br />