In the production part of my coursework I have developed and challenged
real media products. My media products are a 5 minute short film, film
poster and a magazine review double page and the genre was a romantic
Beginning with the short film ‘Gabriella’, for planning I have developed the
idea of Todorov in my story. Gabriella started in ‘equilibrium’ when
everything was at balance, with everybody living their normal lives,
meeting new people as normal etc. This is then disrupted by a problem to
cause ‘disequilibrium’ which is noticed in our short film as the ‘Fight Scene’
were the two main male protagonists fight over the female protagonist
Gabriella. Todorov’s theory would then go on to say that a series of events
take place before the ‘new equilibrium’ is established. However we have
broken this idea in our film, as it does not end in a new equilibrium but
rather continues in the disequilibrium adding a twist to our short film,
making it unique and different from all the other romantic dramas. This is
also found in real medias such as the ‘Titanic’ as there was no happy ending
to the story.
In what ways does your media product
use, develop or challenge forms and conventions
of real media products?
Codes and Conventions of Romantic
Forms and Conventions are things that
make a media product recognisable.
The settings that are usually used for
Romantic Dramas are:
- Beach towns/Beaches or Town Centres
- Variety of places the characters can meet
by ‚accident‛ throughout the film
- Places we associate with romantic –
restaurants, couples homes, cinemas, the
- Places were the main characters are on
their own/isolated which enables them
to show affection freely.
- Workplaces of main characters
The props usually used in romantic
- Flowers/Chocolates – Gifts
- Nice clothes/ swimwear
- Mobile phones
- Suitcases for travel
The typical action used in Romantic drama:
-Boy meets Girl (vice verse)
-Boy and girl grow close
-Boy and girl fall in love /one of them falls in
-Boy and girl pulled apart by
tragedy, betrayal, jealousy or mistake
-Period of time boy and girl or just one mourn
the loss of the other
-Through spontaneous moment boy and girl
pulled back together
-Friends of both main characters
-A competitor for one of the main characters
1. Boy meets girl
2. Spend a lot of time together – fall in love
3. They become separated through tragedy
4. Spend time mourning the loss of other
5. They are drawn back together
6. Live happily ever after
Opening Sequence of film:
Our opening sequence starts with an establishing shot of the school, this
was used to present the location of most of the scenes, and where the
opening scene takes place. This is often used in many forms and
conventions of real films such as 'Easy A' where there has been an
establishing of the school at the beginning of the film. This has helped us
establish time in the film. Through this establishing shot at the very
beginning of the film we have guided the viewers understanding of the
action. This exterior shot of the school building in bright day was
followed by an interior shot of Gabriella and Emily talking which implies
that the conversation is taking place in this building in the bright day
We had decided on the title ‘Gabriella’ as it is short and simple to
memorise. The title of the film ‘Gabriella’ comes in at 0.15s which follows
right after the first establishing shot of the school. This was because we
thought that it would look and fit perfectly having the title of the film at
that point to make the viewers aware of what the film is called.
The font that was chosen was quite simple pink font on top of a black
The opening of the short film starts off as any normal modern romantic
drama, by introducing the main characters. As we see Gabriella’s face
first right after the title appeared on screen, we directly know that this is
Gabriella. Through the editing of placing their names above their heads it
is also easier for the audience to find out who the other girl Gabriella is
talking to is.
Quite early in the film we see the significance of the twos relationship
which is also often found in many real medias such as 500 days of
Romantic dramas rely more on the dramatic side
of romance and plot rather than the complex
shots and editing therefore I was able to follow
Over the Shoulder Shot
We used many over the shoulder shots which we
have found to be typically used to show that a
conversation between two characters is taking
place. We see this in the film ‘No Strings
Attached’ as Emma’s body language and facial
expression appears to be happy and relaxed.
Over the shoulder shots allow us to see what the
characters are seeing from their view point.
Shots like these are used to potentially establish a
relationship between two characters or more if
so. In our film we have included this to make
sure that the audience knows the relationship
between Gabriella and Emily very early on in the
film, giving the audience the idea that these two
girls are very close friends.
Two shots are often used throughout
the romantic genre to show how the
relationship develops throughout the
film. A two shot is also used to portray
a particular relationship between two
characters. Two shots are also known
to be mid shots meaning that they
bodies from the middle up are shown
but not their legs. This is seen in many
romantic films, one being Love
Actually. We see the relationship
between Karen and Harry being
comfortable around one another and
quite close as there seems to be no gap
between the two. And that is exactly
what I have used in my film.
Camera Conventions: Two
For the audience to be able to make a
judgment on what the characters may be
feeling or thinking or to relate, close up’s
are used to establish just that. In romantic
films these shots are usually used to show
whether a character may be in
love, hurt, rejected, surprised in shock etc.
In this screen shot you see Jamie and
Dylan very close with Jamie having her
hands around Dylan’s face and Dylan
looking very intimately into Jamie’s eyes.
This makes it obvious to the audience that
the both have feelings for each other. This
has been used in our film to give the
audience the same kind of message as
intended in the film ‘Friends with
Benefits’. Gabriella has her hands around
Lucas just as Jamie has her hands around
Dylan’s face, creating a sense of security
Camera Conventions: Close-
These shots are used very frequently in order to
determine the characters body language towards the
other characters, seeing whether they care for one
another, shy around each other etc. In this screen shot
you see Adam from ‘No Strings Attached’ looking
comfortable and relaxed around Emma. However,
Emma on the other hand looks quite stiff and quite
awkward/uncomfortable. Suggesting that their feelings
other may be different than actually we initially had
In our film we see Christian sitting next to Gabriella in a
mid shot. Gabriella’s back is slightly turned towards
Christian suggesting that she may not be interested in
sitting next to him or communicating to him. Christian
on the other hand looks over to Gabriella very
distinctively almost like he is watching over her without
realising that she has little care for his presence.
Both of the characters Emily and Gabriella feel a
different way towards their male companion than
actually initially expected.
Camera Conventions: Mid
Long shots enable the audience to see the
characters entire body, along with some of the
scenery. A good judgement for the audience on
how much the characters like/dislike each other
is simply done through the long shot
determining how much space the characters
have around them and how close the two main
characters are to one another.
In the film titanic a long shot was used here to
portray the closeness of the two characters. We
see the characters being deeply in love and free
as the wind is beautifully hitting their faces. We
are able to see the whole of the two characters
body and a little bit of the scenery that they are
on a ship.
This was also used in our film, as we have Emily
and Gabriella in a long shot standing very close
against each other just like in Titanic. This
suggests that there may be another level of a
close relationship going on.
Camera Conventions: Long
Extreme long shots are usually used in
order for the audience to distinguish the
scenery and where the characters are. In
romantic comedy the scenery will
normally be a famous landmark or town
that the audience can easily identify and
In the screen shot you can see that the
scenery juxtaposes the action of the
characters. The characters are arguing
and fighting even though the lighting is
romantic and is filmed at night time.
The only extreme long shot that we had
used was in the opening sequence in
front of the school. This was done to help
the audience identify that the scene is
being taken at a school, making them
further identify that the characters are
going to be teenagers in that small space
of few 13 seconds.
Extreme Long Shot
Editing describes the relationship between shots process by which they are combined.
The editing pace often varies depending on the way the characters are feeling and what they
are thinking. Editing pace in the process of boy and girl falling in love always slow down to
make sure that the audience grasps the concept.
Fast paced shots are used to create intensity in some of the scenes to help the atmosphere
build up to show the character not being able to control their feelings and emotions.
In Dear John, the titles and credits fade transitions were used giving a dreamy romantic
loving mood before the characters or film have been appropriately introduced.
In our film the main characters names were included throughout the first few seconds/minute
of the film to help the audience understand who is who in the film. This was done to not just
save time but to also give a different way of introducing each one of the characters.
Fades are used on different parts of scenes and shots to help the audience determine what is
going on in the action of the scene. Shot reverse shots can be often used in a romance opening
scene or throughout the film to show the interaction between two characters were relevant or
not looking and speaking at one another. This should could be filmed at completely different
times, it can be therefore used very effectively to make it look like the characters were
speaking at each other at the same time.
We had used this technique in our film to show the interaction between the characters on
several different accounts throughout the film. This made it effective enough for the audience
to understand what the characters are going through. This has also been a useful technique in
building up tension between the characters.
Props such as flowers and chocolates have been mainly used towards the end of the film to follow the romantic
convention. Other everyday ordinary props such as phones, water bottle, school equipment and books etc. were
used to all make it fit into the reality of the teenagers being students at school. Props are essential to any and
many films, romantic or not. Dear John again, spoke about his collection of coins in the film, the coins are shown
on screen and have a significance in the progression of the film. Helping to draw attention to the audience by
making them wonder why this prop was used.
Gabriella had to appeal to the male gaze so that the male audience will be attracted to her. To do this we dressed
her with dark tone clothing with fashionable accessories. The type of clothing for our characters do depend on the
era. ‘The Notebook’ was set in the 50s/60s so the type of clothing over there is different to what we wear now. We
wanted to make sure that Gabriela was always looking effortlessly stunning. This was because in reality not many
people have time to always put lots of effort into the way they dress etc especially when they are only going to
school to study. Hence why we have placed the key word ‘effortlessly’ to ensure that Gabriella does not have to
struggle and do as much to look good for her male audience
Lucas is also always seen I dark/black clothing with a lot of leather. This is done to represent his dark side that we
have discussed in his character profile. As he is seen to be mysteriously handsome by Gabriella and the female
audience, this has worked perfectly for us.
Emily is also seen to be wearing a lot of dark colours also with a lot of leather. This was deliberately done to also
show that she also has a dark side to her. Which is later revealed in the film.
Christian is the only innocent guy in this film. He is often seen in white, hoodies and casual clothing showing
that he is pretty basic towards Gabriella. Due to the fact that Christian always wears white and brighter colours,
he is seen to be pure, innocent and probably even a little naïve.
Overall, the characters choice of clothing has been specifically picked to connote their behaviour and personality
throughout the film.
Most romantic films, are stereotypically set in places such as urban
environments, beaches, schools etc. places where chances of
encounter is likely to happen and make it seem ‚romantic‛.
Depending on where they are situated, this is able to help the
audience predict/interpret what may be happening in the film or
where the action of the scene or whole film is going to take place.
Helping the audience to relate. In Dear john, the film
begins, panning cameras and long shots are shown to suggest to the
audience that places that they saw such a trenches and buildings in
war and the beach, may be the main settings that are going to be
used within the film. Both of the settings help to establish the tone
and mood for the film in quite contrasting ways.
As we had used mainly the school and Wootton area to film, the
settings may be quite familiar to people who know where these
places are. As they are teenagers in education still, using the school
as a main setting was very important as much of the action would
realistically take place in a setting like school.
To help set the tone mood and atmosphere sound is very important within
a romance. If the film was intended to be sad, the music will establish this
by the use of instrumentals of sad songs or including the lyric of the song
which talk about something sad, or simply having sad instruments playing
in the background such as violins work as well. Romances usually have a
variety of different songs in them. Depending on the sub genre the choice
of music is often influenced by the intention of the atmosphere in that
specific scene. The music played in the background of the narrative, the
pitch and volume all help set the mood and help the genre to be identified.
Foley is often used in many romantic films such as footsteps, door opening
and closing anything that can be heard in the real world. This was used
quite effectively throughout our film even though it was initially intended
to be a silent film.
The dialogue had to be put over the film, to make sure that we had
absolute full quality and that the audience would be able to hear and
understand the characters efficiently. In the movie ‘The Last Song’ the
dialogue was used for the characters to talk to one another some how just
as we would in the real world. To help the characters bond and develop
opinions of one another. At the same time this also allows the audience to
create connections between the different characters.
Through the progression of women in society, I was able to break
the emotional vulnerable female character in a romantic drama and
create a female lead that was strong, confident and courageous and
dominating over the boys. Which is seen in many films such as
‘Friends with Benefits’ ‘Easy A’ etc.
Also, majority of the popular romantic dramas were based on lives
of adult characters, therefore I chose to focus on teenagers and focus
on how they deal with these kind of issues of love yet in a different
and twisted way.
We thought that it was important to have attractive male characters
like in most ‘romantic dramas’ or ‘chick flicks’ in order to attract the
female audience and to maintain the interest in the false leading
One convention that me and my partner had decided to challenge
was the use of narrative in a romantic genre. We did not want the
predictable boring ending of every typical film and therefore decided
to deviate from it by incorporating something new.
In general we have kept many of the conventions that were found in
real media texts just to make sure that the audience would not get
too confused if we would have deviated a lot from the genre which
would not have been healthy for us.
Did my film break away from
any codes and conventions?
Many different film posters were analysed on my blog to get the
necessary inspiration that was needed. I was already familiar with the
features of a film poster through the help of watching many films.
However, through the research that I had done I had found out that
there were some conventions that I was not familiar with which
resulted in me finding this research very useful as it also helped me in
creating my own film poster.
One of my preferred/ favourite film posters was the ‘The Holiday’ film
poster. This was due to the fact that that I liked the high quality and
professional look it had. I also thought that it would have been a great
idea to use that style in my own poster to show the distinction between
Gabriella with Lucas and Christian being alone. This helps to
emphasise the characters roles.
Conventions of a Film Poster
The colour scheme of the poster is bright
and does not use many colours in the text,
rather works with the colour that is given
by the two images. Just like ‘The Holiday’ I
have used images from certain scenes of the
film in my poster to give the poster some
truth. So when the audience sees the film
and the poster they will be able to identify
where they have seen this before. In many
romantic posters the use of bright colours is
used, keeping it fresh and light.
Because I really liked this film poster I have
tried to get a font that was as similar as
possible yet not identical.
The small font at the bottom was created to
add verisimilitude and allows the audience
to see that this is a real film poster. The small
font at the bottom contains all the people
that have been involved in the production of
the film and the production company.
The slogan that was created is effective, it is
short and to the point suggesting that even
though on the film poster we see a girl and two
guys suggesting that there is a love triangle the
slogan then suggests something else, warning
the audience to expect the unexpected. The
slogan was placed underneath the title of the
film to make that the second most important
thing the audience should read right after the
title of the film.
No my poster did not break away from any codes and
conventions and I wanted to keep it that way. I had made
sure that my poster followed the codes and conventions to
gain a professional and balanced look which would be
appreciated by my audience.
Did my poster break away
from any codes and
Conventions of a Film
The key codes and conventions of a review page are very easy
to distinguish and spot. They are not broken by magazine
publishers and the structure is often kept the same. These
include a big main image of a still image of a part/scene of the
films or even at times a image of the making of the film. The
images give the reader a sense of genre of the film showing key
events from the film. The text is always kept in the same colour,
size and font throughout the article. Some review pages often
also highlight quotes from the film, director, actor etc. by
changing the font, size or colour to help them stand out.
The review itself was kept in a traditional fashion by using the same font and size and colour in the review, but
highlighting key words. The characters were introduced by name at the bottom of the review so that the
audience will get a more explicit look at who exactly is going to be part of the film. I have made sure that the
date of the release of the film was included so that the audience has something to look forward to, instead of
leaving them to wonder when the film will be out as they may even be very excited to see it. Throughout the
actual review I made sure that I included bits of the plot in the review so that the audience will have an idea of
what the film is about. Character profiles has been places in there as well so that the audience can get to know
the characters and relate to whoever they wish. I had made sure that Gabriella being the main characters image
was bigger than all the other characters images and that she had her own little box which contained her character
profile, as it was important that the audience knows who Gabriella is exactly before they watch the film.
Overall I had tried to make sure that the audience’s needs were provided for throughout the whole magazine
I therefore did not break any of the conventions of a magazine review page.
In my review page I have made sure that the
conventions were in my own style and design. I
have not made the film name as obvious as the
other film reviews that I have looked at. Instead
I have used a quotation that I wanted to draw
the audience attention and make them read the
article. With a question challenging their
ideology of what a romantic happy ending is.
This suggests that there may be a series or
tragic events happening throughout the film. I
have made sure that relevant images from the
certain scenes of the film were used. The main
image of Gabriella and Lucas was used to
emphasise that Gabriella has found an interest
in someone and that the film will be focusing on
her development throughout the film. Other
images that were found from key scenes in the
films were also placed in there just to make sure
that the audience is aware that Emily and
Christian also play a significant role in the film.
We had initially intended for the film to be a romantic silent film. Which we
had carried through in the production of our first draft of the film. We had
focused more on a modern/contemporary twist in the silent film genre, which
resulted in the idea not working out over all. One of our main issues was that
in our film the actors and actresses were moving their mouths and
communicating to one another, however this was muted and we therefore
could not hear a thing they were saying. We thought that this was a simple
way of adding a silent element to our film while having strong non-diegetic
music in the background to create the mood and atmosphere. However as we
showed this to our audience, they had mentioned that the silent element that
we added to the film did not work out. This was because they were keen to
hear what they were talking about as the characters mouths were moving but
no sound was coming out from them.
They had also mentioned that the music was music that was nice but did not
impact them or move any of their emotions as we had intended for it to do.
This lead to us scrapping the silent element of the film and therefore then
adding voice overs synchronizing them to the characters mouth movements.
We had also decided to change the music, as most of the songs that were used
had lyrics in them, which did not work out and actually went against our
silent film idea. So we changed the music to songs that had few lyrics and had
a more of a impact on the audience.
This resulted in us finishing our final product and present it to our audience
Audience Feedback: Silent Film
Audience feedback: - In order for us to know where the strengths and weaknesses are we had to
give an insight on what viewers would think about my media products. This was also done to
make sure that our products were understood in the way we intended for them to be.
Our audience had perceived that the target audience for this film was ‘teenagers’ of the ages of 17+
They came to this conclusion due to the:
1. The setting being a school environment
2. Teenage actors
3. Editing i.e. the text that was used above or next to the characters heads using neutral colours
such as white to make sure that there was no gender bias.
4. Through the poster of the film with the images of Gabriella, Christian and Lucas the audience
was easily suggesting that the film was about relationships and interactions between boys and
These are successful conventions of typical teenage and romantic films, meaning that the film was
easily recognisable as being aimed at a teenage audience in terms of the topic of relationships.
The audience had correctly assumed it was a romantic drama meaning that the film genre came
across successfully, through the themes and plot lines in the trailer. ‘relationship between boy and
girl with a drama element helped the genre to be identified’. The themes and narrative can be
considered as conventional to teen romantic drama as they were easily recognised by the audience.
Our audience feedback also helped us to see whether the narrative that was portrayed is consumed
in the correct manner by the viewers. We are very happy that the film had been consumed in the
way that we initially intended it to be. one group claimed that it is clear that they can see ‘partial
signs of the relationship building up early on in the film’. Another group stated that the ending
of the film had ‘surprised and shocked them, as it was something that they had not expected to
see’. This was a great response to us as that was our aim from the beginning of the project.
Therefore, the narrative in our short film was considered a strength.
Positive response to the products – some audiences said that the film had an emotional response
which was provoked by the magazine review page first which made them ‘interested’ and they
therefore wanted to know more. All together the products had a direct, powerful and immediate
effect on the audience and drew them into watching the film.
What have you learned from your audience
Throughout the production of the final products I wanted there to be a connection between the poster, review
page and the actual film page. I had made sure to link the poster to the short film in terms of looks and themes
according to how I saw it and tried to re-create that in the themes of the poster.
The review page however does not fully follow that as it has a more teenage feel to it rather than a serious,
mature romantic look that the poster has.
The main elements that were share between the poster and the short film are the colour schemes. The short
film is very bright and airy which I tried to create in the poster, giving it a light look.
For all three products the font was clear to read however they did not all interlink. As the film title within the
film is a bright bold pink, the title on the poster is a casual black using georgia font and the review page using
a bold pink font which went back to the title within the film. However the pink colour that was used in the
film and in the review page suited the name as it was also a very feminine name.
I have presented simplicity in font and layout in the poster and given a little bit more edge to the review page.
Gabriella features in all three products as she is the main character, so does Lucas. Gabriella is almost in all
scenes of the short film, making it mandatory for her to be featured in all products as well, so that the
audience will immediately recognise her
To follow the short film the poster had features the Lucas and Christian as well, as they also play an important
part in the short film. Lucas is right next to Gabriella on the poster, showing their relationship straight away.
Christian has been placed underneath them on his own, to suggest that no matter what he does to gain
Gabriella’s heart, Gabriella will always place him beneath her and her relationships. Showing that Christian
had no power what so ever. This allows to build up tension between these characters which is seen later on in
the film as well.
Overall, in my opinion the short film and the poster are very commonly linked even though the font and
colour of the title was different it still followed the same convention. The review double page however, has
more of its own convention, suggesting that it may not be obviously linked to the short film and poster.
How effective is the combination of your main
product and ancillary texts?
Media technologies have become very useful when it came
to the construction, research and planning of my final
Without them no one would be able to create successful
They have enabled me to learn new skills.
How did you use new media
technologies in the construction and
research, planning and evaluation
Blogger has been a very vital place for my
production of my product. On there I was able
to record and effectively demonstrate all my
work. Presenting my work online has proven to
be more effective as it would allow me to post
as I am going a lot or even do lots of my work
on the actual site, instead of having to go back
to a hard copy or a production log.
It is great to see the process that I have gone
through from the first day that I have started
till the end.
• Using this software has been very essential to my
making my final products successful. This
software is filled with various tools and features
which ensure success picture editing which has
been very beneficial for me. Being able to control
the brightness and contrast of my images has
helped me to achieve a smooth and professional
finish to the images. It has also allowed me to
create my film poster and review page on there
using different shapes to act as boarders, adding
the images, resizing the images, cutting out the
background and using the writing tools to add my
text. Photoshop has many functions that has made
the production of these things possible.
Google has always been a very useful tool/website when it came
to finding appropriate information for my blog process/research
and the production for my final product.
It has also helped me to teach myself how to statistically analyse
my research findings and put them into percentage forms on
Excel, by showing me different codes that can be used.
It has also helped me to research into the different conventions of
films, posters, review pages and genres.
It has also helped me in the process of editing the film by offering
me different types of tutorials which I was able to use for free.
This was used to help me record a quick video
on me creating my first draft of my film poster.
Just to show the process I went through
This was the main technology which was
needed in the creation of my short film. It
allowed me to capture my work professionally
and efficiently. It helped me to capture my
thoughts and ideas in an appropriate way. I
had also learned various buttons on the camera
for future cases in which I may use my Canon
YouTube has been helpful in uploading the film
online to gain some responses and views and to
then upload that video onto our blogs.
It has also been useful in helping me gaining
some skills in terms of the filming by giving me
new techniques to film and different camera
settings to use.
Facebook was our main source of audience
feedback from all different kinds of people.
This was done by posting the finished products
online, sharing them a few times and waiting
for the responses to jump right into the
It has allowed us to see the likes and comments
in a sufficient and easy way.
Facebook has also been useful when it came to
the communication of the actors/actresses and
scheduling different days for filming.
This was used to create our first draft of the film on. It
was useful in terms of it gave us a nice structure and
quality of the film from beginning to end, however we
had technical difficulties when it came to the
exportation of the film, as it always turned out very
jumpy throughout the whole filming cutting off our
camera work and making it impossible to sit through
We had then switched over to iMovie which allowed us
to re-edit the film together with the already there
structure. We had also then added in Foley and sound
effects which we had intended to do on Sony Studio
but did not manage to find on that software.
Overall iMovie gave us a fantastic finish
Sony Studio Platinum 12.0