Question One How does your media product use, develop and challenge forms and conventions of similar products?
<ul><li>As short films give the issue of time management, we had to ensure that we introduced our characters and the plot as quickly as possible. To do this, our first establishing shot of ‘The Wesley Centre’ (Medical Research Institute) immediately sets the scene. In the first little montage at the beginning of our short film, we have titles swinging into the shot as each character is shown on screen, giving the audience the name of the person who is playing the character and the actual character’s name. </li></ul><ul><li>During the second montage, further into the film, we added subtitles to the ‘freeze-frame’, giving the audience the characters details, (date they were admitted into the institute, additional notes, etc). </li></ul>Our Short Film
<ul><li>During our research and planning, we discovered that an upcoming show was due to be released on E4. Now, much to our discomfort, this show was quite similar to the short film we were currently producing. </li></ul><ul><li>We found many of the same qualities within this program, for example: youths in a centre, with limited chaperones, powers used irresponsibly, and of course the main one, their special abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>We were concerned that it would seem as though we had stolen the idea of this show, which proved to be a problem, as we had no way of proving otherwise. </li></ul><ul><li>Hopefully, this should mean that we’re up-to-date with the demand of audiences, as we basically created the same idea as something about to air on television. </li></ul>Similar Products
<ul><li>Apart from the series ‘Misfits’, we took inspiration from feature-length films such as ‘X-Men’. We also used ‘Spiderman’ and ‘Superman’ as something to look at- as the two also carry special abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>In the usual conventions of this sort of thing, ‘super-heroes’ can be seen as using their powers for good, fighting evil and protecting the ‘innocent’. We decided to convey our ‘super-heroes’ in a different light, and make them irresponsible with their powers, using them to be mischievous. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of our characters and their powers were introduced almost right away, similar to most feature-length films involving super-powers. Although, we did keep Lily’s power a secret right up until the end. We thought this added a slight edge to the film, as the group of teenagers are seen talking about this ‘power’ that she possesses, yet the audience is not actually told what that is. </li></ul>Similar Products #2
<ul><li>Other feature-length films such as ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘Bruce Almighty’ show powers being used irresponsibly, which ties in with the idea of our short film. We realised that as these films were such huge successes, we should take a few ideas from these and create our own short film with them. </li></ul><ul><li>We also found this drawn poster of ‘Misfits’, we couldn’t help but notice it is similar to the poster we created to promote our short film. </li></ul>Similar Products #3
<ul><li>As our short film is dealing with mainly teenagers, we thought it only ‘normal’ to have them using their powers irresponsibly, such as Dylan trying to anger Lily and Nate arriving to registration in his ‘animal-form’. We feel that this fits into the general conventions of a ‘teen-based’ film, as they’re ‘abusing’ their abilities for their own amusement and we think that teens would most likely be the ones to do this. </li></ul><ul><li>We also thought it best to have the characters use their powers for things less immature, such as Lace teleporting into ‘off-bounds’ areas. </li></ul><ul><li>We realised as the characters are teenagers, we didn’t exactly challenge the conventions of how you would expect them to act. Also, as in ‘X-Men’ and ‘Misfits’, all the characters seem to be kept together, for example, in ‘X-Men’, the characters are kept together in the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning , and in ‘Misfits’, the group are kept together in a community centre. We kept to this convention, keeping our characters in ‘The Wesley Centre, Medical Research Institute’. </li></ul>Our Conventions
<ul><li>As we only had a small ‘budget’, there wasn’t really much we could do on the power front. We couldn’t do the main powers that we would like to, because we didn’t have the technology. Flying was a power that was definitely out of our reach, because we didn’t possess the skills or equipment to pull it off. </li></ul><ul><li>Using iMovie, we were able to pull off slightly less ‘huge’ powers, such as teleporting and electricity manipulation. For the teleportation, we basically stopped the camera, moved the character out of the shot, and then filmed the place in which the character stood before the ‘teleportation’. </li></ul><ul><li>For the electricity, we jumped from shot to shot of the lights being flicked on, to Frankie blinking (making it so), and finally to the lights being off once more. I feel we could have achieved this better, if given a little more time. </li></ul><ul><li>For the emotion and mind control (the easiest to do), we showed Dylan attempting to irritate Lily to make her angry, thus using his emotion control. For the mind control, Pepper is shown forcing Frankie to stop manipulating the lights. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, for the animal-morph, we didn’t have the skills to show the actual human-to-animal transformation. We showed Nate in different shots, first as a dog, then as himself again. We threw in a shot of Nate re-dressing himself, to hopefully show the audience his power. Once again, if given more time, I believe we could have done a better job of this. </li></ul>Our Conventions #2
<ul><li>We didn’t really challenge general film conventions. The shots that we used were basic shots that you would see in any film. </li></ul><ul><li>The angles however, we tried to do something different with. As each character is going into registration, we placed the camera on the floor, and recorded each pair of feet/legs walking into the registration room. </li></ul><ul><li>I think this worked especially well with the music that we had chosen (Lillix- What I Like About You) as we had not seen films do this in the ones that we had researched. Because we had not seen this being done in other films, we thought it was fairly unique, and we thought it definitely fit with the conventions of our film as it was different and quirky. </li></ul><ul><li>The audience responded well to this, and in my opinion this ‘scene’ was the selling-point in our film. </li></ul>Film Conventions