Crushed Powerpoint Evaluation


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Crushed Powerpoint Evaluation

  1. 1. Opening of a film - Evaluation Media Studies Coursework Naina Sethi Rachel Classick Charlotte Newman
  2. 2. Our Task <ul><li>Our main coursework task was to create the titles and opening of a new fiction film to last a maximum of 2 minutes within the genre of our choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Our decided to follow the genre of a thriller. This meant firstly understanding what a thriller is, deciding upon a sub-genre, understanding the codes and conventions of the thriller genre and sub-genre and applying them to our media product. </li></ul><ul><li>We conducted a questionnaire as primary research to understand audience tastes and what they expect to see in a thriller. All this research has been collected and inputted into our final piece. </li></ul>
  3. 3. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>Firstly, we looked at the genre of thrillers. </li></ul><ul><li>The genre of any film is an important element; without a clear genre, the audience can feel confused and the codes and conventions can become blurred. The genre can also affect the type of audience a film receives – so it is essential to define your genre and audience clearly to receive the correct outcome. </li></ul><ul><li>We decided to use the thriller genre for our film. This genre normally involves a dark or serious themed story that mixes elements of fear with excitement to hook the audience in to the action. This is produced through the use of slow editing and eerie, tension building music to create suspense as well as the use of low key lighting which creates shadows to present the idea of the unknown - this can scare the audience because a lot of character details are left to the audience’s imagination. Voyeurism is also a popular theme within thrillers which reinforces the idea of the unknown and that someone could always be watching you. </li></ul><ul><li>Through textually analysing opening and important scenes from well known thriller films such as Donnie Darko (2001, Richard Kelly) and Blood Simple (1984, Joel Coen) , finding that the flowing themes were common; murder, deception, hidden identity, the unknown, voyeurism and love which leads to murder. The action was often slow to create a sense of confusion rather than constant, horrific action. </li></ul><ul><li>When studying these we found codes and conventions which we would use in our task. Suspense, shadows, voyeuristic shots, murder, romance and the sense of the unknown are the one’s we decided to definitely use that would most fit with our synopsis. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>From our textual analysises of seven films, </li></ul><ul><li>we constructed a list of codes and </li></ul><ul><li>conventions that a thriller films follows. </li></ul><ul><li>These codes and conventions were: </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of suspense (through slow editing, tension building music- slow and eerie, hooking in the audience) </li></ul><ul><li>Shadows (low key lighting) </li></ul><ul><li>Mirrors (dual personalities) </li></ul><ul><li>Change in camera shots (for example from mid shots to close up shots, low angle to close ups) </li></ul><ul><li>Voyeurism (through shots like point of view, voyeuristic impression. wide angle from behind a bush so there is a sense of being watched.) </li></ul><ul><li>Action is slow (confusion rather than action) </li></ul><ul><li>All add up to the sense of the unknown </li></ul>
  5. 5. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>From this research, we discovered that there are many sub genres within the thriller genre. For example, horror thriller, supernatural thriller and psychological thriller. </li></ul><ul><li>We decided to base our film on a psychological thriller which is one that “ conflict is mental & emotional, instead of physical e.g. Blue Velvet (Lynch, 1986) as this best fitted with our idea for the film. </li></ul><ul><li>The advantage to choosing a psychological thriller as our genre is that there is always a sense of the unknown. Conflict in a psychological thriller is mental & emotional, instead of physical like in a Horror film. The action is little and tends to stimulate the imagination of the audience to fill in the gaps themselves as well as dealing with the mental or emotional state of the protagonist. Often, the audience only sees the same confusing or nonsensical information that the protagonist gains. It also deliberately uses psychological tricks to create tension, for example, indirect signs of a stalker. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, in Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960), quick edits are used to suggest the female is being stabbed, yet the audience never really see the stabbing. Instead, soviet montage is created and the audience assumes something that has not been shown. </li></ul>
  6. 6. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? <ul><li>Some of these conventions are used in our media product, for example the themes of murder, deception, identity, the unknown, voyeurism and romantic triangles leading to murder are used throughout our film, if we were to make the whole thing. We have, however, partially challenged the convention that the action is slow, in our opening sequence. The edits are quick, and we have used montage editing so to cause confusion. The action is the opening sequence is fast, jumping to the actions of the girl, to the boy, to more from the girl. The girl is constantly changing her actions, whereas josh is just running. We did this to show the contrast between the two characters. For Josh, time is linear and life is simple but for the Torie, her whole life revolves around Josh. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>In our two minute sequence we used “#1 Crushed” By Garbage as our music. This music build tension as well as fitting with the story of our film. The pace is slow and eerie but the music contains a crescendo which is synchronised in our product with the montage editing. The shadows are created around the wall; the audience never see the whole wall, which leaves them to imagine that there are many more pictures on the wall, illustrating the obsession. It also creates a sense of unknown, no setting can be established so they don’t understand where this wall is. Voyeurism is created through a wide angle shot in which we framed it so leaves were obstructing the frame and josh therefore ran into that frame. </li></ul>
  8. 8. How does you media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>Within the scenes that we textually analysed, we looked for regular character types in the thriller genres. These often included; psychologically unstable characters, stalkers, menaced women, characters with dark pasts, psychotic individuals and people involved in twisted relationships. This prompted us to go with one of our ideas of including a menaced stalker as our protagonist. </li></ul><ul><li>Our media product presents stereotypical characters which help emphasise the verisimilitude of the film; and help the audience relate people they know to the characters presented.The reason we used teenagers in a school is to target our audience of teenagers and young adults. A thirty-year old might not as easily relate to Torie or Josh as much as a fifteen-year old would. Also, it captures the recklessness of Torie’s character; she will literally stop at nothing to get Josh, something a teenager is more likely to understand when crushes are a main part of their life. </li></ul><ul><li>We particularly cast Josh Curtis as the stereotypical ‘jock’ because he can be seen to the audience as an athletic and attractive teenage heart-throb – so the young females in the audience can relate to Torie having a crush on him. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>His stalker, Torie is not your average teenage girl, but she would not be seen as abnormal if she was seen at high school. We cast Charlotte Newman as the actress as she has dark features - eyes and dark hair, and Torie is meant to be an extremely dark character. This also contrasts with Natalie Stacey who plays Josh’s girlfriend, she is blonde and it illustrates the comparison of dark and light. </li></ul><ul><li>Josh represents how someone can have everything one minute, and have nothing the next. He is a likeable character, but the audience still understand there is something shady about him. Torie however, is seemingly normal, and she represents how strange things can happen when no one suspects it. Whilst not being over-exaggerative in our film, and Torie beginning with actions that aren’t necessarily seemingly too abnormal to begin with, then expands into things that not normal. The reason for this is that it is more realistic things that may happen at a school, and then is leading to psychological suffering for Josh, thus following the genre. </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes are formed by prejudgements made by people based on experiences (often negative) of individuals. By presenting stereotypical characters and social groups in the high school within our genre, it can help to give a deeper understanding of the psychological thriller as well as help the audience understand why they are doing such things (for example, Torie is stalking Josh because she is mentally unstable and clingy to boys that she fancies). However, they can also reinforce stereotypes or raise moral questions as to how people treat others based on stereotypical views of their race, gender or interests . </li></ul>
  10. 10. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? <ul><li>On a blockbuster survey of the top thriller films of 2008/9, the majority of thrillers are action thrillers containing conspiracy. For example, Tortured ( Nolan Lebovitz , 2008), Lakeview Jackson ( Neil LaBute 2008), Angles and Demons ( Ron Howard 2009). There were no psychological thrillers, thus making a market for our film. </li></ul><ul><li>The storyline is mainstream rather than niche; it does not particularly challenge artificial stereotypes and sticks to the codes and conventions. A niche market is a specific group within the market. We decided not to target a niche market because it would limit our audience. We wanted to target a much larger social market, high school students. Our audience are likely to relate to our film because it focuses on high school crushes. However our film takes it one step further because this turns into a deadly crush. We know viewers secretly like to see psychological twisted films, otherwise horror and thriller movies wouldn’t be as popular as they are today. Everyone gets a weird satisfaction out of watching others suffer. It is part of being human, and people can get this from watching films. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Most films are distributed within the mainstream market, as they follow the common current of interest and thought. Therefore, they are more available to the general public and commercially appealing to the audience as the term ‘mainstream’ includes all popular culture. Our film would likely to be distributed as mainstream due to its large, young target audience and involves scenarios that many people could relate to as part of a high school. It could also be interesting to many people who enjoy psychological thrillers and the thrill of the unknown, without limiting our audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Because we have a small budget we are not going to use a large mainstream company such as Sony Pictures . Although they are a very successful company with films like Spiderman and Karate Kid . We researched into small mainstream companies and found companies such as DNA Films. DNA Films is a British film production company founded by Duncan Kenworthy and Andrew Macdonald . They produced films such as 28 Weeks Later ( 2007), The Last King of Scotland (2006) and Love Actually (2003). Another was Film4 Productions; a British film production company owned by Channel 4 . They have produced films such as This is England, East is East and Trainspotting. It would benefit us more to target one of these production companies rather than aiming for something like Sony Pictures because of our limited budget. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Who would be the audience for your media product and why? <ul><li>We are targeting young adults, aged between 15 and 21. The reason for this is because it is set in a school, and immediate relationship can be established to the characters and events that could happen there. Also, it is psychologically scary to watch a teenager who is reckless and has no control, as teenagers are seen to not be as responsible as an adult, thus targeting a target teenage audience. </li></ul><ul><li>To research the kind of things that they enjoy or expect to see in a thriller, we created a questionnaire as part of our primary research after textually analysing particular films in this genre. </li></ul><ul><li>We also looked at ideas for how we would advertise our film such as tv adverts and bilboard posters. It is very likely that we would use a dark poster with the title of the film in the middle in red font which catches the audience’s eye as well as a black and white photo of the stalker girl. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Research - Questionnaire
  14. 14. Research <ul><li>We created a questionnaire to find research from our target audience (15-21) about the types of films that they enjoy. We also asked them what they expect from a thriller film (such as murder, corruption, imprisonment, confusion of time) and how these films should make them feel. </li></ul><ul><li>Our results show that murder is what people most expect from a thriller film. Then violence, Corruption and confusion of time are also expected within these films. People mainly want a thriller film to make them think about what is going on during and after the film. They also want to be confused by the film as well as making them jump or be scared. </li></ul><ul><li>We also used these questionnaires to get an idea of what film names would be most effective. We presented them with ideas of names for our film. Most of the males liked names such as ‘The Watched’ and ‘Deadly Crush’, whereas the females preferred ‘Obsession’ and ‘Crush- ed ’. Crush- ed won the vote with the majority of people wanting to go and see a film with this title. </li></ul>
  15. 15. How did you attract/address your audience? <ul><li>To market our film, we presented a pitch. In this, we spoke about our synopsis, characters and locations. We also played our song which fits with the synopsis and will be played over the opening; adding to the selling of our film. </li></ul><ul><li>We also made several effective posters advertising the film. Some gave details about the film and gave the viewer an idea of what the film will be like, but some did the opposite, they gave a sense of the unknown, which I thought may psychologically make the audience interested to see the film </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>An example of this marketing material to attract an audience is opposite. The dark background creates a sense of the unknown and the red writing of our tag line “at what point does a crush turn into an obsession”, connotes a danger and blood. </li></ul><ul><li>Through textual analyses of thriller films we found that the titles are normally presented as white italics on a black background, such as The Butterfly Effect (Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber 2004). This connotes a sense of unknown, as colours can be interpreted whereas white can’t, thus creating a mystery. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Looking back at your preliminaries, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? <ul><li>When uploading our preliminary we discovered that our sound was out of sync with our film, this was due to the computer rather than the camera. At first this was an issue as our product was dialogue heavy but we leant how to isolate the sound and move it the correct place without affecting the rest of the sound. Also, with our preliminary we found that could not allow you to upload videos as their full duration and quality. This would have resulted in us uploading our two minute title sequence in twenty second sections which would have subsequently lost the effect that would have been created otherwise. However, it was discovered that would allow you to add clips that were less than ten minutes, which was perfect for our task and therefore all we had to do to the blog was link the video into it. </li></ul><ul><li>There were problems saving the blog and several times, after working on it for a lesson, the work was lost. However all this did was teach us to write up our planning into a word document and then transfer it over. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>One of the criticisms for our preliminary tasks was there was not enough voyeuristic shots in it, a code and convention for the thriller genre. This criticism encouraged us to add more voyeuristic shots into our main task. We learnt that voyeuristic shots can be gained through framing as well camera angle. For example, in Josh’s running sequence we have filmed from a high angle and used a panning shot of him running. This voyeurism through camera angles as you are looking down on him and there are walls around suggesting Torie is sitting on one of those walls, but also we filmed with leaves obstructing the frame, almost as if Torie is hiding behind that bush as Josh runs in front of her. </li></ul><ul><li>From our preliminary task we have also learnt the importance of storyboarding but also it is more time consuming to film frame by frame. In our preliminary task we had a number of different shots following a conversation and we filmed the conversation as each of those shots, rather than filming it consecutively and editing later. </li></ul>
  19. 19. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Throughout this coursework we have developed a number of skills. Our first workshop was a lighting one in which we learnt the 180 degree lighting and how to set it up. Then we were shown how to edit the light using filters. This we used in our preliminary with the blue lighting behind Josh. The blue lighting gave the sense of the unknown as it prevented the audience to establish a location, and see Torie behind him. We also used low key lighting in our main task, on the picture board. Then shadows are created as Charlotte walks past the light source and it is clear that a figure is present. We filmed a sunset for an hour and learnt how to speed it up so much that it looked like it happened in a number of seconds. Editing the speed of a shot is a skill I have learned throughout this project, as well as editing the sounds that can be used. I have also leant how to use Live Type and been shown all the styles that it uses. After a lighting workshop we realised how much the lighting really affects the whole scene. We used different filters and angles to see the difference it made on the mise en scene. We decided to use dark blue lighting for our preliminary task. This would create a dark feel, to reflect the twisted synopsis. We storyboarded it and decided to film on the stage.
  20. 20. <ul><li>Our preliminary came out really well. The blue lighting worked effectively and the music we chose added to the dark theme. We experimented with lots of different shots, but what we should have added was more voyeuristic shots to emphasise our synopsis about a stalker. Therefore we knew to use more voyeuristic shots in our main task. We used special effects such as slowing down or speeding up certain pieces of film. For example we have a close up of an eye blinking, to show that someone was watching. We slowed this down using Final Cut Express which looked better. We also filmed a sunset for our main task with the intention to speed it up so the sunset looked like it took place within seconds. We played around using special effects within our preliminary which helped us with our main so we knew how to use them and what would look good. Another idea we had was to film the window view from a moving train. Again these shots looked good. In the end these effects have turned out how we wanted them so they look effective within our film. Our preliminary worked as a clip from our main film. This was good because it didn’t give too much away, so it kept the viewer guessing, which is what a psychological thriller should do. </li></ul><ul><li>For our main task, we filmed on a moving train. Although we got some good footage from this, the window of the train was dirty on the outside, so dirty speckles showed up on the frame. It was also hard to keep a good angle on the camera as it was hand held. </li></ul><ul><li>Continuity of the light was also hard to keep the same, especially from outside in the park, to down the alley. Also, trying to get nice, high angles shots in the alley was difficult as it was a narrow alley and the tripod did not raise up high enough. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Conclusion <ul><li>By creating a blog on the internet to track our progress of our film and research, it gave the opportunity to gain constructive criticism from our fellow classmates. For example, one person commented on our preliminary video on the blue lighting and the lighting on the stalker’s close up of the eye and how it was effective. As well as the underneath shot of the girlfriend opening the door and how the music fits really well. However, the continuity of bright light of the girlfriend walking outside to the dark, blue-lit room is confusing and could be improved. We could have used more voyeuristic shots to emphasise that they are being watched. </li></ul>
  22. 22. …conclusion continued <ul><li>These have been really helpful in creating our main task as to what we could improve or even cut down on when we went to film our main task. </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, our media task has been very successful. We worked well together and we listened to each others thoughts, opinions and ideas. We shared the work fairly but mainly worked together. We used our time efficiently and are very happy with the end result. We think our genre has been well researched and thought through. We believe that our synopsis, characters and other key elements of our film will attract audiences. </li></ul>