Q1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?<br />Narrative<br />This is the opening to a thriller film so it was important that we established the characters, setting and plot very quickly as to ‘hook’ the audience within the first two minutes. We used a convention of a narrative in the Thriller genre by using two innocent girls who are being followed and then the girls are separated and one girl is chased and possessed. We researched other films and found that narratives similar to this were effective in creating pace and tension quickly which is what we wished to achieve because we only had two minutes to grab the audience’s attention. We used forms and conventions of a Thriller genre by using two girls as helpless victims and a boy who is following the girls and is possessed. We conformed to the conventions of a Thriller narrative by letting evil win and ending the short opening on a cliff hanger. We looked at/ researched about ten film openings to see how they used forms and conventions to draw the audience into the film in a very short space of time, this helped a lot in the development of the opening as we then knew which forms and conventions worked and which didn’t. The effect hoped for here is that the functions of the characters are quickly established within the film, although cliché they are effective in a short space of time, this was achieved but the acting let the film down due to the lines being predictable and as the audience said ‘ a little cheesy’. <br />Mis-en-scene <br />Due to our genre being Thriller we used the forms and conventions of a cliché Thriller which was an eerie location – dark woods. Red clothing on the girl for danger and the possessed boy is wearing black for evil. Visual iconography like this reminds the audience that the genre is Thriller. At one specific point in our film we edited a shot of the possessed girl, which flashed from a bright blue background into black and white then back into normal colours then back into black and white which represented a the change from the innocent girl into the possessed girl. We used make-up in the black and white shots so the audience know the girl has definitely been possessed. We use folders and phones as props so that the audience know the girls have come from college. The effect we hoped for was that the audience could relate to the actors due to the similar ages so it would grab the audiences attention and the colours would make them expectant of a scare so they would engage quickly. This was achieved even though it was subtle, we think it would have been more effective if the colours were brighter for a greater effect. <br />
Camera Work<br />We used the forms and conventions of a Thriller by using an establishing shot of a wooded lane through the tree, so it looks as if the boy is watching them represented with the camera, which, as we researched, worked well in the opening of a film to establish the film quickly. We conformed to using ‘jump cuts’, quick panning and shaky camera work to create pace and build tension. We specifically used a high angle shot when the girl looks up into the camera whilst on the phone so that she looks small and helpless, showing the audience that the girl who has not been possessed is in trouble but we don’t know what happens to her in the end. We hoped for an un-easy effect on the audience, all the camera work makes the piece tense and builds the pace quickly leading to a cliff-hanger, making the audience want to watch more. We think these effects were achieved but the pace could have been quickened by using really short ‘jump cuts’. The effect these cuts had on the audience were very effective for the Thriller genre. The short, sharp cuts made the audience unsettled because it was difficult to process what was happening which created tension and the audience’s feedback told us that they believed the ‘jump cut’s were really effective. <br />Editing<br />We used forms and conventions of a Thriller genre by using quick cuts from running scenes that went into slow, long titles creating pace. We also used shots that transitioned into the titles by shaking making the clip look fragmented. By dimming the whole film and using negative and inverse effects, the film contrasted with colour throughout; the clips of the woods are gloomy where as the shots of the girl possessed on the phone are bright and clear, this shows the audience a range of colours and shaky shot transitions that keeps the film interesting to look at. The contrast in colour also reflects the contrast for good and bad within the film. We think that the titles and colour effects worked well to create pace and look exciting to the audience and they felt the same.<br />
Sound<br />We used one track throughout the two minute opening because it starts eerie and slow then gradually becomes fast and racy. There is the sound of a phone ringing with a black shot so the only thing the audience focus on is the sound of the phone and makes the audience question who is ringing the phone? Who are they calling? Why? These questions keep the audience interested in the story line and ‘hook’ them in. We have the diagetic noise of the wind in the woods and the non-diagetic sound of the music put in post-filming and our voices which were put in during due to the microphone and boom. We think the sound worked well to create a realistic, creepy mood due to the mix of diagetic and non-diagetic sound. The microphone let us down slightly because our voices are quiet on the film but the lines weren’t very important to the film, it was more about the physical action. The audience felt this way as well and believed the music went really well with the film and made them tense.<br />SFX<br />We used a bang sound when one of the girls looks up into the camera at a high angle, it adds good effect to the focus on her eyes as our film is called ‘eye spy’ and is focused on the eyes as this is how the boy possesses the girl. The audience thought the titles were very effective in creating tension within the film because they were quite long and we used spooky white text that faded into the black background, this contrasted with the ‘jump cuts’ used in between the titles. We conformed to the cliché of the Thriller genre because we wanted to make the audience jump and we think the bang was successful in adding in a bit of shock to the film and it surprised the audience.<br />
Q2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br />In our media product we have two main characters, two girls who are both seventeen, Eva and Katie. We also use a possessed boy who is roughly their age so there isn’t a huge contrast between the ages because we felt it would be more effective if the characters were roughly the same age as the audience. We believe our characters belong to the social class of an average teenager, they are both in education and are wearing appropriate clothing for a walk so nothing out of the ordinary. We represented this vague social class by wearing our hair down and natural with neutral make-up . We don’t use slang or accents in the film because we thought it wouldn’t sound realistic and therefore would not be believable to the audience. We think we were stereo-typical to middle-class children, and both girls are shown as helpless and scared. Because our target audience was 15-25 we believe the older audience will feel the need to protect us because we are vulnerable, innocent, ‘nice kids’. Because of this we believe the effect on the audience will be active due to the age range. The perception of the social group to the audience will be positive as the girls aren’t portrayed negatively and as the boy who possesses Eva isn’t shown as a boy, more like a creature he doesn’t fit into a social group though he is perceived negatively because he chases the helpless girls to turn them evil.<br />
Q3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?<br />Out of large global, independent with Hollywood ownership, small independent and amateur film companies we believe that our film would be best suited for amateur producers such as YouTube because we didn’t have a budget as big as a Hollywood film would do. Also the camera shots and editing were not that of a Hollywood production. Our film is best suited to amateur film producers, such as YouTube or fear film, with the possibility of making it to an independent film company or art house cinema.<br />A large global company wouldn’t distribute our film because we did not have the budget to create a film that was to the standard and quality of a large global company. Also we had only one camera which was taking amateur shots rather then a whole crew to capture every movement and expression portrayed by the characters. Also we didn’t have access to global company quality editing software which resulted in amateur editing rather than lots of special effects and CGI.<br />Also our film wouldn’t be distributed by a large company with Hollywood ownership because, again, we did not have access to the equipment that a large company would use. Alongside this the distribution patterns of both these organisations suggest that they mainly, if not always, distribute blockbuster, big movies such as avatar, Lord of the Rings and Titanic and tend not to distribute new, amateur films as, maybe, a small independent company might.<br />A small independent company might distribute our film because they, rarely, take successful films from film festivals, films such as bullet boy. For this reason there is a possibility that if our film was successful in an amateur company, such as YouTube, then it might make it to smaller, art house type cinemas and progress from there, like ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’.<br />
Q4.Who would be the audience for your media product?<br /> The audience for our media product, we believe, would be teenagers and young adults, sort of fifteen to seventeen year olds because our film doesn’t contain any swearing or really gory scenes however there is a possibility for the film to go onto more gory scenes. We believe that our media product is best suited for this audience because we did a questionnaire involving people of this age group and found that out of suspense, gore, horror and mystery most people said that they preferred a suspense filled thriller which our media product is. We believe that the demographics of our film would be middle-class teenagers from towns or cities that are in some sort of education, perhaps in the older age years or sixth form or even university. We think that these demographics are accurate because the audience would be drawn in to watch our film because they can easily relate to the characters in our film, such as Katie and Eva. For these reasons we would distribute our product in areas where we know this audience would be most likely to watch it. We would aim to distribute it in city and town centres where we can be confident that our audience would be most likely to watch it. We would also try to steer our advertising campaign towards our target audience to ensure our films success, for example putting our advert in a magazine most likely to be read by our target audience rather than a magazine that is unlikely for them to read.<br />
Q5. How did we attract/address our audience? <br />For research into finding out what our audience wanted, we carried out various questionnaires. We also watched various openings to thriller films to give us an idea of the techniques needed to create a good opening to a thriller film. Films we watched included:<br /><ul><li>Apocalypse now
Clock work orange </li></ul>Our target audience was from age 15-25. we attempted to attract them by telling them, about it, as many people in that age group go to our school. To make it more successful we could have gone out of our way into a more public place where different sort of people were to have a better range. The questionnaires told us what people were most interested in seeing in terms of a thriller film. The questionnaires helped us to determine the main features of the film, such as:<br /><ul><li>Location
narrative</li></li></ul><li>We wanted our audience to connect with the film, and be able to relate to it. We thought the idea of a school girl walking through the woods alone and being somewhat paranoid, would be relatable to teenagers. <br />From the questionnaire we took the conclusions that we would definitely keep it to thriller/suspense. As apposed to Gore. The questionnaires also gave us improvements which we completely agreed with. <br />We were going to use American accents in our film, but after the questionnaire the majority of people voted that we do British accents so we changed to doing British accents as our audience would mainly be British therefore, more relatable if in the same accent. Also doing British accents would attract people from such countries like America, as many Americans watch British Films as its a contrast, just as The English watch American films. <br />Before the questionnaire we were not positive to which location we would choose, our main two choices were either the woods or school so the questionnaire helped us to determine the location of the woods. <br />As our audience voted for the genre of suspense/thriller, this helped us to decide what sort of shots to use to build the suspense. We use many quick shots and cuts that would keep the audience on edge. <br />We made it quite a cliché film, typical thriller filmed in woods. <br />To attract our target audience we went to a communal place, where many of our target audience were and we asked them to come and watch our film. <br />Decisions we made were successful. Our film had the desired effect on our audience. We can see this through analysing our questionnaire. <br />
Q6. What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing this product?<br />Using the camera<br />We used many different shots and angles with the camera to create our preferred effect. The techniques we use include:<br /><ul><li>High angle and Low angle
Close ups/extreme close ups: to show intensity and to show emotions more clearly.
Establishing shots: to show the audience a more in depth view of out location.
Using the Boom: which wasn't very successful for us as we struggled to get the mike near enough to the actors without seeing the Boom itself. </li></ul>Using the editing software<br /><ul><li>We had many difficulties using the software, as it was very slow, therefore making it very hard to upload and edit our film in time. As we knew the software was very un predictable, as it froze many times, we decided to leave our computer turned on throughout the week to save us from reloading it every time. This did help.
Effects that we used included:</li></ul> Negative affect<br />Shakes between titles<br />Fades for the titles<br />Dimming affect: to give more creepy, spooky atmosphere. <br />Black and white affect: to show contrast in colours. Black to resemble evil, and the white to resemble innocence, shows two sides to the character. <br />Adding in non diagetic music, to create a certain feel to the piece, made audience feel on edge. Added in the sound of a phone ringing and a bang at the end. <br />
Q7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?<br /> The objectives of our preliminary task were to gain knowledge of filming techniques/ editing and the planning and research that goes into filming. The skills necessary for the preliminary task were story lines and story boards. Along side filming techniques such as close ups, pans and establishing shots etc. It was necessity that we filmed a person walking through a door as this was the preliminary task. <br />We were successful in filming someone going through a door from different angles and making it look smooth and flowing. We needed to improve on using more specific editing techniques as well as different types of shot. E.g. Shot reverse shot, match on match action and the 180 degree rule.<br />We used the skills from the preliminary task in our main task but developed them further. For example, we used larger establishing shots with ‘jump cuts’ which created tension and pace. Our story board was far more detailed and we developed our story writing skills from the preliminary. Using all the factors of filming in more detail, (Narrative, mis-en-scene, SFX, sound, camera work and editing) we found that our main task looked and felt more effective as a realistic opening to a Thriller film. <br />We believe we did improve in every single area specified in the preliminary task but we could have added in the match on match action, shot reverse shot and the 180 degree rule. We did try and use the 180 degree rule but it looked un-professional so we cut it out. We definitely improved on editing because we used a lot of different and more in-depth editing techniques to make it look scary and to set the mood. We would try and use a wider range of camera shots and angles to add variation to the film and keep the audience on the edge of their seats!<br />