A2 COURSEWORK BRIEFWe were given thirteen briefs and choices of what we could produce for our A2 coursework pieces. I have chosen: #A promotion package for a new film, to include a teaser trailer, together with two of the following three options: -A Website homepage for the film. -A film magazine front cover, featuring the films. -A poster for the film. I have chosen this brief because it would be my first time experimenting and using any type of filming technology or editing programmes. I studied Media at GCSE and at AS, both of these times I chose to do a print format for my coursework, because I felt this was my strength. This year I want to push myself, and learn new things to expand my understanding of Media. I personally enjoy watching films in my free time, so I think creating a trailer for one will allow me to understand what type of editing and work goes into making a short trailer for one.
IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OR REAL MEDIA PRODUCTIONS? For my A2 media coursework, I chose to make a horror trailer named ‘The Decease’ with my partner Lucie. After researching trailers, film posters, magazines and around the film genre in detail, I found that there were a pattern of conventions which each trailer followed, from the layout, to use of sound and music.THE CONVENTIONS: RESEARCH!In the trailer, I tried to keep consistent to the types of conventions which I had noticed always occurred, there were three main ones which were consistently used:•A calm beginning , an ‘equilibrium’ to which everything is okay and mundane. Letting the audienceknow that something bad is about to happen: The lighting in these signs tend to be light, airier and brightto show the ‘normal’ life of the characters.•Use of sound is used to create tension and a ‘sign’ to the audience that action or horror is getting close.There were two different types of sound from what I noticed-older trailers tended to have a continuous‘theme tune’ type use of sound, whereas newer genre’s of trailer tended to have ‘snippets’ ofsound, create more of a montage style trailer.• There is always a use of dim, dark and often flashing lighting when the trailer eventually shows scaryparts. This convention usually works on every era of film trailer.
IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OR REAL MEDIA PRODUCTIONS?USE IN ‘THE DECEASE’• At the start of The Decease I filmed the two best friends in there ‘normal’ lives, showing them laughing, hugging and walking, as you would see two teenage friends do normal. This offers the audience a relatable image, which makes them think ‘everything is okay’ at the start. I made them effect of the film black and white, because I feel that this makes the audience immediately aware that this is nostalgic, and looking back onto the past, before any scary action is introduced.• For the sound effects, I used newer, more recent trailers as inspiration, particularly the ‘Paranormal Activity’ sequel. The sound in our trailer was chopped parts of scary sounds, offering a montage of film and sounds to create a ‘real life’ feel to it. These included loud bangs, screams and muffled talking. By using these, I feel we made the trailer feel more personal, and as if it had been filmed by the character themselves, a convention which I thought was very effective.• We also filmed lots and lots of small sections of film of the two characters doing ‘everyday’ activates, to screaming and climbing upstairs, by doing this, it created a jam- packed and busy trailer.
IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OR REAL MEDIA PRODUCTIONS?CHALLENGING CONVENTIONS!• To set apart ‘The Decease’ from any other film trailer, I decided to create a very minimalistic trailer, in the sense that I don’t give much away in terms of the plot line, the feelings of the characters or the setting. Instead I used the short clips of film to create tension, and excitement for the audience without using a voiceover describing what is happening. By doing this, I feel that the audience would have become more excited to see the film, as it remains a ‘mystery’. This also carried through to my ancillary tasks.• The only type of clue which me and my partner gave was the text which we added in between every few takes of film, because I feel that by doing this, we gave the audience just enough information to become interested in the trailer.• These methods were very different to a lot of the trailers which I had researched, as they tended to give the audience and overview of what happens, then leave it on a ‘cliff-hanger’ I think as the audience, and using my own experience, this makes the film guessable and predictable, as horror films have a tendency to become cheesy if the same conventions are continuous recycled.
IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OR REAL MEDIA PRODUCTIONS?WAS OUR MEDIA PRODUCTION AN EFFECTIVE PIECE?• I think that ‘The Decease’ worked out well in the end. As a whole piece, I think me and my partner embodied what a film trailer should be like due to using lots of the conventions which were continuously used in the trailers which we researched.• When it has all come together, I feel that the use of it’s editing (using ghosting effects, and black and white) made it work well, as it conveyed the genre of horror much more than it would have before hand.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COMBINATION OF YOUR MAIN PRODUCT AND ANCILLARY TEXTS? This is my ancillary task number one; a film poster. The ancillary task of the film poster helps reinforce the effectiveness of my main task because all of the design elements tie in together. •After researching film posters extensively, I found that in newer film posters there is almost always a central image which draws the audience’s eye to it. For mine, this was a picture of the main character holding her hand over her mouth. I had to edit the photo majorly using Photoshop, I blacked out her eyes, to make it ‘less human’ and I made the image darker, more contrasted and faded it into a grey background. I think that my main film poster has been effective because it has just enough detail to keep the reader interested •The tagline and main title is also something which I feel has been effective. I used a scary looking font from website ‘Da Font.com’ and made it black and white, creating a simultaneous effect along with the tagline, tying it all into one layout and colour theme. This also keeps in with the fact the friendship between the two girls at the start of the trailer is in black and white, and makes the audience feel as if they are looking back into the past.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COMBINATION OF YOUR MAIN PRODUCT AND ANCILLARY TEXTS? •For my film magazine ancillary task, I researched into film magazines which are being published at the moment, such as Q, Empire magazine and FILM magazine. I found that there were a range of conventions which were used simultaneously throughout each of them. •I think my magazine has been successful because I have embodied these conventions, for example, I used a three-colour theme of black, white and red. The red has connotations of danger and particularly catches the eye of the audience, the use of black means creates a slick, professional look and I think it particularly adds to the professionalism of the magazine. By using just three colours, I think it makes it look more believable and less amateur. •I added a central image, similar to my film poster , by doing this I think it follows the convention of a film magazine because all the ones which I had researched had something in the middle which was the audiences first priority to look. I also used similar use of conventions, such as the barcode, tagline, date and banner at the bottom of the magazine itself. •For my inspiration for my magazine, I used ‘Q’ magazine which is the kind of magazine I think fits with my trailer .
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COMBINATION OF YOUR MAIN PRODUCT AND ANCILLARY TEXTS? To create the ancillary tasks, and edit the photos which I took professionally, I used Adobe Photoshop. These are a few of the photos from the photo-shoot which haven’t been edited using and software.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COMBINATION OF YOUR MAIN PRODUCT AND ANCILLARY TEXTS? (Using film poster image as example) • To create the ‘horror’ look of the film poster, I first had to make the background completely black, as the one which I had shot on was white. To do this, I used the ‘lasso’ tool, which cuts out the image from its background very precisely, making the central image be completely free. Once this was done, I opened another window and placed the image of Milly onto a black background. • I then began editing the actual image of her. I clicked ‘image’ then adjustments and used the brightening, contrast, levels and curve tools to create a darker, more ‘embedded’ looking image. • To finish the editing, I coloured in her eyes in black using the Pencil tool, I also did the same to her nails, as on the day of the photo-shoot they were bright pink! Which didn’t look very scary. • Finally I used websites ‘Da Font. com’ to get the kind of texts which would suit the poster and genre. I chose a newspaper looking one as this was most intimidating and fit with our plot lin. I then used my research and created the text which went underneath and came up with a scary tagline ‘Don’t turn around’.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COMBINATION OF YOUR MAIN PRODUCT AND ANCILLARY TEXTS? WORKING TOGETHER AS A MARKETING STRATEGY: • I believe that my three texts (poster, magazine and trailer) will work together as a promotion package because they all follow a similar theme, layout and idea. • The style that I wanted to create was minimal, and didn’t let too much out to the audience. I think this has worked well, for example, in my trailer I have used short, snappy pieces of film which then all came together to create more of a ‘montage’ style trailer. By doing this, I feel that I haven’t given too much away to the audience and will make them excited to see the film. • I also carried over this minimal style to my film poster and magazine, the theme which I made simultaneous throughout makes it work as a promotional package because it all works together as one.
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES? USE IN RESEARCH: • For the initial research which was vital before I started any production on my trailer, I used website www.YouTube.com as a way to look at lots of different types of trailers. From Rom-Com styles, to action, this eventually helped me and my partner decide that we wanted to do a horror trailer because the conventions and genre style was very clear to the audience. • This site made it possible for me to watch trailers from the 80’s all the way to film releases of this year, and enabled me to work out what has changed and developed over time. • It also gave me inspiration on my own style of trailer, and I took that from 2010 trailer ‘Paranormal Activity’ • As well as helping me with my research, it was the site which I uploaded my trailer onto, and enabled me to then upload it onto blogger.
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES? THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE:BLOGGER! • Blogger was probably the most useful tool throughout the whole process of my A2 media coursework. It enabled me to put all of my work in one place and keep it updated, organised and together. As well as uploading blog posts, I also added video’s, scanned word documents and images. It enabled me to create a personal space to put all of my work into one space, updating it regularly. • As well as keeping all my work in one space, you can also personalise your blog with images, new backgrounds and font and title changes. • My blog address is www.hayleyfreake.blogspot.com
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES? USE IN CONSTRUCTION:Dafont.com! • For all three of my tasks, this website was a first stop. It offers a place to copy & paste professional looking fonts and texts for lots of different productions. • For my magazine, I wanted to create a realistic and believable front cover. So this website helped me find fonts which are similar to those of my inspiration ‘Q’ magazine. • I used the ‘gothic’ and ‘horror’ categories to find the perfect styles to fit with my genre.
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES? I used Adobe Premiere Pro to produce my media trailer, as it enabled me to upload, edit and then produce the finish trailer. • Once we had done all of the filming which we needed, we uploaded all of the film and this was named ‘Sequence 1’. As we had lots of different clips of text and in between these clips there was a lot of candid material, we had to use the Razor Tool to cut each clip and section to the length and size that we wanted. • Once I had cut the clips, I was left with smaller, individual clips to work with, and I had to move them into place to make sure the trailer made sense. By doing this, I had to make sure that the plotline and sequence of my trailer worked with the storyboards and plans which me and my partner originally made. • Once the initial sequence was set out, I set about editing the clips. I wanted to use all of the conventions which I had recently researched, and create a believable trailer.
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES?Adding Dip-to-black transitions! All of the researched trailers had very simultaneous, and un noticeable such as dip-to-black or occasionally fade-to-white. There were a few simple steps to putting these on to my own trailer. • I clicked on video transitions, and after looking through and testing a few, I thought that fade to black look the most seamless as most of our clips were dark after editing. • I selected dip to black and then dragged it over to the appropriate clips to create the look that I wanted. As well as adding in these transitions, you can drag them out, making them either longer or shorter and increasing the length of your trailer.
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES?Adding sound! By adding sound to my trailer, I feel it tied in the whole horror theme and created a much more believable plot and characterisation. • I pressed ‘file’ then clicked import. Prior to this, I had converted clips from ready-made YouTube trailers and had the sound available to me. • It then came up in the dash as a ready to use sound file, and I dragged it onto my trailer and placed it underneath whichever section I wanted to use it on. • Lastly, as our trailer is lots of small clips, so this meant that I had to use the razor tool to cut lots of them up into smaller sections so it fit with our filming. • Once the sound was added, I made sure I added ‘audio transitions’ to make the use of sound seem very natural, for example, where there was a change in sound I made sure it ‘dipped’.
HOW DID YOU USE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH, PLANNING AND EVALUATION STAGES? Adding Text!Text is one of the most essential conventions which horror trailers use. It gives out little, yet keyinformation about the up coming film and can also add very memorable pieces of text which theaudience remember in years to come. I found this was the impact which The Strangers trailer had onme, so I decided to use it in my own trailer! • To start with I click ‘new title’ and then default still to actually create the text box which will eventually go onto my trailer. • Once the text was input, the editing and changing of the text could start. I chose a very creepy looking text and then edited to make it bold and black, creating a statement for my trailer! • Once the editing was done, it clicked the ‘x’ button, as that automatically saves the text and puts it in the dash! • It saves as ‘title 01, 02..etc’ and then I just dragged it into place and the text was on my trailer. • To make the text look as if it belonged with the trailer, I used other transitions, such as dissolve etc. to make it look seamless.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR AUDIENCE FEEDBACK?‘’I really liked your trailer, you used lots of different editing techniques such as dipping in and out sound and ghosting the clips! I think that it has been effective overall. If you could change anything, I think you could of added your own sounds!’’• I agreed with the comments made about our trailer, I think that the overall narrative style has succeeded in creating a balance and I was happy with the overall product. I also agreed with the constructive criticism which was also given, I think that if we had time, me and my partner would have used microphones to create our own sounds to accompany our video.• Overall I’m happy with the comments we received for our trailer, and I think that everyone reacted positively to our final piece.