In what ways doesyour mediaproduct used,develop orchallenge formsand conventionsof real mediaproducts?
What does this question mean to me?Throughout the entire period that I have been studying media, we have alwayslooked at forms and conventions of real media products, and the reasons whythese are followed so religiously by media producers. However every now andthen, these forms and conventions are broken and this is when ideas arepushed and developed further, creating an evolution of media. So this questionis asking me;-in what ways and for what reasons did I follow the norms of real mediaproducts?-What advantages did I gain from sticking to these conventions?-But also how and why did I break some of these real media conventions, inwhat way did I develop my promotional packed beyond any existing package?
Conventions of movies and short filmsBoth movies and short films follow their own conventions. These are thenorms that are expected from a viewer which categorise a text into eithera movie or a short film or teaser trailer etcetera.The following slides will consider what these conventions are and howthey are used in existing products.They will also consider in which ways my short film has strayed away fromor developed these conventions seen in the existing products.
Conventional Narrative in filmTodarovs theorem – One theory of narrative I by Tadarov. This is probably themost commonly followed theorem, especially within short films. The theoryfollows the idea that a narrative begins at an equilibrium. This is the stage of‘social norm’ where characters are going about their every day business. Thenext stage of the theory is when we see a disruption to the narrative. This iswhen a situation occurs which is out of the every day social norm, creating aproblem for the characters. This then leads to the characters setting out to solvethis issue and put things ‘back to normal’. This part of the narrative completesthe majority of the script and it is within this section that we see the climax ofthe movie, the part where the story is in full swing. After this stage, Todarovstates that the problem is eventually solved, finally returning us back to anequilibrium as seen at the begging of the story.
One example of how Todarovs theorem is used - 2008 movie ‘Taken’.1. Equalibrium – Audience see a normal 2. Disruption – daughter is kidnappedfather/daughter relationship and the social norm is taken away3. Climax – Father sets out to find 4. Return to equilibrium - father finds anddaughter and murder her kidnappers, rescues his daughter, and life returns tohitting the climax of the movie normal, restoring an equilibrium
How does my narrative compare to the conventional narrative?As in Todarovs theorem, the fluent in love narrative does begin at an equilibrium. It follows mycharacter as he takes a walk in his natural environment and arriving at a country pub. The reasoni chose to use this stage of the narrative is because I believe that it creates a sense of realism. Itgives the audience a chance to build rapore with the characters and understand theirenvironment, rather than jumping straight into this fantasy world and throwing my audience intothe deep end before they can even understand my characters. The next stage of my narrative, strayed away slightly from the conventional narrative.My character finds himself sat in the pub next to a female whom he is clearly attracted to,however he cannot build the courage to approach her. This indeed as stated in the theorem is aproblem, how ever it is not so clearly obvious that it is a problem, and certainly not one that canbe solved. In the next stage of my narrative, my character try’s to build himself the courage totalk to the female however the narrative totally breaks away from Todarovs theorem when theclimax approaches. My character finally speaks to the girl, however she is French and cannotunderstand him, proving the previous 5 minutes of the movie and of my characters life to havebeen a total waste of time. If my plot was to have followed the conventional narrative structure,then my character would have spoke to the girl, she would have replied and they would have fellin love and returned to a happy norm. However by using this ending I believe my narrativeencounters many more emotions and tribulations than if it would have followed the norm.
Examples of how my shot sizes have conformed to those of the previous slide Extra long shot - This is my establishing shot. I used an extra long shot in order to establish the scenery whilst including my actor. The use of this shot adds depth to the frame and prepares the audience for what is to come in the forthcoming shots. Long shot – This shot enables my audience to see a full head to toe image of my character. I rarely used the long shot within my film as I believe it was only needed a few times to establish the characters however more intriguing shots could be used from then on. Medium long shot – used very similarly to the long shot, this shot enabled me to move swiftly between the long and medium shots. Also moving in to a medium long shot brings the audiences focus more towards the action rather than the surrounding setting.
Medium shot – Provides an image of the uppertorso and head. This shows full facial expressionwhilst also including body language. I often usedthis shot as a neutral base which I would regularlyreturn to in between more intricate shots i.e.. Closeups.Close up – A close up image of one particular aspect,usually a full head image. This shot is regularly usedwithin my film, often as reaction shots to provide theaudience with a full understanding of eachcharacters emotion throughout.Extreme close up – This shot focuses in on somethingparticular, usually a facial feature. I used this shot afew times in my film in order focus on eye movementor smirks for example, it can also help to add humourto the narrative.
Examples of unconventional/innovative camera shots within my short film Mirror shot – Here I created a shot that shown my actors real life silhouette from behind whilst also showing his face from within the mirror. We had to try a few different toilets to receive the correct lighting for the shot, then we took a low angle in order to include the camera in the mirrors reflection. Crisp packet shot – At the point of my character reaching into the crisp packet, i wanted my audience to take the prospective of the crisps within the packet. I did this by opening up the packet from both ends and placing the lens of the camera in he one end. This was an extremely difficult shot to master as movement was a huge problem when the hand entered the packet however we was determined to get the shot as the packet reflected well from the light.
Beer shot – Whilst filming I thought it would beinteresting to see if we could create an image ofthe bubbles rising in the beer. We used an extremeclose up and created a successful shot. The reasoni like this shot is the timing in which it was used. Itstands as a metaphor for the rising tension andreally adds to the awkwardness of the situation ina creative way.Across the bar – We took this shot by placing thecamera at a neutral level with the bar at oneend, I then directed the actor to sit within shotat the other end of the bar. This enabled me tofocus the lens on the immediate foregroundacross the bar, whilst blurring the background ofthe actor.
Over the shoulder – To create this shot i placedthe camera behind my lead actress in order tocapture both my actor and actress in the shot,This enabled the audience to see bothcharacters faces and really captured my leadactors emotion as he glanced at the actress.Floor level – In order to add another dynamic tothe style of filming we wanted to play with thelevels and this shot is directly from the ground.It follows the actors foot movement as hesurpasses the camera and exits the toilets,enabling the audience to feel part of the sceneand close and intimate with the narrative andthe actors movement.
Close ups on particular objects – Throughout thefilm we included close ups of particular objects. Thisadded an aspect of art to the film, creatinginteresting images. It also added to the narrative asit bought attention to particular objects andenhanced the suspense. It also was used so that thecamera could take the characters prospective asthey looked around the room in nervousness andawkwardness. One sided shot – I included a few of these shots which capture a medium shot of the actor/actress baring towards one side of the shot. This is used so that the audience is refreshed from the harsher shots that are used and can relax whilst the narrative is slowed down.
Two shot – The two shot was the most commonlyused shot within my short film. Although it is simple,we had to get the perfect shot, as this is where thenarrative is built. From this shot we needed toinclude both characters full facial expression whilstbeen able to see complete body language. The factthat we lingered on most of the two shots reallyhelped to develop the characters thoughts andenhanced the narrative.Canted angle – gave a full front shot of the puband provided added interest with the slight cantmaking the pub look quirky and out of the normcompared to the shots used in the previoussetting. Feet shot – I used matching close ups of both the actors’ and actress’ feet, this captured them both tapping their feet, creating a humorous moment for the audience to connect with.
Conventional sound within professional film Within professional feature films, budgets are higher and better equipment is available. Boom mic’s and clothing mic’s are used and sound can be easily attainable to a higher quality from any distance in the frame. Conventional sound in low budget film Diagetic sound – within low budget short films, diagetic sound more than often comes straight from the microphone built in to the camera. However this usually provides quite sound, and picks up heavy background disruption and distortion.This then creates an issue whilst actually filming, it means that settings often have to be changed to quieter surroundings and actors have to stand closer to the camera than originally planned. Non-diagetic sound – Non diagetic sound is less of an issue within low budgetshort films, however it is rarely used. When conducting research I found that many producers of short films use non diagetic sound for sound effects and a music track overlaid.
How does the sound in my short film compare to conventional sound?We began by recording the digetic sound directly from the in-build microphone in thecamera, conventional of low budget short films. However the sound was quite anddisrupted. For this reason we decided to keep dialouge to a minimum, by doing this wecould over ride the sound.Using logic pro 9, we created an entire overlay of artificial sound. This created a crisp soundthroughout. Full of sound effects and natural background noise it created a professionaltone, without the high budget equipment such as boom mic’s. We also managed to includedialouge. We did this by recording it straight from the built in microphone in the cameraand then enhancing it dramatically on logic pro 9 and then mixing it in to the overlay ofartificial sound. Music was also used in the film, we used diagetic sound as though themusic was coming straight from the juke box, the choice of music, maintained the maturestyle of filming whilst making the narrative quirky and attainable for a young and oldaudience. Reading on copy right laws, we found that we were able to include a theme songat the end of the film as the film is for student, internal purposes only and not to be sold tothe public.Watching and listening back on the film, i believe i made the best decision available increating the sound for the film. The parts in particularly enjoy are the precise sound offootsteps as the actor walks through the country park and also the change in the soundwhen the music muffles as he enters the bathroom to enhance the verisimilitude.