As a group, we feel that our media product achieved all of the criteria in the question above; we used stereotypical devices for a comedy film as well as subverting the norm to challenge the archetypal genre film. Primarily, our intention was to entertain the viewer; by aiming for too subtle a brand of humour, the film would appear distant and would not connect with an audience. We used slapstick humour to pay homage to comedy films that had influenced us; however we created an existential plot to give our film some intelligence.
Conventionally, we used a montage and a soundtrack; a staple of the modern day comedy, as it enables us to develop technique and further the relationship between pre-existing products and our film. The form was also conventional, as it partially followed a three-act structure; equilibrium at the start, then a state of disequilibrium that follows the initial process. However, the ending of our product didn’t gain a satisfactory resolution, or re-equilibrium, for the main character. This was a conscious decision on our part, as it gave us more freedom to complete an ending that served the narrative rather than the character; we also felt this would be satisfactory to an audience as it would subvert form and become something identifiable as a standalone product.
Throughout the process of creating our product, school computers were used at every stage. We planned and created the radial analyses on Powerpoint, using the slides to link our work together to create a coherent portrait of the work we had completed. We needed our Powerpoints to be uploaded onto the internet so used a variety of different websites; Slideshare and Blogger. Slideshare is a website used to upload slideshows onto media outlets such as Blogger, and by combining the two we made our slideshows containing our research and analysis easily accessible to a wider audience. Photoshop was also used to develop the ancillary products themselves, as we created both the review and the poster of our finished product on the program. It was extremely helpful and easy to use, and enabled us to create professional pieces of work.
<ul><li>We used the posterize tool at first so that our image looked like pop art or a comic; this was so the image contrasted better with the background of the photo. </li></ul><ul><li>We then used the brightness/contrast in order to further the colour match. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, we used the layer tool to organise the information on our poster. </li></ul>
For the production of the film itself, a camera was used to capture each scene that we had storyboarded. The connectivity between our chosen camera and an editing method was vital, and the Apple MacBooks were key components. By using iMovie, we were able to edit, add soundtracks and transitions, and polish the footage we had previously filmed. We then updated our movie using the popular website, YouTube. This also made the film readily accessible to a wider audience.
Our methodology was to include a number of different practises to garner response; the internet, focus groups and questionnaires. By looking at the responses, we gained advantages and disadvantages. The pros of the usage of the internet was the easily accessible nature of the websites we used – such as Blogger and YouTube – and the large amount of feedback available to us. Cons included the number of websites and inaccessibility of a number of programmes to the Apple MacBooks. The pros of the focus groups – which we held twice, once for the ancillaries and once for our final product - were the responses we could get back from our peer, and generated impulses from watching the footage. However, one of the downsides of this was that by gaining responses from only one age group, we had to make sure our product was aimed significantly towards entertaining them. The pros of the questionnaires were that they were easy to create and generated responses that were easy to analyses, such was their quantitative nature. However once again, they were targeted at a single age group and thus were narrow in scope.
What we learned from our audience feedback is prevalent in our questionnaires (see questionnaire slideshow); however it is safe to say that after our focus groups that the aim of the film was successful. There were some misgivings however; the final editing of the film was not as successful as it could have been had we been given more time, and the sound mixing was unfinished. It gave us ideas of how we would correct and improve upon our film given another chance to do it.
We used Dyer’s Utopian Solutions Theory to motivate and engage our audience, offering our target audience the solutions of clarity for the inadequacy of confusion. We felt that by making the audience relate with Peter was extremely important, and by making them felt he same amount of confusion at him in the lack of explanation given to his plight, this strengthened the relationship between viewer and character. We also applied Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs theory, but by using an unfamiliar environment through the setting, subverted the audience’s need of safety that was stereotypical. This should engage our audience and make them aware that we will not be adhering to general theories. Peter’s predicament at the end of the short film turns generic convention on its head and makes it more engaging for the viewer, as there is no resolution available to them. Levi-Strauss’ Binary Oppositions theory was considered for use, as his theory shows that there is an opposite within media forms; good and evil is recognised to show that one being will be on the opposite side to another in motive and personality. As our film doesn’t necessarily have a villain as well as a small cast, we decided the main character Pete would show virtue and innocence to uphold one half of the theory.
When we had decided on the concept of our film, it was necessary to create marketing with the aesthetic feel for a professional film and one that was close to our version of the finished product. The poster’s font and colour are indicative of the direction in which we wanted to take the product; clinical, thoughtful and inventive, as well as summarising the plot through merely images. The large font juxtaposed with the white space evident in the majority of the poster is representative of our final product to an excellent degree; the tagline of the poster as well as the key image define the genre as well as the premise. The combination of poster and film together make an effective marketing campaign.
The review is more atypical and representative of a movie magazine’s layout – specifically Empire Magazine – and we tried to justify being critical as well as appreciative of our film in order to gain better composition and verisimilitude of a real life review. The layout, font and colours are all generic for a print magazine and we felt it represented the realistic and accurate depiction we wanted to achieve. In conclusion, the combination of our finished product as well as its accompanying poster was to great effect; the marketing succinctly portrayed the film and referred to it as well as it possibly could. In addition, the review was honest about our own efforts and how we felt we performed in creating a short film.
We looked through a number of fonts to gain an understanding of what was demanded from us in the genre we worked in. In the end, we chose a simple, sketched font in order to correlate between the individuality of the film and its marketing. The colour of the poster and font were contrasted in the end of the film; the white space was represented in both ancillary and main product, and it was this that connected the two together. The character of Peter Outt is used in every scene in the film as well as the marketing, to make a correlation between the two.
The images used throughout our ancillaries correlate with our final product; the main character Peter features throughout, and as before explained, the colours and font are representative of the atmosphere the final product carries. The link between location on the poster and the final scene of the film is the key combination in our marketing ancillaries.