In what ways does your media product use develop or challenge forms
The short film that I have created is based on two male characters that
believe they are very different due to their background and social class, for
this reason they ignore each other in school and avoid each other outside of
school. However, they soon find out that, despite their differences, they can
actually get long and infact do have things in common.
Before creating my product, I researched into various short films on the BBC
film network such as “Fight,” “Fence,” “The Ends” and “School of Life.” I did
this so I could find out the various conventions that short films follow. One
thing that I instantly noticed was the film length, which appeared to be 5
minutes long in the majority of films. With this in mind, my film was also 5
Another convention that I followed in order to challenge real media products
was the locations where I shot my film. Most short films are low budget and
therefore shoot the footage in real places with no sets, my own film follows
this as it was shot in a real school and also in two real houses in two very
different areas. The two different areas were used to represent the two
different backgrounds that the characters came from. One of the areas was
very nice and represented wealth, where as the other was in a poorer areas
and this was shown very well when shooting the film in each of the homes.
The two different
homes and areas
Furthermore, I learnt that many short films have little dialogue and they rely on
non-diegetic sounds such as having music over the top of the footage. My
product uses this convention my having music instead of dialogue throughout
but then challenges the form with dialogue being brought in near the end. The
first scene is shot in the richer characters home and the scene is completely
silent, this is representing that the boy does have a nice house, however he
does not have everything as his mum and dad are not at home much. Positive
music then comes into the film in the next scene showing the poorer boy
waking up, this character is then shown having to queue for the bathroom, this
is representing that he might not have the nice house, but he has a family so
he is not bothered about other people’s fortune.
A further point that I have noticed whilst watching short films is that there is
usually just one or two characters in the film, and there will most likely be one
central protagonist who will remain centre frame throughout the film. I have
followed this convention by having just two characters throughout, but I have
challenged the convention of being one protagonist by having two
The films two
How effective is combination of your main product and your ancillary
For my ancillary tasks, I chose to create a film poster and a radio advert. I
believe that the combination is good because all three tasks relate and fit with
each other. For my film poster, I researched a number of posters and looked
at the conventions they follow. One convention that I noticed film posters
follow is having the two characters faces showing, I decided to challenge this
convention by using a picture showing the two characters backs, walking on
different sides of the road. I chose to do this because it is showing the two
characters walking down different paths but in the same direction. This image
connotes that the two boys do know each other vaguely but do not interact
with each other, however they are both aiming for the same successes in life.
Our poster does not give very much away about the plot of our film, I have done this
so that it hopefully interests the target audience into wondering what the film is about
and so want to watch it.
The second ancillary text I created was a radio advert. This was also effective
because it immediately reaches are target audience because it starts with a school
bell ringing. It also creates more curiosity because there is a loud sound effect of a
car screeching with leads to questions like “what has just happened?”
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and
research, planning and evaluation stages?
New media was extremely important throughout the whole of my media
project from start to finish. The internet and web 2.0 contributed greatly as I
did all of my research into the various short films on the internet on sites such
as www.bbc.co.uk. I also set up a blog site on www.blogger.com, this was
vital and one of the most important factors of my project as this is where I
uploaded all of my research and planning, this also allowed feedback so I
could see where I could improve my work. I also used a site called Slideshare
– this technology allowed me to upload documents and then make them into a
presentation which could then be uploaded to my blog.
For my short film, I used a Panasonic digital camcorder to capture the footage
and often used a tripod to ensure a steady shot. Once the footage was all
taken, I plugged the camera into an Apple Mac computer and loaded the
footage on using a programme called “Final Cut Express.” This programme
was very good and very professional and I used it to edit the footage and add
in different effects and cuts such as “fade away” transitions. This programme
also allowed me to add in music sound tracks and also captions to introduce
the film and the end credits.
For my ancillary tasks, I used a number of other new media technologies. For
my film poster, I used a professional SLR camera to take the photo and then
loaded it onto an Apple Mac computer. I then created the poster using a very
good piece of software called “Photoshop.” Using this software, I was able to
use the picture that I had taken and then add in the film’s title and quotes.
There was many different fonts, colours and styles that I could choose from to
make the poster look as professional as possible.
For my second ancillary task, I had to make a radio advert. For this, I used a
microphone connected to an Apple Mac computer and then edited the sound
in a programme called “Garage Band.” This programme allowed me to cut
and edit the sound so I could change the duration of the advert, I was also
able to add in music and sound effects which helped to make my radio advert
challenge the convention of real radio adverts and therefore make mine as
real as possible.
What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
In order for me to get feedback, I held a showing of my film for 15 teenagers
to view my film. I chose to show it to teenagers as this was my target
After the viewing, I gave the group of viewers my email address and asked
them to email me honest points that were good and bad. This exercise proved
very successful with emails back from all 15 teenagers. They told me what
they liked and disliked about the film and told me what they would have liked
to see. For example, I got points saying that the image quality in the filming
could have been clearer. I completely agreed with this point as my short film
would have been a higher standard with a better camera.
Furthermore, I learnt that my film really did relate to people and this made me
feel like I had achieved my aim. I learnt this because within the feedback, I
had a few members of the audience saying that the story of the film was very
common and that students often do not talk because they believe they are
“different.” This was very good to hear because it shows that I have raised the
awareness of the topic in society in schools and have hopefully made a
Here is one of the emails
Furthermore, the audience feedback commented a number of times that they
liked the fact that the character rang somebody over because he was rushing
and on his mobile whilst driving. The feedback stated that this could actually
happen because there are many first time drivers at this age who all try going
as fast as they can and not thinking about the consequences.
Overall, the feedback was a big success and I am fully aware of where I have
done well, and more importantly where I could improve.