1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My media project has changed loads since I began to plan and film the opening sequence of my film. There were many reasons why these changes occurred for example due to timing, the location of the filming changed from a front street to a back lane as the front street turned out to be very noisy and the back lane location was more practical and accessible. Another reason was the script because I wanted the situation and film to seem more realistic so I decided to ask the actors to do some improvisation. They knew the storyline I was trying to achieve and had a basic idea of the original script so we agreed that to help them to find the acting more natural they should go with it and act natural as if the story it was really happening and not to worry about adjusting the script as they went along. For my product research I looked at many similar themed films in the romantic comedy genre. I concentrated on identifying the codes and conventions of one particular film and tried to work out how they were formed to create a Rom-com. I then looked at many more to see if my findings were common to most Rom-com’s. I documented a collection of product research about these conventions. For example the music is upbeat and sets the story and the mood, examples of this are in the films Just My Luck and Wild Child. Titles are commonly presented within the first 2 minutes of the film but the font and style varies a good examples of this can be found in High School Musical and Legally Blonde. My titles appear near the ending of my opening, I used a simple, quite quirky font and style because a Rom-Com is fun and no too serious I wanted the title to reflect that.
1. continued.. . In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? I tried to follow most of the conventions in my film production but also wanted to be slightly different. One convention I challenged was the introduction of the main characters. in the films I researched the characters were instantly introduced. However, I wanted to build up to my characters entrance. Focusing on the feet which built up tension and got the audience wondering who are these characters and what’s happening next, then I introduced the typical convention of ‘ meet-cute ’. Meet Cute is a technique demonstrated in quite a few of the films I have watched one being ‘The Holiday’. In my research I explain how this method of setting up the characters initial meet is a way of bringing them together in an unusual situation that would not necessarily be typical of either of their normal social settings.
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? I believe my film represents the younger generation such as teenagers and younger adults. The social group I would expect my product to represent is based around middle class as the female character is dressed smart casual and is holding papers and books which suggests to the audience she is a working girl or possibly at school. The male character may also be classed as middle class status but he is looking cool and up to date with fashionable clothing, and new technology for example his IPhone. He is a teenager which implies he may still be at school or working which also portrays middle class. Although I didn’t want to fall into the stereotypical characters of a Rom-com, ‘The Boy’ and ‘The Girl’ you can’t really get away from that as that is what forms a Rom-com. So it was so essential that I had a boy and girl as my main characters to fit the main convention and the social groups represented within a typical Rom-com.
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? The easiest option would be to say cinema and box office but I believe with the social group my film represents and the younger generation of audience that I expect to attract that the Channel 4 channel E4 maybe the perfect way to distribute my film. The target audience for E4 is teenagers and young adults which fits exactly with my target audience it therefore it would make perfect sense to present my film on that channel. If it was successful on E4 and received high ratings I think it could be more that just a film, possibly a spin off show or a TV series such as friends. I think my opening 2 minutes could go on You Tube as a form of trailer or invite to watch more.
4. Who would be the audience for your media product? I expect my target audience to be teenagers and young adults as I believe they can easily relate to the everyday characters I have used in my film. They are the kind of audience I would expect to watch Holly Oaks or Friends. As a younger generation, they are likely to be up to date with the latest fashions and technology and would relate well to these aspects of my film. They would probably read OK or Hello magazine and shop in Top Shop or Warehouse as I do expect my film to relate more to females because it is romance and a bit cheesy, though I think many males do secretly like that. I expect my audience to be mainly 15+, but I think that the BBFC would certificate the film at 12, 12a or 15 as the adult humour, language or nudity that may possibly occur later on in the film, may not be suitable for younger viewers.
5. How did you attract/address your audience? The audience base I was trying to attract were teenagers and young adults. I think this was an appropriate group as I can fully understand what they like, dislike and what they want to see, as I myself am a teenager. It wouldn’t be a great idea to base a film aimed at an audience I don’t understand or can’t relate to. A convention of most film opening sequences is to engage the audience by setting the scene and presenting a narrative structure which that creates the relationship between information and enigma (mystery). In an effort to keep the audience engaged and create mystery, wondering what's happening next I built up the characters entrance. The viewer sees the feet of the characters and so they have no idea who and what these characters are like, it will get them asking questions and wanting to know more. Hence keeping them watching and intrigued. Another way I have related the film to my target audience is by casting the characters as a similar age to the intended audience. This helps them to immediately see a real life representation of romance and involves them immediately in the film.
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? I have learnt a lot about media related technologies and the process of creating the final product. One of the main areas that I have learnt about is how to use and handle a camera. I found it difficult at first as I haven't had much experience with using one but I soon learnt the basics such as zooming in and basic shots for example: mid-shots, long shots and establishing shots. But as I got more use to working with it I began to experiment with angles like eye level, high angle and birds-eye view and also more technical shots such as close up’s, extreme-close ups and reverse-shot-reverse. Other techniques I learnt were match on action and the 180-degree rule. Keeping the camera steady was also a task I had to over come as it is more difficult than it looks because even the slightest movement of the camera can be detected when played back. A good way of keeping it steady that I learnt from having a workshop day with a professional movie-maker was to use a bag and fill it with heavy books or items and hang it off your wrist, this should steady the shot a little more, but it all took practice. Another technique I had to learn and master was using a new editing software, they again took practice and experience to get better at them. We used Pinicle at first but had a few technical problems so we had to install and begin to learn how to edit on Adobe Elements. Learning how to crop and edit shots and how to put them together to create the final product was a temperamental process and took a lot of patience and determination to get right. It took a lot of experimentation but I thorughly enjoyed using this software and creating my film. The way I presented my work was through the use of a Blog, this wasn’t the normal way I was use to presenting my work so it took time to work out how to use it. But it wasn’t as difficult as I expected it and I picked it up easily.
I had never uploaded files to the internet before and I had to learn a lot about different file types such as FLV, MP3, WMV etc, and how you can only upload certain ones depending on what your blogger supports. I had a problem with the first shooting of my film because it was very windy and although the camera shots were clear the wind affected the sound and dialogue. I had to convert my film to an audio file and import it into audacity where I tried to remove the wind noise using the effect noise removal. Despite many attempts this was not successful so I had to re-film my movie. This taught me about considering outside elements such as the weather when I am filming. I found a film clip on You Tube which instructed me how to do this. http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =Nwwje8jUTcE 6 continued . What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Over the course of creating the final product I have learnt many things as it hasn’t just been about doing the filming and editing, it has involved a lot of organisation so my skills of organisation have been stretched when trying to sort out characters and actors to play them, then what costume they should wear, and what props I need. I found it a huge task to try to get this all together in one location at one time, but although it was a difficult job and it changed at least three times, resulting in the location being changed I learnt a lot and finally got it all together. Research was another area of the process that I learnt a lot about and my research skills were developed over the time. Looking at different ways of researching and not just books or internet but by actually asking people from the target audience questions about their expectations and what makes a tom-com for them. I also spent a lot of time watching other similar products and then building up case studies in forms that I would not normally use such as filming the audience’s reactions and documenting their opinions. To use a lot of different software packages, I had to learn how to convert files so they could be used in different software for example MP3 for music files and FLV for films. Overall I believe that it went pretty well, I learnt a lot about software's, editing and filming that I had no idea about. It has opened my eyes to film making and the work that is put in to creating even such a simple sequence like mine. I have gained so much more experience and developed skills that I can develop even more and use in other areas of future work, for example research. I'm not overly happy with my end product but considering I haven't really had any experience with using this equipment before I think I did an OK job for a first time and am proud of my work as I put in full effort and have had a steep learning curve. However given a bit more time I believe my film could be developed and edited to a higher standard.