Still shot from The Lovely Bones Still shot from The Taken
To engage my target audience, in the opening 2 minutes of my film I raised lots of action and enigma codes. Examples of
some enigma codes are “who is the girl?”, “who’s hand is it in the forest?”, “who called the phone?” and “who’s taken
her?”. The only action codes the audience really find out in the opening are that she’s a teenage girl called Adrianna and
that she’s on her way home. The lack of action codes will entice my audience as they’ll want to know the answers and
therefore wish to continue watching. My film opening follows a standard narrative structure of a film, starting with a
equilibrium and ending with a disequilibrium. The equilibrium is Adrianna walking home and calling her dad, and the
disequilibrium is her finding the phone and the dead body.
I chose for the genre of my film (The Taken) to be a thriller as I was inspired by the film The Lovely Bones. A typical
convention of a horror/thriller is to use eerie non diegetic music and sound effects, so I used this in my film throughout
to create tension in the audience. To make the setting realistic, I filmed in a woods to show that the character was
isolated and alone, creating a spooky atmosphere.
As my target audience is both sexes aged 15-22, I've made my film represent social groups in order to attract them. The
protagonist of my film is a teenage girl so for the mise en scène, I’ve made her wear clothing that’s typically worn by
females and she uses an iPhone (a popular phone) when calling her dad. The actor of the ‘dad’ in my opening wears
causal clothing as well, and the location is set in a kitchen to look homely and these factors help make my film look
I used a girl as my protagonist, as stereotypically females are
shown to be weaker than males, and in horror films, the female is
shown to be more scared than the male usually. Rather than
making my protagonist seem overly weak, I made her like the
protagonist in The Lovely Bones who’s shown to be quite brave.
This is shown in my film when Adrianna reaches for the phone for a
second time after she’s already answered it once and seen the
dead body, which challenges stereotypes and differentiates her
character to female characters in other films.
Age is a way that I represented social groups, because as my film is aimed at teenagers mainly, the main character is also a
teenager and this is recognisable through her appearance and mise en scène. At the end of my opening, a mysterious
antagonist drags Adrianna’s body through the forest. The antagonist is a man in his late 30’s but the actor in the film is only
17. The audience won’t know this however because only his legs are shown, and rather than wearing trainers which is what a
teenager would stereotypically wear, the footwear we see are wellies so it fits with the image of the man the audience will see
later on in the film.
As my film is a low budget film, a media institution that will be likely to distribute it will be a small independent company in
England. My film doesn’t have any well known actors in it and is filmed in a realistic setting, which therefore makes my film
seem amateur and again likely to be distributed by an independent company. Being distributed by an independent company,
would make my film appeal to a niche audience and keep the realism I intend it to have; through advertising and attracting
specific target audiences as well I think my film would gain popularity and become successful like the film Bullet Boy, which is
a low budget film targeting real issues. that became successful by first of all attracting a niche audience.
On the other hand, if my film was a high budget film and had a major production company producing it, unlike my co
production companies “Paranoia Productions” and “R.Q Pictures”, a likely media institution that would distribute my film
would be Paramount Pictures. Paramount Pictures distributed The Lovely Bones, which is similar to my film, but they also
distributed Paranormal Activity which is of the same genre as my film. Paranormal Activity is a very successful film which is
why I think that if Paramount Pictures distributed my film, it could be successful too. This is because Paranormal Activity
uses simple filming techniques by appearing to be filmed by hand and is filmed in a natural setting which is a lot like my
film as I filmed in a realistic place and used simple camerawork.
Comment about The Lovely Bones Comments about The Pact
My target audience for my film is both males and females aged 15-22 as after looking at the BBFC guideline I decided to
make the age rating of my film a 15. I compared my film to other films such as The Lovely Bones and The Pact; The Lovely
Bones is rated as a 12 by the BBFC and The Pact is rated as a 15. Although my film is most like The Lovely Bones, I decided
to rate my film as a 15 as it will attract the specific audience I want and will enable me to make the film more thriller and
horror like by including scenes that may scare younger audiences.
In order to get feedback on my original ideas, I used survey monkey to create a survey which I posted on social networking
sites to get feedback from people of similar age to my target audience (the results from my survey are all on my blog). I also
searched for trailers similar to my film on YouTube so I could look at the comments people had posted to see what they
thought about them.
One reason that my film will attract my target audience is
because my protagonist is of a similar age to them so the
audience may be able relate to the character. From my
feedback, I learnt that some people liked jump scares and
some liked gore so I tried to include both of these in my film, for
example when the dead hand is shown as this will scare some
In order to attract and address my audience, I planned my film opening carefully in pre production by mind mapping my
ideas, creating story boards, making scripts and showing snippets of the film to people to see what they thought. Feedback
was a great way to see what my target audience did and didn’t like, as this enabled me to attract them in the long run as the
film included what they wanted in it.
I showed my film ideas to an audience that didn’t know much about media or film making as this helped me learn what they
wanted in the film on a basic level. I also gained expert feedback from people in my media class, as they knew a lot about
film conventions and they gave me technical feedback and advice such as what type of sound to include to attract my
Although I’ve used YouTube before to watch videos, I’ve never
uploaded a video of my own so this was another skill I’ve learnt in the
process of constructing my product. Uploading my video was quite
simple, and after I’d done it I posted the link onto social networking
sites such as Twitter and Facebook to attract my target audience to
watching it and gain feedback.
From the process of making my film opening, I’ve learnt a lot about technologies. Before starting this course, I’d never
made a blog and didn’t know how to use one, however I can now use blogger easily and confidently. I’ve been able to put
all of my work on there and present in in a more exciting way than if I were to just write everything out on Microsoft Word.
I’ve also learnt how to make a Prezi which enabled me to show my storyboard in an interactive way to my target audience.
Previously when I’ve edited videos I’ve just used Movie Maker, however for my film I used iMovie which is a more
sophisticated editing software. This has made my film look better as I’ve been able to do stuff like extracting the audio
from clips and adding them onto other videos to fix continuity problems, which I wouldn’t have been able to do on Movie
In my preliminary task I filmed by on a video camera by hand which
is why the footage is shaky in places; from this I learnt that I had to
use a tripod when filming my actual film opening to make it look
steady and therefore professional. In the progression, I’ve learnt the
importance of having titles and credits as having ‘famous’
actors/actresses' names appear will attract the audience and
persuade them to watch my film.
Looking back on my preliminary task, I feel that I have learnt a lot. In my preliminary video, I have a simple ‘film’ with short
clips cut together which lacks creativity. I also have slight continuity issues and looking at it after making my final product, I
can see that I should have cut some of the clips more to make the video flow better. I’ve also noticed that some of the talking
is quiet and muffled, and after becoming more familiar with iMovie now, I’ve realised I could have increased the volume of
the talking or added a voice over to it.
Also, I’ve learnt the importance of having a variety of camera angles as having just one for a long length of time, can make it
boring for the audience to watch. In my preliminary, I used over the shoulder shots and mid shots mainly however, in my final
product I used many more including high angle shots, low angle shots, extreme close ups and long shots. I’ve learnt that
having music is also effective as my preliminary video isn’t entertaining to watch as there’s no music to build tension, so I
knew to add music to my final product.