HEWORTH GRANGE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL A2 MEDIA STUDIES EVALUATION TEXT VERSION Shaun Liddle 2012This is the text version of my A2 Media Studies Evaluation. You will also find different multi- media approaches I have taken to post my evaluation if you’re not much of an essay reader!
SHAUN LIDDLEIn what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge forms andconventions of real media products?When planning my media product, I made sure I properly analysed many different horror trailers toget different ideas to use on my project. By doing this I have used many different conventions in myhorror trailer which are included in these trailers. As well as using some of these horrorconventions, I have also broken some horror conventions. In my horror trailer the killer is a female,this isn’t usually the typical case with horror trailers as men are usually the killers because of strongand dominant connotations, this results in my horror trailer breaking typical horror conventions.I have also broken horror conventions as I decided to use normal teenage costumes, rather thanusing typical dark, horror style costumes. This however still relates to the audience as the targetaudience are mainly teenagers. This also gives a sense of unexpectedness as the killer is not exactlyhighlighted throughout the start of my horror trailer.My project however also uses typical horror conventions as it relates to Roland Barthe’s theory.Codes such as connotation, denotation and action are used. Representation of the genre is repeatedlyhighlighted throughout my horror trailer, for example, costume and make-up such as blood andlocations such as abandoned buildings are denoted within my horror trailer, which connotes thegenre of horror. This supports Barthe’s theory of symbolic and semic codes.Throughout my media product I manage to apply Todorov’s narrative structure theory to my work,(equilibrium, disruption, recognition of disruption, attempt to repair disruption and newequilibrium), however his theory is also to a certain degree challenged. For example, my trailerinvolves the step of disruption twice, as disruption occurs when the character is drugged andaccidentally killed and disruption also occurs when the character comes back for her revenge. Thisshows I have challenged typical horror conventions when producing my horror trailer.Vladimir Propp’s theory is somewhat of use; however this is also challenged as all of the charactertypes are not included. For example, Propp says they are generally different types of characterswithin films such as, the hero, the villain, the helper, the donor and the princess. My horror trailermanages to challenge Propp’s theory as only one of these stereotypical characters is used. With mytrailer having the genre of horror it is evident that the villain (the killer) will be included within myhorror trailer. As a result this manages to challenge typical horror conventions.
SHAUN LIDDLEHow effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary task?When producing my ancillary task I had to take into consider what my trailer would eventually looklike in order for them to compare with each other. Because of this I had to make sure the make-up,costume and location looked exactly the same as it would in my horror trailer. Both of the tasksrepresent the horror genre therefore it is clear to understand what the genre is.In reality, horror posters would be released before films therefore my ancillary task needs to be adevice in which promotes my horror trailer. In order for my ancillary task to do this I made sure thatit would compare with my eventual horror movie. It is vital that my horror movie is promoted to thetarget audience, therefore aspects of my tasks such as posters, magazine covers and the actual horrortrailer play an extremely important part within my coursework production.As well as relating to my moving image piece I feel my film magazine and horror poster both relateto each other. The title of the film is displayed throughout each of these tasks highlighting thecontinuity in my project. Many of the camera angles used in my horror trailer compare to some ofthe camera angles used within my ancillary tasks. For example, close up shots are used to connoteemotion in my horror trailer and ancillary task. This represents continuity throughout all of mytasks, therefore combines my ancillary task with my moving image task.
SHAUN LIDDLEWhat have you learned from audience feedback?In the construction of my media product I had to highly consider my audience as they play amassive part with my final piece. In order to do this I have made sure I involve my audience withmy production. For example, I produced questionnaires for both my ancillary task and my movingimage task. This managed to help me a great deal as the results I collected allowed me to improvemy work as well as allowing me to get the audiences opinions on my work.When producing questionnaires I decided to make a closed questionnaire and an open questionnaire.I produced the closed questionnaires to gather yes or no answers of questions I thought wherenecessary to aim at my target audience. The closed questionnaires allowed me to gather closedinformation, whereas the open questionnaires allowed me to gather a range of opinions from mytarget audience which are people aged from 15-30. After collecting the results I decided to changemany different aspects of my ancillary task and my moving image task in order to suit theaudience’s opinion. After all, the target audience will ideologically be the people going to view myhorror movie in the cinema and who will also be buying my film magazine in shops.When gathering audience’s opinions in my horror trailer I was able to air my production to the A2Media Studies class and also a number of GCSE students and teachers. After airing my horror trailerI made sure the audience completed one of my questionnaires. This helped me to get opinions onwhich the mixed audience had of my horror trailer and ancillary task. For example, negative aspectswhere highlighted such as too much text on my magazine front cover, and problems with lengthyscenes within my horror trailer. As the audience disliked these points, I had the chance to changemy products to suit their needs.As well as highlighting negative points when completing questionnaires, the audience alsohighlighted some positive aspects within my work. As most of the opinions on my horror trailerwere positive there was very little we had to change. From this I have learned that audiencefeedback plays a massive part within the construction of my A2 coursework.
SHAUN LIDDLEHow did you use media technologies in the construction, research, planning andevaluation stages?Throughout A2 Media Studies I have used a number of technological programmes to produce mycoursework. When producing my ancillary task I used the programme ‘Adobe Photoshop’. Iexperienced no difficulty when using this programme, as I have current experience from GCSE andAS Level coursework. Even though I have previous experience when using Adobe Photoshop I stillmanaged to learn about many different aspects of the programme. For example, this year I editedthe lighting on the photography to suit the horror genre. This is something I haven’t done inprevious years, therefore I have learned a lot from this.I have continued to use ‘BlogSpot’ in A2 Media Studies which allows me to display my work usingdifferent types of media, rather than simply writing a long essay. When using ‘BlogSpot’ I veryregularly use the programme ‘SlideShare’. This allows me to display my work using PowerPointslides, therefore gives the audience a more pleasurable experience when looking at my work. Aswell as using all of these types of technology to display my work, ‘BlogSpot’ gives me theopportunity to display my work to the world, rather than only to teachers, fellow students andexaminers. BlogSpot and SlideShare can all be used in the construction, research, planning andevaluation stages of my A2 coursework.In the construction of my horror trailer I had to adjust to the new experience of using a movingimage camera. At the start of the year I had the chance to film a short chase scene for practice. I feelthis helped me a great deal when eventually using the moving image cameras as it gave me thechance to demonstrate certain camera angles to suit the genre and when becoming to start filmingmy horror trailer, I then knew how to use the cameras correctly for my coursework.When eventually editing my filming, I used the programme ‘iMovie’. As I have never used thisprogramme before, I found the task challenging as I had to adjust to the different tools in which Ineeded to properly edit my filming in order for my trailer to look presentable in terms of ideology.Tools such as clipping, cropping, text clips and colour helped me to edit my horror trailer in orderfor it to look professional to the target audience.
SHAUN LIDDLEFor my soundtrack I had to edit my song with Audacity to make it fit in with the moving imagepiece, this allowed me to gain skills using this programme as I haven’t used this much before. I feelover the year of A2 Media Studies I have gained many new skills when using digital technology.