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My Evaluation – Question 1
Ashleigh Foy
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or
challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Throughout my research into already existing trailers, I analysed many conventions that
each trailer shared, down to things such as the structure and content that I took
inspiration from for my own. Looking back, I believe that my final product/trailer uses,
develops and also challenges these forms and conventions. To answer this question I will
show, through images and video, what how and why I chose to do each process
throughout my coursework.
To begin my initial research, I wanted to analyse and pick apart the conventions of horror
trailers that had a direct related quality in terms of genre, filming/angles
(cinematography), and structure to the trailers that I hoped to create by the end of my
coursework. The trailers that I chose to anaylse were; 'The Conjuring', 'Let the Right One
In' and 'The Woman In Black'.
One convention that we used in our own trailer through analysing the trailers was the
important feature of the introduction and establishment of the main character/s. We felt
that it was important to Ellie's character at the beginning of the trailer as she is the
protagonist and this would also link to the Blumler and Katz Uses and Gratifications
theory; which states that the audience would be able to identify with the character
towards the start. In the case of our trailer, our character is escaping to be alone
(equilibrium) which may be very relatable to some viewers and so they are instantly
gripped to the trailer and keep watching.
As you can see from the screenshots above (The Conjuring trailer on the left and our Lullaby
trailer on the left), that the main characters in the film have been introduced within the first
10 seconds to instantly attract members of the audience. For example the viewers who are
parents of a family would most likely relate to The Conjuring trailer however more of
teenage generation may relate to our trailer from the feeling of escapism.
A further key convention of a film trailer, and in my opinion a feature that draws me most to
see a film, is the soundtrack. In most Blockbuster films, there is almost always dialogue to
lead the audience through the trailer and set the theme, however we decided not to use
any dialogue or voice over in our trailer. This challenges the conventions of a normal trailer
where many rely on a voice over to create tension or build mystery, especially trailers in the
horror genre. An example of this would be the renowned British film "The Woman In Black",
where this is a key component.
However, this isn't always the case as
dialogue is not always needed to carry
a trailer and it be successful. An
example of this would be the Swedish
film 'Let the Right One In'. In this
instance, the use of imagery and
soundtrack are used to create suspense
and tension, as the only dialogue is
very short at the end and subtitled. This
is where we took our inspiration from
by using our cinematography and music
overlay to create a sense of horror and
mystery to entice the audience with a
few title screens and no voice over. The
one frame from our trailer that
captured this horror was our last scene,
of a hand dripping with blood. We did
this as it has connotations of
murder/death without showing a
physical body, for example, which
would not be suitable to be shown on
television along with the fact that we
didn't want to give too much away to
the audience.
The idea for the shot at the end actually originated from the original trailer
for ‘The Shining’, in which blood pours from an elevator, drowning the
camera in a wave of blood. Obviously, we could not create the same effect
(as it would be too expensive). However, the use of blood gave the eerie feel
without showing the graphic detail of a dead body.
An essential convention of a trailer is that of the title screen that is used to
display the title of the film near the end of the trailer. In our research, it was
clear to see that there was some form of branding that occurred from the
choice of font that they used as the title card (which can clearly be seen in the
example of ‘The Conjuring’ which uses the same front for it’s trailer and poster
to create a brand).
To draw inspiration from research that we had seen, Zoe and I used a conventional font
that we both displayed in different ways. We both used the same font on our posters,
however, Zoe had a white colouring with a motion blur that created a ghosting effect,
whereas I used a deep red colouring that was smoked out to create a sense of mystery.
For the trailer we decided to combine these two themes to create a branding for our
product. The actual word 'Lullaby' itself is also conventional in the fact that many horror
film titles are straight to the point and short so that it is easy for the audience to
remember.
The camera shots that are seen in our trailer are heavily based on cinematography
inspiration from other films that Zoe and I have researched and seen in our own time.
The main inspiration came from 'The Shining', 'The Conjuring', 'Let the Right One In'
and 'The Woman In Black', that all had amazing camera angles and overall imagery
that gave us ideas for our own.
Another important convention of a trailer is the production company Ident. As we
considered our trailer as the style of an 'Independent' film, we decided to create
something that would challenge the conventions of a big budget 'Blockbuster' Ident.
A lot of these leading film Idents are created digitally using computer generation
which would typically cost huge amounts of money and time, which both were not
luxuries that we had. Our main inspiration for our Ident came from the Independent
film 'Napoleon Dynamite'. After research, we found that this scene was created on a
very low budget and was yet still very creative. This opening scene shows multiple
shots of hands revealing objects that display the names of the cast, crew and
production company.
Our Ident was produced on the basis of the research previously mentioned that
was so creative. To bring that element to our own, we decided to create a sped up
flipbook animation sequence that titled our production company name 'Spectre
House Productions'. We felt that this successfully challenged the form of typical
Ident styles.
We carried out our filming process in two different locations, that with props and lighting
we made look like one single location. The two locations we picked; a Parisian apartment
and a Victorian house in Crosby, were perfect locations for the eerie feeling of our trailer.
The dated setting of both locations coincided with each other to create a periodic look to
our mise-en-scene. Through research and knowledge, a lot of horror films are set in
period properties such as 'The Woman In Black', as seen in the image below. This decision
for the setting of our trailer is very conventional and clearly denotes to the audience that
the film/trailer is of the horror genre.
As well as drawing inspiration for our trailer from 'The Woman In Black', as I
analysed the whole marketing campaign behind the film, I drew on the poster for
ideas for my own poster for 'Lullaby'. I loved the composition of this trailer and
the added creative elements and the branding of the film can be seen
throughout the whole advertising campaign, which I wanted to try and portray
across both my ancillary products and my trailer.
When I was researching magazines to gain
inspiration from, I found that many
established magazines such as 'Total Film',
use computer generated technologies to
compose their main images and overall
layout. As this type of technology was not
available to me, I researched and found a
magazine known as 'Film Comment' that
was much less established, yet used
minimalistic layout to draw the audiences'
attention to the main image. I chose one
of the issues that I felt best suited my
vision for my magazine cover and looked
at the codes and conventions that
challenge the typical covers of other
movie magazines. As you can see I gained
inspiration from the simplistic
photography (that was within my ability),
and the colour scheme that runs
throughout different elements of the
cover.

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My evaluation – question 1

  • 1. My Evaluation – Question 1 Ashleigh Foy
  • 2. 1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Throughout my research into already existing trailers, I analysed many conventions that each trailer shared, down to things such as the structure and content that I took inspiration from for my own. Looking back, I believe that my final product/trailer uses, develops and also challenges these forms and conventions. To answer this question I will show, through images and video, what how and why I chose to do each process throughout my coursework.
  • 3. To begin my initial research, I wanted to analyse and pick apart the conventions of horror trailers that had a direct related quality in terms of genre, filming/angles (cinematography), and structure to the trailers that I hoped to create by the end of my coursework. The trailers that I chose to anaylse were; 'The Conjuring', 'Let the Right One In' and 'The Woman In Black'.
  • 4. One convention that we used in our own trailer through analysing the trailers was the important feature of the introduction and establishment of the main character/s. We felt that it was important to Ellie's character at the beginning of the trailer as she is the protagonist and this would also link to the Blumler and Katz Uses and Gratifications theory; which states that the audience would be able to identify with the character towards the start. In the case of our trailer, our character is escaping to be alone (equilibrium) which may be very relatable to some viewers and so they are instantly gripped to the trailer and keep watching. As you can see from the screenshots above (The Conjuring trailer on the left and our Lullaby trailer on the left), that the main characters in the film have been introduced within the first 10 seconds to instantly attract members of the audience. For example the viewers who are parents of a family would most likely relate to The Conjuring trailer however more of teenage generation may relate to our trailer from the feeling of escapism.
  • 5. A further key convention of a film trailer, and in my opinion a feature that draws me most to see a film, is the soundtrack. In most Blockbuster films, there is almost always dialogue to lead the audience through the trailer and set the theme, however we decided not to use any dialogue or voice over in our trailer. This challenges the conventions of a normal trailer where many rely on a voice over to create tension or build mystery, especially trailers in the horror genre. An example of this would be the renowned British film "The Woman In Black", where this is a key component.
  • 6. However, this isn't always the case as dialogue is not always needed to carry a trailer and it be successful. An example of this would be the Swedish film 'Let the Right One In'. In this instance, the use of imagery and soundtrack are used to create suspense and tension, as the only dialogue is very short at the end and subtitled. This is where we took our inspiration from by using our cinematography and music overlay to create a sense of horror and mystery to entice the audience with a few title screens and no voice over. The one frame from our trailer that captured this horror was our last scene, of a hand dripping with blood. We did this as it has connotations of murder/death without showing a physical body, for example, which would not be suitable to be shown on television along with the fact that we didn't want to give too much away to the audience.
  • 7. The idea for the shot at the end actually originated from the original trailer for ‘The Shining’, in which blood pours from an elevator, drowning the camera in a wave of blood. Obviously, we could not create the same effect (as it would be too expensive). However, the use of blood gave the eerie feel without showing the graphic detail of a dead body.
  • 8. An essential convention of a trailer is that of the title screen that is used to display the title of the film near the end of the trailer. In our research, it was clear to see that there was some form of branding that occurred from the choice of font that they used as the title card (which can clearly be seen in the example of ‘The Conjuring’ which uses the same front for it’s trailer and poster to create a brand).
  • 9. To draw inspiration from research that we had seen, Zoe and I used a conventional font that we both displayed in different ways. We both used the same font on our posters, however, Zoe had a white colouring with a motion blur that created a ghosting effect, whereas I used a deep red colouring that was smoked out to create a sense of mystery. For the trailer we decided to combine these two themes to create a branding for our product. The actual word 'Lullaby' itself is also conventional in the fact that many horror film titles are straight to the point and short so that it is easy for the audience to remember.
  • 10. The camera shots that are seen in our trailer are heavily based on cinematography inspiration from other films that Zoe and I have researched and seen in our own time. The main inspiration came from 'The Shining', 'The Conjuring', 'Let the Right One In' and 'The Woman In Black', that all had amazing camera angles and overall imagery that gave us ideas for our own.
  • 11. Another important convention of a trailer is the production company Ident. As we considered our trailer as the style of an 'Independent' film, we decided to create something that would challenge the conventions of a big budget 'Blockbuster' Ident. A lot of these leading film Idents are created digitally using computer generation which would typically cost huge amounts of money and time, which both were not luxuries that we had. Our main inspiration for our Ident came from the Independent film 'Napoleon Dynamite'. After research, we found that this scene was created on a very low budget and was yet still very creative. This opening scene shows multiple shots of hands revealing objects that display the names of the cast, crew and production company.
  • 12. Our Ident was produced on the basis of the research previously mentioned that was so creative. To bring that element to our own, we decided to create a sped up flipbook animation sequence that titled our production company name 'Spectre House Productions'. We felt that this successfully challenged the form of typical Ident styles.
  • 13. We carried out our filming process in two different locations, that with props and lighting we made look like one single location. The two locations we picked; a Parisian apartment and a Victorian house in Crosby, were perfect locations for the eerie feeling of our trailer. The dated setting of both locations coincided with each other to create a periodic look to our mise-en-scene. Through research and knowledge, a lot of horror films are set in period properties such as 'The Woman In Black', as seen in the image below. This decision for the setting of our trailer is very conventional and clearly denotes to the audience that the film/trailer is of the horror genre.
  • 14. As well as drawing inspiration for our trailer from 'The Woman In Black', as I analysed the whole marketing campaign behind the film, I drew on the poster for ideas for my own poster for 'Lullaby'. I loved the composition of this trailer and the added creative elements and the branding of the film can be seen throughout the whole advertising campaign, which I wanted to try and portray across both my ancillary products and my trailer.
  • 15. When I was researching magazines to gain inspiration from, I found that many established magazines such as 'Total Film', use computer generated technologies to compose their main images and overall layout. As this type of technology was not available to me, I researched and found a magazine known as 'Film Comment' that was much less established, yet used minimalistic layout to draw the audiences' attention to the main image. I chose one of the issues that I felt best suited my vision for my magazine cover and looked at the codes and conventions that challenge the typical covers of other movie magazines. As you can see I gained inspiration from the simplistic photography (that was within my ability), and the colour scheme that runs throughout different elements of the cover.