Media Studies AS – Foundation Portfolio <ul><li>Project Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Francesca Rigg </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
My project is the opening sequence for a thriller film. My group consisted of me, Charlie Bolton and Sophie Banner. Whilst filming I also worked with Jessica Hall who was our female actress. I didn’t really have one set role in the project as we all worked together to complete all the posts on our blog which we named ‘film and cut’ and sort out the filming schedules. However, individually I sorted out the costume design for Jessica and helped to film the majority of the sequence. Introduction ___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
<ul><li>We decided to make the genre of our film a thriller. In modern day society all thriller films tend to follow specific conventions . This meant that when we were deciding the topic and micro elements such as mise en scene for our opening sequence, we chose to follow the typical conventions that are expected today. This is because thriller films have become a popular choice between young people so our target audience know exactly what they want to see and their expectations need to be met. </li></ul><ul><li>One typical convention of a thriller film is keeping the audience waiting for the next thing to happen and therefore creating tension. Another convention that’s used a lot is psychopathic or just general killers. They usually involve young people and are set within leafy suburban towns or places like university campus’s for example the well known horror Scream. Close ups and fast paced editing are also used throughout thrillers to build up tension. </li></ul><ul><li>When filming we chose to follow these conventions, for example we shot it in the little village of Whalley and used young teenage actors. We also based our story on a psychopathic killer named ‘the night stalker.’ </li></ul>Qn1: In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? ___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
<ul><li>Our opening sequence contains lots of close ups and quick shots of photographs of the men she’s already killed and the time she plans on killing our protagonist. </li></ul><ul><li>However, I felt that we challenged the conventions in one specific way. Generally in thriller films the male is the psychotic killer and the glamorous teenage girl is the victim. This is clear in thrillers such as ‘Halloween’ and ‘When a Stranger Calls.’ In our sequence, we swapped this round and made the female the murderer, and the male the poor innocent victim. It is vital to do something new to the genre because it will have a positive effect on the audience feedback. This is because they will enjoy experiencing something their not used to viewing as seeing the same conventions in every film could get boring. </li></ul><ul><li>The opening sequence could potentially be the most important part of the film as this is what the audience sees first. Because of this, its vital that the opening sequence makes a good impression and sets up the atmosphere and audiences moods for the remainder of the film. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
<ul><li>We created a questionnaire for our audience to fill in when they watched our film. On this questionnaire we asked questions to see if they conventions and elements we used were successful. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Audience Feedback As you can see from this result, 80% of our audience could immediately tell it was a thriller proving our attempt successful. Another question we asked was would you want to carry on watching to the end of the film. Again from this result it is clear to see the majority of people would want to carry on watching.
<ul><li>Other questions included ‘What did you find interesting about our sequence?’ which most people replied “the music” and “the photographs at the beginning and ‘Do you think we managed to create the thriller genre successfully?’ to which most people (around 85%) answered ‘yes.’ </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ “ I found the photographs at the start the most interesting thing” “ The music defiantly matched the chosen genre” Although we received a few negative comments the majority of our audience feedback was really positive and showed us that we had obviously been successful with our final product.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>The social groups represented in our opening sequence are young adults. We have used two characters, the protagonist male and the female ‘night stalker.’ Our protagonist is dressed normally, in trendy designer clothes. He is portrayed as being very ordinary as he goes about his everyday business. </li></ul><ul><li>The cinematography used on him are usually medium/long shots, never properly showing his face or reactions. The audience aren’t given any information about him which results in a possible miss representation being made about who he actually is. He leaves the house after the desk shots have just been shown, and drives off into the night almost suggesting he is the ‘night stalker’ which leaves the audience guessing. </li></ul><ul><li>Our young female character is shot in an entirely different way. The first image we see of her is her black stilettos as she turns the corner to approach the car. The camera then slowly moves up her body revealing a red dress but not showing her face as her identity is kept a mystery. She clearly goes against the killer stereotype with what she’s wearing and the fact that she is a young glamorous female. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Qn2:
<ul><li>In order to produce a successful thriller film you need a top British production company to fund the making of it for example Working Title. However, to distribute the film to a wider audience as possible a Hollywood distributer would be necessary. For example Warner Brothers, Columbia, Paramount Pictures etc.. </li></ul><ul><li>After researching these companies I found that Columbia were the main distributors of teen thriller films which is why I feel they would be the best people to back my product. I feel they would be happy to support my film because I have chosen a popular genre and a suitable storyline. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Qn3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>The target audience for our media product would be teenagers aged 16-25. I think it is suitable for both genders and any ethnicity or nationality. It would appeal to middle class people group A-C1 because they would be able to identify with the victim socially and financially as he is from a slightly wealthy suburban town and wears designer brands. </li></ul><ul><li>This would be a good audience to target because they are financially stable so they have the money to spend on visiting the cinema to view the film and buying it as a DVD. Another reason is because it’s a mass audience which means it would get a huge response. This is because thriller is one of the most popular genre between young people today. </li></ul><ul><li>It might possibly also appeal to secondary audiences. For example people aged 25-30 may enjoy our product as well. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Qn4:
How did you attract/address your audience? <ul><li>The narrative in the opening sequence sets up equilibrium by the ordinary shots such as the protagonist leaving his house and entering his car, and the desk showing photographs and a clock. This is then disrupted when we hear the gun shot as everything is fairly normal up to this point. Equilibrium is not restored because its only the opening sequence so it has the rest of the film to answer any enigmas and restore it. </li></ul><ul><li>We created a sense of time throughout the opening sequence as it begins in the day time when all is well and he leaves the house. It then turns to night and darkens when the night stalker approaches the car to murder him. </li></ul><ul><li>Many enigmas are created such as ‘Who is this woman?’ ‘Why does she want to kill him?’ and ‘What happens next?.’ Even though its only a small sequence, many enigmas are made. This is good because it makes the audience want to watch the rest of the film and keeps them guessing as they want their questions to be answered. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Qn5:
<ul><li>Tension is built up in the sequence through elements such as the music used and cinematography. Tension is one of the most important features to be used in a thriller so it was vital that we created it. </li></ul><ul><li>We decided to use two different extracts of music, one for the shots of the male character and one for the shots of the night stalker. The music that plays on the shots of the protagonist is low key and tense providing an ominous feeling as the audience are waiting for something bad to happen. On the other hand, when the night stalker appears, or her desk of photographs is shown, the music is fast paced and high pitched again adding to the tension and matching her quest for murder. The music was very important in our product because we decided not to use any dialogue. </li></ul><ul><li>The opening sequence begins with a shot of the desk revealing the photographs of all her past victims. The lighting on these shots are dark with a dim light shining across the table. This sets the mood for the entire sequence, showing the audience what's to come. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
<ul><li>For the mise-en-scene we tried to use the colour red throughout the sequence to connote death, blood and murder. The title at the beginning ‘The Night Stalker’ is in red, she wears a red dress and also red lipstick. </li></ul><ul><li>We decided to keep the props simple, so we didn’t use that many. The first props you see are the photo graphs we took of her victims. Other props included post it notes, the protagonists car, and newspapers in which we found the classified sections. </li></ul><ul><li>After researching various opening sequences such as Se7en and clips of thriller films such as Saw we found a pattern of fast paced editing. This meant we decided to use this in our product as it again creates tension and is relevant to our chosen genre. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? <ul><li>For our research we mainly used the internet. We used Google to look up the various thriller films and their plot lines. The website we were mostly directed to was www.Wikipedia.com . You tube was also used a lot. This was to actually watch the different opening sequences and see the editing music sound etc… </li></ul><ul><li>To embed our music into our sequence we used an external hard drive. </li></ul><ul><li>I felt the cameras were quite simple and easy to use however we were limited to the amount of time we could film due to the poor batteries. This even meant that one day when we got ready to film we weren't able to because the battery had died. This means that next time we film we will make sure we have at least two working batteries before we start filming. </li></ul><ul><li>For our audience feedback we created a questionnaire using word processing program on the computer. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Qn6:
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? <ul><li>In our preliminary task we created a short video of a conversation between me and Sophie. I felt we did well on this task considering it was our first practice with camera equipment. However, when we compare this to our actual opening sequence, clear improvements have been made. For example, we didn’t use a large variety of shots in our preliminary it was filmed very simply. However in our full product we tried to get as many different shots in as we could. We didn’t spend a lot of time filming it, so our time and effort wasn’t 100% unlike when we were filming our final product where we spent 3 days filming and did weeks of research and development. do believe our preliminary task was very successful however the final product was much better. </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout the research and production we changed our story a few times because we kept realising they didn’t make sense. Eventually we settled on one story and agreed the final result was the most realistic. </li></ul>___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Qn7:
<ul><li>Overall I feel that my media product was successful and was what I intended to achieve. One strength of our product was that we closely followed the conventions of a thriller genre with a slight twist. Another strength is that our editing is smooth when changing from each shot. This makes it look professional and cuts out any unnecessary bits. However I feel we have a few flaws. One weakness is that the camera work was quite shaky. This was because it wasn’t always secured on the tripod properly. Another weakness was the quality of the camera, in some parts of the sequence it was grainy and not very clear. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately I feel that because we had never used cameras or shot a film before we did quite well, and that the finished article was mainly what I expected. I am very pleased with our coursework and believe we have worked hard for our finished product. I also believe I have learnt a lot from this experience for example new knowledge about thriller films and how to use camera equipment with editing programs. </li></ul>Conclusion ___________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________