Question 1My group’s sequence is similar to the introductions of other superhero films, primarily because we looked forother superhero films for inspiration. As with most other superhero films, the opening two minutes do notreveal any of the character’s powers, or even provide any major insight that the character onscreen will gainany powers. We were heavily influenced by Spiderman, which is evident in our sequence as it follows a similarpath. In the initial two minutes of Spiderman, we are introduced to a character that it not very popular and isbullied by his peers, we also find out he is in love with the most popular girl in school, who he is not confidentenough to speak to, but she takes pity on his plight. Our sequence is similar to this with the story of a teenagerbeing bullied and rejected by the girl he loves, and we used voiceovers in a similar style. The main differencebetween Spiderman and our sequence is the character; in Spiderman, the character has very low self-esteem,even in the voiceovers, the character seems insecure. In our sequence, the character attempts to come acrossas a very confident and enigmatic individual, and the voiceovers re-enforce this idea; however as the sequenceprogresses, the audience are shown that it is all an act and the character truthfully is an unpopular anduncharismatic character. This is also contrasting with Ironman as the character in that film is much older, and isa very confident and successful individual. Our sequence focuses more on introducing the main character ofthe film, which will allow the audience to familiarise with him and become more accustomed to him in the film;whereas the start of Ironman introduces the action to the audience and gives them an idea of what to expectin the rest of the film. Despite the focus being on the inclusion of the action sequence, Ironman still managesto leave a positive impression of their protagonist on the audience in the introduction, and from much of thepositive feedback we have received from our audience, I feel we have managed to do the same although ouraudiences feel empathetic for our protagonist, while they were impressed by the protagonist of Ironman.
Question 1I also think our sequence can be related to Kick-Ass with the similar style ofthe introduction. Both films are alike as both have weak and ostracisedprotagonists that have found themselves unsuccessful in love. Both filmsfeature a love interest which is out of reach of the protagonists until muchlater in the films; the difference is that in Kick-Ass, the character is notpopular enough to approach her confidently and succeed in wooing her, whilein our sequence the love interest is not interested in males until the end ofthe film. One of the main similarities between the two introductions is thatKick-Ass are set in a American high school, and our is set in the Britishequivalent. They both begin in very light and humorous moods however themood of our sequence ends off on a more deep and emotional note. Kick-Assdraws humour from crude, vulgar adult jokes, while we attempted toincorporate basic comedy with few indecorous gags although they appeal toour target audience. In both our sequence and Kick-Ass, the protagonistsaspire to become something great; the main character from Kick-Ass wants tobecome a superhero, while the character from our sequence desires tobecome a powerful and renowned police officer, and is forced into becominga superhero.
Question 1We maintained some of the genre conventions in our sequences for instance, as in themajority of superhero films, our superhero is male, in the story we created he foughtthe antagonist twice as well as his minions, and the hero ends up besting the villainand getting the girl. I think the footage we recorded was edited effectively and thisincreased the realism of the piece and made it look professional. The use of voice-overs further supplements the proficient look of the sequence. In my opinion, we havechallenged more of the conventions than we have retained. Unlike most othersuperhero films, the main character is portrayed by an Indian actor; most othersuperhero films feature Caucasian actors. Furthermore, our superhero is in his lateteens while most other superhero films have older protagonists. Additionally ourprotagonist is not born with any superhuman powers, and does not gain any later on,instead his damaged bone structure is replaced with a metal skeletal structure, ourcharacter is more like Batman who does not have any powers either. Anotherconvention we defied was that most superhero films are filmed in America, while oursequence is filmed in the UK.
Question 2I think our sequence re-enforces the modern stereotype of teenagers and theirconsideration that “image is everything” and I think we have shown the stereotypegenerally in a negative way, with the protagonist still remaining as a positive character,allowing the audience to empathise with him. The section of our sequence where akid is being bullied by the other boys shows the criminal and thuggish stereotype ofteenagers that is commonly exaggerated and blown out of proportion by the mediawhich we also demonstrate in a negative approach. When the protagonist arrives toassist, he too is beaten up by them. The whole idea running through the sequence ofthe protagonist attempting to create this artificial image for the audience of himself asa strong, popular guy that is a “hit with the ladies”, this maintains the idea of thepopularity contest that is school life for teenagers. The central character fails in tryingto create a macho image, and again trying to be a ladies man, it is then that theaudience see him for what he really is and feel empathetic. I think in trying to showteenagers in this way, we also managed to represent the male gender. The idea of themale character trying to create and uphold his manly, macho persona and the heavyfocus on the guy trying to get the girl he wants is a negative stereotype of males,which I think we have displayed in an amusing manner.
Question 3I think that there are two major independent film distribution companies thatcould consider distributing our product; North American entertainment giantsLionsgate Entertainment, and the formerly major studio American mediacompany Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). In my opinion MGM would be theprimary candidates, as they have more experience in distributing films similarto ours, with Superhero movie of 2008 being a venture similar to ours. MGMalso have two other endeavours lined up which are in the same genre as ourfilm; they are going to distribute the sequel of G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra entitledG.I. Joe: Retaliation later on this year, and they are going to concentrate onthe home entertainment distribution of Robocop which is to be released in2013. I think that despite their high popularity, Lionsgate would considerdistributing our film as in 2010 they distributed Kick-Ass which was anotherproject similar to ours, and it introduced many new actors which is somethingwe have done in our film. Kick-Ass turned out to be a successful venturedespite the introduction of new talents; this may encourage them to take onour project.
Question 3I think the product should be initially released in the UK and in India and thenexpanded further internationally to Europe and America. I feel this way because lowbudget films without any well-known actors or directors produced in the UK do notusually succeed straight away in America. If the film’s popularity increases in the UK, itcould spark interest in America and this could be a springboard for its internationalsuccess. My reason for saying the film should also be released in India is that it is afilm made in the UK, which features many Indian actors. These types of films aregenerally received well by the Indian public, and films such as Bend It Like Beckham2002 and Bride and Prejudice 2004 are testament to this. Despite it being a low-budget film, it will be received well by the Indian public as it will be the fourth everfilm to feature Indian actors as superheroes.In my opinion, it will be most profitable to release the film originally in the cinemas,before moving onto home entertainment and then television. I think because wewould release the film internationally, television would not be such as successfulmethod of distributing the product initially, and although distributing the film throughthe internet would allow it to reach large amounts of people at once, it would not beas profitable as distributing it through the cinema first.
Question 4The film is principally aimed at males. The film’s target audience ispredominantly teenagers regardless of their interests or lifestyle as I think ourproduct is well rounded and so would have something that would appeal toeveryone, although the product is also aimed at young adults. As our agerating of 15 indicates, the film is not suitable for younger audiences. I thinkthat psychographic factors may influence the target audience; however ourfilm will feature comedy, action and romance and so will cater to the interestsof many people. Our audience feedback showed interesting results, our filmwas aimed predominantly at male teenagers, and the male teenagers thatsaw it provided us with very positive comments on its humour and ambition,and requests to extend the sequence. A surprising result for us was that manyof the female teenagers that saw our sequence also provided us with positivefeedback remarking particularly on its humour, cheek and style. I think if wereally want to draw in more females as a secondary audience, we could makethe existing female characters a more integral part of the film, or introducemore female characters for a subplot.
Question 5In my opinion, the mise-en-scene in our sequence effectively appeals to the audience, as itis set in a location and with situations they will be familiar with. Our sequence is filmed in asecondary school, and so our teenage target audience will be able to relate to it easily. Theuse of teenage actors and extras will assist them further in relating to the setting. Ourfeedback confirmed that we made the correct decisions when selecting our locations. Weused some locations within the school such as the faith centre, in which not many peoplefrom our school have been, however along with the audiences not from The King’s School,they too appreciated the idea. I think our selection of the stereotypes that we used in thesequence was a key factor in enabling the audience to engross themselves and genuinely beable to relate to it. Our piece significantly changed from our initial ideas as we progressed,we initially had the main character as a superhero already, however we would not be ableto execute the initial plans and so we decided to have it so that the main character had notyet become a superhero, and instead focused on the introduction of the main characterand helping the audience familiarise with him. Many of the things we incorporated in thepiece will help our target audience to relate to it as fights and getting rejected by girls arecommon occurrences in schools.
Question 6After producing this sequence, I now appreciate the difficulty of filmmaking, as I didn’tassume that it would be as challenging as it actually was. I personally have learntseveral things through doing this; I learned that it is wise to take several differentshots of the action in different angles and positions to ensure a wide range of possibleclips, which makes the editing easier. I now appreciate the rule of thirds and the 180degree rule as we paid close attention to them, especially to the 180 degree rule whilefilming in a narrow corridor. Also, the different types of shots and that are used implydifferent things, for example, we end the piece with a high-angle shot of the maincharacter; this makes it seem as though the audience is looking down on him. Usingthe Apple Macs to edit the sequence was an interesting and challenging process, aswell as being an enlightening one. I have learnt the difficulties faced when editing, andhow the process of editing is where the film really takes shape. The use of iMovie hastaught me different things such as the manner in which to add effects to the video,how to import sound, edit volume levels, and polish the clips and transitions betweenthem. I think one way of improving would be if we used more voice-overs, I think thiswould have been more effective in certain parts such as the very beginning. Also, Ithink the application of credits is another area which we could improve as there wereissues and we faced difficulties while adding them, I think they could be used in amore impressive way had we not had any issues with the Macs and in uploading thefootage.
Question 7I feel that there has been a significant improvement in the planning and preparation ofthis sequence from our preliminary task. Our introductory task was heavilyimprovised, we had our main idea which was that two unwise agents wereinterrogating a man using heavy force and accusing him of something despite himbeing innocent. We had no idea of the location, dialogue or any action and so we justfound a room, made it appropriate by closing the curtains and blocking light fromentering and leaving two mobile phones on for illumination. We then just improviseddialogue and physical, violent sequences. Contrastingly, for this sequence, we had alarge amount of time to prepare and so we decided on the initial story, dialogue,actors, locations and then we wrote the script and selected shots using a storyboard.We later realised that we would be unable to complete this idea and so we changedthe core of our sequence, while maintaining some of the dialogue. We also madechanges to the cast and found the most appropriate locations to film. We didn’treceive permission to film in two of the locations and so were compelled to go againstthe script and the storyboards and we replaced those two sections of the sequenceand resumed filming. Despite these problems, we had a good idea of what shots wewere going to use as well as the dialogue and so it was not too difficult to film despitethese changes. In the sequence, the filming and footage quality was of a much higherstandard than that of our pilot task.
Question 7In the pilot task, we had the camera panning twice as the characters entered andexited the room, while they were in the room; the camera remained in the sameplace, held by the cameraman who was sat on a desk. We were strapped for time andso we just ran through it section by section with the camera running, we only took oneshot for each component of the small sequence and didn’t vary the position of thecamera. On the other hand, when filming the new sequence, we had access to atripod which stabilised the camera and allowed easy panning and tilting without thecamera wobbling. We incorporated many different angles and shot types to keep theaudience engaged and we constantly repeated things placing the camera in differentpositions to get several takes which gave us a wealth of options during the editing.After uploading the footage onto the Macs and selecting the desired footage, wecompiled the shots chronologically and then began bringing the piece together. Wetrimmed many of the clips to allow smoother transitions between them, we alsoadded the misty effect to support the dream sequence and make the idea of it being adaydream more obvious, we also had a slight change of costume for the dreamsequence to help make it more evident. We heavily incorporated music in this pieceusing three songs in the sequence to make it more entertaining and to help it flow, aswell as adding a voice-over to add to the authenticity and to assist the flow of thepiece further.