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Evaluation of the 2 Minute Main Task

evaluating the areas of the main task.
by

Whitney McKernan

on 13 May 2010

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Transcript of Evaluation of the 2 Minute Main Task

Characters and Costumes used in the Main Task Karly played by Whitney McKernan
For this character we decided to leave the hair down as it would look more effective when the character was running as it would show the speed and pace of the piece when it was free and windswept. We also decided to use a bright purple eyeshadow to show that her character was a bright and loud person. It also helps to show that this is the main character as the other girl character has very naturalistic and plain make-up. For this character we often smudged my makeup to make it look as if she had been crying. This also helped to show her reaction to being drugged and the fear the character was feeling. Hair and Make-up We decided to use dark black skinny jeans
and we made the top half of the costume
lighter colours as it then keeps the audiences
focus on the upper body language of the
character Top Half of Costume We used a blazer and pashmina scarf to keep in
with todays fashion and to show the time zone of
the piece and also to show that this character is up
tp date with things such as fashion and the sort of
style and personality she has.
We also used a statement teeshirt to show her
personality. Idealy i would of been running with out a
jacket and just a teeshirt like before but it was too cold
and raining to film without it. Attention to Detail We used these badges to show Karly's
personality and outlook on life even though
it is a tiny detail.
Karly's character is very outspoken and
individual. She makes her own views on life
and has her own style.
Footware Footware is also a minor attention to detail but
as we shot many shots from ground level just
showing the feet we felt it was important to make
each characters footware different so it would help the audience to know which character was which without
seeing the upper half of the body.
Karly's footware is plain plimsoles but with bright neon
to show that she considers every part of her and
to show who she is to the outside world. Costume Top Half of Costume Footware
Hair Sam played by Nik Jones Danni played by Lauren Kirby Hair and Make-up Footware Top Half of Costume The Stalker played by Kevin Smibert Hair Footware Costume was important to our piece as
we wanted to try and relate to our
target audience as best as possible.
The costume also helps to tell the
audience alot about the characters we
created. We kept the clothing and make-up of this charcter quite plain
to help show the status of the characters and to show the
audience to which charcter there focuse should be on. Dannii's footware is quite distinctive
to show that she follows today's
fashion instead of alternative. We left the characters hair down at the beginning
of the film and put her hood up towards the end.
This was to help show that the weather had changed
and become colder. We kept the make-up of this
character quite plain to show that she was more of the
follower in the friendship between her and Karly rather
than the leader. Due to the the weather on the day of filming
the actor had to keep her hoody on to stay warm
whilst filming. We decided though that this added
effect as she was wearing a bright purple hoody
and dark jeans which helped keep focus on the top
half.
For Sam we decided that he would also be more into alternative fashion like his girlfriend Karly. We decided to keep Sam's hair natural and wavy like the actors natural hair. This would show contrast to the stalker as he has straight styled hair. Sam’s top half of the costume is quite dark as
with this charchter we focused more on filming
the bottom half of him so his trousers were of a
brighter colour to show the focus. We kept the
top half patterened though to still show the type
of fashion he followed. Although this footware doesn't entirely fit with type of
style we were going for for this chrachter, we felt it
important that the actor wore comfortable footware as
he would be featured in most of the running shots. also
with the bright colours it helps to focus the audience in. We decided to keep this character in completely dark clothing to make him seem more scary and to build tension. We decided to have simon’s hair styled and gelled but
we also kept his hood up till the end to hide his identity.
Also by having it styled and by having him wear a chain
it showed that he was from a different stereo type from
the other charcters. Top Half of Costume We had him wearing a sports jacket which was black
to show what sterotype he was from and that
he was different from the other characters. Attention to Detail We had him wearing gloves to show that he had
thought through this plan and he wouldnt leave any
DNA. it also makes the character seem more terrifying
as most of skin apart from the bottom half of his face is covered. We kept the footware within the stereotype and sporty look. We also had it fit in with occurring theme of black/dark clothing. 7 Evaluation Questions - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

We attempted using forms and conventions from horror/thriller films by the use of camera angles that we used that are often used in this genre of film. For instance close ups and over the shoulder shots so the audience could get the prospective from the stalkers point of view. A way in which we challenged the conventions was by having the main character who's story we are following (Karly) and the character of Sam being murdered whereas it is common to have the main character or the protagonist defeat the antagonist character or at least be the sole survivor of the action. We tried to use a realistic setting and location as possible to show that this is a possible situation which many films of today use as well. Another way in which we challenged the conventions was by filming it in daylight whereas most horror films are filmed in the dark to create more shadows.

- How does your media product represent particular social groups?

With our two minute opening we were aiming to represent common teenagers that the youth of today could relate to. The 3 friends we created, Karly, Dannii and Sam, could easily represent any group of friends from any social stereotype. The particular stereotype we were aiming for though was indie/mod. This is because the way they dress, act and the social activities they participate in is that of a common teenager or what most teenagers of today would consider 'cool'. This helped to show the popularity of the characters. We tried to base our characters around the actors themselves as they were the typical teenager.

- What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

I think that we would be able to get an institution such as film4 to distribute our product as it has a strong storyline and characters that film4's audience could relate to. Our target audience is the same sort of audience that film4 itself aims at when making there own films. Film4 films are of general low budget such as ours but as we tryed to make our film of the highest quality possible I believe that it could be accepted by this institution.

- Who would be the audience for your media product?

The audience we were aiming for was 15-40 year olds and a certificate of 15 as we wanted to add as much violence and gore as we could to bring about the right amount of fear we thought our storyline would create. We felt that choosing an adolecent audience we would use our own knowledge of what type of things make a horror/thriller terrifying and add them to the piece. We avoided making a piece under the certificate of 15 as we felt personally from watching films bellow that certificate they were not terrifying enough. Also some of the scenarios and themes we look at in our piece would not be suitable for a young audience to watch as there is an excessive amount of violence and weapons shown that people of a young age would not be able to look at in a mature level.

- How did you attract/ address your audience?

We tried to attract our audience as best as possible by making our film seem a realistic situation as possible. We portrayed the characters as typical teenagers to try to relate to our target audience. We felt this would create more tension and fear with our piece as having the characters at the same age range as the audience would hopefully make it seem more real and the fear would be created because it is a situation they themselves could unfortunately find themselves in. Another way in which we attempted to attract the audience to our piece was if this was a full fetaure length film we showed the end at the beginning. By doing so the audience would hopefully continue to watch the piece to see how the story progressed from the beginning and see what could of possibly caused something like this to happen.

- What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

From filming this piece i have learnt how to use a handheld video camera recorder. I have also learnt how to correctly edit a film and add a soundtrack and edit the sound levels of a piece of film. I learnt how to cut pieces of the film and move them to the correct place. I have also learnt how to use certain camera angles in the correct way to create a certain atmosphere.

- Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

From making our preliminary task I felt we have realized that a great deal of planning is involved with making a film, even a two minute piece. Every aspect has to be overlooked such as props, costumes, locations, and dialogue. I've realized that it is also highly important to create story boards so the actor and crew know exactly what they are doing for each shot. Continuity is of high importance to keep the atmosphere and emotions you are trying to create for the audience stable and on going. If there is a slight change in costume or setting this will distract the audience from what you are trying to portray. Another thing I personally realised about making a film is you have to have the right amount of enthusiasm and belief in your ideas because if you don't this will come across to the audience. Soundtrack
Music was an issue for our piece because only after editting we were told that we were unable to use copyrighted music witthout getting the artist’s pemission. We managed to get hold of the person who discovered ‘The Prodigy’ ,the band who’s music we were using, but he then told us as they had changed record labels it was no longer up to the group or himself to give permission to use the track. We then were told to try get hold of the record label who owned them but we were unable to get hold of anybody who would be able to take the matter further and actually give us permission to use the track. We understand and realise that in a professional situation we would not be able to use the track without the owner’s permission, but due to lack of time and deadline’s we felt we had to go with the edit we had.
When looking over the footage we decided that this music fitted best with the scenario and speed of the action.
This type of music is not a usual convention for a horror/thriller film as usually they are slow paced and eerie but we wanted to bring our piece more up to date and the music genre we chose tied in with the drug factor as it is stereotyped as music recreational drug users listen to.
This track has also been used in horror film though such as 'house of wax'.
When it came to the piece we slightly editted the song so certain beats were at certain points in the film. Planning When it came to planning i feel we did a sufficent amount.
We went through all aspects of the storyline, characters, costumes,
soundtrack, shots we wanted to use and health and safety. We did
this by creating storyboards and creating a great amount of research
into our piece. Story board Ideas for the Main Task OBSESSION

Charachters:
Main girl- Karly
Boyfriend- Sam
Friend- Dannii
Stalker- Simon

Plot:
- At a party in the woods
- loud music and party lighting, people enjoying themselves, dark
- Drink spiking: boyfriend making drink and gets distracted, Stalker spikes the drink and gives it to KArly saying it is from her boyfriend.
- Stalker makes a move.
- Karly’s dialogue, having a go at him finding out about all the ways he has been stalking her.
- She walks off into the woods as you see the drugs take effect.
- He follows her.
- She starts to run.
- He runs after when music kicks in.
- Boyfriend asking the friend where she has gone.
- Realises whats happened and chases.
- Karly hides behind a tree.
- Sam calls her.
- Simon hears phone and goes towards the tree.
- Shot of Karly behind the tree holding a stick.
- When simon is near the tree and Karly comes round and smacks him in the chest.
- Goes down and grabs her leg which brings her down.
- Kicks him in the face (camera) and runs.
- Boyfriend running and shouting name and looking round.
- Hears her scream and runs in that direction.
- Back to Karly and Simon, she runs off, he gets up with bleeding nose and pulls out a knife.
- Boyfriend catches up.
- See fight scene in flashes.
- See simon covered in blood holding knife.
- Wipes hand across face leaving blood, breathing heavily.
- Line “let me show you how an obsession grows.” Problems and Changes With filming our 2 minute piece we experienced a lot of problems.
I think the first time we filmed it, it went well as all the actors worked hard on improvising scenes and we got some well structured and interesting shots. When it came to uploading and editing our piece we experienced many problems. First of all our footage would not upload to the system, secondly when watching it back we realised we had not got enough footage to edit and cut down into a 2 minute piece, and thirdly when watching the piece back we realised we had major continuity eras and people who had come down to watch from another group were seen in the background waving at the camera which ruined those shots.
We tried our hardest to do the best we could with the footage we had and to find a way to upload it. When realising there was no possible way we decided to re-film the entire project. Even then we came across problems again. We couldn’t film for a long time because members of the group experienced a variety of personal problems and since we are all taking the same subjects we were trying to get the exam work in for other subjects on their deadlines. Also the actors we had used before were no longer available so we had to use all 3 members of the group and managed to get hold of someone hours before we were due to film. We then had a problem with the cameras battery and ended up having to film the piece over a span of 4 days only leaving us 3 days to upload and edit, also on a few of these days we were filming between and after lessons so we were loosing light fast.
When we first filmed we forgot to add in the original party scene’s to explain why karly is drugged and why she’s suddenly in the wood’s which was probably why we had a lack of footage. I felt this was because when filming the first time we all had a lack of focus and enthusiasm. When we came to deciding to re-film it we decided to set it in a beer garden of a pub and luckily we managed to get permission to film at ‘The Brickmakers’ and they were also kind enough to supply us with some props we were lacking. I felt this was a great location as it was close to the general public to show that the victim is in no kind of danger to begin with from when she is alone in the wood’s. We did experience problems with the sound on this location though as it was next to a main road and we had to try and talk above the noise of traffic.
Our initial idea was to have a massive party in the woods and to film in school but we decided to cut these scenes and look for an easier location which was 'The Brickmakers' Continuity Errors We only had a few continuity errors with our two minute piece. For starters
we had to film over the span of four days and on one of the days I forgot to
bring the scarf i was wearing so we had to improvise and found a scarf that looked similar to the one we originally filmed with. We then added in a scene where the stalker pull's of the scarf and sniffs it so within the close-up shots the audience wouldn't be able to tell it was a different scarf. This helped though as when we filmed the scenes with the knife to Karly's throat the scarf wasn't in the way.
Another one we encountered was Dannii's hair as when we began to film she had her hair down and curly and on another day it was up and straight so we had to put the hood up for this character.
During editting we also realised that in one of the fight scenes we missed out a bit where you can hear the person filming shout go. We didn't realise this till we uploaded the video to the blog and had no time to change it. Improvements I feel that overal we were all very proud of the piece we created and
there was not much that we could improve on as we all worked well
as a team and listened to each others ideas, we had done a sufficient
amount of planning so we all knew what we were doing. We were given
individual areas to plan (for instance mine was characters, costumes and
props) but we all made the final decisions together as then we would all
be happy with the end result. I think we worked well as a team as we are
all close friends and all encouraged one another to do the best we could,
although this was also a problem as sometimes we distracted one another, Location We decided to film in Mousehold woods and also at
'The Brickmakers' as they were local areas and accesible
to all of us.I thought that these were brilliant locations
as they really contrastedone another. They were also
common places that people would go so it was attractive
to the audience as they could relate. Health and Safety Due to the genre we chose, we had a lot of health and safety issues as there was someone running with a knife and also holding to another’s throat. We overcame these as we ran through those scenes over and over and blocked them so we got them perfect so no one would get hurt. We also did the same with the fight scenes and ran over the running scenes to make sure everyone knew exactly where they had to go. We also checked the area to make sure there was nothing that could harm us whilst doing falling scenes. With these scene’s i also researched and went through a step by step guide with the group of how to film certain shot’s that would be potentionally harmful to the actors without actually putting them in any danger. For instance, with the angle of the shot and the distance from the actor’s, when the stalker is slitting Karly’s throat you don’t actually realise that the stalker is quite far away from the actor (myself) playing Karly.

Here is a list of the angles and shots we used for Health and Safety reasons As we are filming a lot of scenes to do with knifes and also fight scenes I've had to look at alternative ways for filming these scenes.

For instance:
- we are going to have Karly hitting the stalker with some sort of weapon, preferably a tree branch. For this scene we are going to have to make sure that the area the stalker lands in is clear and that he falls down in a comfortable way so as not to hurt himself. We are planning to film this scene straight on so it looks like I am hitting the stalker with the branch when actually I plan to stop just before I get to him about 10 cm away.
- The stalker is then going to pull Karly over so we also have to make sure that area is clear. I am going to fall on my side and put my hands out so i can lower myself down to the landing. We are going to do this as quite a low shot so it is not so evident that I am lowering myself into the position on the floor.
- Karly (myself) then kicks the stalker in the face. With this part we've decided to have me kicking the camera instead. With doing this I will not harm Kevin then. We plan to have Kevin holding the camera from the point of view of where he would be lying and when my foot gets close to the camera he is going to pull it back so we don't damage the camera either.
-Another scene is the stalker pulling the scarf off of Karly's neck. i am going to wear the scarf very loosely at this point so as no risk of strangulation.
- When Kevin has the knife in his hand we had originally planned for him to run down with it but we thought this would be a danger hazard as if he trips he could possibly harm himself.
- When the knife is at my throat we are going to film it from behind so the knife doesn't actually have to be very close to my neck.
- When Nik is running in to push Kevin away from me we planned to have kevin throw the knife out of his hand in a direction that no actors or crew are standing in.
- With the fight scene we have already thought this part through and have rehearsed it multiple times so as no one gets hurt.
- When Kevin slits my throat we are going to film it as a long shot so the audince can't see that it is not near me.
- In the last part where Kevin goes to stab Kirby we're going to film it over Kevin's shoulder and angled downwards so you can't tell the exact distance between them. Props We were originally going to have a multitude of props and extra’s for our two minute piece. But going through the storyboards and looking over our idea’s we realised that we didn’t really have a budget for this piece and neither the time or organization to get hold of everything that we first thought we would use. We also decided that the piece would be better if we kept it as minimalistic as possible.

Props

Knife – This was originally going to be a gun but we felt that a knife would be more believable as the stalkers chosen weapon as it is more accesible. We then could also create more danger and tension building season’s with the knife. We were originally going to get hold of a fake plastic knife from a joke shop or fancy dress shop to use as the stalkers weapon but we felt it didn’t look believable enough on camera. We took a responsible approach to using a real kitchenknife, making sure the knife was blunt and the actor playing the stalker was not carrying it or had it hidden within his clothing during any running scenes. We also took the actors through a step by step guide of where to land and how to hold the knife during the scene’s, rehearsing without and then with the knife at a slow pace multiple times.
Using this prop didn’t cost us anything as it was an old basic kitchen knife from my own home.


Fake Blood – Luckily there is a local fancy dress shop in my town so before filming i headed down there to see if they supplied any fake blood. As we filmed at around February/march time the first time not many place’s supplied fake blood as they only generally supply it near Halloween. Luckily i had known the owner from a young age and they had one bottle left of their private store and explaining that i was using it for my Media Studies project she offered it to me free of charge on the basis i returned what we hadn’t used and also offered to lend us anything else we may need. This was very handy as no members of the group had £5 to buy the bottle. As it was gel based special effects blood it helped to create a really good effect of dripping when it came to nose bleed’s and slit throats. It also came out really well on camera even though we eventually turned the edit into black and white. This was also a safety hazard as one of the actor’s skins was slightly irritated by it.


Drugs/Pills – We also managed to get these free of charge as we were filming at the brickmaker’s, which luckily we got permission to film in. We originally going to use paracetamol for this part as they were a pill type of drug. There was a health and safety issue there as if we had to film the scene multiple times the actor would be in-taking to many of the drugs and could have severe reactions to it such as over dosing. Instead we decided to use tic-tacs as these were white and pill shaped and would not effect the actor if we had to redo the shots. Luckily the bar staff were happy to give us a packet free of charge.


Mobile Phones - For these scenes we just used the actors mobile phones that they had with them. This was quite handy as the two mobile phones used in the piece were latest models and particularly the blackberry worked well as when we were trying to show an incoming call from certain people the screen was large enough for the camera to pick up who it was that was calling. This also helped us to keep the technology up to date and in the modern times.


Smoking implements - Karly, Danni and the stalker all smoked in our piece so we felt it important to show stuff you would use to roll cigarettes on the table where the two girls are sitting. The people smoking in the film smoked in general so we didn't have to force an actor in to doing something they didn't want to or find another person who did. We had the two girls smoking because most teenagers smoke whilst drinking due to such things as peer pressure. We also wanted the characters to seem quite rebellious. We had Rizzlas, Filters, a lighter and a puch of tobacco sitting on the table next to Karly.


Wallet - We also had a wallet placed next to Karly as it would then make sense as people don't buy drinks at a pub without money. The style of Karly's wallet was bright and wacky which also helped to portray elements of Karly's character.


This is not the exact design of Karly's wallet but very similar



Glass of Coke - For the drink we bought a glass of coke to use from the bar. We decided on coke as it is a dark liquid that's often mixed with alcohol so it would hide the pills. we were originally going to use a Malibu and lemonade as the actor playing Karly (myself) is 18 and legal to drink but we thought it wasn't a good idea to use alcohol whilst filming. Also the drink would be to clear and you would clearly be able to see there were drugs in the drink then and we wanted it to look like the drugs were hidden from Karly so she didn't notice she had drank them. Evaluation of the 2 Minute Film Opening Filming and Editting We were all involved in filming and editting at some point.
With filming we had a rota so anyone who wasn't in the
scene would then be filming. With editting I did alot of the
actual editting myself whilst the two members of the group
decided what they wanted where as i was the only one who
could fluently use the technology and add titles.
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