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Media Evaluation

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Jess Towers

on 30 April 2010

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Transcript of Media Evaluation

G321 Media Evaluation. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? How does your media product represent particular social groups? What kind of media instituation might distribute your media product and why? Who would the audience be for your media product? who do you attract/address your audience? What have you learnt about the technologies
from the process of constructing the product? Looking back to your preliminary task,
what do you feel that you have learnt in the
progression to the full product? Horror conventions I think that our film relates to normal horror conventions of real media products. In our film we tried to put as many horror conventions in as possible to get the highest mark. psychological Gothic Blood Kidnap Dark themes of supernatural Violent Atmospheric A specific scene in our film where there is flash backs of a
girl eyes and is used in different editing
styles such as gradient and sepia. A lot of horror films contain
quick motion flash backs like our film to create more tension.
Our sequence develops these conventions. From the conventions used in our sequence you can indicate the sub-genre of the film. Our sequence contains scenes such as running through the forest and heavy breathing which has been seen before on the famously known horror film Jeepers Creepers. Films like this have influenced our films. Our sequence could also be seen as a psychological horror, the way in which no clues are given at the start. The way in which there is sound perspective creating tension and adding more drama to the scenes. For our horror film there is different types of conventions that have been used such as the fear of the vulnerability, with a young girl being kidnapped by an unknown character. There is also fear of death and terror of the unknown. Strengths and weaknesses of
the camera equipment The camera and the tripod were very easy to use. The tripod was good because we could adjust the size of it depending on our shot. If we wanted quite a low shot we could change the tripods height and make it lower Another Strength of the tripod was that we could get still shots, there was no wobble camera shots were it wasn’t needed and if we needed the camera to move, it was quite smooth because of the help of the tripod. I think a weakness of the equipment was the camera we used needed a tape and whenever we had filmed something we had to rewind or fast forward the tape to try and find the part which we had just filmed which often took up some time if we could not find it However in some of the scenes we used a HD camera which means we did not need a tape to record, we could just record straight onto the camera and put that straight onto the computer without a tape, this camera was a lot easier to work with than the other. However both cameras were easy to film with we did not have any problems with that. Are there any problems you faced,
how did you resolve these issues? When filming our horror sequence we did not come across any major problems. I think one of our problems was trying to get the low angle of the running sander because we could not use the tripod for this. We had to try and balance the camera on something else to get a still shot, however in the end we managed to balance the camera on something else while one of us tried to hold it steady which worked quite well and we got our still shot. Another problem when we were filming was our title was originally going to appear when blood was splattered across the floor, however this was hard to get right and eventually the fake blood we were using ran out and we decided this would be too hard to do and may not look effective in the final product so we decided to not do this idea anymore and we used one of the titles from iMovie instead which we all agreed looked a lot more effective than our first idea. Did you get to use new equipment
to enhance your film? For all of our sequence we only used the camera and the tripod because most of our shots were still shots of objects or people and we felt that some of the other technologies such as the TV studio and track were not needed in our sequence. Editing software We found it quite easy to use the iMovie software we used to edit our sequence together. One of the editing techniques we liked and have used a lot would be the effect on most of the shots making it look quite dark and dingy, we used a bleach bypass layer for this which we thought gave it a scarier and creepier look which match our horror convention Another technique we have used a lot in our sequence was the slowing things down and speeding them up. We sped up some of the eye shots of our actor looking around so it comes like kind of a flash onto the screen which could make some of the audience jump as it is not really expected. We also slowed down some of the running through the forest scenes because it made the sound of the leaves and the heavy breathing sound really good, and it also made it look as if the girl that was running was getting tired and sick of running which eventually ended up her getting caught by whoever was running coming after her. When editing our film we also used really short quick shots of no more than 0.2 seconds so they flashed onto the screen like most of the shots of eyes just to give the film different types of shots and break up the longer shots like the running shots. In some of our shots we had to crop them because some things would be in the background that would not be in conventions of a horror film. For example we filmed our sequence in a garage and in the scene of the running sander there was a fruit bowl in the background which ruined the effect of the horror conventions we were trying to get so we had to crop this out of the scene. Garageband A problem we came across when using iMovie is when we sometimes wanted a quick flash of a shot which would be 0.1 seconds long, it often would not let us have it because it would be too short, so in some cases we needed to have our shots 0.2 seconds long, however this did not affect our film too much. For our sound track we used software called Garage Band. This was quite easy to use. It took quite a while to find a sound that suited our film because we wanted quite a smooth but creepy sound and then layer quick jumpy sounds over the top. Eventually we found what we wanted. A problem we first faced was that the sound time line was not in seconds it was in beats so we wasted some time trying to fit our music together until eventually we figured out how to change the settings so our time line would be in seconds. Our music had to be quite exact because a lot of our shots we quick and needed a quick jumpy sound. For example the jump cut of the hands tied behind the victims back, when the camera jumps out we wanted a quick, loud sound and it had to fit perfectly with the shot, which we accomplished. We did not suffer from any major problems when using garage band as we found it fairly easy to use.

The Planning Stages Before we started filming and producing our final sequence, we did a lot of planning and research before and produced a blog with all our planning on. First of all we looked at both the genres we had a choice of, we could either do film noir or a horror and my group chose horror because we felt that we had more knowledge of this than we did film noir such as we knew more of the conventions of it being dark and creepy. We then looked at an opening scene of horror films; we looked at Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of Wax and Final destination and each of us of us evaluated on of the sequences. I think this helped a lot because it helped us know what things we would need in our film as we looked at the conventions, camera shots and mise-en-scene in actual horror films. Next we looked at title sequences of our chosen horror films and others, this was to see the order in which the titles go in and we learned that directed by was always the last title, so we made sure that this rule was in our sequence also. Then we looked at the age range that horror films tend to be based around and most of them are either 15 certificate or 18, this is because many of them have horrific scenes in them or bad language that many children will not want to see and children’s parents will not what their children to see. By looking at this we decided as a group that our film should be 15 certificate because it will not be that graphic and will not have much bad language and things children will not want to hear or see. We then did some research one sub genres of horror films for example supernatural and psychological horror. This was to see what kinds of horror films were available to see if we wanted our horror to follow any of these sub genres. We then had a quick look at a horror time line to see how horror had improved over the years with technology and important film things happened for example when the BBFC introduced some certificates to films. Then it came to looking at what we were going to have our horror film based on and we did a pitch of ideas, we decided we were going to have a kidnap in it and we included things like the murderer will wear gloves to seal their identity, these were just first ideas towards our final piece and we stuck to most of these ideas and did not change much. We then thought carefully about the shots we wanted to include and the story line we wanted to follow, we drew out these scenes and created an animatic to show what our ideas for our sequence were and what shots we wanted to include. This helped us a lot in our final piece and helped us decide which shots we needed and wanted to film next. I think this part of the planning helped us the most with our filming. However some of the scenes in our animatic are not in our final piece as we decided we did not need these and thought our sequence would work best without them and they confuse the audience to what is happening so early in the film. We also looked at the shots we wanted to use and how long we wanted them included this without planning which also helped us with filming because we knew which shots we wanted to be quick and jumpy and which shots we wanted to be longer. We discussed the props, location and actors included this in our planning again just to make the filming of our piece easier. Our group also had to make a company logo in our film at the beginning like most films include, we used an image from Google which we edited and changed and showed us doing so in our blog by using a screen grab. Then we started to film out piece, this would only be the rough cut and we could go back and made changed where and when we needed to, this was helpful because it showed us which parts we liked and which parts we didn’t like and we had the chance to change them. A problem with our rough cut was that it wasn’t long enough at first which told us we needed to do more filming and editing to make it longer. We did a risk assessment to make sure everything was safe as we used a lot of dangerous equipment such as the saw that is shown in many of our shots. We also had a filming schedule which helped us a lot in our filming because we knew when and where we were filming and what we needed to do. It made the process a lot quicker and easier because then none of the actors could cancel because they knew when they were filming. The planning process made our filming experience a lot smoother. Shot Types I think our shot types have definitely improved while we were shooting our film as we experimented with different shot types instead of just having plain straight on shots we had a lot of extreme close ups to show emotion and a lot of bird’s eye view shots of tools, we also had a low angle of the running sander. We used the point of view shot of when the victim is running through the forest so the audience feel as though they are experiencing what the actor is going through. In other projects I wouldn’t have thought much about using a point of view shot or a low angle but I think in this sequence they work well with the conventions of horror because I think it would make the audience more on edge and scared by feeling as if they are the ones going through what the victim is. Do you feel more confident with the equipment? Now I have used the camera and tripod and the different editing software me and my group definitely feel a lot more confident with using the different technologies than we did before we started the sequence. I think we learned how to use things as we went along which made it a lot easier if we learn by doing. I think if we did another sequence we would be a lot more confident. I also think that we would think a lot more about the editing while we were filming because we know how to use the software well and what we can do to the shots to make them fit the conventions of the genre better. How successful do you feel your end product is at fulfilling the brief? think that our final end sequence fits the brief very well because we have concentrated a lot on the conventions of horror well and thought about this while editing and that our film looks like a horror film with the different editing techniques like the bleach bypass effect and the slowing shots down and speeding them up. We also thought a lot about the mise en scene which resulted in us having the cut shots because of things in the background we didn’t see while filming. Our film is 1 minute 53 seconds long and the brief says around 2 minutes, I think this would have been better if it was a bit longer however it still fits the brief well. Our titles work well together and we also ended them with 'directed by' like the other horror films we looked at. Overall I think that our sequence fits the brief very well.
Age and Gender BBFC guidelines If the rating is a fifteen its only suitable for people who are fifteen years and over. No-one younger than fifteen may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema, buy or rent it. As a whole it must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour. Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised. Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied and in the end result cause physical and mental harm to the audience. There may be frequent use of strong language but it would be inappropriate and unacceptable if said in an aggressive way or repeated on numerous occasions. Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail and there may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour. No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds. Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. At ‘18’ the BBFC’s guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment. The reasons behind this are the material is in breach of the criminal law or has been created through the commission of a criminal offence. Material appears to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society. There are more explicit images of sexual activity which cannot be justified by context. Through researching the BBFC guidelines I have discovered that the ratings are split into many sub-sections; example of these sections are discrimination, drugs, horrors, language, theme and violence. It was important for me to take all of these into consideration before establishing my dedicated age for my horror opening sequence. Me and my group decided to show aspects of horror which where more suitable to the age of fifteen or above. The idea which we aimed for was to try and generate our media product to both genders, this allowed us to show a range of ideas within our work, making us able to expand and show a variety of aspects of horror aswell as varying the camera angle, music and props to emphasise this. Film influences We tried to capture a different style through our work that didn’t relate to any other films which we had watched. Although in one area of our sequence when the flashback where taking place, we took inspiration from a clip in Jeepers Creepers. In our opinion we felt that it was important to bring out our own ideas throughout and all contribute into creating the final piece. Terrifying our chosen audience I believe that the speeding up of the sequence made our film more scary, with the sharp quick flashes of both the victim and the kidnapper, this makes our audience see areas from their point of view. My group and i found that those are the key aspects which in our film would terrify our audience. In my opinion we have shown a style of work that is highly stereotypical, due to the typical idea of a girl being kidnapped. Camera work We have used many close up point of view shots as we felt this would make our work look more dramatic. Aswell birds eye view angles where shown to give an over view of the props, we felt this could enhance the spookier side within the work which we had produced. The camera work was altered as much as possible as we progressed as we felt this would add more depth and variety within the media product. What are our audience witnessing? The audience of our horror opening sequence are witnessing the crime which has taken place, they are jumpcuts and flashbacks linking one scene into one another making it seem more professional and if it was something that you would watch on the television. Our chosen audiences watches it on two different point of views, one on the victims behalf where she is running through the forrest and the facial expression and the other shows the kidnapper preparing to commit the crime, aswell has what he is putting the victum through. This adds a lot more drama, making the audience constantly wondering what is going to happen next? Audience feedback The audience feedback was really positive for our opening sequence although there was areas which our feedback highlighted our downfalls in the piece, this included the variety of our angles and where the titles where placed etc. After thinking about what was said we have tried to show more angles that works well aswell as relating to the concept of horror. Although we took on board the thoughts of our audience and accepted their constructive criticism there where areas which we disagreed with, therefore we left them as they originally where. We felt it was important to take on some criticism but keep our own thoughts and ideas too making our ideas personal and unique. Our media product represents many different social groups. For a start there is only one character portrayed in our sequence and it is a young girl tied up and held at hostage which represents a younger social group, aimed at teenagers or young adultsOur media product represents many different social groups. For a start there is only one character portrayed in our sequence and it is a young girl tied up and held at hostage which represents a younger social group, aimed at teenagers or young adults The character is wearing plain clothing with just a white tee-shirt covered in blood from this we get no sign of any sub-cultures or interests. There is not a lot given away by the identity of the character such as the class and religion etc but we tried to keep our sequence aimed at everyone to give it a wider audience appeal. Our horror sequence is certified as an age ‘15’ so the aspects of horror shown had to stay suitable for all to watch. I think that the gender in our film is represented in a stereo typical way because it follows the typical girl being kidnapped story, to go against this we could have used a male being kidnapped by a female to use a juxtaposition but we wanted to young female to come across as vulnerable and naive and we would not have created this affect if we had used a male. So it’s a stereotypically based sequence.
This links to target audience by using female character to keep the sequence interesting and wanting the audience to carry on watching.
I think that our film sequence is defiantly made for Hollywood productions, because our film is similar to other horror films we have seen at the cinemas. Our film could be produced by Hollywood directors, because it is different, new and exciting film that interprets and different type of horror film. Our film would not be used as a TV movie, or art house film because it is specifically designed for a full cinema experience, to watch the action on the big screen to experience the horror as much as possible. Our film offers an opportunity for franchise and merchandise for the idea of a rollercoaster at a big theme park in England. Another film that has done this is ‘saw’ which then was followed by the ‘saw’ ride at Thorpe Park. Obviously it would be a horror ride and walk that is set to terrify the films fans. The main mise-en-scene in our films opening sequence includes dark low-key lighting, scary environments such as running through the forest Another element of the Mise-en-scene is the props such as the saw, sander, blood and bandages that we used. All the things we used are to create a scarier atmosphere and for the tension created when watching the film to make it as scary experience as possible. Franchise and Merchandice.
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