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Evaluation - Media AS

Some evalution questions for my media AS film, g321 portfolio.
by

Amy Clark

on 7 April 2011

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Transcript of Evaluation - Media AS

G321 Media Portfolio
AS Media Studies
Amy Clark How does your media product represent particular social groups? My film represents mainly teenage social groups. The main character in the film is only a teenage girl herself and so is more relatable to that generation. In addition, horror films are particuarly welcomed by the teenage generation and so using teenagers within the film makes more sense than the older generation. The target audience is discussed further in question four. I think that within my film gender is used in a stereotypical way. By using the male as the murderer i was able to use this to my advantage when placing the characters within the scenes. The male character was physically taller than the female and so looked more dominant than the female. This reinforced how much more power he had over the victim. On the other hand, the female character hold the passive stereotype which fits the connotations of being a victim. She is physically smaller than the male and so looks weaker. In every shot she is conveyed as not having much or no power against the murderer to make the ending inevitable. For example, in this screen grab from my film
you can see that the male character is taller than the female. The fact that he is behind the female gives the 'fear of the unknown' factor to the female character. He looks more dominant and powerful than the passive character which is the female. This is where i got the inspiration to include a mirror scene. Even though this scene is used at a window it still acheives a similar effect. Even thought the female character is taller in this image the ale character still holds more dominance as he looks bigger in comparison to the female. This is the exact same effect that i wanted to create from my film. Who would be the audience for
your media product? What kind of media institution
might distribute your media
product and why? I have decided to release my film as a British Independant film and to air it in select cinemas across the UK. However I feel that my film could have been released by a Hollywood Company if I had chosen to release it in that way. The reason for this is because of some similarities it has between some of the biggest horror movies made to date. Like the point in question one about ‘The Grudge’ there is also inspiration taken from the film ‘One Missed Call’. In my film there is a scene where both the killer and the victim are on the telephone to each other. This is the part where the killer threatens the victim but the audience do not hear it. As this is going on I used a point of view shot to capture the killer who is hidden in the garage of the victims back garden. In the film ‘One Missed Call’ whenever a murder is about to happen the victim receives a call. I tried to change this by only using the one phone call but still incorporate the essence of the convention. However, deciding on releasing my film as an Independant Film can limit my audiences so i have decided to also make use of the internet to target my demographic. My demographic audience is the teenage generation from 15 upwards as the age certificate of my film is a 15. I think that the easiest and most potentially successful way of targeting this generation is through the internet. There are numerous ways I could target the teenage generation through the internet. For example, any social networking sites such as Facebook are used weekly or even daily by millions of teenagers and so this is the best way to get the message through. The main demographic audience for my film is teenagers aged between 15-20. The reason I have made 15 the youngest is because that is the age certificate of my film due to some of the themes that are within the film. I don’t feel that my film is targeted to a particular gender however I think that perhaps more males than females will view it. I think that most horror films do appeal to both geners and teenagers usually visit the cinema and watch films as a group rather than individually. However looking at the demographic audience in a stereotypical manor would suggest that horror films are for the male gender. Stereotypically, males tend to be more interested in action or horror films where violence is very graphic and consistent. On the other hand, females are stereotypically seen watching more romantic and comedic films. This however is not always the case and with the film industry incorporating different genres of film together I think it would be more beneficial to make my film appeal to both genders equally. An example to reinforce this would be the latest craze within the horror generation to hit several countries which was ‘Paranormal Activity’. Audiences queued to see this film and its sequel after it became an instant hit. However, the audiences that viewed the film were from both genders, both male and female. I think that my film will incorporate both genders much like ‘Paranormal Activity’ did by making the storyline from a true story or making at least look that way. i think by using a narrative storyline which appears to be a true storyline can add emotive effect which appeals to the female gender whereas the physicality of violence and horror stereotypically appeals to the male gender. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My film is able to present the typical conventions of horror through several ways, from props to sound to character gender. Throughout the film there is diagetic screaming which is a very obvious connotational sound of horror movies. This indicates the fear element and is the signature sound of horror films. Along with the non diagetic music soundtrack used in some parts of the opening sequence, I am able to convey a tensional atmosphere throughout. The non diagetic music rises in volume and pitch as the climax of the titles happens. This helps to build tension, drama and make the audience aware that something bad is about to happen. At the same time, I feel like I have developed this convention of horror films by using the same sound at the end of the titles to suggest a saddened atmosphere after the death of the victim. Along with sound I have tried to keep to the connotations of colour in my titles. Red and black are the colours mainly used throughout horror films and so I have tried to incorporate those into my film. Red has connotations of blood, anger and murder, whereas black has connotations of the night, the unknown and sometimes death too. All of these suggested elements behind the colours chosen help to make my film match horror films and link with the concept of a horror movie. I took inspiration from ‘The Grudge’ for these particular titles. In their title sequence they use the same colours to achieve the exact same effect. I thought this would be a good feature to use in my film because I wanted to have some written narrative as well as film footage. I decided to challenge the conventions of horror films with my location. Usually in horror films the victim is in a woodland, or some old deserted house but in my film I have decided to situate the murder within the victim’s own home. Even though I have made the house secluded and so that she is completely alone, I feel that this helps add more emotional effect. The fact that the victime is being murdered amongst her own belongings and somewhere that people would usually feel safe helps to add that extra fear of the unknown. In some ways I have stuck to the conventions of typical horror films as I have made the home secluded and so there is no chance of rescue. The fact that the young victim is home alone suggests that there is no one within that vicinity to help her. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product? During all of the three production stages of my film; filming, editing, making the soundtrack I have had strengths and weaknesses from which I can learn and improve on for A2. During the filming process I found that I was successful in picking certain mise en scene to facilitate the conventions of horror. For example, at the end of the title sequence I made fake blood to cover a window where the murder was happening behind. By using the fake blood I could establish the typical horror conventions of colour within the actual footage. I also made sure that the murderer wore very camouflaged clothes to disguise and mask the murderer. This enables the killer to achieve a disguised identity, which again is a convention of horror films.
Another strength I found during the filming process was my variety of shot I used throughout the title sequence. Within the variety of shot I used I managed to include a point of view shot. I used the point of view shot a couple of times throughout the title sequence to enable the audience to be put in that characters position. I also managed to include a pan to follow the victim as the murderer followed her. This enabled the audience to track the victim as well as the killer and make a scene where each character follows on from another, almost like a predator following his prey. Consequently, another shot I was able to incorporate was a zoom that finalised into a graphic match. The shot enabled me to get an extreme close up of the victim’s eye so that the audience were able to see the fear that the victim was feeling at that point in time. When the camera zoomed back out to complete the graphic match we can see the killer in the background. I took inspiration from the mirror scene shown beforehand in question 2 for this particular effect.
As well as strengths in the filming process I also had some problems during it too. I found that finding the time to film when all of my cast could prove somewhat difficult. However, when we finally were able to film I found that it didn’t take as long as I had assumed it would. I had to re-film some parts of my footage though because when I uploaded it onto Final Cut some scenes looked completely different to what I was expecting. However, I think that re-filming was easier than the initial filming process because I was able to get my entire cast together in a short amount of time. This helped to speed up the actual filming process so that I had more time left before my deadline to edit the actual footage into the rough cut and the final cut. Another weakness I found between my initial filming process and my re-film was the weather. I needed to keep the lighting the same throughout the film but on the re-film the weather was different to what it was on my initial filming day. Because of this the film did have continuity flow and so I had use editing techniques such as the colour distorter and the lighting tools to change the brightness of the new shots. During the editing process, I was able to learn how to use another new programme, which was Live Type. In Live Type I was able to create several titles in order to show the narrative side to my film opening. I was able to add new text tracks to separate text so that I could use different effects for different parts of the sentence. For example in my film I wanted to make some of the title remain white but two or three of the words to turn red after so long. Live Type enabled me to do this very easily as I was able to create as many text tracks as I liked and there was a good variety of effects, fonts, colours and gradients to use. Another strength I found in the editing process was the transitional effects in Final Cut. I was able to use several transitional effects on top of each other in between scenes to end one scene and lead straight into another. For one certain scene I used a gradient filling transition on top of a cross fade in and out to create a more dramatic end to the scene. During the editing process I also found a few problemswhen trying to piece the seperate film clips together. The main problem I found when trying to edit was making sure there was no gaps in between footage. For example, if there was a gap between two footage scenes it sometimes wouldnt be visible in the timeline scale. However when watching my film on a bigger screen during peer assesment i found that these small gaps made the film look like jump cuts which wasnt what i wanted. This gap was not as visible if it was between a footage clip and a transition as the transition backgrounds are black. Another problem i found when editing was making the film fit the time scale. I found that at first my footage was way over the time scale, however when i attempted to cut the footage down it fell far below the 2 minute time scale. I found that in my rough cut the film was very short and didnt explain the narrative. This was evident during peer assesment of our rough cuts too. When handing in my final submission i had increased the length of my video up to 1:50 which is just below the time scale. Now that i have increased the length of the film i have enabled more time to explain more of the narrative. Before this course i had not used Garageband before and so it was a completely new concept for me. I had never attempted to create my own sound track and at first i found it difficult to know what to do. However this made way for me to learn about a new technology. For example, I set up my soundtrack through the 'Loops' section of Garageband and so i had a library of possible sounds to use. I used more than one of the possible sounds to incorporate different sounds together. I found that by using two sounds i could develop a soundtrack that ressembled those used in horror films. Another feature in Garageband that I made use of was the pitch detector. In horror films the non diagetic background music rises and falls in pictch in correlation with the footage. For example, when a murder is about to happen, the music builds in speed, volume and the pitch is usually heightened. I decided to use this in my footage whenever the murderer appears in the scene. This enables the audience to distinguish when something bad will happen because they will associate the music with the character. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? How did you attract/address
your audience? Rough Cut Preliminary task In addition to using social networking sites i can also make use of websites such as 'YouTube' to release my trailers. Some films make teaser trailer which are multiple trailers which introduce another element of film each time. A lot of gaming industries use this too as it is a good way to target the teenage demographic. I want to be able to inject desire creation into my film and to build up a hype from the very first stage. This way i will be able to capture the attention of my demographic and continue to build on anticipation for the actual film. final edit animatic storyboard From the prelim task to the editing of my final cut i have learnt a lot more about the filming, editing and also something completely new in Garageband. During the prelim task i worked within a group which i found was very useful as they had other ideas to mine which we could mix together to make an overall better prelim task. However for the final coursework element i decided to work alone due to not being able to film at convenient times. I think that by working on my own i have been able to experiment first hand every component of making this film title sequence. I feel like i have come a long way since filming the prelim and that my filming, editing and music composing skills are a lot more refined due to experimenting continuously throughout the whole process. I think that one of the main things which i have learnt in the progression from the prelim to now is how to manage my time efficiently. For example, we were given a set time to film and edit in the prelim which was one lesson filming and one lesson editing so we had an idea of when everything had to be done by. However, in the making of the final product we had overall deadlines for research and planning, filming the footage, editing and evaluating and so within these categories it was up to me to distinguish and seperate my time efficiently and equally. I found that during my planning and research and filming the footage i fell back on time and so it was a rush to be able to meet my deadlines. However once i had become more used to working to the deadlines, during the editing and making the sundtrack process, i found that it was easier to meet them as i had managed my time more efficiently. In addition, i also feel that i have become more familiar with Final Cut which was the editing software i used for both the preliminary task and my final product. I found that by practising more with the software helped to make me more confident with it. For example, in the preliminary task i used next to no effects or transitions whereas in my film i have used multiple effects and multiple transitions to make the film flow more smoothly and fit the connotations of horror even more. My audience demographic is mainly the teenage generation and so i needed to incorporate scenes within my horror film that would enable the audience to jump and be scared. Because i have chosen to appeal equally I need to make sure that both ar frightened by the scenes that i am creating. The following conventions, reasons and techniques i have used i feel ensure that the audience feel the emotions such as fear tht they expect to feel from a horror. I think that one particular point in my film where the young victim is being stalked day in day out would scare my demographic audience. I think that because the footage looks realistic and as if it is a true story life case that this would frighten the audience. For example, things such as when she checks her email and there is a threatening death message could happen to anyone and so this makes the fear of the victim rub off on the audience. I think that the location is also a big factor which makes the film even more scary. I think that because i have used a house and the home of the victim as the main location for the whole title sequence this enables a more emotive effect. For the film to be set in a home suggests that the violence and murder is always close by and the audience will be able to imagine this within their own home. This will enable a fearful experience even after only watching the title sequence and evidently after watching the entire film. Throughout my film i attempted to use a range of camera shots, angles and vary my composition. The camera shot that i think encapsulates the biggest essence of horror is the use of point of view shots within my film. By using point of view shots i am able to place the audience into several positions and characters. For example, in some cases the audience are the victim where they feel the vulnerbility and sheer fear that the character feels. In particular when used in cohesion with the rising pitch and volume of music which suggests that the main climax is about to happen. However, when they are in the position of the murderer they are able to witness the power and domination that the killer holds over the victim. They also are enabled to feel some form of sympathy against the victim when put in this position because they themselves know that the murderers viewpoint is not right and so they can use his point of view in a different way. In quite a lot of the shots of my film i use over the shoulder shots. An ecxample of this is when the victim is on the phone at the beginning of the scene and when looking at the computer email. By using an over the shoulder shot the audience are still able to view the film through the victim's perspective but are able to see the victims reaction at the same time. This is vitally important to be able to ensure some form of emotional effect other than fear into the audience to add depth to the narrative. After I had completed a rough cut, the class did some peer assesment. This was an oppurtunity for me personally to see what people from my demographic audience though of my film so far along in the process of the production. Some audience feedback which i received was good and others suggested some points to improve upon. For example, at the point of showing my rough cut i had not manage to incorporate any music backing track to the film and so this was the main factor which i received to improve on. I now have used several music pieces in order to add extra dramatic effect to the build up of the killing. Another point which came across to improve upon was the titles i had used. Many people thought that i should tell the narrative through another form other than written titles. Since my rough cut i have changed how i have told the narrative by using diffferent approaches such as newspaper articles. I have been able to display the vital narrative information in a more realistic and pictorial form so that the realism can coincide with the realistic narrative i have used for my film. to make the non diagetic music i used a programme called Garageband which i found very easy to use even though i had never used it before. I was able to distort sounds to make them fit horror conventions. For example, in this screen grab you can see i was able to change pitch, volume, tone and speed. My animatic storyboard and pitch in the research and planning are different to my actual film. In my initial research I thought it would be a good dea to set the film in a woodland area However after more research I found there was a bigger gap in the market for a film which is located at the victims home. I think that by changing the narrative whilst filming was a good idea because I have a much stronger title sequence with a greater variety of shot along with diagetic and non diagetic sound.
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