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In what way does you Media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

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Sam Tyler

on 1 May 2011

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Transcript of In what way does you Media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

In what way does you Media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our film both conforms to and challenges the conventions of gangster films, for example the prominent bass music and Guy Ritchie style freeze frames adhere to the genre whilst the emotive backstory and flashbacks challenge the conventions. Therefore our hybrid product attempts to merge the slick gangster front with a gritty, evokative parallel narrative thus developing the narrative and conventions. We hope that we have achieved this and through research kept the core foundations of the gangster genre whilst offering something new and developing existing conventions. We set out to adhere to the gangster genre by including drugs, alcohol, gambling and violence. Similar to the poker scene in 'Casino Royale' our main antagonist, Eddie, relies on the intimidation of his henchman as does Le Chiffre. This unites the audience behind the protaganist Sean willing him on as he is alienated in the room. Therefore by mimicking the characters in established gambling films we retain the conventions of the genre to please our demographic. Despite this we wanted to avoid purely following the existing conventions and challenge them to set our film apart and attract a wider audience. Therefore the protaganist Sean wasn't a slick expereinced poker player but someone who was out of his depth and desperate for money. The IVF motivation is a serious and saddening backdrop to the stylistic film, and hopefully this juxtaposition enhances the viewing. In addition although Sean wins he ultimately dies which is atypical to the genre as the villian prevails. In conclusion our media product both develops and uses the conventions of real products. We keep the foundations of a gambling/gangster film to stay true to the genre and appeal to our demographic whilst offering something new in terms of the narrative. The parallel narrative contains touching themes and this sets it apart from the typical gangster films such as 'RocknRolla' and gambling films such as 'Rounders'. Indeed balancing the extent of genre convention is vital to avoid producing a carbon copy film lacking orignality whilst keeping some conventions so it is still entertaining. Therefore whilst the bass music, adult themes, character roles and mise-en-scene supports our film's genre the emotive parallel narrative and protaganist's journey differ, challenging the typical conventions. The deliberate breach of the fourth wall is a trend widely associated with gangster films, and the voice over used in Face Down is similarily seen in 'Rounders' and 'RocknRolla'. The voice over lends itself well to the gangster genre as the characters can be introduced, back story explained as well as humanising the protaganist and evoking empathy. The content of the voice over was something we researched as well, often the dialogue is conversational attempting to connect it the viewer more intimately and offering an insight into their past. However most notably the voice over establishes their character ours says 'I've never thought of myself as a lucky guy' thus revealing the character in a 1st person narration. The film 13 Tzameti differs on many levels to our film but there is one common thread that runs throughout both - the main protaganist is out of his depth and inexpereineced. Similar to Sean, Sébastien finds himself among menacing degenerates all gambling their lives to get money. Indeed Sean doesn't gamble his life but loses it anyway, however the characterisation of Sébastien as a normal person in fear of the unruly mob is very alike to Sean who drinks in the game to settle his nerves. The point at which our film reaches the zenith of gangster conventions is at the end when Sean is pursued, grabbed and hit. All three actions happen with very sharp cuts an archetypal feature of the gangster genre. The quick cuts carry huge impact and deliver a surprise to the viewer, something the genre strives to achieve. Arguably the split-screens are typical to the genre however we used these with a different motive - they offer litte new information - depicting the same scene however show different angles of the action, player's reactions (somewhat Sergio Leone-like) and the close up of the cards. Indeed this arguably is an example of us developing existing conventions by experimenting, in our case using stylistic split-screens to show alternative angles and reactions opposed to a different scene or location. As well as our research into real films to understand the conventions we also explored posters and magazines for our ancillary tasks. Our poster was heavily influenced by the poster for the film 'Buried', as the creative darkness created an enigma and refected the mystery of our film, which is revealed through flashbacks. The poker table is highlighted on the bottom of the poster with 'Coming soon below which shows poker is the main focus of our film. We used 'Empire' magazine to achieve our magazine film review, mimicking its layout and 'In Cinemas' section. Our ancillary tasks differ from the usual gangster products, often gangster films have bold posters with the characters as the main focus but we used the subject matter as our main focus. In addition to researching films we also felt in necessary to research real poker games, thus understanding the conventions of the game and studying characteristics, bluffing etc. We used this understanding to create a good meta-language and convincing verisimilitude. In the clip given you see Kallakis a poker player get pocket aces and smirk, something we used with our player Sean when he hits a good hand on the flop. Whilst also studying the film versions where they dramatise the real poker game's foundations. For example 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barells' includes a poker scene that like ours uses freeze frames, music to accompany the action and a gangster setting.
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