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Evaluation Question 1

Evaluation Question 1- In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products.
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Oonagh Turner

on 16 April 2010

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Transcript of Evaluation Question 1

Evaluation Question 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Our opening sequence follows the forms and conventions of professional opening credits, however it also challenges and develops some of these ideals. 'Nelson Road' imitates a psychological thriller by aiming to frighten the audience, however without the stereotypical use of blood and the theme of death. In order to promote this, we have attempted to show the deaths of various characters more subtly, in order to create ambiguity, and therefore the effect of a thrilling sequence. However, as the plot of the film revolves around the theme of death, it was impossible to completely ignore various conventions that would potentially be used within a horror as apposed to a thriller. Areas that follow the same conventions as a professional thriller sequence Including the title Establishing the genre through music Establishing the location The use of colour imagery The introduction of the main character This is a significant section of every opening credit, regardless of the genre. The audience immediately attempt to bond with the first character, and therefore the actual main character must stand out in some way. One way in which we have ensured this is through the costume Sophie is wearing. The bright yellow t-shirt stands out from the dark surroundings. As well as this, an extreme close up ensures the audience associate themselves with Sophie, as apposed to Monika, -the other character used within the first scene. Monika's clothing is also significant, as the dark, neutral colours she wears ensures she doesn't stand out as much as Sophie, and blends more with the background location. 'The Godfather 2', directed by Francis Ford Coppola, distinctly features this technique on a variety of occasions. The similar idea of colour being used to highlight significance is evident throughout this scene. We used this technique here in order to create the same effect. In this sequence, the head mafia figure is about to be killed. It is crucial that the audience recognise 'Fanucci' throughout this scene as he walks down a typical Italian American street.

He is dressed in a white that ensures he stands out. This means the audience easily pick him out from the hundreds of other Italian Americans dressed in dark colours. The white suit he wears also represents his attempt to appear as innocent, heavenly and almost godlike. Therefore not only does this technique here ensure 'Fanucci' stands out, but it represents him as a character. We have also used this technique with Sophie. The colour yellow is used to represent innocence, and potentially a stained innocence as a result of her rape. Therefore, similar to within 'The Godfather 2' the yellow clothing ensures Sophie not only stands out, but that it represents her character.
The Godfather 2 These two frames highlight the similarities between the techniques used, and they express how our media product uses forms and conventions of real media products. Even when the two characters are alone, they still stand out due to the colours they are wearing. Also, in both frames the characters are in a darkened room/alley, which ensures the colours they wear stand out more. One factor that we however developed here was how Sophie is not wearing completely yellow, unlike Fanucci, who is wearing completely white. This wouldn't appeal to our target market, therefore we decided against it. These two frames also highlight the similarities between the two situations. Both frames express how the technique is effective when the character is in a busy area/crowd. In both circumstances, the two characters still stand out to the audience. This shows how we have used this convention. However, due to the budget of our sequence, we have developed the frame by not having so many people. Also, as previously stated, Sophie is not wearing yellow completely, unlike 'Fanucci', therefore she would not stand out as much in this frame if it was more crowded. Therefore we have slightly challgenged the costume design, in order to ensure it appeals to our target market of teenagers and adolescents, as apposed to within 'The Godfather 2', which sets out to attract an older generation. Another significant ideal that is usually followed by many directors and producers is the introduction of music at the start of the film. Our sequence follows this convention by introducing a minimalist piece throughout the whole opening. In order to promote the thriller genre throughout our sequence, we felt it necessary to have a piece of music that would suggest something sinister was happening through a minor key. We have therefore used a technique that is used through the majority of professional media products, regardless of the genre. The Exorcist The 1973 William Friedkin film 'The Exorcist' is undoubtedly a mixture between both the thriller genre and horror. One of the most significant techniques used throughout the entire film is the music. The film is infamous for its theme tune that is both set in a minor chord, as well as having an irregular time signature. Both these effects make the piece feel eerie and sinister. The genre is easily established through the music chosen for this film. In order to enhance the thriller genre, we decided that a minimalist piece would be suitable for our sequence also. We have therefore used a piece similar within our opening sequence. We have therefore imitated the techniques demonstrated through music for our piece also. The way in which we have established the location follows the same conventions as a professional thriller sequence in many ways also. Similar to various thriller films, the whereabouts of the location gradually becomes more known to the audience. At the beginning of our sequence, it is not completely ambiguous as to where the opening is set, as it is evident from the noise and the various cars, that it is set in a busy suburban town. However exactly where is not completely clear. Eventually a panning shot of the horizon, the skyline, and the use of London Transport indicates the sequence is set in a busy city. Rebecca The 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film 'Rebecca' is a psychological thriller, similar to the sequence we created. Therefore it is inevitable that we have followed the same conventions as this professional thriller sequence, as both openings aim to have the same effect. The establishment of location is obvious throughout the opening sequence of this film, and is also very significant, as the voice over continues to tell the audience how this image is not real, and in a dream. Similarly, the whereabouts of our character is significant, hence the blunt title that reflects the area where the rapes and killings take place. Due to the importance of the location within both sequences, the shots used are similar. There is a significant resemblance between this frame from the film Rebecca, and a frame from our sequence 'Nelson Road'. Both are long shots that emphasise to the audience the location in which the characters are. We have therefore used this shot within our own media product, to not only ensure it appears professional, but to create a similarity between 'Nelson Road', and other thriller films. It also aids the audience in understanding the location, and why the location is significant. These freeze frames also convey to the audience the suburban location of these scenes. We have used the shot that is decpited in this frame from 'Rebecca' in order to express to the audience where the characters are. Both shots are from the other side of the road, and when watched, both background noises consist of noises made by cars, in order to enhance the idea of being in a city. This shot highlights how we have used forms and conventions that are used in other professional thriller opening sequences. Another convention typically used within thriller opening sequences is colour imagery. This technique is significant as it establishes the genre and the sinister nature of the film. After watching various thriller/horror films, it is evident that this technique is used within all popular and successful openings. Therefore, we decided that it would be right for our sequence, and would help us also establish the themes of violence and death. Typical colours used within thriller openings are;
-Red
-Yellow
-Black
-White
-Orange Se7en Seven is a 1995 American crime film directed by David Fincher. The opening sequence contains various extreme close ups, which increases ambiguity among the audience. In order to ensure that the theme is still understood among the audience as being sinister and from the thriller genre, the use of colour imagery is highly significant within the opening sequence. We have used various conventions that reflect the forms within 'Se7en' concerning colour imagery within our own opening sequence to create the same effect of anticipated danger. These two frames highlight the use of the colour red within both sequences, even if to differing extents. As previously stated, the extreme close ups seem to not have connotations of the thriller genre, however with the use of the colour red, it is more obvious that the sequence is of a sinister nature. Similarly, within our sequence, the red sign on a shop, and the red barriers that are in between Sophie, and her stalker highlight danger, but more subtly. Both indicate here the thriller genre, slightly bordering more on the horror theme. We have used director David Fincher's ideals regarding the colour red and other colours in order to create suspense and the feeling of danger. Another concept that we have used within our sequence regarding colour imagery is the use of the colour black. The colour black is highly responsible for deceiving the audience into believing the film falls into a thriller genre. This is an effect that both the team working behind 'Se7en', and us aim to achieve. We have used a similar font on a black background here to show a stark contrast, as well as suggesting ambiguity by having a small title. Both fonts are also similar, which shows how we have used this convention from another professional thriller opening. One area that follows the same conventions as other professional thriller sequences is the way we have presented the title of our film. We decided to have a white font, that would ensure it stands out to the audience. We also decided against keeping the font the same size as the other titles, to show importance, significance, and also in order to establish the genre. However, we also felt it necessary to incorperate the title in such a way similar to other ways in which titles have been introduced in other thiller films. Our sequence has clearly been highly influenced by the opening credits to the film 'Se7en', as not only is the font and the use of colour imagery reflected within our opening, but the way the title appears is similar in our sequence too. The font is in both examples jumpy and not clear, reflecting the ambiguous nature of the rest of the film. Also, within both examples, the font size has increased dramatically from the rest of the titles, to the name of the film. We have clearly used the conventions regarding text from 'Se7en' within our sequence to not only reflect the theme, but to ensure an impact on the audience. Areas in which we have developed or challenged forms and conventions that appear in professional thriller sequences. Music Camera angles and shots Characterisation Typical themes and conventions One way in which we challenged many director's views on how a typical thriller genre should appear is through the use of camera angles, and the variety of shots we explored. Through my research, i found that many openings to thriller sequences use and extreme close ups to access the viewer's fear through ambiguity and indistinguishable images. We challenged this perception of the thriller genre, and used no extreme close ups within our opening sequence. Alternatively, we used long shots more often, and if needed, we would zoom into the character. We felt that this still promoted the idea of ambiguity, but that it would at the same time capture the location, which was significant to our plot, as well as the title of the film. These two freeze frames both highlight clearly the difference in choice of shot. Both however increase ambiguity, as in 'Se7en', the use of the close up makes the object seem vague, reflecting the vague plot as of yet. Within 'Nelson Road', the long shot also makes the audience feel vague as to the plot and the character's attitude, as the character is far away and undistinguishable. Both have a similar effect, yet we chose to challenge the way in which the director of 'Se7en' set out to produce this effect. One way in which we developed the camera angles was the use of the close up. We decided that the extreme close up would not suit our thriller film, and therefore not have any desired effect on the audience. We did however attempt a close up on our main character, therefore developing the ideas used within 'Se7en', concerning how near the camera is to an object/person. Typical themes and conventions of a horror/thriller film have also been distinctly challenged within our thriller sequence in order to ensure a unique opening, as well as to aid the progress of the plot. Typical themes and conventions of a thriller film consist of blood, death and violence. We have challenged these conventions by attempting not to include them. This not only ensures our sequence is established as more of a psychological thriller, but it means that the plot is ambiguous, and often up to the imagination of the audience. 'The Godfather 2', directed by Francis Ford Coppola, distinctly features this technique on a variety of occasions. The similar idea of colour being used to highlight significance is evident throughout this scene. We used this technique here in order to create the same effect. In this sequence, the head mafia figure is about to be killed. It is crucial that the audience recognise 'Fanucci' throughout this scene as he walks down a typical Italian American street.

He is dressed in a white that ensures he stands out. This means the audience easily pick him out from the hundreds of other Italian Americans dressed in dark colours. The white suit he wears also represents his attempt to appear as innocent, heavenly and almost godlike. Therefore not only does this technique here ensure 'Fanucci' stands out, but it represents him as a character. We have also used this technique with Sophie. The colour yellow is used to represent innocence, and potentially a stained innocence as a result of her rape. Therefore, similar to within 'The Godfather 2' the yellow clothing ensures Sophie not only stands out, but that it represents her character. The Godfather 2 There is a significant difference within these two frames. In 'The Godfather 2', the character is in the centre of the camera shot, and there is not way in which this character's death could be subtle, or ignored. The other freeze frame demonstrates how we challenged this ideal. The camera clearly zooms off and out whilst the antagonist is being attacked. This difference means our sequence is less bloody and gory than other thriller films, such as 'The Godfather 2'. However, the reason as to why we did this was because we believe that it would still leave an effect on the audience, and the aim is to psychologically affect the viewer. The majority of thriller opening sequences use loud dramatic music to emphasise the theme of the rest of the film. We have decided to challenge the evident use of music at the beginning of our sequence, in order to change the overall effect. As our film is more psychological that visual, we have decided that the unconventional music would be best suited to our opening credits. The Man Who Knew Too Much The 1956 Alfred Hitchcock film 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' is a thriller film that uses a variety of conventions and forms to highlight the significantly advanced and pyschologically effective plot. The audience follow the travels of the McKenna family, and as the audience become more aware as to the plot, so do the family. The use of the loud, orchestral music within the opening sequence enables the audience to realise how although the film appears to be about an innocent family holiday, drama and action can be expected. The music within the opening sequence of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' depicts the dramatic plot of the rest of the film. As previously stated, we aimed to ensure that our thriller remained as psychologically effective as possible, therefore we decided upon using subtle hints of drama and a sinister plot as apposed to highlighting more the themes of blood and death. This was one reason as to why we challenged this media product's use of loud, orchestral music, as we felt it would not aid us in continuing with the subtle nature of the film. Instead, we used a minimalist piece, similar to the piece used within 'The Exorcist', to highlight the twisted, pyschological plot. Many films unintentionally portray the villain as a male, and the protagonist as a female. The stereotypical vulnerability of a woman figure ensures the audience feel that the woman can not defend herself, and this therefore promotes fear within the audience. Similarly, a male's stereotypical dominance and strength ensures the audience feel a sense of security and safety. We decided to challenge these ideals within our piece by having our antagonist as unidentified regarding gender.

After consulting our target market concerning colour imagery and other factors, we decided that we could ensure our stalker character could be a frightening attribute within promoting the fact that they are male. We therefore used the colour black to emphasise danger, as well as a large coat. We decided that through various camera angles, we would avoid zooming in or having extreme close ups that would enable the audience to know for sure the gender of the antagonist. North By Northwest The 1959 Alfred Hitchcock thriller film 'North By Northwest' aims to effect the audience with the inticing plot of a normal man who has his identity stolen, and after his search for a non-existant man who has given him his name, he turns more and more violent, and eventually seems to accept his new name. The plot seems to be based entirely on this man's mission, until he meets a woman, and ends up saving her life. This image of a weak woman and a strong man is common umong the film industry, especially thriller films, where there is a particular issue that means a woman is 'even more' vulnerable.
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