Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Evaluation: Question 7

Media Evaluation
Question 7: Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Looking back on my productions I felt that I have learnt a lot in the progression from the preliminary task (prelim task) to the main task. For example in preproduction one of the first steps involved creating a storyboard that displayed the narrative in terms of the different camera shots that were to be used. However, during the prelim task when my group drew the storyboards we didn’t design or draw the images properly so when it came to the production stages we were all confused as to what shot we really wanted because the drawing didn’t reflect the camera angles in our written storyboard. Therefore when it came to drawing a storyboard for our main task I made sure to bear in mind that it is supposed to be an accurate representation of the camera shots and angles that we need to film. This allowed us to be able to accurately distinguish between similar shots and film according to our storyboards as opposed to improvising and creating non-existent shots.

During preproduction for the prelim task also decided to create a photographic storyboard in a similar location to our actual location of the camera angles and shots that we drew. This was done so that we get a collective idea as a group of what we want our scene to look like because we would each interpret the storyboard in a slightly different way. Once we took the photos we realised that some of them were taken from the wrong angles and they were not in concordance with our storyboard drawings. Therefore, when the time came to create a photographic storyboard for our main task we used the knowledge, experience and lessons that we learnt from doing the first one to ensure we capture as much detail as possible in each shot. Similar to the storyboard drawings this enabled us to have a united vision on what the shots taken during production will look like.

For our prelim task we didn’t conduct a pitch because it wasn’t needed as the brief specified the narrative for the scene. However, it would have been beneficial to conduct a pitch to find out what our audience would like to see in terms of which camera angels and shots would work best together to depict the story in the scene. This why in our main task we conducted a pitch because we had more freedom with the narrative in our opening and we knew it would be important to find out what our audience would more  likely want to see. Therefore we brainstormed about six different movie openings, presented them to the class who then voted on the idea that they though would be more successful and that was the idea that we chose to film.

During production one of the areas in which I encountered a problem was with the timing. This was because during our prelim task we found it very hard to try and finish filming before the deadline. This was probably due to poor planning and not following our shooting schedule.
Therefore from this I learnt that it is important to stick to the shooting schedule as this will save time both during production and editing as I we would save time looking through unorganised footage. So from this I decided it was best to stick to the shooting schedule as it means that we spent less time redoing the same shots in an unorganised manner and inevitably saved time filming, we even managed to finish early.

For our prelim task we were given a location so we didn't have to spend much time looking for locations that suited our scene we just had to make it work. However for our main task we had more freedom as we have to choose our own locations based in the narrative of our opening. We had a slight problem as our film was to be set in a young boys room however no one in my group had a room that was similar to what we pictured. Therefore we settled on one of our group members houses and decided to bring lots of different props to dress the location as close to our idea as possible.  From out prelim task I learnt how to manipulate our location to allow it to help get across the narrative of our scene and I used this skill to my advantage during the main task.
Another problem that I encountered when filming for the prelim task was the way our cut away shots were filmed. During pre-production we decided to film our cut away shots from a variety of angles but when we came to filming we didn’t vary the angles as much as we hoped to so when it came to post production we were forced to work with what we’ve got. However when it came to filming cut away shots for our main task I learnt from our mistake and decided to film from a variety of angles. This benefited us later as we could then use them in a combination to also depict continuity editing and match on action in post-production.

For our prelim task during editing we obtained some feedback from our creative and technical directors. For example one of the pieces of feedback was to do with our camera angles and the way we frames the shots. He talked about the fact that there was too much head space in one of our over the shoulder shots so next time I made sure to bear this in mind during the main tasks and this helped me to make a better thriller opening. Another way in which we used feedback was during the pitch that we conducted in class for the main task as we asked our classmates to help us decide on a narrative which they think would the most entertaining.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Evaluation: Question 5

Media Evaluation
Question 5: How did you attract/address your audience?
As the audience watches our film opening we expect them to incorporate their prior knowledge of the genre into their viewing experience. This includes knowledge of the typical type of narratives and themes incorporated into thrillers such as child possession and espionage. They would also know about the typical props, lighting and soundtracks hat would be used such as low key lighting, dynamic soundtracks and props including blood and gory objects. In order to target an audience while keeping in mind what they expect and know about thrillers we incorporated the things that they would expect to see in a thriller so they are clear on the genre of from the very moment the film starts to play.

To attract our target audience we have chosen to base our opening on themes that are typical of a thriller movie. These themes include Human consciousness which is where the characters mind is a battle ground for narrative conflict to gain a new level of understanding and perception of their world and personality. Character identity is another theme that allows the audience to identify the characters personality through their personal journey and the most common theme is death and the fascination with death which is presented widely throughout the opening. The point of expressing these themes is to attract our target audience that watch films to escape from reality as these themes are not encountered during everyday life and this is because they may be interested in similar films such as Insidious and Sinister which present similar themes.

(For Textual Analysis see Evaluation: Question 1)

Evaluation: Question 3

Media Evaluation

Question 3:What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Film Distribution is the process after producing a film, which entails selling the film to its target audience, and getting the film as much income profit from audiences as possible. At the start of the process, the studio producing the film would make a licensing agreement with a distribution company. The distribution company would then decide on the amount of copies/prints the movie should have. They would then negotiate deals with several theatre representatives, to try and get their film shown. If this all goes to plan the theatres will lease the film under a lease agreement, and the copies will then be sent to the theatre a few days before the films theatrical release (which the Distribution Company also decides on). The fate of the film then lies in the hands of the audience as the film is released into theatres for a specified number of weeks.
There is a big difference between Major Big-budget distribution companies and Independent distribution companies. The main difference is the budget the films are given for distribution. Therefore big-budget films from major companies such as the avengers or the fast and furious can reach out to consumers with big budget TV-spot trailers and A-list star appeal. However since our film is an independent film we won’t have the resources for these opportunities, this does not mean there are not ways to distribute our film effectively.
Using “The Blair witch project” Distributed by Aristan Entertainment as an example of how we would like to distribute our film. “The Blair Witch project” was shown at the Sundance film festival in 1999, at the festival flyers were given out, asking if anyone had any information on the whereabouts of the “missing” students, which referred to the students in the film. This created massive buzz and appeal for the film as the distributors gave the illusion that the film was based on true events, making the film seem more authentic. As a result of this we would strongly consider having Aristan Entertainment as our Distribution Company as we find their distribution style innovative and effective.

Another Distribution company we would consider would be Hammer Films, as they specialise in making movies from our the horror/thriller genre e.g. The Curse of Frankenstein, The Woman in Black, Wake Wood, Let Me In. It is also an independent distribution company, which means they would fit more closely with our films budget.

Photo Storyboard


Evaluation: Question 4

Media Evaluation
Question 4: Who would be the target audience for your media product?

Below are some examples of our desired target audience:
- Teenage Youth
- 13-25 Year Olds
- Both Genders
- Fans of Horror/Psychological Thrillers
- Mainly Caucasian
- Working/Middle Class
- Puzzle Solving
- Intelligent People
We chose to select this sort of audience as it the audience that we see has been associated with similar types of movies of the same genre, thriller. Also, the younger to middle age groups of 13 to 25 year olds is ideal for our movie as they are more likely to comprehend the concept of the movie and find it more interesting as opposed to much older or younger ages whose interests lie elsewhere. Their likes and past times may include puzzle solving and watching other thriller movies as it will help them understand the movie. Our opening is mainly targeted at middle and working class Caucasians because this is the typical ethnicity that has been seen to be interested in this genre and these classes tend to use movies such as thrillers as a form of escapism from the real world. These themes are most likely to attract the audience as they explore uncommon themes that aren’t commonly represented in movies the way it has been produced in this opening. This is due to the fact that they will be presented through a child and this is not typical because these themes are normally associated with grown mature characters. Some others films that our target audience may be interested in may be; Se7en, Saw, Untraceable, Halloween, Insidious, Sinister, The conjuring, Haunted in Connecticut, Sixth Sense and most recently; Annabel and Ouija.

On our movie poster we would use a collection of eye catching images that represent the life of the boy and the escalation of the trouble that he gets into throughout his lifetime. These images will be designed to provoke thought in the minds of the audience. We have also decided to use film critics reviews and ratings to market the film and attract a wider demographic; through research we have found that using this strategy to market our film will not only acquire a review but that review will help to market the film as a type of recommendation to an audience that rely on reviews from popular critics.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Evaluation: Question 2

Media Evaluation
Question 2: How does your opening sequence represent particular social groups?
The key character in our opening sequence is a 10/11 year old boy who is middle class but low status as he is a child and they usually aren't respected that much in films.
Certain technical aspects we used suggest different things about the character for example a tracking shot is used to represent spirits entering the house, and allows us to find the main character. From this shot we could tell that the character is unstable and is possibly possessed and gives us a reason as to why he is weird and creepy. The long shot of his reflection in the mirror shows the characters innocence being lost as he is not willingly doing what he is doing. This represents the character as innocent but being controlled like how kids are controlled by their parents but in a more severe, harsh, manipulative and wrong way which leads to the character being messed up.
Also the props used in the opening sequence which are dolls that have been dismantled emphasises on the fact that the character is different and not like the other kids as usually kids loves toys and keep them safe but the character from our opening sequence cuts and abuses his dolls. The costume used makes the character appear as an average typical boy, he is wearing a blue and white striped jumper with the hood up which suggests his criminality, his real personality and his identity being hidden.

The character and opening sequence is inspired by Halloween, a film about a serial killer, who kills his family when he was a child, known as Michael Myers, other inspirations include To Kill a Mockingbird and Se7en. We didn't have any issues with the cast, we chose Kyel to play the role of Axel in the opening sequence because he has experience in drama and is good at acting, we required a male character and he was available also he was excited and very good at playing the character and so we casted him.

Other than dedication and reliability we were looking for enthusiasm, improvisation skills and creativity which Kyel was expert in, we also found that he was a good listener and we all had good communication skills which helped us further. We asked Kyel to channel his inner child and guided him on how we wanted the character to appear, from there he improvised movements and if we liked his input we would keep it and maybe alter it a bit, if we didn’t like it then we directed Kyel on how to improve his body language and facial expression in order to stay true to his character. 

Evaluation: Question 1

Media Evaluation
Question 1: In what way does your media product use, develop of challenge forms and conventions for real media products?
This film is a psychological thriller about a boy who has psychological problems. For example throughout the opening the audience is given the impression that he is being watched but we never actually see who is watching him because there isn’t actually anything there. He feels he is being possessed by the ‘spirits’ that are keeping him company and they make him do the things that he does. When the door slams shut this signifies that the boy has completed what the ‘spirits’ want him to do so they leave. Even though something is watching him, he doesn’t seem to mind which suggests that he expects or knows that he is being watched.
My production company is called ‘KAC-TS’ which stems from the combination of my groups initials. The logo design is based on the name as Kac-Ts is pronounced cactus so it contains images of black cacti on a green hilly terrain with a sun in the top left corner. Our logo is designed to replicate somewhat of a dessert setting as that is where cacti are typically found. Our logo sting gives the production logo a light hearted feel as it is uplifting, short and sweet, it is also parallel sound that is designed to follow the movements of the sun. We have decided to use bright, saturated and vivid colours so that the logo will be remembered as it allows for our logo to stand out from another.

Once the production logo and sting fades out the non-diegetic sound for the movie fades in to establish an gloomy and eerie atmosphere and set the tone of the movie which gives the audience the impression that the character is not your average child as the music does not depict anything close to happiness or child-like personality due to its low pitch and extremely slow tempo.  Throughout the clip as we approach the climax of the opening were the boy is holding up the poster the paces of the music is slightly faster than it was at the beginning of the clip and it is much louder and noticeable . This then creates anticipation within the audience as the music reflects how they would be feeling and leads them to question what happens next. Once the tension has been build it is quickly dispersed with the diegetic slamming of the door. The effect this sound effect has on the audience is that it quickly puts an end to the anticipation that they are lead to feel. In relation to the action in the film the door slamming shut signifies the end of the possession over the boy as if he has made the ‘spirits’, which he believes are keeping him company, satisfied with what he has done. This therefore adds to the psychological element because the audience don’t see anything around him or watching him they only get a vague idea that someone or something is watching him towards the end when long shots from outside of the room are shown.

The first collection of shots is a slow zoom to the door of the house and then a handheld track up the stairs with the credits on the steps. As a group we decided to do this to give the audience the impression that they were being invited into the house and this therefore engrosses them in the world of the film as they get an insight into the lives of the characters of the in the film. The track continues into the boy’s room where it becomes a pan of the room revealing the personality of the character as the audience is shown the types of posters and drawings that the boy has created and displayed. Once the setting of the room has been properly established the camera slowly pans down to the boy, revealing him sitting on the floor giving the audience a slow introduction to the boy behind the posters and drawings enabling them to put a body to the personality that has been presented through the props in the room. As mentioned previously, towards then end of the opening the audience is given the impression that the boy has company, however signs of this begins with the over the shoulder shot from the pan down to the boy; suggesting the boy is being watched from behind. The use of different angles had been used to subtly lead audience to believe that he is being watched from different angles.

In the beginning of the opening we get a few long length shots and zooms of the house and stairs. For example the zoom in to the front door and then it slowly fades to a slow pan up the stairs to the boy’s door. Once we get inside the room there is also a slow pan around the room to show the posters and drawing that are up on the wall. This was done to establish the location and give the audience an idea of what the location looks like and where the film is set. It also allows them to start making judgment of the character based on what is being shown such as the poster on the wall. Therefore, when the character is properly introduced they will already have a general idea of what he is like and this will in turn help them to get to understand the general concept of the movie much quicker. On the other hand, toward the end of the opening the cuts start to quicken and the number of fade that we used start to lessen, for instance during the sequence where the boy finished his drawing and begins to put them up on the wall as the door slams shut. This was done to create climatic tension and capture the true essence of a thriller without revealing too much of the narrative. During post-production we added filters that exposed the colours of the scene as opposed to filters that create a monotone colour effect that is typically seen in thrillers. This was so that that the audience will get the impression that the character is a child so it bears the implications of childhood innocence.

The extreme close up of the scissors on floor are used to connote danger and foreshadow future events that would take place in the opening, such as the part when the dolls hair is cut. The colour of the scissors, red, embody and signify danger which is effective as the main character is a child and the scissors are like a child friendly version of a knife or weapon.  The next extreme close up is of a doll head during the pan which suggests that it is linked to the scissors. This prop is though provoking for the audience as it makes them question his personality and childhood innocence. The fact that it is a doll head puts emphasis on the possibility of him having a psychological problems because of the way he uses toys for physical company or to embody the ‘spirits’ that are controlling him.