Sunday, March 28, 2010

Question 7:

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

From the continuity exercise we worked and comparing it to this work I now know that editing is a long process that takes precision and patience to get right. I don't recollect making any mistakes in my continuity exercise not to say that it was perfect but the use of the match on action shot was done quite well and no huge problems were faced in the making of it.

In the main task we probably the same amount of mistakes or more in terms of camera angles as we didn't have to re-film anything.

With our continuity exercise we used the match on action shot which featured the slap of the victim. In our main task we decided to do quite simple but effective shot types such as the canted angle while the villain was walking down to the log. We also accidentally used a slight canted angle in our continuity task because the tripod wasn't set up completely straight. We did a shot/reverse shot in our task which was used quite well and effectively but we didn't use one in our main task due to a lack of dialogue but we did use an over-the-shoulder shot from behind the villain.

In our main task we used a hand-held technique to film all of it giving it a sense of realism which I think we achieved quite well. The camera movements were all free hand in our film so we used a variety of shots such as the tilting shot of the balloon in the sky, which is also a long shot, which was used in our continuity editing also. We followed the 180 degree rule for our continuity exercise which is where an invisible line is created through the middle of the scene and the camera focuses on just one side while filming which was effective in the realism aspect of the film, but we didn't follow this for our main task.

When we were editing we thought it would be good to use the montage editing technique considering it has a home-video feel.Another thing i learnt for the main task is that time wasn't our friend and so we had to plan everything carefully, so that we could meet deadlines although not everything we to plan.

Question 6:

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

We used a camcorder to film some parts of our film which were needed afterwards when we were low on film footage. We found this to be useful because it was at hand and was easy to use. We didn't have any problems using the camcorder.

Below is the camera we used to film the majority of our film when we were filming at the original setting. We found this easy to use and good quality. It was very useful because it was the only option we had as we didn't have any access to the camcorders so this was the next best thing.

Below is a Mac. With this we had to use for our editing using the iMovieHD program, which was quite easy to use but was problematic sometimes because the Mac we used for our continuity editing didn't have enough space on it to upload our footage and so we had to use another one, not knowing that the fire-wire port had blown and so we couldn't put our work onto the hard-drive for safety.
We also used YouTube to search for our music which was very useful and had no problems because we all know how to use YouTube except that sometimes the Mac had trouble loading up videos and it became quite slow and troublesome.

We used Google to look for each of the horror genre conventions and to research the genre itself for ideas and things that consumers like to watch in the genre, giving us an idea of what to use in our film.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Question 5:
How did you attract/address your audience?

The genre conventions of our film is that it the villain is a darkly dressed character and which relates to people who like films such as Scream, as their main character wore a black cloak. It is set in a forest/field setting and so is similar to films such as The Blair Witch Project, and includes a little girl of white race just like the film Pan's Labyrinth.

The music we used was from a film called Dead Silence also a horror film but it was about puppets that came to life, which also featured children. The only diagetic sound in our was from the wind. The mise-en-scene used featured props such as the balloon which was the main USP of our film which was usually shot at an angle, and the cake also shot at an angle. The actors in the film were all shot at a canted angle to show some strangeness and danger. We also did an over-the-shoulder angle so that it was like the viewer was behind him. Our titles were used by props and they were flown over by the camera giving it a seamless look which was all done by hand-held, and we got this idea from the film Delicatessen which is a French film that used the same technique

The cinematography was all done with hand-held giving it a better sense of realism which is what consumers want. The effects that were used were only for transitions between shots to make it look more fluid and professional. Lastly the unique selling point of our film is that it features a balloon which isn't a usual convention of a horror film but is related with family films.
Question 4:
Who would be the audience for your media project?

Our film is made for horror fans such as the one shown below. This audience would like to watch films that are quite violent and they would wear mostly black clothes or leather if they are goths. They would listen to mostly rock or heavy metal music and they would watch television shows such as C.I.S. They would watch our film because it is a horror and has some horror conventions but also has a sense of realism to the film.

I imagine our typical target audience members to look like the above character.
Aged from about 16-25, I think that their lifestyle and hobbies/interests would be as follows:

Favourite music: Indie/Alernative/Live style music genre. - The Killers + Kings of Leon etc
Favourite programmes: Skins, The Big Bang Theory, C.I.S etc.
Favourite shops: FOPP, Motel, BS8, Urban Outfitters, Primark
Favourite food: Sushi and take-aways, McDonalds etc.
Favourite hobbies and interests: Art and Music, gigs, clubbing etc.

I think these are
stereotypical tastes of our target audience. I believe they would be lively and edgy teenagers interested in music that is new and quite cutting edge as well as programmes similar to that that are quite popular for being they go to not only reflect their style but also show the class of our target audience, maybe middle class or top lower class, who would be able to afford these such shops - mainly on Park St known for being quite a high end market range - but also not exactly designer brand stores. I also picked FOPP as this is an edgier music store than the high streets HMV. I think they would be interested in Art and Music as I imagine them to be creative, and quite alternative in their tastes of hobbies and interests.

As mentioned previously above, we set out on primary and secondary research when choosing our target market. We used the internet to research our audience and found that it said the main consumers of the horror genre are teenagers who enjoy generic and atypical conventions such as gore etc.
A stereotypical person who enjoys horror film is a teenage male in around the same age range we have aimed our film at. However, our film is considered just a sub-genre of a horror film and could be appealing to other groups outside of our target market. We then used our questionnaire to further our research into the conventions and aspects that our target audience would find most appealing in a horror film.

We questionned our
target audience on the film and here is a link to the interview/video response with them on their thoughts about our work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3PG3fdEsp4

I also made a written questionnaire for my target audience and asked three people what they thought of the film.

1/ what did you think of the film? was it realistic?

Cat: it was really good and made me want to watch more. The props + costume made it really realistic (:

Chloe: it was good as the camerawork made it look real.

Sam: it set up the storyline well and had good props and colours.

Sophie: yes it was really scary

2/ any negative points about the film?

C: didn't see many negative points other than the random shot of people I didn't know :P

C: there were a few bits that could have done with being shorter - like the shot of the leaves.

S: I didn't really like the ending, the scream was a bit short.

S: the part with the leaves was too long. other than that is was really good!

3/ did it make you want to watch the rest of the film?

C: yes it really drew me in with the plot.

C: yes it was good.

S: the plot was good, I suppose I would want to watch the rest.

S: yes, it was good :)

4/ did you understand the relevance of the balloon?

C: yes, i think it was the little girl's life? because she held it all the way until she went into the log and was killed and then it floated up to heaven.

C: yes, the red was supposed to be the blood from when the killer killed her.

S: yes it was the murder of the little girl.

S: yes, it was supposed to be scary. it was a pretty colour against the sky (:

5/ what genre do you think the film was?

C: a horror/thriller :)

C: horror

S: scary/horror

S: horror/thriller genre

6/ Any specific good points?

C: the music used was really effective, it fitted well with what you could see.

C: the balloon, it was a clever prop. also the sound of the balloon squeaking as the girl went into the log.

S: the sound of the wind worked really well with the music

S: the colours were really good (: really bright. also the camerawork when she was running was all jaunty as it moved feeling like she was being chased.

7/ what did you think of the title? does it sum up the film well?

C: it is good because it is mysterious and it makes you want to find out who/what is "Uninvited"

C: I thought it was clever and looked good next to the balloon in the sky.

S: I liked it. It's effective because it is simple.

S: it's good because it reminds you of parties and links with the plot.

8/ what did you think of the music?

C: it was really scary and created atmosphere. it also made the balloon and the party feel more sinister.

C: I thought it fit well with the beginning where it seemed all nice and then suddenly became more scary.

S: it was good as it was different, and really fit with the wind as she was running, the pace got quicker.

S: it was really good! very scary and appropriate for the genre.

9/ did you notice any issues with the continuity or filming?

C: nope

C: not really. more to do with random shots.

S: no

S: no

10/ did you sympathise with the little girl by the end of the opening?

C: yes, it made you scared for her when she went inside the log

C: yes but I didn't understand really why she went in the log anyway

S: yes I felt sorry for her

S: yes! she was really cute

Question 3:
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

The film we are making is a very low budget film, which would be quite gritty and realistic which very little special effects. The director of our film would be an up and coming director such as Oren Peli who directed Paranormal Activity considering it is uses the same type of camera technique. The production budget would be from £2000 to £10,000; possibly lower and would be funded by Film4 because they fund independent British films such as our own and would be compared to the likes of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. The distribution company we would use would be Optimum Releasing which also distributed Pan's Labyrinth which received many good reviews and awards. The main marketing campaign would be via posters due to low budgets and the viral marketing idea we chose would be the main villain in full outfit roaming the streets, making other people wonder what the character is doing and why he is around considering he is from a film giving the film more realism. Our film would be released in February time so as to avoid the bigger budget films and possibly get more profit and shown in Arthouse and Independent cinemas as it is for that audience and genre.
Question 2:
How does your media product represent particular social groups?

The identities of the main characters are kept mostly in secret except that the main villain in the film is a black male in a hood, which is a stereotype of the 'Gangster' black person but is also shown to be dangerous. This can be a bit of a problem because this can be interpreted by consumers as racism or a focus on stereotypes which we don't want to convey, and this is unfortunate because racism is still a problem in the film industry today.
Below is the villain character (played by me).
This character is similar to the villain from scream. The similarities between these characters are that they both wear black and a hood which is quite menacing. Also consumers have told us that they enjoy it when the villain is an unknown character and so their faces are covered. They both symbolise danger, fear and uncertainty. We chose to choose this character because we thought it would be good to have a faceless character as it would keep audiences guessing.
Our other character was a little girl who stereotypes as a defenceless girl, typically showing weakness, when faced with danger. She happens to be wearing a dress which is what a typical girl her age would wear with frills and the like. I believe that the female character closely resembles the child from Pan's Labyrinth with her being a little adventurous but dominated by the head male.
Question 1:

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

When we were choosing what genre conventions we were going to use in our film we researched into the horror genre and found out that the most common conventions of the genre were a usually powerless victim being threatened/preyed upon by a person/thing they cannot escape from but usually overcome or get killed by at the end.

We used the conventions of a weak, powerless female being hunted and eventually killed by the villain in the film owever we still stuck to a lot of the conventions of a traditional horror film. For example, the mysterious villain is very similar to the likes of Micheal Myers (from Halloween) and the masked killer from Scream - dressing all in black.

The same goes for the girl (Adrienne) playing the innocent, victimized child. Usually females are seen as stereotypical victims - like the female archetype of a "damsel in distress", as they need protection from a "masculine hero". This idea of a secretly evil younger female is the focal point of films like The Ring, The Grudge and Let The Right One In. We based our character on these kinds of girls by getting her to dress in quite bright, childish colours which convey her innocence and age to the audience.

We used the convention of a hand-held home movie feel to give it more realism, and we used this in quite a simple but effective way. I think our horror film challenges these conventions from the fact we didn't give our audience everything they thought was typical of the genre. For instance a lot of people said they liked the gore in horror films and we chose not to use that in our film because we do not have a hollywood budget to enable us to make the mise-en-scene/costume/makeup look believable.

The title of our film came from many other words that were related to our film and we eventually came up with 'Uninvited' which we thought was effective and appropriate because the main activity that was happening in our film was a birthday party and the villain/paedophile happened to be the univited guest causing unrest and trouble. The setting chosen, we thought was an integral part of our film because the log was a main part of the story and where the female got killed, making it an iconic part of the film.

After questioning our
target audience we found they felt the best aspects that create tension in the film are the scary music and sounds. We tried to focus a lot of this when creating our opening, researching into the music and editing used in other horror films such as Dead Silence. The opening of our film suggests that it is from the horror genre by the eerie tone in the music and the horror conventions (young girl, villain).