Sunday, 2 May 2010

Binyam Teklebrhan A2 Media Coursework Evaluation

Binyam Teklebrhan A2 Media Coursework Evaluation

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


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

The established forms and conventions of the media genres I have worked in have been met in my media products. The products meet the established forms and conventions through the genres and subgenres shown through them, the short film meets the correct forms and conventions by being typically experimental, which is commonly something done in short films. I also combined a main Social realist theme with a Moral message and entertainment. This kind of theme is rarely seen in full-length films but odd combinations on themes are normal for short films. My short film meets the conventions of it genre being a thriller with an action subgenre as it will keep you in suspense as a thriller is supposed through the change in events, but it will also keep you engaged through the camera work of an action film, for example the chase scene was action packed and followed the conventions of an action film through the innovative gritty camera shots used. My short film develops the conventions through the variations in shots used in the chase scene going from Point of view shots to mid shots then to close ups, constantly changing camera work is developing conventions of the action aspect of the film. The film has not really challenged any conventions of the genres used instead it has developed the action genre through the chase scenes, as well as adding some entertainment to it, through odd facial expressions and actions by the fearful student.

The Magazine uses the correct forms and conventions it has the correct technical classic layout, we chose to do the review the traditional way as we did not want to confuse the intended audience of the article in anyway so we tried to keep the writing as formal as possible. The article is laid out in the traditional left-to-right style, it has a main image with main text and two columns of text which are broken up into three chunks excluding the breakout box. This styled layout was designed to make easy reading for the viewer, so we chose for the main image to only take up a third of the page so we would have more space for the text on the page. This can only be described as a development of the classic layout as our magazine review turned out to look of the similar to a page of ‘Total Film’ and ‘Sight and Sound’ as our review informs the audience if the film as well as the actors involved.

The poster met the correct conventions through its technical layout, we chose to do it, lay it out the same way as other posters out at this time and not change the layout because if we did not people would not understand it. Landscape or portrait, this was an important decision for the film poster and we felt portrait would go well with our theme as the poster looks like a typical picture you would find in a newspaper article condemning hoodies, so we added the reddish hue to the picture to fool the audience viewing the poster to think the film is about hoodies being bad.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

My three products work together very well, they all share the same genre of thriller/action texts and there is a common theme of social realism in all three texts which are easily recognisable from the style, quality and mise en scene of the images used for the magazine review and poster. The image of a ‘Hoodie’ is also apparent in all three formats. The social realist theme comes along particularly strongly in the magazine review with the blurred image showing the reality of the situation the apparent antagonist was stuck in, the I feel the social realism comes across particularly well with the picture and written anchorage describing the film in short beneath it. The short film itself has the most action out of the three texts as it is the ‘feature presentation’ it has to it do well to do this with the combination of dramatic sound and camera work stands out from the three in the action department. I feel the texts do a great job of communicating the genre to audiences as they all connect to each other first which is most important, they each have a good balance of creating the correct balance of the theme and collectively make one product.

The texts communicate the narrative as Binyam and I wanted it to be communicated, because we did not want to give it all away in the poster or review so there was less focus on the narrative in the ancillary texts, than the main product. This was a conscious decision to keep the audience in the dark when viewing a poster or review.

The review addressed the narrative we wanted people to initially see more than the poster as the reviews picture was in the middle of the action so it served its purpose well, the picture showed a Hoodie and a victim, which is the focus of the narrative.

In the main text the narrative was structured well and clearly understandable to the intended audience, it kept the audience in suspense and the twist did not confuse anyone. I thought the dialogue in the interviews really helped to boost the narrative of the main text, it worked almost as a commentary narrating the film as it was going on. I feel the narrative of my short film would not require further reading from the poster or review before viewing the film to understand its theme or purpose as they will be easy to understand from a single viewing of the film.

The three texts are all aim roughly at audiences of the same age groups, the magazine is aimed at the largest audience. The short film is aimed at 15-30 years olds, where as the poster is aimed at the smallest age groups from 15-21 year olds and finally the review it aimed at young film students to older senior audiences. Each of my products approach my audiences differently the poster aims to catch the attention of the audience to interest them through the bold image and catchy tag line giving them an idea of the story that lies ahead, whereas the review aims to give a bigger description of the context and issues around the film and general information on the director and actors to allow the audience to make a choice weather or not to go and view the film. The film itself uses a number of techniques to reach the targeted audience, the film does this through language and slang to appeal to the younger end of the target audience because it will be easy for them to understand and relate to, more formal language is used in the film to reach the older end of the audience to make the messages clear. The action and particularly the theme appeals to the whole audience as it is something commonly seen in the media today, stereotyping and pre-judgement that creates fear in society.

It was necessary to target different audiences in the different products to secure the diversity of the audience to view the film through looking at the film review and poster. Our products do work well together to reach the wider audience as they all target the different ends of the intended audience to bring the whole target audience together. The audience can use the review to find out more background information of the main text and the poster can simply be used to promote the film to people of any age.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

Audience feedback is important when creating media products, it is the best way to learn points to improve on from un biased opinions from peers and members of the public. Mainstream full length films do this through public previews which are advertised as well as through initial private viewings, so naturally I decided to make sure that I got audience feedback from all of my products.

I had audience feedback sessions with all of students in my sixth form for the film posters and review, I gained feedback through questionnaires which turned out to be really helpful. The feedback received was very good and no t many if any changes were asked to be made apart from the odd spelling mistake or grammatical error her are few quotes from the feedback: “Does the film reach the correct audience” ‘the films indented audience could be made wider, this is because the issues brought up and shown in the short film are often discussed by parents of children of all ages, who are worried about their children’s safety on the street due to the image the media have given hoodies’,Is the theme clear” ‘yes it is entertaining and incorporates a moral message about hoodies and misconceptions’, “Does the film achieve its purpose?” ‘Entertaining- not so sure, Message-yes’,”What do you think of the sound” ‘sound had a few issues with interference from the wind’.

I think the comments given were fair and I agree entirely with what was said. Initially the short film had a lot of unnecessarily long walking and a very long chase scene, which was cut down a lot to produce a final draft and the review had a picture that was too large that we didn’t feel was suitable for the text beneath it, but with a bit of fiddling and resizing and changing of images was fixed. The audience feedback really helped to improve the product significantly.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

In the research and planning stages I used the internet to research into the background of existing products, through various Google searches for certain pieces of information, to help me understand the media products so they were more than just words, so I could begin getting ideas to create my own versions as professionally as possible. I uploaded all my research up to an electronic blog which was very easy to work with and made the planning and research stage of the course work so much easier. I could put direct hyper links on the blog to video sites such as ‘YouTube’ which had a vast library of professional and unprofessional short films so I could see what to do and what not to for my film to be successful. I could also upload pictures to accompany my writing and videos.

Our tools for the production of our film, poster and review consisted of basic equipment DV cameras and Digital cameras using these types of equipment did have some advantages and limitations, so because we did not have lights we had to rely entirely on the whether and work around it which was a disadvantage of having no lights. The advantage of the DV cameras for us was that it gave us an advantage of a gritty realistic look which was exactly what we wanted to get. The big disadvantage was our sound limitations, which were apparent in our finished product because without a separate microphone getting dialogue on a windy day outside is not easy, but despite that production went well. The post production also went smoothly thanks to Adobe Premier’s range of effects and non-linear editing, non- destructive software where clips could simply be dragged and dropped to create new pieces of footage seamlessly edited together was quite amazing. Photoshop Cs4 was particularly helpful for the image an text manipulation of the poster an magazine review the text the software was tricky to use but one you got the hang of it, you could do just about anything I particularly enjoyed using layers to make up bigger images I found it very helpful. The internet was also a big help in the post production stage as it helped us find our copyright free music for the short film, again YouTube proved to be particularly useful in this department.

This evaluation has been brought to you by the internet which made me able to add hyper links and pictures to go into more detail to explain my influences more clearly. I also hope to post my Short film onto YouTube for worldwide distribution.

The internet has greatly influenced projects such as mine, with websites such as YouTube and dedicated short film sites to encourage more young directors to show their work to the world through a new media.


Film Poster

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Film Magazine Review

The most appropriate type of magazine for our film is a specialist film magazine which focuses mainly on independent films by new directors but also reviews upcoming blockbuster titles.The name of the magazine is Press Rewind and the target audience is specifically people who are interested in independent film companies and low budget productions, so the age groups targeted vary significantly from young film students to older, senior audiences. The mode of address of the magazine will consist of a formal style while the house style will consist of a large image as well as a large amount of text. The constants in film magazines such as strap lines, breakout boxes and subheadings will also be present in "Press Rewind".

Advertising Profile:
  • Press Rewind is the only magazine in the UK to offer an unrestricted insight into the world of independent cinema from Britain and across the world. Away from all the gloss and glaze of Hollywood, Press Rewind exhibits the undervalued brilliance of these low budget productions which continue to electrify audiences and transmit the most vivid of emotions. Through the unchallenged access to exclusive content and first hand previews of upcoming films, Press Rewind offers the audience the most gripping and up-to-date content available.
  • Press Rewind magazine, available monthly for £3.99
Audience Profile:
  • Whats Your Favorite Movie?
  • What is your favorite TV channel?
  • Are you a worker/a student/unemployed?
  • What is your favorite holiday destination?
  • What sports do you enjoy?
  • What is your preferred form of transport?
58% Male, Student, Fans of cinema

Sample Paragraphs:
  • Following the immediate success of Christopher Aboiralor's new wave hit 'Rest in Pieces', whereby the criminal underworld of South London was so brutally exposed, he has once again taken to the scene this time to depict the struggle faced by youths in this day and age following the moral panic so rife, due to the medias constant exaggerations. The conflict endured by the different age, race & class groups is expertly illustrated through the use of metaphoric comparisons which do well to expose such problems.
  • Alexander Ojo once again adds to his bulging collection of stellar performances with the four star showing he produces in Aboiralor's gritty thriller 'Hoodie'. He makes a superb comeback following a few years of inactivity due to the arrival of his first son Ojo Jr. But he is one of the few shining lights to emerge from an otherwise drab showing from T&A studious. The story is far too predictable while the performance from Aboiralor is mediocre at best.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Poster drafts 1 & 2

Hoodie Posters



Script For Interview:

Question 1:
  • Interviewer- Young people these days are portrayed as somewhat 'out of control', throughout the media due to the rise in violent crimes among people as well as the gang culture, drugs and binge drinking. How do you respond to claims that young people are a threat to society?
  • Student- I reject these claims, simply because from my experiences with young people I have never encountered any threat of violence, and while i have witnessed young people acting irresponsibly with both alcohol and drugs i don't feel it is fair for the media to use such strong labels on a group as wide ranging as 'young people' to be judged on a few violent individuals.
  • Hoodie: Real talk, I can see why adults are shook of young people, cos the media make us look lyk were animals. Im not gna lie, i seen peeps get moved to on road buh jus' cos some man are on that flex it dont mean that every man is. There is pressure for us to do shit like that but jus cos some of us we bun weed n ting it don't make us a threat to society.
Question 2:
  • Interviewer- How do you feel when you see a group of young males wearing dark hooded items of clothing?
  • Student: If I'm being perfectly honest I try to maintain a safe distance from characters such as the ones you are describing. However I have encountered times when I have had to pass through places which are described as 'rough' and 'dangerous' and i do often feel intimidated and threatened, but thankfully on each of these occasions nothing bad actually happened to me.
  • Hoodie: When i see a group of hooded up youts, i jus try not to screw dem or look at them to tough, cos if im on my ones n theres a couple of them then i could get beat up or mugged. Real talk the media have got a point when they say that people who wear hoddies are dangerous cos a lot of criminals and gangs wear hoods to conceal their faces but that dont justify the stereotypes aimed at us. Cos when they say hoodie they dont mean someone wearin a hoodie, they mean a teenager, whos black and wears a hoodie.
Question 3:
  • Interviewer- How does it make you feel as a young person growing up in this environment and social climate where young people tend to be pre-judged ?
  • Student- I don't think this actually affects me,if I'm being perfectly honest. I don't go around wearing hoodies, smoking on street corners with vicious dogs mugging old ladys or shooting people, nor do I give one the impression that I do things like this. I have an aim in life to be successful and i know if I distance myself from people like this then I will be successful.
  • Hoodie- It pisses me off. I dont understand how people can be so naive as to fink im dangerous just cos of the clothes i wear lyk. When i get on the bus or a packed train I see people watchin me like im gonna pull out a shank or sumin, sometimes i ignore it but sometimes it annoys the hell out of me n it makes me feel to do somethin like that. When i sit down i see these women shiftin their bags and gripin them tight, how would that make u feel? levels. Its funny, they even banned hoodies in my college cos they say it gives the college a bad image. Its madness.
Question 4:

  • Interviewer- How do you feel about 'Hoodies'?
  • Student- Hoodies have put an everlasting taint on society... I DESPISE HOODIES!!!!
  • Hoodie- Are you serious? haaha.. i swer down, the way u lot love to judge groups of people, its ridiculous. Real talk i feel fine about hoodies, its criminals you should be worried about.


Monday, 1 March 2010

Film poster Planning

Target audience
  • Our target audience is 15 to 25 year olds, we are going to use our film poster to target the 15 to 21 year old males in our audience. Through arranging relevant screenshots of action from the short film into a poster format to interest this demographic of my target audience.
  • Our poster is going to focus on the action aspect of the film, it may be a collage of images of the chase in photo form edited to look as if they were taken from CCTV cameras showing a dark figure with a hood pursuing a formally dressed student in four separate photos, hung up by pegs on a line as if the pictures had just been developed in a dark room being developed this layout will hopefully make the audience to think the short film is about crime in the city.
Possible Tag lines
  • The Streets is watchin' and so is something else
  • Hooded Hoodlem's or Hooded Helper's you decide?
  • Being Good's never looked so Bad.
  • If someone looks Bad, but does Good, are they still Bad.
  • The Good, The Bad, The Hoodies.
  • The Goody Hoodie.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

FIlm Poster Analysis

Film posters use colours and images in subtle, clever ways to give the audience indications on the theme and plot of the film.
  • TAG-LINE:The tagline contains a deliberate grammatical error which is used to give the audience an insight into the film and to reinforce the feeling gained from the image that the people are under attack from a “thing”.
  • ICONIC IMAGE: Through the iconic image of the statue of liberty it is made immediately obvious to the audience that the film is set in America
  • BACKGROUND IMAGE: And through the background image the setting of the film is made more specific, and that it is set in New York City. The billowing smoke clouds over the famous New York skyline and the destroyed statue of liberty gives the audience an insight into the size of the “thing”, and the destructible capacity it possesses. It also shows the audience the threat the people of New York face.
  • FILM TITLE: The Sci-Fi styled font makes it obvious to the audience that the film is a science fiction film.
  • BILLING BLOCK: The billing block is a constant among film posters, as it gives information on the films actors and directors among other information.
  • RELEASE DATE: This is simply the day the film is set to be released.

Film Posters:

The main purpose of a film poster, put purely and simply, is to advertise a film. It usually consists of an image which is relevant to the film, the name of the film, and a tagline, while some also include the release date and the names of key actors and/or the director. Film posters are displayed in a wide variety of places ranging from big billboards highways to bus stops and even on buses themselves.

Film posters are situated in places where they can be seen by many people, such as on billboards above main roads and, as above, on buses which are constantly moving which means they are being seen by as many people making them just as effective as billboards. Furthermore film posters are designed so they can influence the people looking at them in a short space of time due to the nature of where they are situated. This is because film posters appear in places where people are usually on the move meaning the posters must advertise the film in a short space of time. For this reason short films don't usually contain much text, instead they are made up of large images and vibrant titles, while the little text they contain is in the form of a tag line, a short catchy phrase used to advertise the movie, and the billing block at the bottom of the poster which is usually overlooked, but contains information including the name of actors and the film institution. Film posters use colours and images in subtle, clever ways to give the audience indications on the theme and plot of the film. This can be seen in the

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


The Main Characters

Formal Student is Binyam Teklebhran because he is 18 years old the age around the hoodie as people around in his age are commonly accused of being hoodies and he is not and actually talks negatively about them even though he is also African.
Hoodie is Alex Ojo because he is also 18 years old and as this is in age band of the majority of hoodies he's also black which is important as the media usually label young black males as the majority of hoodies.



Ealing park gardens, Gumley gardens (outside of school), is going to be used for the chase scene throughout the short film it will make a good location as it has nice corners and is fairly small area and not busy with people so filming there should be easy. There are a lot of parked cars which will help with the scene making nice obstacles. This area is in city so it is urban enough to fit in with this short films script, It is the suburbs as I want it to be in an area where the apparent antagonist feels they can be safe.

Sixth form block, is going to be used for the interviews in between the action scenes of the main story because we need a plain background with good lighting for this, so I thought this would be the perfect area for these scenes to be filmed, because the walls are quite a plain colour.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Potential Audiences For Short Films:
Due to the fact that short films can undertake greatly diverse themes they are used by different people for different purposes, ranging from educational ones to simply personal interest.
  • EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES: Short films can be utilised by schools in order to promote a message or to inform students about social problems more effectively than a simple speech can due to the visual anchorage. Students may also feel they can relate to the actors in the short films more than they can relate to their teachers therefore the message is conveyed more effectively, making short films a significant tool for teachers to use. Bulletproof (see is an example of a short film aimed at students to raise awareness on a social issue, in this case gun crime, through the use of young actors to deliver the message. This shows that school children are a potential audience to which short films are aimed at. These short films are usually funded by institutions such as BBC or Channel 4 due to their public service remit whereby they must attempt to educate and inform the audience.
  • PROFESSIONAL AUDIENCES: Short films are also widely used by young and upcoming producers and directors as an area which can be used promote their skills and and also showcase their ideas for a new film. This therefore opens up a whole new potential audience for short films, an audience which ultimately judges short films as a profession. These short films are shown in film festivals such as the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival which again introduces another audience to short films which consists of both new producers and veteran producers who attend such festivals. 'Alive in Joburg', is an example of a short film which was used by the director to gain promotion for his film idea as the film was later made into a full length film. These short films are either funded independently by the producer or through a private institution for more established directors.
  • AUDIENCES WITH SPECIFIC INTEREST: Another significant audience for short films are those who have a specific interest in short films and are willing to research them on the internet and purchase them on DVD's. Websites such as the BBC ( offer short films to audiences with specific interests for free while other websites (see have short films for sale. These short films are usually funded independently however some are funded institutionally by popular film companies.
  • BBFC (British Board of Film Classification): It is the job of the BBFC to apply suitable age certificates to not only movies and games but also to short films. It is an independent body, free from both government intervention as well as that of film companies meaning the certificate handed to the film is both reliable and accurate without pressure form outside institutions. When rating a film or game the BBFC take into account the language, sexual content, violence as well as other factors before giving the film a suitable certificate out of the following:
  • UUNIVERSAL: Suitable for all age groups, including children.
  • PGPARENTAL GUIDANCE: Certain scenes may be unsuitable for young children. Parental discretion is advised.
  • 12A 12A: May be unsuitable for children under 12. Those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times (in cinemas)
  • 12 12: Suitable only for those above the age of 12. Nobody younger than 12 may rent or buy any form of media with this certificate.
  • 15 15: Suitable only for those over the age of 15. Nobody younger than 15 may rent or buy any form of media with this certificate.
  • 18 18: Suitable adults only. Nobody younger than 18 may rent or buy any form of media with this certificate.
  • R18 Restricted 18: For adults only. May only be shown at licensed cinemas and sold at licensed sex-shops.
  • The classification which appears most appropriate for our short film is a 12A rating. This is because our short film does not contain any sexual content or bloody violence whilst swear words and foul language are kept minimal. Our film is specifically aimed at a mature teenage audience due to the teenage theme of the film and we wish for this audience to be kept wide whilst ranging between those aged 12-18. We wish to achieve this by creating a film which many teenagers can relate to and also by making sure that the audience are drawn to the storyline through the use of suitable characters and settings.

Sunday, 31 January 2010


  • Hoodies representation today in the eyes of a young londoners eyes.
  • Interview montage style short film with conclusion at the end.
  • Cross cuts between action and interviews.
  • Stereotypes.
  • Opening chase scene.
An apparent protagonist in a hoodie is chasing after a formally dressed student in a frantic chase scene through a street. The film then cuts to interview of a teenagers around the age of the apparent antagonist talking about their negative thoughts on hoodies in society. The story will flashback to the formal teenager about 10 minutes before the chase, showing him taking out gloves from his pocket and dropping his wallet. The story then goes back to interview of a boy who actually wears hoodies, speaking in interviews about his experiences of being judged negatively for wearing a hoodie. The film then goes back to the chase scene from the begining, but now the apparent protagonist has almost caught up to the apparent antagonist, about to corner him then it cuts to black and the 'hoodie' goes into his pocket, to give back the lost wallet and before the other character can say thanks he runs away.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Short films use titles and texts in similar ways to how other film productions use titles and text. Titles in short films are used to introduce the sequence and can also give the audience insight into the film while the text at the end of the film closes off the sequence in a professional manor. Different styles of texts are used to emulate different effects and titles appear at different times and places on screen again to promote different audience reaction. In the short film 'Veronique', the title is written in the bottom corner in a typewriter, military style font. This makes the audience infer that the film may be based on a war or conflict of some sort when it is in fact based on a romantic encounter. This is an example of how titles in short films can be used to influence the thought of the audience and the significance they an have on ones perception of a sequence. In contrast to the more traditional use of titles portrayed in 'Veronique', the title in the short film 'Sold', appears at the end of the sequence. This works effectively with the plot as it ends the film with the title implying the character had quite literally been sold and is a witty and fresh use of the titling to great effect.
  • EDITING: As in most other film productions, short films use editing in conjunction with the genre and the theme of the sequence to create and maintain a suitable pace and rhythm to the film while also adding purpose to it. In the short films we have studied the most popular form of editing used is continuity editing whereby the work of the editor appears invisible to the audience as the sequence is pieced together through the use of cuts rather than obvious transitions and wipe effects. An example of the use of continuity editing is in the short film 'Double Take', where the editor uses cross cutting to link the different scenes together along with the flashbacks giving the story a more effective, rounded feel to it. This form of editing is also used to dictate the pacing of the film, which is shown by how these quick cuts successfully keep up the tempo of the scenes while adding to the suspense and tension. However in the short film Veronique, there is the use of more obvious styles of editing such as slow motion and effects by which character images are seen fading across backgrounds. This style of editing is just as effective as the continuity editing due to the more relaxed, romantic nature of the sequence.
  • SOUND: Dialogue is a big part in short films. While many neglect to use actual speech others use narration and voice-overs to good effect. 'For the love of...'is a key example of the way voice-overs can be successfully utilised to both tell a story and to draw empathy from an audience. Dialogue between characters, meanwhile, is equally common amongst short films. Furthermore 'Gravity', shows us that the dialogue in short films can give the audience indications on the regional identity and social class backgrounds of characters, which is key in short films because unlike short films they haven't got the time to describe each character individually. Non-diegetic scores are also commonplace across short films, as they can be used to generate different effects and reactions amongst the audience. In 'Veronique', a low key, typically French score is almost constant throughout short film and gives the sequence a romantic feel to it. In contrast to this, the fast-paced dramatic score used in 'Double-Take', gives the sequence a completely different feel to it and complements the tense, upbeat nature of the short film. Furthermore many short films neglect non-diegetic scores altogether in preference of using simply diegetic sounds. This is a technique used in 'Gravity', where the lack of score adds to the gritty realistic feel which the film attempts to emulate.
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY & MISE-EN-SCENE: Cinematography also plays a significant role in the production of short films. Camera angles and camera movements are manipulated and used in similar ways to that of movie productions and drama series' in that they are used to generate specific effects i.e. the use of extreme close-ups to show emotion in a characters face. In a lot of short films, particularly social realist short films, dull colours are used along with low key lighting and kinetic camera work in order to make the sequence appear more gritty and realistic which is complemented through the lack of non-diegetic score. However the technique also works well with more romantic pieces such as 'Veronique', where dull colours and kinetic camera work is used amid high key lighting and close ups of characters to make it obvious to the audience that the film is based around a romantic encounter. In terms of mise-en-scene, actor performance has significant effects on the outcome of a short film. In 'Gravity', the improvised dialogue gives the film a more realistic edge to it. Key props ,such as the bag in 'Double-Take', do well to draw the audience in the same way expensive productions do.

Conventions of a short Film.

Short films are created and used to promote different effects amongst the audience who view them. While many short films are used to inform and educate the audience on different social issues, whereas other short films are simply created for entertainment purposes. For these specific reasons short films undertake a wide variety of different themes which may be based around current pressing issues or aspects of society that have remained constant over the years.
An example of a popular theme for a short film is community, or the recent decline in the sense of community that Britain in the past had been accustomed to. This is portrayed in Nadia Attia's 'Sold', in which a lack of community and a sense of isolation appears constant in the short film. This can be seen through the way in which the neighbours in the film aren't even comfortable enough to converse with each other, or the fact that they aren't even on first name terms with one another even though they live in the same building. It is an example of how contemporary British society is changing and how it has changed over recent years.
Another example of a popular theme for a short film is multiculturalism. This is again an example of how contemporary British society has changed over recent years and is classically portrayed in the short film 'for the love of''. It is a short film which uses a narrative point of view to discuss the contrast between traditional expectations and representations of multicultural society, whilst also highlighting the negative aspects such changes may have on society such a racism and the poverty experienced among immigrants.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Film Posters and Magazine (Research)

  • What is the purpose of a film poster? Where to posters appear?
    Film posters advertise and encourage audiences to view a film through the images, text and composition. The posters use a number of techniques to reach their target audiences, they can alert audiences of the genre of the film just through images of the starring actor who is known to play characters for a genre e.g A poster of a film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger the audience will immediately assume that it is an action film with unnecessary violence and countless fight scenes, this is part of the semiotics used by film posters to help the audience process the information just from the imagery alone, without even reading the title audiences should be able to tell what the film is about and only need to use the title as anchorage and confirmation to go and view the film. That is the purpose of a good film poster. Film posters can be displayed on the outside and inside of major mainstream cinemas as well as smaller ones, they can be found in billboards or in shops. Film posters can also incorporate third party endorsements to be viewed in magazines an newspapers.
  • What are the conventions for film posters? What elements do all film posters contain?
    Film posters have three main codes to follow which are Technical codes the techniques used in the construction of the title which include the title 'Tag lines' and billing block.
    The written codes are the range of contexts in which words are used in the text itself, i.e. the actual words creating the film title and the 'Tag line'.
    The symbolic codes are the system of signs embedded within the text itself i.e. the connotations of the images, colours and font styles.
    All Film posters need a Film title, the title of the film. Tag lines are catchy, enticing short phrases used to advertise and sell a movie. They can also sum up the plot, tone or themes of the film, they help reinforce the film so you remember to go and see the film e.g. 'Same make. Same Model. New mission.'- Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) the tag line refers to the 'Terminator' robot. Some may require you to think slightly where as others are straight forward as 'Part man. Part Machine. All Cop. The future of law enforcement', Robocop (1987). Tag lines are usually short sentences can have what you call a 'Rule of three' which are to do with the sentence structure which are; Rhetorical question e.g. 'What if someone you never ever net, someone you never known, was the only some one for you?'- Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Rhyme and Repetition e.g. 'Whoever saves one life saves the entire world' - Schindlers list. Billing Block, the block of text at the bottom off the poster listing distribution rights supporting actors and other legal small print for the film, these all need to be present for it to be classified as a film poster.

  • Title, 300
  • Tag line, Prepare for glory
  • Billing Block, located under the '300' Title
  • Symbolic codes, blood splattered posters suggest it is going to have a lot of blood. The bright light shining down makes the scene look glorious, could mean the Gods are watching over them. The armour worn by the characters indicates their soldiers taking part in some sort of war, are they just wearing red capes or are they soaked in blood?
  • Technical codes, blood red Tag line and blood splattered font for the title and the positioning of all the text to fit into the shape of the cliff.
  • Written codes, '300' the title of the film and the number of the soldiers shown maybe, the 300 are the ones preparing for glory.

Monday, 18 January 2010

What are the potential audience for short films?

  • Institutionally funded short films tend to have considerably smaller budgets than mainstream full length "Hollywood," films and take much less time to produce due to the fact that they are not always intended to make profit. The majority of British short films are funded by the UKFC (UK film council) and then initially distributed for single release at film festivals before being released on DVD. The BBC and Film 4 release a number of short films each year, the BBC tend to target younger audiences as there themes tend to be more about educating and informing audiences.
    The Internet has also been a break through for short films due to it easy accessibility almost any where access (on 'smart' phones and i-phones). Most people use the Internet everyday in some way or another, and because of websites like YouTube and google video short films are gaining wider audiences and being viewed outside the classroom by younger audiences, this is an example of how synergy can really boost an industry.
  • The intended audiences for the short films I have viewed are for younger audiences such as secondary school and college students, as they raise awareness on current affairs and raise issues that affect young people such as gun crime in Colin Hutton's 'Gravity', or day to day issues like a teenage crush in Patrick Bergh's 'Veronique'. These films are made easier to relate to with the use of young actors around the ages of the intended viewers, which is important in this regard while also doing well to stress the importance and repercussions of such issues Short films can also raise awareness of issues that are not talked about in the media everyday, but are just as important as the main headlines. 'For the love of ...' - Chris Sheriff, is a short film I watched which raised the issue of the mistreatment of migrant workers in the UK, which may not directly affect young people but is an important issue for them to be aware of due to its social significance.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The purpose of a Short Film

  • Promotion, Short films are meant to promote new full length films as well as to be built on to make full length films. They are shown the majority of the time at film festivals almost exclusively. There are even website that buy short films to help promote new upcoming film directors. Short films differ from mainstream full length films because, short films rarely go mainstream to be distributed into cinemas for the public to view. They are usually privately commissioned or may go straight to DVD.
    'Alive in Joburg' by Neill Blomkamp is an example of an unconventional experimental style of filming. The almost continuous interview documentary style is a experimental technique you would not see being tried out in mainstream films because they simply would not be able to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds into a new technique without testing it. In a short film like it is a risk worth taking to gain feedback, this film was successful and went on to being made a full length mainstream film 'District 9', which earned $37 million in its opening weekend, its a fair amount considering it was a short film to begin with.

  • Education, short films are usually released on teacher resource websites, as well as on DVD for educational purposes, as the short films I viewed which included a booklet to explain the the issues raised and how to teach from, short films are perfect for discussing important issues in a matter off minutes better than watching a full length film to gain information on a issue/topic.
  • Short films, are not usually to make, but are used by young or new directors as a testing ground for a idea to see how it in a logical sequence to work and expand on to make a full length film. A short film can tell an hour long story in a 10 minute video sequence or simply just a scene of a story to see what it looks like.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Style and Genre

  • Short films tend to be filmed on digital video cameras, which gives them a gritty realistic look. Due to the cost of celluloid film which makes colours very bright and vibrant compared to the majority of short films I have viewed such as 'For the love of...'- Chris Sheriff, in which the use of digital camera was perfect for the film as it helped give the gritty look to a film about racism and the underclass. Kinetic camera work is also very common in the style of short films as free hand camera work also cuts costs.
  • Experimental techniques are very common in short films as they make good testing material for new techniques such as the P.O.V (Point of view) shot of from a gun like in 'Gravity'- Colin Hutton. These experimental techniques can include the use of black and white footage. Short films can also have a surrealist style techniques 'breaking the four wall' are common in short films an example in 'Sold'- Nadia Attia when the T.V starts talking to the character.
  • Short films Genres can vary in Genre as much as mainstream films can but tend to be used as educational tools to teach so social realist themes are a commonly used genre in short films, as well as promotion tools at film festivals to sell a movie idea.

Short Films (research)

Narrative structure
  • Non - linear narrative, flashbacks are common in short films as they are an easy way to show a important part of the story quickly. In 'Double Take' - Toa Stappard uses this narrative technique to show a the main characters past in less than a minute, through video footage on a digital camcorder in the diegeses of the short film of his earlier crimes.
  • Linear narrative structures are a simple way to tell a short story because they tell the story in 'real-time' as you see it. 'Sold' - Nadia Attia shows how effective this structure can be, it is a simple story of a character with ambitions, filmed in real time. The main character is woken up by his door bell, goes to answer his female neighbour is at the door wanting to borrow kitchen utensils, he sends her away, watches the shopping channel has an epiphany and purchases some utensils. This short film also uses a Circular narrative as everything returns to normal/how the story began.
  • Short films can also have a 'Three part structure' which has a beginning, middle and end but Short films don't have to have a beginning , middle and end the can have none of the above. 'Gravity'- Colin Hutton used an equilibrium of a child on a swing swinging happily, a disequilibrium of some teenagers playing with a gun and on of of them shooting it and finally a new equilibrium on the same child on the swing still swinging but motionless and dead.
  • Open ended: Cliffhanger endings are also common in short film as they do not all need to have a narrative closure as they are so short.
  • Multi-stranded narratives are also common as there may be two contrasts that make the story. 'Double take' - Toa Stappard uses a multi-stranded narrative of Crime & Justice which gave the story an edge with a Thief and Vigilante the multi-stranded narrative was needed to make the story.