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.