In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I believe that my media product uses and develops conventions of real media products. I believe that opening sequences serve many important purposes to a film. It is important that they do many things in order for the audience to continue to keep watching and be to hooked throughout. The opening sequence can be the make or break of a film. If the opening sequence is boring and lacks in entertainment they the audience are generally not likely to watch the rest of the film based on the first few minutes. For an opening sequence to be successful it must introduce the characters,the plot, genre, atmosphere, tone and it must 'hook' the audience. In my film opening I wanted to include all of these things so I could make it as successful as possible and intise the audience to watch the entire film. I believe that I hooked my audience in many ways, I did this by giving the audience flash forwards in the film, this then got the audience interested to know what she was running from therefore watching the whole film in order to find out. I introduced the characters well through the dialogue used. from the dialogue we get the impression that the main character is shy and not confident in her actions. We also get that she has a sister that she can fall back on, this making it easy from people to relate therefore watching on to see how there relationship as sisters develop. The horror genre gets across to the audience well by all the codes and conventions of the horror genre I used. From the scared expression on the main characters face we can easily see she is running scared, the emotion of scaredness relates to the horror genre. This is then back up by a high angle shot of the girl looking vunerable and weak. In additiion to this I used a hand held camera throughout the flash forward so I could mirror the characters shakey and scared emotion and so I could add realism into my piece of work. This camera effect is also used in the film Paranormal activity in where the effect is also used to create realism throughout the film. I was able to introduce the overall mood to the film by also using a scared expression throughout the film opening this then hints to the audience that all is not how it should be and hints that there will be elements of shock and horror throughout the narrative.
In media texts it is a convention that in the opening of the film there genre of the film is shown greatly. It is importantly that the genre comes across to the audience instantly so that the audience will know what to expect for the rest of the film. For a genre to be shown successfully it must follow the correct codes and conventions of that genre. If the audience was watching a horror film but in the opening sequence it used lots of hearts and pink text then the audience would get the wrong impression and may think they were watching a romance but actual were watching a horror then the audience may get confused and may feel dissapointed in the media product. For my media product to be successful in showing the genre I had to make sure I used the codes and conventions of a horror film. I did this by using a weak venerable girl in the beginning. With a variety of shots between high angle, close up and point of view shot it gave the impression that the girl was running away scared with no one to help her. This can then relate to 'Scream' opening. They using a girl character home alone at night. The girl lives far away from the rest of the town showing she is isolated. Isolation being another convention of the horror genre. This then mirrors what I did in my piece as I chose the setting to be a haunted house in the middle of nowhere in order to get the effect that 'no one will hear her scream'. With this I used slow motion when editing to emphasis that she is scared while she is running. This then puts across the strong theme of fear to my product. This strong theme of fear can be seen at the beginning of haunting in Connecticut when there is a flash forward of the mum speaking about the fears of living in the haunted house. This then shows the genre successfully because the audience can relate to the emotion of fear and knows that when your scared your at fear of something therefore relating it to the horror genre.
It is important that every film opening has a narrative structure. It needs to be clear in the begining of the film who the hero is and who the agent of change is in order for the audience to make sense of the film. The the narrative structure to be shown successfully at the beginning there needs to be an equilibrium where there is a state of piece. I believe that my film opening conforms with this because even with the flash forwards of the main character running in panic the non diegetic music behind the movie image makes the situation seem calm and there for being in a state of equilibrium even though the girl is running in panic the audience will not find out its because she is scared of something.The hero/ine is strongly shown in the opening of my film as we see the main character a lot this being who the heroine is even though she is not being or doing anything heroic we can see tell she will be heroic at the end of the film as she is the main focus in my opening also a convention of openings sequences is that the hero will always play the main role in setting up the narrative. This convention is also used in the horror film silence of the lambs when the first character we see is Claurice we as an audience know she will be important to the plot and important to recovering back the equilibrium to the film. I also at the beginning of my film I establish the equilibrium as I have normal life dialogue between the main characters of the film. This then makes my film more realistic for the audience and also helps the audience relate to the characters and build relationships with the characters. In addition to this it then hooks the audience into continue watch the film as they wonder 'Why is she running?'. This therefore is an enigma code of which will be answered later in the film by the action code presented. Enigma and action codes are very important to the narrative when hooking the audience. They can significantly effect the success of a film opening this is because they create an interest in the audience in order for them to keep watching. They also give the audience vital information the audience needs to know to continue following the narrative without getting confused. In my opening the flash forwards are very successful in posing enigma codes. The range of shots show the main character this then posing the questions 'why is she running?' and 'what is she running from?'. These questions are then not answered until the end of the film when you get the action code when you find out her family are possessed. This then shown in the film haunting in connecticut when the women is talking about her old house in the opening, this also posing questions like 'what is she scared of?' and 'what's wrong with the house?'. This then is successful in hooking the audience and keeping them interested. Furthermore there are other enigma codes that get answered straight way like the darcy tells Rosie she will be fine at making friends. This then posing the question 'why does she need to make new friends?' this is then answered by the action code when darcy says 'well can't be late for are first day at school' we then see that she is starting a new school. This is then vital information to the audience. It helps to understand the narrative and keep them interested. This then is seen in the film the silence of the lambs when the girl is running it poses the question 'who is she?' this is then answered quickly by the action code when the man shouts to her'' this then reveals to the her name and the audience can build relationships with her straight away. This is then successful in hooking the audience as they will want to know more about the character and why she Is important to the narrative.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
I believe that my film opening 'Possession' falls into two major social groups, these social groups being gender and age. I believe that it falls into gender because of the main character in my film was a girl and because of the stereotype of girls in the horror genre. I believe that in falls in age because the main character is not only a girl but is a teenage girl. There are characteristics of each group in the piece I have created. For the gender, the main character is a girl, with this many stereotypes come with being a girl. With my character she is very weak and scared theses characteristics are often associated with the female stereotype as it is also seen that they are the weaker gender that will always need saving, like being a 'damsel in distress'. I have constructed this by giving my female character a scared and worried facial expression. With this I have also added in a high angle shot of her running this then making her look weak and very venerable. With the female social groups one of the characteristics is being emotional and sensitive. In my piece I have constructed I conform with this characteristics as I use non diegetic sound that is very slow and has a sad sense to the song this helps to bring out emotions as it mirrors the way in how the girl feels in the text. I also have a track round the girl showing that she is upset and emotional. With the social group of age I have used a teenage girl showing a young representation of people. With the representation of younger people comes the stereotype that all young people are selfish. In my piece I believe that my main character is selfish as she only looks after herself. From the flash forwards we see the shot reverse shot conversation and learn that she lives with what we assume is her sister, therefore by showing her running by herself we get the impression that she is only trying to save herself and not care about herself leading us to think she is careless another stereotype of young people.
What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why?
Within the film industry there are many different distribution companies. Distribution is how film makers get there film to there intended audience. Each distribution company will all look for something different when deciding which films they want to distribute, it could be anything from which actors are used, whether the budget spent was a high or low amount, genre of the film or even the director of the film. Ownership of the film can have a major impact on who will distribute it, If the film is made by an independent company they it may be more risky they say a major company as the major company will be guaranteed distribution for example Disney and Sony. Even though the major company has a massive advantage on distribution there are also many advantages for an independent company these being that because an independent company will pay the distributor upfront therefore the distributor will be very motivated as they would want to generate a serious revenue.
With a major company such as Sony or Disney they are more likely to distribute a film that will have highly know stars in and have had a bigger budget spent of them. This is because they want to do the best at being successful. Therefore if they had well known stars it means that it will attract a bigger audience as people will see a film to see there favourite actor/actress. Also if they had a bigger budget it means that the audience will be blown away by the production as it would be high quality and the target audience will want to see a high quality product so they can get the value for there money.
With an independent company it will be much harder for them to get someone to distribute there product. They would have to go to a film festival like Sundance film festivals and would have to try to attract someone with there ideas to get them to distribute your product. As well as going to the film festival they will also have to compete with other independent companies that will also have unique and innovative film ideas and will have to prove that there film is the one they should go with. Independent companies generally have a smaller budget and less famous actors. These films are less likely to become famous as less money would be spent on advertising. These films also may be less popular then films from major film companies. This is not always the case, one independent film company has proved this with the 'Kings Speech'.
The type of distribution company that will distribute my film would be an independent film company, this will be because my film doesn't have any well known actors in my film meaning that it wont have a wide audience wanting to watch it. Also because of the budget spent on my film was very low as i have not had to spend money on fancy editing as my editing was very simplistic in order for my film to look realistic. In addition to this I have not had to spend money money on actors, location and editing. In addition to this there is not fancy graphics used or an major technology like CGI. Also because the audience will have a much lower expectation of my film it could then become a success if its better then expected and is different to how the audience would have thought. An independent film company that could distribute my film would be a company like Brain Damage Films. This independent company specialises in horror films and are well know for successful horror films. Then also specialise in low budget films therefore would be perfect for my film. They are known world wide for many of there films like 'The death of the ghost hunter'. They like there films to differ from reality to shocking horror, with this i believe my film would fall into reality and therefore fit in with there other films.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
When making my media text I have always kept a target audience in mind to ensure my product is successful in generating a wide audience. I planned to aim my film at teenagers/younger adults at the age of 15-20 years and both male and females, this range was decided based on my results from my primary research and also based on the types of film that I enjoyed watching and that my friends enjoyed watching as we were all in that age range. I chose to target my film toward this age group as I found out when i did my primary research that the horror genre was most popular with this age group. I also believe that it is stereotypically for teens to enjoy watching horrors. I have aimed it at teens in so they could relate to my main character who is also a teen therefore causing them to become hooked and watching the whole film. I believe that this age group would find my movie most entertaining as both genders would be entertain by the thrilling scenes and tense action. When doing research for target audience for my film I looked on the BBFC website for some guidance in choosing my certification for my film I decide it was best to put the certificate at a 15 because as it meant my film could include strong violence as well as strong language and discriminatory behaviour. As it is a 15 it allows all of my target audience to be able to watch it therefore being able to reach a wider audience. Also from my primary research I found out that the most popular sub genre for horror was paranormal I decide it was best to aim it at this age range as I new it was what they enjoyed and it confirmed what i had already been planning about my film genre.
How Did you attract / address your audience?
It is important when making a film opening to make sure that you can appeal to your audience in order to maximise success and to make a profit from the film. In my piece of my opening I have did everything in order to appeal/attract to my audience.
One thing that I have done to maximise my success and to appeal to my audience was by the characters I used. In my opening I made sure I used teenagers, this meant that the target audience could easily relate to my charcaters and to make sure that the audience would be able to build relationships with the character and would be able to follow the narrative with the charcaters and would be able to feel every emotion that the character feels, therefore keeping the audience hooked through the entire film.
When deciding my film genre I chose to the genre horror. I chose this because stereotypically it is teenages and young adults that watch horror films thi point proven again in my primary research. With this it meant that I had to make my the horror genre appeal to the audience. I did this by mirroring the codes and conventions of the horror genre. The first thing in which I did to stick to the conventions was the setting. In my film opening I chose to set my film at a haunted house, this stereotypically is a horror setting and therefore tie in with the horror genre. In addition to this with the setting I chose to film in an isolated place so that it would make my main character seem both weak and vunerable. By me filming in an isolated setting it helps to show the audience that no one will hear her scream if something paranormal did happen and no one would be able to help her therefore this mean I was able to bring tension to my film opening. Another convention I used to appeal to my audience was the colour schemes I used through out the film opening. The titles I used were in a dark red, I used this colour as I believe this colour connoted evil, blood and danger therefore tying in with the horror genre. I also made the title of my film appear in big black writing, I did this to make it stand out against everything and I also believe that the colour black connotes with death, death being a key theme or horror films.
In addition to this music played a key part in appealing to my audience. When editing my I put non diegetic sound throught my two minutes opening. I decide to chose an instrumental to Christina perri - Jar of Hearts. I did this to evoke sad emotion in my audience. I also chose this song because when the song first came out it was a popular song which got into the top 40 chart. With this it shows that this song is very popular with a wide audience meaning this song would have a mass appeal therefore people would recognise this in opening and watch on.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
From the process of constructing my products I have learnt about many different things about the technologies I used. I used a variety of technology in order to complete my two minute opening. For my project I used a digital camera(Panasonic Tz8 Lumix), editing software(iMovie), computer(iMac), internet for Youtube, Blogger, Slideshare and research. I have learnt that all technology have its strengths and weakness.
When using iMovie I believe that I was not very confident with the software at the beginning. In the past I had experienced using other editing software like Windows Movie Maker but nothing as complexed as iMovie. It meant that it took me a couple of times to play around with it so I could understand and learn how to use it. There was many strengths to using this software this was like that it meant that I could do more complexed things like slow motion and the fancy titles I used in my opening. It also meant that I could get more experience with the software so in the future I could be confident in using it meaning I could get a better quality piece. As well as strengths there were weakness this was things like that by the time I got comfortable with the software I didnt have enough time to get the productsto the high standard I wanted it to be.
When using the digital camera I believe that I was confident when using it, this was because I was comfortable with the camera as I new what it was capable of. I was also confident because I had already used the camera when filming in the past and i had already Used camera's Similar to the one I had used. Being comfortable with the camera was definetly a Strength of the camera but another would be the quality of picture that the camera achieved, it meant that my filming could be of high quality. A weakness of using this camera was that I had problems with getting the movies from the camera on the iMacs, the movie files were hard to download from the camera which left me facing differculties with how much time it did consume.
The internet was the most helpful tool that I learned the
most from but was also the most difficult to navigate around. The mains strengths of the internet was that
it allowed me to view other blogs and film openings which then helped me to
create ideas in my head of what I wanted to do in my film openings. With YouTube it helped me to look at a
variety of non-diegetic music I could use and I could see which one suited
best. A weakness was that when looking at other blogs it did give me ideas for
my blog but that work isn’t always factual therefore not reliable. Another
weakness would that When doing research
it wasn’t always as straight forward as it seemed and was very time consuming.
Looking back at your preliminary what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Looking back at my preliminary task I believe I have learnt many things from when I filmed and edited that piece to my now finished final piece. I believe that my preliminary was very basic and simple. I did not use a variety of camera angles, my preliminary consisted of long shots, close ups and mid shots. since then I have progressed a massive amount as I have included a variety of different complex shot types like point of view shot, over the shoulder and high angle shot. I believe by doing this it has made my final piece more creative and made it look more natural and realistic. As well as this in my preliminary my narrative was very basic with simple dialogue. I believe I have improved in my final piece as my narrative is now more complex but still easy to follow and the dialogue is still simple but poses both enigma and action codes in order to keep my audience hooked and to continue watching. In addition to this when I edited my preliminary piece I used very basic editing skills with only using the trimmer in order to cut my clips so that they ran smoothly and was realistic in comparison to everyday conversation. In my final piece I have used more complexediting skills in order to make my film entertaining to watch and still keep it realistic. I used things like slow motion to make my more dramatic and entertaining. I have also played around with the sound and made the audio louder in order for my audience to hear everything going on. I have also add non diegetic sound to my film in order to entertain the audience whilst watching. I another thing i have majorly progressed in was titles and credits. In my preliminary I used no credits as it was a basic piece, with my final piece I was able to add credits and titles to be able to appeal to the audience.