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Jemma Edwards Evaluation. Q1; In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Paragraph 1; Use. Our thriller film opening uses many of the typical codes and conventions found in this particular media institution. They include; a young vulnerable female as the protagonist, from our thriller film opening we can see that the main female character is vulnerable by the fact she has blonde hair which stereotypically connotes that she is angelic and weak, we can also tell that she is vulnerable from the clothing that she is wearing, she is dressed in light pale coloured clothes which also would connote she is angelic and pure. In our film opening we also see the protagonist getting a text from her fiancÊ saying that he won’t be home tonight this also gives the impression that she is more vulnerable as she is in the house alone at night, this code and convention is very commonly used in such films as panic room, where you also see the women and daughter home alone at night time. Another typical code or convention that we use in our thriller film opening is creepy and eerie music, when we first see the women there is quiet faint music in the background which adds effect, when strange things start happening to the women such as the lights turning off and doors in the house slamming, the music gets more dramatic this is used to add suspense and also to add tension and release which is also a very common code and convention of the thriller genre, we used tension and release in our thriller film opening when the protagonist sees the bathroom door shutting, as she walks over to see what is going on we have used slow motion and dramatic music, then when it is revealed that it was just her dog the music returns to faint background sound and the slow motion is stopped. Another very common code and convention that we have used in our thriller film opening is to have a hidden antagonist, in our film you never actually see the antagonists face, and this is very common to see in the thriller genre as it helps to add suspense and keeps the audience guessing about the plot of the film, in our film opening the plot is confusing and this is another code and convention of the thriller genre, you never actually know what is going to happen to the women and this is used to allow the audience to connect with the film and keep guessing the plot. Paragraph 2; Develop. We decided to develop many of the thriller conventions that we used in our opening, to make sure that our product would become much stylised and would appeal more to our target audience, we developed particular conventions such as; the young female actress, in a typical thriller film you would see a protagonist of a older age, if our thriller film opening was on a higher budget we could have afforded to have a older professional actress, but we used a young actress as we believed this would relate well to our target audience and also help to gain more viewers. We also decided to develop


Jemma Edwards the typical code and convention of a hidden antagonist, in our thriller film opening we keep the antagonist completely hidden, near the beginning of our opening you see a shadow on the wall of the antagonist and you also see a shadow when the door swings open near the end, in a typical thriller film the hidden antagonist would be revealed nearer to the end, we decided by not showing who or what the antagonist is, we keep a sense of surprise and suspense with the audience, also by not showing the antagonist we keep it open to be a supernatural thriller, with the hidden antagonist being a ghost or a crime thriller with the antagonist turning out to be a serial killer. Which could all later be revealed in the rest of the film if it was made. Paragraph 3; Challenge. In our thriller film opening we tried to show as many typical thriller codes and conventions, as I have explained above. We chose not to challenge many of these codes and conventions, as our media product was such a small budget and we are not professionals and trying to challenge the type of genre too much may have confused the audience. One code and convention of the thriller genre that we did challenge was the setting, in many thrillers you see the unusual events happening in a spooky forest or an abandoned warehouse, where as our thriller film opening is set in a everyday house. We chose to set our opening in a house as we felt this would play on the audiences common fears, of being home alone or someone/something watching you while you are at home. We decided that this would be most suited to our target audience as many young people will have these fears. We also challenged the type of thriller that we were making, in typical thriller films they will be set to one genre subtype e.g supernatural thriller or action thriller. Whereas in our thriller film opening we left this open and decided to combine two of these subtypes, those being supernatural thriller and crime thriller. We chose to do this as we feel it will reach a larger target audience as some people may associate our thriller with a fear of ghosts that they have, and others may have fears more leading to killers. Q2; How does your media product represent particular social groups? Our media product represents how gender, age, sexuality and social economical group can be used to make a protagonist seem more vulnerable to a hidden antagonist. To show that our protagonist was weak and vulnerable we used a young female actress, she is petite and has blonde hair which would stereotypically connote she is angelic, we used some high angle shots of the female to show that she is weak and small. The gender played a huge role in showing this, as females are usually looked at as the weaker of the genders. We used a centre composition of the actress to show that she was the main subject in our thriller opening. We represented gender using mise en scene, by the actress having long blonde hair and subtle makeup, we also dressed the actress in pale pyjamas which would connote innocence. To represent the social economical group of our character we used the location of a large, well furnished


Jemma Edwards house to show that the girl is well off and can afford luxuries. The large house also makes the girl seem more vulnerable and small in comparison to the large empty building. We used camera movements to show the large house, we used a tracking shot across the hall way to show the audience the size of the house. We also used mise en scene to show that the character was an average teenage girl, we started by showing her reading a magazine which gives the impression she was going about her normal routine and was un suspecting of what was about to happen. We have also used mise en scene to show social economic group as at the beginning we see her listening to an iPod and in a large bedroom with a double bed. In our thriller opening we also represent sexuality, we used mise en scene to show this, the main female character is wearing pale pink pyjamas, which would stereo typically connote feminism and a girly character. We also see the girl getting a text from her fiancé, although we didn’t actually show a gender to the fiancé, the text is stereotypically manly and also we see a small picture of a male in the corner of the phone, the actress we used is stereotypically beautiful and girly, which would make people presume she is straight. We also used habits to show sexuality, we show the girl reading a girly teen magazine, which would show she is into typically girly activities. In our thriller film opening we also represent age, as we have used a young actress, we used mise en scene to show her age by having her reading teen magazine, which would make you assume she is of a younger age, we have also used mise en scene to show age by showing a text from her fiancé, this would connote that she is of an age to be engaged and in a serious relationship. Q3; what kind of media institution might distribute your media products and why? There are many reasons as to why our thriller film opening will not be shown in cinemas across the country, some of these reasons being; we had a very low budget for our thriller and therefore we couldn’t use very professional props or equipment like they would in real cinema films. Another main reason that our film would not be shown in cinemas is the fact we don’t have any famous actors or actresses in it, I believe that this would stop it doing well in cinemas as many people only want to pay to watch films that have their favourite actors and actresses in. Also because we had a low budget we only had a small unprofessional film set, and if our film was being made for cinemas we would have used a proper film set, especially built and designed for our film. Another one of the main reasons that our film project would not be shown in cinemas across the country is that it doesn’t have any sound, and is not a complete film as we have only made the opening, also I do not think that our thriller film is cinema quality as poor equipment can hinder the quality of the final product, also our thriller film has some small errors such as off lighting and some shaky filming, whereas a cinema film would not have any of these.


Jemma Edwards I think that our thriller film opening is more likely to be seen in places such as YouTube, if we upload our thriller film opening to YouTube it may be viewed by other media students that are looking for examples of previous work and it would also be viewed by our friends and family that we show it to. Our thriller film opening may also be shown in school productions or assembly’s, and will be viewed by other students in our school and teachers. If we wanted our film opening to be bigger we could also enter it into small amateur competitions at small grass roots, this would help to trigger audiences. Q4; who would be the audience for your media product? We showed our thriller film opening to 50 people ranging in ages from 15-40. We showed people that included students, teachers, family, friends and the public. We played our thriller opening to the people and then asked them a few questions about what they thought. 87% of the people that we surveyed said that they would be interested in watching the full film if it was made. 92% of the people that we asked said that they thought our thriller film opening could be improved if we have a higher budget and more experience, 19 out of the 50 people surveyed said that they were very confused by the plot and think it could be improved with dialogue and more use of diagetic sounds. As our film is only going to be posted online and not available on DVD or cinema screens, due to audience fragmentation and pull media we will find it very difficult to monitor who watches our film opening and the target audience. We have set our film with the age rating of a 15 certificate , and I would say that our main target audience is 15-25 year olds, this is also the main age group of internet users and people who would most likely have access to our thriller film opening online, and also this age range would relate most to the main character of a young female, generally I would say that our thriller film openings main target audience is internet users.

Q5; How did you attract/address your audience? While creating our thriller film opening, we used the website ‘survey monkey’ to create several surveys asking questions about what our audience would be most interested in seeing. We used social networking sites such as Facebook, this helped to spread our survey and therefore get a wider range of results and also with a wider range of age groups to answer. We chose to make our surveys online as we thought that the people answering the questions were more likely to be in our target age group of 15-25 as these people are more likely to be internet users, which was also in our target audience. From our first survey results we could clearly see that the majority of people that answered were in the age range of 15-19. This showed us that we had to make our film opening appropriate for these ages, we decided to do this by using a young actress that the audience would be able to relate to, we also used a domestic setting, this could play of common fears of being home alone. We also asked lots of questions to decide on our mise en scene, we asked about colour of clothing, the setting and hair


Jemma Edwards and makeup, and we chose to go with the most popular answers as these would appeal to our target audience the best. We chose to rate our thriller film opening as a 15 certificate, we did a lot of detailed research into film ratings and thought that this would be the most appropriate as people younger than 15 may have found our plot line too confusing or may not of understood what we were trying to put across. When filming and editing our film opening we were repeatedly asking for feedback from friends and family that were in our target audience, such as deciding on title fonts and transactions, we asked many people which of the styles that we had come up with were the most suitable for our thriller style and plot. Q6; What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product? When filming and editing our thriller film opening, there was a lot of new technologies to get used to. When we first began to film our thriller opening a lot of the equipment we were using was extremely new to us, and we had never used it before. In our film opening you can see we used a number of complicated shot movements such as tracking, panning and many different shot types. To make our thriller film opening the best it could be, we needed to get used to using the equipment, we used things such as a dolly, a handheld steady cam and a high tech tripod, all of which were very daunting and seemed complicated to use at first, we practiced with the equipment until we found the best ways for us to use them to their full potential. Threw out this process of creating a thriller film opening I have learnt many different things some included, working well as a team, using a Canon 550D camera and using new editing soft wear. I learnt to work well as a team, as making our media product did get very stressful at times and also took a lot of work, it was essential that our team got along well and knew how to use each others strengths to make our opening the best it could be. We wear given a canon camera to film our media production with, which was new to all 3 members of our team, we were shown how to do the simple things on the camera and the rest we figured out as we went along, for example the lighting in our thriller film, we used the camera to the best of its ability by using the contrast and light settings to help achieve the look we were going for with the lighting, at first this was very stressful trying to get every shot looking perfect but this got easier as we went along. Also for our film opening we were using Apple Macs to edit our footage, this wasn’t the first time we had used the Apple Macs and we saw this as an advantage to us, as we could already do the basics on them, which saved a lot of time and helped us get on with our media production swiftly. One thing that was completely new to us was the editing software on the Apple Macs, we used Final Cut Pro and for all of the members in our group, this was new. When we first uploaded and started to work with our footage this program was extremely confusing and hard to work with, but after a few lessons of editing we were completely comfortable with using it. We felt like this editing software really benefited our production and helped to make it the best it could be, it amazed us at how much we could do on here and how well it made our footage look. We used Final


Jemma Edwards Cut Pro for so many things in our production some being, we used the software to create titles that suited our thriller opening, we took a lot of time choosing our titles, going threw fonts and effects. And we also used this software to help with our lighting issues, as I said above we did use the canon camera settings but with the first shots struggled getting it on point, we could now use Final Cut Pro to help perfect anything wrong with the lighting. We also used the slow motion and speed up facilities on Final Cut Pro, which helped us to convey some of the codes and conventions more, such as tension and release. I am really glad I got the chance to learn all of these new things, and now feel much more confident with them all. Q7; Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Threw out this process of making a thriller film opening, I feel like I have learnt so much. When we were first starting to film our preliminary task I did not anticipate how much work, time and effort goes into making films. I have learnt that all the microelements are crucial to achieving the best possible outcome. And I have also learnt just how unpredictable and complicated filming would be. I have also learnt just how useful the internet and social networking can be when trying to create a thriller film opening. We used survey monkey, to create several online surveys that helped us incredibly by giving us ideas and also most popular concepts. Now we have completed our production, I now know that we should have planned for some more filming time, as a few of our shots did need to be re filmed at a later date, which added complications. As I said in question 6, I have learnt incredible amounts on how to use high tech equipment and software, when we first filmed our preliminary task we only used a standard camera and a small tripod. I can now see that using better equipment makes such a difference to the final product, as you can see from our final piece the quality is much better and also the filming is much more steady and framed nicer. If I had the chance to start all over again with our media project I would plan in more depth our filming process, as when it came to it not only did it take a lot longer than we had anticipated, but also there were some issues with space and lighting. If we would have planned better we could have realised sooner that the tripod wasn’t going to be able to sit comfortably in the small corner of the room, and we could have therefore come up with a solution sooner, whereas we were left with having to try to get around the issue, when it occurred. Also we could have made filming shorter and easier by planning which time of day we were going to film at, therefore saving time with adjusting the contrast and lighting on the camera and tying to find the best angle to get the lighting at. Also I have learnt just how in-depth and important verisimilitude is when creating a film. In particular we found mise-en-scene very important. In our preliminary task we did not


Jemma Edwards plan the costume, hair or makeup for our actresses. Which we now see is so important to create the right feel and give the audience more sense of what if going on, and also very important to fit with the typical codes and conventions. In our final film we planned our mise-en-scene very detailed, as you can see on my blog. Which I feel gave us a real head start and put our film up a great deal. Also in our preliminary task I did not realise how important the speed of editing was, for example if there is a high tension chase scene the editing needs to be fast pace and choppy to make the scene more entertaining and make the audience on the edge of their seats. Overall, I feel like my media knowledge and ability has improved a great deal since we made the preliminary task, and I believe you can see this from the quality of our final film.


Thriller Film Evaluation.  

thriller film evaluation

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