Evaluation 7

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

I feel that I have learnt a lot of new skills about media technology, especially skills associated with filming and editing, in the progression from my preliminary task to my opening sequence video.

When filming our preliminary task we has to use a cheap flip camera and we did not have a tripod either. Watching the short video clip back, it is very obvious that we did not use expensive euipment as the filming was of a poor quality.

It was also obvious that we did not use a tripod as the camera was a bit shaky throughout the whole of the clip. However, it was an advantage in the long run as due to the poor filming which took place for our preliminary task, we decided to use a more expensive camera along with a tripod in order to film steady shots. However, although we used a tripod for most of the filming, we decided to film a shot using the handheld camera technique. We did this because we wanted to give the effect of a point of view shot as we knew this would emphasis the fear and panic I was suffering from whilst I was being chased through the woods.

 At the start of our preliminary task, we came across some problems with sound due to the microphone picking up a small amount of background noises such as talking and walking. However, again this was an advantage in the long run as from this experience, we knew that we had to film our opening sequence in a quiet area. Unfortunately, the location my group and I chose to film our opening sequence was right next to a main road so we could therefore hear a lot of traffic in the background. We were able to overcome this problem though by muting the majority of the diagetic sound and using non-diagetic sound – the background music – instead. We were grateful in the end because we realised that using background music created a more successful and effective video as it sounded better than it would have done if we just used the diagetic background sound.

I feel that my editing knowledge improved a huge amount in the progression from my preliminary task to my opening sequence video as our preliminary task required the minimum amount of editing as it was only a very short clip, whereas our opening sequence required a lot. The only editing that took place in the completion of our preliminary task was cutting a small amount off of the beginning of a clip, due to me keeping my hand on the handle for too long.


Evaluation 6

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

My group and I used many technologies during the process of constructing the product, these technologies included the internet, camera, editing software (Sony Vegas) and YouTube.

The first piece of  media we used was the internet. We felt that the internet would be the easiest method of researching the different types of genre there are and how each genre is represented. We used the internet to carry out the majority of our research, however we also researched through watching and analysing other opening sequences such as one which Kyle Copper created, ‘Se7en’.

We have used cameras right from the start, back when we started our pre-liminary task, however the cameras we used to film our opening sequence videos were of a much higher quality. Before we started using this camera we had to make sure that it worked properly and we had to work out how to use it correctly. Whilst figuring out how to use it,  we found out that it had different settings such as night vision, though we did not need this setting as we decided to film in the day.

After we completed our filming, we uploaded the video clips onto the school computers and opened them in Sony Vegas, an editing program. We used this program to put all of the video clips together in order to make our opening sequence. We then used the editing software to cut the clips to the correct length and to add some text. Also, we used the fading technique to blend some of the different clips together a little more instead of allowing them to change sharply.

As we had to mute the majority of the sound in our video due to being able to hear traffic and a little bit of talking in the background, my group and I went on YouTube to find some music. We found a number of different background sounds so that we could listen to them and choose the one which we though fit the video the best.

After using these different technologies, I feel more confident in my creativity as I used them all creatively and correctly in order to produce a successful film opening.

Evaluation 5

How did you attract/address your audience?

My group and I addressed the audience by showing them our film to a number of people from different age groups (all of 15 and over) to see what age group they thought our film would be best suited for. After we gathered all of the feedback from everyone who had watched our film, we  found out that 80% of them thought it was best suited for 16 – 24 year old’s and the other 20% thought it was best suited for 18+.

We then showed our film to other media students as they are the same age as the target audience. This allowed us to ask for feedback and once we had the feedback we decided to re-film the whole of our video as well as slightly changing the storyline. We did this because we wanted to make it a little more suitable for the current target audience than it was before. Re-filming our opening sequence to ‘Chase’ led to a dramatic improvement of the whole video.

We also addressed the audience by researching about a variety of thriller genres with the same target audience as ours. This enabled us to gather some more ideas on what we needed to include in our video in order to make it appealing to 16 – 24 year old’s.

Target audience age group

Evaluation 4

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Evaluation 3

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

Media distribution is a process in which your chosen distributor delivers your film to the biggest audience they can. It is one of the final processes in selling a media product successfully and therefore it is extremely important that you choose your distributor carefully. Choosing the wrong distributor could possibly result in your film not selling successfully and due to there only being one chance at a release, it is vitally important that this does not happen. The success of a film is normally shown within the first three days of release as this is where roughly 30% of the profit is made.

We did not have access to expensive filming equipment so we had to use the cheap equipment in the best way possible, however it made easier for us to film due to the camera being small and easy to maneuver. Our film is classed as a low-budget British film due to the cheap equipment we used, however Film4 (who will be co-funding ‘Chase’) distribute it (and other low-budget films) into a market of a higher-budget. The website for Film4 is as follows: http://www.film4.com. In order to show that Film4 will be co-funding ‘Chase’, my group and I added ‘In association with Film4’ at the start of our opening sequence.

Through carrying out some research on advertising films to be released, my group and I found out that to gain the largest audience for our film it would be more beneficial to advertise through Twitter and Facebook than to advertise through TV or newspaper – this is due to Facebook and Twitter being very common social networking sites and are used by extremely large numbers of people aged between sixteen and twenty-four. Whilst researching,  I found a quote which read ‘For Adults, the likelihood of setting up a profile (on social networking sites) is highest among 16-24 year olds (54%) and decreases with age.’ This means that 54% of sixteen to twenty-four year use social networking sites, however the percentage decreases as people get older. Due to the percentage decreasing as people get older, advertisements would be more beneficial to films for the older ages if the advertisements were shown on TV and in newspapers.

Evaluation 2

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

My media video represents the typical stereotype that males are more likely to be the antagonist and females are more likely to be the protagonists as males are seen as being stronger and more ‘aggressive/violent’ than females are. Due to making a film of the thriller genre, it was important that my group and I ensured that the characters we used represented specific social groups.

This photo shows how we applied the above stereotype in the film opening which my group and I made – ‘Chase’. The man looks empowering due to being tall, however to make him look even more empowering, we decided to dress him in a hoody.

A quote from the BBC says: “Hoodies are being worn for disguising the person who may be about to commit an offence.” This quote supports the typical stereotype that people who wear hoodie’s are going to cause trouble – I found this out whilst carrying out research into hoodie’s.

We kept the identity of the killer hidden, however we used a number of different shots such as low-angle and high-angle shots to ensure that the man came across as the empowering antagonist to the audience. We hoped that the hidden identity would encourage the audience to carry on watching so that they could find out who the man is and what he looks like.

Starting with two teenage girls talking about whether to cut through the woods or not due to the recent prison escapee who has been all over the news lately, the audience are bound to expect trouble. When the scene moves on to the man climbing through a broken fence, the audience will know that something bad is going to happen. This may make them more curious as they may want to find out why he was in prison and whether the police will catch him before he commits another crime.

Also, in order to encourage the audience to watch more, we left the opening sequence on a cliff-hanger, the audience may want to find out why the man was chasing these teenage girls, why he killed one of them and what happened to the other one.

Evaluation 1

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

I carried out some research in order to gather some information about opening sequences – what they establish – time and place, characterisation – protagonists and antagonists, narrative – what will happen next and visual style, genre and ideology – how are we supposed to react to what we are seeing?

The research I carried out provided me with a full understanding of opening sequences. In my opening sequence video, I showed roughly where the film was set and the audience will be able to understand that it was set in daytime due to the lighting we used.

Establishing shot

I also used characteristics by showing the two teenage girls as innocent protagonists and the man as the antagonist. I made this clear to the audience through using dialogue at the beginning of the opening sequence to my film ‘Chase’. During the dialogue, “a prisoner who escaped from jail” recently is mentioned. My group and I made the girls come across as innocent – I did this through choosing the appropriate colour/style of clothing which would suit each character. For example – choosing a burgundy hoody and black trousers for the antagonist as dark colours represent evil/shadowy.

I watched the opening sequence of ‘Se7en’ and noticed how the clothes which are worn by the characters play a huge part in how the audience judge each of the characters.

Clothes worn by all of the characters

Through researching other film opening sequences I realised that providing the audience with a narrative is very important in an opening sequence as this is what encourages the audience to carry on watching more. Leaving an opening sequence on a cliff-hanger will encourage the majority of viewers to watch more because they want to find out what happens and how it happens – this is why our group decided to leave our opening sequence on a cliff-hanger.

The last few images shown in our video are of me being caught and hit around the head by the antagonist, Siobhan shouting my name after hearing my scream and realising I had disappeared and then an image of me lying on the floor – dead. Hopefully this will lead the audience wanting to find out more – Does Siobhan manage to get away from the man or does she get caught and harmed as well? Does the killer get caught by the police or can he not be traced?

From researching opening sequences to thriller films, I gathered idea’s about how to use visual style, genre and ideology to receive the reaction we want from the audience when they watch our film. My group and I wanted the audience to feel a bit jumpy whilst watching our opening sequence, due to it being a thriller. I found out that a way of making the audience feel jumpy is to build suspense, and my group and I knew that we could do that by choosing ‘eerie’ music to play throughout the film opening.

The mention of  the recent prison escapee, followed by seeing a man wearing dark clothes and climbing through a hole in a fence in the next scene may also build suspense as the audience will know that he is ‘the bad guy’ and they may suspect that something bad will happen to the two teenage girls – due to them talking about cutting through the woods during the exchange of dialogue at the beginning.