Monday, 21 March 2011

KM - Evaluation Question One

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
    • Titles and credits (idents)
    • Establishing shot (often with blue tint for horror genre films)
    • Sound track, digetic or non digetic.
    • Tracking shots.
    • Mise-en-scene to provide anchorage of genre and the idea of the film.
    • Following one specific main character (protagonist)

Our two minute product 'No Hiding Place' occurred to us as our working title name, because it can be easily acknowledged and used as a realistic Hollywood style movie title. If I were to compare our product to any Hollywood movies, Freddy vs. Jason and IT would definitely relate. Using the theme of clowns, and a similar cast, we have looked in depth to use a variety of common resources that would occur in a typical slasher film.

Our original working title was going to be 'You Can Run But You Can't Hide', but once we looked at a variety of movie titles, we found short, "straight to the point" titles worked best and gave out an appropriate idea as an insight towards the film. 
'No Hiding Place' give an obvious idea to the audience as to what genre the film will be, and also give a curious vibe as to what the film itself will be about. In our opening two minutes a flashback occurs, this is to signify the past,  we used a black and white screening as these can be the typical colours people see when fainting occurs, maybe because danger is around? Also we used a fade out transition to show this is a specific memory to someone who cannot forget the past, these can be usually be shown as a good thing or a bad thing, in our case, bad.
Lori Campbell (Freddy vs. Jason)
 We know this is a bad memory due to the obvious heartbeat behind the opening clips, this also signifies that the memory creates tension in the characters mind, but as we keep the killer a secret this may give the character a sense of curiosity and vulnerability as to why her friend died and the thought of who was it who killed her?
This is the typical role of the 'The Final Girl'. The flashbacks and  psycho like behaviour can also relate to Lori Campbell in 'Freddy vs. Jason' because the basis of the film, she becomes crazy due to lack of sleep, and is fearing for her life, somethings our Final Girl Lucy can relate to.
Judith Butlers theory on the idea that we decide that we show the world we are male and female by the way we dress and that gender doesnt exist it is something we perform we as people are taught to be male or female from a young age.
We decided for the titles to go for a red text to signify seriousness and death (blood) although we went against the idea of Serif font because we wanted to show that a font choice cant make a huge difference to a production and we didn't want to give to much away as the titles are at the beginning of the opening we hoped this wouldnt form an oppositional reading for the viewers but we thought with the sound track over it that would provide sufficient anchorage involving high strings like Psycho. We have low and high notes throughout the opening which we hoped would signify binary oposition to the audience of the two customers in the salon althoguh we should of gone for the shot reverse shot when the two were talking to eahother to show binary oppositon better.

Untitled from katie mallows on Vimeo.
  • We used our idents so that they would tie in with the working title name, as you can see from the above, Secret Productions and No Hiding Place, both add mystery to the film so they can both relate really well to the genre.

KM - Evaluation Question Two

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

For our media product, we have changed the typical stereotypes for a horror film slightly, especially for the sub-genre of a 'slasher'. 
In a typical horror film the scream queen is portrayed as blond, busty girl who is usually killed due to her sexually active role. We have two main female characters, one who plays a bigger role in the film, but is not shown throughout the whole opening only in the flashback. Annie Cutillo(Amber) is portrayed in our film as the 'Scream Queen', but does not fit the criteria of the typical busty blond.
  We have compared her character to Gibb, a sexually active brunette in 'Freddy vs. Jason'. This is because she is the first girl to get killed, so the audience can only assume she's done wrong to be the first to get killed off, and that would be a storyline following into the rest of 'No Hiding Place'.
Our next female character Sophie Dixon, is the 'Final Girl', but also has some of the 'Scream Queen' vulnerability in her, due to the death of her best friend.
Sophie (Lucy) fits, the criteria for a 'Final Girl', she wears suitable clothing throughout the film, Brunette, and plays a shy character rather than a 'slutty' character, which the typical 'Scream Queen' would knowing she has a boyfriend.
In our media product gender does not play a specific role, only due to the fact that in any typical slasher movie, their are strong gender stereotypes such as the 'Scream Queen' or the 'Final Girl'. But in our media film we have not kept to the same criteria that you would find for the 'Scream Queen'
If we were to complete our final media product, then it would become clear to the audience that the 'Final Girl', Sophie(Lucy) would hold most of the criteria that you would put forward for the typical vulnerable, last female character.
As we have focused on a teen slasher to young adults aged (15-24), we have used our cast between the ages on (16-18) to make it easier for our target audience to relate. This intensify's, the whole film, and as we have put our 'Final Girl' character in a mental like state, this makes the target audience 'fear' and 'scare' for themselves, as they cannot ever imagine themselves in the same sought of situation.
For our original media product, the ethnicity was mixed between both black and white dominant, but having changed the plot altogether we completely changed the cast that fit our new plot criteria. But if the film were to carry on and take place, the film would of become more culturally diverse, as it is now the norm to see more ethnic backgrounds mixing into a film.
We used two locations for our media product, both neither that are working class or upper middle class, we used a social class that represented the norm for teenagers, so we found a balance in between the two.
Tormented is a good example for teens at different social classes, as you can see in the picture at the side, their sense of dress, can reflect on personalities and social class. Also the group is more white ethnic but still does reflect on culture.

KM - Evaluation Question Three

What Kind Of Media Institution Might Distribute Your Media Product and Why?

Due to the fact we are a very low budget film company, we have a very Indie feel to our film, this is comparing ourselves to big film distributors such as Icon Fims, so we feel we would distribute our film through a very indie comapany, such as Independent Films, they are willing to put films such as mine, through to distribute if it has what it takes.
"The roots of independent film can be traced back to the filmmakers in the 1900s who resisted the control of a trust called the Motion Picture Patents Company."
Hollywood producers and film companies would not be interested in a like ours due to the fact we had no budget in the making of the film, and didn't have the highest quality of actors, locations or props, and they would possibly worry that our film would not earn profit back, but Indie companies, interest themselves, because each film has a specific target audience and they would take note that we may not have the best qualitie actors but a great storyline.

KM - Evaluation Question Four

Who would be the audience for you media product?

Scream Queen
Our production would be given a BBFC rating of 15+ and the core age range for our target audience would be approximatley 15- 24 with the majority of horror and slasher films in this rating. As even if the film is an 18 rating it is certain that under 18's will watch the film. Also people older than 24 out of the target audience will watch the film too, so I would need to ask both male and female's for their feedback on what they would expect to see in a slasher, which they have seen and enjoyed previously, and how we could improve ours.
The target audience for our film opening was between the ages of 15-24 both sexes to widen the audience because we thought we would be able to appeal to both sexes due to the storyline. Females because of the feminist spin on the genre and males because of the killers features and males tend to be more attracted to horrors in general because they love the gore and the element of male gaze as there is always a blonde busty female in them althought teens all together are the main viewers of horror and slasher films the secondary audience. Someone who wasn't in the target audeince may also want to watch the film because of intertexual links such as if we'd of had our Scream Queen as the typical blond, 'busty', 'slutty' type.
We went for the 15 rating on our production because we knew if had gone for an eighteen we would of had to of used more explicit images and language which we wernt confortable with using linked with school also we couldn't put our rating at a twelve because of the violence used and include explicit language.

KM - Evaluation Question Five

How did you attract/address your audience?

For our audience feedback, I have asked both male and female for what they thought about all three rough cuts of our film. All titled 'No Hiding Place', but gradually as we carried on asking their ideas, and what they thought could be improved. We asked teenagers, between the target age, this was because if we were going to actually distribute the film we would like to make sure people would see if it and be interested.

Untitled from katie mallows on

The Girls we asked above includes, one of the actors, and three other girls who I had picked at random, some may say I have been gender bias for the feedback, but because my media product includes only one boy but two girls, I would like to check and and see if I was including and portraying the female characters in the right way.

Seen as we could not complete the whole product and had to narrow it down to two minutes, we would include and focus more on the sound, to create tension, and also take on more of the audience feedback and ask a lot more of a variety of age ranges seen as I have only asked the girls between the ages of 16-17, so I would spread the age range to 19-24.

KM - Evaluation Question Seven

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

When completing our Preliminary task, we were asked to create a film with no budget while maintaining a sense of realism, which i have found very hard. This is due to the fact we have basically no budget, so if we were to have a budget, there would be vast improvements in the locations, cast, and there would a variety of added shots, that would come across as better quality.

Also we have learnt the rule of shot reverse shot which we challenged in the preliminary task, and now understanding the idea of it, without using this method the text wont make sense because it doesn't look as if the two participants are sat facing each other.
We were also taught that there is an effective way to show binary opposition of two characters which is something we never had time to show in our coursework, but if we were to develop our media product further then this may be something we would progress and work on.

Semiotic terms I have learnt :
Signifier A detail we pick out of a text that the audience sees has a significant meaning E.G. a blonde busty woman is a signifier of your typical 'Scream Queen'
Denotation - A description of what you can see or hear e.g. we can denote from the high pitched scream that a female is being killed or a false scare has occured.
Connotation - What is signifier carries a specific meaning.
Binary opposition - Two opposite characters shown in a text together which can be shown in shot reverse shot for example a scream queen and a final girl an example of this in a text would be in James Bond, Casino Royale.
Polysemic - An idea given that carries many possible meanings although thepreferred reading was intended by the producers although an audience may not take it in and instead go for a meaning close to this (contested reading) or the opposite of what the producers wanted to signify (oppositional reading) 
Commutation test - Changing a key item on scream e.g a character clothing choice to see if there is a significant change to the audience reaction for example if James Bond wore a Pink bikini on an advertising poster or billboard it would change the who genre interpretation of the text from an action film to a Gay film.
Narrative enigma - A hidden element within a text to add an element of mystery used to engage the audience or hide a killer in Horror genre films as we did so in 'No Hiding Place'.
Intertextuality - Meanings from another text being tied into a newer one to show a similar meaning or imply the same thing will happen again. 
Verisimilitude - Creating and achieving a sense of realism by what you apply to a text on screen and example of this would be Amber's birthday, Cards, cake and diagetic sound was used.

Untitled from katie mallows on Vimeo.

We have included our very first film to show how far we have progressed through shots, camera angles, casting, and the storyline itself.

KM - Evaluation Question Six

What Have You Learn't About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing This Product?

From the very beginning, the basics have always become more advanced, for example turning a camera on and to be able to shoot a product based on genre, storyline and for it to actually make sense, does take alot of preparation but the outcomes great if you know how to use the programs available to you.

Apple mac computers had the variety of softwares we used to complete our two minute product. These incuded iMovie, LiveType and many more. IMovie was the main and most involved application that we used on the mac, it helped us edit clips, uploading the footage, adding transitions and sound effects as well as the soundtrack itself. Once you know what to click at the right time, the software is automatically a very simple friendly way to creating a product.

Blogging was the main source, when it came to research and planning, so we added posts, followed other blog's to look at existing work etc. Also we watched films based on our genre, or key ideas, so this also was included towards adding new posts on our blogs, to explain what we saw and if it effected our product through other ideas, cast, mise en scene etc.
For further research on specific genres, films, working titles, or even actors, IMDBYouTube and  Wikipedia, were the obvious, mosty used sites for this kind of information.

GarageBand logo
Watching a Horror/Slasher, we can all agree that the more intense the music, the more predictive it makes out that someone is going to get killed or a false scare may occur, so the soundtrack played an important part for our media production. Our final girl, gives the impression to the audience that she is traumatized by her best friends death, so she starts to show the obvious symptons of Schizophrenia. This may become obvious to the audience when the 'bedroom scene' takes place, hearing a small childs laughter, we used this because part of our main theme is 'clowns', we associated that with clowns at childrens birthday parties, and enjoyment, but also included it because with the slow echo effect it makes out that it is in her head. At the beginning of the two minutes a slow-like heartbeat backs the footage, this is too include tension and we then repeat this 'heartbeat' during the 'bedroom' scene. To create our own heartbeat noise, GarageBand is great for that, with its wide variety of instruments, music typing, and varied pitch noises, you should get the right sound for your product.

To conclude, the softwares, and resources we had available to us we used well, and now have opened up ideas to improve on using the applications for further use, into our future media products. Personally I feel, as a group, myself and Ellie, could have widened our resources, into research and gained more for our film, but this is useful to know now for future products.