Friday, 8 April 2011

8) Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learned in the progression from it to the full product?


Making the preliminary film contributed a lot to how the final film turned out. As a group we learnt many different ways to improve our film, and how to plan perfectly how we wanted everything to turn out, and make sure that we had the ideas clear in our mind so it was easier to do, and we understood how to do it ourselves without having to ask for much help. If it wasn't for the preliminary, i think a lot of things would've gone wrong with our main film, so i'm glad we got to do both, because it was really helpful to have an idea of the things that could've happened while making our main film.


In the preliminary film, we didn't do much planning. We didn't pay much attention to Mise En Scene, or Camera Angles. We just tried to get it all done and make sure the story was there, but we didn't pay any attention to the little details that can help make a good film, great. Also during this film, we didn't pay attention to the rule the subject must always be in the middle of the frame, and there shouldn't be much space between the top of the frame, and the subject's head. Also, during the preliminary when we was putting it together and adding sound, we didn't think of putting natural sounds together. We just used long scientific sounds, which made the whole thing seem a bit fake.


The improvement of our preliminary compared to our final film is extremely obvious. In the final film, we took weeks planning out exactly what we wanted to do and how we wanted everything to look, compared to the preliminary where we only planned for about an hour at most. One of the things we spent the most time planning was Mise En Scene. We had to make sure that everything was perfect before we started filming. We chose the outfits of each character especially. We wanted it to be obvious what each character was about, and we portrayed them pretty stereotypically. The main factor in whether or not this film would have had the desired effect was the location. We knew that we had to find the perfect alleyway, or the main part of our thriller opening wouldn't look right, and the whole thing would fall apart. With some careful planning, i think that we produced a great, and effective thriller.

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

In the process of putting this film together, i think that i have learnt how to use many different editing programmes, and i've become more able to research specific things, and come up with exactly the right results i wanted.

Google was one of the key websites that was used to help make our thriller. We had to research all the different type of things we wanted to incorporate into our film, and find out whether or not it would work as a thriller. We looked up different camera angles used in a thriller, what type of roles each person can play, the different genre's of thrillers, and how we could put a few together, to make our own genre which was suited to our taste.

Google gave us a lot of links to Youtube videos. Some of these videos were actual thrillers which we used to get inspiration for our film. We used Youtube to look at the lightning, location, shots, and other common features which are used in thrillers. Other videos that we looked out were just about sound. We wanted to get the most realistic sounds that actually sounded like they belonged in our thriller, so that we could make it more effective.

Final Cut Pro was the main programme that put together our thriller. Before these lessons, i had no idea how to use this programme, as i'd never used it before. In using this programme to make the film, i had learnt how to cut two different clips down the middle, and put them together so that it was like one clip had been placed in the middle of another. This allowed for the range in shot movement to be shown off to it's full potential and so that we could get the best out of our film.

Another technology i'd discovered through making this film was the programme Live Type. This programme could have been used to make all the titles for our film, but instead we used Final Cut Pro because we only used simple fonts. In Live Type, you can choose from a range of fonts and backgrounds to create the perfect titles for your movie. There are a lot of different colours and effects that you can add to your text, so that it can be suitable for whatever genre your film is.

By combining all these different technologies, i have found it really easy perfecting my film. Even when i didn't know how to do something in one of the programmes such as Live Type or Final Cut, if i wrote down my problem into the Google search bar, i was given a solution almost immediately.

7) What have you kearned about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

6) Audience feedback and comment

This picture is full of the words that came up when students were asked what they thought about our film. The bigger words are the words which appeared the most. I am quite proud of the feedback that has come from our film. There were a few negative comments which i completely agree with, such as the lighting being a bit too dark, and the scream at the end sounding a little too fake. I was really nervous at first to know what other people would think of our film, but in the end i was surprised at the results. I'm glad that our thriller opening left people wanting to know more, and that it built up tension and even made somebody jump, which was our aim.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

4&5) What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? How will you attract/address your audience?

I have decided to distribute this film online using social networking websites. I think that because this is a low budget student film, this would produce a more successful result that if we had a cinematic release. Using these websites, it'd be quick easy to spread the word about of film, therefore hopefully gaining more attention, and hopefully a lot of views and downloads of it. I personally think that this is a good idea because there are millions of people around the world with access to the internet, and social networks. This way we can get a range of people around the world, with different interests, all together to view our film.

To start the process of distributing our video, we'd have to first upload it to YouTube.

YouTube is a website which is made just for videos. You can find almost any type of video here, and this makes it the perfect place to upload our thriller. You can rate, like, dislike, and comment on videos, as well as share the links to other websites such as Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. This can help spread our video around the world, and the use of ratings and comments is a helpful feature which we can use to help us improve on our future films.

Once on YouTube, the video looks like this:

The next step in distributing this video would be to upload it to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

When i upload the video to Facebook, it will be available for all the people on my friends list to see. I can upload the video to just my profile, or i can post the link onto all of my friend's profiles. If i do this, i'd be able to share the video with at least 300 people at one time and if i asked my friends to share the video with their friends, then it can be shown to more than 500 people in one day.

When posted on Facebook, the video would look like this :

Twitter is a really good place to share the video also. Here we can connect with celebrities and many other people from around the world. If we can find a celebrity who is interested in our film, it would be a good opportunity to use them to get their fans to watch the video also, which gives us more promotion and hopefully more people who would enjoy our film, and then spread it around to their friends.

Our film would look like this on Twitter :

Tumblr is a blogging site which is full of 'Indie' and 'Hipster' teenagers. On this site, you'd be bound to find many people who like this film. If i uploaded the film to my blog, all the people who follow me, would be able to see it. It's not that easy to share the video over Tumblr,  so i'd have to ask people to share it around for me, and pass it on to their followers. This website doesn't have much diversity in it's users, but as long as it shares the video, it doesn't matter.

If posted on Tumblr, the video would look like this : 

6) Audience feedback and comment

The image above is full of words that were associated with the feedback we received from our class mates who got to see our film. To understand the image is by basically knowing that the bigger words are those that repeatedly came up, and the smaller ones are those that appeared the least. This session actually gave our group some confidence as we never thought our film would be such an hit!

*smiley face*

 Based on the feedback from our audience we received a range of thoughts on the premiere of our thriller. I'll first start with the positive of where the lighting was thought to be very suited to the films context and genre. The mise en scene was also a prospect that was appreciated as it complimented the thrillers moral and the characters portrayal, For example we established a street setting that added to the realism we wanted. We created a distorted view of the victim in which gave off the concept of her being 'out of it', this was all down to the different techniques of filming we used. For example there was a point of view shot in the alley way of where the victim was secretly holding the camera before her as she was stumbling through, this further created the allusion of her state being messy and uncontrollable.
A re-occurring negative that appeared numerously was the scream sound at the end being too fake. We initially as a group did think this but we thought it'll add an effect in which in all due respect it did, causing controversy.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

3) Who would be the audience for your media product.

I think that the type of person who would be interested in our media film is somebody who likes to watch unconventional films. This person wouldn't normal fit into any sort of crowd. They are really individual, and they don't make decisions based on other people. This is because our film is about a female who becomes obsessed with, and stalks other girls. In any other normal film, you'd expect the stalker to be male, if they were stalking female. Below are two character profiles of people who i think would stereotypically enjoy this film.

Male, 19, aspiring journalist. Loves online blogging, heavy metal music, and shopping in vintage markets. In his spare time, he writes short stories.

Female 23, student at a fashion college. Loves having nights in with a bowl of popcorn, snuggled up on the sofa watching horror movies, likes online blogging, and having girly nights out with her friends.

Now that we've watched our film back, i think that our target audience has stayed the same. We aimed for this film to reach out to people in their late teens, to early thirties, and i think that this still fits the same niche. I also don't really think there is a type of person who'd specifically go out and watch this film. I think this film is really open to a range of different people of all types of age, gender, and interest. There would be different aspects of this film to suit each persons' taste.

4&5) What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? How will you attract/address your audience?

Here is an screen grab of a students film that was created on a low budget just like our own. This student published his material on a film site called 'First Light', which allowed him to see peoples comments on what they feel towards his work and the rating of it out of 5.

As a group we've decided to not publish our film in he cinemas, but on various socialising networks such as facebook, bebo, twitter, vimeo, youtube etc. Our reasons for this is basically because the audience we are planning to attract are very much into these kind of networks and the rate at which everyone owns their own page on the net is phenomenal. Uploading the thriller on these sites would not only attract the target audience but others to would have access to viewing it and also sharing their opinion beneath where they'd be an comment section.  Another reason is that because our film was low budget it would not attract big distribution companies. Effectively i mean that because our film was low budgeted, it would only attract smaller companies and cinemas.  Also as this is a student film it would also make a lot of sense as students are also a big fan of these networking sites.

For example:

When on this site people will be able to watch it and also leave comments and then post it around.

 Allows your Facebook contacts to access the film and also send it around.

Monday, 4 April 2011

2) How does your media product represent particular social groups?

When we were brainstorming and coming up with ideas about how we want our film to look, and the way we wanted our people to come across, we looked to other films for inspiration. We researched how the 'typical' victims and attackers look like in thrillers. One of the films that we found inspiring for certain characters was 'The Stepfather'. I'm going to compare the murderer character from this film, to the stalker character in our film 'First Glance'.

Although in 'The Stepfather', you can see the man's face straight away, we used him as inspiration because he changes his appearance in the opening and is therefore in disguise.
He ends up making his hair all tidy, shaving his beard, taking off his glasses, and taking out his contact lenses which changed his eyes from brown to blue.
The fact that he is in disguise was inspiring for our group because we didn't want to hide the stalker person's face in our film, by having her wear a mask, so we used this idea of disguise as how we'd show her. Our disguise was to have her hooded, and in a dark light so that you could still see her face, but not completely.
This is a bit of juxtaposition because we left some light so that people could find comfort in the fact that you can still see some of her face, but also we wanted it a little bit dark so that she'd be mysterious, and also a little bit creepy. This person doesn't fit the stereotype of a stalker/murderer in a thriller movie, so it is a bit of an anti-stereotype, which makes quite a bit of an impact in this film, as stereotypes affect the way an audience member feels towards a character in a film.

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


I am going to compare my film 'First Glance' with David Fincher's film 'Se7en'. I'm going to take 9 shots from each film, and compare them on the basis of similarities, and differences.

These are the opening shots from each film. On the top is 'Se7en', and on the bottom is 'First Glance'. The shots are completely different. 'Se7en' opens with a close up of a book. The lighting is dark, and adds mystery to the atmosphere, as we don't know what is going on. 'First Glance' opens up and we are brought straight into the action. We can see a girl walking towards us. There is a lot going on in this scene which is contrasting with the first film as it is very basic. One similarity in this shot, is the use of dark lighting, despite there being a lot of shops which add some light to the second picture.

These next shots are the title sequences for each film. These are the clips where the characters names come on screen. 'Se7en' was one of the clips we used for inspiration for our film. As you can see, these are extremely similar. We wanted to keep the titles extremely similar, so that most of the attention was kept on the action of the film. Both of these clips show black backgrounds, with white simple fonts. A difference between these two shots, is that the font in 'Se7en' is written in small font, and the font also flickers, where as the font in 'First Glance' is very simple, written in slightly bigger font and more basic font which doesn't move.

These shots are of the name of the directors. In 'Se7en' there is a shot of a drawing of hands. These hands are distorted, and there is a shadow passing over this to add more tension. Yet again, the creepy, flicking font is used. In contrast to this, 'First Glance' has stuck with the white simple font on the black background.

The next couple of shots in 'Se7en' are dark, flickering shots of close ups of various items. There are dirty fingertips clutching a razor, dropping a piece of paper, and soaking it in water, where as in 'First Glance' the storyline develops as we see over somebody's shoulder as they look at a picture of somebody, and stroke it. 

The 4 shots above are of how the title is shown in each film. The 3 small pictures are of how the title appears in 'Se7en'. I've shown this in 3 different pictures because it comes up really fast and flickering all over the screen, in several different font sizes. It also goes from a black background, to a background which sounds a close up of some grated edged cardboard. This is directly opposite to the way 'First Glance's' title appears. It appears on the screen in capitals, in a really big font. Also in the background is a 'boom' sound. This adds impact onto what would be a fairly plain shot.

Yet again, the next shots in 'Se7en' come flickered and fast so it's hard to keep up with what is going on. There are shots of a man cutting up pictures, and sticking them down, as more title come on screen. Meanwhile, in 'First Glance', we see the same girl walking toward us in the first shot, walk past the camera, and see a dark figure start to follow her.

More flickering shots from 'Se7en' lead to a shot of somebody blacking out words in a book. The lighting is still dark, and there isn't much sound. In 'First Glance' we are given the point of view of the person following the girl from the beginning. The music starts to build up here, so we suspect that something is going to happen.

The shots where the composer are a bit more similar. The one from 'Se7en' has changed from it's usual theme. Half the screen is turnt red, while there is a piece of paper with writing on it, in the background with the text flickering away in the corner. In 'First Glance', the screen has bit split into little boxes, and the title are coming on, around the boxes.

The ending of these films are also very different. 'Se7en' ends completely different to what was happening throughout the opening. There is no more flickering, and no more close ups. It ends on a wide shot of a city full of buildings, with some text saying Monday. 'First Glance' ends on a close up of the stalkers face, then a completely blank screen which contrasts to the fact that there was always something going on during the full opening.

Compared to Se7en, our thriller completely contrasts the conventions of a thriller opening, but compared to a stereotypical thriller opening, i think that ours is basically the same, despite having a female stalker.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

3) Who would be the audience for your media product?

NAME: Kezia Strong
AGE: 19

Kezia Strong is an aspiring radio presenter who currently works part time at M&S. She takes part in a lot of work experience within the media industry. She loves shopping anywhere and everywhere. She has just previously finished her second year of college, and is now engaged to her long term boyfriend of three years. In Kez's spare time he loves watching movies especially female thrillers, where the main protagonists are female.

*Simely face*
Heyy! that's a lot like my thriller 'First Glance'.

She'd be a perfect specific target for my thriller as it'll suite her interests and her form of character. 'First Glance' is not any ordinary thriller, but is one that will empower the female; it gives off subliminal messages on gender topics.

 In her rucksack would be:

2) How does your product represent particular social groups?

The character 'Becky' from 'Sin City' was an inspiration for my  portrayal of the victim in  'First Glance'. Becky is a prostitute that had been caught amid some trouble, this is in many ways similar to Marissa who had previously been under the influence of some substance as she had been previously been out clubbing. The two females both have the stereotype and portrayal of appearing 'rough' and 'slutty'.

* Both females appear to be alone and vulnerable, instigating the horror that is awaiting them ahead
*Both characters attire is very much similar as they both give off the 'slag' impression
* The scenes locations are also very much the same as they both set off the impression of danger that is lurking.

* Marissa is sen as under the influence of some =thing and as a result is in no form of control of herself, however this is different to Becky who seems to be confident and aware of her actions, although she to along with Marissa is vulnerable.
* Marissa seems to come across as a stereotypical character, with her costume. Where as Becky breaks this chain and comports herself in a mannerable style, though shes dressed just like Marissa
* The lighting in both films are very different. The lighting incorporated in 'First Glance' is natural and because of this it is easy for the audience to identify with who's who. In 'Sin City' though there is only the use of black and white lighting which may confuse the audience on who is rightfully the character that should be related to, due to their current situation. 

Both characters portray the same concept of 'vulnerability', however, the way in which it is done is different. The codes of conventions are seen to be broken and used to assist the audiences emotional link with the characters, enabling them to make a decision on whether they like or dislike them.

This further establishes just how stereotypes and social groups effect the portrayal of people in the media. This later allows the audience to connect with them in a way that allows them to decide whether they favour or disike the characters on screen.