Friday, 1 April 2011

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

 Arlington Road vs First Glance
I am going to compare our thriller opening 'First Glance' with the opening of the well-known thriller 'Arlington Road'. I am going to analyse 9 stills from both and compare them, looking for the similarities and differences, and trying to depict the ways in which our opening stuck to the codes and conventions of the title sequence and the way it broke away from the norm. 

1. In both 'Arlington Road' and our thriller 'First Glance', the film opens straight into action, as we are introduced to both main characters in distress. This leaves the audience not knowing what is happening and therefore makes them presume what has happened to the characters and what is to going to happen. However both shots are filmed differently, as 'Arlington Road' shows the man from a low angle, medium close up shot, whereas 'First Glance' shows the girl using a straight on, wide shot. Both are successful in building suspense as the opening is similar, but uses different shots. 

2. The way in which the production companies are shown in 'Arlington Road' and 'First Glance' differ. In 'Arlington Road', the production company is shown over a background of much bigger letters, I think this is unsuccessful as it draws the attention away from the production company and makes the audience more interested in what is going on behind it. Whereas in our title sequence, the production company is shown as a white font over a black screen. I find this more successful as the contrast between the two colours makes 'Candi Studios' more memorable. 

3. My third shots are completely different from one another. As in 'Arlington Road' the images always take up the full screen and the credits run along over it, whereas in 'First Glance' we chose to break the codes and conventions by splitting the screen up into four perspectives, showing the audience a point of view shot and how the main character is seen from different angles. I think we have done this successfully, as it makes the audience feel as though the victim is being watched and builds tension. 

4. The ways in which the titles are shown to the reader differ in both 'Arlington Road' and 'First Glance'. As in 'Arlington Road' it is shown in small block capitals, taking up a small part of the screen, whilst images continue to be shown behind. The font is white/light blue over a dark black and grey background. Contrasting with this is 'First Glance' of which the titles are shown in big block capitals, taking up a big majority of the screen, with no images seen in the frame and a white font on a black screen. I find both shots effective as they are both bold and prominent, making the title memorable. However I find our title of 'First Glance' more effective, as I feel as though the contrast between the black and white is much more effective and as the writing is much bigger and bolder than that of 'Arlington Road' I would find it much easier to remember and recognise. 

5. From the two stills above you can notice the difference in colour between the two. In 'Arlington Road' extravagant colours have been used through-out the titles, meaning they have added in more colour to make the opening sequence more unique and eye-catching. Whereas in our opening sequence to 'First Glance' we chose to use natural colours, following the codes and conventions of title sequences. I think the colours used in 'Arlington Road' are successful and more so than the natural colours used in 'First Glance', as because the colours are bold they make a statement and draw the audience in. This is something our group could of taken on and adapted, making it more exciting and bold to the target audience. 

6. In both openings, there is a shot of the character from the back. I think this is successful in both films, as it makes the audience aware that the character is being watched and therefore builds tension. 

7. In the shots above we see the way in which the editing styles in 'Arlington Road' and 'First Glance' differ from eachother. As in 'Arlington Road' images and shots overlap into one another, so as one shot ends another shot comes in over it. This is commonly seen in title sequences as it makes footage flow smoothly and links images well. Whereas for our title sequence we chose to only have one image on at a time, linking some footage with fades. I think our opening challenges the codes and conventions of a title sequence by doing this, as it doesn't need to have lots of affects to make it attractive to its target audience. 

8. In my seventh stills shown above we can notice the difference in the way the director is seen on screen in each opening. In 'Arlington Road' they have chosen to show the directors name moving over images in the background, and is seen in a small white font. Whereas in our opening we chose to follow a more basic title sequence using the contrast between colours to make the directors name stand out and be remembered, this is a way in which we broke the codes and conventions as we didn't use any images or movement to show the directors name as we found it to be less successful. 

9. In my final two stills, it shows the difference in the ways in which each film has chosen to end the title sequence. 'Arlington Road' fades out from one image onto another, the next image it goes into is blurred and comes into focus as the movie begins. Whereas in our opening we chose to end on one of the main characters face and then to go onto a black screen, showing the end of the title sequence and the beginning of the film. This is unusual as most films do as 'Arlington Road' does and fade onto the start of the film.

All in all 'Arlington Road' and our thriller 'First Glance' have very different title sequences, using different effects and techniques to make the opening attractive and eye-catching to each ones target audience. I have found that our opening has developed and challenged the forms and conventions of real media products and I think it has been successful in doing so. Although there are bit that I think could be altered and improved, I still think our title sequence, like 'Arlington Road', is successful in creating an opening that makes the audience want to watch on. 

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