Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
At the start of my media course I did both a preliminary and continuity task. these tasks were to practice the 180 degree rule, match on action and shot reverse shot when filming as I was completely new to the concept of film making and editing,
In my preliminary task I have used far to many different angles, my audio is horrible and the lighting is different in each scene which isn’t aesthetically pleasing, from this task I learnt the importance of colour correction and audio in creating atmosphere and relaying the narrative convincingly.
Since this task I have developed my media skills in more depth. This can be seen clearly in my opening with my color correction and night vision effect. I have been able to use this more advanced technique, among others such as editing to make there be more characters to improve the way in which my story is put across to the audience and make it less boring to watch.
In my preliminary task I used only dialogue that was very badly recorded, however in my final piece I used no dialogue to make the audience focus on the scenes more and added music that slowly builds in tempo and volume to try and add tension and atmosphere. I also added titles to my final piece from my titles timeline with a similar time frame.
I have learnt to use the technologies such as editing software and camera stabilizers in alot more depth and therefore create something alot more professional looking, I have also learned about the actual themes and conventions of different genres and how age ratings are chosen and target audiences reached which helped me to create and tailor my final piece to these. Overall I have improved in all fields of film making and hope that this progression is evident in my work.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES THROUGH THE PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING THIS PRODUCT?
I used a DSLR camera for all my work in the course and I felt it was better than just a GoPro or camcorder as it both provided high quality footage and also taught me how to control aspects of film like the aperture and ISO when filming in manual shooting mode as demonstrated in my APERTURE TASK. I used a tripod to film the majority of my shots and a monopod for all the following shots, this helped to make my film look professional and actually visible on screen
I have also learned how to use the editing software Adobe Premiere which allows editing to be done very visually in a non linear fashion allowing you to go back and alter any clip at any time. I greatly enjoyed the freedom of this software and the very visual and hands on element via dragging clips around to edit it. I feel that i have progressed greatly in using this software, being able to edit video and add sound in it.
One of my first tasks:
I then used Magic Bullet Effects to color correct my final piece and make it look more professional, I have also used this software to make my footage look darker and also to add a ‘night vision’ effect to try and fit the action genre more closely and improve the overall presentation of my final opening.
I also used adobe after effects for adding titles and for my ident. I Used a youtube tutorial to help create my ident and altered it slightly to suit my genre more – After effects was a useful program for me to learn to use efficiently and I now feel that after carrying out these exercises that my skills in this program have definitely developed as I can now easily navigate the program which I wasn’t previously able to do at the start of the course.
From adding titles to a scene to creating a 3D city i have progressed and enjoyed the versatility of this software.
I also used this software to great effect in my final opening, by editing it to make it seem that my 1 actor was actually 4 characters
For recording my work I have used WordPress to create my blog to document all of my work in chronological order, Survey monkey to create target audience surveys and Prezi to analyse the results. I have documented my filming on video sharing website, Vimeo, and used Facebook to advertise my survey to my peer group. WordPress has been especially useful as I could upload work in all formats to the site such as videos, hyperlinks, Screen grabs and images. I was able to embed my videos I had uploaded to Vimeo into my blog which made it easier for my teachers to access and improved the overall presentation. My knowledge of technologies from producing my opening has been greatly enhanced and I would be confident on editing programs and using a camera to film a high quality piece of media text and then be able to document it on the internet in the future.
WHO WOULD BE THE AUDIENCE FOR YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT?
Survey here – > Target Audience Survey
To make sure my film content would be interesting and entertaining to viewers I made a survey using survey monkey to question people on what they would like to see in an opening; this was good as I was able to receive first hand feedback and this helped to make my ideas more concise. I also used these results to see what ages liked different genres of film and sub-genres of action to make sure i age rated the film appropriately. Using this and also my action genre research I decided to make the target audience for my film typical to that of action movies due to the violence and themes that would be covered in it. I aimed my product at a young adult audience from the ages of 15-25. This is also due to the very positive feedback from ages 16 – 19 on my survey. I think that this is the best way to make my film a success as this is the prime age for any consumer of films, especially action and thriller. My film will appeal to both genders, however as with an action movie it will most likely be more attractive to the male audience.
The results I got back suggested I use a mixture of adult male/female along with a younger actor. For locations; the woods or a cityscape ruled the results with a prison or school also suggested.
I advertised my survey on Facebook to make it more accessible to more people in the desired age bracket and to further my results. I then used the website Prezi to analyse my results and this was useful in visually pulling ideas and concepts together to give an even clearer image of what i wanted to do in the opening.
(Click image for Link)
After researching the descriptions behind different age ratings on films, I decided to give my film a 15 rating.
I wanted to make the film as accessible as possible but not disturb any younger members of the public with the content. Due to action genres usually containing strong language and violence and also adult references.
WHAT KIND OF MEDIA INSTITUTION MIGHT DISTRIBUTE YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT AND WHY?
In my initial research I looked at film companies and their idents to see what film companies produced what genre of movie and how their ident reflected this. I looked at the ident for Dolby Digital; it was intricate and fast paced reflecting my genre and therefore i chose to do a similar style. However the majority of the idents were quite generic and didn’t give away the genre of the film. This is likely due to if you google ‘film distribution companies’ the first results that will come up are the bigger firms with alot more money that can therefore branch out into the majority of film genres if they choose. My research therefore showed that alot of big budget action films were distributed by Paramount pictures, Columbia pictures, and Universal pictures. (all apart of the “Big Six“) In 2014, Paramount Pictures became the first major Hollywood studio to distribute all of its films in digital form only therefore for my film to reach a bigger audience, especially as an unheard of director this isn’t the best choice. However Columbia pictures is the world’s fifth largest major film studio. It has distributed films such as Salt, S.W.A.T and xXx all of which reflect my genre very well, therefore in an ideal world this would be my first choice.
But due to the fact that my film would be coming from an unknown director, it would most likely struggle to get noticed by major film companies. Consequently an Independent film company would probably be who I would choose to produce and distribute my film and attempt to use this as a stepping stone to larger companies in the future. If I decided to go down the independent company route I would first use a crowd funding website such as Kick-starter to help fund some of the production costs of the film. The money used from Kickstarter would be used to fund costs of my film such as camera equipment, camera lenses and quality costumes. Again, as I am an unknown director there would be much more of a need for good quality advertising such as trailers and posters of my film to generate interest before its release. I would hope to release my film in cinemas and later to release it on DVD to generate more money to pay back initial costs and to pay for the production from ticket sales at the box office.
HOW DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT REPRESENT PARTICULAR SOCIAL GROUPS?
My Media product shows 2 social groups. One clearly being rich upper class shown by a lavish country house and land and the other being military with tactical gear and weapons.
My genre research showed that with an action film military presence is almost always there and therefore I incorporated this with the intruders; however the other groups could be almost any with even children being included in many. I therefore expanded on my location research and used this to infer what kind of character would live there, however never show them so that the audience perceives it how they want. This is mainly due to my research being so broad with my 3 main research films location each containing very different social groups with 1 full of school girls, another a upper class woman who takes over the stereotypical male action role and another being children and adults mixed.
I therefore cast a well-built tall male friend as the intruder as if you imagine military you imagine the muscular well-built male military stereotype. This also fits with my research on actors and costumes with all the films I looked at using males. I then used this research to choose a suitable costume of black tactical gear. This firstly cements the military stereotype with it looking professional and inferring training and expertise but also for it to completely hide the identity. I then edited him into a team of identical men to turn them into the nameless, faceless killers that can fit in any action movie as they have no identity and therefore the audience cannot care for them nor have any emotional attachment.
To try and portray another social group I used a large country mansion and its lavish interior to portray an upper class person, perhaps governmental. I did this via showing features associated with money, these tend to be unnecessary such as the chandelier ad the pool and also the wide shot of all the land with the house and its fountain in the background. This causes the audience to almost have resentment for this unknown character due to their apparent wealth even though the likelihood is that they will die because of the team of military men closing in. This then reverses who the stereotypical ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is as military are well respected and the upper class slightly resented. This is the effect I was looking for by casting a male in clearly professional clothing rather than just black clothing as if the intruders just looked like robbers then they would clearly be labelled as the ‘bad’ and the rich the ‘good’.
On the left are images from my research and on the right is my actor wearing the costume I made.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The genre for my opening sequence is action.
The forms and conventions for this genre are firstly; that it can be set anywhere and usually in action movies the main character is seen in many different places and usually countries. However for the sequence I am doing, the majority of the similar scenes I have looked at it is usually set in a large old country estate. I have therefore used the conventions of media products and used a large country house for my opening sequence. I feel that this really helps the audience be engaged and not be distracted by the set as it is rather isolated.
The main character is usually male, as these are seen as more dominant and stronger and are therefore stereotyped to do all the action scenes and fighting. However as my sequence is only a title scene I have developed the conventions of media products and decided not to have a ‘main character’ but instead, only show the intruders and to leave the rest to imagination as to not spoil too much and to get the audience interested before the film. If I were to carry on the film I may even include this as the end scene so that the movie actually goes back in time then forward again to this point. If I were to do this opening again I would probably include some shots of a ‘main character’ or something before the action begins as I feel it starts too suddenly and there is no story to why they are there and its quite sudden and confusing.
I have followed the conventions of media products actors, costumes and props by using a man in tactical gear as an intruder as all of the similar scenes and genres I looked at had male intruders dressed in black tactical clothing. I think that this worked well with the team of men that I created being the unidentifiable, faceless intruders I intended them to be. If lots of people look the same and are unidentifiable they are seen as being able to get away with violence. E.g. In Lord of the flies the boys all pain their faces and kill piggy and hunt Ralph.
In my Camera and editing use I have tried to make the scenes short and broken up by the titles like many real media products do, however I feel that it is too focused on the men and there are too many angles of the same scenes leading it to be boring at times instead of fast paced and intense like it is meant to be. Therefore I feel that another storyline must be followed and sliced into the intruders’ footage to make it more like a real media product of this genre.
I followed the conventions of real media products with my font choice for my titles as it’s the typical ‘top secret spy’ font which fits with my action genre and especially my characters in tactical gear. This can lead the audience to infer that these men are military or working for the government which is exactly what I want and therefore I am happy with this choice.
I did not follow conventions of media products with my sound choice as most action movies have fast paced intense action music, however due to having to find loyalty free music I had to go for a classic soundtrack rather than an actual song as it fitted the most. I think that to an extent the music can fit the scene and add to the feel of mystery; however I would like to instead use more of traditional fast paced action music. Despite this I do like how the music gets faster as it goes on and I edited it so that it also gets louder as it goes on building up tension and drama.
The ident I believe fits with the genre as it is also quite dark and mysterious and has some aspects of idents for companies that produce similar films.
E.g Dolby Digital:
An example of my colour correcting for the night vision Using Magic Bullet Looks
As the only time I could get my location was day time I also had to colour correct the outdoor footage to look close to night after I finished editing in the 4 characters
No colour correction to make all scenes look like night time and no cut away shots to around the house or shortening of clips.