1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
This first screenshot from our Thriller Opening shows the film name in the opening credits. There are two conventions we used shown here. The first is the lighting, the room is darkly lit with an earie torch used to light only a small area of the frame. This is very conventional of the thriller genre as it creates a tense atmosphere leading the audience into the film. On the right is a screengrab taking from the film Se7en (Fincher, 1995), it shows the convention in use as only one light is shining on the image darkly shown. The second convention we used and developed is the text we used, the font is a convention as thrillers commonly have a quite creepy and unique font, however the way we have developed it is by unconventionally adding colour to our font. This is unusual in Thrillers as they usual tend to keep their font quite plain and simple, which means their usually colourless, as it has a more dramatic effect then when you add colour. We decided to add colour to make ours become more interesting and vibrant, making it leap off the screen in a exciting way. The screenshot from our opening shows two conventions, the first which we used showing the dark lit low key lighting and the second which we developed showing the decision on font and font colour.
This next screenshot shows Nicole with the revealed stalker behind her. One thriller convention shown here is that the narrative centres around a crime. In this part of the Thriller the screenshot shows is when Nicole is assumed to get kidnapped by the stalker, kidnapping and stalking are both crimes but aren’t half as bad as the crimes that will come in the rest of the film. Thrillers are conventionally focused on Crime and this is why we chose to centre ours around Crime, it clearly shows the audience what genre they are watching.
British Pictures was the company we came up with and used as an ident in our Thriller opening for Followed. It shows a mug with blood in and over it and then has the ‘British Pictures’ shown in a blood coloured font. Involving an ident of a production company is an opening sequence convention as the company gets credited and is hence advertised. We have also shown a thriller convention with the font and image used. Blood is conventionally involved in some way in a thriller and our ident has a dark earie blood themed image with blood-coloured font. This is a thriller convention as blood is shown to the audience from the word go to immediately show them the genre of film they’re about to watch.
This screenshot shows our antagonist, The stalker played by Mark. It shows the use of mise en scene, his costume. We dressed our antagonist in very dark clothing and made him have his hood up. This is a thriller convention, to dress characters, specifically antagonists, darkly to show their personality as evil and not very pleasant. We used this convention as it clearly shows the audience who the ‘bad guy’ is in a subtle yet effective way. It contrasts him from the bright clothes our protagonist is wearing and portrays him negatively and as a character the audience shouldn’t like. I think the costume convention is effective in representing characters strongly to the audience.
CCTV footage styled editing is conventional in Thrillers. This is why we decided to edit an area of our footage to be seen as CCTV in our opening. We have used this convention as it has a scary presence to the audience and shows the theme of paranoia and being watched.
I really like the CCTV convention as it links back to the real world and gives something for the audience to empathise with, they are fully aware of what CCTV is and this convention reminds them that where they go, CCTV will be. It’s a very effective convention.
Overall we have involved many Thriller and opening sequence conventions to show the genre clearly to the audience and make our opening effective in the way that it can be enjoyed by the audience. We have used these Thriller conventions to show the genre successfully.
2) How does your media product represent particular social groups?
The image to the left is a still from our Thriller Opening. It shows our antagonist played by one of the members in my group, Mark. Our stalker shown in the image represents the Gang side of England there is today, the chavs or hoodys as they are also known. Gangs are becoming a more frequent problem in England today and lead to more Crimes being committed, they commonly include troubled young men who wear their hoods up and try to intimidate the public. We used this particular social group to influence our decision on coming up with our antagonist, we have portrayed him as quite evil and menacing, someone to be feared by the audience. We wanted our antagonist to be someone that people can link to and link their lives too, perhaps even to remind who they are and what they do on a day to day life is wrong.
This next image is a still taken from Kidulthood, directed by Menhaj Huda and written by Noel Clarke, it was released in 2006. Our representation of a British Gang member or better known, Chav, is very similar to the same representation in Kidulthood. In the still we see Clarke dressed in a zip-up hoody with the hood up. The mise en scene of costume is used here effectively in representing the particular social group. We also see a very sinister, angry and evil facial expression coming from Clarke, this is also effective in showing the audience the social group.
This next image is of a real-life gang member taken in August 2011 during the London Riots by Kerim Okten (The Guardian Newspaper). The London Riots was a series of Riots taking place each night between the 6th and 10th August 2011 in various areas across the city of London and eventually stretched across into different cities in England. The above image shows one of the young men involved in the riots, again we see the typical hoody worn with the hood up. This image shows the type of social group in which Kidulthood and our own Thriller opening have represented. The man shown in this image is very similar to Clarke in Kidulthood and is therefore also very similar to our character in our Thriller opening, the man shown looks fearless and terrorizing which links to the idea of scaring the audience in our thriller opening.
Overall our media product, our Thriller opening for our film Followed, represents the Gang/Chav social group. This is the social group that terrorizes the British public. In all three of the above images, whether it’s a still from our opening, a still from Kidulthood or a real photo taken during the London Riots, the person’s Identity is hidden due to the hood being up. The Identity is further hidden in our opening by making him look down to shadow out his face, this technique hasn’t been used in Kidulthood and this is because they want to show the character more.
3) What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Above is a link to where I have used IMDb as a template and created my own page for our Thriller, Followed.
I think IMDb is the correct media institution that would distribute our Thriller as it is a website for all films to be displayed on, giving information on the film. IMDb stands for the Internet Movie Database. IMDb is a very popular website when it comes to movies.
I used several IMDb film pages to inspire me on how to make one for our Thriller. I looked at films such as Se7en, In Bruges and Broken City. By looking at how IMDb was layed out and set up I could then copy and paste certain areas and personalise them on PowerPoint to create a movie page for our film. I also used the Poster I had previously made to add in for a heading photo and then took some screenshots for other photos.
Overall I think IMDb would distribute our Thriller as it includes many films on the website, as of March 22nd it includes 2,467,314 Movies on the website to look through. Also it’s a very well-known website therefore making it easy for an Audience to find.
4) Who would be the audience for your media product?
Above is a word document showing Empire magazine would present our Thriller opening and a film review I’ve wrote. These both explain the audience for our media product and that is for aged 15+ people, mainly focused at young men.
5) How did you attract/address your audience?
The above link is to a YouTube video of our final Thriller Opening with a voice-over commentary over the top of it. The voice-over was done by myself, Nicole and Mark (all three members of our group). We all said equal parts to contribute fairly.
It explains through the technical devices we used including about Camerawork, Editing, Sound and Mise en Scene. It shows how we attracted the audience into enjoying our thriller.
Beginning with Mise en Scene, we created very effective lighting in our Thriller Opening. We used a torch and a reflector to create very tense and earie lighting, this would attract the audience as the way it flickers amongst the darkness creates fear to an audience member which causes adrenalin and excitement all coming from one simple effect. Another strong aspect of Mise en Scene we used was costume, our antagonist is dressed in very dark, mysterious clothing wearing his hood up. It immediately makes him quite an intimidating character and becomes a character the audience can empathize with as perhaps they know somebody from the same background who acts the same as our stalker, this could create panic to the audience attracting them to watch on.
We used some different, interesting and exciting Editing techniques in our thriller opening. We used an effect called ‘Bad TV’ and converted it to black and white by desaturating it on a certain scene of our opening, we did this to create a CCTV effect of our stalker following our victim. By creating a CCTV effect we have attracted and addressed the audience as CCTV is very well-known about in present day and everybody is aware of what it is and what it does, this effect can link to Paranoia and the idea of being watched. The audience could experience this feeling just by seeing this clip, they could come to realisation of how being public isn’t private, this idea is shown in other films such as The Conversation (1974) and Enemy of the State (1998).
Our sound was very conventional in the Thriller genre. Using garageband we created a very tense, high pitched, scary soundtrack. Our soundtrack would attract the audience as it creates atmosphere to please the audience.
Camerawork doesn’t attract the audience as much as the other micro-elements. As long as you have variety of shot types and angles then the audience will be pleased as it prevents them from becoming bored. We involved a range of shot types and angles from close-ups to high angles, this should attract the audience as it will keep them engaged and interested.
The commentary we created as a group and the small amount of text I’ve written here explains how we attracted and addressed the audience in our thriller opening.
6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the project?
The first image shown here is of me using the camera. As the other members of my group were both acting in our thriller opening, I used the camera quite alot during filming. Before I came to the College I hadn’t really properly used a Video Camera or a tripod before so it was all quite new to me. However the camera was quite easy to get used to and I was looking forward to capturing a variety of shots. Tripod’s are essential when filming as they prevent shaky footage and keep the footage nice and static. A tripod was a tool I hadn’t had much experience with before and I learnt how to use it. As I found more and more about how the use the tripod, for example moving it up and down, I began to use it to create a variety of shots with various different angles to result in some successful footage. Overall I’ve learnt not only how to use the Video Camera and tripod but how to use them effectively to hopefully result in a successful thriller opening with interesting footage.
This next still shows me using the reflector. The reflector is used to reflect natural or artificial lighting onto the subject of filming to create interesting effects to the footage. A reflector was another piece of equipment I hadn’t used or even come across before I came to Long Road, however they are really easy to use and you don’t exactly need practice on how to use one. For our thriller opening, I didn’t use the reflector at all. As a group we used it for our dark-lit scene but Nicole used it and with it she created interesting, effective lighting that flickered in the footage creating an almost creepy feeling. I’ve learnt that the reflector is really effective in creating Erie, creepy atmospheres. I’ve also learnt that it could be used to make a mood brighter but not on our case, in our case it was used to add tension and show the thriller genre.
The photo on the right is a still of me using the torch. Torch’s are used in filming as artificial lighting to effect the atmosphere and to create meaning. We used the torch in our thriller opening when our stalker (antagonist) is looking at the board which is full of photos of his most recent victim. We used to the torch to create a small low-key amount of light amongst the darkness of the room. As a group we used the torch successfully as a useful tool to create effective lighting. I’ve learnt that the torch can be used for different techniques and effects and in our case be used to create a mysterious, tense and dark atmosphere, showing the thriller genre.
After filming comes the editing and with the editing you use different software to piece the footage together and to create the final piece. The main piece of software you use is Final Cut Express and it is used to select, cut and piece together footage. It’s also used to add video filters, effects and transitions. Final Cut can be used in many different ways to create the thriller opening we pictured. Final Cut was a new piece of software introduced to me when I began studying at Long Road and with induction tasks I soon got to grips with it and I can do comfortably edit on it. From Final Cut Express I’ve learnt that editing is vital and of high importance when it comes to film-making. I’ve learnt that Final Cut Express is a great piece of software for editing the footage and piecing it together to result in a well-edited student Thriller Opening.
Final Cut Express isn’t the only piece of software which is useful when it comes to editing. The next still shows me using a piece of software called After Effects. After Effects is literally what it sounds like, you add effects in after you’ve edited your piece. After Effects is a program I wouldn’t say I’m used to and not one that I’m very good at. I’ve only used After Effects a couple of times and found it to be quite difficult but also fun to produce work with. From After Effects I’ve learnt that good effects, such as titles/credits, can be created through the software and further realized that editing technology is very important in film-making.
This final still shows me using Garageband, a program used to create original and unique sound effects and soundtracks to add to your piece. Garageband was, yet again, a piece of software I hadn’t come across before and therefore I wasn’t completely sure how to use it and I’m still not exactly comfortable using it. Garageband is used to create new and unique sound and to be able to add this into your piece on Final Cut. Another member of my group has been using Garageband to create some sound whilst I’ve been focusing on other work, such as Research and planning. The piece of sound he created was incredibly effective, it has a loud drone throughout an earie and tense backing sound. I’ve learnt that Garageband is a nice bit of technology and that it’s important and very useful in creating sound for our thriller opening.
Overall I’ve learnt that various pieces of technology, whether it be the Video Camera or using Final Cut Express, are very important in constructing the final product.
7) Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
For Question 7 I have made a Prezi showing my journey from the Preliminary task to our finished Thriller Opening. It explains and shows the progression our group made from the Preliminary task right through and up until the final thriller opening.