In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and convention of real media products?
My media product uses the conventions of a traditional psychological thriller by having the main actor be a middle-aged male, I have however challenged traditional conventions by using a male who is not English/American but instead is of Argentinian descent. I also use the traditional convention of having the sequence set at night as the night can represent loneliness and can hide many things from view unless closely examined, just like mental instability.
The title of my film challenges the normal conventions of the psychological genre by being called 204863, this sequence of numbers alludes to the sequence that is repeated by the main character in my opening sequence, this challenges the conventions of the psychological thriller genre as the title is usually an ominous word that loosely suggest the events of the movie, the font I have used for my opening sequence uses the Lucida Bright font, this font has sharper edges with white text on a black background, the stark contrast between the two colours is used in many other title sequences such as it is a common style used by many movies to get the audience to remember the name of the movie.
The setting of my sequence conforms to the archetype of the psychological genre by having it set in a rural neighborhood, this setting is most commonly used in psychological thrillers as it causes the audience to assume that it is a ‘perfect’ neighborhood therefore subverting their expectations of the audience when this is revealed to not be true
The costumes used in my sequence use the conventions of having the main character be dressed in a dark overcoat as seen in other films of the same genre such as shutter island or seven, this convention sets the main character as just an ‘average Joe’ suggesting that the events that occur in the movie to the main character could happen to anyone watching the film. The props used in my sequence are a gun and a car, these props both conform and challenge a conventional psychological thriller as guns are used in some films to distance the character from the killing while others have the character getting much more personal with their murders using blades or their hands.
The camerawork used in my sequence uses long-duration shots to create an omnipresent feeling within the audience leaving them to observe the main character in more detail rather than having to worry about where they are positioned in the scene, this technique is employed in many films of different genres. The editing of my sequence uses the technique of having match-on-action editing to create more interactive shots, this separates the omnipresent camerawork of observing the main character from the character’s actions and their consequences, this is employed in many psychological thrillers such as American Psycho.
The opening of my sequence suggests the story of the main feature by establishing the main characters alongside the setting while also hinting to the main problem with the story, this sets the feature up to the classic template of storytelling by having a normal situation be destabilized by a problem only for it to be solved at the end of the feature.
The main character of my sequence is introduced after a short scenery shot to establish the location, the introduction of this character presents him as a normal man just entering his car, establishing him as an ‘average Joe’ only for this expectation to be subverted by editing and camera shots to present him as mentally ill/possessed.
- How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My film represents the social group of a middle class family, this is shown by the appearance of the main character wearing the typical clothes of a middle class man, jeans, a t-shirt and a jacket, the jacket is slightly worn to represent the manual labour of blue collar middle class workers, this is similar to the ways that films portray these social groups as multiple films have the same social group being represented by similar clothing, except possibly with chinos being exchanged for jeans.
- What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Media institutions are organisations or companies that produces and/or distributes media products, they are either privately or publicly owned, an example of a privately owned media institution is Comcast which owns multiple media companies such as Universal Studios; an independent media company. An example of a public media institution is the BBC which is government funded and therefore must meet public standards so as to encourage the public that their government funding is worthwhile and should not be cut due to popular demand.
A company I would hope to have distribute my product would be a company known to distribute thriller products such as Fox Searchlight Pictures although a company that distributes media products of varying genres would also be suitable as they would already have a reputation that would allow them to easily distribute my product regardless of genre. However, as a director who has never made a movie before it would me more appropriate for me to premiere my film at an event like the Sundance Film Festival as this event is known for allowing unknown directors like me to distribute their product to a large audience all at once where an interested investor may see my product and wish to fund me to make another product.
- Who would be the audience for your media product?
The target audience for my media product is someone who enjoys thrillers, from my target audience research I have identified a target audience with the average age of 17 of either gender.
As I am of this average age and enjoy thriller movies myself I can easily identify themes that I enjoy and incorporate them into my sequence.
5.How do you attract/address your audience?
To attract my audience, I would need to market my film to the particular age group for my target audience, in doing so I would create a trailer of the feature or use my sequence as this will cause the audience to want to see the entire film. To assure that this trailer is seen by as many possible people and not just my target audience I would need to advertise the trailer on social media sites such as Twitter© or Facebook© where people can ‘share’ the post themselves therefore allowing audience participation as the audience feels they are helping ‘spread the word’ of this film they are interested in. I can also spend money to promote my post on these sites allowing even more users to see the post, I could also ask people with a large social influence such as celebrities or YouTubers to promote the post linking to the trailer through ‘shares’ or ‘retweets’. I would use a social media site as it is cheaper to upload a clip to a free video streaming service such as Vimeo© or YouTube© than broadcast it on television which requires purchasing a ‘slot’ which are usually extremely expensive. If, however, I had a media institution distributing my product, they may provide funding to advertise my product and therefore allow me to purchase a ‘slot’ on television or before a film at the cinema/on a DVD.
6.What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
From constructing my product, I have learnt to use a variety of editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects, using different techniques for shot transitions, editing a shot, audio editing and audio transitions. I have also learnt how to use different filming equipment such as DSLRs, jigs, tracks and dollies and tripods. I have also learnt how to adjust focus, exposure, aperture shutter speeds, ISO, and framing on cameras.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
When looking back at my preliminary task I realise that I did not understand colour correction or balancing the exposure of my shot with the white balance to make the shot lighter or darker, I have implemented this technique into my final film by using Adobe Premiere Pro to have the first few shots start light to represent the daytime with the shots progressively get darker to represent the progression of the day until the night is represented by the extremely dark shots taken at nigh.
I have also advanced my editing skills in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects to change the audio of a shot or fix issues that occurred when recording such as stabilisation issues, I have also edited in background music to my sequence, I learned to balance ambient audio and music during my Sound Task and this helped greatly.
During my ident task and title sequence task I learned to edit text on to footage to create credits and idents, the ident I learned to make in Adobe After Effects is used in my final film to present my production company, I learned from watching examples that having simple text fonts with minor differences to discern film genres is commonplace, having a stark background against contrasting text is also commonplace and thus I used these techniques in my ident.
Overall I feel that I have become more confident in both filming and editing to create better products that appeal to a larger audience, I also feel I have greatly improved my technical skills in both equipment handling as well as technological editing.