Feedback… Monday, Apr 26 2010 

http://salesianas2010a4.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/waiting/#comment-12

http://salesianas2010a3.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/our-final-piece/#comment-26

Post Production Evaluation… Friday, Apr 23 2010 

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

Instantaneously, my partner and I knew that we wanted to explore and play with the conventions of ‘Horror‘. We found that with this genre there was alot more to play with and ideas came naturally. We believed that our techniques in filming and editing would be shown off slightly more, than say if we picked another genre for example comedy, where menacing camera angles such as cants would look radther out of place. 

As we weighed up the pros and cons of whether or not to stay with the traditional conventions of horror or consider going against them, i believe to some extent we played it safe as we decided to stick to the more traditional conventions of horror, as we thought this would not squander the audiences chance to realise our productions genre.

With that decision out of the way, we then used our own knowledge to create a reperertoire of elements for the traditional conventions of horror. As you can see from our repertorie of elements we chose very basic and obvious characters, settings, narratives and iconography to really make our genre clear to our audience. We chose such basic examples because we wanted things in our production that our audience would be able to relate to, so as soon as they would see it they would know straight away the genre of our production.

2. How does your media product represent social groups?

Only one social group is depicted in our product, this being the ‘family’. We wanted to try and replicate the idea of families that find looking after and caring for their mentally unstable children a difficult task. As our production is only two minutes long, there are not any families to be seen but just one child running from what he thinks is real, when really his mind is playing games with him. However this slightly breaks the traditional conventions of horror as most horror films do not tend to focus around the family area for example Paranormal Activity which is merely about a young couple in their twenties being haunted by a demon.

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

When it came to chosing a production company and a distributor, we agreed on using Paramount Pictures. We did this simply because they are known worldwide and convientantly are both a production company and a distribution company. They also produced and distributed many horror films which had a touch of inspiration on our production such as, Paranormal Activity. We soon changed our minds and decided to look into Universal Pictures as they two were both a production and distribution company.

In the long run i feel that if this production was to run with a major studio we would benifit so much more than say if we used an independant producer. The reasons for this is merely because we would have a lot more power and money to make the film. We would have the key to so many more options and would be able to get a really good and polished off horror film. We would be able to attract and afford a lot of famous actors which in return would attract alot of people to come and see our film.

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

Our target audience, as discussed briefly in our blog, would be for the ages 15+. We came to this decision because having the age limit set this low, allows us to have a big target audience which would maximise our productions profits. Standing by our original plan i believe this is still a good idea as it pretty much opens our production up to anyone. We set the minumum age at 15 due to regulations of a 15 certificate. We believed our film to require certain elements such as sustained or detailed infliction of pain or injury which is seen as unacceptable within the bounds of the 15 certificate.

5. How did you attract/adress your audience?

From looking at our feedback it seems quite clear that the soundtrack we used was very effective in attracting our audience to our film, ‘The non-diegetic sound track is brilliant! It creates a eerie and mysterious atmosphere’. I found stumbled apon the track in the itunes library when i was searching for music based around the piano. I believe we also attracted our audience by using a range of different camera angles, ‘You have used a range of camera positions which gives us the audience a feel of the surroundings’. We did this to keep the attention of the audience and to stop our production from being repetitive and boring and also as one of the people said in our feedback to give the audience a sense of surrounding.

From looking at our feedback one idea was to add a link to where the boy is lying on the floor and then wakes up in another area, to show the passage in time more clearly. I agree with this and think if i was to re-do our first cut i would make the passage of time more clear to the audience.

6. What have you learnt about technologies from constructing this product?

From being set this task i have learnt so much about various areas in producing films. Ive learnt camera angles, using garage band, using the Apple Mac, various filming techniques and endless amounts of editing techniques just to name a few. The most important skills that i had picked up were probably editing techniques and camera angles. Without these our production would crash and burn. These skills were able to help to give a sense of style to our production and originality as not everyone thinks in the way you do, they also allow you to be creative.

7. Looking back at your Preliminary Task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

From the experience of the Preliminary task, editing skills and the whole concept of being prepared and having a plan to follow really helped to highten the standard of what was to be our two minute production. First time round with the Preliminary task, due to the lack of editing skills and knowledge of using the Mac’s  i guess in away it hindered us as we werent really able to get our production to flow nicely and make it interesting. With the experience of this, this time round we had become a lot better with using the Mac’s and were aware of the editing techniques on there, we were also a lot more adventurous and willing to try things.

Having a plan to go by was also an essential seeing as we could get certain work out of the way and give our selves more time to focus on another particular important area. When we did the Preliminary task we did not have a plan or any kind of outline as to how we were going to go about things. So there were instances where we could not all meet up, tasks were completed randomly and work was left to the last minute. However with our production, using a rough outline of how we planned to get things done, we were able to get a lot of work done in a short time to leave us with extra time to plan or modify our story boards once they were done we had plenty of time left to film, upload our production and then edit it.

What I have done so far… Thursday, Apr 22 2010 

So far i have:
– taken pictures of our recces
– helped Jake with the storyboards
– helped Jake with the emails to the council
– did all the editing of our production
– found a suitable soundtrack for our production

Preliminary Task Video… Tuesday, Mar 9 2010 

Preliminary Task Evaluation

My groups Preliminary Task was based on the idea of a cerial killer sneaking into a house, killing an unknown victim then making a quick escape. Our production initiates with footage of the news reporting about murders happening in

the area. To enhance the feeling of actually watching the News, we managed to find a track in the itunes library which sounded relatively like that on the News. It then cuts to an extreme close up of an intruders feet walking up the stairs

with a heartbeat playing simultaneously in the background. We added the little heartbeat feature to heighten the sense of atmosphere and create tension for the audience, in doing this they knew something was going to happen. Our

next scene was where we wanted to create the most tension and lift the atmosphere sky high in order to make this part the climax of the film. So in order to do this we increased the rate at which the heartbeat was beating to create a sense

of racing and that something drastic is just about to happen, we then suddenly used a fade out to black and ended the heartbeat to create suspense then when it all went quiet we used diegetic sound of a girl screaming. We really

thought this was a one of our best ideas and that it created alot of tension and suspense for the audience. Carrying on, it then cuts to showing us the upper body half of the killer who we can see walking back down the stairs holding a

knive in his hand. It then cuts to a medium close up of the killer in the kitchen, at this time we can hear diegetic sounds of the tap running while he rinses off the knive he used and cleans it. Suddenly we then use three complex camera

angles with sharp and fast cuts as the killer runs out of the house and gets away. We did this as it makes the get away look fast and it also adds pace to our production so its not just all one slow production. Then to end our film we

decided to go back two days before the killing and see the victim talking to one of her mates.

My role in the group varied between acting and editing. I played the role of the victims friend who she was talking to in the two days previous to her death. As acting is not really on the list of my talents i found it incredibly hard to maintain a straight face while being filmed, so a few tries for each scene were nessacary. While i wasnt trying to act i was editing that of which we had so far of our production.

If i could go back and change things with our production i would probably hands up, change quite alot of things, i am happy with it seeing as it was our first try but the camerawork and editing is all very sketchy and it doesnt flow nicely. I would also remove or try to improve the scenes where we go back in time to two days previous of the victims death, as in my opinion they dont really make much sense or link to the original narrative.

What i think worked well, and our my favourite parts of our production is the scene that contains the climax to our production and also the camerawork where the killer makes his escape. I like the climax scene because it uses quite a few techniques at the same time and i think they really work well together and give off a really high atmosphere of suspense and tension. And with the camerawork, the change in pace, different angles and fast cutting really make it effective and completely grabs the attention of the audience.

Textual Analysis… Monday, Mar 1 2010 

For my textual analysis I decided to pick a film with ‘horror’ as its genre. Horror is stated by the dictionairy to intend ‘intense and profound fear’ to a living being. When I think of this definition only one recent film comes to my mind, ‘Paranormal Activity’.

Textual analysis

I feel this film coincides greatly with the ideas and target genre that my partner and I have.  Within the first three minutes of the film narrative and genre can be established through the use of Sound, Mise en scene, camera movement and editing.

The Opening of the film starts off with a black background and information given in a documentary style font which is often always used to show cases/Police Files in investigations. The information given at the start of the film says, ‘The producers would like to thank the families of Micah S. & Katie F. and the Rancho Penasquitos Police Department for providing this footage.’ This significantly reveals to the audience that the film is somewhat serious and could be based on facts and real found footage.

 As soon as the black screen cuts out, straight away we appear to be looking straight at a TV and given the shaky camera movement it seems like we are watching a home-made movie. There is diegetic sound of the TV showing that we are in a normal set environment within the house. The male actor, Micah, then starts to move with the camera to give the effect of a documentary style film, very similar to that of the ‘Blair Witch Project’.

Whilst Micah begins to walk around we are given a small tour of the first floor of his house. This falls into the Mise en Scene department as his house appears to be that of a middle classed person and to seem rather normal. Also as he moves around the house whilst holding the camera you can hear his footsteps on the laminated flooring. This makes the whole scene feel more natural and not artificial, as his footsteps should be there and we should be able to hear them. Without the sound of the footsteps it would just look like the camera is floating/flying around by itself, which wouldn’t seem right.

Eventually Micah approaches a mirror and reveals himself, which uncovers whose controlling and the camera and eliminates that sense of mystery. While doing this he was shot in a medium close up because you can see him as well as his surroundings. When he reveals his appearance in the mirror you can see that he is just an ordinary man wearing casual/everyday clothing for example jeans and a t-shirt. A good use of Mise en Scene is used here as the audience can figure out for themselves what time period the film is set in and also Micah’s status e.g. Poor, Middle Class or Rich.

After revealing himself he starts to move the camera around again showing the stairs and his kitchen. This gives the feeling and is also enhancing the fact that they are trying to get across that his house is just a plain normal environment. With all the commotion and moving around you can hear the diegetic sound of the scruffing of the camera when he is moving it around which also reminds us that it is a home- made movie and will not have special effects. Micah then walks on into the kitchen where you can suddenly hear the phone ringing faintly which then becomes louder as he approaches it. The sound of the phone ringing is diegetic.  

When Micah puts down the phone, the scene cuts to him opening his front door. While he opens the door you can hear diegetic sound of the door creaking. He then carries on going outside, when he exits the house a lot of diegetic sound can be heard from his neighbourhood. Mise en Scene is also used hear as it seems that the neighbourhood that he lives in is a very middle classed area and appears to be very normal and nothing strange about it.

We are then introduced to his partner, Katie, as she drives up the road and pulls into their drive way in what seems like a very expensive car. While she does this, Micah films her in a long shot in order to show the environment she’s in as well as what she’s doing.

Only when we come into the first 2 – 3 minutes of the film does the genre become completely clear. We can see the two in the kitchen preparing a meal, a few diegetic sounds can be heard while the couple fiddle about with utensils such as Micah with a knife. As they do this we can hear Micah fully explain as to why he brought the camera as he says, ‘We’re just going to film whatever happens to us and then whenever any weird shit goes on we will be in a perfect position to capture it’. This completely reveals to the audience watching, the genre of the film. Straightaway the audience know that something is in the house causing the two discomfort. This can also be seen as an action code which could play with the audiences mind and leave them to think what it could possibly be that Micah and Katie are trying to find.

Repertoire of Elements… Monday, Feb 22 2010 

Repertoire of Elements

Stock Characters:

For our little production we focus mainly on one character, this character being a young child who is mentally ill. My partner and I have decided to keep it simple and have our main character look like any other ordinary young child. We find this very subsidiary as it enhances the contrast between his visual appearance and his emotional and mental state.

Stock Settings:

We have both come to a decision on four locations we feel best suited for our three minute opening; A graveyard, forest, park and a school. We chose these locations because we feel that most effective ‘chase’ scenes happen in these areas.

Iconography:

Graveyard, gravestones, fog, school, clipboard, psychiatrist, gravestones, long corridor.

Narrative and Themes:

Death, haunting, paranoya, skitzophrenia and killings