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In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products ?
Conventions of real media
Title Much like “The Hangover” the first section of my film begins with the middle of the film, before going back to the beginning and so acts as a prologue. This first section of my film has a very serious tone to it with the music and backdrop making the film appear to be some type of drama or thriller. The words “Brian” and “Badass” then appear and seemingly follow this type of genre, however when the flaming “Badass” appears shorty after it acts as a juxtaposition that would tell the audience otherwise. The slang word is not something you would usually see in a drama but more so an action film or more specifically a comedy. I believe this contrast creates a somewhat comedic effect with the title being so out of place with what initially seems to be something with a serious and dark tone and so this is why I believe it acts as a subtle way of informing the audience of the genre, comedy. The title also follows the rule of three and uses alliteration in a way that makes the title more memorable to the audience. The name Brian is also used to create a comedic effect as it is a fairly common name and not stereotypically the name of a hero or a “badass” in a film . The word “Bona fide” meaning “genuine; real” is mainly used for alliteration reasons but also again a contrast to the main character Brian. Through the story the audience find out how inaccurate this is and again is another form of contrast that creates a comedic effect like the other words and font styles throughout my title.
Setting/LocationMy film opening takes place in four key locations the first being the Home of the drug dealer, (Anthony). For this I wanted a dark setting,that looked run down to give the opening a dark and hopeless atmosphere much like the beginning of “The Hangover”. While this challenges the form and conventions of a comedy it is used to act as a prologue to the rest of the film and so when we cometo Brian’s bedroom as a child it acts as a huge contrast that both creates a comedic effect and acts as a narrative enigma for the audience where they question how the situation could become so dire. This is because thebedroom of a child connotes innocence compared to the home of adrug dealer that connotes danger and corruption. In the montage ofBrian’s childhood we see locations that follow the normal conventionsof a comedy. The montage is mainly in Brian’s house where there isno sense of danger and the shots are well lit compared to the beginning to now make the audience aware of the true nature of the film. Thescenes in the church further adds innocence and purity to the characterof young Brian and also shows how out of place he is at the start of thefilm. The last section of the film takes place in Brian’s driveway whichis comically to big for his little pink bike. It is shot outside again followingthe conventions of a comedy and using the outdoors and natural light for the rest of the film as typically seen in most comedies like the films IResearched such as “Austin Powers” and “Anchor-man” where this isused to emphasise the light-heartedness of the film and the genre ofthe film so I wanted to include this technique in my film opening as well.
Costumes/Props For my costumes I chose my main protagonist Brian to have something that represented his laughable attempt of becoming a “badass”. The character is wearing the stereotypical outfit of a biker (leather jacket, jeans, sunglasses) who are also stereotypically seen as dangerous and violent. However I use the outfit instead as a comedic tool. In “Austin Powers” the charterer is set up to be the most dangerous spy in the world however his outfit does not represent this. When the audience first sees him in his 60’s swinger outfit it juxtaposes this initial judgment of the character and acts as a way of telling the audience that the character is in fact not like this and creates a comedic effect. This is the same for Brian, he is meant to be a “badass” however his oversized jacket and ridiculous bike gang “T birds” acts as a way of showing how pathetic he actually is in comparison to an actual bike gang member. The small pink bike he uses is also used for the same reason and is also used as a comedic tool. The costume of the antagonist Anthony is used in a way to make him look threatening and dangerous in comparison to Brian and show how out of place he is. The character uses shades and a hoodie to keep the majority of his face covered and adds to the mystery and shadiness of the character the gun he uses is also adds to the danger that surround the character. Younger Brian is used as well as a contrast to older Brian, the very smart outfit, instruments like the recorder and piano and the books he reads are all used to show how innocent and Brian is and how he is the furthest thing away from a badass.
Camerawork/EditingThe start of my film opening presents to the audience a wide shot of a setting sun. This is to set the tone and mysterious atmosphere in the first half of my film opening. This is followed by an invisible cut where the camera pans down and blackness gives the illusion of the scene being just one take. This effect is used in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” and is used to make the scene flow well between different scenes and the blackness is used to further the suspense in the scene. When we first see the characters in the film, it is filmed from outside, through a window. This was to separate the audience from the situation and give a sense of isolation, however the camera is placed within the building with the inclusion of the character Brian and now gives the audience a sense of involvement in the situation and with this a sense of relatability with Brian and so a likeability to the now established main character. Throughout the scene there are dips to black and flickering of lights, this was to add tension to the scene as done it “James Bond- Quantum of Solace” where the rapidity of the transition effect added to the tense atmosphere. The turning point of the opening to Brian’s monologue is anchored with the match cut from old Brian to young Brian where close ups are used to clearly show both facial expressions of the characters and is used as a contrast to show how out of place Brian is and his true personality (innocent and stereotypically geeky). A montage of numerous close ups are used to also show the different aspects of Brian's life and what he's actually like. This is then followed by a second montage of close ups and mid shots of Brian getting ready for the day, with this the audience can see the false confidence Brian has. This creates a comedic effect using dramatic irony as the audience know the Brian’s fate and how it will end but he obviously does not. As Brian leaves the door there is a dip to white and represents the hope and the start of an adventure. This is then followed by one final montage where camera shots and close ups are used to give the illusion that Brian is on some sort of motor bike. This is broken by the bell and the small pike bike is revealed to the audience as the camera pans left creating a comedic effect as the impression of a large, impressive motorbike is broken by a child's push bike which Brian is comically too oversized to ride which he does anyway in the final wide shot that sees him riding into the distance as the camera pans left with him that summarises the character, an unlikely hero.
Quantum of Solace Opening
StoryMuch like “The Hangover” the story of my film is set up with the ending of the film and acts as a prologue before reverting back to the start of the story. Using the section of a film that is near the end like this creates dramatic irony for the duration of the film. The audience are fully aware of Brian’s fate and what happens to him at the end but are clueless to how he could even arrive at this situation. After this “prologue” the film goes to the chronological beginning and we see Brian much like characters in “The Hangover” full of hope and on the start of his adventure but the audience know how badly it ends and question how he could arrive to the drug deal and murder seen earlier. The opening of my film is broken into three parts. The drug deal at the start that establishes all the characters and what they are like, especially brain who's clumsiness leads to someone's death. It’s a very dark scene which contrasts heavily to the middle section where now the main character is identified, Brian, as the plot now focuses on him (his younger self) and tells the audience of his personality and what he is truly like and how out of place he was in the first section. The final part of the film shows the transition Brian has made in the last few years of his life. Desperate to fit in and be “cool”. However the audience can see that at heart he is still the same and cant really be this badass he tries to be with how he talks, moves, wears and acts. The film opening ends as brain rides off his little pink bike and leaves the audience with a narrative enigma. What happens to Brian? How does a person like Brian arrive at a murder and drug deal?. This telling of the ending I believe makes the plotline easy to follow as audiences know what to except, through a monologue the plotline is clearly explained to the audience and is not overly confusing.
Genre In my film opening it was important for me to clearly convey the genre of my film, comedy. To do this I used a number of techniques to create comedic effects throughout my opening with the use of costumes, props, editing, dialogue and other sound effects. However the genre is not so easily distinguishable in the first section of my film opening and this was done deliberately. At the start, the genre of the film could be seen as a drama with the serious tone it has and the dark themes it conveys. However this is broken as soon as the protagonist, Brian, first speaks. The dialogue is so out of place for a drama but more suited to a comedy. For example after he accidentally gets someone killed he cries out “what will I tell my mum?!”. The statement is so out of place and unserious in suggests this opening is actually a spoof or parody of this type of genre. After this drug deal scene the genre is much clearer to an audience. Costumes for young Brian and especially older Brian create comedic effects with how stereotypical they are or being comically oversized. Much like in the film “Superbad” many of the scenes convey the genre of comedy through how unserious the scenes are that contain more light hearted themes that allow us to be able to both laugh with and at the characters because of how they are being portrayed. In Brain's case this is a failed attempt of becoming a badass which is most noticeable at the end. The montage that builds up a climatic and “badass” ending is broken by a bike bell and with the reveal of the small pink bike that Brain rides is in my opinion the biggest indicator that the genre is comedy as this type of scene would not be see no anywhere else.
Characters Throughout my film opening only three characters are established with the most insignificant being the antagonist Anthony, a violent and dangerous drug dealer. This is evident with his costume, dialogue and props. The dark colours he wears and the concealment of his face show how shady the character is and is stereotypical of a thug. The dialogue and gun that he uses to threaten his customer shows the violent and dangerous nature he has and is conventional for an antagonist character. The character Brian is first seen at the drug deal to but its not until his monologue and montage of his childhood do the audience understand who he is. In the film “Hot Fuzz” this is also done, a monologue is present with a montage of Nicholas Angel’s past in the police force and is used as a device to explain the character to the audience and establish him as the main character. I have used this to the same effect where through a montage an audiences learns about Brian’s true personality as they are shown his hobbies and lifestyle. Now knowing about who he actually is the ending of the opening is focused on older Brian as he is beginning his adventure as a badass. The character is shown to be optimistic and eager as he starts the day but through the prior explaining of his character the audience know already how he wont make it as the badass he wants to be and can only guess and what happens to him leading up to the drug deal he has arrived to which he is so out of place in.
Special Effects/TitlesThe majority of special effects used in my film opening consists of sound effects and the soundtracks. The most noticeable sound effects that is used to create a comedic effect is in the bike scene at the end. Sounds of a motorbike are dominant in the scene and give the audience the impression that Brian is riding something large and impressive. The sound of a bike bell then abruptly cuts this off and reveals to the audience what Brian is actually on. The contrast between the two sounds ,with the bell being high pitched and seen as childish, creates a comedic effect as the audiences’ initial perception is very different from the reality of the scene. At the start of the film opening there is faint soundtrack playing over the drug deal. I chose it due to how dark it is and uncertainty it conveys and fits well with the dramatic start. This soundtrack abruptly changes to happy ukulele music that again acts as a juxtaposition to create a comedic effect and is used over Brian’s childhood to show the innocence of the character compared to the situation previously seen. At the end the soundtrack “Highway To Hell” by AC/DC is played and this is to firstly to build to climatic ending of my opening, the bike scene, where Brian rides the bike in synchronisation with lyrics to create a comedic effect and is also fits the film well as its rock song that fits well with the persona of a “badass”.The titles used at the beginning of my film opening are used mainly because the genre of the film has not yet been established. Like in “The Hangover” the prologue used gives a sense of hopelessness and a font that suited a comedy genre would not work well in the first section of the film as it would be out of place. In this start the name of actors fade in and out with a slight transparency to fit with the start of my film opening. However by the end when the genre has been established I use a more light hearted and colourful font style to fit the genre which appears as Brian is riding his pink bike which gives me credit as the director, writer and editor.