Final media evaluation

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  2. 2. IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OF REAL MEDIA PRODUCTS? MISE-EN-SCENE The props we used were very conventional in psychological horror films. This mask for example, is very similar to those worn in The Strangers (Bertino, 2008). Also, our choice of weaponry consisted of the usual blunt metal objects making them conventional. Our choice of location being an old abandoned caravan was iconic of horror, as it displayed the same worn, overgrown location found in many horrors. SOUND The backing track, When I Paint My Masterpiece, is generally unconventional of horror in that its cheerful and vibrant. We did this to contrast the horror and gore of the sequence with a sense of cheerfulness to create irony. The non-diegetic sound effects and drones we used were conventional. For example the sharp screech heard in the flashbacks offers a very unsettling, visceral feeling, similar to those found in the American Horror Story opening. CAMERA ANGLE/MOVEMENT Many of our shots were similar to those found in various other horror films. A good example would be the tracking shot along the objects, which adds to the old context and overall atmosphere, as well as the canted angle shot of the cupboards which appears disjointed and uncomfortable. The majority of our shots were straight forward with film productions in general, including a variety of stills, low angled and high angled shots and a POV. EDITING Our editing consisted of varying transition frequencies that make it conventional of horror. For example, at the beginning where there lacks any true form of horror, the pace Is slow, and as the horror is introduced the shot transitions become more frequent building up tension and hysteria. The use of our shot reverse shot is also vital in showing the reaction shot, as in every horror movie the reaction shot provides a basis for the way in which the audience follow the tone.
  3. 3. The way in which we presented our characters was conventional of horror films. For example, Harry being portrayed as a lost hitchhiker finding refuge in the caravan. This is iconic as the victim is oblivious to the danger of his life. This is comparable to Friday The 13th where a group of young adults camp in a lake inhabited by a crazed killer, similar to Harry finding refuge in the caravan, only to be murdered. The antagonist is also presented in a conventional fashion, despite only possessing minimal screen time. For example, when the antagonist appears in various shots, for a small only a few seconds (the shots shown below, where the antagonist swiftly walks past the translucent window). All of these features mentioned previously, conform to both conventional methods of horror film production as well as the occasional aspect unique to our sequence such as the plot. The effect of this is a professional sequence that possesses both techniques used conventionally as well as personal aspects, unmatchable in any other production. The way we established enigma in the film sequence was primarily through the use of the flashbacks revealing the events that took place in the caravan in the previous years. We accomplished this with the use of post production special effects, such as the sharp sound prompted at the start of each flashback, individualizing them to the audience, as well as the green filter we used. All of this as well as the fake blood and tools we used contributed to setting the scene and the mysterious atmosphere.
  4. 4. HOW DOES YOUR OPENING CONFORM OR CHALLENGE THE CONVENTIONS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR? We chose psychological horror as a result of its unique style, and often thought provoking plots that require thought and understanding, such as the film mentioned before: Se7en, which follows a series of murders linked with the 7 deadly sins of Christianity. Other psychological horrors that follow this method of representation for the antagonist is Scream (left image). The victim is presented in a casual way, possessing nothing unique about him. This could also be seen as a conventional representation as it makes the character more relatable, and therefore an emotional attachment can be made with the victim. The character of the antagonist for example, is presented conventionally for psychological horror. He is shown with an expressionless mask and dark clothing. This appearance signifies mystery and makes it challenging for the audience to relate to him, creating a sense of distance.
  5. 5. EDITING The editing side of the film sequence is fairly basic. The sequence possesses a consistent pattern throughout, often to show the victim walking up to an object, then the flashback, then the reaction shot of the victim. This style repeats with every object the victim picks up in the caravan or the rooms he walks into. This style of editing creates tension leading up to the victims death. The sequences screenshots below is an example of the pattern we followed. This combined with the increased number of camera transactions increases tension at the various points of horror throughout. This is also notable at times where there is no horror on screen, where the shot transactions become less frequent. This style of editing conforms to psychological horror, as it always refers back to the character and also works parallel in creating tension through speed and on screen action. CAMERA WORK In our sequence, we included a large variety of shots. For example, canted angle shot, POV shot and pan and tracking shots. The tracking shots were vital in setting the scene in just one shot, revealing the setting in one camera motion. These shots followed the same manor as seen in other psychologically based horror films. It proved challenging to gather shots that set our sequence apart from the majority of other horror films as they all follow the same style of filming. Some of our shots were very professional despite being improvised on the day of filming, such as the pull focus shot and the track along the small objects. These shots were ideal for integrating titles in with them. This shot on the right for example, allows the audience to identify the significance of this object.
  6. 6. HOW DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT REPRESENT PARTICULAR SOCIAL GROUPS? Our antagonist could be interpreted as being mentally ill through his mannerisms and the fact hes killing and torturing for no apparent reason. This could be reinforcing the dominant stereotype of people with a disability being capable of displaying the same amount of strength and power. However, this also could be interpreted as the antagonist killing as a result of a mental disability, so is therefore an example of binary opposition. The fact that the antagonist in our sequence is male, reinforces the residual stereotype of a man always being the inflictor of harm or the murderer. This may be because men are seen as more powerful figures physically. This is further emphasized through the fact we see a male character hiking through the woods, which is also dominant of the residual stereotype that men are generally more capable of certain physical activities.
  7. 7. The characters that are shown in the sequence include Harry (hiker) and myself (masked man). Harry was represented as a young male, and little else is given away through what we filmed. The antagonist is wearing a mask so again, little is given away in regards to both characters social status, sexual orientation or whether they possess any form of disability. However there are aspects of the characters actions that point to certain stereotypical characteristics. Our sequence is an all-male cast. this therefore reinforces the residual stereotype of men being seen as more powerful and intimidating than females. For example, the body language of the antagonist is reminiscent of the antagonist from The Strangers through the way he tilts his head as though innocent and confused.
  8. 8. Our film may attract the attention of an independent distributor, such as Vertigo Films. In the past Vertigo Films has distributed films such as Monsters, which, similarly with our film sequence, had an extremely low budget, but nevertheless proved successful. Furthermore, likewise with our films production Vertigo Films is based in the UK, which could potentially save cost in transportation, which would prove vital for a film production running on such a small budget. Furthermore, Vertigo Films in the past, has distributed lower budget film productions in new innovative ways, for example Street Dance 3D where they synergised with the Britains Got Talent app in a successful attempt to appeal to their key psychographic, in which a 30 second advertisement was played to each viewer at a when the app was no. 1 on the app store. This method appealed to a large scale concentrated audience. Vertigo Films could adopt this method of distribution, as it is effective yet the expense will be far lower, rather than an advertising slot on a prime time television network, yet potentially result in a similar or perhaps even greater outcome in terms of the distributing the film to a large audience successfully.
  9. 9. WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR WORK TO BE IN THE STYLE OF AN INDEPENDENT FILM OR WOULD IT BE PRODUCED AS PART OF AN INDUSTRIAL MODEL? Our production is more reflective of the independent style of film making, as opposed to industrial. In comparison to other independent films such as Monsters (Edwards, 2010), The Premonition is similar in terms of production. Monsters was shot in a guerrilla style of filming, where the scripts were mostly improvised and the extras were just hired pedestrians on the street. Likewise with our production, many of the shots included were conjured on the day of filming. Independent films also tend to have much smaller budgets. For example, A Field In England (Wheatley, 2013) was shot entirely on a 300,000 budget, making it miniscule compared to an industrial production, for example, Prometheus (Scott, 2012) which shot on a budget of $140 million. Our film production was shot on a minute budget, so an independent distribution company is far more likely to show interest in it rather than an industrial conglomerate.
  10. 10. Q4/Q5. Who would be the audience for your media product? How did you attract/address your audience? Throughout the process, we tested our concept on our audience. This featured our initial research in which we tested our audience using a questionnaire which featured a series of closed and open questions. From this initial research, we discovered that an abandoned location would be very effective, as the majority of our audience stated that it would be the most conventional of horror. We also used a 1-10 scale styled question, in which the audience circle the number they feel most appropriate. For example: This particular question was very useful as it gave us an idea as to the most conventional stock character for our clip. From this question, we discovered that the character would definitely have to be young and vulnerable, though the sex was a less important matter. Therefore, we came up with Darren, a young, vulnerable male, conventional of horror. We also tested possible names in a fixed question format. Initial Audience Questionnaire Initial Audience Questionnaire II
  11. 11. Our core audience is the 15-24 demographic, this is because the horror genre is intrinsically aimed at a younger audience as this age group enjoy the gore and scares which are evident throughout. The characters appeal to this target audience as Darren fits in with the age demographic due to being a young male around the age of 16/17. This creates verisimilitude for the audience as they feel that this could happen to them which creates an enigma and a social currency. Despite this, after choosing hysteria, we thought that the name the premonition was much more suited to our piece. This is because the word premonition means to see something before your eyes. Below you can see the question we originally asked, however, nearer the time, we realized hysteria didnt really fit with our piece, and premonition is far more suitable. Target Audience Initial Audience Questionnaire III
  12. 12. Additionally, people thought our location was perfect, saying the caravans dingy, dull and abandoned look created a more visceral experience for most people and believed that its small, confined space actually contributed to build enigma. A few people thought the continuity of our sequence could be improved, saying that providing more shots with movement of our protagonist should be added to make our sequence just that little bit better. Another strength included the high quality resolution of the picture and audiences believed that this made the sequence seem like an actual film. Also, some of our audience stated that they were unsure as to whether Darren should been killed or whether we should have left it as a mystery to build up a further suspense.
  13. 13. From our audience testing many people liked the use of our soundtrack, saying it fits well with the visuals and the high pitched, discordant sounds of the flashbacks were very effective in creating a sinister, scary feeling about the piece which shocked audiences (this was the effect we wanted to create). Some people thought that a couple of the shots looked a little bit shaky, which did not fit as well with the piece as it should. As soon as we received this feedback, we tried very hard to alter the graininess of the image and change the colour to create a contrasting look to the normal shots. Audiences also thought our camera work was excellent, especially the frequent short and long tracking shots which revealed various props as well as our protagonist in the sequence. They also liked the use of pull focus shots and canted angle shots, saying it made the piece more professional and more fitting to our thriller/horror genre. One person thought that the edited effects and composition of the flashbacks did not look very effective, that our group should improve the look of these flashbacks to make it more clear and sinister.
  14. 14. Q4/Q5. Audience Final Cut Questionnaire Results 1. Did you understand what was going on in the opening? In terms of our results for this first question, we are very happy. I say this because out of our 10 respondents, 6 said they understood the plot completely and 4 said they understood the plot mostly. This shows that our plot is very coherent. 2. What genre would you class this film as? Again, we are very pleased with these results. This is because 70% of our respondents thought that it was clearly a horror genre, which shows that on the whole we have succeeded creating a horror opening.
  15. 15. 4. Do you think that in the opening the protagonist shouldve died? 6. On a scale of 1-10 how tense did you find the opening? (1- being not tense 10- being very tense) This chart shows that the majority of our respondents thought that the protagonist shouldve been killed, this is good for us as we were unsure whether to not kill the protagonist and leave a cliff-hanger. We are pleased with the results from this question as 60% felt that our clip was an 8+ out of 10 in terms of tension which shows that our clip was effective in terms of building up suspense.
  16. 16. They both felt that our flashbacks were extremely effective yet felt that we may have done more with the sound in terms of a sound mix to build tension and create a sense of eeriness which is typical of horror films. Overall, we were pleased with this response, though, as a group we were pleased with the soundtrack we used. This is because we deliberately used the soundtrack to pose a contrast to the general mood of the clip. In this short video, features two people inside our age demographic (15-24) whom are commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of our clip after seeing our final cut at the advanced screening. Vox-pop clip Summary of Clip
  17. 17. 9. How many flashbacks were there? This question was more to see if our audience were paying attention. As there were indeed 5 flashbacks, it shows that on the most-part, our audience were paying attention meaning the other answers will be valid. 11. Do you think our use of font was suitable? This another encouraging result. I say this because 80% of our respondents felt that our font was suitable. Considering we changed our font rather close to the deadline, it was very pleasing to see this.
  18. 18. 3. Which part of the opening couldve been improved? For this question, we had a varied response. Some stated that the sound couldve been improved in terms of a sound mix and others stated that the build-up of tension couldve been enhanced. In our own opinion, we thought the soundtrack was very effective as it created a contrast to the general mood of the clip. 5. Was the opening generally entertaining? If so, why? Again, for this question, there were a wide array of answers, some stated the soundtrack made it entertaining, some said it was so because of the diegetic sound. On the whole, the most popular answer for this question was the flashbacks.
  19. 19. 7. Would you recommend the film to others? For this question, we was looking for a fixed answer of yes or no. Encouragingly, 100% of our respondents stated that they would recommend the film. 8. Did you understand the use of flashbacks? This was also a very promising result, 90% of our respondents understood the use of flashbacks in our clip, which was to evidently show the caravan to have a past in terms of murder and torture, therefore this was a very heartening result for us.
  20. 20. WHAT MIGHT BE THEIR STRATEGY IN CONNECTING YOUR FILM TO AN AUDIENCE? Vertigo Films could replicate the same methods of distribution used for Street Dance 3D with our film opening. This could be done through social media or through mobile applications, allowing us to direct advertising at our key demographic. For example, through various applications that follow the same theme of horror as our production, appealing to the audience most likely to be interested in our film. Vertigo Films could also utilise a multi platform release. This technique was used by Film4 Productions for A Field in England (Wheatley, 2013). Film4 Productions launched a first ever platform release of A Field in England in 2013, simultaneously on DVD, Blu-ray and in cinemas as well as available to stream on the channel 4 website. This blanket release created mass publicity for a low budget film. An extremely successful distribution technique used was by 20th Century Fox for Prometheus (Scott, 2012). This utilised Web 2.0 in the form of social media and web pages to raise publicity for Prometheus. Another aspect of Web 2.0 was the TED Talk featuring Peter Weyland, giving subtle context to the film. Another potential method could be through synergistic promotional activity.
  21. 21. WHAT WE HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES FROM THE PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING OUR PRODUCT Through constructing our film sequence, we had to make use of both software and hardware alike, as well as technical equipment used to actually film our sequence and upload it. This included the following: We used a group members DSLR Cannon EOS 600D camera, which offered excellent resolution and easy controllable zoom. It also proved easy to review footage and mount. We used a track and dolly on 2 shots. It required assembly on sight, and stabilizing to make sure the camera dolly rolled smoothly over the track. The tripod rests on the dolly. This is the tripod used to stabilize and produce still shots. The legs are adjustable, and the mount has 360 degree rotation so we could create smooth panning shots. This is an SD card reader which is vital for uploading footage onto the computer for editing. This was simple to use, and connected directly to the editing computer via USB port.
  22. 22. Through the process of completing our film sequence, we were required to make use of a variety of software. For example, Blogger. We learned how to create a blog in a group effectively through Blogger, where most of our research into aspects of the media, and analysis of film sequences can be found. This proved extremely useful for our final opening sequence. Another online tool we used was YouTube. YouTube enabled us to upload videos and then transfer them to our blog. This was also useful for receiving feedback on all of our filming tasks that were carried out. For this we used the Google account previously used for our blog, where, from Adobe Premiere, we could upload films onto YouTube. Adobe Premiere Elements was used for the editing of all our videos, and perhaps required the most amount of skill and thought to do so. Every single video required editing, and this included image filters that can be seen on each of the flashbacks in the final piece, cropping clips, typography and non-diegetic sound effects, to name a few. All these elements can be controlled as well.
  23. 23. Sound The main steps to installing our sounds is first of all downloading the sound. Then saving it to the Data Disk, clicking Get Media in premiere and inserting the sound that had been previously downloaded and saved into our files from Once this has been imported, you can drag the sound into the timeline in the soundtrack section. Here are a few of the sounds we liked: Lighting Limitations We had very few problems in terms of lighting restrictions. This is because in our shoots, we were very lucky that the weather was no different to the shoots before. Also, inside the caravan, it is very dim anyway and therefore, lighting was not a difficulty. The bigger problem was the size of the caravan as it tiny and therefore it was a test to move the camera around effectively.
  24. 24. Filming process Our film process began with the camera, owned by a group member- Tom. We used a Canon DSLR camera. This camera was more advanced than the standard Panasonic HDC 10 distributed to students by the school. As a result, our footage looked much better than the other cameras available to us. Also, we could apply the pull- focus to increase the quality of our shots, this is evident in the shot where the focus is on the nail and then switches focus to Darren as he walks closer. This was made easier through the easily adjustable lense that we attached to the camera; a feature not available to us on the Panasonic HDC 10 Challenges In previous shoots, we had trouble with the track and dolly in terms of the stability of the shot. This time around, it was a superior challenge as for multiple camera shots, the track was located on uneven grass. Therefore, prior to taking the shots, we removed anything that would cause a jolt in the shot and managed to shoot successfully. We overcame this issue through stabilising the shot in post- production using Adobe Elements Premiere. Also, the pull focus previously mentioned proved challenging to do while at the same time keeping the camera steady as to not ruin the effect of the shot.
  25. 25. Typography At first, we used a font named Cold Night For Alligators. However, we felt that this particular font was more conventional of a slasher horror film as opposed to a psychological horror film. As a result, we then decided against this font, and used a more ordinary yet effective font which is associated more with a psychological horror genre. The comparison also proved to satisfy our audience, through our research. Filming/Shots As a group we are very pleased with the footage we captured on the Canon DSLR camera, our clip features an array of tracking shots, POV shots and high/low angle shots. The POV shots are conventional of horror as the audience view the action through the eyes of the protagonist. In terms of our titles, we took positioning into consideration as it is vital to have the titles at the forefront of the frame. Evidence of effective positioning is evident in the tracking shot alongside the caravan. COLD NIGHT FOR ALLIGATORS NEW STANDARDISED FONT THIS FONT ALSO MATCHED FONTS USED FOR THE CAST
  27. 27. PLOT Our plot is both unique in many aspects, and in others very conventional. For example, the general idea is that a lost hiker, Darren, stumbles across an abandoned caravan to take refuge and ends up being killed by a crazed, lurking killer. This is very conventional of horror, for example Friday the 13th where the teens camp at a lake inhabited by a Jason who later kills every single person. Despite this, the way in which we delivered the plot was unique and unseen before in any major film sequence. This was achieved through concentrating primarily on the objects around the caravan and how each one possesses a past linked with brutal murders. This immediately sets the scene for Darren's future, of imminent death.