Evaluation Question 7

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7) Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Looking back on my progress from my first preliminary task to my final film, I would say that I can see huge developments not only in my editing skills but also the wide range of shots I used to make the film more gripping for the audience.

To begin, I feel I have become much more confident in my use of both Adobe Premiere Pro and also Adobe After Effects and I would say that I can easily edit different shots together more so than I did in my preliminary task, which I would say is evident as my film runs more smoothly than my preliminary task. In my preliminary task I made sure to make use of the 180 degree editing rule to clearly illustrate a conversation between two people. However, as my film did not include any dialogue I could not use this technique as easily, although I did use an over-the-shoulder shot as the drug dealer is counting the money which I feel was successful for what I was trying to achieve. I do feel that using the 180-degree rule in my preliminary task helped me to improve my confidence in my editing skills and also helped me understand the importance having a range of camera shots has on making the film more interesting. I feel the preliminary task helped me greatly with my confidence when filming and also gave me a good insight into what camera angles I should include to make my film opening the best it could be.

Moreover, I feel my continuity has evidently improved since I did my preliminary task as we also had to do a mundane task after the preliminary task. The aim of the mundane task was to get us to film an everyday task but to make it as interesting as possible simply by using a range of camera angles and adding in music where appropriate. For my mundane task I filmed my brother going through the everyday routine of waking up, going to the bathroom and brushing his teeth and finally making his bed. Through using a range of camera angles and music I feel I successfully made it more interesting, than it would have originally been, and I feel my confidence in editing from the preliminary task helped improve how fluent the shots fit together.

Another area where my confidence in my editing improved was when I used Adobe After Effects to add titles on top of my final film where appropriate. I also had to use After Effects to create my Ident, which would go at the beginning of the film and made it look more professional. To create this Ident I had to carefully edit several layers over each other to get the final product of it glitching. Overall, I feel this has greatly enhanced my final product and made it look more professional.

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Evaluation Question 6

Evaluation Question 6 from Emily Hotton on Vimeo.

6) What have you learnt about technologies through the process of constructing this product?

I have become much more confident in editing software such as Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. Adobe Premiere is an editing program, which allows editing to be done in a non-linear fashion. This not only saves time but also allows for changes as it allows you to go back and alter any clip at any time. I have found that using this software throughout the course of the year has increased my confidence in the software and has enhanced my editing skills.

I also used Adobe After Effects to add titles, where appropriate in my film opening, and also to create my Ident. During the title production I looked at a range of different fonts, which I found could be suitable for the genre of my opening, and also the transitions of these different titles. After I made the draft of my opening I realized that I thought a different font would be more suitable for my opening as it didn’t look as professional as I had hoped. I decided to take out the typewriter affect and to simply add keyframes so that the titles appeared and slowly disappeared smoothly.

I created my Ident initially also using Adobe After Effects. I had to learn how to create a glitch effect to make my opening look as professional as I wanted it to by watching a Youtube tutorial. I had to add many different layers to the sequences and then adjust each of these layers individually. Although I found it quite hard to begin with, it soon came together and overall it made me feel more comfortable with the software. I now feel that after having to do this task I am able to use After Effects in way I never thought I would be able to at the start of the course.

I used a 700D Canon camera for the all of my. This camera was the same camera I have used throughout the course, which has enabled me to become very familiar with it and the different settings it has. I think the camera was a good choice of equipment to use as it provided me with high quality footage and also allowed me to alter different aspects of the film such as the aperture and ISO to give it a more diverse feeling. It is clear how I have developed in the knowledge of my camera though the difference of my preliminary task and my film opening, as in my preliminary task I have not changed my aperture very much and so it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing to watch compared to my film opening. I became most aware of this when I did my Aperture Task where I had 3 objects at different distances from the camera lens and by altering the aperture and ISO on my camera I had to change the focus between the different objects, whilst maintaining a good brightness. I also used a tripod throughout my filming, as I knew it would make the footage look a lot more stable and more professional once it was completed.

Throughout the course I have used different websites such as; WordPress to create my blog to document all of my work and research in chronological order, Survey monkey to create target audience surveys and Prezi to analyse the results. I have also used Vimeo to upload all of my filmed tasks. WordPress was a particularly useful way for me to upload work in all formats to the site such as videos, hyperlinks, Screen grabs and images. My knowledge of technologies from producing my opening has increased hugely and I would be much more confident on editing programs and using a camera to film a high quality piece of media text and then be able to document it on the Internet in the future.

Evaluation Question 5

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5) How did you attract/address your audience?

To evaluate the way in which I addressed my target audience, I would begin by firstly looking back to my target audience survey and interview. Once I had collected the results together and analysed them using Prezi, it was clear that the majority of my desired audience felt it was a typical feature of a crime film to be set in a dark and abandoned area that was quite run down. I listened to this useful feedback and used it in my film, by filming the large majority of my film in a car park at night.

However, I also contradicted the audience’s thoughts of a typical crime film as I also filmed a lot of my opening in the woods on a sunny day, which goes against what my audience thought about a crime typically being set in ‘raining and dull weather’. Although, I felt this was still successful as a lot of my responses in the target audience survey said that crime movies are often very stereotypical, and so by going against this slightly I feel it would attract my desired audience as it would be different to films they have seen before.

Another reason I chose to film on a sunny day in the woods was because I felt it showed a good contrast to the dark car park and I also thought it made it clear that it was a complete change of day. In addition, I used this lighting to make it similar to the crime series ‘Dexter’ in some ways, as similarly to my film opening Dexter is also a drama crime and it has been very successful although it too challenges the stereotypes of crime films as it uses a lot of scenes in day light and in quite bright lighting however still manages to be very successful.

Furthermore, although from my target audience survey I did not receive a specific age expectation of the main protagonists, I felt it would be most successful to use teenage boys as I thought this would make my audience feel that they could relate more to the characters, and so attracting more people of my desired age range.

Evaluation Question 4

Evaluation Question 4 from Emily Hotton on Vimeo.

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

I have decided to make the target audience for my film typical to that of most crime movies so that more people will be attracted to watch my film firstly because of its genre. I will be aiming my product at a young teenager and adult audience from the ages of about 15-20, however hopefully it will still attract middle aged audiences as well. I think that this is the best way to make my film a success, as this is the prime age for any consumer of films, especially crime. My film will not only hopefully appeal to men but also women, but it is more likely that the crime that would feature later on in the film would appeal more I believe to the males. To make my film content interesting to viewers I chose to make a survey, using survey monkey, to question my target audience who had a previous interest in a range of films on what they would like to see in an opening. I found this very beneficial as I was able to easily receive feedback quickly and this helped to make my ideas more definite. It also gave me good ideas on who to cast in my film and where to film the majority of the scenes so that it would attract the audience I was hoping.

The results I received suggested I use a mixture of both male and females, although I only ended up using male actors which would be something I would change if I were to do it again. For locations it was suggested that dark, abandoned and run down places were most expected to be seen in a crime movie, which is quite similar to the car park I used.

I asked a range of family and friends to take my survey and also asked them to pass it on to their friends to get a wide range of people. I mainly targeted it at people in the desired age range bracket I was focusing on as I felt these answers would be most suitable for what I was hoping to do. I then went on to use the website Prezi to analyse my results by creating a visual presentation which would help develop my ideas further.

After researching the descriptions behind different age ratings on films, I decided to give mine a 15 rating as I wanted to ensure that the possible audience was as broad as they possibly could be without disturbing any younger members of the public with the content. Moreover, the majority of crimes I have seen and researched, for example ‘The Infiltrator’ and ‘Dexter’, have often been within the age 15 rating. In my target audience survey that I filmed, I surveyed Ella who is a large thriller movie fan, however also studies media and so knew the conventions I should cover in my film to make it a successful drama crime. Ella also informed me that she liked crime films when they challenge stereotypes and also have a build up of tension and a good story line.

I think through the use of the target audience survey I was able to identify what I wanted to avoid from my film opening, to make it less stereotypical, and also what I wanted to include to attract my desired audience.

Evaluation Question 3

Evaluation Question 3 from Emily Hotton on Vimeo.

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

During my initial research I looked at film companies and their Idents. I did this to establish the different roles of film companies such as production companies and distribution companies. I also thought it would be important to look at the genres of films they made and their budgets. I decided to create an Ident that would represent a crime to immediately establish genre. I looked at Idents such as Icon and Nordisk Films; these Idents were bold and easy to read and involved movement, which I thought was good in setting the pace for the film that followed.

On the whole the Idents were all fairly similar and didn’t give away the genre of the film unlike Idents I saw from companies Twisted Pictures who clearly demonstrate the genre of horror. This is most likely due to the considerably smaller budget for companies like this who will solely produce films of 1 genre whereas other bigger firms can branch out slightly in films they chose to produce. Preferably I would use Universal studios to produce my film.

Universal studios is a film production company which has produced films such as the Public Enemies and Inside Man which both appeal to the same target audience as my film, from the age rating of 15. It’s large scale and high level of influence makes it the type of film production company I think would be ideally most suited to distributing my film. Because my target audience is teenagers and young adults, most will be interested in watching a film with extensive action scenes and good quality costume, props and CGI. These would only be achieved with a production company with a high budget and extensive expertise in their field. To cater for the needs of the special effects I would ideally enlist the help of a company such as Luma Pictures involved in films such as True Grit to create gripping and realistic CGI. I don’t think that an Independent film company would be my first choice to produce and distribute my film as often they produce films outside of the major film studio system and then sell them on in post production and I feel that I would need to have a good supply of high quality equipment which some of these companies may not have access to. This being said, my film would be coming from an unknown director and may struggle to get noticed by major companies. Once produced and distributed my film hopefully would generate a fair amount of revenue at the box office and rival other large-scale crime films. If I decided to go down the independent company route I would first use a crowd funding website such as Kick-starter to help fund some of the production costs of the film. The money used from Kick-starter would be used to fund costs of my film such as camera equipment, camera lenses and quality costumes.

I would use a film distribution company such as Warner Brothers or Columbia Pictures as they have previous success on financing action crime films such as Batman Begins and The Fate of the Furious. Film distribution companies are in charge of the release of films into the public domain. I think that the commission of a distribution company is crucial for my film as again, as I am an unknown director there would be much more of a need for good quality advertising such as providing trailers and posters of my film to generate interest before its release. It would also boost my films viewings as they would make it available to the public through more mediums such as DVD, pay per view or by online download.

I would choose to release my film on in major cinemas and later to release it on DVD to generate more money to pay back initial costs and to pay to the production company from ticket sales at the box office. I would then also post exerts of it on a universal broadcasting video website such as Vimeo or YouTube and feature a link which would direct people to purchase a copy of the film if they enjoyed what they had seen. I would use the film distributer Paramount Pictures who have distributed successful crime films such as the True Grit and the Mission Impossible franchise.

Evaluation Question 2

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2) How does your media product represent particular social groups?

In order to evaluate how social media groups are represented in my product I can firstly look at my main male antagonist, who can be seen to be compared to other male characters in similar crime films.

For example, my drug dealer character is similar to the main character of ‘Robert Mazur’ in ‘The Infiltrator’, because they both dress in suits. The reason I did this was because in ‘The Infiltrator’, Robert is a federal agent who can clearly be recognised as a businessman through the way he is dressed. Through dressing my main drug dealer character in a suit it is challenging the typical stereotypes and gives the audience the idea at the beginning that he may be the protagonist as he looks like a well-to-do businessman. This similarity would help my product to attract a similar audience to that of ‘The Infiltrator’, which has been a very successful film.

My main male actors are between the ages of 16-19 years old and are playing teenagers of their own age. This is quite different to the film ‘The Infiltrator’ as a lot of the characters in this film are of a middle-aged range.

Furthermore, another character which I deliberately dressed similar to characters from my research was the forensic scientist. The idea for this character came from the series ‘Dexter’, where the main character is a forensic scientist. In a lot of the investigation scenes the characters are dressed in a white full body detectives suit, which I found was effective as it clearly showed what they were doing. I feel my film was successful in the way that I portrayed the forensic scientist character as it doesn’t leave much room for confusion on who he might be and makes it quite self-explanatory.

Evaluation Question 1

Evaluation Question 1 from Emily Hotton on Vimeo.

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

Firstly, I believe it can be seen that my media product uses traditional formats of the crime film genre. A key characteristic of the crime genre is that is relies heavily on the relational development of real characters, and these dramatic themes are often taken from real life issues.

I have followed this pattern in my own media product after selecting to explore the theme of a drug deal, portraying a group of young teenage boys buying drugs from a middle aged man. I illustrated this representing the crime genre through using the technique of parallel editing to place two frames, one of the drug deal and one of the crime scene, on top of each other. For example, the boys passing over the money to the drug dealer over layed with those same boys being investigated after being found dead in the woods.

Looking at the theme of a drug deal in my opening I believe my film is a drama crime as it relies on the tragic downfall of the young male characters, which I tried to portray in my opening in order to meet the conventions of a drama crime.

I specifically used the song ‘Isolated System’ by Muse as the main music to create the feeling of a build up of tension and atmosphere. The music begins quite quietly, however soon crescendos in perfect time to when the main crime part of my film is taking place, therefore meeting the convention of a drama crime.

However I believe my product also develops forms of conventions of a traditional crime film in the settings it uses. My settings used are a car park at night and the woods, which can be seen as quite eerie and deserted places, therefore follow the usual conventions of a crime film.

On the other hand, however, I specifically dressed my main drug dealer character in a suit to challenge the conventions of a regular crime film. In a lot of the crime film openings that I researched, and though my audience survey, I soon discovered that it is often likely that a dodgy character such as a drug dealer will be dressed in quite scruffy and dark clothing. By dressing my drug dealer in a suit I am challenging stereotypes and how people perceive certain characters.