Final sequence - Dark Summer

Preliminary Exercise

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Closing Post!

This blog is now officially closed! I've really enjoyed working on this project and have learnt alot from it :) I look forward to more media sooooooon!
Byeeee xxxxxxxxx

Monday, March 29, 2010

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

Brief for Preliminary Exercise
To create a short sequence in which a character had to walk through a door into a room, sit down and half a short conversation with another charater. This task was to use continuity and make a seamless sequence.

Brief for Main Task
To create a two minute opening of a film, the film can be any genre and have any story line.

After looking back at my preliminary task, I realised it really helped me prepare for making my opening sequence. The preliminary task taught me the basics of continuity and editing and how difficult it actually is as it looks so much easier than it is. It also taught me how important it is to plan your shots carefully and introduced to using the equipment. Without doing the preliminary task I would have found making the opening sequence a lot harder!

The final task was completely different to the preliminary task, it needed a lot more time and planning before we could shoot. The preliminary only took a few hours to shoot whereas this took several weekends. Also with the preliminary task we only had a few shots to do and didn’t have any complex or complicated shots to do, they were all very basic but we had over 25 shots and a wide variety of different shots for our opening sequence.

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

I have learnt a lot about different types of technologies during the process of this project.

  • I have learnt and understand a lot more about using the camera now. I’ve learnt how to use zooms effectively and watch back what we’d recorded etc.
  • I've learnt how to use the microphone and headphones with the camera, the headphones were very useful on the shoot as we could hear very clearly if there was any background noise and reshoot if the sound wasn’t right.
  • I understand how to adjust and move the tripod now, I know how to tilt it to get a high angle shot and move it with the camera to get a pan.

  • I have really developed my editing skills since the preliminary task. I understand how to use Adobe premiere pro in detail, I’ve learnt how to capture footage, drags shots into timeline, cut shots using the razor tool, add effects to shots, drag sound up and down on the timeline, add titles, music etc. I learnt how to edit a match on action cutting it so the character is at exactly the same angle and position as the next shot. I really enjoyed the editing stage of this project.
  • We did our titles on the Mac on the programme LiveType which was very professional and then transferred them onto Adobe premiere.

5. How did you attract/address your audience?

s we knew our target audience very well we knew how to directly address them, one of our methods was we made a face book page for a screening of our film to get it well known and recognised. We did this so we could get some audience feedback on our film.

We applied Levi Strauss' theory of binary opposites eg. we have shown..
Light vs. Dark
Slow vs. Fast
Calm vs. Panic
Inside vs. Outside
  • We also tried to shock and surprise the audience with the masked man standing at the window in the dark and the loud noise and scream.
  • We also made the audience feel more involved when they saw the masked man and Zoe, the babysitter, didn’t. This makes them feel more like part of the film as they know something a character doesn’t.
  • We have created a lot of enigma and mystery for the audience leaving them many questions unanswered so they want to carry on watching the film.
  • We have used the very serious issue of Kidnap which could add an emotional connection for the audience.
  • We have a very gripping storyline which starts off straight away instantly getting the audience gripped to our film.
  • We used a variety of different shots, lots of CU’s, HA’s, LS’s to make our opening sequence look as effective as possible.
  • We had many effective shots, the ones I thought worked best was the slow zoom at the beginning from a LS to a CU, I think this really introduces the character well. Also the high angle on the stairs, I think that looks really good and also builds tension. I also like the fridge shot and the phone shot at the end as there are objects in the foreground which are out of focus so the audience’s attention is still on the main character.
  • We used a mobile phone (blackberry) as a visual reference instead of using a housephone as a mobile phone is something nearly every teengager has so is familiar with and can easily relate to.

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

Our core audience is both males and females between the ages 15-28.  I think our audience is a niche audience as they have a specific lifestyle and are interested in specific things although it has quite a broad age range and as our film is rating 15 this allows for a broader audience.

Audience Female                                                            

Audience Male

3. What kind of media institutions might describe your media product and why?

We chose to use two production companies for our film.

BFE Productions

BFE Productions is the big budget production company in the UK, they are very commercial and were the production company for our film so funded it. They produce films with a wide range of genres from family films to horrors but are especially interested in Indie Films as they can be made on quite a low budget but can make them a big profit, a very good example of this was the film Paranormal Activity.

Impact Films
Impact Films are the distributor for ‘Dark Summer’, they are a much smaller independent UK based company specialising in low budget, gritty and edgy films. They had to distribute our film and get it well known in the UK.

As our film is a low budget independent film, it wouldn’t get into a mainstream cinema such as Cineworld but more like an independent cinema such as The Pheonix in London,, this would allow us to get our film known and give us more options. It could also be shown at various film festivals such as London Film Festival, it could also be put onto the internet on popular sites with our target audience’s age range such as Youtube and Facebook.

This would create word of mouth about the film and hopefully it would gain a big audience just as Paranormal Activity did. Paranormal Activity was first shown at a small film festival and was put on the web and phenomenally created a mass audience with people begging for it to be in cinemas in their town, but didn’t reach its huge success until Stephen Spielberg found it and showed Paramount. When Paramount got behind the film, that’s when it went global and made an enormous profit. Paramount plays the part of BFE Productions in our film in that it is the major production company behind it.

The Duchess
The Duchess is very similar to our film in that Paramount was the main big budget production company behind it but smaller UK based independent companies such as BBC Films, Pathe and Qwerty films were the distributors of the film. This is how an independent film can reach global success, this is a very good example of Vertical Integration.

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

We chose to focus on the representation of Age and Gender in our film.

Teenage Girls:
  • She’s young and attractive which will appeal to both young male and female audiences as they will be able to relate to the character.
  • She’s fashionable, she has nice hair, nice clothes and wears some jewellery, it is obvious she takes pride in her appearance which is typical of a teenage girl and many teenage girls will be able to relate to this.
  • She’s trying to make money by babysitting a few times which is a very conventional thing for teenager to do so she comes across as quite smart.
  • This also shows her character is quite sensible and mature as she is trying to make her own money and she actually gets scared and panics when she sees the child is gone showing she is quite smart and grown-up. People may have the idea that teenagers rely on their parents for money and would rather go out on a Friday night so we have challenged the stereotype slightly. So we chose the represent teenage girls in a positive light instead of using a stupid immature girl which wouldn’t have been effective for the film.
Young Children:
  • We never actually see the character of Summer which I think is very effective as it adds a lot more mystery to the film.
  • Very young children are seen as innocent, vulnerable and dependant so the fact that such a young child has disappeared is very serious and sensitive issue and people can understand the seriousness of this because of real life stories such as the Madeline McCann case.