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AS Media Studies Coursework. Evaluation Charley Davitt. IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDUA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OF REAL MEDIA PRODUCTS?.

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as media studies coursework

AS Media Studies Coursework

Evaluation

Charley Davitt

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IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDUA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OF REAL MEDIA PRODUCTS?
  • Opening sequences are used to set establish a tone for a film and introduce key characteristics of the narrative, setting and characters to the audience. Our film uses typical features of a thriller including dark lighting, an unrevealed attacker, an abandoned/isolated area and an innocent victim. These features were used to build up a tension/fear amongst the audience especially with the use of a running scene and flashbacks of the attack. This also builds up tension as it is not clear who the attacker is. A film with an opening similar so to our opening sequence is Panic Room (2002) as both have an establishing shot as their opening shot, this establishing shot gives a wider viewpoint to the audience, leaving more to their imagination. Our shot is a panning establishing shot of the trees and the landscape which gives a sense of isolation and mystery. The introduction of this shot gives the audience the idea that this location is vital to the setting and that the tone is rather bleak and
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mysterious. We furthered the stereotypical conventions of media products of this type by using music over the opening sequence to add to the mysterious, fearful scene.

We wished to establish our characters well throughout the opening sequence so we done so through the use of setting, costumes and props. We had the main actor, Sharry, wear casual, youthful clothing in order to show her innocence, youth and that she is unsuspecting of the upcoming events. Sharry’s second outfit contrasts the first one and is black and plain to show her feelings of anger and that she has been exposed to the bad in world because of her attack. Josh wears loose, face covering clothing to show his intentions. He also wears trainers and a hoody which are stereotypical garments for a young criminal in an urban, inner city area. Within the opening sequence of panic room they only use establishing shots so only showed the setting and no close ups of any characters. The benefits of this is that it leaves the viewer thinking which is a typical trait of a thriller but this turns out to be the only convention of a thriller as the rest of the sequence is set in a city in daylight.

We originally planned on our opening series to have a police line up and

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suspect board for Sharry to identify her attacker and make the film more of a crime drama but instead we chose to have shots of her flashbacks instead as this made the film more of a personal journey/story of her and fit the conventions of a thriller more suitably, a psychological thriller more specifically. We wanted her flashbacks to be exact and vivid flashbacks. We also wanted it to be clear to the audience that they were not present actions, but flashbacks, so we edited the flashbacks to be lighter than the present time shots, typical of flashbacks for example in the film Memento.

how does your media product represent particular social groups
HOW DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT REPRESENT PARTICULAR SOCIAL GROUPS?

We chose Sharry as our main character as she fits the character of an innocent, youthful adolescent girl. She represents young women of school leaving age who have recently gained a sense of independence. She is also a girl with a rural background who has recently moved to the city so is not aware of the dangers in certain situations. Both of Sharry’s costumes involved minimal make up as we wanted her to appeal to her age group of about 16-18 and the costume which involves no make up shows her pain and torment after her attack.

Josh is the attacker in the opening scene and fits into a poor, urban social group of teenagers. His character is identifiable to this category due to his costume and certain actions. His costume including the hood over the face makes the character more relatable to an inner city culture as apposed to a rural, suburban setting. We thought this was appropriate as this is common throughout inner cities throughout the country. The hood in this scene stops us identifying Josh which means we don’t

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identify him and so we further add mystery to the storyline.

Vereen fits into a very professional category of people as her profession is a psychologist/therapist. She is portrayed to be the adult figure in this scene and represents a mother-like adult figure to a fragile, hurt young woman. She fits this profile as she is warm, caring and sensitive towards Sharry despite remaining professional.

The audience should react to Sharry with sympathy or empathy as she has been a victim to a random, malicious attack which has left her emotionally and physically hurt. They should feel anger, resent and disgust towards Joshua at the start of the film but grow to feel for his character, understand him more and empathise with his situation throughout the film.

We based our characters on some of the characters from the films kidulthood and adulthood based on their similar backgrounds.

what kind of media institute might distribute your media product and why
WHAT KIND OF MEDIA INSTITUTE MIGHT DISTRIBUTE YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT AND WHY?

Due to the genre and nature/setting of the film we couldn’t use a big international production company. As we have a British setting and theme in a city it only seemed right to used a smaller production company which may not be as well known in general but more specific to our film and to our own audience; as a film distributor is the body which is responsible for the marketing of the film this seemed the most logical thing to do. We decided to use a company like HanWay Films or Revolver Entertainment like in Kidulthood/Adulthood as they have a similar audience.

who would be the audience for your media product
WHO WOULD BE THE AUDIENCE FOR YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT?

The audience for our product would be 16-30 year olds of either gender. We chose both genders because the film follows to characters, one of each gender, therefore would be appropriate for both genders. We also chose it as thriller’s are common for either gender. The males tend to be attracted to the females femininity/vulnerability and the females are usually attracted to the males masculinity. Another reason is that males like the action in thrillers whereas women like to guess what is happening next.

We used the BBFC to determine that our film would be rated at 15. We thought it would be rated as this beforehand and wished so as their may be some young viewers and we wanted all of our audience to be able to have the experience of watching the film. Our opening sequence complied with the BBFC’s guidelines of what a 15. The BBFC states that for a film to have a certificate of 15 it should contain the any of following:

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  strong violence

  •  frequent strong language (e.g. 'f***').
  •   portrayals of sexual activity
  •   strong verbal references to sex
  •   sexual nudity
  •   brief scenes of sexual violence or verbal references to sexual violence
  •   discriminatory language or behaviour
  •   drug taking

We do not use many of these in our opening sequence, and our opening sequence would only be rated at a 12 on it’s own but some aspects are hinting at and as we intend on using many of these throughout the film we saw it to be fit that we chose a rating of 15 instead.

We also chose the age range of 16-30 based on the themes throughout the opening scene and the characters as mentioned earlier. The age and background of the characters play a big role in attracting the audience.

how did you attract address your audience
HOW DID YOU ATTRACT/ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE?

In our media product we were trying to attract an audience of 16-30 year old males and females and believed it was really important to catch their attention in the first few minutes of the film. Not only did we direct it to our specific age/sex of audience but those who were interested in thrillers in general.

We tried to emphasise on both genders and their roles within the film. We tried to use men for the women to be attracted to their masculinity and for males to have something to relate to. We used females so women would have someone to empathise with whilst men would focus on their femininity. For these reasons we used shots such as close ups of a woman’s eyes and lips and a males back, body and legs. The emphasis was mainly on the female character.

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We used music in order to create a mood of suspense and upset in the opening sequence.

We used an aspect of social realism in our film to attract our audience as unfortunately many of those in the inner city will know of someone who has gone through a violent episode and therefore makes the film more relatable.

what have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES FROM THE PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING THE PRODUCT?

I learnt a lot from the process of this media coursework. I didn't really know anything before I started. During the course of this coursework I learnt how to set up a tripod and camera. I learnt how to change the light balance and exposure, taking certain shots with the camera, how to upload it to a hard drive and onto the computer, editing the contrast to either make it look like night time or lighter to make it look like a flashback, how to add music to a video (we used mainly non-diegetic sounds).

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LOOKING BACK TO YOU PRELIMINARY TASK, WHAT DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE LEARNT IN THE PROGRESSION FROM IT TO THE FULL PRODUCT?

From when we filmed the preliminary task to our end product there is a drastic change. The preliminary task was great practice as it showed us our strengths and weaknesses. We weren’t very good at sticking to the 180 degree rule and our shots didn’t flow seamlessly into one another. Our preliminary task was also weak as we didn’t take into account external factors such as other people passing, shadows, unexpected sounds etc. Our strengths was using the camera, choosing and working in the same locations to create continuity.

Our preliminary task gave us a lot of help when it came to our end product as it showed us what we should and shouldn’t do based on a thriller movie. We decided to film in an isolated, outdoor location as it gave it that scary effect. As it was a thriller we wanted to the

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scenes to be dark but couldn’t all meet at these hours so had to edit the contrast to make it seem as though it was shot at night.

We learnt how to edit seamlessly and to carry on filming where we left off, ensuring continuity. Instead of shooting one clip of everything as we did in the preliminary, we shot as many different things as we could and many variations of them to ensure we had the right shot and were able to edit precisely.