A2 Media Project Evaluation. Katie Rowan – 13EIB. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?. As our genre for our film is rom -com, we had already had a set of conventions to cover:
Katie Rowan – 13EIB
In my first example screen-cap below, I have chosen the medium close-up of Dan pulling the ring box out of his pocket. I chose this cap because it is an example of foreshadowing, when shots take on a semi-narrative role in that they give away what will happen later on in the film. This is a narrative device used in rom-coms that we mimicked.
My second example screen-cap is a shot of the couple sat at the table, with the example of the natural lighting we used in the candles and overhead lamp, and the mise-en-scene of the elegant short-stem wine glasses they drink from. There is classical music in the background, and along with the wine and place settings, it connotes sophistication, perhaps beyond that expected for their age.
The five-minute time limit was often frustrating, but despite the problems it caused us, one convention of rom-coms we were certainly able to conform to was that of comedic timing. In my second example screen-cap, the interrupting character Lucy bursts in and asks them when the party is.
Continuing with the comedy, we chose to go with a somewhat clichéd dramatic moment where Lucy drinks wine straight from the bottle, as seen in cringe rom-coms such as ‘There’s Something About Mary’ and ‘You, Me & Dupree’
Another similarity to the cringe rom-com ‘You, Me & Dupree’ is when Lucy is sat between the couple, as seen in the first example screen-cap. The couple both look bored and uncomfortable, while Lucy seems entirely at ease. This dynamic is what we observed by watching the ‘You, Me & Dupree’ trailer, and decided to use it as an influence on how our characters would behave. The background music in this scene is ‘Get It On’ by Marvin Gaye, a stereotypical song used for potentially suggestive situations.
The second example screen-cap is of Lucy drinking straight from a vodka bottle, which turns out to belong to Jess’ housemate. When she is told this, Lucy shrugs and says “Meh, I don’t care.” This devil-may-care attitude reflects that of carefree Mary in ‘There’s Something About Mary’, the character which we loosely based the personality of Lucy around.
The first screen-cap is of Dan closing the door behind him and Lucy. The enigmatic tone of the film continues, with the precise words or actions Dan uses to persuade Lucy to leave remaining a mystery because of the closed door. To show that time is passing in the scene, there is the non-diagetic sound of ticking, like a kitchen timer.
The second screen-cap is of Lucy opening the front door to leave, after whatever has been said to her causes her to say “See you later then!” in a sort of mocking tone.
As our research indicated, most rom-coms have neatly sewn-up endings, so we decided to deviate from this convention and go for a cliff-hanger, as we observed in our research into the Channel 4 soap ‘Hollyoaks’. My first example screen-cap is the moment when Dan proposes to Jess, as it breaks conventions of rom-com proposals in that it is in a somewhat unconventional setting – the living room isn’t exactly a typical place to propose.
My second screen-cap is of Jess’ gasp of surprise, her hand pressed to her chest. The cliché of this over-dramatic reaction to a surprise comes from our research into soaps, which we chose to echo both with the melodrama and cliff-hanger ending.
Although the film itself was only five minutes long, there was a clear plot in it with distinctive characters. Therefore, there was plenty of things in the film to inspire me concerning the creation of my poster and double-page spread.
However, if we did the film again, we would have worked more on the creation of representations. For example, originally we intended to present the character of Jess as a sort of scene kid, with an alternative approach to clothes and hair. However, Jess turned out as more of an average teenage girl, with a normal hoodie-and-jeans combination at the beginning and a plain navy dress on the date.
We would also have liked to have developed the characters more as people. We can ascertain quite a lot about Lucy as an audience, but all we can really tell about Jess is that she likes Dan and doesn’t want to be rude, even to invading strangers. All the audience can glean from Dan’s screen time is that he wants to marry Jess, and found a way to make Lucy leave.
Lead role actors’ names
Film title, ripped down the middle to show that the date goes wrong
BBFC rating of the film
Lead production company
While it was not the inspiration for the layout of the main image in the poster that I produced, I have observed that the ‘You, Me & Dupree’ poster is similar in terms of layout.
For example, the tag line is at the top, the title below the image and the release information in smaller writing at the bottom.
I feel that my double page spread came out well, and combined nicely with the film and poster. As the target audience for the film was teenagers, I chose a colour palette comprising of monochrome, combined with two bright, bold colours which also happened to be the colours typically associated with boys and girls respectively.
I did a lot of research into what real magazine double page spreads looked like, and I am satisfied that my final media product resembles a real two-page article on a film.
I chose to do my audience feedback via the social networking site Facebook. This enabled me to share my media work with other people my own age, who fit into the teenage demographic we had chosen for our target audience.
The programme I used to put together my double page spread was Adobe InDesign, CS5.5. I used the same programme for the first time last year for my AS double page spread. This time it was a smoother process, with my previous experience using the tool meaning I grasped how to navigate it with that little more sophistication than before. Below is a screen-cap of the first draft of my double page spread. I improved it by spreading the article across both pages, with the second page taking a diary-like format with separate time slots. I also chose a specific colour scheme for the spread as a whole, rather than there being only one splash of colour in the entire thing.
The programme I used to edit the photograph for my double page spread is Microsoft Office Picture Manager, a simple yet effective tool for basic editing of pictures. I use this regularly on my home system, where the screen-cap was taken from, and therefore have a good amount of experience with using it for improving the hue and saturation or lightness.
A more complex image editing software I used was the free package Inkscape, which I used to create my poster. Having not used this before for more than very basic image manipulation, I followed an online tutorial on YouTube to find out how to make the ‘date’ in the title appear to be ripped away from the rest.