Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Note to the Moderator

Dear Moderator,

Thanks for taking the time to look around my blogs. This has been a really great project, even if it was challenging at times! My group blog is linked to my individual blog and the link to the group blog is on the right hand side in my sidebar, along with the links to the other members in my group (Megan and Eva.) Other links you can find there are for our teacher's central blog/our whole class blog which is BLK Blog, and it has links to all the other student and group blogs.

On my individual blog you can find all of my individual research, initial ideas and planning which was mainly done in the beginning of the project, before I started with my group. I have also posted work from the preliminary task, of which there is a video and evaluation.

I have linked my final opening sequence and preliminary task at the top of my blog and the group one so that it’s always easily accessible.

I hope you can get around the blogs easily and enjoy looking at all our work. I've organised all my work chronologically on my blog and we did the same on the group blog. I have used labels to identify my ResearchPlanningProduction and Evaluation that I have completed on my individual blog. We have also done this on the group blog, labelling the posts we contributed to with our name, so all my posts on the group blog are labelled ‘Jess’.

Hopefully you can find everything you need, and thanks, again for looking at my blog!

Jessica Rich
Candidate Number 3670

Closing Post

This blog is now closed, but feel free to look around!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Evaluation Question 7

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

Brief for Preliminary Task

A continuity task involving filming and editing:

• a character opening a door
• crossing a room
• Sitting in front of another character and exchanging a couple of lines of dialogue with them.

This task should demonstrate:

• match on action
• shot/reverse shot
• the 180-degree rule

Brief for Main Task

The titles and opening of a new fiction film, to last a maximum of two minutes.

During the whole process I learnt a lot about the importance of planning and organisation:

  • Deciding on a target audience early on was crucial so that we could adapt our storyline to best fit the target audience, and to make our opening as successful as possible.
These are some of the key things I think helped most with our planning:

  • We had multiple meetings as a group so that we all agreed on everything, or we could work out any potential errors before actually shooting.
For the actual shooting process:

  • We held multiple practise shoots, with some taking place at school like the video below:

On the days of our actual shoots so that we could set the camera and tripod in good time, and so we were able to re-arrange any furniture that would have affected our continuity.
For the editing process:

  • Because we used shot lists, and shot logs whilst on shoot, we were able to quickly capture the precise take we wanted as we had already decided which the best version was.
  • We put our clips into bins depending on when we shot them so we could easily tell which clips were where.
  • We put the clips next to each other on alternate tracks so that it was we could to see which clip to edit without having to zoom in.

The evaluation process:

  • To get a good idea of audience feedback for our film opening, we organised a screening at school, which we advertised with posters and word of mouth. This is so we can test the film out on our target audience, with a large enough group in one go.

Evaluation Question 6

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
Within our opening we used digital technologies, such as:
  • video camera
  • microphones, which we put on the shot gun setting 
  • headphones
  • manual settings on the camera, especially ‘focus pull’ 
  • a tripod
  • pag light - trying the shot with the filters open and closed, before deciding it didn’t create the right effect for our opening.

This was our original opening we edited before deciding it was too ambitious:

This is our group attempting the contra zoom technique on the video camera:

This is the software we used during the editing process:

On Adobe Premiere, we used non-linear editing so we could easily include fades, transitions, and other effects. I’ve learnt a lot about sound editing, such as changing the sound levels so that the transitions between music and speech didn’t appear jumpy. 

Advice to pass on would be to make sure you are organised, e.g. charging batteries, knowing who’s going to be responsible for each bit of equipment, knowing how to use the camera properly etc.
If we were to make the opening again:

·    We could have perhaps tried out a few more effects, or perhaps included some colour grading on Premiere.
·     We could have filmed more of the scenes using the handheld technique which may have made the opening more eerie.
·     We could film the sequence when Dani is on the phone during the blackout so that the audience would have a bit more understanding as to what was happening.

What I’ve learnt:

  • Shoots need to be well planned and having set camera positions for each shot (helped by a floor plan) really speeds up filming.
  • Health and Safety needs to be taken into consideration, especially when outside and in fight sequences.
  • How to cross fade between sounds and video on Adobe Premiere
  • Some filming possibilities are unachievable due to location and practicalities so it’s better not to risk anything.
  • That the camera is very sensitive and picks up lots of small sound/light changes which we may not notice.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Evaluation Question 5

How did you attract/address your audience?

Throughout our opening we tried to maximise the attraction of our film to our target audience through many ways:

  • We played on their fears, by having a kidnapping within the first 2 minutes. It’s a common fear that many people can associate with so it widens our audience appeal.  The fear draws people in and so they want to watch the rest of the film. It also plays on the fears of isolation and vulnerability by having the girl home alone without parents.
  • As our target audience is teenagers, we decided to have the main two characters introduced in the opening being teenagers also. We felt this would help the audience to connect and relate to the characters and the audience would become more involved.  As we included alcohol and technology, we also feel this would help attract the audience due to common interests.

  • Through the use of music, we built up tension and enigma, as for the first minute of our sequence nothing happened, but the non-diegetic music was getting louder, from very quiet and it added atmosphere to the opening.

  • The pace of our opening was slow to begin with so the audience would question what the plot was going to be, and to create mystery. The opening then becomes faster paced as the kidnapping takes place and the disruption has occurred. This creates an action and hopefully shocks the audience. 
  • We followed the rules of continuity, such as the180 degree rule as we didn’t want the audience to become confused within the first 2 minutes. We decided to follow the traditional narrative structure and we conformed to expectations of the horror/thriller genre by having the girl kidnapped. We wanted to leave the bigger shocks to the rest of the film.
  • Although the genre is horror/thriller which is a typically male market, I feel that through the use of a strong/rebellious female character at the very beginning, the film gratifies the female audience’s needs as it’s someone they aspire to be.

After finishing the opening, we held an audience feedback session, where we asked each person to fill in a questionnaire:

Group 6 Questionnaire

To attract our target audience to the screening we used posters and we also created a facebook event as facebook is highly used by our target audience:

 This is a video of the audiences reactions during our screening:

Evaluation Question 4

Who would be the audience for your media product?

We decided to make our film a 15, after recieving feedback from a range of different aged audiences and looking at the BBFC's guidelines, but this slightly limits our audience.

Our audience:

  • Primary Target Audience: Teenagers, Male/Female
  • Secondary Target Audience: Adults, 25-35
  • Fans of the horror genre
  • Fans of the thriller genre
  • A niche, national British audience
  • Fans of mystery/crime films
  • Quite experienced film watchers
  • Like gritty, realistic films

As we are teenagers ourselves, we felt this would help us create a film that appealed to them as we know lots about them.

 Things they like doing/are interested in:

Other films of the horror/thriller genre which target the same audience as our film:

Tormented (A British, Teen, Horror film):

Paranormal Activity (follows the same indie/minimal style of our opening and has a similar target audience):

Evaluation Question 3

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Our film company, Dark House Productions, is a small, independent company, which focuses on British themes and issues, turning them into more traditional, global narrative storylines. 

Our film could be distributed by companies such as Entertainment Film Distributors, who distributed British films such as: 

or another distributor I think would work particularly well is Verve Pictures:

 “Verve Pictures is an independent UK specialist film distributor, with particular emphasis on British and independent films.” (Quoted from their website)

I think our film would be shown around film festivals in the UK, as it is a very British, indie film and I think that would best reach our target audience. Although the plot has quite a global feel, and the narrative is quite traditional, the film is set in London and the themes are quite national, so I don’t think the film would be a success globally.

Some examples of the film festivals we’d exhibit at would be:

As well as having the film distributed around film festivals, we would also release the film online for a short while on sites such as youtube, after exhibiting at film festivals as it’s a teenage orientated film, and Web 2.0 is one of the most widely used platforms within the teenage audience. Because it would be available online, it would also be a good idea to provide the film on many multi-media platforms such as the technologically converged iPhone.