Our Film Opening

Sunday, 2 April 2017

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Evaluation Post 1: In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our Film Plot:

My film opening uses, develops and challenges the forms and conventions of real media products though its form, genre, narrative structure and style. Some of the real film opening that we used to influence our ideas included, 'The Blair Witch Project' and 'Contagion'.

Our film is an horror-thriller film revolving around the multiple disappearances of locals within a north London suburb in a menacing forest and then how a group of teenagers from the area enter onto the scene in an attempt to uncover the 'being'/reason behind the suggested attacks. As the film progresses the group is slowly cut down to a single girl who survives the ordeal in order to tell her story and reveal what she went through.

Form:

I think that our film opening is typical of the horror/thriller genre as it's features all contribute to its purpose of 'hooking' the audience and make them want to keep watching.


In terms of title placements our opening sequence is quite similar to that of 'The Shining' as all the credits are super-imposed onto the screen in order for the tension to continually build up without any lapses- which could be caused by cutaway titles.


The base/majority of our opening sequence is based upon dialogue within a news broadcast. We were inspired to take on this idea by the film 'Quarantine' which, in it's opening sequence, had the a news reporter talk into a camera whilst introducing her surroundings. Similarly, our film opening has a news reporter introduce a crime.
The setting of the 'Blair Witch Project'

A screenshot of the film opening of 'Quarantine'

Genre conventions for horror/thriller films:


Our setting was inspired by the 'Blair Witch Project' as we thought that the use of a desolate forest to create suspense was ingenious and would therefore work perfectly in our sequence. Furthermore, the 'Blair Witch Project' is one of the most well known horror/thriller films due to the use of footage being captured on a characters camera which is then seen though the eyes of the audience. We took inspiration from this in our hand held falling scene in our sequence (as seen in the table above)  as we thought this would immerse the audience even further into the film.


Narrative Structure:




Style:

The style of the film helps to connote its genre and support how we want it to look and feel.

1) Grading
Our grading was very similar to that of 'Quarantine' as the saturation and contrast is low, thus reflecting the lack of hope in the scene. Moreover, the low brightness also helps in symbolizing the dark nature of the film and its antagonist.



2) Titles

For titles we took inspiration from a very successful independent horror/thriller film, 'Sinister'. This film's opening credits not only influenced our title styling, but also how the titles appeared onto the screen and the order at which they do.

In 'Sinister' the titles are as sharp white in order to contrast the dark surroundings, we thought this was a great idea to help make them stand out without having to enlarge them- which could take away from the action. Moreover, in our title sequence we had titles come onto the screen letter by letter in a random order; this was also inspired by 'Sinister' as in that credit sequence the letters fade in, also in a random order.




Evaluation Post 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our chosen social group is males between the age range of 16-24 year olds, in turn our film openings representations mainly focus on age and gender. We have used casting choices, camera/editing techniques and mise-en-scene, such as costume, to help create representations of the young male adults.

After researching how the different genders were portrayed in successful films, I noticed how the male gender was very strongly represented, as shown below.
As successful thriller/horror films usually have at least one male character taking a leading role, we thought that following this convention would help our film opening appeal to the male audience even more.
In Sherlock, 'Moriarty' also gives off a laid back vibe which helps further his representations as an antagonist in control of his situation and his actions.

Moriarty from 'Sherlock'
In the shot above you can seen Moriarty being put at gun point by Sherlock; instead of displaying the normal reaction of being afraid he seems very comfortable, with him even giving off a vibe of patronizing Sherlock by making think he's in control. The costume of Moriarty is of a very similar purpose to the costume of our antagonist. A suit is usually associated with a formal event, so the idea of it being worn by someone at gunpoint would never be thought of and this is what makes Moriarty a great psychopathic villain. Hence-why we wanted to emulate him within our antagonist.

As well as this, we used the news team to help be a representation of the ethnic diversity in London and therefore help our audience better relate with them. We chose a white male to act out the role of the news anchor, and we also chose an asian female to act the role of the news reporter.

The news reporter
These roles are arguably the most important in an actual news team, which is therefore the reason why we chose to actors of both different gender and ethnicity; this we believed was the best way we could give an accurate representation of the social make-up within London.

The news anchor

Evaluation Post 3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Our production company is Hammer Film Productions, known for making iconic films within the horror and thriller genres.

We chose Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. as our distribution company as they are a fully integrated company who would likely buy the rights to our independent film. Moreover, Warner Bros. are responsible for some of the worlds best grossing films and therefore we though having them as our distributor would bring the same sort of success.

Top grossing films distributed/produced by Warner Bros.

We also chose Warner Bros as our distributor as are known to have worked on films with Hammer Film Productions before, in turn we wanted to capitalise on this synergy. Some of these films can be seen below:

'Crescendo'
'When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth'




















Our marketing plan is very similar to that of other independent films as it has a mix of both traditional methods, such as posters, and social media, i.e. twitter.


We also looked at other similar independent films, such as 'The Hunger Games' in order to create our release plan. Click on the picture below to enlarge.


Evaluation Post 4: Who would be the audience for your media product?

Due to the horror/thriller genre being wide in its scope for audience appeal we ensured our film had many different aspects which could target specific groups, such as 16-24 year olds and fans of the genre. Below is a presentation going into more detail about the audiences we are targeting:

Evaluation Post 5: How did you attract/address your audience?

Using the uses and gratifications theory we were able to appeal to and attract audiences effectively. Click the table below to enlarge:


Audience feedback:

In order to get a gauge on how successful our film opening was and to receive further feedback on it I interviewed 4 people- 2 boys and 2 girls. Below are two videos of some of the people I interviewed during this process:



The students interviewed in these videos were either 16 or 17 and are therefore a apart of one of out primary audiences (16-24 year olds). From these interviews I was able to get a good reflection on improvements we could make and also some of the things we did well. 

Pros:
  1. the cliff hanger moment at the end was done well, due to its clear purpose and good timing
  2. the effect on the titles was chosen well as it fitted into the style of the opening
  3. the low-key lighting was effective as it created a dark theme around the film opening
  4. the build up of suspense created throughout meets the aims we wanted to achieve as it made them feel anxious
Cons:
  1. my acting could have been more convincing in order to portray the characters purpose clearer
  2. we could have revealed more about the antagonist or showed him doing more action in order to show more of him to the audience.
My thoughts:

In my opinion, I think we could have adjusted sound levels a little bit in order to reduce the size of some of the spikes, such as when I open the computer to see the news report; the news ident is a little too loud in comparison to the sound levels which preceded it and this might unsettle the audience, thus affecting their experience when watching it.

Overall, everyone who watched our film opening said they would continue to watch if they could. Furthermore, they were all originally fans of the genre, meaning they fit into another one of our primary audience groups, and they all agreed that our film opening was a thriller/horror film. In conclusion the feedback we received proved to us that we did meet the demands of the brief and the aims we set ourselves.

Evaluation Post 6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Throughout this process of constructing my film opening I have learnt and developed many skills regarding the technology we have used. My prior experiences were definitely helpful, however I believe that all the knowledge I had about this equipment has been enhanced due the constant use of it in a positive manner. Below you can see a presentation with more detail on this learning curve.