1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge
forms and conventions of real media products?
The genre we were asked to create was ‘thriller’ The natural conventions of a thriller
are mysterious music which helps create an uneasy atmosphere, having heavy bass
sounds and violin like pitches help create the uneasy feel. In the production I created I
used music and sound to establish my film. I used rather dramatic churchly music,
which gave it a big and bold result in addition it also contributed to the theme of
something dramatic taking place. By using this loud dramatic sound, I cancelled and
muted out all natural ambient sounds leaving only the non diegetic sounds to be
heard. I also included voiceovers. These voiceovers are of girls talking. This is a
surreal method and it adds to the theme of suspense once again, as one cannot see the
face of the person or character speaking but only hears their voice.
Another factor on how to identify the genre would be the narrative. There are several
traditional types of thrillers these are; - crime, physiological, supernatural, disaster
and action thrillers. A thriller being a thriller will have any of these factors or
elements to it, some even co exist with one another where an action thriller may have
the elements of crime within it. For my production I went down the road of
physiological. As in 2 minutes not much can be established
so I used this opportunity to play with imagery more than
creating much film. The images I used for the opening were
normal beauty pictures which honestly, one can get and see
in standard fashion magazines.
But I also added a bit of a twist in it by mixing the normal acceptable pictures with
rather obscene and grotesque images such as the one of
the beheaded doll. Such imagery creates a sense of
uneasiness as the viewer then becomes uncomfortable
watching this, the natural connotation of a Barbie doll
is that she symbolise a perfect life. As she has no
feelings and is shallow within and just looks good. But
also it has a major influence on people as a whole, in particular the Females. As girls
tend to look up to the Barbie doll and evidently go for that particular look. As my
thriller was all about the obsession of beauty, this image was relevant to the concept
and most importantly it made my viewers feel uneasy whilst watching it.
Thriller films mainly have complex structures and mysterious continuity, they often
start with a flashbacks of the storyline, however sometimes begins with a fast paced
part sequence of the film itself, these well laced methods are the real reason why a
viewer decides to watch or continues watching the film as he or she is unconsciously
stimulated to ask the questions why? How? And when? Therefore are forced to
continue watching so they are satisfied with the tension
and climaxed they have build up themselves. The
opening of my
thriller does this
very well as; it has
no real storyline
from the beginning
but rather has the different shots of different things
which strangely link to one another. From Billie doing her make up I co linked an
image of perfect lips, nails and eye’s. This links well as the reason Billie is
desperately doing her make up is to achieve that sense of being perfect. This is a scary
thought as perfection does not exist.
A Thrillers main intention is to create suspense not just within the film itself but also in its
audience. A particular technique which is used to create suspense is by manipulating the
viewer. By manipulating the viewer you completely disorientate him or her therefore they are
much more encouraged to watch and find the finishing part of the puzzle. In my own
production I embraced this method by manipulation or rather disorientating my viewers as I
used different types of shots and
camera angels. I Cross cut scenes as
I went from normal footage of Billie
doing her make up to the bizarre
imagery which flashed on screen so
that they are not seen properly.
esting method I used for disorientating my viewer was of that
of, using quotations and phrases which were once said by
very famous public figures who knew the best about the
theme of beauty. This unconsciously motivated questions in
the viewer’s minds as they didn’t know what was going to
happen next unless they kept watching.
But it also made them feel uncomfortable as
beauty is not often discussed and shown next to
the rather gruesome attitudes of people , by
juxtapositioning the repulsive pictures with the
quotations, there was a real sense of controversy.
I took a more direct approach when it came to the
titling as I was sadly limited in roles since I
created this whole production on my own. Having
only 3 titles of the production company, who the
film was made by and of the main actress starring
in it seemed more sensible as I in my first draft,
had all single titles and roles written with my
name, this had a comedic effect on my first audience. A quote of what someone in my
class said was ‘Its just funny how your name keeps appearing on every single role,
just takes away the tension you was trying to build as I kept laughing every time I
saw your name’ having taken this into consideration I decided to change the titling
and narrowing it down to just having the important thing drifting on and of screen and
leaving the individual roles.
In addition to that I then decided to use theFreehand575 BT font. This font I believe
compliments the main theme of my thriller which is beauty. It has a distinct way of making
one believe it was written by a girl. In conjunction with the theme of beauty and perfection, it
seems to be written in bold and adventurous style. It has a sort of ‘swirly curly’ finish of each
letter, which suggest time and patience but also confidence, all these qualities believed a girl
must have. Or at least Billie.
In terms of editing for a thriller film, the majority of editing is slow paced and in conjunction
with the scenery and mise en scene. In the early 80’s, thrillers tend to have rather bold titling
in the opening sequence and consisted of more aerial shots, a famous example of this is ‘The
Shining’. Argumentatively, I decided to challenge that style of editing and broke away form
the traditional way. I decided to make my sequence fast paced to manifest the disorientation
of my viewer. At the right beginning of my production, I used the 7 seconds of silence to
prepare my audience, once the first title came up I matched my sound with it so it came up at
the same time giving it a more synchronised feel. I then
dissolved the titles into actual film footage, the constant
switch of scenes, images and black background quotations
gave it a mix and match feel and once again contributed to
disorienting the audience. I crossed cut between the hideous
fashion pictures and Billie doing her make up to connote and resurface the importance of
beauty in her life, but also to indicate that beauty does have its ‘UGLY’ side, you just wait
and see. I also applied ‘Ghost trail’ on some of the footage. Ghost trail is a form of effect
that gives the footage a slow motion look, but also makes it rather spooky, and weird, adding
back to the fact that putting that much amount of make up on your face is unusual and
bizarre. I did this to emphasise her character and the obvious obsession with perfection once
Another great idea I had was to add voiceovers. On of them which was ‘her shoes, her hair
everything‘this suggested her constant battle within herself to look the part, referring back to
the Barbie doll theory of outward appearance. That perfection is everything and it’s even
recognised by other people surrounding her.
And to conclude, the famous quotations. The quotations that I added through out the
sequence acted as indicators that something bad was to come and if you stopped watching
you would never find out what this bad thing was. Basing the quotes of beauty helped setting
the scenery and the forth coming events of the film
All in all I believe that my production was a fairly well
and a very much deserved success. The idea I brought
forth was evidence for my creativity. The much felt
patience and time that I invested in my idea and
production was made clear and obvious as the end product
was inspiring and controversial. This was my aim at all
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
As in all films and movies, social groups ought to be represented by using obvious
stereotypes. Stereotypes which can be recognised by all. In my production I focused on the
female gender through a female character but also though the implicit imagery and quotations
as they all in one way or another revolve around beauty.
Within the movie the major part Billie played was s to put on make up. Each time she
appeared on screen she was applying make up. Blond hair and blue eyed main character
linked back to the Barbie doll look, I persisted on using Billie for this role as she had that
exact look, which most girls may find attractive, but also as it complimented the theme of
beauty fairly well and to add she is a fairly pretty girl.
The way the media paints females and what they ought to look like was the
guiedline for my film and Billie’s role, the in depth obsession with looking
good resurfaced each time one saw her. It also had a little bit of ‘it girl’
flavour. Like in many movies the is always the element on having that one
beautiful girl that everyone wants to be like, a perfect example ‘Chloe’
By using the voiceovers to establish the fact that Billie’s character is very popular and envied
by many other girls her own age. Interestingly, Girls who aren’t confident
although hide their personality by using a whole different ‘visage’ were also
obliviously represented through Billie. This is were the master mind of using
quotations comes in. Using quotations that are glorifying beauty and some
using beauty to declare the evil that comes with it, stirrers up both sides of
emotions that the girls might be feeling. Whether they are comfortable with
themselves or are insecure with themselves, each type of girl is represented by
a quotation, one being ‘beauty is not caused it is’ this is for the more
confident girl, one who is fully comfortable with the way she is and looks,
and another being ‘pretty girls are the happiest’ this is one for the more
insecure girls and indicate unhappiness and doubt, which may lead to something dramatic
taking place. But also once again highlight the ongoing theme of beauty.
I believe that my production would be enjoyable to watch by all social groups and ethnic
backgrounds, from white’s to black’s to Asians, due to the fact that there is no real age limit
for this film I assume that people within all ages will find it their cup of tea, but also the
language which is used would attract people from all over the place. However there is a clear
connection between Females and Beauty, therefore the main social group and gender
represented would be females, as beauty is the theme of this film I believe that teenage girls
would be much more interested in watching this film as naturally every girl from the
beginning of her teenage years becomes obsessed with the way they look.
Their main stereotypical interests during those years are said to be; - fashion, make up and
boys. Their whole lives revolve around beauty magazines purchased with fashion magazines
and make up. My demographic would easily targeted by using the sources of magazines to
advertise my film.
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media
In centuries film production and distribution has been dominated by the big Hollywood
studios, which appeared in the 1920 and are still authoritative in this day and age. Though
ownership patterns have changed.
It’s obvious that the British film industry has found it a big struggle to compete with the
might of the Hollywood studios. As we all know, film production is a highly costly business
and it’s vital for all film producers to know that they have an audience for that product.
The role of a distribution company is to sell the production to its sellers who then exhibit the
production, this consist of posters and adverts in magazines, billboards and trailers.
Realistically small British film studios would distribute my film, since it was filmed on a low
budget and has a niche audience range. Noticeably most British films are independently
funded and they are also mostly very short in duration as they are produced on a low budget.
Examples of these are ‘Dead mans shoes’ and ‘No room for Romeo’ both of them directed
and produced by Shane Meadow. Shane meadow is on of the uk’s well know independent
film directors and producers, he focuses his films on real life drama and highlights the
everyday gritty events of one s life. All his films are widely known around the Uk, but never
leave the nation. As it wouldn’t have the same success globally.
Films produced by the Hollywood studios concentrate on the vast US home market. But also
on global markets. They tend to produce big event
movies with concepts that can be grasped by a broad
global audience. Most of these films are based on
already established concepts such as comics; TV shows;
books and computer games this is due to the fact that
they are easily marketed, as the audience would have
already been established. The comic readers are likely to
watch the production and TV show fans will not hesitate to go to the cinema to watch the film
also. There is a clear relationship between the film and its audience. Big major distribution
companies like Sony Warner bro and Disney
British cinema screens are filled with Hollywood products. This is because the Hollywood
studios are able to produce big number of big budget feature films and they also dominate
distribution in the UK. In the early days of the Hollywood studio systems were a small
number of companies came to dictate the industry. They were able to do this mainly because
they were vertically intergraded. This means they owned each stage of production. The
studios have the financial support of these large parent companies but as well have
opportunities for a synergy of products and cross marketing.
As my film is a start up film which was produced on a low budget I decided to use the
‘Artificial eye’ as my distributer. Artificial eye has a special relationship with the Curzon
cinema; this however is no real use to me as my target audience would not go to that
particular cinema as it is for more sophisticated cinema goers, for the elderly and wealthier
candidates in society. It has also distributed films that are similar to mine one example being
‘Fish Tank’. Fish tank is a film about a girl who faces troubles and limitations which are
thrown to her by her local community, and the only way she can escape reality is by
exploring her hidden passion of dance, its a becoming of age film which was a great success
at the Cannes film festival with winning awards such as best British independent
breakthrough film and best up coming actress. This made a good impression on me and
stimulated me to think that I can duplicate this success for my own film.
For the actual cinemas I would use picture house cinema as it specialises in showing
independent British films, it is also a national trade mark as in central London there are
widely spread in many suburban areas. I would target cinemas in town centres and near
schools, as that area would be filled with teenagers and young people.
We no longer just watch films at the cinema or on TV. This has major implications for the
film industry and its audience .This table is to show the different ways distributors exhibit
their films to their audience.
Better quality sound and Cost of the tickets, sharing
bigger pictures, there are the experience with other
snacks available and its more people uncomfortable seating
Watching at the cinema of a social event and and lastly one has to follow
experience. The films first riles and regulations.
stop should always be the
Giant screens, fantastic Expensive, cannot become a
sound, better picture sound regular habit as its health
Imax qualities as screens are damaging and there is a real
specialised. Better social lack of film choice.
experience and more
technology advanced (3D
Watching films scheduled Comfortable in your own Adverts interruptions and
on TV space and environment no breaks, smaller screens
rules, and personal choices. depending on TV, quality of
film depends on type of TV.
Also time restrictions on
what time channel ill show a
Portable and able to watch on Discomfort for the body and
Watching on a laptop or demand for free. eyes, viruses crashes and pop
mobile phone up’s interruptions, identity
fraud. Battery life and
screens to small.
Convenient to get hold of. Bad quality, illegal the
Do not have to travel to, money made does not go to
Watching pirate copies obtain films that are not even the original manufactures of
released in cinemas yet , the production.
Who would be the audience for your media product? How did you
attract/address your audience?
For my production I aimed at a medium range audience. Since my production wasn’t made
on a big budget nor was it made in a big time film studio, having a mass audience seems
rather impossible, the quality of the film would just not be satisfying enough for that type of
audience. As well as there would not be enough money to marketing my film targeting large
amounts of the popularity. But it wasn’t aimed at a niche audience either, as I believe that the
correct approach of marketing my film at the right places would lift my film up.
Having said this before my film targets teenage audiences. People aged 15 and above.
Preferably people of the female gender. The BBFC makes all classifications decisions and I
decided to make my film a 15 certificate. As it contains strong language scenes of violence
and scenes of the sexual nature. But also due to the fact that the film is based on a teenage
girls life, who may be exploring these issues and
events. This settled the constant change in my
demographics as focusing on part of society and
choosing them to be my audience would make all
other marketing choice easier. Having made my
thriller a physiological one, it would also attract
In order to attract my desired audience, I played
with language and character appearance and
music. The language I used was very colloquial. This helped attract my audience as they can
relate to the colloquial language. It also gave them the opportunity to be comfortable as they
could understand each word that is said and not worry about words that they may not be
familiar with (i.e. speaking in Shakespearean style ) . As my film targets teenage issues, using
a female teenage character was highly appropriate, but also as Billie is reasonably popular
that also gave my film a bit of a kick as she has quite a few friends across the area. The music
I used also had a great impact on my audience as the music playing constantly in the
background whether it was quietly playing in the background or at it peak, it added to the
expectancy of something dramatic happening.
In the process of establishing my film, I showed my first finished drafted to my media group.
And received some very positive responses and feedback. During the peer assessment I ticked
most of the boxes and gave my current audience a
fairly well impression. Most said that the constant
switch in scenes and imagery gave it a queer feel to
it and made it interesting to watch, but what most
were impressed with was my initial idea and the fact
that the level of my creativity is inspiring.
4. What have you learned about technologies from the process of
constructing this product?
During this project I have made visible improvements on how to use the various types of
technologies relating to film production. I used different types of software and hardware to
create my thriller piece. I was given the opportunity to become skilled at how to use the types
In the table below I have listed all the hardware and software equipments that I used-;
Hard ware Use Challenges Software Use Challenges
*main piece I found using Used for the editing The weakness
of hardware, the video process of my film. this program had
*the device camera Used it to look over was that it shuts
to capture relatively easy, down
Video camera all my as I’ve used one unexpectedly
footage. before. Minor prior to you
* used draw back being able to
settings to however was save work.
playback the clips. And to crop,
footage misplacement distort and cut tools
recorded of the tape. were the ones I
used the most in
Used for the Using I Mac This is the program The only
IMac (computer) editing computer was on which I choose challenge I had
process. quite hard as DaFont my front and font with this
Contained I’ve never used size, the colour and program was
all the one of them design, but also that it was
relevant before. how long I wanted written in very
editing However once I it to appear for and small captions
software to got used to how I wanted it to and that the
put my film using it, I drift/ scroll etc. times I wanted
together. believe it was Freehand575 BT to apply to my
easy. font styles was
other then that it
was a good
program to use.
Used to Made filming Used it to write up I am very
keep camera still shots my scripts for the familiar and
levelled and easier, voiceovers. And comfortable with
shake free And taking different using this
Tripod filming. different Microsoft quotations. But also program as this
Also helped camera angels word 2007 to write up drafts is the only
focusing on shots was more for my blog entry’s, program I use
the object précised and before copying it daily.
being professionally onto my blog
filmed. done, than
rather using just
To connect Finding the Used to create my Mixing the two
camera to correct hole for music and sounds. different pitches
the IMac. it was hard as it It had many and making it
was very different styles of into one big
sensitive. I had music and composition was
to make sure instruments. a really good
the camera was I used this program experience. As I
Aux/AV cabl e switched of GarageBand to cut my music to used the lower
before its appropriate pitch and put the
connecting it to length and to high pitch
the IMac as if change the different symphonies
not connected sounds levels. Used together.
that way, it to record Then muting and
could damage voiceovers. cutting the
the camera in voiceovers and
the long term leaving only the
run. sound that I
This was For my Used to get the The mixing and
used to store production I sample music from. exporting the
footage. only used 1 Once the file making it
tape, after I composition in into and edf file
misplaced GarageBand was was simpler than
Tape cassettes another right at ITunes finished I then I though It
the beginning. copied it into would be.
Making sure iTunes and mixed it
you stopped the to become and edf
tape at the right file exported it so
time so none of it can be imported
your previous into IMovie.
Used to This is the program Being able to
click and I used to create all upload videos
select - my blog entries. and pictures
options on Wordpress It was used to onto Wordpress
the IMac update recent posts, allowed me to
computer. each lesson. look back at all
work. It also acts
show all the
work and effort I
had done over
the past few
Through this project I have learned many new skills, which I’m absolutely proud of.
-I leaned how to upload pictured and videos onto IMovie.
- how to take stills and screen shots
-and most importantly have learned that film production is not as easy as one thinks it is. It
takes a great deal of patience faith enthusiasm and willingness.
5. What do you feel you have learnt from your prelim, and have you
made progress from this, to your finished Thriller film?
Like I have said in previous blog entries, we as a whole class were set to undertake a prelim
exercise. This was o create a 1 minute video showing two people having a conversation on
the subject of their choice, this however must include one person walking from one side of
the room to the other, showing that one understands the 180 degree rule and being able to
display the use of the match on action/ shot reverse shots.
These shots and skills later become vital as they gave us a big
boost in creating our own 2 minute thriller openings. During our
thriller production we used these types and styles of filming to
create our films. This helped due to the fact that I was already
familiar with these types of camera work. This helped me to
improve my filming skills, as it was nothing new to me.
The planning and filming and editing this time around were 100%
better. This time I filmed much more footage than I originally
needed, which turned out to be very useful, it gave me the
opportunity to be much more flexible when it came to cutting and
cropping footage. Everything I filmed was done at once at one
particular place which was the toilets so there was order at all
times. As one constrain I had was the toilets would be in use at all
times, therefore decided to film after school, as during that time
the toilet would be less busy and would give me the freedom of using it to its full potential.
I have made many positive improvements to my filming skills, since I filmed constantly and
not once did I have to go back out and re-film any previous footage. I knew exactly were and
how to hold the camera making sure I’m filming the best footage at all times. Knowing that
you can drag and unwanted clips and footage in the empty side panel of IMovie made my
work much easier to do.
The main mistakes I made in my prelim exercise was the editing, the cutting of unwanted
scene and making the continuity proper, this time around I took the editing serious by only
editing clip by clip taking it slow step by step approach.
Seeing as I can create a 2minute sequence of film and add music on top of it creating my own
little opening to a film, I believe that my whole film production skills have improved vastly.
Over the time of this course I have learned a lot of things, some which maybe obvious and
standard to others.
This course has given me the opportunity to voice my creativity in my own way and laying it
all down on film , these great memories that will always be remembered and cherished.