Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My Evaluation

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The way in which my media product has used, developed or challenged forms and conventions of real media products is by the way that I have used genre as an economic strategy. Genre as an economic strategy is where film industry is able to use and manipulate genre to gain money from the audience. In simpler terms, genre as an economic strategy is where the film industry may re-use props, settings or even story lines that have made lots of money and it is assured that the film they remake will do this as they can see from the last film industry that used these things, whether they were in fact successful or not. The way in which we have cemented this into our media product is by the way that we have used this process in adapting two different films and slamming them together to make our genres narrative and the audience for our film. For example for our media product we have used the films Happy Gilmore and Step Brothers and combined the two to make Andrew Anderson (our media product). Using economic strategy is a full proof system of guaranteeing that you will capture an audience as you already know that the film has been successful.

In our title sequence we have used some of the main conventions that exist in real media products such as; the films title, an introduction to character, information regarding mood and tone, information about the genre and introduction to the signature theme tune. The way in which we have incorporated these conventions into our media product is through the use of the four micro elements; sound, cinematography, mise-en-scene and editing. In my opinion I feel that sound and mise-en-scene have played the two main parts in my media product as they have communicated these conventions to the audience.

The way in which we have used these two micro elements to do this is by the way we have used sound such as loud upbeat rock music. When thinking of this type of music we tend to be stereotypical in associating the sort of music with Americans and that it what I was aiming for as our film is American and the upbeat part of the music suggests to the audience that it is an upbeat film. We have used mise-en-scene in our title sequence to give some information about the character as I have mentioned in the conventions above. For the mise-en-scene, it is mostly the props that give the audience some indication as to what the character is like as he is slouching on the sofa in tracksuit bottoms, watching TV and eating pizza with plenty of food all around him which makes it look like he isn’t going anywhere soon. These props that are strategically placed in the scene indicate to the audience that this character is lazy and could also be seen as fat. Once again touching on another stereotype of American people as others seem to think that they are all fat and lazy which is wrong.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?
When looking at the social groups that I have represented within my media product I can only think of one that could be seen as me representing, what is more of a group then a social group, in my title sequence. I think my representation of a group is the way in which I have represented Americans. Many people in the world see Americans as obese lazy people who do nothing and this is a stereotype as we do not know everyone in America and cannot therefore say that the whole population on America is fat and lazy. In my media product I have backed this stereotype by the way I have presented my character through the use of props and you could even say costume. The way in which I have presented my character through these two elements of mise-en-scene, is by using placing food all around the scene of my title sequence so that wherever you look you can see food within the scene and in doing this the audience are able to establish in there minds that this character eats a lot and in thinking this they would go as far as saying that the character could be American because of the stereotype that has been set in place by other. The costume also contributes to not only the representation of Americans and there stereotype, but also creates irony about the character as he is wearing tracksuit bottoms within the scene. This piece of clothing is seen as something to run in as it gives your legs space to manoeuvre however this is not how it is used in the title sequence as it almost gives off the idea that the character wants to be as comfortable as possible as he is going to be on that sofa for a long time.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
There are two media institutions that may distribute my title sequence, one is Columbia Pictures and the other is Paramount Vantage. The reason in which I may use Columbia Pictures to distribute my title sequence is because they are the media institution that distributed the film Step Brothers and our film is a mixture of this film and Happy Gilmore, however our film is more like Step Brothers than it is like Happy Gilmore and with Columbia picture having experience in distributing films such as Step Brothers then I think that this media institution would know exactly how to distribute my film. The other media institution that I may want to use to distribute my film would be Paramount Vantage. After having research into depth about this institutions history, as well as the types of films they distribute, the amounts of budget they deal with and the awards they have won, I came to the conclusion that Paramount would suit my film a lot. I came to this conclusion as when looking at the genre history of films that they have distributed, it seemed that there was only two particular genres that they distribute which was drama and comedy and as my film is a comedy with hints of drama involved, I felt that Paramount was looking like a strong favour to distribute our film.

Who would be the audience for your media product?
The target audience for our title sequence and film (Andrew Anderson) would be between the ages on 12 and 25. The certificate of the film would be a 12A as although there is minimal violence within the film, there would be quite a lot of abusive language that would not be suitable to the younger generation. We chose this certificate for the film by looking at the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) website and deciding from there what rating to use. When looking at the BBFC rules i looked more into the .language and violence aspects of their rule book in order for a film to be a 12 A and it states that in order for a film to be a 12A, 'aaggressive discriminatory language or behaviour is unlikely to be acceptable unless clearly condemned', also 'Moderate language is allowed. The use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’) must be infrequent' and finally 'There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context'. 

Our secondary audience would be families as it could be seen as a film for a group to watch and enjoy, as well as laugh and also get that feel good feeling at the end of the film which would bring families together and spread love between one another around the room. The reason that 12-25 would be our primary audience is because the comedy that is being portrayed in this film is that of which only this age group may laugh at because of the stage that there mind is at in the fact that older people above this age limit might not find the jokes that funny. Another audience that we aim to target and hopefully have a mass appeal from is the brother audience, much like the family audience except that it is more likely that brothers would want to watch the film together as they may be able to relate to it in some way and in the end it might touch them a little and hopefully full fill the happiness and laughter that it is trying to communicate throughout the film.

We have not aimed our title sequence at a specific gender with regards to audience, however it can be seen as being aimed at a male audience by the way that our title sequence is based mainly on a male leading character who is in the sequence throughout and is the only character in the sequence. However we have tried to keep the audience open for both genders as we feel that both can and would enjoy the title sequence and film idea that we have created.

How did you attract/address your audience?
The way in which our title sequence would attract our target audience as well as other audiences would be mainly through the comedy that would be in the clip. This would be the main selling point of the product as it is what the title sequence and idea for the film is about and although there maybe a moral message hidden in the narrative that is revealed at the end of the film, I would still count on the comedy that would come from the characters in order to attract the audience to the film. The reason why comedy was such a strong choice for me as a genre for the film is because in my life I have had funny and at times hilarious experience with members of my family such as my siblings and I feel that I could introduce some of my stories into the film and hopefully get the same laughter back from the audience as I do when thinking of the things that have happened between family members.

The title sequence itself is enough to attract the audience as we have used catchy music as well as a good use of titles and the transitions that go with them. I feel that the titles alone are enough to draw the audience in as they would give the sequence that little bit of extra awe and make the audience amazed at where the titles have appeared in the sequence and the way in which they have appeared.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
There is only one main technology that I have learnt in the process of constructing my title sequence and that is final cut pro. This technology that I have learnt and that has almost been engraved into my mind for ever which I will take to my grave has been one of the most useful and detailed programmes that I have come across in my life. Final cut pro is an editing programme for when you wish to make a movie, you need only upload your footage so that you can edit and piece it together like a puzzle. Some of the things that I have learnt about this new technology is how to add sound, add footage, cut footage, manipulate sound to your liking and as well as change the visuals of your movie to how you want it to be. This may seem like small things in which I have learnt about when it comes to a vast programme such as final cut pro as there are so many things to explore, however one of the things that I spent most time learning and doing is adding titles to my title sequence and this is one aspect of final cut pro in which I have learnt most about. Adding titles to me now is like making a piece of art, everything has to be perfect and especially with our title sequence as the way we wanted out titles to appear was taking final cut pros transitions to a whole new level by editing the transitions rotation and pace so that it matched the on screen action as it was happening. If I had to pick one thing out of final cut pro that I think I learnt the most about, I would defiantly choose transitions and the placing of titles as I spent the most amount of time trying and succeeding to make the titles as perfect as they could possibly be.

What i have also learnt in this process about technologies is the importance that they possess with regards to production as well as post production and how important they are to the overall making of not just a sequence but to a film in general. For example i learnt quite a few times in this process that it matters that you get the right shot within a sequence and that it takes more that one shooting, even two or three in order to get that perfect shot. At the first stage of production we went a re-shot the whole sequence again as we didn't like the footage that we had captured one bit and so we did it again and again, until we got the shots that we needed and that we were satisfied with. With regards to post production i feel that without the right editing programme such as final cut pro, we wouldn't have been able to produce any of the work that we have done as it was that editing programme that allowed us to do such things that we could only imagine of. Even film directors would agree that the editing programmes and tools used play a very vital part in creating a good film and that most films in the world depend on a good editor as well as the editors programme that he or she is using. The examples that i have given above of production and post production technologies that i have used to create my title sequence are equally important and play a huge role in making my sequence what it is.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
In my opinion I feel that the creativity, digital technology and research and planning were perfect and that it couldn’t have been any better for me. For our title sequence to have the things that we wanted it to have, we needed creativity and we found that by working as a team and putting our heads together, we decided that we want the title to come in when a hand moves on when a object is lifted, we as a group decided that we didn’t want the title to be in the corner and be boring, we wanted titles to be coming out of know where unexpected like the title sequence of the film National Lampoons European Vacation and we as a group made that happen. Me and my team mate Michael put extra hours in just to make every title as perfect as it could be and we made sure that the audience would never expect it coming. For me I feel that my strongest point was probably research and planning as well as the use of digital technology, I could even go as far as saying that all three of them were my strong points as I worked my hardest in all of them, but with research and planning I defiantly shone the brightest in putting in that extra bit of work in order to make sure that all angles were covered and so that all questions were answered when it comes to the title sequence and our film, Andrew Anderson.The one thing that I felt that we and myself struggled in is the production side of things as we was unable to use our initial idea of using the dolly to film our 360 degrees shot of our main character, however we made sure not to let this bring us down and so came up with a new idea that allowed us to carry on and instead of doing one shot with the dolly, we broke it up into several different shots and I think it may have even been better doing it this way that doing it with the dolly as the audience would get bored with just watching one shot.

The two things that I feel I have improved on, as the making of the title sequence has gone on, is the post production as well as the technology side of making the title sequence. Before I started editing our title sequence footage, I had no idea of how to use the final cut pro software or how to even add a title, but now, now I feel like I can accomplish anything with the final cut pro programme as my editing skills as well as my placement or titles and transitions skills has rapidly and greatly increased in the small amount of time that we had to create these title sequences. The way in which I improved on each of these two areas was by putting in the hard work and extra effort by staying past the end of school days and making sure that I knuckled down in class and tried my up most hardest in order to bring the best out of myself and learn what seemed to be an endless programme filled with tools the like of which I have never come across before.

The things that i feel i have developed since we started thinking of ideas for our title sequence is my leadership skills as i took charge of the group and made sure that everyone pulled their weight within the group and participated well with all of the work so that it wasn't left to one person to do. I also feel like my production as well as my post production skills have improved as within the sequence i captured every angle that i wanted to for the title sequence in order for us to place the titles in. In the post production i feel like i have developed my skills with editing dramatically as i had never edited before let alone add a title but as you can see by the final product, i am now almost practically an expert in doing such things as i have listed. All the things above that i feel i have developed skills in or improved on has come down to the amount of hard work and effort that i put into making the title sequence the best it could possibly be and giving the best performance out of myself in order to show that i wanted to create a good sequence and to show that i wanted to get better at things i was not so good at, at first. i showed my enthusiasm to learn and develop my skills in order to produce the best work possible for my group and myself.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Final Version Of Title Sequence

This is our final version of our title sequence with the corrections made by the comments of the class and the teacher.

Making Corrections To The Title Sequences According To The Comments Made By The Class

The elements that worked;

  • The typography come in nicely 
  • The cuts are good between shots
  • The music works well with the overall flow of the sequence
  • The pace of the sequence and how the music and pacing of edits matches the overall theme of the sequence
  • The way the titles appeared behind some things within the room
  • The music connotes comedy which shows the genre of the title sequence

Things that need developing;

  • The end titles (film name and production company) can come at the beginning
  • Foley sound from within the sequence itself
  • Titles at the end didn't work well
  • Shot was too long at the end of the film 
  • Bigger titles (change the size of the titles so they are easier to see)
  • Final typography and transition for the title of the film looked like a PowerPoint presentation

Things that didn't work at all;

  • The class did not find anything about our title sequence that did not work at all
As you can see below this is our teachers review on our title sequence, we made sure to do all corrections and make all improvements according to his feedback as it was the most valuable feed back that we received.

We will now use all of this information and feedback that we have been given from the class and go back to our title sequence and make the necessary corrections so that it looks more professional and like a much better title sequence.

Exporting Title Sequences For The Class To View

Here we have now finished the first version of our title sequences and have now exported theme to quick time movie player and i have also uploaded our title sequence to youtube so that you can see our work as a working progress and also so that you will be able to see the changes that we have made to our title sequence according to the comments that we are about to be given by our class once they have watched it.

The Difficulty With Our Titles

Finally me and Mike have now finished the titles for our title sequence, after labouring after school and during lesson for a good week, the effort has finally paid off as the titles look to be next to almost perfect within our title sequence. Our title sequence will now be exported and will be ready for class viewing in next weeks lesson, so that they can review our title sequence and give us feedback on what works, what can be improved and what doesn't work at all. We as a group feel that we have tried our hardest and put 110% into the making of this title sequence and we hope that this has paid off when it comes to the class watching and reviewing our title sequence.

The reason why our titles took so long too make even with the amount of effort put in by me and Mike is because we needed them to be perfect and not have one mistake within them. The tricky thing with making titles from scratch and adding your own transition like we did is that you can run the risk of harming some of the shots and smoothness of which they run at, also with what we was trying to do was a big ask from final cut pro but it prevailed and showed us that with a lot of dedication to the work you can come out on top even if what you was trying to create did seem impossible, me and Mike showed that anything can be made possible if you put your mind to it.

Finishing The Editing And Starting To Add Titles

After the fiasco of our first shooting and up hill struggle of getting use to final cut pro, me and Mike were now going full out in spending time after school to get the editing of our title sequence finished so that we could move on to  doing our titles, as this is what we felt was the most important thing about our title sequence. When it came to making the titles me and Mike worked hard on perfecting them so that when something moved within the frame a title would appear. When looking at where the titles should be placed within the scene we thought that it would be best if we was to place the titles so that the audience never expected to see them when they appeared on the screen, in some cases this worked perfectly however we did find it hard to do it for all.

We are halfway through finishing all of the titles now and we are still making tiny edits to some of the ones that we have already done, the tricky thing with what we are doing is that the positioning, timing and effect/transition has to be perfect on each title for it to work and this isn't easy, however me and Mike are working our up most hardest to get these titles done and looking professional for our title sequence as we feel this is what will make our title sequence one of the best. We are now going to carry on with the titles and finish them along with the title sequence to the best standard possible ready for viewing in class next week.

Re-shooting And Editing Our Title Sequence

After the problems with the first shooting of our title sequence we was very wary with regards to re-shooting it as we did not want another day of no footage and with nothing to edit as the deadline day is only just around the corner. However things turned out to be different when we re-shot as it actually went okay when we looked at the footage just afterwards.

Our original plan was to use the dolly to shoot a 360 degree angle of our main character sitting on a couch however this plan did not go right as when it came to our first day of shooting, we found that there was problems no only with the floor of the setting, but also the space in the setting. So we as a group put our heads together and came up with a new plan that involved a tripod and not a dolly and we put this plan of action into re-shooting and it turned out to be better than we had originally thought. There were no problems with the footage that we re-filmed and we even thought that this could be our final footage if we edited it perfectly. What we had shot within our group turned out to be better than we had expected and now that we have also started editing it is turning out to not be a disaster like our first day of shooting was.

Now that we have shot this footage and have something to edit, here we now begin the process of piecing together the puzzle that we are trying to create. Watching an advanced person in Final cut pro use the software looks easy, but when i came to editing the title sequence and cutting up footage and putting it together i never realised how hard it was. As i edited more and more of the footage and pieced it all together i struggled to give it that little spark that it lacked in order to give it the wow factor that i wanted people to see in our title sequence. I new when editing that our title sequence wasn't going to win people over for the amazing angles that we had used or the superb acting by our main character played by Mike. So i knew that when it came to me and Mike doing the titles, i understood that they had to be the best anyone has ever seen and that the wow factor about our title sequence would come from them.