Evaluation Question SEVEN

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

We were set our preliminary and continuity tasks at the beginning of the course, due to the fact I had little to no experience of filming,  I believe the tasks were set to teach the importance of the fundamentals of filming. For example, the 180 degree rule is a basic concept in filming as well as the match on action and shot reverse shot, these were all concepts that were stressed we must gain an understanding of through these tasks set.

The belief the preliminary task was set to teach us fundamental media concepts can be reinforced by the criteria I chose to insert when I uploaded my preliminary task:

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Throughout my preliminary task, my filming in absolutely terrible. Although I had a tripod my movements were shaking and the plot of my short two minute task did not make sense, furthermore the shots were out of focus the majority of the time and the movements of the male character travelling up the stairs and to the door lacked continuity. Although at face value this appears to be a failure, the lack of skill I presented myself as having through the preliminary task was beneficial for me as I could learn through error.

Since that task, I did a continuity task that although still lacked skill, showed an improvement of my editing and showed that I could insert sound and control the level of volume, futhermore I was able to add titles successfully.

However, since these tasks I have drastically developed my media skills, I have been able to use much more advanced skills such as parellel editing, in my film opening to present a strong narrative and make my product far more interesting for the viewer.

I can also emphasise how much I have progressed since my preliminary task through the use of sound. In my preliminary task I only used dialogue and non digetic background music, however in my film opening I used a large range of sound- including a sound bridge and digetic sound throughout. The background music in my preliminary task was innapropriate for the plot I was trying to put across and was purely used for comedy, this was a mistake however I feel I learnt from it succesfful due to the fact I learnt how music should be used to set a scene, build tension and glue together scene transitions as a result. In my film opening I used an instrumental piece from ‘Donnie Darko’ another psychological thriller with similar themes of my own to build tension and set the scene of my film opening.

Since learning how to use applications like After effects my confidence has rapidly increased, this can be reinforced by the practice tasks I did to improve the transitions of my titles.

I also learnt how to appropriately fit a title to the genre of film, the preliminary task I did only had one title that was mis-chosen and was not of an appropriate font, however when I did my after effects practice I had downloaded a celtic font to install into the aplication so that it fit with the fantasy elemant of the film.

Also, every shot I filmed in my prilimiary was with the aid of a tripod, although I do understand the need for them, alot of my film opening was filmed using freehand camera skills- I felt that with the use of effects (that I have also learnt to use) like warp stabaliser, I could get more creative shots.

I believe since I began the progression towards my final task, I believe I have progressed in every aspect of media.


Evaluation Question SIX

What have you learnt about technologies through the process of constructing the product?

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Please click the photo above to be taken to my presentation of Evaluation Question 6

Throughout the course and process of constructing my film opening I have become accustomed with the application Premier Pro; an application I had never used before; which is a non linear editing platform which is particulary efficent due to the fact it allows for changes and mistakes to be made as you can go back and edit any clip when you need. Learning how to use this application has made me confident that I could edit and construct media to an exceptional level.

An example of my use of Premier Pro can be seen below:

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Furthermore I have also learnt how to use After Effects to further the standard of my media. I have used it to add titles to my finished products at a more professional standard than the title sequencing on Premier Pro.

See below one of my title sequences I completed on After Affects to get to grips with my understanding of the application and used to experiment and learn. I also gained an understanding of what titles are appropriate for different genres, for example I used a cursive font for title sequence of Perfume- Making of a Murderer and a Army font for the Mission Impossible title sequence.

To create the title sequence I used Keyframes to changed the opacity of the title so that it appeared to be entering and exiting the frame, this made it more comparable to real life products.

I also used After Effects to create the Ident for my film, I did this by following a video off Video Co pilot, I chose to do the ‘Fogged Glass’ Effect as I felt it very fitting with my psycholigcal thriller genred film opening.

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After effects was an extemely helpful technology that I had never used before the course and in conclusion once I had learnt about it, it contributed heavily to the construction of my film opening.

The equipment I learnt to use over the course of the construction of my product was a DSLR Camera,  this was the first time I had used a camera to film properly. You can see my learning progress through my ISO and Aperture task below.

Before this I had little to no understanding of how to focus a camera, which I believe was extremly important factor during the construction of my product. The advancement in my capabilities in relation to my camera skils can be highlighted by the stark contrast my between preliminary task, in which I had little idea as to what I was doing, and my mundane task- in which I have a much stronger sense of what I am doing.

My Preliminary:

and my mundane:

Which I believe succesfully emphasies how I have learnt to use technologies through the construction of my product.

Lastly, I have used a range of web platforms throughout the construction of my product, I have used wordpress to log and store all of my posts and work in chronological order. Furthermore, I used survey monkey as a way of gaining information. Following this I used Prezi as a method of then concluding this information. As a method of uploading and storing my final products before uploading them I have used Vimeo. I also used twitter to spread my survey monkey and to gain information from my peer group, this was especially useful as it meant I could send a direct link to the survey, making it very efficient. In particular I believe wordpress has been the most useful out of all these platforms due to the fact I use it the most, as well as the fact it is useful to present many different things, such as hyperlinks and screenshots.

In conclusion, my knowledge of technologies has phenomenonally enhanced through the construction of my product in the last year. I now would be confident to use a camera to a far greater extent, editing applications such as Premier Pro and After effects. As well as upload methods such as Vimeo and presentation platforms like wordpress and  Prezi.

Evaluation Question FOUR

Who would be the target audience for your product?

Due to the genre of my film that portrays uncomfortable themes such as stalking and perverse obsession I have chosen to make my target audience ages 15-20. As well as this, many other psychological thrillers are an age rating of 15 suggusting they have a similar target audience.

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Therefore I believe that by having a similar target audience as other psychological thrillers it would make my film appeal strongly to those whom watched more if they were of the same audience. I believe my target audience would be both male and female, however the perverse portrayal of the female character potentially later in the film may appeal less to females.

An example of this can be seen from this clip of my product below, where you can see the stalker watching the victem of my product getting changed through her window- emphasising why I believe my product would appeal less to females as it is very uncomfortable to relate to.

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To get an accurate idea of what is most expected and the conventions of psychologial thrillers I created a survey on survey monkey to give to my target audience whom already had an interest in psychological thrillers.

This was particulary useful as it gave me first hand feedback as to what was expected of my film opening, as well as gave me information contributing to whom I should cast and why, as well as what locations to film in.

I advertised my survey on my social media accounts to make it easy to access as I linked the survey, as well as the fact it would be distributed to my peers whom were also my desired target audience age.

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Then I concluded all of my information in a prezi presentation, which was useful as it pulled all of my information I had gathered from my survey as well as my interview.

The information I had gathered from my target audience of 15-20 year olds suggested that my product should contain a male antagonist as it would be creepier as well as being filmed in more mundane locations, such as a bedroom or house.

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After discovering what my chosen target audience was expecting from my product I researched the guildlines for age ratings off the British Board of Film Classification official website. I came to the conclusion that my film opening would be a 15 due to the fact I wanted to have a broad audience but avoid disturbing younger viewers with the uncomfortable content, furthermore as I stated earlier, many other psychological thrillers are 15s and this would make my film opening and planning more accurate in relation.

For further information as to why I chose to make my age rating a 15 and the factors relating behind what I believe my target audience to be please see below for a screenshot from my age rating research done previous in the course.

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In conclusion I think I have strong evidence behind my belief that the most appropriate target audience for my media product would be the age range of 15-20 year olds. I think 20 is an suitable postition to range the age group to due to the fact the cast are teenagers and may feel inapropriate for someone older to watch due to the disturbing story line.

Evaluation Question TWO

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Below I have inserted the Video I made on premier pro that presents my answer to the above question.

Evaluation Q 2 from MaiLan Mabbs on Vimeo.

In conclusion I believe that my media product represents the social group of teenage girls as vulnerable and the social group of teenage boys as creepy and obsessive. I have done this through my use of props and actions and chose to represent my social groups in this way due to the research of other films I did that portrayed their characters in similar plot situations similary

Evaluation Question ONE

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

To gain a deeper understanding of the forms and conventions in the genre of the film I was desiring to do, I put together a target audience survey to asses my target audience and the conventions they were expecting from my film. I concluded all of the information in a presentation on Prezi.

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Link to target audience survey

From my research I came to the understanding that a male main character was expected from a psychological thriller, due to the stereotype of men being creepier. After gaining this information, I decided to have the main character in my film opening to be male, due to the fact I had intentions to do a creepy, intimate opening. Furthermore I used the character of a younger girl in my media to emphasise the creepiness of the male character.

The information I gained from my research also revealed that viewers and my target audience were expecting the film opening to be located in a ‘mundane area’ to put focus on the psychological aspects of the film.

In accordance with this I filmed my media in two main locations, the bedroom of the stalker and the bedroom of the stalkee.

Furthermore I observed the conventions of psychological thrillers, evidentially I was inspired by the corkboard in Silence of the Lambs.

This can be seen below from the screenshots of my props page from my WordPress blog.


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Demonstrating how my media product uses forms and conventions of real media products.

My media product develops forms and conventions of real media products through my use of sound. I used similar music to that in other psychological thrillers, the main soundtrack to my film opening is similar to the music from the movie Donnie Darko.

Furthermore I used sound effects during the credits and shots presenting the stalker watching Lexie sleeping that I believe developed the forms and conventions of real media products. The sound effects were named ‘deep male breathing’ however it was particularly creepy and insinuated something far darker.

However other psychological thrillers such as Shutter Island and Se7en present characters whom wear suits or also mental asylum type uniforms as their character costumes. I feel that I challenged the forms and conventions of real media products as I chose to stray away from this stereotype and dress my actors casually to place the focus of the audiences attention on the actions of the characters rather than the appearance.

I feel that my Ident used the forms and conventions of real media products, as I made the Ident named ‘glass effect’ that set the tone of a cold, creepy atmosphere. I felt that this was similar to the Twisted pictures ident. The Twisted Pictures ident is one that often features in horror films, such as Saw, Catacombs and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They are an American independent film production company, that creates thrillers and horrors. Although mine is not nearly as complex I feel that they set the same zone. (see photos below, my ident is on the left)

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I also believe that my camera and editing work uses the forms and conventions of real media due to the short, fast paced clips I filmed that contributed to the sense of mystery in my film opening. This can be seen in other real media products such as Momento, I discovered this through my Research posts that I did at the beginning on the Media course.

Lastly, I felt that my font throughout the film opening used to present my titles uses the conventions of other real media products due to the simplicity of it, that gives little away as to what the film opening it about and contribute to the sense of mystery common in psychological thrillers. This can be evidentially be seen in the movies Donnie Darko and Shutter Island as they use a plain font, in capitals, such as I have done.