Sunday, 26 April 2009


Below you can find our finished evaluation that contains all the relevant information and questions in order to critically assess and evaluate the success of our project.

In what way does your media product use / develop / challenge forms + conventions of real media products? (Laurence)
Before we started our media production we watched several thrillers so that we would get familiar with the basic thriller conventions, and apply these to our production.
We found that in the opening of "The Life of David Gale" there was a part where a female character is running through a cloud of smoke, we have parts in our production that gives off a similar effect. When the protagonist Tom is running along the path , with the camera on the other side, the traffic breaks up the image, which denotes his thoughts splitting up, unsure about where he is going, creating confusion between the viewers.
Generally in thrillers the hero is accustomed to danger, and will let nothing get in their way of 'saving the day' we have used an MI5 agent as our protagonist, this shows immediately that he is used to danger, but then he has a child, this gives him another level; it shows that he has more to loose if he fails.
We have incorporated a wide array of camera angles and cut to these constantly when Tom is running through the streets, we do include some long shots, such as the cctv style shot after he vaults the fence, but this is to create the illusion that he is being watched. These fast cutting shots build up the pace of the production before he finally enters the church, there is a quick point of view shot just before he enters the church that really speeds things up at the last minute.
As well as using lots of fast camera shots to build up the pace, we have created a non diagetic sound track to go over our production, this begins as soon as we see Tom begin to run, layering up heavy beats with fast paced music. This gets faster and faster as he gets closer to the church., to create more of an impact when he finally enters the church, the music cuts dead.
Also in the church we include more shots such as the cctv styled one, one from high up in the church, with railings blocking out part of the shot to show danger, that we cannot see teh full picture.
As Tom runs into the church, the antagonist is praying at the back f the church, without knowing he is there the audience will miss him completely, as does Tom, focused only on his daughter, startling him as he realises he is not alone is the church. As the antagonist walks towards Tom the audience can only see his back, not knowing who he is or what he looks like, he is concealed from the viewers, creating mystery as we don't know if Tom knows who he is or not, and at this point in the production the audience doesn't know whether he is the antagonist or not, but they would suspect so from his dialogue and costume.

How does it represent particular social groups? (Laurence)
Our production includes a variety of different social groups. One of these being a large religious group of Christians, this however can be quite controversial, due to the fact that in our media production we have included Christian extremists, this particular social group has been represented as being very forceful, forcing their religion onto everyone, stopping anyone who tries to interfere with what they are doing, trying to stop the protagonist Tom, who is going to reveal their evil plot, the Christian extremist that we see towards the end of the production is dressed in black from head to toe, having his hood up shows that he is religious but with this being black it shows that they too are corrupt, wearing black almost makes it look as though the character is dying, or imposing death onto another character. The British government, of whom these Christian extremists are working with, are shown to be just as evil, corrupt.

Tom, a young man is shown to be very athletic, running down the streets avoiding passers by, but in the first clip of him running down the streets he nearly knocks a woman over, not looking back caring whether she is alright or not he continues to run, this shows that he's quite an arrogant character, typical for his age.

Also associated with the younger generation are hooded tops, Tom's cloths represent him as a younger character, wearing a hoody along with jeans. Similar to the Christian extremist towards the end of the production Tom has a hood, but he chooses to wear his down unlike the antagonist, showing that he too has strong beliefs, but his are not dark or dangerous.

The reason that Tom is running through the streets and into the church is to save his daughter Ellie, Tom here is represented as a loving, caring father who has come to rescue his daughter. There is no wife or mother featured in our introduction so the audience is lead to wonder weather Tom is a single parent, which gives him an alternative representation, as the mother is generally the parent that looks after and cares for the child stereotypically.

Ellie, the daughter is shown as a very vulnerable young child, laying on the church steps, unconscious, sticking to stereotypes, showing how innocent she is, yet she has been roped into such a religious and political corruption that is threatening her life.

What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why? (Rory)

It is important to consider the vast array of media institutions that now exist and the practicalities and costs involved with each one. Until fairly recently, the methods that could be utilized to distribute films was very limited, cumbersome and highly expensive. One had to produce a movie with the backing of a major movie studio with a distribution contract that subsequently was worth millions in order to get the film to cinemas and then VHS, or DVD. With the advent of widespread and high-speed internet access however, and the ability to produce copies of DVD’s from home without the backing of big finance; distribution within the movie industry has change dramatically.

Although, in an ideal world we, as a group, would love our film to published by a major film studio such as Universal (which incidentally owns the rights to the highly successful Thriller series The Bourne Series) because we feel that would be best placed to market our film at its correct target audience and distribute it to as many people as possible because of its vast financial power and expertise in the field. However, in reality getting our film published and distributed with the backing of a large multinational film studio is highly unlikely if not impossible. Universal Studios would also be able to offer us vastly superior post-production facilities and the technological talent we feel we need to make this film a success. Universal also has the directing talent and scripting ability to be able to direct us to any mistakes that they may prevent our film being a success, or appealing to our target market.

However, as mentioned above, the internet and home authoring offer other equally far-reaching alternatives. Free Video Sharing websites such as YouTube would be ideal in publishing our movie – or short clips of it – and DVD’s of it could easily be created with little expense and sold – in effect, creating our own movie studio. By utilizing YouTube, internet advertising and social networks such as Facebook and MySpace we feel we could, potentially, create a following for our movie. We also feel that with the advent of home video editing much of the editing and post-production could possibly be done at home thus allowing a finished product to be sold to stores – or by ourselves – for much less than blockbusters would normally retail at. Indeed, the idea of creating an independent film studio is an interesting and ever more possible prospect.

Who would be the audience for your media product? (Kim)

The target audience we aimed to appeal to was 16-25 year olds. We felt this age group would be the most appropriate to target our film towards because during our research of the thriller genre and also whilst we were finding inspiration for our own film, we found that films such as James Bond and the Bourne series (both a similar genre to our film) had the most captive audience of 16-25 year olds. We feel that this is because the main character is usually in his mid-late 20s therefore this is why the 20-25 year olds enjoy it, because they can identify with the main character, and the 16-20 year olds aspire to be like the characters such as James Bond and Jason Bourne which is why they enjoy this style of film. Our film is very similar to the genre of Bond and Bourne films and our main character is in his mid-late 20s which is why, for the same reasons I have just stated, we feel our film will appeal most to 16-25 year olds. However, it is likely that our film will appeal to many other ages outside this target group. This is because during our genre research before we started producing our film, we found that the action/thriller genre is very popular with all ages. For example, many children under the age of 16 watch the James Bond and Jason Bourne movies and aspire to be like these characters, and many people over the age of 25 watch and enjoy these movies too. So our film will hopefuly appeal to a broad audience of people but we mainly targeted it at 16-25 year olds. We also feel that our main target group would be males. This is because the majority of main characters in our film are male and also because of the nature of our storyline (terrorist extremism, kidnapping etc.) there would probably be quite a bit of violence which, generally speaking, tends to appeal more to males than females. However, our film does centre rather strongly around the relationship between a father and his young daughter so this may be a likely factor in increasing the female audience for our film.

How did you attract / address your audience? (Kim)

In our film we tried to address our audience in a number of ways. One of the first things we did was to appoint a young male lead. In our film we would have ideally liked to have had our character portrayed as a mid-late twenty year old whereas the actor in our film is slightly younger. However, the effect we wanted still stands. We wanted a young lead because we wanted our audience to be able to identify and aspire to him.

Our film was inspired by the Bond and Bourne films which are typically action/thrillers, and tend to appeal more to the male audience. However, we wanted our film to appeal to a wider audience which is why we decided to focus on the father/daughter relationship as a subplot. We felt this would draw on a slightly older audience because they would be able to relate to the parental theme and it would also widen our female audience because our storyline would not just be relentless action and violence.

We tried to create a storyline that would challenge current conventions and also world views. When people in the Western world talk about terrorism the Muslim religion is what immediately springs to mind. So, instead of basing our film on MI5 agents trying to protect the government/country from outside threats and terrorists from foreign countries, we would reverse this and make 'inside' Christian followers the terrorists and the threat to the country. We felt that this would make our film quite controversial and slightly different and more edgy than the other action/thriller films already available. We felt that this would help to attract our audience because people like to break away from the mould after a time and watch something that is new and interesting and causes them to think. We feel our film does this, especially with the current issues of terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, because we are challenging people to see that these Muslim extremists are not the only religious extremists in the world. In some ways we are almost challenging our audience to see the other side of the coin and show Christians from the point of view of these Muslim extremists (although our storyline does not reflect this as in terms of its denotation the plot is not about clashes between the Western and Eastern world.)

Another way in which we tried to attract our audience was by putting what would chronologically be near the end of our film, as the opening sequence. We felt that this would involve our audience straight away, especially because of the fast paced editing (which will grab our audience's attention) and it would also give our audience enough information for them to start asking questions but not enough to answer those questions. This would hopefully encourage them to watch the rest of the film in order to find out what happens.

Have you learn about technology through producing your media product? (Charlotte)

While producing our media product we have learnt a lot about the technology used to produce a piece of film, we have also learnt key IT skills through blogging, and how to transfer different types of media from tape to production.

The software that we used were; Imovie HD and Garage Band, where we learnt how to create music that we could mix with our action, we then exported this file as an mp3 into Itunes to fit it in with our action. In the time that we were producing our media we had a chance to learn more about Imovie HD and how we can add effects, such as black and white to our production. While doing this we also learnt how to change the pace with our slow motion titles to create our action- thriller atmosphere and how to fit everything together with editing the shots and placing it all into chronological order and removing the outtakes.

The hardware that we used was; the camera, computer and the Microphone for our voice over which took us a while to work out how to record onto Imovie and add it to the correct place in our film. We each had a chance to film a part of our production and had to learn how to use our camera to gain the shots that we chosen in our storyboard. We also had to learn how to zoom in and out slowly into certain features on the church and use many other objects such as a computer trolley for our tracking shots. We had to lean how to retrieve lost edited scenes that had been deleted by accident when our computer crashed for a brief while.

Looking back at your prelim, what do you feel that you have learnt? (Charlotte)

We have progressed since our preliminary task and left the school grounds to create a new atmosphere for our main task, this taught us how to time-keep and to be more organised. We had to plan where and when we would meet and that we were able to film from certain times, which we had issues with on our first task. Unfortunately we were unable to find adult actors however as a group were able to make decisions on how we could overcome this, without too many arguments. During our preliminary task filming we had many issues with where we could film and that we could not change the area we filmed in to make it the same each day, however we learnt from this and were able to film all of the action in one day. The clock on the church could have been an issue because it would show a completely different time in some shots, but we over came this problem and chose shots that fitted to show slight time progression. Time was very important to our piece as it builds up the pace and suspense and it is there through the whole of our opening because our protagonist has very little time to save his daughter.

As a group I think our editing skills have improved much more since our preliminary task as a result of our time management; giving us longer to edit and work on sound and editing together. We also learnt much more about the equipment and how we can gain almost perfect edits for our piece however we had one obvious jumpy edit in our piece but were unable to resolve it. Whilst editing we had chance to play around with the software and were adventurous enough to add slow motion parts to our piece.

In conclusion I think that we have learnt a fair few things since our preliminary task and now are know a lot more about time keeping, team work and the equipment.

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