LOOKING BACK AT YOUR PRELIMINARY TASK, WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE LEARNT IN THE PROGRESSION FROM IT TO THE FULL PRODUCT?
During my preliminary task and continuity task I struggled to figure out how to use the 180 degree rule and found setting up the camera, tripod/monopod and general frame very time-consuming as I was not yet familiar with how to use the equipment. A lot of my earlier footage was shaky and out of focus as I used a monopod and rushed to set up shots, not realizing that there would be a large difference to how the footage looked on the camera’s small display screen compared with how it would look on a larger computer screen.
The continuity task helped me to grasp basic editing techniques using adobe premiere which I then developed with the following editing tasks and by editing a few videos in my own time.
Looking at my final film opening, I think that I have drastically improved both my camera and editing techniques. In my video I chose not to use a tripod as I liked the filming style that involved small, subtle movements within frames as I felt that it allowed the audience to feel more immersed in the scene, as though they are actually there. In order to achieve this subtle movement, whilst also keeping the camera steady enough without a tripod/monopod, I purchased a weighted stabilizer for my camera, which I later discovered, after reviewing my footage, did not work. As my actor was on a tight schedule I could not go back and re-film so I had to find a way to combat the shaky movements in my video. I did this by using the stabilizer within adobe premiere on the clips that were particularly bad, as long as it did not distort the footage too badly.
In my final film opening I also used adobe after effects to insert titles and headings into my film, in order to add a glitch effect to these clips I had to use an online tutorial to teach myself to use adjustment layers as well as figuring out the timing of each effect (as after effects slows the footage down). In premiere I also worked with up to 7 layers of audio as I tried to create as much ambient sound as possible during times where the sound/onscreen action was lacking, this proved to be a challenge as I had to sync up the audio to what was happening on screen as well as play with volume levels to make sure the sounds were not too loud/jarring.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES FROM THE PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING THIS PRODUCT?
Throughout this year I have learned a lot about how to use a DSLR camera as well as editing software such as adobe premiere and after effects. I learned most of these skills through performing different tasks that challenged and therefore expanded my knowledge as a media student.
For example, I initially learned how to use my DSLR camera (a canon 1300D) through the Aperture task. In this task we had to lay out 3 objects, each one further from the camera, and focus on each one before adjusting the ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture in order to get all 3 objects in focus at once. This skill helped me a lot during the filming of my final product as it allowed me to film in much darker settings as well as experiment with different depths of field.
I learned to first edit together a video in adobe premiere with the preliminary and continuity tasks as we had to piece together clips of footage in a chronological order and make them flow nicely by paying attention to details such as where a person is in relation to other objects in the scene. I then furthered my skills in premiere by completing further editing tasks throughout the year, and although at first I though that this software was complex and tricky to use, I have become familiar with it after hours of practice and picking up new skills. My mundane task and “Moscow Melodrama” pieces are good examples of this as you can see I begin to use more complex editing techniques such as fast and slow paced sequences and display continuity throughout the scene.
I also learned how to work with just audio files, for example in my sound story I had to create a short narrative and tell the story through just audio clips that I could find online. This task helped me learn how to sync up sound, paying attention to timings and volume levels in order to make the story seem realistic, even with the absence of any visuals.
Although most tasks were carried out on premiere, I also learned to use Adobe after effects as I put titles over 3 clips from movies, as though they were film openings. By doing research on other film openings I discovered how long most titles appear for in an average film opening, usually ranging from around 4-6 seconds. In my experiences throughout the year, I found that after effects is similar to premiere in that it is a software used to edit video, however it is more suited to adding visual effects and graphics over film as opposed to just plainly putting clips together.
HOW DID YOU ATTRACT/ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE?
In the creation of my film opening, I set out to attract my target audience by sticking to the various horror conventions and themes that were most popular in my survey and that I had discovered in my early research stages. My survey proved to be very helpful as the age bracket that took it fit nicely into the age bracket of my target demographic.
To start things off I created my ident to fit the horror/thriller genre so it would blend well with the rest of my film opening and give an almost immediate indication as to the theme of the movie. I did this by using grungey textures and dull colours to give the clip a more harsh and ominous feel to it. In addition to this I chose a simple font for the titles that appear throughout my film opening as this would not distract from the rest of the film or seem over the top. However I introduced a glitch effect to the titles in order to give them a more horror-esque appearance.
My locations, actors and props also corresponded to my survey results and research that I did prior to planning my film, an example of this can be seen in my use of a derelict location similar to other movies of this genre such as Saw or American Horror Story. Although, in my survey, the most popular location suggestion was a woods/foresty area, i chose to use a derelict building as I thought it fit my narrative better and would therefore appeal moreso to my target demographic.
My main actor also corresponds to my survey results and conventions used in other horror movies as the expectation for who would play the villain in a horror/thriller movie is a middle ages man. This stereotype can be seen in other well known horror movies such as Saw or Split, which both feature male antagonists.
During the editing process I chose to include a blue-tinted filter over my film opening as it created a cold hue and made the scenery appear harsh which I believe fits in well with the cruel nature of horror films. This dark addition to the imagery used in my film is also coupled with a scary, building music which creates a tense atmosphere and reflects the genre of the film to the audience.
Overall, I believe that my media product would attract the correct demographic as it reflects the responses to my target audience survey and interviews as well as involving the information that I discovered through my research. This data has allowed me to base my final product off the real ideals of people within my target demographic, thus allowing me to successfully create a film opening that would attract and appeal to the correct audience.
WHO WOULD BE THE AUDIENCE FOR YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT?
WHAT KIND OF MEDIA INSTITUTION MIGHT DISTRIBUTE YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT AND WHY?
HOW DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT REPRESENT PARTICULAR SOCIAL GROUPS?
IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OF REAL MEDIA PRODUCTS?
In my finished media project I believe that I have included many traditional conventions of the Horror/Thriller Genre. In many films of this genre, the key idea is to keep the audience on edge and intrigued by building tension and interest throughout the different scenes by involving different aspects of horror, for example the use of scary music or props. In my film opening I have followed a variety of these horror/thriller conventions, for example my film is set in an isolated and derelict location which helps to set a creepy atmosphere and serves as an early indicator of the genre of the film, conventions like this can be seen in other horror movies such as Saw and The Cabin in the Woods. I also put a blue-tinted filter over my film opening in order to give it a more harsh and eerie look to it.
Abandoned location from my film opening
Abandoned Location from Saw V
I also followed the convention of the male gender being portrayed as dominant as a middle-aged man plays my main antagonist and although it is not so explicit in my video, the female and young social groups are represented as weak and helpless as, in this case, they have been killed. I do, however, simultaneously challenge conventions as the victim in my video is also less explicitly hinted to be a male, whereas in most horror/thriller movies the victim is played by a female to make them appear more vulnerable. I also followed the convention of the main antagonist being insane/mentally unsound as he carries an obsession and carries out deeds that would be considered psychopathic.
Actor used to play the antagonist in my film opening (middle-aged)
Actor used to play the antagonist in Hostel (middle aged)
Throughout my film opening I use a slow, tension building music in order to create suspense alongside a variety of ambient sounds, which help to create eeriness throughout the scene. This convention can be seen in most films of this genre as it is a very popular technique that is used to keep the audience on edge and anticipating what happens next.