Evaluation – Question 7

Question 7: Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers

Comparison (Preliminary & Final Piece)

Firstly, with the preliminary task we really didn’t put any effort or thought into what we were going to do, in comparison to the real final piece. We were told to do a few preliminary shots with dialogue where we had to incorporate the three film rules which were; the rule of thirds, match-on-action and shot, reverse shot and because we’d just been introduced to the course we didn’t really know how exactly we were to incorporate these effectively.

Below I have embedded the preliminary task video again so you can see the progress from that to the final piece.

Below I have embedded another video but this time it is of our final piece, it is much longer and has much more technologically advanced ideas and edits in place to see in comparison to the preliminary task.

Here are a few screen grabs from our preliminary video to showcase the film rules being used:

Shot, Reverse Shot

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Rule of Thirds

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Rule of Thirds

Match-On-Action

This is the match-on-action we incorporated into the preliminary task it isn’t the clearest way of adding into the sequence but it shows that we have incorporated it never the less.

Preliminary_TaskHere are a few screen grabs from our final piece to compare to the ones from our preliminary task. Ultimately, the most important thing I learnt from the preliminary task was the we should film as much footage as possible as too much footage is better then not enough. If you have the footage there that you wasn’t originally going to use but one of your other shots may not be up to the correct standards you can fall back on the extra footage recorded that day instead of going out to record again, we did this and it benefited us greatly as we had everything we needed during the editing process. 

Shot, Reverse Shot

Intent_To_Supply_AS_Media_Coursework (1)

Rule of Thirds

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Rule of Thirds

Match-On-Action

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The preliminary task helped us to identify the most important aspects in order to get the maximum possible grades for both the blog and the final piece… This is planning and practicing the techniques. Firstly, the main difference between our preliminary task and the final piece was that we didn’t put and planning or thoughts into what we were going to do, but realistically it is much harder to create a 2 minute opening compared to a 30 second conversation in the preliminary task. However, I definitely learnt that planning is the key to success with anything like this as there is so much that you should consider to get the best possible grade. We also learnt the fundamental techniques in the preliminary task, like match-on-action, rule of thirds and shot, reverse shot and this helped us to understand what they are and how they are to be incorporated into our final piece properly, without this we wouldn’t have known this very well… if at all. Secondly, we were obviously introduced to the editing software in order for us to edit the preliminary task, but this not only introduced us it helped us to get a feel of what editing was all about and gave us the depth we needed in order to use these skills to the best we could. Moreover, the existing skills we learnt for the preliminary task were ultimately improved and we also learnt new ones, like motion tracking and colour grading for the final piece.

Here is a brief comparison between the creation and planning of our preliminary video and final piece. 

Overall, in terms of the film making process I have learnt a lot about the new technologies and editing software as I found it very interesting and I will definitely keep the experience with me. I learnt many new skills that will not only help me with this in the future but with many other tasks that I am asked to do.

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Evaluation – Question 6

Question 6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?

AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers

Research

At the beginning of the course we mainly looked into different opening sequences like Natural Born Killers, Monsters and Iron Sky taking into consideration the different aspects within these films e.g. Mise en Scene, Genre, Characterisation, Ideology and the narrative. We researched these topics for these films and did short essays to get us thinking about what an opening sequence (ultimately a movie) would need to be successful, whether they are low budget companies like Monsters or Hollywood films like Avatar. This helped us to understand what we had to do to get the top grades for our own opening sequence. I was then told to go and research some of my own opening sequences from real movies to further develop my understanding of what movies and opening sequences need. When watching the movies I not only looked out for the topics listed above, I also looked at the edits, sound effects and the sound added. music, diegetic and non-diegetic sound

The Editing Software

I was very new to the editing software we had to use for the editing process Final Cut Pro, at first not only did I find it a challenge to use but I was also a slow learner as I had to get my head around the whole editing process. However, once I understood what it was and how to do it I was fine and I found it really enjoyable then I began to edit the footage relatively confidently, the worst part about it was that it took up so much time that it was hard to get everything perfect ready for the deadline. Using this software I have learnt many different skills that I never knew how to do, though I had never heard of the software before. I learnt how to import and edit footage by cutting it down, making it longer or completely deleting it from the footage. I also learnt how to effectively add music to my footage both from the internet and from the pre-recorded songs on Final Cut Pro, this helped my efficiently use all of the resources available in order to correctly find the right track for our sequence and one we believed fit it properly.

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This was the biggest thing within our sequence was the editing that was done to the sequence to give it the correct feel and mood throughout. As our genre was an Action Thriller I believed that we needed a brighter more vibrant filter that would give the sequence life, instead of a darker more dingy filter that would commonly be used for horrors. The filters we used were more about the aesthetics than lighting and we didn’t use the filters to full effect as we colour corrected them so that they gave the sequence a better and more natural feel than one that had been changed too much. Furthermore, I kept the sequence transitions relatively simple and ensures that they fit in well with the whole sequence, title sequence and ultimately the aesthetics of the film. I had them cut fast to the next shot I only added a cross dissolve on one shot that I thought it was necessary to give it a better feel. The title sequence that we incorporated was also very simple, we did plan on adding motion tracking but was unable to do this due to time restraints.

I have added an image below showcasing our work with added soundtrack, sound effects, filters and titles and imported footage within the software called Final Cut Pro.

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Below is an image that shows all of the footage and edits made to our final piece on the software Final Cut Pro and the image below that illustrates all of our imported footage, sound effects, soundtracks and images.

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This research helped me and my group to choose the type of genre we wanted to create for our opening sequence as we knew what these genres would include which helped us to deliver these features properly. During the creation of my final piece I decided to review movies of the same or similar genres to see what it was we actually had to incorporate into our sequence, I also found directors commentary where he basically talks about the movie, its creation and what they wanted to create.

I took a number of different aspects into consideration before I began editing the sequence mainly the sound effects and soundtrack. As we were creating an Social Realism/ Action Thriller we wanted to ensure that we had a soundtrack that really fit well into the sequence and give the same feel to the sequence as we intended, so for me choosing the correct soundtrack was a priority over everything else. I also spent a lot of time looking for some pre-made sound effects that were going to be used within the sequence, like a gun cocking sound and gunshot. I used my experience and jolted my memory to get the right sound effects by watching some of my favourite Action Thriller movies again and writing down what I heard and what I thought that we could also use in our sequence. When I listened to our sequence without sound it really didn’t have the same feel, so I was stuck on adding the smallest sounds into the sequence to make it feel more real. This includes sound effects like footsteps and the opening and closing of doors and we did originally plan on recording these through foley. however, when we listened back through the sequence we believed that much of the sound could be heard without going to the extent of foley to make it sound better, so I just turned the sound up slightly.

Construction

In terms of the construction of our opening sequence there was a lot to consider and there was a lot that was to be done in order for us to achieve our initial aims and to meet the expectations from our teachers. The first thing we took into account was the camera and other equipment not only did I learn what all of the different pieces of equipment is but I also learnt how to use them effectively, especially the camera and editing software. When filming our opening sequence I effectively learnt what the different features of the Nikon DSLR and what they do to the footage being shot e.g. aperture, focusing, low depth of field and wide depth of field etc. We used a Nikon DSLR camera for the filming of our opening sequence.

At first I got confused with all of the options and the different features that were included but once I found out the first time… I never forgot. I recorded the footage confidently as I already knew a lot of the other aspects as I have used a DSLR before but only for taking photographs not filming, this meant I already knew about the aperture and focusing because I knew that if you zoom the camera in or out you would also have to alter the focus to match the zoom or the footage would come out blurry. I am happy with the footage that I produced during the filming of the opening sequence as it was crisp and clean and I would definitely love to do anymore filming in the future as I thought it was the most fun part whilst creating the whole opening sequence.

Nikon

Evaluation – Question 5

Question 5: How did you attract/ address your audience?

AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers

In order to address the audience we created a questionnaire posted in a previous blog post called Planning & Research Questionnaire where we asked a total of 34 people what their favourite genres were when they watched a movie, the top three were; Social Realism, Comedy & Thriller. So with our opening sequence meaning to have aspects from Social Realism and Thriller we thought that these results were successful.

Following on from the last questionnaire we conducted I have chosen to create another but this time I wanted the audience to see whether they could correctly identify the genre, whether they find both Thriller & Social Realism or just one. The questionnaire and its results will be posted below.

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The results are presented through a pie chart below. We asked 15 people to re-watch our opening sequence and answer the questionnaire. When everyone had watched the content of  our opening sequence we asked them all to give us a particular scene that helped them with their choice of genre that they had chosen, many of them gave us the gun scene others the drug scene. Our group had hoped that these two scenes would make (or break) the sequence in terms of the genre and hoped they would the be the significant scenes for them viewers.

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Here is are screen-grabs of the gun scene we have within our final piece video…

The Protagonist

Shot 1:

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Shot 2:

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Shot 3:

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The Antagonist

Shot 1:

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Shot 2:

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Shot 3:

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Here are the results of the second question that we asked the audience, the question was ‘do you think that there are aspects from multiple genres involved?’ and as you can see from the results many did say that there was. The specific genres people identified ranged between three genres, though this isn’t showcased within a table or graph. The three genres was Action Thriller (50% of people said this), Social Realism (35% of people said this) and Crime Thriller. (15% of people said this)

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13 out of the 15 people who re-watched our opening sequence said that they would want to watch the rest of the movie to find out what happens, the other two simply said the genre(s) aren’t what they’d usually watch. However, they did praise the sequence by saying that they knew why everything happened and what was happening… Basically good narrative.

Below are some footage of people who watched our opening sequence give us some feedback including some praise and any criticisms identified.

Feedback Number 1:

Feedback Number 2:

Feedback Number 3:

Feedback Number 4:

Evaluation – Question 4

Question 4: Who would be the audience for your Media product?

AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers

The Cast

Above is an illustration showing you the type of people the sequence is typically aimed towards, they are 16-17 years old… But it is aimed towards teenagers 15 or over.

The audience for our opening sequence has changed over the course of our planning for our final piece, with careful consideration the age range we are aiming our opening sequence at is 15. We have come to this decision after looking at the different aspects and issues you would find in 12, 15 and 18 rated films and we then had to eliminate the different issues that were within these films. When looking at what we had included within our opening sequence in relation to the drugs and weapons we straight away decided against anything under the age of 12, however we then considered the issues further and evaluated the aspects involved in 15 rated movies, generally they include: sexually nudity, mild language, strong violence, discrimination and drug use. The aspects of 15 rated movies compared to that of 12 rated movies were a big difference and seemed fitting with the content of our particular opening sequence.

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Above is a screen grab from our opening sequence which shows a weapon being aimed towards another character within the sequence, this particular incident may make children watching the sequence unsettled and could upset them, especially once the gunshot towards the end happens. Furthermore, with the fact that the opening sequence is based around the use of drugs and seemingly promotes drug use and violence then we thought it would be best that the sequence should be aimed at viewers from the age of 15 or above.

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Here is another screen grab from our opening sequence in this shot it shows the protagonist draw a gun at the antagonist underneath the table and cocking it. This could again unsettle many younger viewers especially at the point after this particular shot as the screen then goes black and a loud gunshot is then heard, it is exaggerated by the black screen.

Evaluation – Question 3

Question 3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers

I believe that a film company like Vertigo Films would be the type to distribute our film, this is simply because it is not a Hollywood film company it is a low-budget film company. Our film isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster and this is shown through our company Ident. To find out what a distributor does ‘click here’ and you will be re-directed to a previous blog post about distributing and distributors.

I took the liberty of researching into low-budget film companies and Hollywood film companies to take a closer look at their idents they have created. This helped me to gather enough of an idea to create our own for our opening sequence; this was done by looking into the different features and aspects that idents have. I looked at the length of each ident, the creative side of each ident and the text itself and took these aspects into consideration when creating our own ident for Intent to Supply, our final piece.

Here are examples of blockbuster movie companies idents below:

Idents

When it came too looking into different company idents our group didn’t want to settle with an ident used for real film companies we wanted to creat our own to use for our final piece. When thinking of ideas for our ident I quickly looked through my research notes and researched some more on other idents for inspiration, however I knew that it didn’t have to be the best ident ever it just had to present our company so we didn’t want to make it too clever with too much going on.

To decide on what we wanted to do we had a group meeting and shared ideas and we got together to create our company ident, though most of it was down to Connor Smith for the most part in terms of the creation as he had the necessary software. We didn’t have much trouble making the decision and to prove it we didn’t have any drafts for any other ideas, so our group had a pretty good idea what we wanted.

Here is our ident below:

The ident is relatively simple and plain but that’s what we wanted to achieve with the ident just to reiterate we didn’t want there to be too much going on, we wanted to make it simple and easy to read.

Evaluation – Question 2

Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers

Character 1 – The Protagonist

The Crew - Erin

This character is a teenage male around 16-17 years of age and he comes from England, this character is presented as a middle class person and used in a more socially realistic way to the other character (The antagonist) mainly down to the different morals and ways of thinking, they simply oppose each other. At first the audience is meant to kind of sympathise with the character as he seems to be nervous with what he does, however as the sequence goes on the audience are made to think about why this character acts the way he does and why he pushes others away. The fact that he deals drugs they can almost assume he also does these drugs himself, the audience haven’t been given any incline towards this idea and therefore it is left to their imagination.

In the beginning of the sequence the character is fully clothed from head to toe, however the look seems as though he is up to something and is not what many people would normally dress like… even on a cold day. This is to fully express the seriousness of the action he is about to do and presents the idea that he may be trying to hide his identity so nobody can identify him as a person. As the scene continues and he gets to his home he takes off these clothes almost immediately, this suggests that the potential problems and dangers are no longer within his vicinity so there is no need to hide his identity, the character is perceptive and weary all the way through.

The character is portrayed as this rough, perceptive and a clever teenage male and his looks fully express this as his hair is long, untouched almost like he hasn’t brushed it for a long time with a face that looks like it hasn’t seen a shower for a couple of days too. This is a subverted stereotype especially for teenagers as they are generally known to worry about what they look like in public and are very self conscious, which this character isn’t and this is a contrast.

Character 2 – The Antagonist

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The second character also portrayed as a male antagonist and is roughly the same age as the protagonist, around 16-17 years old he lives in the same village in the same country which is England and is again portrayed as a middle class teenager. In contrast to the protagonist this character is showcased as the sensible one out of the two, trying to pursued his friend to stop with the drugs, he is resilient and generally won’t take no for an answer. This is portrayed throughout the sequence in with his perception and defectiveness as he seeks to find out information about the protagonist through simple questions like ‘Where have you been?’ and ‘Are you still dealing?’ which give the suggestion that he is suspicious of him.

This character remains in the same position throughout the sequence, this suggests comfort and the fact that he may have been waiting for the protagonist to return for a while. He is still wearing his coat inside, the perception here is that he may be planning something once the protagonist returns or that he may soon be leaving again, all is shown at the end of the sequence. His hair seemingly looks like it has recently been tended to this gives us the typical signs of a stereotypical teenager where they are vein and like to look their best wherever they are. Throughout the course of the opening sequence he sits relatively comfortably with a smug look on his face which suggests that he knows information about the protagonist that he may not be sharing, or that he has his suspicions about the whole ordeal.

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With these characters in place and in the sequence we can almost certainly say it will appeal to a younger audience from the ages of 16-20 and males maybe up to 25 simply because more and more teenagers are now into drugs, especially in the 21st century maybe not the type used but definitely other types and maybe they would be able to connect to the protagonist better and with the fact that the characters are teenagers it would be much easier to do this than if they were a little older. Moreover, as I have previously said the characters are generally contrasting and one of them are a typical yet unfair stereotypical teenager who does drugs the other not so and is inevitably a subverted stereotype, this would mean that two types of people would be able to connect to two very diverse personalities within this sequence.

Evaluation – Question 1

Question  1 – In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

AS Media – Evaluation Questions & Answers

Firstly, any opening sequence within a movie you see will set the setting, characterisation, genre and the narrative to the audience and I fully believe that our opening sequence does just that. The setting is set relatively well within the first minute or so showcased through numerous shots, though they aren’t specifically establishing shots you can definitely identify where it is set through the different camera angles used e.g. the CCTV camera nearer the beginning of our opening sequence.

Characterisation & Ideology

The characterisation of both the protagonist and antagonist is set relatively clearly within the opening sequence, though watching the opening sequence you can see a slight change in the protagonist as it continues. This was an important factor within the opening sequence for both characters, simply because we aimed to have a character that is a friend yet follows different rules as the protagonist and tries to stop him from doing what he likes. The protagonist begins very panicky and a bit nervous in the first shot as he’s about to perform a transaction with someone, however towards the end of the sequence he is presented as a calm person who enjoys doing his ‘job’.

We also believe that the ideology is set relatively well within the sequence to show who’s side the audience should be on, this is because the protagonist has much more film time and is seemingly being told what to do by his friend. This convention was purposely placed into the sequence as we wanted to make the antagonist start off relatively calm and caring, yet towards the end more forward and past caring… this is shown through the gun act. With this in mind in the first half of the sequence the protagonist is shown to be the weaker and less influential character in comparison to the antagonist. Yet he isn’t, this is shown from a low angle shot as he slides the money across the table towards the antagonist. The antagonist is portrayed in a different light throughout the opening sequence as he is presented as the more sensible and caring one out of the two, this is showcased through the dialogue where he continuously tells the protagonist to “stop dealing drugs.”

I believe that the extreme close-up of the eye was an effective shot this is because it shows how the protagonist may be under the influence of something as he seemingly cannot concentrate or keep looking at something for very long. I am a fan of the Country and Western films like The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and I remember the famous scene where three cowboys are in a face off, the extreme close-up of the eyes struck me and I felt that I wanted to use something like that within my own opening sequence. Though they are contrasting ideas of the eyes e.g. one shot is showcasing concentrated eyes, the other not so much I believe that it is an effective shot for both movies, this is where I got my inspiration from.

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Setting & Visual Style

The visual style and setting are presented through the different shots and camera angle used; these were shot to ultimately show the action effectively with mainly medium shots, close-ups and extreme close-ups of what is happening. The CCTV styled camera mixed with the extreme close-up of the drug deal showed and presented a more post-modern feel to the opening sequence as this may not have been possible 20-25 years ago. Also the fact that the CCTV camera was scratchy and had a lot of interference suggested that the area was rundown and that a minority of people would use that area to travel through, this would make it a perfect place for actions like that. The setting of the house is firstly presented by a simple wide shot of the front garden, this effectively presented the location in which the sequence was going to be set for most part. 

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We decided to use this particular location of a house instead of an abandoned rundown building or old house simply because we wanted to showcase to the audience that the protagonist isn’t a poor character and can afford the necessities in life, this is generally subverted as you would typically see someone who is struggling do drugs and deal them. This is supposed to suggest that there is a reason for this addiction as he wouldn’t have started it without a reason, this reason is supposed to be hinted throughout the sequence and the gun scene is supposed to trigger much more to his life than the rest of the sequence suggests.

Genre

Finally, the genre is showcased and identified relatively early on within the sequence mainly through the drug deal and the other problems the protagonist faces throughout the sequence. The genre we have chosen to create is British Social Realism; this is meant to kind of subvert the stereotypes that ALL teenagers do drugs in Britain. The message is to place the real social experiences of Britons in the 21st century into a short clip that pushes the boundaries of past movies created within this genre. For example; early on in the cinema days of Social Realism women were presented as the inferior race in comparison to men which was real at that time, however nowadays more and more teenagers are doing different types of drugs (ARE GROUP DOESN’T) and this is meant to showcase what they would risk to do this, and present other challenges they face.

 

Naming The Final Video

When naming our title sequence we found it difficult to find one that really matched our style and fit with the content, we initially had a few names listed that we thought would be great to use the only job was to eliminate them. However, instead of doing this ourselves I went around and asked numerous people (15 to be precise) e.g. friends and family to see which name they preferred out of the ones we thought of… I put these results into a tally chart. These options were:IMG_1187

In the end we all decided to go with the highest vote and use Intent To Supply as we also believed that it fit very well with what the sequence is about. We originally discovered this name on a sticker we located on the back of a van when walking through the village to film, here is the image below…

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Final Additions

Once we had successfully added the soundtrack, titles and added features to our opening sequence our only job was to add the final touches and fine tune the everything so that it fit continuously. Over the past two or three days I did just that by firstly ensuring that the shots have continuity all the way through, so it isn’t choppy and gave it a better feel. I then made sure that the added sound effects and soundtrack suited the content of the sequence and gave the sequence the emotions and feel that we initially aimed for.

Once everything had been effectively completed to the ideal standards all I needed to do was render it and upload it to YouTube.We did this through Final Cut Pro itself by clicking on a small icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen…

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After I clicked on this icon I then clicked on the YouTube option in the drop-down menu…

Uploading