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.
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.
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.
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.