In what way do my media products use develop or challenge conventions of real media products?
After researching previous films of the same genre, I learnt that consistency and use of conventions was very important into production of my media package.
For my poster I used two main colours in order to create my own theme, and to allow the audience to be able to recognize the film instantly. I used the colours white and orange to provide a light and vibrant feel that is also visually attractive and eye catching. I used the same image and font for both my website and my poster in order to create consistency throughout my media package.
I also used the font steel tongs in my billing block to follow the conventions of other movies of the same genre. Had I used another font this would make my poster look amateurish and unprofessional.
However, I challenged conventions by using an image with more than two characters from the film. This is unusual, as most other poster images from movies of the same genre only contain one or two of the main characters, were as mine has the two main characters and their friends, who in this case are considered as secondary characters. This image is effective in showing a hidden relationship between the two main characters as they are both at the back of the shot, and the characters in front are unaware of their relationship. This also helps the audience gain an understanding of the narrative.
Another convention that I maintained from current media products, is the use of adding small quotes from reviews published by tabloids such as the daily mail and the times and from periodicals such as empire. The quote I used is effective in creating hype about my movie. By placing a positive quote on the poster I am able to alter the audiences perception of the movie by giving them positive feedback from a acclaimed critic.
Other conventional elements that I maintained were the uses of a large bubble fonts such as in ‘Knocked up’. Using this font instead of a sharper font gives connotations that show the film to be up beat and to be a feel good film. This further aids the audience to create a image of what they believe the film will be like.
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of a real media product?
From the very start of my teaser trailer I have clearly stuck to conventions. As with most teaser trailers, I began with institutional information in the form of the green audience approval screen. following this in the next scene I included the credits of the institution that I decided would be appropriate for my movie and its genre: Columbia pictures has produced such movies as ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ and ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ . From this I found it suitable to use as for my initial credit screen
In order for the audience to gain a full preview of the film through the teaser trailer narrative timeline is a key element. As with such movie trailer such as ‘Juno’ I used a clear narrative timeline so the audience can gauge enough of the storyline for them to make an informed decision (whether or not to view the movie) but not revealing enough of the narrative to maintain the enigma that is formed, allowing me to keep a ‘wow factor’ that a trailer should maintain. I also followed conventions by introducing new characters throughout the trailer. This enables the audience to create a brief relationship with the movie. This method is also used in trailers for films such as ‘Knocked up’, ‘Juno’, and ‘Nick & Nora’s infinite playlist’.
In order to create a theme, I used the same image, font, background and colours in both my website and my poster. This will allow the audience to make a simple affiliation between both parts of the media package. This is generic of most media packages created by professionals who create modern media pieces for companies such as Disney, Columbia pictures and universal dream catcher. Placing my trailer in the centre of the screen makes it easily visible and draws the views attention directly too it.
As mentioned before I used the same image for my poster as my website. This has one minor downfall as the trailer on the website is placed directly over the picture. If I were to redo this area of my project I would think about the placement of my trailer in context of the placement of my image.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
The use of two consistent typefaces’s for the film title and captions makes the combination of the product and ancillary texts effective. As mentioned before the film title typeface: Np Naipol all in one and the captions and tagline on website ‘American Typewriter’. However although they are consistent a criticism of the usage of the typeface of the film title is that within the trailer an effect ‘bad film’ has been put onto the film title, this ‘bad film’ film effect has now differed the brand identity of the film slightly, this could have been critical however the static effect on the trailer connotes the definition of paranormal and still shows some consistent elements to the typeface usage on the ancillary texts. ‘American Typewriter’ typeface has been used for the captions within the trailer, the caption ‘And you start experiencing paranormal activities’ has been manipulated so that this ‘bad film’ effect is present. The caption is almost static and has a similar effect to the film title at the end. Linking this caption effect to the website tagline ‘You are about to experience the most psychologically disturbing footage’ reflects this idea of the experience of paranormal activities. The audience further contemplate whether this effect is apart of the trailer or question themselves of whether it was a figure of their imagination.
On my poster the image is a close up (CU) of the victim, on the website the image of the victim is shown from a different angle in a medium shot (MS). The handheld documentary grainy style of the image was edited on the software imovie using the transitions to give this amateur effect; however my trailer unfortunately does not follow this consistently due to a technical issue of the video filter not being available on Final Cut Pro during production. However the image that has been used on the poster and website does feature unedited within the trailer towards the end when the camera movement is zooming into the victims face. The audience tend to see a film poster before the website therefore I chose to use a close up image on the poster a medium shot on the website, each piece of promotional material reveals slightly more of the identity of the character. The use of actors within my trailer and ancillary texts are consistent, within my film I have used two main characters of which both are of the female gender. The main character within the film; female B is the ‘face’ of the ancillary texts, due the fact that her sphere role (according to Propp) of being the ‘victim’ is maintained within the film, the audience are able to build a relationship with this character, from the beginning all the way throughout the film to the end, from the audience’s point of view there is no sense of portrayal or deception as this characters sphere is not reversed like the other.
Although some of the points mentioned above seem an effective combination throughout my media product’s there were elements within my media product’s that were proven not effective such as the institutional information. Lions Gate Entertainment and Haxan Films together produced ‘The Blair Witch Project’, as mentioned in my planning I chose these two production companies to produce my film. Firstly a criticism of the placement of institutional logos on my media products was that I put the ‘Artisan Films’ logo onto my poster and website forgetting that in 2003 the acquisition of Artisan Films by Lions gate Entertainment meant that ‘Artisan Films’ was no longer in operation. The second criticism in terms of the ‘Artisan Films’ institutional logo was that I had included it within my ancillary texts however I had excluded from my trailer. Even if there was usage of a production company that no longer exists there was still no consistency within the three products, thus reducing the effectiveness of the combination of the products. However on the positive side I can confidently say that the placement of each logo on the poster and website are off an equal distance apart from each other, they are also in the same order on each media text, however Lions Gate Entertainment should be shown before the Haxan Films logo as shown in the trailer.
Within the ancillary texts there is a strong sense of enigma (Barthe) which is generated through the use of a tagline ‘no leads, no witnesses, no body…until now’. Although the ancillary texts are enigmatic I think that the trailer itself reveals too much of the narrative (action code). The audience know by watching the trailer that it is her friend who went missing that is triggering the paranormal experiences to occur. A strategy to improve and overcome this could be to reduce the amount of narrative within the trailer e.g. cut out the seconds where the audience have to watch female B sleeping within the third act nearer the end of the trailer. Making this improvement would make the combination of the three media products seem more enigmatic.
What have you learnt from audience feedback?
From my audience feedback I have leant that my teaser trailer was effective in portraying the narrative of the movie and stuck to a fair few common conventions of modern media packages.
Comments left on youtube such as ‘Very good, I like the way all the characters are introduced as the trailer moves on, but some lighting adjustments need to be made next time’, made me consider how I could use the lighting equipment I used ore effectively to create a clearer picture.
4) How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation?
Construction: In the construction of my product I used a ‘Cannon mini DV MD205’ to film all of my footage. I also used ‘Final Cut Pro’ to edit the majority of my footage and used ‘Avid’ to crop and edit a small amount o footage. I used garage band to create my backing music
Research: In my research I used facebook to post polls in order to gain audience feedback. I also used a website called poll-springs in which I placed further poll to gain audience feedback.