Evaluation (written)

Poster evaluation:

In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

When it came to creating my poster product for my romantic comedy/drama, I closely analysed three relative poster of the same genre to help my product become as realistic as possible. Firstly I closely studied the Back-Up Plan poster, straight away from looking at it you can tell exactly what type of genre it is and exactly what it’s trying to get across to the target audience. I then also studied Valentine’s Day, which also had the same effect as before with it showing the genre with its colours, shapes and even its title.  Finally I analysed Dear John which showed its genre mainly through the imagery with the main characters being closely huddled together. With all my research products I was able to incorporate different elements from each of these posters into my own to make it as realistic as I could. With the layout of the Back-Up Plan posters title I found it interesting and the positional of the characters on either side of the page. The theory fitted together with my narrative. I used this style of layout within my poster but developed it to fit with my narrative to the best ability as I could. I positioned my characters the same as The Back-Up plan analysis to show the development from my research. The only problem I had was the colours of the clothes my characters wore were too dark to be able to read the institutional information at the bottom of my poster. To improve this I re-took my photographs again using the same hardware as before included my characters from head to toe so they were able to balance on the institutional information so that it was readable to my audience. My tag-line came from my Dear John analysis, I used the words within its tag-line but changed the words slightly in incorporate my title and make it my own. When it came to the institutional information across the bottom of the page, each of the posters I analysed were different with their layout. Out of them all I found the Valentine’s Day layout interesting and different and made the release date more noticeable to my audience. Relating to classical narrative theories these being; Barthes’ code, Tzvetan Todorov’s Equilibrium and the outdated Vladimir Propp’s Folk Tale. For all different types of films, each theory does have its own relevance, but not all exactly fit in with my genre and narrative. With the elements included within each of their theories I am able to use these ideas to incorporate into my products. Barthes’ includes actions and enigmas which is the main fundamental element of a trailer, not exactly the action but the enigma for the audience to see a trailer and want to know the ending to the narrative meaning they have to see the film itself. Its signs and symbols, different genres have their own signs and symbols from horror films with blood, bad weather and night time to romantic films including happy expressions, hearts and sunshine. These can also be included within my poster and website products, to show more about the genre to the audience to give a better understanding to those who may find the film to their taste. As for Todorov’s Equilibrium, his falls together in five stages forming a narrative order. This can be included within my products but not from beginning to end as it starts in a state of equilibrium and ends with a new one which will then give away the enigma of my narrative. But on the other hand overall this would fit in with an entire narrative of a majority of genres. This does not include a trailer as it has not got the entire narrative within its preview. Within my poster I am able to include romantic signs and symbols of facial expressions and colours incorporating his theory into my work. To keep my poster simple and neat I stuck with a colour theme of black and a deep romantic red on a plain white background. This kept my institutional information clear and visible to read along with my title and other elements on my poster. Referring to the  dress codes of my characters on my poster, I was able to relate it to my narrative and title by dressing my male character in a university rode and hat to show the story of the characters being separated which then ties in with my title ‘Distance’ showing I have challenged the theories and conventions to create my own poster within my narrative.

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

From my audience feedback I was able to learn the positive and negative features of my poster product. When considering my target audience, I asked people of a similar age to  my characters which I used within my promotional package. After showing my product to a few people my product I got a similar feedback from each candidate. The main positive points consisted of the distance between my characters showing its relevance to my title choice. My choice of fonts suited well together and also tied in with my genre. One response commented on visibility of the release date and the tag line being relative to my narrative and a good development from my analysis. Others commented on the heart showing it is a romantic film and the expression on the female characters face  tells a part to the narrative with an unhappy part to the story. As well as there being positive responses there were also negative ones which I found productive. They commented on the different style I choose to present my institutional information, developing from the Valentine’s Day poster. Although I thought it was a creative idea others didn’t find the feet on my characters covering part of the wording of the institutional information along the bottom of my poster. The letter D from the title of my film narrative from a side angle to some of my feedback responses was also not completely readable. I could have changed the font slightly to make it more understand able but from reading the smaller print at the bottom of my poster could make up for this. All this feedback was useful to me and I now know the positive points to my product and they ways in which I could have improved it.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

During the construction and research, planning and even my evaluation stages I was able to use many different types of new technologies to create the perfect poster product. For my research it consisted mainly of internet research where I was able to use Google search to find copies of the film posters I was closely studying to give myself a better idea of what to include within my own poster. To give myself a more confident idea of the level of standard I would be able to achieve, I also had a look at previous students work on their WordPress blogs. With these results I put together a majority of my analysis work on Microsoft Word. Also using Microsoft word I put together a questionnaire which a response of 20 people of my target audience, again of a similar age who answered in a tally form. To make my results more clearly, I then put together my answer into graphs using Microsoft excel, and then again back to Microsoft Word to explain my results in full. As well as doing a questionnaire for my audience research I also put together a focus group using Microsoft Word, this shows that I have used different research preference methods for my planning and preparation for all my products, including my poster. To push my audience research further I also created three separate online polls to relate a simple question to each of my promotional products, I did this by using the poll section on the WordPress blog website. This was very effective as students were able to vote on the answer in which they thought was most suitable for me to respond to and use in my products. Just before starting my poster product I closely analysed the layout of each film poster I chose to put together three alternative draft flat plans, so I was able to consider the four key elements; narrative structure, generic elements, representation and target audience before starting the real thing. When taking my images for my poster, as I am also a photography student I was able to book the lighting equipment to take a high megapixel image using a still digital SLR camera. Using a software which I am already familiar with Adobe Photoshop I was then able to enhance my image further by editing the lighting, where I used the adjustment levels and brightness to add the professional lighting effect to show the detail and features more clearly. I then cut out the background to make it much easier for me to construct my poster overall. Within the process of editing my images, I used many different tools from; the selection tool to select each section of my images. I also used a took called the magnetic lasso tool, where I slowly connected the dots together around my characters to then cut them out into a new layer with an invisible background. With the smaller bits that I didn’t manage to reach I finished my editing of by erasing the unnecessary bits. To upload each of my progressions and research I also used the same website as previous years, WordPress to record my work so that it is all kept together. The advantages of knowing how to use this digital technology and having the facilities at my college, it makes the process much easier and faster to create. It also gives a better ending results with being able to air brush away the original photographic mistakes and create the most professional product possible.

Website evaluation:

In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

When it came to creating my website for part of my promotional package, as I did before with my poster research, I again closely studied the same films that I previously selected for each poster but instead focused on their individual websites. The Back-Up Plan website was well thought out and put together, with a sort of animation set up with the control of the mouse curser to be able to move down an American street of similar places visited within the film itself. The second was the Valentine’s Day website, which was similar with its layout to the previous analysis with a continuous side scrolling option showing all the featured characters. It fitted in well with its narrative as the film itself included so many different characters. It included a version of the DVD cover itself on one side along with the trailer automatically played on the other with a scrolling down option to view the institutional information and other page links on its opening page, with a link taking the viewers to the homepage itself. The final analysis again was the Dear John website, although this one was the simplest one of the three it was still affective with its continued image across the entire home page with an automatic music player with featured demos from the films soundtrack. Each of the films I studied had already been released which may be the reason for the trailers not being visible at all times to the viewers, as some elements of their promotional packages change their layout before its release. From each analysis I found some elements particularly useful and interesting to use and develop into my promotional product. Although I would have loved to create a website similar to the Back-Up Plan it would be impossible with the fact of our trailers only being trailers and not entire films to start with. These would also have been produced by professionals with a lot more time on there hands than a media student and I was unable to access the types of software professionals use rather than the limited access I have at college. I do like the colours used within the trailer with the romantic elements showing the genre which is what I developed into my own website product. As well as the website included an automatic opening page with the trailer preview with is then closed after used and the website accessible, I used the layout of Valentine’s Day opening page within my product so that the trailer preview was visible throughout the product preview. To make it my own I did challenge the layout and place the trailer preview between my two main characters to still keep the consistency of ‘distance’ between them relating to my title. All of the website analysis’s included soundtrack players online the top or bottom of the homepage. I decided to include this within my website with the optional play/pause bottom depending on whether my audience would consider it player throughout their exploring. As each film I selected used a chosen theme of colours throughout their promotional packages I also did the same. This helped to keep my products neat and consistent throughout their production, as before I used colours that were visible on a white background and also suitable for my chosen genre. Each analysis included images that had also used on their posters and followed through within their website packages, this again shows its consistency which is why I also develop each of my products with the same images to keep my promotional package consistent. As Valentine’s Day included the names of each character in a credit form across the bottom of their promotional products and the Back-Up Plan included Jennifer Lopez name across the top with the celebrity status, Dear John included both the characters name from corner to corner across the top which is the layout I decided was most suitable for mine. Each website included a navagation to other pages in the form of images to click on and wording that was selectable. I included both these elements showing my development from each form or layout. I listed a selected amount of relevant words which I found suitable for my website and also included smaller imagery icons which the Dear John website had developing from each separate analysis. With the institutional information, I used the same layout as the Valentine’s Day one that I also used within my poster. This time to slightly change the layout, I placed the release date in line with the top row of the writing so that my character was able to balance on the top along with the layout idea I used for the left side of the website and the poster before. My tagline was positioned on the lower part of my page with the same wording. This time I didn’t layer each line the same as my poster as I wanted the wording to fit along the bottom on the trailer preview so that the layout was neat and professional.

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

As I did before with my poster, I got my target audience to give me relevant feedback on my website product. Starting with the positive response, they found the simple layout of my page suitable, likeable and realistic in comparison to the analysed choices. Some commented on the consistence of the image being used for both the poster and the website, which is relative to other websites they had previewed before. One response commented on the automatic trailer preview being directly in the left centre of the page with its heart featured icons to follow through with its genre. As well as the good response the negative comments were also useful. They showed me that my tag line is readable but could have been bigger to fill in some of the dead space. This could have been effect on the title as well to fill in some of the space above the trailer box. Although I did try to spread my characters out far enough to show the distance and fit the trailer preview box in but some responses showed that they thought it could have been slightly bigger. The final main response from my response also showed that they found the institutional information significantly smaller than the previous copy on the poster product, which I could have structured more effectively.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

During the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages of my website product, I was able to use many different media technologies to produce the best possible result. The research that I put together was the same throughout which I used well to fit in with each of my products. I put together a questionnaire which was creating on Microsoft Word included relevant questions for my audience to respond to to help me with potential ideas for my product. With the results the questionnaire relating to my website production was made into graphs, using Microsoft Excel. This made it easier to present my findings to my audience and explain in detail along side them. As before I glanced at the previous years work on WordPress to give myself an idea on an interesting and effective layout which also tied in with my internet research of the films I chose to analyse.  To find the website for each film I analysed I used Google search which brought me straight to the relevant link to each. I found this way much easier than using YouTube as it didnt also give me the result I wanted with there being so many different options to chose from. As well as creating a questionnaire within my audience research, I also created an online poll by using the poll selection on the WordPress website itself. This enabled my audience to vote on the best possible answer to my question. I then closely analysed my film websites to give myself an idea on the best suitable layout for my product. Using paint, put together three flat plan ideas using boxes and simple wording to inspire my creative ability. This also gave me the chance to really consider the four key elements; narrative structure, generic elements, representation and target audience before starting the real thing. As I liked the four different navigation bars used within the analysis websites, I create my own using iweb so it was able to function properly. For my imagery I used the same images I took using a professional SLR digital camera and editing them in Adobe Photoshop. Again I used the relevant tools to enhance my original images to the full. This was to show the consistency between my products and to not confuse my audience with a series of different images throughout my promotional package. I also included a few added extra images which would then potentially become short-cut links to pages as well as adding more character to my page. To how my progression I uploaded each stage onto the WordPress blog to keep my work in order and consistent.

Trailer evaluation:

 

In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

 

When it came to creating my final trailer, I began by closely and repetitively watching each film trailer I chose to analyse to relate to each cut and effect to include within mine. As the most important part to my genre is love I wanted to gain a good understanding on the types of romantic shots each trailer used. Within the trailer of the Back-Up Plan it includes more comedy scenes than romance. Each shot was cut sharply rather than an expected dissolving effect. But further into the trailer it includes long scenes of romance. I challenged these ideas within my own trailer by including both long and cut short shots but still be able to recognise the romance. Valentine’s Day is the first most expected choice to analyse when it comes to romance as its all in the name. Although it does again include both dissolving and cut short effect, due to the amount of characters and the limited timing within a trailer, there are more cut’s included between each scene so that its audience is able to visualise the number of famous actors within. To show the development from my analysis I included cut’s within my trailer and important scenes within giving to much away. Finally Dear John out of them all is the most romantic film as it doesn’t include as much comedy to the others. This made it easy to relate to and was out of the three my favourite choice. Its choice of cross dissolve effects were interesting and fitted well together with its genre. I chose to include these mainly within my trailer as I thought it was he best kind of dissolving to use in a romantic film trailer. I used this idea to copycat it into my own. When I came to writing my narrative for my entire film, I took into consideration my raw research of the narrative theories from Barthes’ codes, Todorov’s Equilibrium and even Vladimir Propp’s Folk Tales. Each theory does have its relevance some more to different genres and fairy tales rather than realistic life stories and changes within life from the past. But I did think about some important elements when putting together my narrative followed by my storyboards, shot list and script. As all trailers are suppose to include enigmas to create the purpose for its audience to want to see the film it does need to use signs and symbols, structures and descriptive notations in order to piece together the perfect film trailer. Researching Barthes’ code I thought about these elements which my analysed trailers also considered with there narrators over writing the filmed voices and the captions included between shots to tell the narrative more clearly to the target audience as well as through filming. I also used this idea and incorporated my tagline within my teaser trailer. As for Todorov’s Equilibrium, some of his five stages do relate mainly to an entire narrative rather than just a trailer as it would give away the story itself following the stages. But his idea of a state of equilibrium does come in mind to show the happy and sad sides within the trailer and being able to put both these elements together without giving away the reason for the disruption and recognition. The Dear John trailer does include a lot of the narrative and shows both the before and after stages of the disruption and recognition and also other shots which are only answered to by watching the film itself. I challenged this idea by including shots from before my character moves away and by not knowing weather the distance will separate them or not. Each trailer included short close ups of elements relevant to each scene and to help explain exactly what is going on. I included shots similar to these showing a text message followed by there reaction. This clearly showed the reason for her reaction and the relevance to each of my film shots, in which I developed from my analysis’s. To show my development stages starting from the research when putting together my draft storyboards with simple drawings and annotation, I included shots I then filmed along with added extras I thought of throughout my filming process. My script was put together as a first draft but slightly altered during filming and following through my narrative. As I wasn’t able to have professional actors I didn’t want to include much talking between scenes at all to keep my film as realistic as possible without I being cheesy. Although consistency is still as important as the other two parts of my promotional package, with the dress I did try to dress my characters in relevant clothing show it isn’t completed different throughout my package, but I did want to have a range to make it seem as if the filming was taking over a number of months like an actually film would be. In relation to my narrative as well as the consistency of there clothing I also had to think carefully about the mise-en-scene with my characters being together and then apart. With my target audience feedback I was able to picture this set and wrote my script and drew my storyboard to show the stages within my trailer relating back to my findings.

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Just as before with my other products. I got my target audience to give me relevant feedback on what they thought about my first trailer draft. Starting with positive responses. A majority of them commented on the written elements of my descriptive tagline included in two parts within my trailer. They also commented on the soft element I created by places many dissolve effects between shots with it fitting in with the genre and not being so sharp and quick. They liked the fact the close-up shot of the phone was readable as well and well thought out and then the following shot relating back to it. One responded to the small shot of the bus leaving and thought it was effective although a train or a car would have been better. As well as these positive points there were also negative one which were still useful for me to know and be able to look back on. With the ‘I love you’ text my audience commented on the timing issue with not all of them being able to read it word for word in the space of a few seconds. They also thought the simple description was good but as I included the word ‘distance’ within my tagline I should have changed its colour and made it bolder with it being the title and would show consistency within the promotional package. One shot towards the end did flash by a little fast, but I was able to edit this during my second draft editing process. The animation element that I included with the dates of the calendar peeling off, some thought although I did edit this for a second time speed up time, it was still too long for the trailer.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

 

During the construction of my trailer as part of my promotional package, a long the way I used many different hardware’s and software’s of new media technologies to produce my trailer product. During my research stages I used You Tube and Google search to find the correct trailers and preview them consistently. I also used Google search to find reviews on each trailer to see opinions that others had on their viewing before putting together my audience research products and finding out my own results. To record both my audience research and analysis of this research, as I did before I used the Microsoft Word and Excel software’s to put together my findings and explain in detail my results from my target audience. When writing my treatment for my film, putting together my textual analysis, and creating my drafts for my storyboards, shot list and script. I used Microsoft Word and either inserted or copied these documents onto my WordPress Blog page. Throughout my filming process I used many different hardware’s. To film each individual scene I used a Mini DV Camcorder provided by my college, this gave me a good quality picture which was very useful and effective. These cameras store its memory onto a tape which is then accessible to our mac/pc logins using a firewire connection lead. I also used a tripod so I didn’t have camera shake within my shots and gave a professional finish to my scenes. Once each of my recordings were transferred onto my mac login, I was able to render and edit each shot  to the correct timing and cut out the unnecessary scenes between shooting my film. I did this using a software called Final Cut Pro. With my filming production being digital it meant each scene I was able to shot didn’t have to be in order of my narrative or storyboard as it is a non-linear process which made it much easier to edit and to film as I didn’t have to start my filming from the beginning. With being familiar with the software’s I used I was able to get on with what I was doing along with the odd thing I was new too. With the digital technologies being accessible to me I was able to explore into the filming experience and edit the non-linear shots to create a realistic result.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary text?

In comparison with my main product; my trailer, and ancillary texts I have tried my best to make it seem as realistic as possible. I started researching into films of similar genres to get a better understanding of the types of elements needed within my product that I may or may not have already known. Not only did I study shots and sequences but the house style of texts and fonts and consistent colour themes. Within my research I included pages of initial ideas on texts to use in my promotional package to show development throughout the process. Each poster, website and trailer that I analysed not only used consistent fonts and colours that fitted in with its genre and humour but also its narrative. With the Back-Up Plan using pinks and blues within the title, show its brightness with humour and pink being associated in some cases as the new red of love. But also the narrative of Jennifer Lopez being pregnant and us as the audience not knowing whether she has a boy or a girl relating back to the colour theme showing the initial baby colours for different genders. With the narrative of Dear John being a long-haul narrative with the Channing Tatum going away to fight, there isn’t a specific relevance to relate its colour theme or font style to, I do believe that they decided on a simple well organised finishing idea which fitted well with its genre and style overall, but I do think they could have been more creative and used a handwritten font with the narrative including letters to one another. Valentine’s Day also had the same idea as the Back-Up Plan include pink and the heart shape on their poster to show its genre and be able to incorporate all the relevant characters within the main production of their promotional package. Within my narrative I wanted to have a similar approach from each analysis. I have always found that handwritten fonts fit well with love narrative and thought my ‘sunshine in my soul’ font which I found on Dafont was very effective. I do think I could have improved it a little by editing it slightly to become my very own font rather than just installing it straight from the website itself, but overall I do like the result of it. This font was consistently used throughout each of my products not only as the title of the film, but the narrative captions between each of my shots within my trailer. I chose to do this as my analysis from each films promotional package also had a similar intake by using the same font(s) throughout theirs. Looking back at my finished products, I do find they worked well from my initial ideas and flat plans in the first place, but I do see some faults which I would have considered changing. My imagery I think is effect from developing the idea from the Back-Up Plan and incorporating dressing to fit my narrative, but I do think my female character could have had a more expressive emotion on her face in comparison to the hard work I put into dressing my male character. I do find my plain white background has both positive and negative aspects, with its simple, elegant effect following thought my poster product to my website product, but also at the same time I do believe it has developed a majority of dead space that could have been filled with a narrative element. For example; animation elements of scenes included within my filming as seen on the Back-Up Plan website. This would have definitely made my product stand out from the rest. Although I find my trailer worked well with in initial ideas from the start by not included an acting talking, I do think it would have worked well by included some elements of this. In comparison to the mark scheme, I do think I spent too much time working on my poster and website rather than concentrating mainly on my main trailer product.

 

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