1). In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
- I think my product is a stereotypical example of a real media product and it definitely uses the same forms and conventions as a feature length romcom. We used the basic theory of a romcom having the 'love triangle', with two boys wanting the same girl and at the end of the film the 'right boy' ends up with the girl he wants and they live happily ever after. Looking back I think we could of used a few more scenes with Luke (the Jock or 'bad guy') to show that Kate was already with someone and that he wasn't a nice guy.
- We did lots of research into the romcom genre looking into different types of media such as books, internet research, video clips about romcoms and also looking into the opening of feature length films (romcoms in particular) and how they set up the scenario/ situation and rest of the film.
- In our product we used our own production company (Stussy Productions) and a distribution company (Like Media), this links very well with real media products and the real media industry. Both of these companies would produce and distribute low budget films that are generally comedy, romance or romcom. (like optimum releasing for example).
2). How does your media product represent particular social groups?
- The film opening doesn't represent very many social groups however i don't think this matters for the opening because it doesn't last for very long. But if we were to make the rest of the film then i think we would represent more groups easily and this would help the film to sell because more people could relate to the characters in it and see how they would respond to the different situations.
- The social groups that we did represent were very stereotypical for an english secondary school. There were the 'jocks' (this is an American term however i think most people would be able to tell who they were) from other romcoms, the 'popular' girl they usually are pretty and very popular. We also included a 'nerd' or 'geek' this was Nick and they are usually different from the rest of the school and society in general.
3). What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
- We made up our own distribution company ('Like Media') however if I were to use a real distribution company that already exists then i would use 'Delanic Films'.
4). Who would be the audience for your media product?
- Our main target audience age range is 15-24, we looked at the BBFC ratings and from that we decided to classify it as a 15. We chose this because although it doesn't feature in the opening 2 minutes, the rest of the film would include mild swearing and a sex scene or 2.
- Also because it's set in a school and the central protagonist is a teenage boy it wouldn't appeal to most people above our target audience range. Most of the other actors are teenagers and the situations that they are in are stereotypical to teenagers so this would make the film sell to other teenagers and young people but might also put adults off from watching it.
5). How did you attract/ address your audience?
- We decided to attract our audience by using very stereotypical character's ('jock', 'geek' 'popular girl' etc) so the audience could recognise the genre of the film. Also setting the film in well known contexts settings and situations. We chose to do a romcom as opposed to just doing a romance so the humour would appeal to boys as well as girls. We chose the age to be 15 as opposed to 18 so that it's a wider audience range and it would appeal to more people.
6). What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
- We used lots of different technologies to produce our product such as the camcorders, tripods Macs, scanners voice recorders etc and we didn't have much knowledge on how to use these before we started the coursework task. I think i have definitely learnt a lot about technology and the process of filming, editing and producing a film.
- At first we thought it was really hard to get to grips with the equipment but once we got the hang of it it was a lot easier to use and we have definitely advanced from doing the preliminarily task.
- We used Apple programs such as iMovie 06 for editing the video clips, music, transitions and just generally putting it all together with. We used Livetype, an application that's linked with final cut to create the 'Stussy Prodcutions' opening credit (we made one for 'Like Media' however we decided that we didn't need it and it would fit in more with the romcom genre if we wrote it on a whiteboard) we thought this program made the credits look professionally made. We used iDVD to burn the dvd onto DVD.
- We had to choose music that wasn't copyrighted and for this we used a website called freeplaymusic, and we used a track called 'Cookies and Milk'. During the making of the product we looked at different soundtracks on garageband and iMovie 06 but these weren't long enough and didn't really fit in with what was happening on screen and we just didn't feel it was right. Then Steff found this website and i edited the song 'Cookies and Milk' to fit in with our production and we felt it fitted better than any other music that we had tried it with.
- At times the Mac didn't cooperate in that it ran really slowly and crashed so we lost some work and had to re-do the changes. This was very annoying at times and from it we learnt that we needed to keep saving our work so we made sure we didn't loose any work.
7). Looking back at your preliminarily task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
- From doing our preliminarily task a few months ago i feel i have definitely learnt a lot about everything from tripods to the macs to the cameras to the voice recorder. I found it was hard to get used to the equipment at first but once I knew how it all worked then it was easy to just get on with our production. We've learnt lots about re-shoots because we had to do quite a few of them and this is something we have taken into consideration. Next time we will take lots of extra shots just incase something like an angle doesn't look right, instead of going back to the same place with the same actors and having to set up a room exactly the same way.
Me and Steff answering a few evaluation questions:
- We have also learnt about sound, in some scenes it was hard to get the quality right, for example we were filming in a busy place but the central protagonist needed to be heard saying something but there was too much background noise so the sound for that scene didn't work and had to be re-recorded and over dubbed. Editing has also been an area where I feel I have learnt quite bit, from using iMovie 06 for example, I have learnt the keyboard shortcuts therefore making the editing process a lot quicker. I have also learnt how to edit the sound levels so that when someone is talking the music levels can be turned down so you can hear what the person is saying then be turned back up again after. Gradually building the sound levels can also help to build tension and action.
- In doing the research and planning I looked at a number of different film openings in lots of detail this really influenced me in the decisions that we made in making our own opening and through it i have learnt lots.
- We found that getting audience feedback was very necessary to improve on our coursework. Sometimes you can miss things, when you've been editing it you watch it over and over again and can easily miss things out. Getting other people's opinions also helped us to make the film opening better. They told us what did and didn't work, whether it made sense and helped us to get the final product how it is today.
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