Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Evaluation: Part Eight

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

I believe what was successful about my preliminary task was my research and planning for my title sequence; knowing exactly what I want to produce along with having intertextuality references strengthened my confidence for my final piece. Going out of the norm of a thriller genre, I did challenge my comforts especially as i'm a new media student; luckily my research, again, did reinforce my confidence. Post-production was very successful for me as I am very familiar with computers, not so Final Cut Pro but I got the hang of it within two lessons, I was able to convey my ideas into the software and achieve exactly what I wanted. I am very proud of my cinematography which was prioritised by me in my planning.

What I believe wasn't so successful and what I can improve on next time round is organisation, especially whilst filming, I didn't try a variety of shots because I knew exactly what I wanted but there isn't nothing wrong with improving creativity. Although, I did see my organisation skills were slacking during production and I was able to change this; I wrote check-lists, agendas, got reassurance from my teachers beforehand and stayed behind school.

Evaluation: Part Seven

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

I only wanted to use a tripod during scenic shots because they’re concrete, they’ll always stand tall whereas the unsteady shots were deliberate because it depicts the unsteady life she has. Google docs was used for my questionnaire because it enabled me to get a precise answer for my target audience research. A Canon DSLR was used to shoot my film because it specialises in filming compared to a regular SLR or digital camera. Dafont enabled me to use unique font compared to the defaults. Also, YouTube was used during post-production because it heightened my knowledge, by tutorials, on how to use Final Cut Pro. Then lastly, Final Cut Pro was used for my editing,

Monday, 23 March 2015

Evaluation: Part Six

How did you attract / address your audience? 


This is the transcript: 

I think I did reach my target audience as, being a teenager, it includes everything I would want to see in a movie considering I currently am one; I desire stunning cinematography and a memorable soundtrack. Keeping in mind that my targeted audience are are teenage kids, predominantly female as they stereotypically favour dramas over males, I had to have an inspirational character in which they could idolise. Knowing there's a current movement of feminism within the younger generation, I wanted to show young girls in a good spirit, rather than a sex object the media portray women as. I achieved this with the help of costuming - by showing the journey of the protagonist from being poor to rich, referencing Hepburn's hat in Breakfast At Tiffany's to represent wealth, my character looks elegant rather than looking promiscious that some films do. Using films of similar target audience, I watched them and saw things I liked since i'm the same age, I liked the typography used in The Virgin Suicides and Juno as they look like a female teenager wrote it; this is a way I addressed my audience, even from my feedback my peers recognised the genre just from the typography used. 

Real media institutions target the teenage demographic as they're a mass audience, I have experienced this  first handedly, especially with the music industry. From my feedback sheet, every person wrote something about "soundtrack" and as teenagers are very involved in the music industry, I prioritised this immediately. With experience from seeing teenager's reactions and opinions to music on the social media, I can see their music taste through their "follow" tab. Although there are many genres of music, the most popular was "indie" and "alternative" music, therefore I chose a moderately new alternative band which use fast tempo beats. This was very successful as asking my peers afterwards, they seemed to remember the beat of the track.

With the conventions of a coming of age genre, one being realism, this is how I address my audience. Through the microfeatures it adds credability for the audience to seek advice / influence from: according to the Uses And Gratifications theory. Like AdULTHOOD, they address their audience through the setting - representing the not so wealthy people in suburban London through estates and flats.

Moreover, fashion is very important in teenage life. So integrating desirable costumes that the teenagers would like could potentially act as an exchange for the movie, as they may upload screenshots of the character's outfit. I've seen this with movies such as, "Clueless" and "LOL". Although in hindsight, this became less of a priority of mine and next time I would of reconsidered making it a priority because cinematography was most important to convey my macro features. Although you can easily address your audience through costuming.

According to my feedback, my cinematography was very successful. I took inspiration from Coppola's work in The Virgin Suicides as she portrays teenage emotion through the lens. I also believe the lighting in my title sequence was very successful as the semiotics of the bright lighting when she richer and the usage of dark lighting when she's miserable and poor. On that note, lighting could a address my audience because there's a spectrum of emotion within a teenager's life; so light is the happy and memorable moments whereas dark is the horrible moments.  This also attracts the audience as I do it in a not-so-patronising way, some films that target adults are written by people in their thirties or forties and they experienced adolescence in a different time period to the ones they're targeting; I have an advantage with this as i'm of the age of my target audience. Therefore, I can properly represent the current emotions of my target audience. A similar thing has been done with the film Kids (1995) by Larry Clark. The director was an 18 year old:


On the note of cinematography, I took inspiration from Kuleshov to help address teenage emotions. What he does is he shoots a particular scene then reverts to somebodies face, I do this to portray my protagonist's emotions:


For example, once she reaches where she wants to be, she looks far more content with life. Her performance alters from the beginning as at the start she looks very fed up:

Evaluation: Part Five

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

I represent many types of social groups based on: race, gender, age and regional identity. My protagonist is a sixteen year old black female living in the suburbs of London; there are many stereotypes just based upon black people but there's also stereotypes about teenagers and females. Being black, there's a stigma of being problematic, as well as teenagers - especially in the media. Females are seen as reliant on men and incapable of doing simple tasks. I represent all of these in my title sequence. I wanted to prove these "myths" false and change the perception for people; I do this via the hyperdermic needle theory. Staying closely related to the Uses And Gratifications, I know exactly what teenagers seek from movies as I previously done a questionnaire for this. A majority of teenagers, black/white male/female seek Identity which is where they look at characters as role models as they have similar values and can aspire to be them. As teenagers are quite young, they are still not as experienced in life, so being educated by movies they can see people in the film experiecing similar situations and can take advice from it and finally for soleful purpose of entertainmwent; similarly to how people saw the cinema in the 20's - a way of escaping reality.
Coming-of-age alone represents the teenage audience from one aspect of their life to another, the iconography of this genre is social realism and drama. Drama is prominent within a teenager's life. The usage of the microfeatures: cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing and sound help reach my macro features narrative, genre and audience.

With mise-en-scene costuming is important to help portray specific social groups; when my protagonist is poorer I use timberlands, earrings and short skirts stereotypically what teenagers wear as it's not very formal. I then change this when she's seen as richer, she wears a hat similar to Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's - as Hepburn is seen as a beauty icon for young girls I integrated her famous hat in a satirical way - proving does a hat really make you seem wealthier? Referring to the study of semiotics, connotations of prominent in my title sequence so smoking connotes youth, trainers too.

Typography is very similar to Juno's and The Virgin Suicides, they use handwritten teenage girl like font which represents the social group of teenagers. It also adds an innocence to the tone, proving stereotypes are harsh, especially on young girls.

My soundtrack also represents teenagers because it's a modern indie band, teenagers recently are really into alternative music; also it's very upbeat and joyful emphasising youth.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Evaluation: Part Four

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

A real media product, in some cases, use a title sequence - what a title sequence establishes is an insight into the narrative; sometimes introducing you to characters and settings. I used this convention with my title sequence in the similar way some film institutions do - by establishing narrative, setting, mood and having an "enigma" for the audience to uncover. 

I usec STINCS to represent my macrofeatures: Genre, Audience and Narrative when producing my title sequence. I also covered the usage of microfeatures: cinematography, sound, editing and mise-en-scene.

S meaning setting, this is a key point that helps convey a narrative, especially in my case. I show binary oppositions through my setting, poor with tall flats and vandalism juxtaposed to rich having elegantly designed architecture. Using a POV shot to establish this as I develop the covnention of realism within a coming of age genre. This also lets the targeted audience, teenagers, to easily relate to.

T is themes, I have a recurring theme of "dreaming" throughout my title sequence. I heavily relied on post-production to help aid me in showing this code by video filters and effects. Like The Virgin Suicides, a real media product, they use lighting to help represent youth - the binary oppositions of light and dark also relating to the study of semiotics with the connotations of lighting to emphasise the life of teenage years; good or bad.     

I is iconography, as my genre is a coming-of-age story I need to focus on the key iconography associated with this genre. "Coming" being a verb, it shows movement - or a journey in my case; so using ways of movement will be one iconography, trains, walking etc. Also, the connotations of the binary opposites: light / dark. To depict my protagonist being youthful, so the mise-en-scene includes urban costumes and movement. Finally, the rich areas I changed the costuming to represent the ideology of wealthy people so business wear, wealthier areas. I also use typography to aid me in portraying my genre, similarly to The Virgin Suicides and Juno they use imperfect, handwritten childlike font which represents the youth culture. Also as my audience is teenagers, they are very involved in the music scene, these are the years they develop their taste so I use a modern indie band to soundtrack my media product. I challlenge the conventions of transitioning between my shots, unlike films like Submarine they fade between each shot; this is because the movie is based in the 70s, mine is the present time and I don't use this.

N is narrative, I used many types of camera angles to help develop my narrative. For example, I used POV shot which indicates we're looking through the protagonist's eyes, seeing what she sees. This allows me to focus on the specific goal she's looking at. One convention of a coming of age genre is a resolution, showing long shots of her in the places she wants to be in with the skyline of London in the background. As my target audience are teenagers, I closely kept my title sequence with audience pleasures so: lifestyle, drama and relatble situations. Using fast pace editing in post-production to depict the dramas and dramatic lifestyle of teenagers. The continuity involves match-on-action and a fast pace because it represents her journey, one shot carries on with the other.

C is characters. Having my protagonist challenge stereotypes of young black girls, showing her actually doing well is a way to integrate equality into my title sequence. People see Monroe or Hepburn iconic, why isn't there a black female like this? Realism is one convention of a coming-of-age genre and I show this through realistic mise-en-scene and setting.

S is style, I use a very similar style to the virgin suicides as it mostly represents the teenage years. I use post-production filters to emphasise my themes and narratives, hazy / trance like similar to Sofia Coppola.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Evaluation: Part Three

What kind of media institution might produce your media product and why?


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