Monday, 10 May 2010

Image Rights

Release Form for Media Recording DB Edit As




This is the image right sheet that I got everyone who starred in my film too sign, even extras, and the voice-over.

This has proven that my actors and actresses gave me permission to star in my film and for others to watch the product.

Soundtrack.

This is the soundtrack for my final piece, John Cockshaw created this soundtrack for me.

It fits in with common horror soundtracks, and adds tension.

As John has knowledge in creating music, he said he would happily agree to create my soundtrack, he used his knowledge of my genre to create the piece.

I liked the way he had done the piece, therefore I chose not to change it.

John also ran through with me a step by step guide to creating the soundtrack on garage band, therefore in future I would be able to work this myself.

With thanks.

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

Due to their being more members in my preliminary task group, I did not get that much chance of editing and filming.

As I have worked alone in my media product, I have learnt various factors on creating a movie.

I have learnt about different shot types, and what shots work well together, and how to edit them to make them quicker or slower, I also realised the importance of getting the actual shots right and not too rush.

I also changed the lighting of shots to make them fit together in sequence.

A main thing that I have learned in about technologies, such as LiveType and garage band.

The importance of hearing the voice clearly has had a major impact on my film, therefore I realised the importance of having a voice recorder, to re-do any sound you could not hear but also for a voice-over which adds exposition.

I had to plan my shots carefully and what was needed to be said by my actors and actresses.

Also how to create a realistic killing, without it appearing to be a "joke." I did this by using a point of view shot, so you did not actually see the knife, just the arm movement, therefore I used a water bottle, as it made it much more realistic, as my killer was frightened of hurting the actor he was pretending to stab.

Although, I feel if I were to ever create a movie again, I have realised that I should start planning even earlyer on, I changed my idea a few times which was a problem, and alot of the footage was filmed late therefore it was hard for me to gain rough cuts and audience feedback.

I now value the importance of planning and getting shots done, so you can improve on them.

I also made sure there was no background noise. I also took many shots of each clip, so I had a variety too choose from, I could edit them together and work which clips worked best with each.

I used a voice-over to add exposition.


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

Due to creating my product, I have learnt about all sorts of technologies, this is due to me using many different types.



The main one, would of course be I-movie, where I edited and created my film on. This has helped me learn how to import and export sound, as this is what I used for my voice-over. It has also helped me change the volume of the sound, and edit sound from clips and place it on other clips, which is what I had to do for my mobile phone ringing. It has also helped me with transitions, making them fast or slow, I slowed down the stabbing scene, to make it more dramatic and not too quick. I also edited the lighting on my shots to make them all seem the same colour, as lighting was a problem when filming. I also learned how to add titles.

This program then helped me to go on and learn how to use I-dvd, which is what we put our films on from I-movie.



Another technology on the Mac I used was LiveType, this was to create my final title, as I felt the font size was not big enough in Imovie. I also used this to create my distribution logo and my production logo.


This is the stages of creating my distribution logo :

                                   
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Although, I did not personally create the music myself, with thanks to John Cockshaw, I did watch him create my music, and I learned how to use two different types of instrument playing at the same time, for instance piano and strings, I also learned how to export the music into I movie. This was on the program garage band.


This is my soundtrack:




Along with these workshops on the Mac's, I also used many internet based technologies.

The main website I used was blogger, www.blogspot.com
This helped me present my stages of completing the coursework, my research, reasons as to why I used certain characters, costumes, my storyboard, this also allowed me to embed videos, upload sounds and pictures. This was accessible at both home and school.





Another website I used was www.divshare.com



This allowed me to upload audio files and then post these on my blog, for instance my voiceover.

www.scribd.com  this allowed me to upload written documents onto my blog, for instance my storyboards.



I also used www.tinypic.com, I used this to upload my videos, although www.youtube.com is a good alternative, you can not access it from school, therefore I took note of this new video sharing site, I found this easier, as I could access it from school and upload movies from Imovie straight onto it.



The two main pieces of equipment I used were the video camera itself, the tri-pod and the voice-record.






The tri-pod helped me keep the camera still so the shots did not appear shaky. I used this for shots such as the killing. 

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However in shots such as my actress running away, it did not matter if the camera was a bit "shaky" as this made it seem more realistic, I could also not use the tripod as I was running behind my actress filming her. 


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I used the voice-recorder to get close up sounds, I used this for my voice-over, and also for when you could hear my male character speak, I also used this to create the "slashing sound" for my killing, although I did not actually use this. 

This is my voice-over, which I recorded on the voice-recorder:









The other main technology I used was the video camera itself, 

Canon MV920 Digital camcorder was the video camera I used too shoot my footage, I then put this on Imovie. These were very easy to use.

For some of my footage I used night mode, this was due to some of the shots being too dark too see. 



To record my footage on, I used DV tapes. 






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

Warp X, and Warp Films, are low budget film production companies, which have created the likes of Donkey Punch, compared too Working title, who work on a much larger scale creating films such as Love Actually , therefore, due to me being an "indie" film maker, I would choose Warp X and Warp Films.

The distribution company for this is Optimum Releasing. They have distributed movies such as Cry Wolf, Wolf Creek and Donkey Punch.

I would compare my film too these, as it is low-budget and a typical slasher.

My movie was not expensive, with only the following costing money:

  • Two tapes costing £2 each, making it £4 all together
  • Petrol money, for my actor to actually drive to the desired destination, which I again changed, this was £4
  • The knife I used was free of charge, it was a friends, as I used a blunt kitchen knife
  • The car was also my friends, so I was only charged petrol money
  • The costumes of my actresses and actors were either their own or mine, thus making it free of charge
  • And the location of where I filmed (Ilkley Moor- Keighley Gate) was free of charge. 
  • My actors and actresses were also free of charge
  • Four C.D'S to export my movie onto, costing £1 

However, it is important to consider, that if I was too release my movie, in the "movie world" makeup, clothing, lighting, and more props needed for the rest of the film would all be needed. Although, it would still be a cheap Indie film.


Most horrors, also do not star big named Actors and Actresses, as they are soon killed off,
 However it is important to realise that many slasher films are breaking away from not using big named actors and actresses, which primarily started in the 1990's, Scream started off this trend, by using Drew Barrymore and Courteney Cox and other slasher movies gradually began to follow, this widens the audience as fans of these actors and actresses will be interested in the work they produce.  



A NightMare On Elm Street is due to release a sequel in 2010, proving that the slasher genre is still going strong. With the first Nightmare on Elm street making $25,504,513 (USA). 


Recent films such as Tormented (2009- Jon Wright) have proven to do well in the genre, with the total budget costing just under 1 million, it made £284, 757. 


The movie Donkey Punch (2008- Oliver Blackburn), was filmed in three weeks, with a budget of £500,000,  a very low budget film with it end up making £144, 953 in its opening weekend. 


These figures show that the slasher genre still has an appeal and attraction to audiences. However many slasher films now do not get much cinema showings and often make more money on there DVD releases.

Therefore, I would expect my movie too not do quite as well in the cinema, but make the majority on DVD releases. Although it is important to consider the issue of copyright, as it is a digitally made film, and if they access my movie freely over the internet I will not be making any money. 

However, Optimum Releasing would only appeal to a British audience, and maybe not those of a upper class. This means it is unlikely to achieve a Box Office Release, as it does not contain big named actors and actresses, the low budget, and the specific target audience.

Due to Warp X being a small company, to distribute my film I would most probably need extra funding, I could get this from Screen Yorkshire or the UKFC 
These both aim to help new producers of films.



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How did you attract/address your audience?

After researching and finding out specifically and in detail whom my target audience was, I had to establish how I was going to attract them and make my film specifically suitable for them, for instance by not making the film too hard to understand when the age range of my product is for younger, 15-24, but also so it is suitable.

I made sure my actors and actresses were of the same age of my target audience, which was 17.

By using this teenage cast, teenage culture and reference to "teen activities" I have drawn in my chosen audience. The storyline is also easy to understand and not too complex, horror is commonly of interest too a younger audience.

I also knew that due to accents, dialogue and scenery, it would typically be a Yorkshire audience, I have tried to widen this audience by including typical things that you expect to see in horror, but also by using famous landmarks. 

Although, I have tried to widen the audience in some aspects of my movie, for instance, the girl survives in my film, rather than the male, she is connoted as strong and intelligent, typically known as the "final girl" this may widen the audience too more females, however I may of lost audiences due to not including a "male gaze" in my film, although it could be argued that I used the "pink pound" theory, with a good looking actor.

There is a narrative enigma in my story, as the killing doesn't just happen straight away, the audience will get a shock and a scare, with the fast paced editing of the girl running away, this will also bring in the teen audience, and the fact my actor and actress are "kissing." It is all common things teenagers can relate too.

The music, which was just created on garage band, is quite simple, but adds a huge effect of something is going to happen, due to this being simple, easy music, this would attract my chosen audience.


I also used a voice-over, this adds exposition of why the kill takes place, which will draw the audience in of what is happening.






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Sunday, 9 May 2010

Who would be the audience for your media product?

As previously stated in a blog-post earlier, my target audience would mainly be those of the age 15-24. I realised this by going on the BBFC guidelines. 




I expect the audience of my film to not be those of the "intellectual type." As it is a typical slasher film, it does not show any signs of history or psychological problems in the film which may of widened the audience to those of an audience that are interested in a more in depth sight as to why people may murder.

It would be more of those of a younger audience, that may watch the film with friends, and are maybe into drinking, sex and violence. This is also due to my cast being teens. 

However this is similar to many horror films, such as Cherry Falls and Donkey Punch, Halloween and Friday the 13th.  

Due to my film not including older characters, not being set in the past and not including any psychological aspects, and not being complex or challenging, where the audience has to work out what is going out for themselves this may not widen the audience to those of a ABC1 audience. Films such as Chiller, Theatre Carnival Of Souls and Phantom of the opera, would relate to the intellectual audience, who's interests are different to those who enjoy a cheap, slasher movie, and stereotypically will be higher up the social ladder. 


"However slashers usually do use victims which tend to be young, attractive, and of high school age. Some theorists claim that they young people are punished for indulging in vices such as pre-marital sex or drugs. Other theorists claim that is simply a matter of the activities making the victims unaware of their surroundings, making them easy prey for the killer."- Vera Dika
The opening two minutes of my movie includes two characters, both of which are Caucasian, British and of a middle class background. Therefore this may not appeal to a wider audience of other ethnic backgrounds. It would be very useful to have a multi-ethnic cast, but due to a limit of finding people to act I have picked two Caucasian characters. 

However many mainstream productions continue to use an all Caucasian cast and have not suffered because of this. Many examples include Donkey punch and Scream. They both proved to do well in selling their product. With scream currently having made $500 million worldwide, and being the most successful film series in the slasher genre.

Due to the actor suiting the role as my killer, I chose a non-Caucasian character, due to height and body build which were suitable for the role. This however may not widen the audience, as he is seen as a killer rather than a hero. However the only character that is portrayed in the opening as the "hero" or "survivor" is the girl. It could be argued that it would widen the audience, as he is not being killed off in the opening, which most non-Caucasian characters are. 
Due to my female being connoted as the "final girl" and ends up surviving from the killer, this will bring in the female audience, rather than women being seen as "sex symbols" and only there for the male gaze, they will feel that the female plays a vital role in the film and has as much power as males. The film would not be able to function without this female. This shows the impact of feminism, and instead of females once being portrayed as the weaker gender, they have now obtained equality. The clothes my actress is dressed in will also bring in the female audience, as they will see that they don't all have to wear "low cut tops" and "short skirts" to be noticed and act in a film. Men are not as superior as they once were.  

The way I have portrayed my male character (Brad) is as fun, free, and good looking. He is the opposite of my actress, Chrissie, he is into sex, and this is connoted by him being more forward with Chrissie. Males, especially the youth age, will be able to relate to this and even look up to him. They will see him as "cool" and therefore like his character. My killer is also male, this may make them see the dominance of males, and will be interested as to whom and how he kills. 


The "kissing scene" will bring in the audience of young teen boys.

I have not included a scream queen, arguably this would bring in a male audience, for the male gaze, but I feel that a final girl increases the female side and also sets the storyline better. The kissing can bring in a young male audience.


Famously, the feminist Rita Mae Brown wrote The Slumber Party Massacre and its sequels. Giving the slasher genre much more appeal to a wider audience. 

As found in an article in The Guardian, more and more films are now being written by women. -The Guardian 

I would expect my potential audience to be fans of horror films, that involve those of a young cast. And have some mild sexual connotations. Films such as donkey punch, Valentine, Urban Legend, I know what you did last summer and Cherry Falls

Often low budget, and not using big named actors and actresses. Also not necessarily set in the southern part of England. Also with a cast that may not have the desired middle class accent that you often see in bigger productions such as Hugh Grant in Love Actually, but those of an accent that can be recognised to where the film takes place, again for instance This Is England. 


 

However it is important to realise that many slasher films are breaking away from not using big named actors and actresses, which primarily started in the 1990's, Scream started off this trend, by using Drew Barrymore and Courteney Cox and other slasher movies gradually began to follow, for instance Brittany Murphy in Cherry Falls.  This widens the audience as fans of these actors and actresses will be interested in the work they produce.  


Due to my film being a conventional slasher, containing characters of a middle class background this is more than likely going to appeal to a C2DE audience. Especially due to my film being centered on teens, and containing a mild "sex scene." (My characters are kissing at the beginning in a car, connoted they would of maybe had sex had the dis-equilibrium not happened.) 


My film also does not include any counter types, which may of been of interest to C1's. Had I chosen a blonde, busty female that is seen as sexually active as my final girl I could of increased the audience. 


I have also used the stereotypical killer of being male, this will keep the target audience at C2DE audience. And the killing using a knife, I have stuck the common conventions of a slasher film, again outlined by Vera Dika. This will limit my audience to C2DE.


  • The Killer—With notable exceptions, the killer in the slasher film is usually male. His identity is often, but not always, unknown and/or concealed either by a mask or by creative lighting and camera work. He is often mute and seemingly unstoppable, able to withstand stabbings, falls and shootings by his victims. His background sometimes includes a childhood trauma that explains his choice of victim, weapon and location (the killer can be made out to be pitiable or understood). Slasher villains tend to prefer hand held weapons such as knives, axes, hatchetes, and chainsaws as opposed to bombs or guns. As the sub-genre developed, some argue that the real star of a slasher is the killer, not the victims or Final Girl. Throughout most of the franchises, the killer is constant. Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers are notable examples of this phenomenon.
  • The Victims—The victims tend to be young, attractive, high school or college-aged adolescents. Much has been made about the choice of victims. Some theorists claim that they young people are punished for indulging in vices such as pre-marital sex or drugs. Other theorists claim that is simply a matter of the activities making the victims unaware of their surroundings, making them easy prey for the killer.
  • Final Girl—Slasher films frequently only have a single survivor. She is frequently a female peer of the victims but is cinematically developed in comparison to his or her cohorts. She frequently doesn't indulge in the illicit activities of her friends. The heroine is also known as the final girl because by the end of the movie, all of her friends are dead, and she's left alone to deal with the killer. Certain movies do deviate from this in favour of having a final boy who tends to be morally suspect.
  • The Violence—One thing that separates slashers from thrillers and murder mysteries is the level of violence. Slashers de-emphasize plot and character development in favor of violence and terror. Plots are constructed around giving the audience the experience of watching the killer murders. The deaths are often violent and graphic, with originality being valued in the later films to hold audience interest.
However I have used a "final girl" in which she survives and escapes from the killer, and her boyfriend doesn't, showing she has more awareness, alertness and power than the actor. This will widen the audience of females in the C2 catergory. The actress is also not being portrayed as a "sex object" for the male gaze, which is commonly seen, therefore women of a C2 catergory maybe more inclined to watch it if they know it is not just about "females being killed."  And blondes being stereotypically seen as "dumb" and females being seen as "weak or powerless."My actress also refuses to have sex with my actor, therefore moving away from a stereotypical image of being seen as a "sexually active female" This is seen as a counter type, and portrays women as intelligent and they are induviduals, she is not persuaded by her boyfriend to have sex with him, she is independant and free. She is morally conscious. It shows her intelligence.



The use of my voice-over can also widen the audience, as it gives exposition , so it is not too complicated too work out the killers motives, this also may widen the audience as it may relate to an older audience, as it is a formal news report. 

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

The main social group my media product is representing is teenagers.

I have connoted my actors and actresses as the stereotypical image that most people portray of teenagers. I have done this mainly through clothing, as my male actor is wearing jeans and a hooded jumper, and my female actress is wearing casual clothes. This will immediately suggest their age, but also due to them "kissing" and "canoodling" in the car, as this is the reason they pulled over, it is clear that they are teenagers.

My male actor is seen as "cool, fun, free" this is also a stereotypical image of teenagers, making the characters more realistic.

Due to both my actor and actress having a Yorkshire accent I did not portray them to be of a certain class and status. This would widen the audience, as I have also filmed my product in a famous landmark "Keighley Gate" which many people will recognise. However to widen the audience even more, I should of maybe used some shots of Yorkshire, for instance of The Cow and Calf as that is a very famous landmark. Films such as This is England have proven to be very successful which was set in the North of England.



Yorkshire has produced many big movies, including Calendar Girls. In a recent poll by the Film Distributors Association on the most atmospheric use of location in British cinema, four of the top ten films were set in Yorkshire, proving that Yorkshire has a rich and recognisable heritage in film. Despite Leeds being the chosen location for the first moving image film by Louis le Prince in 1888, it was perhaps the 1960s New Wave that really put Yorkshire on the cinematic map. - BritMovies 


However, my male actor does state that he does not own the car he is driving, therefore giving a stereotypical impression on "youths" and how they are not trusted. Theft would stereotypically be seen as something a person of a lower social grouping would do.

I have also connoted my female actress to be a "final girl" type character, this takes away the stereotypical image of girls being weaker than boys, and may widen the audience to more females. I have dressed my female in a cardigan, high cut top and jeans, therefore still typical teen clothes, but not any that is too revealing, this shows the impact of the feminist movement. 

My cast would arguably be seen as C2DE, this is due to the "sexual" references in my film and the fact they are teenagers.


I also used a voice-over, this may widen the audience, as it shows it is not nessisarily all about teenagers. It also shows the killers motives.


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

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

In the horror genre, there are typically significant factors that make the film horror, and so the audience are clear that "something bad is going to happen."

From researching many famous horror films, on websites such as www.imdb.com, www.wikipedia.com, I realised that in most horror films there is a stereotypically "final girl" type character, most often she is brunette, they are typically seen as the "virginal" type character, shy and not interested in sexual-activity, drug taking or alcohol.

In my opening two minutes, I included a final girl, to make it clear to the audience that if I was to film the rest of my movie, she would be the only one that survives, hence the title "final girl."

I signified her being a "final girl" character, by her having brunette hair, and natural makeup, this is a binary opposition the the common "scream queen" who is usually blonde and busty. Although it appeared that she was sexually active by the opening of my film including her kissing her boyfriend however I made her seem not as interested as "kissing" her boyfriend as he was, by telling him to get out the car to answer his phone, and also by her appearing angry when he tells her that the car they are in is actually not his. I also made her wear a high cut black top with a wooly cardigan, typical clothes of a "final girl" compared to a short, low cut dress which "scream queens" commonly wear.

If I was to challenge the conventions of real media products, I could of had a twist, and actually made my final girl be the killer. But due to lack of actresses available I was limited, if I had used a blonde character I could of really challenged the conventions of "scream queens" and horrors by making her the killer, this is seen in Kill Bill (2003- Quentin Tarantino.)

However, due to my killer not actually being seen untill my actor gets out the car to speak on the phone, it still leaves the audience unsure on what is going to happen and who is the killer. 

I named my female character "Chrissie" as this is a uni-sex name, just like Laurie Strode, the final girl from Halloween.

Feminists would like approve of the theory of the "final girl" as it shows that she is strong and independent, not all women are vulnerable, some can break through the glass ceiling.

An example of a final girl, like my actress, is Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978- John Carpenter)



In contrary to this, I used my male character as a typical "jock" style. This is connoted through his forwardness to the girl, and his clothing of trainers, jeans and a "hoody."

It is also connoted through the fact that he states that the car is not his, connoting he has stolen it, giving representation of youths which is commonly portrayed, but also the fact that he is "relaxed" in comparison to my female actress, whom is angry that he has stolen the car.

I named him Brad, as this is a common name for a "jock-type" male. This could bring in the opposite of the "male gaze" to a "female gaze" and bring in the pink-pound theory.

Due to him being forward with my female actress and the stealing of a car, this will make the audience realise that he may be killed, as he has a "purpose" or a "reason" to be killed, as he has broken the law.

This foreshadows the fact that he is going to be killed. 

This is like the character "Jake" in Scream (1996- Wes Craven) whom also dies in the opening of the film.

This is also like the convention of the film Cherry Falls, with the male being dragged out the car and being killed.





In many horrors, the identity of the killer is hidden, this is what I used for my killer, as you never saw his face, he was dressed in all black to also hide his identity. This is for the identity of the killer to maybe be revealed later on in the film.

The weapon he used was also a kitchen knife.

The killer in Cherry Falls, also hides his identity by dressing up as his Mum whom was bullied.

I have also named my killer "Jason Cringles" I got the idea for this name from Jason, whom is the killer in Friday the 13th (Jason Vorhees), and Cringles is a town in Yorkshire, so it fits with the setting of the film. I have connoted the killers name through the voice-over on the radio from when the car is driving. Jason Vorhees also covers up his identity, in Friday the 13th.



Although I decided not to use the stabbing sound effect, I got the idea for a stabbing effect from the famous horror, Psycho. (Alfred Hitchcock- 1960)
This stabbing sound was used for the shower scene in Psycho. This has been argued to be the best killing scene- BBC NEWS 

The film used melons to create the stabbing sound effect-  Movie Reviews. 

When I recieved audience feed back they said that the killing was too far away and in a point of view shot from my actresses eyes, therefore you did not need to include it, however I did experiment.


                                   
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I got the idea of using a car and the killing to be on the car bonnet from the film Cherry Falls. As in the opening of Cherry Falls, they also pulled over to be connoted as "having sexual activity."This is also where I got the idea to use a discrete moors area to connote no one is around to help.



Although teenagers were the only actors and actresses I could actually obtain, this can be seen as developing forms of existing movies, as films such as, Cherry Falls, Tormented  and Cry Wolf. All include teenagers, many films are developing this idea of using teenagers, as many horrors are targeted at the 15-24 age genre.

 I also used sans serif font, for my titles, and I used the colour red to connote horror and blood, this is used in many horror films such as Trick or Treat, Bride of Chucky, and When A Stranger Calls.

I also got the idea for my main title font from the film A Nightmare on Elm Street, as it is red and glowing, connoting horror and violence.


For the shots of  my actress running away, I used shots from the film Cry Wolf, as the actress is running away from someone, with different shots, and you can see the grass. It also emphasises the sounds of her feet and the rustles of the leaves, which is what I included in my shots.




Like many existing horror films, I used non-diegetic music playing in the background (With thanks to John Cockshaw), I used two strings  this is to increase tension and make the audience skip a heartbeat. This is in most horror films such as Friday the 13th and Halloween.



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Friday, 7 May 2010

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Voice over.




As originally planned, I was going to do a voice-over, signifying that it is on the radio, 
this would be seen as diegetic music.


The person I got to do my voice-over has a Yorkshire accent,
to fit in with where the location of my film is set, it is about a police warning 
saying someone has escaped from the local mental
institution, this is connoted that my killer is the person that has escaped.

I decided to name my killer Jason Cringles, as Jason was the name of the killer in 
Friday the 13th.