Tuesday, 26 March 2013

My Final Thriller Opening

This is my final thriller opening - in previous posts I had used my second rough edit for the voiceover. This had to be done because unfortunately my final sequence was lost and I therefore had to start again. Although this happened and did frustrate me I nevertheless picked myself up and began the sequence again. I am pleased with my work and feel I have improved it hugely.

This is my final piece -

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Evaluation - Question Seven

7. Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task) what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full project?

My preliminary task was involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom he/she engages conversation with. This task had to demonstrate a match on action - shot/reverse shot and the 180 degree rule. 

At the very start of media I had no clue in how to film, edit or produce. When given the Preliminary task I was excited but also quite confused on how to do anything. However during the Preliminary task I learnt the 180 degree rule which was over the shoulder shot. Also I learnt how to compose myself and try and keep a straight face as I was the actress in this along with Kelly who was in my group. During the Preliminary task I realised that having dialogue was the hardest thing, as it was hard to keep a straight face and stay in character when trying to recite lines, although they were a few it was not easy to say them and staying in character at the same time. 

Here is my Preliminary task: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWq-I8fqAVI

As I was acting in the Preliminary task I also volunteered to act in my thriller opening also. This was very daunting to me as I feel I am not exactly the best actress however as time was ticking and we did not know who to ask to play the role I took it upon myself. The one thing I feel that has progressed for me in this entire process of the full project is being confident in acting, editing and filming. I feel I have gained so much confidence from taking part in both the Preliminary and Thriller Opening as an actress. However acting in the Thriller Opening was a hundred times more daunting for me as I am not used to being in front of the camera - this however was overcome later on and I felt I could be in front of the camera all day! I have learnt so much in editing especially. At the beginning I did not know anything - I was useless at trying to put our Preliminary task together on Final cut express. Now however I am able to editing shots, change colours such as making all the shots black and white. Also using the 'Colour corrector' and 'Chrome Keyer' to highlight certain colours in order to show the audience specific areas in which I wanted them to observe. Also being able to conduct my own soundtrack for my Thriller opening was absolute fun, as we were able to ask a friend to compose a piece which we then used Garageband to add in more effects to the soundtrack. During the minor editing of the Preliminary task I was unaware of how to use Final cut fully - however for the Thriller Opening I was able to edit everything! I am so amazed at how far I have come in Media and how much I have learnt that I can use in everyday life with technology and different software's which I did not know how to use or know of before starting Media. 


Over the past seven months I have been on an immense journey with Media and I have learnt so many new skills about myself and my ability but also how to work with others, produce certain projects and to not give up when not mastering a certain technique or software. Media has given me a total new outlook on software's the internet, films and even life! The skills and techniques I have learnt will enable me to use them in the future which I am very proud of achieving. I have gained the confidence in many areas and aspects and I am highly confident that I will be able to use all the experience I have gained. From the Preliminary task to the Thriller Opening - it has been an outstanding overall experience and it just shows how much progress you are able to make if you focus and allow yourself to learn new and wonderful skills. 

Evaluation - Question Six

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

Media has been the most challenging subject I have come across. This is because when starting the subject you do not realise how tough it is in terms of learning skills, software and equipment. I found the software and equipment the hardest to come to terms with, but now I am fully capable of putting the skills I have learnt into practice for both software and equipment.

As you can see on the right there are 3 images of myself and my group using the tripod and camera which we all had trouble using at first. At first I thought the tripod would not be so hard to operate but of course I was wrong. Although I did not film much of the difficult parts of the opening such as the panning scene, trying to film certain shots such as filming the homages, it is not easy to keep a steady hand.
However I did use the tripod and camera when filming the paused scene of 'Fatal Attraction'. For this I used a technique of an elastic band which you attach to the tripod handle. This was highly effective and made it easier to use the tripod. It resulted in a smooth movement.

All the above software were very useful to me in constructing this product. Garageband was highly useful in creating extra sound for our soundtrack, it allowed us to play around with it in order to find the appropriate sound which suited the rest of our soundtrack in which our friend helped us produce. At the beginning of constructing this product, myself and Final Cut Express did not get along at all! I could not come to terms with how to use it, I found it very difficult in trying to edit certain things and putting things together. However now I absolutely love Final Cut Express! It is an amazing piece of software which has allowed me to produce such a product. At times however the software would not co-operate and would erase my sequence which I had to pick myself up and start the sequence again. Excluding this, I have learnt how to put shots together, add in titles and edit each shot individually. It has been a challenge using Final Cut Express but this is one piece of technology and software that I feel I am expert with now. Livetype is what I used to create the Titles for my film opening. It was not easy to use but I eventually was able to use it along with the help of my group. Paint was also a great help in constructing my product because I used it to edit different shots and to crop unwanted parts in screen grabs. The Macs were difficult to use in the beginning but as the months flew by I can officially and proudly say I am able to use Macs and cooperate with them using these specific software's. 

YouTube is the most amazing website. I did not realise that YouTube could be used for so many different uses. Once I had completed rough edits and different presentation tasks, YouTube became a best friend in that it allowed me to upload and transfer it to my Blog. I have learnt so much with YouTube in that I now know how to annotate and how to add different effects and notes to videos which I am very proud of. 

As for Blogger, it has been a total eye opener for me. At the beginning of media I thought that the idea of having a blog was bizarre and not something I would think of doing. However my view of blogs has completely changed! I think that having a blog is so useful and allows you to express yourself in a variety of ways. Also I have learnt that blogger is a place where you can keep up to date with work and to keep a structure and build up a entire group of posts gradually in order to create a full blog which I find absolutely outstanding. Blogger has given me a insight into what can be done using sites such as this and I definitely will be using Blogger in the future as I find it very useful. 

As you can see below are screen grabs of when I was working on my product. Editing and producing the sequence.

Evaluation - Question Five

5. How did you attract/address your audience?


This is a video which I have annotated certain shots to highlight the ways in which my Film Opening links to other similar films in order to attract the particular Audience I have previously identified. My annotations refer to generic conventions, similarities with other movies and what I have identified as the unique selling point of my imaginary film. 

I feel that the unique selling point of my film would be the constant questioning raised by the target audience. These are some of the questions asked by those who have viewed my Thriller Opening:

"Why does she smudge her lipstick?"
"Why is she copying the lady on the poster?"
"Why did she circle the man on the newspaper?"
"Why are there empty photo frames and a upside down clock?"
"Why are there words on her door and rope?"
"Where does she go? Why did she take the dress?"

These questions being raised means that this film opening was successful in attempting to attract the audiences attention. This is because my main aim was to ensure that questions would be raised. Questions being raised by the audiences means that they are engaged and that they are trying to figure out what the answer is - also questions being raised means that the audience/viewer will want to watch more in order to determine why certain parts of the opening were done the way they were. 

I had some criticism on my Thriller opening which were pointed directly at the character needing to be more involved in more shots because they felt that they could not engage with the character more. Also the ending to the opening is 'TOO' mysterious some said. I have taken all criticism into account and will ensure that I will not make these mistakes in the future.

My film contains many homages which give direct links to similar films such as 'Fatal Attraction' and 'The Postman Always Rings Twice'. Overall I do feel it has been successful in that the audience are attracted. 

Evaluation - Question Four

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

Target Audience

There are different types of target audience, for Thrillers this varies because of the age. However target audience is based on also gender and background. Majority of Thriller films always have a Sub genre. For example the famous film 'The Lodger' directed by Alfred Hitchcock. This film has the Sub genre's Crime, Drama and Mystery. Here is a link to the overview of 'The Lodger':  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017075/ . 


After researching into what type of audiences watch Film noirs I came to a firm conclusion that I would give Furor the certificate rating of 18. The reasons why I came to this conclusion is because after asking different aged audiences, those aged 15 - 17 years of age felt that watching a Film noir would be in their view 'boring' as in today's society films are expected to be in colour, therefore black and white is not appealing to these age groups. However those whom I asked who were aged 18 and above, said they would watch a Film noir as it is how films began and it is history behind the films of today! I feel my film Furor is definitely appropriate for a certificate rating of 18 because it does contain forms of violence and sexual nature therefore I feel it would not be suitable for those of a younger age. People above even in their 40's or 50's would be interested in Film noirs because it is around their time that Film noirs were a big demand. Men would be highly into Film noirs because of the femme fatale and seductive, attractive women - women also would be interested because it goes against the typical stereotype of men always being the main focus. 

Film Noir Target Audience

The genre 'Film Noir' was created in the 1940's and 50's - therefore people who were around this time would be the ones who remembered the most about Film noir and who were most interested. The ratings for Film noir films are usually 15 or 18 and above so this means it is generally aimed at a more mature audience who have the ability to understand the films to their fullness. 


 This is my brother who is 19 years of age and is at college during a Media course and knows what should be involved - he will soon be starting University. I asked him whether he would watch a Film noir and whether he would watch my film and why. This is what he replied

"Personally I'm not into black and white films, I find some interesting but I get bored during the film, if I were to go and watch a Film noir, the most appealing thing to me would be story-line and the different twists to it. I wouldn't watch your film I'm not a big fan of Film noirs but overall I think it is wicked so well done sis!

This is Stephanie (left) and Andrew (right) - both are of 37 years of age. Andrew is a businessman and does marathons as a hobby. Stephanie is a lawyer. Both are film lovers and spend many evenings watching different genres. I asked both whether they are into Film noirs and whether they would watch my film and why. This is what they replied:

Stephanie -  " I think Film noirs are highly interesting they reveal a lot about the history of film, I love femme fatale film noir, the whole red lipstick and seductive dresses. I think its fab! I would watch your film because I felt it had such tension to it and it made me ask many questions which I want to find the answers to." 

Andrew -  " Films noirs are great, they have the sexiest women playing femme fatales. That has to be the most appealing aspect to me - I like the mystery, action and drama. I would definitely watch your film I think it has a right level of tension for people like me to want to watch it, great work!". 

This is Jayna - she is 22 years of age and is studying Maths at University. I asked her whether she enjoyed or had interest in Film noirs and whether she would watch my film and why. 

This is what she replied:

" Black and white films - are not my thing. I'm more of a romcom girl. The only thing I do like about Film noirs are the red lipstick and sexy dresses. I think that idea of women being seductive and sexy is really cool. I would watch your film because it really got my attention to want to see what happens even though it is black and white. The black and white suited well though so well done! The music was awesome to it sounded very seductive. " 

Evaluation - Question Three

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


Evaluation - Question Two

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?

 The three images on the left are of Glenn Close, she is a famous femme fatale character who stars in 'Fatal Attraction' as Alex Forrest and also my character that is in my thriller opening. The similarities between my character and Glenn Close's is that they both wear white dresses. This symbolises purity and innocence. Another femme fatale character is Jane Greer best known for her role as femme fatale Kathie Moffat in the 1947 film noir "Out Of the Past". (She is in image 5 and 6 below). The similarities between my character and 'Kathie Moffat' is that they both are seductive characters and both typically smoke which is very iconic in Thriller Film Noir's and also the red lipstick which represents a seductive nature. Lastly images 7 and 8 are of Lana Turner who stars as femme fatale character Cora Smith in the famous Film Noir 'The Postman Always Rings Twice'. Another similarity between my character and Cora Smith is the white dress also. 

However there are differences between my character, Lana Turner, Jane Greer and Glenn Close. These differences are that my character rejects the idea of men being dominant and men taking control. She has a strong back bone and a clear love for being a strong independent woman. She does not represent women who should go along with the stereotype of women falling to their feet for men. Instead she represents those women who refuse to go down this path, and would rather stand tall and protect women's rights and uphold the independence women deserve. Also many femme fatale characters have blonde hair whereas my character had dark brown hair and this changes the typical conventions of a femme fatale character. My character is always in control and very manipulative when it comes to men. This also changes the typical stereotype of how the media view women to be easy going and acceptable to men. 

Below is a link to a article where Divine Caroline talks about women making it too easy for men in todays society: