Thursday, 21 March 2013
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
We used a Cannon camcorder as well as a Cannon camera this is because the camera was used for practising different shot prior to doing any actual filming. I found this very useful because it helped me to decide on which shots to use and which to not use in the thriller opening. The Cannon camcorder was used for the filming of the thriller opening. The camcorder was really good at capturing the shot and picking up different colours which is always important when creating a thriller opening. It was also really easy to use which meant everyone got a go at least once at filming for the thriller opening. There were two main difficulties I encountered with this camcorder, the first being that it took a long time to adjust to a change in depth of the shot with the camcorder taking a few seconds to regain focus. This meant that we had to redo this shot many times for to eventually work, also the footage taken needed to be converted on the computer which seemed to take up a long time and there was nothing we could do about it.
|The camera being used |
with the tripod
The tripod was very useful for the thriller opening as it gave us steady shots by holding the camera still. This was specifically helpful with the panning shot of the room because by using the rubber band trick it gave us the smooth pan that we were looking for. The ability to adapt the hight of the tripod was useful because of the variety of shots we used needed the tripod at different heights and angles.
The light we borrowed was used for many of the shots including the opening two of the main characters face as she opens her eyes. It was used most effectively in the shot of the purple dress hanging in the wardrobe as it brings it the audiences attention. The main problem we faced with this is that the hook attached to it was not very strong and this meant it kept on falling and had to be put back into place and lead to some takes being ruined by it.
|The websites I used|
In terms of software I mainly used Final cut but Garage band, Paint and Live type were also used in the creation of the opening. I mainly used Final cut because that is where I did the editing of the footage and where I put the opening together. The strengths of Final cut is that it is easy to use and has a lot of different ways to edit the footage. It was good that Final cut was easy to use because this was my first time editing a video and it would of taken a lot more time and that might of meant that I could not of edited the way I wanted too. The large variety of ways you are able to edit the footage in Final cut was a big bonus because it gave me more control over how it would turn out. However I did have a few problems when the footage on Final cut has been disconnected with what is stored on the computer and then refused to play at all. Garage band was used to great an extra part to the music so that the music was longer and would go better with the footage. The main strength would be that it was quick to use and ended with a good end product. Live type was used for the opening titles and was used before I started on the opening in Final cut. Live type was simple to use and had a wide variety of choice for how to change the text and how it moves around the screen. This was important because it meant that we could have the titles work with what we had planned for the opening and I believe it goes well with the footage and the feel of the opening. The main problem I had was trying to work out what length each title should be because it could not see how it would look when it would be in the thriller opening. This meant that I had to go back a couple of times to Live type after I had the footage to adjust the length of each of the titles. I used Paint because it is an easy and efficient way to change images and convert two images into one. The main problem I incurred was when adding two images to a paint document at the same time they would not be next to each other but one would not be seen behind the other.
How did you attract/address your audience?
I was going to do annotate my video on Youtube to answer this but after having problems with it I have chosen to write it out.
I asked six people to watch my video and then followed it up with some questions about what they just watched. The six people were between sixteen and thirty, they had all lived around Harrow recently. Two of the participants are in college, another at university in Plymouth two working in London and one in Albania doing missionary work. I chose these people because it gives me a variety of ages as well as them having very different backgrounds.
The first question asked was if there was any part of the thriller opening that would not be suitable to younger audiences? and if yes what age is too young? The missionary worker said "the whole opening gave an eerie feel that would not be suitable to those of fifteen and younger." The university student said "they[younger viewers] would not be interested in it due to it being in black and white" I thought this was quite interesting and went along with what I had originally thought when giving it a certificate of 15.
Another question asked was, did the music work with the opening? if so how? The older college student(age 18) said "the music was the best part because it went in time with the footage and really enhances the feel of the film" One of the two who work in London said "the music was a good way to increase the level of tension and suspense because it made you feel like the place is quite dark." This was really positive feedback and I am pleased with it because I felt that the music went really well with the film noir/thriller genre.
Other highlights of what they said included that the diegetic sound of the hanger is very eerie and a good way to create suspense. But not all of it was positive such as they felt the panning shot was too long and that they got confused by the clock and clip that had been paused.
We chose to go against the normal thriller convention of showing the protagonist in the opening. We chose to show the antagonist due to her being the main character of the film. When the protagonist is shown first the audience starts to route for them and that stays all the way through the film, but the audience could tell that the character was dark and so had no one to route for and it means that were not as connected with the characters as they are normally. We also tried to use colour representations in two different ways in the opening, for example the white of the dress is used ironically because white represent innocence which our character is not. Whereas the red of the lipstick represent love or danger which is what this character is all about, with how she is dangerous and she can make others fall in love with her.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
The image on the far right is of Barbara Stanwyck when she played Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity. Her character was very good at manipulating other to do her dirty work and in Double Indemnity she convinces her insurance agent to help assist her in the murder of her husband after h gets out life insurance. The centre image is of the main character in our thriller and just like Barabara Stanwyck's character she is able to manipulate other and bend the truth in ways to make sure she gets what she wants. The image on the left is of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction when she played Alex Forrest. The main similarity between our character and Glenn Close's is what is worn by the characters, they both weir white which usually represents innocence and purity which is contradictory to the characters. There are a couple of main differences between our character and the others, the first would be that ours is less afraid to do the dirty work herself and then manipulate others to get out of the situation. Another key difference is that most Femme Fatale characters have blond hair whereas ours has a darker colour which was a different way of showing the darkness in the character.
These characters are all very powerful and represent those who don't go along with the stereotype of men deciding what women do. Our character also represents the poorer part of society as it shows her with very few possessions, and it shows how she feels that she deserves more but has been denied of it for one or another reason. It also shows the extreme length that she would go to get herself out of the situation she finds herself in. Our character does not follow along with the idea of males being the dominant figure in society compared to females.She is seen as always being in control and having the ability to twist or manipulate the situation so she always has the upper hand. This is very different to what other sources of media show especially magazines which often have articles surgesting how women can change for the better of the men in society.
In what ways does your media product use,develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media product?
Being seen in the first image is a screen grab of the film title and how it looks in the thriller opening, it is also the third title in the opening after the production company and lead actors name. We had many ideas for what the title could be that were all based around describing aspects of the main character, but we ended up going with Furor. We felt that it would be interesting to describe the main character because it is very different to the convention of the title giving away the weakness to the protagonist. By describing the antagonist it makes it clear who is the main character in the film, since it is not usually the antagonist but the protagonist to be the focus of the film. Furor means rage or fury which is how the antagonist feels before murdering a former boyfriend. The rage and fury all stem from her previous boyfriend winning the lottery and the fact that she feels as if she deserves the money. So the characters rage and fury plays a key role in the film as it is because of that the murder is committed in the first place. Additionally Furor is not a common word so not all of the audience would get this, but hopefully they would have a better idea of what it could mean by the end of the film.
Setting and location
The whole film set in ordinary settings, this is to go with the convention of thrillers where they use ordinary settings to make the audience feel that it could be happening all around them, and that it could one day happen to them. It also makes the characters feel more authentic to the audience as they could see themselves in that position. The opening is therefore in an ordinary looking setting of a normal woman's bedroom with a few things out of place to give an insight into the character. We chose to block out natural light so it the setting would feel hidden and secretive and so the antagonist does not want to be seen.This is shown in the second image, which is part of the panning shot as it shows the room with curtains closed to block out light. We also chose to very much limit the amount of possessions this character had because she was not meant to be well off and would so, have a greater desire for the lottery winnings.
Costumes and props
In the thriller opening there are many key props and costumes such as the clock, photo frames, newspaper, purple dress, white dress, lipstick, film posters (image to the right), giant words and the film Fatal Attraction. We chose to have two dresses used one purple and one white to show different things. The purple dress in shown in the third screen grab, even though in the image it is hard to work out the colour in the opening it is clear. The purple represents the characters power and the white showing innocence and the red lipstick was used to show danger. We chose these because they contradict each other and that creates a sense of mystery. The clock and Fatal Attraction are linked by them both being stopped at exactly 12:12 which was done to represent the characters precision and accuracy. While the posters and the giant words are homage's to different films with the words being similar to the one on the tree in silence of the lambs. The newspaper was made by bringing in and old newspaper and printing off one sheet with newspaper format and attaching it to the front, the newspaper was then used for when the antagonist first finds out about her previous boyfriend wining the lottery. Also there was rope hanging from the back of the door to raise questions in the audience's mind as to why she had rope hanging from the back of her door. We also used some of the more classical props from film noir's and old thrillers of having a smoking cigarette and whiskey bottle and glass.
We used a variety of shots in the thriller opening including close ups, panning and extreme close up shots. We used a panning shot of the room so the audience can see the whole setting. There was close up shot of the main characters face at the beginning as she opens her eyes. As seen in the fourth screen grab I chose to use an extreme close up of the paused film to highlight the time it is paused on and to make sure the whole audience notices the timing as that it what the shot opens with and then comes out to show the whole screen. We also used different angles for different shots for example with the shot of the door we used an upwards angle to make the door look daunting. We also had an over the should shot of the newspaper and when the image is being circled this is to let the audience know that they are looking at the same thing as the character.
Title font and styles
An example of the titles is in the fifth image as it shows one the opening titles, all of the titles are the same and have similar movements when playing. The titles are cracked and shake around the screen, and unlike the usual convention of the title in some way reflecting the movie. We have chosen them to more reflect the protagonists mental state (a bit cracked and shaky). Also with the titles being white on a black background, it makes them bold and impossible to miss this is again like the character who is very bold and is a Femme fatale character and when entering a setting would draw everyone's attention. The title font and style gives the audience a kind of eerie effect due to it not being normal and can increase suspense because the audience would then be expecting things to happen.
Story and how the opening sets it up
The story is of a Femme fatale character who murders a former boyfriend out rage and fury of his luck at winning the lottery. She finds out that her previous boyfriend who was already rich has gotten lucky on the lottery from the newspaper that she is reading. Image six shows the character holding the paper and the angle we chose to film this shot. We have shown in a shot that the antagonist was imitating a film noir poster that is on the wall and this shows the characters obsession with thrillers and how she tries to imitate them. This is then reflected in the way she kills him and how she acts afterwards. We have also made it clear in the opening that the main character is a femme fatale by the clothing worn and how she is presented in the opening shots. This would let the audience know what to expect from this character in the film as she would be good at getting what she wants by using deceit and trickery.
Genre and how the opening suggests it
The way the main character (antagonist) dresses does let on to the genre of film noir, but also the homage to other thriller's does suggest that this is a thriller with a sub genre of film noir. In the seventh image it shows how the antagonist dresses and also a bit of homage as on the wall there is a poster of Lana Turner who played the iconic femme fatale character in the Postman only rings twice. The opening is very mysterious and raises many questions such as why she is circling the persons face? and what is the significance of the purple dress hanging in the wardrobe? These questions means that the audience is getting hooked in and created a sense of tension.
How characters are introduced
In our opening we only introduced one character because it clearly highlights who is the main character of the film. As shown in the eighth image we chose for the very first shot to introduce the antagonist using a close up shot of her face because this will let the audience know who the main character is from the very beginning. The lighting really highlights the face of the character which increases the suspense and tension for the audience,as well as that the opening of the eyes symbolises the weakening of the rage and fury inside of the character. We chose to challenge thriller conventions by not introducing the protagonist first, we did this because we thought it would be key for the audience to know who the film revolves around.
The main effects used would be the sin city effect and black and white effect. All of the shots are black and white (second, third, sixth, seventh and eighth images) apart from the shot of the paused Fatale Attraction (fourth image) and this was done to highlight the fact that it is not part of the our filming and is of the characters doing. Making the footage black and white was simple to do but toke up time because it had to be done to the majority of shots, but I feel it adds something to the thriller opening as a whole. The sin city effect is when the footage is black and white apart from a selected part which is in colour. This is an effective way to highlight a specific part of the image to the audience, and by looking at the ninth image it can by seen as a very effective method. The sin city effect toke a lot of time to do because adding the effect toke little time but tweaking it to make it effective and really standout toke a lot longer, but I believe that it was worth it as it has come out really well.