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


‡ Before we created our horror trailer, we decided to research existing films, posters and magazines so that we were aware of the typical conventions of our media. ‡ We watched a range of trailers such as µ30 Days of Night¶ and µThe Blair Witch Project¶ on YouTube, and also looked at film magazines including µTotal Film¶ and µEmpire¶. ‡      We found a range of conventions in each trailer including: horror trailers feature more disequilibrium than equilibrium. an attractive vulnerable female character. an eerie soundtrack which compliments the shots. fast, sharp edits towards the end. a scary cliff hanger to finish the trailer.

‡ After researching trailers, we also decided to analyse print work, as for our ancillary tasks we were expected to create a poster promoting our film, and a film magazine cover. Typical Horror Poster Conventions  a member of the cast, or a prop from the film on the poster.  a bold, prominent title.  tagline from the trailer.  special effects such as black and white image.  release date and website.  red text.  credits at the bottom.  minimum age for the film.

‡ In order to make our products look authentic we decided to follow those conventions.

‡ I modelled my magazine cover from µTotal Film¶ and found that conventions include:           The use of a maximum of three complimenting text colours. The use of no more than three fonts. A bold title at the top. A promotion. A magazine background, suitable to the main film genre. One character from the film being promoted. Adverts for other films. Magazine website. Issue number/Date/Price. Barcode.

As these conventions are clearly successful, I decided to follow them when creating my own magazine cover.

Our trailer follows most of the conventions of existing products, for example:  we have not edited all of our shots in chronological order as this would reveal too much.  our trailer features a much higher proportion of disequilibrium, compared to equilibrium. I found this particularly difficult as the purpose of a trailer is to entice the audience into going to see the film; therefore we were unable to fully reveal the murderer, as this would ruin the storyline. However, we clearly challenged conventions by:  having a vulnerable male cast, as we wanted to reverse the stereotype, and therefore decided to have a dominant female. I believe this is successful as it makes our trailer unique, which will help to make it appeal to a broader audience.

‡ Since the purpose of a horror trailer is to advertise a film that will be exhibited in the future, it cannot give too much of the storyline away. ‡ Therefore I do not believe our trailer follows Todorov¶s Theory of Narrative Structure exactly.

However, I am able to see elements of Todorov¶s theory in our trailer:         Equilibrium ± the establishing shot of the house. Disruption ± the hanging legs. Equilibrium ± two girls happy in the park Recognition ± girl in graveyard. Disruption ± bullying/ forest scenes. Repair ± kissing shot. Disruption ± forest Possibility for new equilibrium ± bathroom scene.

Clearly, for the purpose of our media, we are not able to reveal the killer at the end of the trailer. Therefore the possibility for new equilibrium is very short for impact.

Uses and Gratifications
‡ The theory is a popular approach to understanding mass communication. ‡ It places more focus on the consumer, instead of the actual message itself by asking ³what people do with media´ rather than ³what media does to people´ (Katz, 1959) . ‡ It is assumed that the audience take an active role by interpreting the media in their own way. ‡ µIt is suggested that people use the media to fulfil specific gratifications.¶ (Katz, E., Blumler, J. G., & Gurevitch, M. 1974) ‡ I believe this theory exists in our trailer, as the audience must be active in order to interpret events. It is then up to the viewer to make a decision whether or not to go and see the actual film.

‡ To engage the audience we included a wide variety of locations in our trailer including:  Forest  Beach  Park  School  Riverside ‡ For the backing track of our trailer we decided to use µSpace Dementia¶ by µMUSE¶, as we felt it was very fitting to our genre. ‡ We decided to arrange our shots to suit the soundtrack:  for example at the beginning during the equilibrium the music is eerie but is slow paced and ominous, alerting the audience for future events.  yet when the disequilibrium begins the pace of the music quickens, adding suspense.

‡ For our flashback shots we decided to use a black and white grainy effect. ‡ This would made the audience aware that they were looking back on events. ‡ This follows and anachronic narrative, as the audience are being invited into the characters thoughts. ‡ Lighting in particular was difficult for our film, as we had to film a large proportion at dusk, to ensure the shots weren¶t too dark and unclear. ‡ As my role included lighting, I decided to research into techniques which other crews have used whilst filming trailers. ‡ Although we tried filming in the dark, the resolution of the camera was too unclear and therefore we decided to darken the shots during the editing stage. ‡ To provide an eerie effect we also used industrial torches and car lights to illuminate certain shots.

‡ As another of my roles was filming, I researched into existing conventions and decided to include some in our trailer. ‡ I think one shot in particular, when the camera is positioned at a high angle over a tortured male actor is very effective as it portrays the characters sense of vulnerability.

‡ Another significant shot is when the camera is positioned behind the trees, to make is appear as if someone is watching the car and the male. I found this was a commonly used angle in horror trailers. ‡ Therefore, in filming aspects, I believe our trailer does use conventions of existing media products.

‡ Overall, I feel that in terms of both my major project and ancillary tasks that I have used and developed conventions of real media products. ‡ I also believe that our horror trailer challenges some conventions of existing products, especially as we have a vulnerable male cast, opposed to a stereotypically female one.

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