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Title sequence evaluation (Disconnected)

Jessica Mockler

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I have created a crime physiological thriller. I have used, developed and challenged forms of real media products. We did meet the key concepts of a typical crime / psychological thriller, however, we also challenged some conventions to make our title sequence original. This way our audience can have familiarity but also variation. I watched numerous thrillers to make sure I fully understood the predominant conventions. I ensured that I analysed (in detail); camera, sound, mise-en-scene and editing. After doing so, I achieved inspiration. The first thriller which gave me ideas is Black Swan. I noticed the simplistic titles which were two contrasting colours (black and white). I thought it was good because the title was clearly outstanding and noticeable which is why we decided to use this thriller convention. Additionally, we liked the idea of a female protagonist. The introduction of the protagonist is very feminine because of the mise-en-scene (costume). We similarly achieved this stereotype by using a blouse and skirt as we wanted our character to look womanly. This fundamentally means be used the stereotype of a women being feminine.

Another title sequence which gave me inspiration is; Karthik Calling Karthik. We liked the introduction of the protagonist, as it is mysterious because his back is turned but it is evident he is the main character as he stars in the title sequence frequently and is also centralised. We decided to use this mysterious element so that we are creating some familiar thriller aspects within our title sequence.
Another element we enjoyed was the flashback scene within the title sequence. I liked the idea of reflecting on the unpleasant memories of childhood. I think it creates an ominous tone within the title sequence therefore I thought it was a good idea to expand and develop this thought because of the affect it has upon this title sequence. However, we have challenged the stereotypical look of a flashback scene. This is because we wanted to make sure our characters were visible so we decided not to over use the brightness and contrast unlike Karthik Calling Karthik

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Additionally, we thought very long about how the four main media film aspects such as; camera, editing, mise-en-scene and sound created meaning within our title sequence. We have developed and challenged some but also used the traditional conventions of a thriller to ensure we wanted to make sure their was originality and variation but also familiarity . Mise-en-scene - (Cinematography) Camera: One main shot we used recurring is the medium shot. We did this because we wanted to make it clear to our audience how our protagonist was feeling (which was presented as aggressive and sad in some parts). This created tension within our title sequence. However, because of this, it is evident that we have challenged the thriller genre as normally thrillers have recurring close ups to create tension and suspense which is an aspect we have not followed. This is the only close up we used of our protagonist. This close up only lasts up to 3 seconds. This because we wanted to challenge the thriller conventions and wanted to display more of her body gestures and actions rather than her facial expression. Editing: We have centralised our protagonist throughout the sequence so that our audience is introduced to the main character. Traditionally, I found out that within thriller films the pace starts slow and builds up which created tension. We partly did this as we started slow and then as our product progressed the time slowly built up because of our narrative which does create tension. However, the pace then slows back down which is unconventional for the opening of a thriller film. Our reasoning for this, is that we wanted to create a sympathetic tone, resulting in a melancholy atmosphere within our sequence which I think we have achieved. Within my product I wanted to ensure the lighting looked darker than it actually was. This meant I had to adjust and change the contrast and brightening of the clips which therefore changes the colour. In each of the clips I ensured the contrast was high and the brightening was low to make sure it was evident that the protagonist was in daylight, but there was still a slight thriller effect. Furthermore, because we had changed the contrast and brightening it meant that the colour of our clips had changed which I personally think suit our protagonists feelings along side with the narrative. Moreover, this initially meant that we developed a thriller convention as we did film in natural light therefore we have challenged it but because of the editing which took place we have developed the thriller convention, making it evident it was daylight, but darkened the lighting to darken the mood and atmosphere of our product. Setting: The large house and rich looking props fitted into our crime physiological thriller as traditional to be in crime thrillers the props which are use are seen to be rich (guns, money, wealth etc). All of these props are iconic of a crime thriller as they symbolise money and wealth.

Although, the actual colours of the room were yellows and whites which evidently made our setting quite bright which contrasted with conventions of a thriller therefore we have slightly challenged the thriller conventions because of this.

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

Sound: We have not created tension or suspense as the sound does not build up and create this kind of impression. However, the sound is still conventional because it creates a melancholy atmosphere within our product. Additionally, we were inspired from the Se7en title sequence. We have used an abundance of diagetic sound of our protagonist to create authenticity and it additionally adds vertislimitude to our product whilst increasing the pace slightly (in the middle). Furthermore, I think the sound created a mood and atmosphere within my title sequence. This is because the sound is very melcholy and helps the audience engage with our protagonist and creates a sympathetic tone within my product. If the sound was not put in then I think I would have struggled to create a depressing mood within the title sequence which meant there would be no meaning within our title sequence. Therefore, this conveys the significance of how the sound helped our product become more engaging to our target audience. Therefore, I think I did challenge, use and develop thriller conventions. I aimed to achieve an original thriller title sequence, which was very new and unique so our target audience would be engaged and excited by the narrative and the challenged conventions. I thought this would be a good idea as it meant our thriller film was unique. Furthermore, I evidently did not want to completely ignore the thriller conventions as otherwise it would not be classed as a thriller and also it risk my target audience not enjoying the film as I have spared too far away from a thriller film. The prime conventions which I wanted to ensure I used was to create suspense and tension, whether it was with the camera, editing, sound, mise-en-scene was not a dilemma. I personally think I have achieved this by the editing as at one point of my film it does become very fast paced and the audience will be thrilled and engaged into what might happen next. Additionally, the mise-en-scene helped me achieve this affect too. For example, the simplistic aspects of the mise-en-scene such as the costume, symbolising her emotional state etc.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

The one predominant social group we have represented is a young Asian female which I feel we have presented in a diverse manner. Within our protagonist's personality and looks in our title sequence it could be interpreted as both atypical and stereotypical. Foremost, the gender of our actor is female. As a group we frequently had discussions on if we should present her as masculine feminine but we decided to go more clich and present her in as feminine. Alongside this, we had to decide whether she was a strong or weak character. Again, we decided to create her as a weak character because of our narrative and storyline. The mise-en-scene such as the costume successfully displays to the audience her womanly style thus being represented as feminine. As a group we decided to dress her in a skirt and a blouse to reinforce the femininity. However, the colours we have chosen juxtapose with the girly nature which is stereotypical. We decided to cover up her body by using the tights the long sleeved top as we thought it would be appropriate to conform to the Indian religions as from our research we discovered that covering up your body was highly significant. The main colour we used is black as it is symbolic of mourning which fits into the storyline and narrative as our protagonist is feeling melancholy. Additionally, the leather skirt she is wearing is very feminine but also signifies the danger which may have or could happen within the film. We have represented out protagonist as weak. We achieved this by making her turn to drink, illustrating to the audience she is using alcohol as a way to prevent herself from dealing with her problems thus representing her as a stereotypical female because of her weakness. Another stereotype of the Indian culture is the close family bonds. The fact that the narrative and plot consisted of our protagonist grieving over her lost brother presents to the audience the stereotype to a further extent. This is evident when she is holding the old newspaper displaying the fact her brother was and had been missing and that she had a intimate relationship with him due to the fact she was upset. When me and my group started to plan and create our protagonist we decided that we would make her a young adult (18 years of age). The representation of age in our coursework links into our narrative to an extent. This is because young adults are stereotypically represented as almost fully mature but still naive and vulnerable due to the lack of experience they have had. Our protagonist, is represented as ingenuous and innocent because of her abundance of disappointment in the title sequence portrayed through her body gestures and the close up of her facial expression. I think in this way we challenged the stereotype as within our title sequence it is evident she is looking for something which could be interpreted as additional guidance and help she is seeking. However, because of the mise-en-scene such as the costume, it demonstrates to the audience that she has presented herself in a mature manner.

Moreover, because we decided to play and use the stereotype of a young Indian girl. We used an establishing shot of the wealthy looking house, introducing the rich environment which fits into the stereotype of an Indian being opulent within society. Despite the rich outline of the house, the props and natural features inside the house such as the posh banister and walls which look appealing and affluent which reinforces the stereotype we have created.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

The other two actors we have used also have a large impact on our product. This is because the younger version of our protagonist was very young and we wanted to keep within using the stereotype of the innocence and naivety of a young child. The second actor we used was a stereotypical teacher.
In our title sequence we have recurring flashbacks which involve a young female actor who of which is supposed to be a younger version of our protagonist. I think we have represented her in a stereotypical manner. This is because we have include high angle shots, looking down on her which make her look small. We wanted to do this as it would emphasise her smallness and make her be presented as venerable and weak. Additionally, she was dressed in school uniform which also reinforces her young age as she is a school girl. Moreover, the diagetic sound such as the dialogue allows the audience into having an insight into her youthfulness attitudes. She asks many questions about her brother going missing therefore our audience will sympathise with her.

The close up reveals her facial expression. We ensured she looked very perplexed and confused to reinforce her innocence and naivety.

The reaction shot creates a melcholy atmosphere as it is evident the young girl has been affected with the news. This will also let the audience sympathise with the girl.

Another character who we have used is a teacher. The costume of our teacher is casual smart so that it would create realism in our title sequence and make sure when the teacher is shown, it looks authentic. The diagetic sound such as the teacher speaking to the younger version of our protagonist is significant as she is very well spoken but very soft in the way she speaks. We purposely did this because we wanted to use the stereotype of a teacher being guidance to a student. Also, because our younger actor was very young we wanted to ensure the teacher told the breaking news very clearly so that it was understandable. I think the older part of our target audience such as 22-25 will be able to relate to the teacher as she is slightly older and because of the reassuring tone in which she speaks in it represents her in a very pleasant manner. We also decided to use a close up of the teacher whilst still having the girl in the shot. This is because we wanted to show the close relationship the teacher and student have and we wanted to ensure the teacher was presented as very calm and pleasant.

This is a shot from the flashback. It is clear she is getting more and more aggressive because she is naive and confused.

Who would distribute your media product and why?

I personally think that if our title sequence was to develop into a film then it would be made into a large Hollywood studio film. I believe this because our narrative could definitely expand and engage our target audience to a further extent as within our product, the future of the protagonist and her life is very ambiguous. Therefore, Hollywood producers could create and adjust the storyline to what they think would be the most suitable middle and ending of our film. I think that if our film was to be made into a Hollywood studio film then the audience would become large due to the abundance of advertising, merchandising etc which would additionally make our product more popular. Additionally, the editing, camera, mise-en-scene and sound is another reason why our title sequence should be distributed by a large Hollywood company. This is because I think we have followed the basic thriller conventions such as dark, gloomy atmosphere, suspense and ambiguity, fast pace editing etc. However, the storyline is very different and original therefore it would be popular and if made into a Hollywood studio film, the audience would be very large. Consequently, the thriller would be original and engaging because of the unique storyline but also be familiar as the four main media aspects are used. However, I strongly do not believe that our product could be distributed into a TV movie or series or internet release. The reason why I think this is because our narrative and storyline is to complex to be made by a smaller distribution. Not only this, but our storyline is to complicated to be carried out into a TV series as the audience would lose the engagement as I think the audience would benefit more from seeing it all at once. Furthermore, because our audience is quite broad, I think our film would be global which means a Hollywood studio would suit distributing our product as they know how to create large popular films as they have done so, many times. After looking at various thrillers which were evidently produced by different companies, I have come to the conclusion that I think DreamWorks and Fox Searchlight Pictures would be the most suitable to distribute my product. Out of the two, I personally think that Fox light Search Pictures would be the best choice. This is because I have looked at a range of thrillers which the company has distributed. From to Black Swan to The East. Especially in Black Swan, there is a variety of similarities between my product and the film thus reinforcing why it would be acceptable and good for our title sequence (if expanded) to be distributed by a large distribution who know how to expand and create a successful thriller film.

Who would distribute your media product and why?

I think Fox Searchlight pictures alongside with 20th Century fox would distribute our media product. This is because it is a large distribution company. Additionally, this company has distributed large thriller films such as Taken, Unstoppable and Black Swan which are all relatable to either our narrative, camera, mise-en-scene, sound or editing.

This is the front cover of Black Swan. This has some similarities to my media product. This is significant because I think that the same distribution company would be appropriate to use.

The props such as the make up, accessories etc are similar to how we presented our protagonist. The women on the front is outstanding and bold make up to express herself as a courageous character, whereas, we wanted to make our protagonist look slightly weak which is stereotypical, so we only used little make to ensure she looked feminine but also to make her look less courageous. Even though the womens make up is more bold, both females (my protagonist and the Black Swan protagonist) look very feminine. Additionally, the rich and wealthy crown which we women is wearing is similar to the props we used in our product. Such as, the house scenery, posh and rich looking bedroom and establishing shot.

The font is in sans serif which creates a feminine affect. The font is also black, contrasted with a black background which is similar to our media product.
There is a large amount of negative space to ensure the actor is the prime focus of the film. We also did this when our protagonist is walking from room to room, we achieved this by using a wide shot. Editing: The female protagonist is centralised. We have also done this throughout our title sequence to ensure our audience notices our main character.

Who would distribute your media product and why?

The second option of what distribution company would distribute our media is DreamWorks. I think this because, similarly to Fox Searchlight Pictures, DreamWorks is a very large distribution company which has distributed various popular thrillers which is similar to my own product.

This is the advert for the film Safe house I think this film has various similarities to my own product which reinforces why DreamWorks would be a suitable distribution company.

The costume on the top man is simplistic. The fact that he is holding a gun, which is symbolic of danger reveals that the film will be involving many crime aspects.

The two shots of the opposing men convey the idea that their is a link between the two. This is similar to my product as I have used a younger version of our protagonist which links into our title sequence.

The black and white colouring is similar to my media product.I have used only black and white titles to make sure they are easily visible but it is also following a basic thriller convention. Also, the actual title of SAFE HOUSE is in red and is engaging. Similarly to this, we have used an affect which makes our title look interesting. Also, our title is too written in capitals as we also thought it would be appropriate because it is more eye catching.

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Age: We think that the appropriate age target audience would be 15-25. This because young characters star in our sequence which the target audience can relate to. I also think the encoded meaning of our film will fit suit our target audience as the actual storyline is very evident within our title sequence thus creating sympathy which our target audience will reflect upon and engage into. Gender: I think our media product is aimed at mostly females. This is because our title sequence is dominated by females and has no male characters. This means our target audience can relate to the females within our product. Also, the font reinforces the femininity within our product as we have used serif font which is stereotypical girly. However, it could appeal to a number of males because we have used a large amount of thriller conventions such as: colours, sound and narrative. Additionally, the actual body gestures of our protagonist appear more masculine as they are very physical which also might attract the male audience. Race: I think we have predominantly aimed our film at Asians because of our protagonist and antagonist being Indian. Therefore, this will relate more to the Asian ethnicity. However, the film is set in England and also included English characters. This means that our film will have a large and broad audience as English viewers will be able to relate to the opposing characters and the actual scenery. Therefore, this means that our film has a large target audience. Furthermore, I the decided to ask for peoples opinions on my product to see what they enjoyed and thought was the most engaging. This will help me understand what I have done successfully. This is the audience feedback I received: Age: 21 Gender: male I thought the opening was very engaging which makes me want to watch the rest of the film. Age: 16 Gender: female The whole piece is very excellent, very well done, good use of media technical areas Age: 25 Gender: female I think the storyline was intriguing and made me wonder and desire to see more. The flashbacks helped me understand what was going on and made me sympathise for the girl. By asking people what they think of my product I can understand what parts has been the most successful and meaningful. From judging the statements, I can see that I have done the camera, editing, mise-en-scene and sound very well as it has been called excellent. Additionally, I can see how meaningful the flashbacks were and how they created meaning in my product. Overall, I think the audience feedback has been very helpful due to what I can see was the most successful part of my product.

How did you attract and address your audience?

I have created the opening of our product with our target audience always in mind (15-25). As our age group is between the ages 15-25 I found that the camera work and mise-en-scene played a significant impact with drawing the audience in. This is because the shots such as P.O.V help the audience view what the character is seeing through their eyes. I think this is very important as our audience can therefore relate to our characters. Additionally, the flashback scene appeals to a latter spectrum of our target audience. This is between the ages: 22-25 as they are closer to the age of the teacher. But also, they will have sympathy for the young girl. Furthermore, When the pace picks up and action arises it will appeal more to male side of target audience as our protagonist makes more masculine body gestures. I think we have attracted and addressed our audience very well as we have made sure that we have targeted our audience.

As our target audience is dominated by females I think the costume of our protagonist appeals to our audience. Our protagonist is wearing a blouse and skirt which is stereotypically feminine. This means the audience can relate to her fashion style. I also think this will appeal to our male side of the audience. This is because she looks very feminine and is what males would find stereotypically attractive. Overall, the costume will appeal to both male and female which is good because it targets both genders.

Additionally, I think the P.O.V shot brings the audience into the degesis. This is because the audience can see things from her perspective as the audience are put in her place therefore they will feel more sympathy for her. I think this will relate to both male and female. This is because despite the gender, the audience will feel consideration towards our protagonist. Moreover, the actual image of the protagonist looking through old photos helps the audience connect and understand the narrative as they can view the old photos of her family thus creating meaning within this part of our product.

I also think our narrative draws in our audience. This is because it is clear our protagonist is grieving over her lost sibling. The mid shot of her looking at an old article whilst their being a younger version of her questioning why he went missing reinforces the sympathy. I think this will appeal more to our female side of the audience. The contrast between the younger version of our protagonist will also cause sympathy as it is evident she is reflecting back on old, negative memories.

Overall, I think it is evident that I have attracted and addressed my audience very well. I achieved this out come by thinking very hard about how the mise-enscene, camera, editing and sound create meaning within our product, ensuring the audience feels engaged whilst watching our product. Every shot, type of music and sound, the pace of the editing etc has attracted out audience and will help our audience connect with my product.

Audience survey and results:

I made an audience survey so that I could get feedback from our audience to see if what we have made has been successful or not. Below are the responses to the questions I asked. We managed to get 114 responses which is good because it shows the data we have collected is reliable.

We firstly asked what the age of our audience is. We needed to know this because people who were aged between 1525 are our target audience and we wanted to see if our opening engaged them. Furthermore, it was helpful that other ages filled our survey out as we could see if they enjoyed or did not like our title sequence.

We then asked if people liked our thriller opening. 90% said yes which is good as it means the majority of people who answered our questionnaire enjoyed it. The 10% who did not like it is most likely to be people who are below the age of 15 and are 50+. This is because it would not appeal to either age group.

On this question their were a lot of similar answers. One popular answer we received was the sound. Both; diagetic and non diagetic. This tells me that we were successful in creating suitable sound for a thriller. Another popular answer we received was: the presentation of our narrative and story line. This shows that the recurring flashbacks we used were successful in creating meaning.

We then asked the viewers who they think our target audience might be. 82% said 1525 which is good because this is our target audience and it is helpful that people have noticed that.

In this question we wanted to ensure that it was evident our title sequence was a Crime Psychological thriller. It is clear most of the viewers who answered the questionnaire thought so which means we were successful.

We decided that because of our protagonist and storyline we personally thought our target audience would be dominated by females. However the viewers thought that it was more 50/50 which means the male gender is just as likely to enjoy the film.

Overall, I think this questionnaire (survey) has been successful. It has given me an insight into what people actually think and on the whole shown me that my thriller has been made and done well and has also created meaning. The statistics show me what I have done well and what I could improve upon if I had been able to do this again. For example, it is evident that our film is a psychological crime thriller which means we have made the prime conventions. However, we should have thought about our target audience more effectively as the results show me that our target audience is not dominated by females.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
Throughout the process of making my product, I feel that I have learned and gained a wide knowledge on technologies from the process of creating and constructing my product. I also think I have progressed an extreme amount from making our continuity as I could learn from the mistakes I made. However, I feel that we were limited with the camera quality as the equipment given was not as advanced as what real film studios use to make their products. Before filming we ensured we had planned out every individual shot so we knew what we were going to film exactly which would help us save time on reshooting.

I was very unfamiliar with the piece of technology tripod. I had never used one before which put me at a less advantage of achieving a successful shot. However, because I got to practice on the continuity task, when coming to filming I knew how to use it in the correct way. We made sure we used the tripod at all times to ensure all shots were steady and at a good level. We also got to adjust and change levels which helped us as we did not have to physically move. To the side, is one of the shots which I took using the tripod. As you can see, the shot is at equal level and makes sure both characters are visible and not cut out. Moreover, it is evident the tripod has helped making my media product a success as every shot is stable and sturdy which is very significant. I feel that I have learnt various skills with camera work since studying media studies. From doing theory work about the camera but also getting to practice camera in my continuity task, helped me a lot. I think it was important before we started filming that we were aware of the different type of camera angles and what prime affect they had on our audience. This affected our decision making on the camera as each shot conveyed something, a meaning. Moreover, I have learnt the basic understanding of how to use a camera which has a large impact on my product as I had to ensure each shot was advanced. I have faced some challenges whilst filming which I had to overcome but overall this made me practice camera shots more. The camera shots which I struggled with were the panning and tilt. I found the camera hard to control even though the tripod was supporting me. To overcome this problem I practiced the shots over five times so that I could achieve the best shot possible. The software which we were given to use is Adobe Premiere. I think I have progressed a lot of skills whilst making my product. This software allowed us to move clips, adjust the brightness and contrast (which we found extremely helpful) etc. I was unaware of this programme and before editing the continuity task I was unsure on how to use this programme. Me and my group used our time wisely and made sure we had a long period of time to edit our product as we wanted to make sure our editing was up to high quality.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
I can evidently see that I have made full progression from the preliminary task to the full product. I have learnt how important organisation skills are to achieve a successful product. The research into genre was very significant as when creating my product, I frequently kept looking and reflecting on genre to make sure my thriller would meet the accurate codes and conventions. To do this research effectively, I had to ensure I watched many thrillers and focused on them to try and indentify what the prime conventions were. This helped me when making my product because I was inspired to transform certain ideas from opposing thrillers, into my product. Furthermore, storyboarding really helped with trying to achieve the greatest that I could. We made a detailed storyboard with explanations about: camera, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, timing etc. By creating a storyboard so thorough, it helped me visualise what the real product would look like. It also helped us edit in and out shots as we decided that some shots may not work. Moreover, when coming to filming, the storyboard helped us remember what type of shots we need to do and for how long. This saved us a lot of time as from the start we knew exactly what we had to do. Additionally, turning the storyboard into an animatic helped us imagine what our product would look like even more. Therefore, this helped us have an advanced insight and to visualise to a further extent of what our product will be like. I think from making the continuity task, our camera, editing, sound and mise-en-scene have all improved. Firstly, before the continuity task I was not confident in holding or using the camera and whilst creating the continuity product, I still struggled to obtain key skills. However, because for our final product we kept practicing shots over and over to ensure they were perfect I think that I have improved a lot. For example, the P.O.V shot on the continuity task was very unrealistic and placed too low. But, on my real media product, the P.O.V is equal to where the protagonists eyes are, reinforcing the authenticity.

This was our first try of the P.O.V shot. This was firstly, at a higher angle than our characters head which meant our filming had a lack of realism. It also lasted around half a second which meant the audience could not really understand and view what the character was seeing and feeling.

This was our P.O.V shot in our product. We ensured that when filming the camera would be at the same level of our protagonists eyes. This helped reinforce the realism and let the audience into the aggression and anxiety she is feeling.

Furthermore, in our continuity task we included a plan similarly to our actual product we included a panning shot. In our continuity task, I think we struggled to achieve this because we did not have much experience with working with the camera.

I found it difficult when doing a pan. This is because it was hard to keep our protagonist centralised. I also think the actual speed of the pan was too slow which is why the protagonist became out of the frame.

To ensure the protagonist was centralised throughout, we made sure the pan was a bit faster so that the character could stay in the frame. This took some practices but eventually got it right.

Additionally, in the continuity task we used a close up. The close up failed to be clear because the camera was out of focus. This was our fault as we forgot to keep checking if the camera was in focus or not.

It is evident that the actual character is out of focus which means the audience cannot properly connect with the character.

To ensure that the close up would be effective; we made sure that the camera was in focus and steady. This helped our audience connect with our character.

Overall, I think because of my progression, my product has been successful. By practicing the editing, camera, mise-en-scene and sound I think what I have created is good and advanced.