In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our piece is in black and white which challenges conventions of modern film making, as the expectation of films is that they are in colour. This makes our film appear different and as such stand out from other films that are out. Our song choice (like a rolling stone by Bob Dylan) is, also, unconventional, particularly since this is a thriller that deals with some quite dark imagery and ideas. The song is quite upbeat and folksy in terms of tone, giving a disorienting sense (similar to the opening of Watchmen, that I have researched), as the two styles don’t generally fit together. We have, also, used editing to create this sense, the sequence opens with two very long lasting shots (about 20 seconds each) and soon after there are a few extremely quick cuts (with one one shot lasting probably less than a second). Disorientation can help to establish an enigma in a thriller as it creates some curiosity in the audience.
We created an isolated feeling in our opening, which is common in thrillers (the name of the film is French for Isolation). We did this by use of location and shot types. Our location was a derelict barn in a largely empty field, giving the sense that our characters are on their own and that there is no who will intervene in the situation, as the barn appears to be out of use (it has some holes in the walls and part of the roof is missing, revealing some bars, which are common thriller iconography) and there is nothing of consequence in the surrounding field. We, also, used some long shots at the start and end of the sequence to make our characters seem isolated in their surroundings. In the first shot, the two characters are walking towards the the camera, becoming larger in the shot as they near, giving less of an isolated feel than the last shot of the sequence, where only one character is seen and he is shrinking into the background, making him seem more isolated now that he is on his own, this mirrored in the song, which is asking, ‘how does it feel to be on your own?’
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
In our opening sequence, the details of our characters’ backgrounds and roles in the rest of the potential film is, purposefully, left ambiguous. The first reason is to create an enigma about the characters, since it helps to quickly engage a viewer and enigmas are commonly seen in thrillers. The second reason is to make the characters more easy to relate to for as many people as possible as the characters can act as a cypher for the audience’s own experiences, despite them both being white, young and male I feel that they are still relatable to most people.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
We would probably distribute our film independently of traditional institutions.Firstly, I would attempt to secure a small budget through a crowd funding website like kickstarter or indiegogo, these would allow more creative freedom as we wouldn’t have one large investor to please, who would, also, want to make a profit from the film, our crowd funding backers would not expect to get their money back, just some goodies in return for their cash. Furthermore, since we are first-time film makers, an established film company would probably be reluctant to invest.
Then I think we would upload the finished film to a transactional VOD site where users pay to purchase films and see how it does there, then try to get the film onto a subscription based VOD site, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video, as it could then have a wider reach as those services are more popular. If that doesn’t work out, I would post it on a free VOD site such as Youtube, where we can monetize the video based on adverts, however this would not be as desirable because it would be hard to find the film due to of the sheer amount of content on Youtube. This is a good distribution method for first-time film makers today, as it requires no experience and is relatively easy.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
We want to have the widest audience possible so want to market this to most film-going adults (primarily those aged 15-50). Due to the darker subject matter, the film would not be appropriate for younger people and would probably have a 15 age rating. The film would, probably, primarily appeal to people who already know that they like crime thrillers that deal with ambiguities.
How did you attract/address your audience?
We used a questionnaire to ascertain audience’s likes and dislikes in terms of thrillers. A number of respondents said that they did not enjoy the gory and scary aspects of some thrillers, having this in mind, we chose to obscure the view of the actual shooting that takes place in our opening. Some respondents, also, mentioned that they enjoyed police narratives, so we ensured that the police could become involved in the story.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
When shooting, we used a digital camera and a tripod to create our desired shots. I feel that we did this competently. During the editing process, we used Adobe Premier Pro on an iMac to cut together shots in a coherent order, we also changed the footage to black and white.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
I think that, primarily, we learnt about the editing process. When we first edited the preliminary piece, we did not import the footage onto the computer, making it difficult, as half of our footage was on my SD card and half of it was saved onto a camera. We, also somehow lost some footage, which is why we never posted the preliminary. With our final piece, we were much more careful with our footage and made sure that we knew where all of it was being stored.