Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Evaluation - Finished Product

Evaluation - Question Seven

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

Since my preliminary task I feel that I have become a lot more confident throughout the processes of research, planning, production and post production of a media product. When you compare the preliminary task and the film opening the improvement is evident.

First of all, we had a lot more time to research and plan for our film opening. We all felt that our preliminary task was rushed, so the final product wasn't as good as it could have been. We were more organised throughout the process of creating our film opening, therefore we had more time to prepare before shooting. This improved our time management and we felt more relaxed about the process.

One noticable change was the addition of different shot types. In the preliminary task we didn't use many shot types and therefore didn't have as many cuts. In contrast, our film opening featured shots of different lengths and angles, which meant we had a lot of cutting. This improved the pace of the opening and made it a lot more exciting to watch. We also felt more confident in using match-action sequences, which made the whole scene so much more interesting. We tried experimenting using unusual angles and taking risks. Also in our preliminary, almost every shot was shot using a tri-pod, making the shots static and boring. For our film opening we tried to move away from using the tri-pod and taking handheld shots. Even though many of these shots didn't make it into the final product, it was a lot better to have more shots than we needed. This was a lesson we learnt from our preliminary task as we felt limited to the footage we could use. If we found a mistake, we'd have to keep going to film again, so for our film opening we'd always film at least five takes of the same shot.

More footage meant we had the freedom to edit more in the post-production process. For example rather than just have a medium shot cut to a tracking shot. We could use a medium shot, cut to a close-up, cut to an extreme close up, back to a medium shot, then cut to the tracking shot. This meant that the pace of our film could be increased which worked really well when we added music.

The choice to add music came from our experience with our preliminary task. We decided that our preliminary task lacked atmosphere without music so, for our film opening we really wanted to use music. We used a royalty free website to find our music on and downloaded it straight onto our computers. We also edited the overall look of the footage. For the flashbacks we changed the saturation and contrast of the shots, so that the audience were able to differentiate between the past and present. 

    Before:                                             After:

We were also aware of the lighting as we shot. During our preliminary task, we shot one scene infront of a window. This meant that, when I stood infront of the window, you could just see a silhouette, and the features were hard to make out. Although this would be effective for some shots, we didn't want it in this particular one. So, when we filmed our film opening we were much more aware of the lighting we used and wanted.

                                Lighting in the preliminary task:

Our use of titles had also improved. When adding credits to our preliminary task, we did not think at all about fonts and their relation to the subject. In contrast, when adding titles to our film opening, we were very aware of the font we used and where in the opening the titles were placed.This improved the overall look of the opening and made it look more professional. 

                                Preliminary credits:                 Film opening titles:

Overall I feel I've really grown in confidence using my knowledge to produce media products. I definitely think that I've improved a lot since the preliminary task, which aided in the process of creating our film opening greatly.

Evaluation - Question Six

Evaluation - Question Five

How did you attract/address your audience?

Evaluation - Question Four

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Evaluation - Question Three

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

As our media product is an independent Art House film, an institution that would distribute it would have most likely already worked with independent film producers. Although, this would depend on where our product would be distributed to. It’s the type of product that, if it did well at a film festival, it would do well theatrically. But otherwise, we don’t feel that it would do particularly well in large cinema complexes. It would probably be more successful if it were to be shown on a terrestrial television channel; most probably Channel 4 or ITV.
In this instance, a suitable distributor would be Optimum Release. Optimum have previously released indie films that are similar in theme to our film opening. They could also be a good distributer for our film if it was released solely onto home entertainment platforms.
Another distributer, which may be interested in our film, would be Wild Bunch International Sales. Wild Bunch are well known for their international sales and aim to distribute a broad, artistically diverse selection of international cinema. This would be convenient to us because our film is based on an Austrian event. Also, Wild Bunch are known for distributing challenging and controversial films to film festivals. This would be ideal because the subject of our film is very sensitive.
We also considered that Pathe might be a good candidate to distribute our film. They have a major presence in the UK film industry and not only distribute films but also produce them. This vertical integration gives them an advantage. Pathe may find our film too controversial compared to existing film they have distributed. Their film credits include Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Both of these films are independent which shows that Pathe are interested in distributing this style.

Evaluation - Question Two

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

The main character within our film is a young woman who has been repeatedly abused by her father and locked away for 24 years. We wanted her to represent others who have suffered similar abuse. We researched similar characters in the media and found two, which particularly stood out.

First, we looked at a character from Eastenders; Whitney Dean. She had been sexually abused by her step-father which strongly links to the theme of our film.

Another media product we looked at was a campaign advert for Barnardo’s Children’s Charity. The advert focuses on a shocking theme of child prostitution, which links more roughly to the theme of our product.

The image on the left is a still of Whitney Dean from an episode of Eastenders. Whilst Whitney and Elisabeth don’t look similar, both characters have been through similar physical and emotional situations. Both have been abused sexually by fathers in their lives and struggled to get away from their situations.  When choosing a costume for Elisabeth, we had to bear in mind that she was imprisoned over 24 years ago; therefore she didn’t have access to modern clothes, unless her father brought them down to the cellar. In contrast, Whitney is a more modern character and of a younger generation. Her attitude is completely different to Elisabeth’s because she’s had more time in the real world. Even though Whitney acts as though she can look after herself, certain moments in her story show that she’s damaged and scared inside, just as Elisabeth is.

The image on the left is from a campaign advert for Barnardo’s Children’s Charity about the prevention of child prostitution. Although this isn’t the same as Elisabeth’s situation, it is very similar. Both girls are vulnerable. In the Barnardo’s advert the audience do not see the little girls face, or the man’s face. This is similar to our shot, as you only see the hand of Josef Fritzl. Another similarity between the two characters is the obvious childlike appearances. In the advert, the girl is dressed in sparkly pink tights and wears pretty bracelets; very stereotypical for a little girl. The innocence is similarly symbolised in our film with the cuddly toy. Both of these representations make the suggestion of what is about to happen to both characters even more disturbing.