Sunday, 20 March 2011

Evaluation- Q7.

Looking back at your preliminary task what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Since completing our media product and the preliminary task I have learnt how hard it is to create a film with no budget while maintaining a sense of realism. From having this low budget we have only been able to shoot a small range of shots where as if we'd of had a budget we would of been able to buy or hire specialist equipment. 
We have also learnt the rule of shot reverse shot which we challenged in the preliminary task and now I understand the idea of it and we've seen without using this method the text wont make sense because it doesn't look as if the two participants are sat facing eachother, I have also learnt that it is an effective way to show binary opposition of two characters which is what we should of done in our film opening coursework task but didn't have time to change.
I have also learnt all of the semiotic terms:
Signifier - A detail we pick out of a text that the audience sees has a significant meaning for example a blonde busty woman is a signifier of your typical 'screamqueen'
Denotation - A description of what you can see or hear e.g. we can denote from the high pitched scream that a female is being killed.
Connotation - What is signifier carries a specific meaning.
Binary opposition - Two opposite charcters shown in a text together which can be shown in shot reverse shot for example a scream queen and a final girl an example of this in a text would be in Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
Polysemic - An idea given that carries many possible meanings although the preferred reading was intended by the producers although an audience may not take it in and instead go for a meaning close to this (contested reading) or the opposite of what the producers wanted to signify (oppositional reading) 
Commutation test - Changing a key item on scream e.g a character clothing choice to see if there is a significant change to the audience reaction for example if James Bond wore a Pink bikini on an advertising poster or billboard it would change the who genre interpretation of the text from an action film to a Gay film.
Narrative enigma - A hidden element within a text to add an element of mystery used to engage the audience or hide a killer in Horror genre films.
Intertextuality - Meanings from another text being tied into a newer one to show a similar meaning or imply the same thing will happen again for example if we'd of had our killer Katie filing her nails at her desk it would have intertexual connotations of the killer in 'A Nightmare on Elms street' 
Verisimilitude - Creating and achieving a sense of realism by what you apply to a text on screen and example of this would be Katies beauticians outfit that she wears in out opening.

Evaluation- Q6.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
During the production of our coursework productions we used a series of new technologies ranging from Garage band to the Apple software on the school computers.

From the very beginning, the basics have always become more advanced, for example turning a camera on and to be able to shoot a product based on genre, storyline and for it to actually make sense, does take alot of preparation but the outcomes great if you know how to use the programs available to you.

Apple mac computers had the variety of softwares we used to complete our two minute product. These included iMovie, LiveType and many more. IMovie was the main and most involved application that we used on the mac, it helped us edit clips, uploading the footage, adding transitions and sound effects as well as the soundtrack itself. Once you know what to click at the right time, the software is automatically a very simple friendly way to creating a product.
Blogging was the main source, when it came to research and planning, so we added posts, followed other blog's to look at existing work etc. Also we watched films based on our genre, or key ideas, so this also was included towards adding new posts on our blogs, to explain what we saw and if it effected our product through other ideas, cast, mise en scene etc.
For further research on specific genres, films, working titles, or even actors,IMDBYouTube and  Wikipedia, were the obvious, mosty used sites for this kind of information.

Watching a Horror/Slasher, we can all agree that the more intense the music, the more predictive it makes out that someone is going to get killed or a false scare may occur, so the soundtrack played an important part for our media production. 

To conclude, the softwares, and resources we had available to us we used although obviously if we were a professional production team we would of been open to use more, professional resources if our film wasnt low/no budget (indie production)

Evaluation- Q5.

How did you attract/address your audience?
Our production will attract teens our target audience because some people say 'teens will watch anything involving blood, violence and sex' our opening contains blood and violence but not sexual references because there wasnt enough time to fit everything in in the opening two minutes. We chose our cast specifically to make the audience be able to relate to the charcaters we chose them in the same age group although we felt Katie looked older which was appropraite because we also needed to create a sense of realism (verisimilitude) for example you wouldnt have a teenager playing a manager of a salon origionally we had the actual owner of the salon playing the role of the killer but unfortunatly she was busy on most of the dates on our filming schedual. We also took advantage of the idea of the male gaze using Katie to our advantage to attract our male audience because as everyone knows the powerful women in society are often seen as the most attractive for example Betsy Palmer in Halloween (in her day, see left) and Laurie Metcalf starring in Scream as Mrs Loomis (see left) we also worked really hard on the idents relating the Bricolage productions one to be urban and fresh to attract younger audience types although we see that people outside of our target audience category may view the film such as just general horror lovers.

Audience feedback of final cut

by me emily moore and melsss tell us what you think.. x
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Evaluation- Q4.

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Our production would be given a BBFC rating of 15+ and the core age range for our target audience would be approximatley 15- 24 with the majority of horror and slasher films in this rating. As even if the film is an 18 rating it is certain that under 18's will watch the film. Also people older than 24 out of the target audience will watch the film too
The target audience for our film opening was between the ages of 15-24 both sexes to widen the audience because we thought we would be able to appeal to both sexes due to the storyline. Females because of the feminist spin on the genre and males because of the killers features and males tend to be more attracted to horrors in general because they love the gore and the element of male gaze as there is always a blonde busty female in them althought teens all together are the main viewers of horror and slasher films the secondary audience. Someone who wasn't in the target audeince may also want to watch the film because of intertexual links such as if we'd of had a shot of Katie filing her nails this would have an intertexual link to A nightmare on Elms street. We went for the 15 rating on our production because we knew if had gone for an eighteen we would of had to of used more explicit images and language which we wernt confortable with using linked with school also we couldn't put our rating at a twelve because of the violence used and the language 'Times up b*tch' which wouldnt be appropriate for children at the age of twelve also the soundtrack is quite spooky which was the way we wanted it because of the genre.

Evaluation- Q3.

3. What kind of media institution might distibute your media product and why?
Because obviously we are not professional film makers we have no budget often known as Indie film makers or Independant film makers our film would never be distributed by any major studios in Hollywood especially when we have had no budget finding our own location to film with permission but even outside of the hige distribution companies some distributors wouldn't distribute horror and slasher films especailly with murder and violent connotations. Our production would never be mass marketed and wouldnt make it to cinemas probably, it would be released only on dvd because of the fact there is no money to promote or market the film.

Evaluation- Q2.

How does your media product represent different social groups?
There are many stereotypes in the slasher genre as much as any other genre for example Scream Queens (A woman on screen simply to attract the male gaze just there to be looked at and usually the first to be killed, no real relevance to the stortline)
A classic example of your typical scream queen in horror genre would be Demi Moore starring in Scream or Jamie Lee-Curtis in Halloween. Both of which are renowned now for their work in these films and if we'd of had the opportunity we would of encorporated in our opening. Although in our film we have encoroporated a scream queen in the sense that Colette is blonde she isnt particually done up compared to Katie (the killer) so instead of the usual killing in horror due to a female being sexually active we have made it so Katie kills Colette because she isnt representing women in the way she wants because she isnt glamourous and groomed as she feels women should be and in the way she does wearing a beauticans outfit with a slit down the centre to show her large chest, this is also linked to our target audience as males in the ages of 15-24 lets just say enjoy looking at this and would expect her to be killed which is why we chose to challenge this.
Final Girl (A woman starring in a film that is the opposite of a scream queen, more intelligent and 'geeky' tending to survive the film) Although there isnt a final girl yet we would of liked to incoropoate one but obviously we had a time limit of two minutes because it was only an opening. We either would have gone with your typical final girl being brunette and maybe have glasses to signify intelligence, educated and upper class characteristics of final girl or a countertype of this similarly to what we've done previously and gone for more of a scream queen to shock the audience and challenge its typical conventions of the genre and idea that all blonde woman are thick or just 'slags' as this is the way they're portrayed in horror films.
The Male killer (the man often looking mysterious and quite distant and 'weird' similar to the character Tom in Peeping Tom a quiet character that turns out to be a strange charcater taunted by his father through his childhood causing him to enjoy viewing torture and murders) We wanted our audience to perscieve George as this kind of charcter signified by his shyness around women (when Colette tries to address him when he arrives in the waiting room) we can connote from our text that George is rummaging through the draws looking for something quite frantically to find a photo or images of clients or the owners family, the whole reason as to why his in the salon in the first place to later use it against the killer (Katie) and kill her off.

Evaluation- Q1.

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • Titles and credits (idents)
  • Establishing shot (often with blue tint for horror genre films)
  • Sound track, digetic or non digetic.
  • Tracking shots.
  • Mise-en-scene to provide anchorage of genre and the idea of the film.
  • Following one specific main character (protagonist)
Forms and conventions are what the audience expect from a horror film when they view one. The idea of horror is to scare the viewer which most teens enjoy. In your average horror you'll have a soundtrack that will physologically lower your heart rate and the change very fast to confuse the body psychologically. Usually in horrors the killer is male because they signify strength and masculinity by clothing choices and other choices such as facial hair would signify masculinity and rough a likely killer in a horror film although in our production Waxed we have chosen to have a female killer because we wanted to put a feminist spin on our take on the horror genre not only for a change but to show how rediculous and powerful choices can be but also to show how rediculous clothing, makeup footwear choice can signify gender for example why does a skirt signify femininity? Why can men wear skirts and not be laughed or pointed at?
Judith Butlers theory on the idea that we decide that we show the world we are male and female by the way we dress and that gender doesnt exist it is something we perform we as people are taught to be male or female from a young age.
We decided for the titles to go for a white text to signify seriousness although we went against the idea of Serif font because we wanted to show that a font choice cant make a huge difference to a production and we didnt want to give to much away as the titles are at the beginning of the opening we hoped this wouldnt form an oppositional reading for the viewers but we thought with the sound track over it that would provide sufficiant anchorage involving high strings like Psycho. We have low and high notes throughout the opening which we hoped would signify binary oposition to the audience of the two customers in the salon althoguh we should of gone for the shot reverse shot when the two were talking to eahother to show binary oppositon better.
The slightly low angled shot of our killer is a countertype of your normal horror film signifying womens power and a feminist spin on the genre later anchored by the dialogue at the end 'Time up b*itch' showing strength usually a male representative which is what the whole idea of the production is about.
We went with the idea in the end of narrative enigma of the killer, a usual convention in horror, even though we wanted the audience not to know who the killer was it was hard to do this from the coverage we'd taken because George was shown although we tried to make him seem mysterious for example the high strings music when hw was approaching the salon and when he was rooting through the draws in the upstairs of the salon although the opposiotional reading looked like he was getting nervous and looking for a weapon which was polysemic.
We also decided to have a blonde scream queen and we wanted her to come across a quite ditzy, and although she didnt have a large chest her legs were constantly on screen and we used the towel coming of her in the sunbed to signify the Katie was killing her because she was sexually active. We wanted to bring in the male gaze that would attract our target audience being males and females 15-24 and we thought we needed to do this because some people might say its a womans film because of the feminist spin on genre.
We wanted Katie to appear as a mysterious character and represent violence so the close up of her slamming the scissors into the pot on the desk is used to connotes violence. We feel that the salon setting has achieved verisimilitude obviously because it is where beauty treatments take place unlike or origional idea of a home salon. If we applied the communtation test and had katie wearing jeans and t-shirt she wouldnt seem professional and we wouldnt be creating a sense of realism.

Final cut

SD- In our final cut we have used fast paced editing to fit with out target audience (being 15-24 and above) for eaxmple we have done fast paced editing when there is the false scare of Colettes scream to go with the mood and how we want the audience to feel aswell as George (customer 2) because of target audience we had to used faced paced editing but found from audience feedback that when we used it for most of the opening that they didnt understand what was going on also Dave said that in parts (such as when George was in the draw in the opening) that because it was good fast paced editing we should of made it longer but we didnt have time to go back to the location to get more coverage because from what we did take the shots didnt fit together properly and we need verisimilitude for our opening to be sucessful.

Final cut with everything- WAXED. from sophie dixon on Vimeo.

New Ident - Production

New ident - Distribution

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Idents completed :)

SD-We have completed orur idents for Bricolage productions and Illusion distribtion company which we have now changed from Boredshore. We went for an urban ident for the Bricolage production one with a wall in the background we tried to go for a street ident with the modern soundtrack from Garage band. The illusion distribution ident is also quite new with a lava style background and simple white text over the top the sound track we added to this we went for a bubble noise to make the orange background to look more like lava which we thought was quite cool. We are really happy with both of the idents and was easier for us to make them because they didn't have to be linked to our film opening giving us a wider range of options to work with.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Narrative in opening

SD- We have decided we needed more narrative of The killer Katie in the opening shots so we have now got a shot of her looking down at a knife while she uses it to open a letter but you cant see much of her face anymore so we think it provides a better narrative and gives more anchorage to the idea of her being not innocence in the film. Also there is thick red text on the front of the letter that signifies blood 

We have also got rid of the zooming in when the establishing shot is on screen to make it more like Halloween and we will be adding a blue tint to these shots although we are keeping the sunbed shots the same.
Thinking about it as we have binary opposites with Colette and George the customers, we should of had shot reverse shot in the sequence to show this more clearly which if we had time now to re-shoot we definatly would. Although we are glad with Katie's character as her beauticians outfit provides verisimilitude. 
We still havnt done our sound track although we know we want something like in Psycho. High pitched strings on the establishing shot  would add intertexuality to our film making it like Halloween.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Editing Update

SD- We have recently changed our opening and from our audience feedback we received, we have decided to take out the shot of Katie (the killer) walking up the stairs our audience thought it would be more mysterious and that the shot was unnecessary just taking up time in the opening.

They also said that they thought we should try and fit the kettle part back in because it built up tension nicely so we have recorded Katie telling her customer she's 'just going to put the kettle on' we have now re added the kettle shots and shown the new cut to some people and they agree it fits and has worked out nicely.

We still need to add the idents to our opening and tittles as well as the sound track we've been working on recently which is high pitched notes similar to Psycho and increasing depth in parts to add tension we have also been thinking about the sound when Katie axes Colette in the tanning booth because we need to make it sound realistic to achieve verisimilitude.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Ideas for soundtrack throughout

SD - There are a number of places in the opening that we have identified when we definatly want sound these include the following.

  • Establishing shots of the salon should be quite high pitched like in Psycho.
  • Low strings when George is approaching the salon.
  • Creepy music before Katie slams the scissors into the pot on the desk in the downstairs of the salon.
  • No sound when Katie is looking at the mirror seeing Colette and George.
  • A revelation in sound when George finds the book in the draw quoting 'The good and the bad' to show its relevance and intertexuality to the text.
  • Lots of scary and creepy music every time George is on screen to suggest he's no innocent in it either to make the audience think who is the killer waiting for anchorage to be applied later in the text.
  • Something again like Psycho when Katie's hand is approaching the handle of the sun bed.
  • Sound that will jolt the audience when the title WAXED appears on screen.
  • The sound of Katie axing Colette in the sunbed needs to big and a flesh cutting sound.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Changes to the opening - Editing.

SD- We have made a number of changes to our opening:

1. We have decided to have Colettes scream repeating to when George slams the draw to make it look like he does it for a reason showing he could also be suspicous.
2. We have had to take the kettle bit out although it built up the tension at no point did katie mention the kettle so it was unsignificant to the text unless we can record katie asking her for a coffee or tea and we are able to put the diolgue over the top.
3. We moved the shot of Georges 'confused face' to when he hears the scream to make it more relevant.
4. We are currently working on a Psycho like soundtrack for parts of the opening when there is no dialogue.
5. We have scrapped the idea of using the final shot of the leg and blood sticking out of the sunbed because the blood looked unrealistic and we couldn't decide on an appropriate transition that would look good replacing it with a simple black screen and the title WAXED in red bold letters signifying blood.

Soundtrack issues.

We have had the idea to put the high notes on the piano over the top of the scenes to make George seem more erey when he is approaching the salon also we are going to copy Colette's scream earlier and put it in when George is rooting around in the draws in the upstairs of the salon to show he's getting nervous and looking for a weapon to use on The killer later on.

Rough cuts and podcasts

Throughout our filming we have been struggling to upload rough cuts and vodcasts etc. We don't know what the problem is but we are going to try another computer to upload it on because we think it might be the computer. Hopefully it will work because if not we don't know what we'll do :/