Links To My Co-Producers' Blogs

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

TW - Changes That I Believe Would Have Improved The Production

I believe there are a few changes to the production, 'Oblivious' that can be addressed here, as although I believe the final cut was a success largely, there were some aspects such as scene selection that I believe could have improved.

Firstly, the scene selection was wrong in some places, mainly towards the end of the flm opening. This can be seen at 2:03, where originally we had a scene where the blonde female would walk into the living room, and look out the window, at which point a close up of a mask would be seen which would scare both her and the audience. This was cut and in hindsight I believe it would have had more of the desired effect we were seeking, instead of the same scene but in the kichen, beginning at 1:31. This is because the sound that makes the female jump, a computerized sound, does not add realism and if paid attention to, can be heard to be a fake noise. If we had more time towards the end of the course it would have been wise to re-shoot this and add a real noise, to increase verisimilitude as this small detail is key to the suspense of the opening scene.

Another point about our production is the lack of panning or tracking shots. We reverted to using quick cuts to follow the character's movement, and although this works well an occasional pan or tracking shot would have increased shot variety and possibly if we had incorporated the right angle, could have signified someone watching, which I believe would have been a key feature as the lead would have been 'oblivious' to this fact.

One final change I would have addressed is the repetitiveness of the soundtrack, because although it starts well and provides sufficient tension, we clearly over-used is and it becomes tedious towards the end of the opening, almost ruining the spectacle as the audience become bored with it. To improve this I would remove the soundtrack in some areas, and preferably only use it at the beginning and start of the film opening as this appears common in horro films, as they let the opening scene run it's course due to it usually being heavily significant.

Monday, 21 March 2011

TW - Evaluation Question 7

Looking Back At Your Preliminary Task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

As you can see, our preliminary is of a very poor quality, with jerky camera movement, background noise, and even an unintentionally added character due to poor camera movent! This was before we began shooting our actual production and as you can see we lack real experience here. However we believe we have rectified all the problems from this task and we have vastly improved our finalised production because of it.

One important point to begin with, is that in our preliminary task, we did not use real actors, just the people in our group. However in our film we used real 'actors' so that we could meet plot objectives and also common conventions, for example casting a character to match the 'Scream Queen' character profile. Although due to busy schedules the cast were unable to film on many occasions, we did finally get the job done, in which you can see the more advanced acting skills displayed in our final production.

Another point to make is that we have rectified all jerky camera movement from the preliminary, so our final cut only includes still shots without any unintentional movement, which adds quality to the production. The editing is carefully completed in the final production as you can see, and there is no background noise or unintentional characters being caught inside frames. The reason for this is both hard work and determination to get every shot to a standard we believe to be perfect, and also due to large quantities of editing. This came from teamwork within the group that we believe came from doing the preliminary, and realising how much work there would be to make a good production. If one member was not completing the soundtrack, then they would be pod-casting, or designing the call sheet, or editing the production, etc. There were so many jobs to do that this definitely helped add value to our final cut, whereas in the preliminary task we probably shot and edited the whole thing in a combined total of around 30minutes, so it lacked real quality.

Finally, our final production actually has a real base of story, whereas due to the rushed pace of producing the preliminary task, we created a very basic interrogation sequence in which the suspect would not confess, enabling us to incorporate the shot reverse shot sequence which we found difficult to use beforehand.

TW - Evaluation Question 6

What Have You Learnt About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing The Product?

We have used many technologies in constructing our product, whether it be social networking sites for feedback, or audio recorders for voiceovers and podcasts.

The technologies we used are as follows: IMDB (film search site), Facebook (social networking site), digital video camcorder, digital audio recorder, livetype, keyboard, imovie, scanner, audio converters, email, mobile phones and USB sticks.

The first technology we used was IMDB, a movie database website. We used this for statistics and production information about films we deconstructed in our research and planning. This helped us give evidence that the slasher films we chose to deconstruct were in fact successful, with the website giving us valuable statistics about how much each film grossed, in more than one country, and also it's box office totals, again from more than one country. In response to what I have learnt about this particular technology, I have learnt where to access up-to-date information about just about any film made, and also about upcoming productions. I have also learnt how to access the website, and find the required information, such as profits produced. This website also gave synopsis' of the films, so we could compare these and gain knowledge on common character usage and what slasher plots consisted of ( common conventions used in slashers) to gain a better understanding of the genre we were working in.

Screenshot of

A scanner was required so we could put our completed storyboards and call sheet on our blogs, so I have learnt how to use the scanner and then how to get the scanned info from the computer onto the blog, a process I have never had to perform until now. Ifthe scanner was not available for

use, I would have had to take a picture on my phone, and upload to Facebook, before copying the image into a blog post,  which would have taken much longer than simply scanning the document then inserting the image into the blog post.
Scanned Image Of Our Storyboard

Screen-shot of audience feedback obtained from
Another technology we used is the social networking site, Facebook. This allowed us to post our rough cuts and company idents, in order for our friends to give feedback. Without this site it would have made it a lot more difficult for us to gain feedback as significantly less people would have viewed our video and therefore we wouldn't have obtained as much feedback.

The digital audio recorder and video recorders we used helped us significantly because they enabled us to record pod casts and our whole production respectively. Without these we wouldn't have been able to make our media product, or analysed it because there would have been almost no other way to create the production the high quality we did. I have learnt how to operate both these products, and also how to plug them into a computer safely so the work we had done could be imported and edited before becoming our production. The video recorder also came with a tripod, which whilst filming I learnt how to operate in order to get the desired camera shots for our film.

E-mail was used so we could contact our group members, and give relevant information and documents, whilst we used USB sticks so we could keep important files and upload them from home. Mobile phones were used to communicate with group members and also we needed to use one as a prop in the film, meaning it was key to our production. Without all these we would have not been able to communicate with our group, and most importantly, we would have not been able to transport and keep files from the school environment to home so we could upload files such as our rough cuts onto youtube and then to the blog. This would have caused problems such as the fact we would not have been able to obtain audience feedback as facebook is restricted in school for use.

We learnt how to use livetype and imovie to enable us to produce our company identification and our finished cut, and without these the quality of both products would have been a lot worse. livetype enabled us to complete an ident from scratch with a background, soundtrack and the company name on it, with the possibility of a logo if needed. Imovie enabled us to cut each clip to the desired length, piece them together to make the film, add soundtrack and also sound effects if needed. Without these our film would basically not exist therefore they were the most significant pieces of technology we used.

Finally, we used a keyboard to produce our soundtrack, as we wanted to recreate a soundtrack similar to John Carpenter's 'Halloween' so using the keyboard was necessary ton get the same eerie feel to the scene that the 'Halloween' soundtrack creates. Without the keyboard we would have had to rely on the soundtracks already created on imovie, and we believed this would take away the originality of the soundtrack to make our film seem completely different to others.

TW - Evaluation Question 5

How Did You Attract/Address Your Audience?

Initially, our audience was addressed in our media class when we premiered our 1st rough cut to the group 

To attract audiences, we also used social media sites, such as Facebook. On these sites we posted our Company Identification videos and our 2nd rough cut, so our friends (aged 17-19) could comment on them and tell us what we could do to improve, and what they enjoyed about them.

This is feedback we received for our 2nd Rough Cut for our production entitled 'Oblivious'

This is feedback we received for our Company Identification

As you can see, there is significantly more feedback on our 2nd rough cut. This was extremely helpful to us as we felt that there was not much we could do to imporve our Company Idents, and also we felt that they worked brilliantly with our production. The rough cut feedback we recieved was useful and we have made changes in response to that. The feedback was useful because the people who gave us the comments, were in the correct age range for our production's rating (15) so we felt that not only would the changes we made prove to be successful, we also knew that our target audience will benefit from them as well whilst watching the production. Other audience feedback we have taken into consideration is from a vodcast we recorded in which we had a member of our target audience actually talk to us about changes we could do to improve, and also what they enjoyed about the rough cut.

Untitled from Jem Whitehead on Vimeo.

We have also recorded various podcasts to engage our audience, so they can listen to our ongoing schedule and how we were progressing in producing our film opening. This meant that because they can listen to our schedule, they know what to expect and when, so they are more likely to access it.

Finally, one of my group members, Jem interviewed a teenager who we would target as possible audience for our production in his spare time to discover if the age range we targeted would be interested in a new release.
He found that the teenager would be interested and also gave us an insight into what he would like to see in the production we are creating.

TW - Evaluation Question 4

Who Would Be The Audience For Your Media Product?

The target audience four our media production was initially a broad range of Horror/ Slasher fans in the teenage population, without specifying age ranges and gender aims for our target audience. This can be seen in my post about target audience.
Blog Post On Target Audience
Added Info On Target Audience After Increased Consideration To Our Film's Age Range and Target Gender
Stereotypical Group of Teenagers
As you can see above,  we then change our post and minimised our target audience to specifically 15-24 year olds, in either gender. We did this because it has been increasingly common for Slasher films to incorporate teenagers as main characters, and we have tried to replicate that, so it makes sense for our target audience to be in that very same age range, so they can heavily relate to the characters.

The first annotation shows how although we found it difficult to incorporate a group of teenagers, we managed to show a teenage relationship in order to meet the middle of our target audience of ages 15-24. This makes the film more accessible for our age range as they are more likely to view our production if the characters are in their age range, because again, it easier to relate too and is accessible.

TW - Evaluation Question 3

What Kind Of Media Institution Might Distribute Your Media Project And Why?

Due to the fact our production company is very low budget, and also that we are an Indie company, we cannot aim for huge production companies such as Universal Studios or Walt Disney Studios, so we have decided to target a more independent company such as Caravan Films. This is a small budget production company, and also inside the UK, which would be ideal for our project as it is in the same country, therefore easily accessible and is also in our budget range. These lower budget productions usually incorporate up and coming or debuting  actors to save salary costs. Lower quality and less adventurous locations would be use to also cut costs, as well as keeping mise en scene and props to a minimum in order to meet their low budgets.

If we were really being hopeful, or had evidence of success with a previous production, we could aim for a larger British Production Company, such as Working Title which is one of the most successful british companies. They have most recently produced the film Paul which is hugely successful and stars big name actors such as Seth Rogen and Simon Pegg, who have many defining lead roles to their name already.