Friday, 4 March 2011

Evaluation- Part One

Part One- What brief were you are working to?
It was to create a title sequence for a film, in which we choose our own genre and for it to last 90 seconds.

Our title sequence is about gangsters, and an investigator trying to put all of the gangsters in prison. Our title sequence begins with an investigator that is re-opening an old case, that was never solved. We then see our suspect walking around run down areas and going to his warehouse, picking up drugs and counting mass amounts of money. The investigator then takes pictures of the suspect selling drugs and then the investigator is shown uploading them to his computer watching them as proof.

Our chosen genre is crime and our sub-genre is a crime-thriller. This is because within our film their will be explicit fight scenes with extreme violence. This is shown within our title sequence as their are elements of suspense as for the investigator stalking the suspect. Their is a feeling of danger within the opening credits when we see the suspect within the meat packing warehouse and this is what creates our sub-genre. As their is no underlining scene that makes you scared, but you feel rather insecure of what will happen to these two characters and this is what creates the thrilling aspect to our title sequence.

Evaluation- Part Two

Part Two- Who would be the audience for your product?
The age range is 15-50 year olds, the primary audience is men with a niche market of women. The sociographics would be D-E category people, who are working class. With an audience of teenagers who get their money from their parents. The psychographics is that their lifestyle will be normal law-abiding citizens who will use this film as an escape from their daily routines. They are the sort of people to voice their opinions, their optimistic and risk takers. But they are consumed by a pessimistic life filled with work and family life this is what brings them down. They spend most of their life drinking at the pub with friends, and like fast cars. They are excessively trying to live their lives on the edge. The media that consumes their lives with is social networking, gambling websites and other websites where they are able to be risk takers. They are readers of the sun newspaper, for its intensive sport reviews.

For our pre-production research we looked into other title sequences similar to our own from the crime genre, Such as "Infernal Affairs" and "The Departed". When looking at these I put them on to my blog and stated what was similar to our title sequence such as mise-en-scene and cinematography. I then said what this stood for and how it made the audience feel. As we wanted to project these feelings for our audiences as well. We chose these two films to research as their audiences have the same interests as ours. They are both crime-thrillers constructed to make us feel insecure and thrilled at the same time. This is what we wanted to portray within our film. We looked in to "Infernal Affairs" as it had the same theme of Triads, and by looking at it we were able to see what it's audiences wanted. We saw that they would like to see a gritty and realistic portrayal of a Chinese gangsters life.

This research was incorporated in to our title sequence by using similar techniques. Such as from "The departed" we liked the way you never saw the lead role, he was lurking within the shadows or you would only see the back of his head. This was incorporated within our title sequence as we do not show our investigator. We only show the side of his face or the back of his head, like "The departed" we also showed his body.

Evaluation- Part Three

Part Three- What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
When looking in to distributors i chose Paramount Pictures, mainly because i want our film to be distributed by one of the big five distributors in Hollywood. So i also looked into Warner Brothers and Universal. I chose to look more into paramount pictures as they have a long and thriving history of distributing crime films. I found out that they work a lot with the director Martin Scorsese and he has made many crime films. As for example i found that he made "Shutter Island" in 2010, this is relative to our film as it is a thriller that has crime incorporated within it. As it features a detective trying to solve the case of a missing person. This would be a much more lucrative deal if we can make a connection between our director and our distributor, as their will be history and trustworthiness that will work in our favour.

The films in which Paramount Pictures have distributed that are relatable to our film due to its audiences and genre are "Shutter Island" and "The Godfather". "Shutter Island" is a thriller genre like ours. It's audiences are similar to ours as they are seeking the thrill of a mysterious case. "The Godfather" is a crime genre this is the same as ours. They have a audience that is interested within the true and gritty way in which gangsters work, looking deeply in to their personal lives. The main relatable factor we have with these films is that all of our audiences are mainly seen by men. Also that these films audiences have very similar psychographics to ours, their thrill seeking through the films that they watch.

Evaluation- Part Four

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

Our media product uses the codes and conventions of the crime genre, as it is dark and gritty. It presents the codes and conventions as it constantly refers to crime for example by using imagery. Our title sequence shows police boats and a helicopter swarming around Hong Kong. This represents the crime that fills the city. For example we used similar characters to "Infernal Affair" they used Chinese gangsters and how they commit crimes. We developed this by adding a more realistic portrayal of a triad. We followed our suspect around seeing him in his private life, we show him at work. This makes him a more believable triad, as it is not dramatizing his life by showing fight scenes. We are showing the monotonous tasks that he does daily. We challenged this by being completely realistic and not showing any violence within the title sequence. By making him realistic we are challenging all other crime films that just show car explosions and shoot outs.

The codes and conventions of the crime genre are apparent throughout the narrative of our title sequence. We have established that the film will be about a troubled investigator who is re-opening an old case that was never solved. We have established in the opening credits that he is a mysterious character that is secretive about his life. We used this from "Shutter Island" as the detective does not talk about his private life and we only find out his secrets at the end of the film. We wanted the investigator to be completely private in the beginning, but for you to find out more about him as the film ends. We developed this by not showing his face in the title sequence this connotes he is a complete mystery.

We used the crime genres codes and conventions within our title sequence's camera angles, movements and shots. We got inspiration from the film "The Departed" and used the idea of keeping his identity a secret. We used this by only filming our investigator from the back or the side. We developed this as "The Departed" uses lighting to hide their characters face in shots, instead we had our investigator turn his face away from the camera. We challenged the code and convention's of the crime genre by concealing the main character within the film. By filming his whole body, but never showing his face. The audience will never be able to make a connection to him., they will never be able to find him relatable. This challenges the crime genres codes and conventions as no one will ever be able to understand the lead role. Whereas many crime movies like to use their lead role to capture and relate to audiences, instead we have made them curious to find out more about him.

The codes and conventions of a crime genre that are in our title sequence's mise-en-scene are that of lighting and costumes. We have used inspiration from the film "The Departed" by using a contrast of dark and light lighting. Our title sequence's opening panning shots of the city are dark and dull and then a shot of a bright office. We have developed this as "The Departed" uses dark and light lighting within one shot, whereas we have separated the lighting to make a stronger contrast. To connote a sense of good and evil, a good investigator and a bad triad. We have used inspiration from the lead role within "The Departed" by using his rough costumes. We have developed this by our investigator wearing trousers but with his sleeves rolled up.

Evaluation- Part Five

Part Five- How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Our title sequence represents two main types of people criminals and law-abiding citizens. The investigator represents the law-abiding citizen and the suspect, the criminal. I felt that stereotyping the suspect would look wrong, yet I wanted the suspect to look like a triad. We did not base him on another triad character, instead we filmed him in a way were he looked like a suspicious character. By using camera angles such as over the shoulder shots, extreme long shots and long shots, we are able to portray him in a suspicious manner. The camera angles connote that he is doing something secretive and wrong. The sound also added to the Chinese themes the film has, making it seem more youthful and more likely to be a popular Chinese song.

I wanted the investigator to look intelligent but not stereotypical like a Sherlock Holmes character, a smart looking man. I liked the idea of him looking rough as this gave him a dangerous edge. We have represented the investigator to look determined, that he will not rest until this case is closed. His roughness is represented through the mise-en-scene, as hid costume is raggedly and smartly. This shows that he is an intellectual, yet his costumes show through rolled up sleeves that he is sleepless. That this case has affected his private life a lot. By using camera shots of him i wanted him to look like a mysterious and troubled hero, by only shooting him over the shoulder and in mid-shots. Through the use of sound we tried to portray him as butch and rough sounding. As we gave him some dialogue within the title sequence and we wanted this to be the only thing audiences knew about him, that he sounded strong and determined.

We chose the typography as it has a Chinese effect, this represents the triads having a main effect within the film. It also establishes that the film will take place within China. The typography looked youthful, this is why I liked it. Because it looked as if it could belong to a gang of young men in china, as they could use this typography as graffiti. I also liked it because it looked smart, as if it could represent both the good and the bad people within society and how they are combined together in this one city.

Using Vladimir Propps' theory i wanted the investigator to be portrayed as "The Hero" as he solves the case and saves Hong Kong from these violent and serious triads. I wanted the suspect to be  "The Villain", but his gang to be more serious villains then he is. With a private source acting as "The Donor", "The Dispatcher" and "The Princess and Her Father", as they supply the investigator with the information he needs and they give him the case to solve. "The helper" would be that of the characters in which the investigator goes to, to get his information from they would most likely be a rehabilitated criminals. "The False Hero" would be that of the police department taking credit for the case they never solved.

Evaluation- Part Six

Part Six- How did you attract your audience?
I think that our title sequence has definitely reached it's target audience. As from the planning stages we wanted to have a male mass audience. All of the boys that gave audience feedback enjoyed the title sequence. I think our title sequence has exceeded within its target audience. Within the planning stages we expected girls to be uninterested, yet they found it enjoyable as well. They also reach their sociographics of D-E category people and all of whom were students. This exceeds all of my expectations making me conclude that we have reached our target audience.

I wanted to appeal to our audience by involving elements they would enjoy such as cars. I planned to do this by showing a busy city, full of speeding cars. Yet we were able to find a broken down racing car. That the audience would find interesting. I also thought that jump cuts would appeal to their thrill seeking personalities. I planned the money and drug scene, this appeals to them as it connotes real danger.

One of the audience members said that the broken down race car reminded them of their cousin's car. "Yeah I think it's good:) looks like my cousins car made the final cut as well, really good though :) well done." A lot of people enjoyed the editing effects and someone mentioned how they worked well within the drug transaction. "Well good, the camera bit at the end is awesome when Si Hin is doing the transaction".

A lot of the audience enjoyed the editing, in particular the flashing effect and the screen turning black and white when the drug transaction is going on. The audience also enjoyed our music, saying that it fit well and that it reminded them of video games and other Chinese music. This is good as they believed the music, they felt that the title sequence was set in China due to it.

Some of the audience did not understand why the title sequence was called "Closure". One of the audience said their was a point within the music were it jolted. "Great editing, the music jumps at one bit maybe could sort that out cause it nocked me off cause I noticed. But yeah it's good. Well done". Also another audience member thought that the title entitled "Jack Hill as The Dealer" was wrong. As they felt that giving the characters name was for the end of the film. "The way you've put so and so's name as the drug dealer, i personally feel that stuff is more suited for the end. But thats all." 

I think that we could have changed the dialogue in the beginning scene with our investigator. To mention that he is re-opening this case for some emotional closure within his life. Or perhaps show him opening and closing the file on his desk. These could hopefully make audiences understand the title "Closure". We could look through the music again and remove the part where the music jolts, so it flows much more smoothly.

Evaluation- Part Seven

Part Seven- What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this project?
The decisions made about the technology are that within the pre-production I would do the filming. Within the production I would film and do some editing. In the post production I would upload the video. We decided as a group to add in jump cuts, and special effects using final cut pro.

I decided to work within the pre-production within filming the title sequence. I also decided that we should have an effect on our production logo. During the production i shot most of the title sequence, although i did not film one over the shoulder shot, an office shot of the investigator picking up his camera and the city parts that were in Hong Kong. In the production stages I also became widely involved within editing. I cut a lot of the footage and put all of the footage in to its exact order in the timeline on final cut pro. I also made a few of the shots faster by editing their speed, and i cut out unwanted sound in some shots. Post-production i uploaded our video to "You Tube" and "Facebook" and I asked the audience for feedback.

We began by using "Blogger" ( to plan our whole production. This enabled us to neatly decide what we were and what we were going to film, and for us to decide what all of our roles are. It provided us easy access to all of our planning. We then used a "JVC" video camera as it was the best camera to use as it made all of our footage clearer. We then used a tripod as this stabilised our camera and enabled us to film higher up. Then we used a dolly system in which to move the tripod around whilst filming, this made filming exterior shots a lot easier as it had wheels to move the camera around on. Then we used final cut pro to do all of our editing and uploading of footage. We used Final Cut Pro as it was a professional piece of technology, that thus made of title sequence look more realistic.

The successful uses of new technology in our production would be that of "Blogger" and "Final Cut Pro". The use of Blogger made it vastly easier to know what all of our tasks were and when are deadlines were also. All of this helped as we were all able to keep on track of what we was doing. "Final Cut Pro" enabled us to make sound effects for our production logo, and visual effects on our drug transaction.

The less successful parts would be that "Final Cut Pro" should not be used for the making and editing of our music. As we had many problems with loosing music and having the music jolt within certain places of the music. It made editing the music a lot harder than it should have been.

I have learnt a great deal of knowledge on "Final Cut Pro" i now know how to make shots longer and shorter by decreasing and increasing their sound. I have also learnt how to render pieces of footage to make them appear within the sequence. I have learnt how to add certain effects such as cross dissolving and fading footage. I have learnt how to blend certain shots together.