Advanced Portfolio Evaluation

March 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm (A2 Media, Advanced Portfolio)

The assignment brief that I chose to do was a promotion package for a new film, to include a teaser trailer, together with a film magazine front cover, featuring the film and a poster for the film. I had to use a Desk Top Publishing and image manipulation software to produce a poster and magazine cover, which had to feature the film. I also used editing software to create my teaser trailer. To start I looked at different horror film trailers. This is so I could get a general idea of what teaser trailers usually include in order to captivate the audience. Once I had finished constructing the trailer I moved on to research film posters and then film magazines.

I started to look at various horror film trailers for my creative idea. I looked at Friday the 13th (1980) and Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). I also had an idea for the end of my trailer which reminded me of the end scene from the Spanish horror Rec. In the Friday the 13th trailer, I liked the way that there was a clip of the film and then a title sequence. This is what I incorporated within my film trailer. I also liked the screaming at the end which I had something similar in my trailer. I didn’t like the way that the trailer dragged out with the clips, so I placed shorter clips in my trailer so that the audience doesn’t get bored watching it. I also don’t like the voice-over in this trailer because I think it made the trailer drag out even more. In the Texas Chainsaw Massacre trailer, I liked the discolouration of some of the clips which gives an eerie feel. I included discoloured clips in my trailer because it shows that something is not quite right. I didn’t like the length of the clips in this trailer because I think they were too long. For the end scene of Rec, I liked the way that the audience feels that they are apart of the scene as it’s shot in the same style as the Blair Witch Project. Also the fact that the character is laughing at the end to say that she’s safe is a false security for the audience. In the end I was unable to included the dragging scene in my trailer because my actress would have resulted in injury.

After researching trailers, I then went about preparing to shoot my footage.  Firstly I set the dates in which I will be filming. I then had to contact the police in order to let them know that I will be filming in a public area and because it is a horror genre it may mean that the public passing by could call the police to report an incident. By contacting the police it ensures that any calls that may come in regarding my project the police will already know about it. I was given an incident number as a reference to prove that my project was only a project and that a real crime was not being committed. Thirdly I filled in my risk assessment form for my chosen location as well as started filling in my storyboard because then I had a visual representation of what I wanted in the trailer. Another document completed was the consent from my actors appearing in my project. This meant that all aspects were covered such as health and safety and consent from actors to appear in the project. I was then given a crash course in Final Cut Pro just so I can learn some basics and to get to grips with the software. Finally I was shown how to use the filming equipment and what the functions of the buttons are such as the record button to record and to stop recording the record button is pushed a second time. I was also shown how to use the tripod for the camera and now know that there is a trigger on the handle of the tripod which assists in smooth pan movements for the camera.

Before I could start filming my production, I had to create and fill out all of the necessary documentation such as a script. This gave a guideline to what I wanted in my trailer. A storyboard which outlined the order the footage will go in and what exactly was included in the shot i.e. furniture, actors, location, etc. After some consideration I decided to change the storyboard slightly as I didn’t quite include all the shots and I also changed the trailer idea and needed to create another storyboard anyway. A risk assessment form which helped to identify potential hazards which could have happened during filming. And finally talent/ personal release forms. This is so I had a written agreement between me and my actors saying that they are giving their consent to be shown in the production. I arranged a treatment so that I can lay on the table what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I explained what genre the trailer is, the summary of what I wanted to happen in the trailer and the age certificate I would recommend to watch the trailer. I also explained any ethical issues which may appear during filming, the only one I could think of was the fact that some people who are not keen on horror films or have a phobia of masks. I put up filming in progress man in mask signs to prevent this ethical issue. I then created a shooting schedule which gave me a rough idea of when I was going to shoot my production.

During filming, I encountered a few problems. The first problem arose when I was shooting the teenager scene as one of my actors couldn’t make it so I continued with the four that turned up and as it was getting quite dark early I lit some candles in a controlled area so I could get a camp-fire glow on the actors. The biggest problem with this was that the actor who couldn’t attend was the main actor. I solved this problem by shooting her scene around the fire another time but made sure it was the same darkness, same amount of candles etc. Another problem I encountered was the birds coming into roost during the evening. I could not do anything about this. When it came to shooting the scene where my main actor gets dragged through the woods, I couldn’t quite get the shot I was hoping for because of the ground itself, it was slightly damp and there were thorns and overgrowth which prevented my actor being dragged backwards. Instead she laid on the ground and I would shot her screaming. Unfortunately my actress was struggling to scream so I had to dub it over during the editing process. Looking back at the footage I realised that the footage was quite dark so I re-shot it at a lighter time of the day so it is easier to see what’s going on within the shot.

When I was happy with all of my footage, I started importing it to Final Cut Pro to edit it into a film trailer. To start off, I looked through all of the clips I uploaded from the camera and went through them all renaming the ones I used. This is so it was easier to pick out a clip and drop it into the timeline. I drag down the clips I want to use and space them out so I can insert title sequences between them as well as fades, dissolves and effects. I also used the razor tool quite a lot because it allowed me to cut down the video clips and audio clips. This meant that my clips were shorter and all of my footage was able to fit within one and a half minutes. The problems I encountered whilst editing was simply the audio of some of my footage. In the end I had to get rid of the footage of my main actor saying her lines and replace it with a black screen and a voice over. This is because the actress’ voice was too quiet for the trailer. I also dubbed over the scream.

The decisions that I made for the finished product had an impact on my audience as they reacted to the trailer having a horror theme. This trailer enables the audience to realise it is a horror through many aspects, for example the mask and knife are often used in horror movies. The name ‘Forsaken’ implies being condemned and punished which also follows traditional horror movie conventions and the screaming and running produce fear and uneasiness to the audience.

The lighting in some of the scenes such as in the woods is dark and sinister creating an eerie ambiance. In other scenes such as the teenagers there is lots of light portraying safety. This means that the audience are lured into false security and this is also generally seen in horror films.

The Mise-en-scene of the film is of the horror genre with the dark woods and isolated areas. This creates a sense of insecurity and loneliness.

Comparing my film trailer to other existing film trailers it is easy to see that they are very similar and follow the same conventions, for example the way in which trailer do not usually tell the whole story of the film but parts of it that will catch the viewers attention. In addition I have title sequences within my trailer which you generally see in many film trailers. The ‘Coming Soon’ at the end of the trailer is common in other trailers or it will be an exact release date of the film. I have also got an extra clip at the end of my trailer with the mask which is also quite common in trailers to see something right at the end. I used traditional horror movie conventions with the mask and chasing. My trailer is able to fit in with the wider context of media institutions and audiences by fulfilling the target audience with something they will enjoy.

I organised a group screening of my trailer and received feedback from those who watched it. The overall judgement of my trailer is that it gives everything that you generally see in a horror trailer. Some feedback that I received in order to improve my trailer include having a stronger main actress so you can hear her better and to have a better scream at the end of the trailer.

The good points illustrated from this screening include; liking the way the effects are used within the trailer. The name of the trailer fitting the song used at the end. How the mask is creepy and disturbing with the head turn. The way the image of the mask crops up during the trailer a few times. There is a good use of synchronous sound with the heart beating. The way the effects are used on the title sequences because it adds to the eerie ambiance. These quotes from the group show that the audience receives the product rather well and like the way the trailer has been edited.

Overall, my trailer follows the same conventions as other existing film trailers, although I have developed some so that they are slightly different to the conventions and forms of existing trailers. For example all the different effects used within the trailer as you don’t see them very often. The social groups that are represented in my trailer are simply young people mid to late teens to early twenties. This trailer represents the teenagers the same way as traditional horror movies do, ignorant and naive as they are generally the ones who are killed off and the ones refusing to believe what’s going on. As this is a trailer, I would think that a publishing institution may distribute this media product as the target audience is anyone who likes horror movies. I attracted the audience with showing various scenes in the trailer but not actually explaining the storyline. Whilst using Final Cut Pro to create the trailer, I leant how to actually use the software as it was a new experience to me. I learnt various aspects such as how to cut clips so you can cut out the ‘action’ being said before the footage as well as being able to have short clips within the trailer. I also learnt how to include text within the project and how you are able to manipulate it, for example how to change the colour and font. I was also able to change the feel of an image just by changing the colour of the scene using the colour wheels to make the scene have a certain light.

After completing the editing process of my film trailer and uploading it to Youtube, I started to look at various film posters so I could look at the conventions the film posters followed. I saved a few images of various film posters and analysed what elements were good and bad about them. Generally I liked the way that the posters were simple yet effective. The feeling you got from them was eerie and uncomfortable. This was the feeling which I hoped to portray with my film poster. I found good elements in all of the film posters I looked at and bad elements in only some of them. My main inspiration came from the re-made Friday the 13th film poster and the strangers film poster. This was because they were simple and they both had characteristics similar to my film trailer idea.

I then started to take my original images of someone wearing my mask that I made for the film. I took a number of images with different colours of light to see what worked best. My original vision was of the mask half in light and half in darkness. The light I wanted to achieve was a lantern or candle light with the yellowy red glow on the mask. I experimented with green light, red light and yellow light. The best result I had was with the yellow light because it was a dark yellow bordering on orange which really gave it a candle light look.

I created four mock-ups before I created my final film poster in Photoshop. The first mock-up I created was one of my original images completely unaltered with the film title at the bottom in a black box-out and the words coming soon underneath it. The problems with this mock-up was that the image was too dark and you are unable to pick out any specific features of the character, as well as the title looking rather plain and boring. There seemed to be no life in this mock-up poster and it looked very dark, very basic and very boring. My second mock-up was slightly better as the image had been altered. But a green light was used and I had red/ pink shading on the black title which I didn’t like at all. It looked more like a sci-fi film rather than horror. I used the same image as the second mock-up for the tthird mock-up with its green light. I liked the way I created the title but it still didn’t look right.  The fourth and final mock-up looked a lot better than the previous three in my opinion. For this one I used the same image as the first mock-up but altered the image so you are able to see features of the mask a lot clearer. However it was quite difficult to pick out the ‘S’ in the title as it was a similar colour to the image. So for my final design I had an outline on the title as well as a patchwork effect which I smudged and burnt it which gave the title a good blood effect. As it was my final design, I added a tagline and website to make it look professional and carry out traditional film poster conventions.

The decisions that I made for the finished product had an impact on my audience as they reacted to the poster having a horror theme. This poster enables the audience to realise it is a horror through many aspects, the image of the mask as it is eerie and uncomfortable. The tagline ‘Something wicked this way comes’ implies evil and darkness which generally scares people. The title and the style of the title portrays the horror element as it represents blood and danger with the sharpness of the letters.

The lighting in the image is dark and sinister showing that it is a part of the horror genre. Having this lighting on the poster shows darkness and insecurity with the little light that is present gives off an uneasy feeling.

The Mise-en-scene of the poster is of the horror genre because the darkness surrounding the character is swallowing him portraying the evil that is lurking in the dark. This gives a sense of the unknown and the feeling that no-one knows what will happen next.

Comparing my poster to other existing film posters it is easy to see that they are very similar and follow the same conventions, for example the positioning of the tagline is at the top of the poster and the website is located at the bottom of the poster. This is generally seen in posters for example The Strangers and The Darkening. In addition the image is large and simple this can be seen in other posters such as Friday the 13th and The Orphanage. My film poster is able to fit in with the wider context of media institutions and audiences by conveying the horror genre through the use of one simple image.

Again I had a group screening where I showed all three of my product to get a whole group feedback. The overall judgement of my film poster is that it is eerie and scary. Some feedback that I received from the group in order to improve my poster include having a different colour light such as yellow to get a better candle glow. To make the main image less ‘fuzzy’, in other words refine the image a little better so that it is clearer.

The good points illustrated from this group include; liking the way the film is portrayed through the use of this poster. The way the image is suitable and very fitting to accompany the trailer it just needs to be less pixelated. How the image is quite realistic and works well with the horror theme. These quotes from the group show that the audience receives the product rather well.

Overall, my poster follows the same conventions as other existing film posters, although I have developed some so that they are positoned slightly differently than the conventions and forms of existing film posters. For example the tagline as they are usually just above the title or near the website where as mine is positioned at the top of the page. The social groups that are represented in my poster are those left in the dark or misunderstood because that is the character of the masked killer in my film trailer. This poster represents the those kept in the dark and misunderstood people because of the way the character is concealed with the mask and the fact that the darkness is almost swallowing the character whole with him lingering in the blackness. As this is a film poster, I would think that a publishing institution may distribute this media product to compliment the film trailer. I attracted the audience with the masked character which is what represents the film very well. Whilst using Photoshop to create the poster, I leant how to better my skill at Photoshop by experimenting around with the auto levels and colours as well as using textures, smudge tool and the burn tool. I learnt various aspects such as how to salvage quite a dark image and make it into something presentable. I also learnt how to feather and manipulate text so that the final product looks like it is all on the same level and doesn’t look like text has just been placed on top of an image.

After constructing my film poster and mock-ups, I started to look at various film magazine front covers. I saved various images of film magazine front covers and and analysed what I liked and did not like about them. I noticed that they very rarely had more than two images on the cover as only two of the seven covers I looked at had over two images. I wanted to construct my magazine cover in a similar way to those I looked at with having no more than two images on the cover and having no more than three stories on the cover. I then thought of the stories I could illustrate on the front cover.  The first one would have been a film review of Forsaken. The next two were upcoming films and Simon Pegg interview as this magazine is a general film magazine.

After having an idea of what kind of stories I want to include in my magazine, I went about creating a template of where I will place all the elements on the page. I then thought about Images I could have for the front cover. I decided on the image I used in my poster or the mask and knife their own on a table.

When I was happy with the chosen images, I then looked at making a mock-up of the front cover just to see how it would roughly look. Whilst constructing the cover I made various decisions on position of the images, the colours used, positioning of the text. I also changed my original images for the final design because they were unsuitable for a magazine cover as the first image was fine for the poster but not for a magazine cover because it was grainy and I needed a glossy image to put on the magazine cover. The second image was of the mask and knife on the table, the problem with this image is that it didn’t really represent the film very well compared to the person wearing the mask. So for the last mock-up and final design, I had an image of someone wearing the mask. I decided to use red, black and white in my magazine because red represents blood which makes it eerie and horrific, this is the reason for using the blood-red colour on the ‘exclusive’ at the bottom of the page. The black and white corresponds with a scene within the trailer which creates consistency. On the masthead, I used a film reel and black text with small white text on top of the F in Film. This was to reinforce the fact that it is a film magazine. I then used an image of an ice cream which I obtained from the internet to correspond with the Simon Pegg interview. I also included a freeze from my trailer of the young killer running away. This is the secondary image to the splash as the film magazine had to feature the film.

The decisions that I made for the finished product had an impact on my audience as they reacted to the magazine having a horror theme with the colour scheme and images used. This magazine enables the audience to realise it is a horror/ thriller through many aspects, for example the splash image and secondary image represent my film trailer. The ‘exclusive’ at the bottom of the page has blood dripping from it. The title Forsaken is the same style as the poster and the trailer so it looks like knives and is quite a creepy font to use.

The lighting in the splash image is dark showing fear and the lighting in the secondary image is very light but the character is running away which shows that no-one is safe. The ice-cream on the other hand shows that the magazine isn’t just for the horror genre but all genres as it is a general film magazine.

The Mise-en-scene of the magazine is mainly of the horror genre as the splash image and seconary image dominate the theme of the magazine for this particular issue.

Comparing my college magazine to other existing film magazines it is easy to see that they are very similar and follow the same conventions, for example the positioning of the masthead is at the top of the page which are seen on existing magazines such as Empire and Unlimited. In addition the pugs are located at the top of the page underneath the masthead which is usually where you would find them on magazine. The lures are located at the bottom of the page which is where they generally are on a magazine. I have made the splash headline bigger and bolder than the other headlines just like existing magazines and I have positioned it near the bottom of the page above the bar code, which is usually where they are placed. My magazine is able to fit in with the wider context of media institutions and audiences by supporting the my film trailer and portraying the horror genre.

The overall judgement of my magazine front cover  is that it is follows traditional conventions of a magzine. Some feedback that I received from the group in order to improve my magazine include having a better image on the cover.And to have better use of Photoshop on the image.

The good points illustrated from the group include; liking the way the masthead is designed because it looks like it could be on a real film magazine. The name and content of the magazine being very suitable as it’s a general film magazine. This shows that my magazine is received quite well by the target audience.

Overall, my magazine follows the same conventions as other existing film magazines, although I have developed some so that they are slightly different to the conventions and forms of existing film magazines. For example my splash image is not positioned in front of the masthead as most magazines do this. The social groups that are represented in my magazine are the same as the poster. As this is a film magazine, I would think that a publishing institution may distribute this media product as it is a general film magazine, however the reason they may not distribute this media product is because there are already quite a few film magazines available. I attracted the audience with interesting stories. Whilst using Photoshop to create the magazine, I learnt various aspects such as how to create a nice border around an image using a stroke under layer properties.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: