Friday, 3 April 2009

I Conclude

Indeed this is a very sad post as it shall be my last on this project. I feel that I have traveled one hell of a journey to reach this point and would like to thank all who helped me along the way, escecially my teamates George and Kirsty and with no doubt also Gerry and the rest of the media/film depaertment. I thank you all for reading.

Ross @ Media out.

Evaluation Question 7

Evaluation Question 7: Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you think you have learnt in progression from it to the full product?

Looking back at the preliminary task I think I have learned a great deal about not only the technical side of filming but also a lot about how to interact with people, and how it is important that you must work together as a group, otherwise part of your film does become lacking in certain skills or matter.

I have learnt that when speaking to people that you can’t shove them along and say that you must do it this way. Instead you should talk to each other and discuss ideas as this could improve the existing ideas and create something that everybody is happy and excited over.

It is a good idea to share contact details also as you can then easily get in touch with other group members. This is especially important if somebody in group may be unreliable with time or is just generally forgetful.

The team should always be thee to support the other members, even if it is that team mate’s area of expertise it still helps to have other people around to say “What if we do this?” After all the production is a group effort and it is good to make something that addressees what you want and looks professional.

Lastly it is recommended that you still like each other after creating the productions, as you can the build on that friendship to create bigger better pieces

Evaluatation question 6

Evaluation Question 6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

By creating our media product I have learnt a lot about certain technologies that I hadn’t tried out previously.

As hardware goes I didn’t lean all that much if I am totally honest. As our title sequence was made out of still photographs and I used my own personal camera to take photos I already new how to use it before we stared the project. Whilst photographing we did have one tripod which did enable us to get more steady shots, but as both myself and George were taking pictures at the same time on separate cameras this meant only one of us could use at a time. However this wasn’t too much of a problem as after looking through the photos and stringing a few together we decide that we preferred the rougher, more jumpy images anyway.

As for filming outside on location I did indeed learn a great many lessons.

• Number one is being ready for anything and everything that nature can throw at you. It is mildly unpleasant to forget your gloves and have to suffer the rest of the day without them, and even more unpleasant if you get soaked and spend the rest of the day drying out.

• Number two is make sure you have all your equipment working properly and that there is enough space on your memory card or tape so that you don’t have to go back to upload photos or fix a two legged tripod.

• Number three is make sure you have enough food on you to keep you going, filming is a tough business and you cant afford to waste time travelling to the shop to buy food.

Not only did I learn a great deal about filming outside, I did also learn a huge amount about editing software. I was pretty much already confident with editing film on I-movie, but editing thousands of photos is a little more challenging. It is easy to edit the images singularly but when you do have so many it can be a little repetitive to edit them all in a small amount of time. In the end after trying out many different programmes such as comic life and various others over a period of three weeks we decided it would be best to edit the photos in Photoshop, but this meant after editing each photo we would have to save every photo, selecting the folder and name each time etc. However after doing some research we discovered that it was possible to set up a list of commands so that the computer could edit and save the photos itself and all we had to do was push ‘ok’. This idea worked as it saved time, but it was very memory hungry so we had to use my hard disk as extra storage space for the edited photos. Despite the discovery of the command tool it still took about two days in total to edit all 1500 photos used in the sequence, but at least we only had to push ‘ok’ and could watch films whilst doing so.

So in hindsight what I have learnt technologically is how unpredictable some things can be. However if you have spare batteries on you, which is another good idea you can save a lot of time. Try to know how you are going to edit your photos before you take them to avoid anger and frustration, plus always be prepared for the unexpected as knowing your luck something will try to blow away what remains of your shooting schedule.

Evaluation Question 5

Evaluation Question 5: How did you attract/address your audience?

As our film is a thriller/horror we decided that to entice the audience to watch our film we had to make our title sequence follow the codes and conventions of this sub-genre. The risks with this however are that the audience could turn round and say “this looks like just another thriller/horror; we already know what’s going to happen.” So we also had to add our own set of values to make the film look different and entice even the most sceptical of viewers.

One of the main things apart from suspense which we wanted to create in our opening sequence was questions. This would not only cause the audience to go “oh, what’s going to happen next?” but also wonder why people had done certain things or “why was a spider shown there?” This theory should cause the audience to watch the film as they would then want to find out the answer to their question, which could be in the final scene of the film.

One f the best question’s that we could want the audience to ask is, why is the killer deciding to kill people. This is a good question as it could be answered many times in the film; it could be changed and reopened by another character in the movie every time the audience think they have guessed the conclusion so that they end up watching the whole film all the way through.

Another reason for people to want to watch our film is down to the fact they deal with two of the biggest fears, death and spiders. People may wish to se how either the two are combined so that they can learn to either escape from them or also how to deal with them.

One thing that was important in attracting the audience to the film was the setting. Almost everybody has been to the woods or forest at some point in there life and know that if left alone there how spooky and alone you can feel. This is the main reason we chose this spot over a town as it is likely that after a while in a town you could easily escape to freedom or get somebody to hear and help you. Something I feel is much less likely to happen in a secluded part of the forest or woods.

In conclusion I think that the title sequence was successful in attracting and persuading people to watch the rest of the film and that we addressed them appropriately.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Evaluation Question 4

Evaluation Question 4: Who would be the audience for your media product?

The Primary audience that we aimed our film at were both genders around the age of 16 leading right up to the age of 35. We decided that this was best as there was little chance of the film getting away with less than a 15 certificate due to fairly gruesome scenes involving spiders. We thought first of all that that the film would attract a majority of male votes in our test screening, but due to the protagonist being female it appeared that the women liked it slightly more, although we had positive comments from both genders with both saying that they would watch through the film from what they saw of the title sequence.

Information on our primary audience:

• Enjoy horror/ thriller films, especially psychological.
• Know a fair amount about film production or enjoy the technical aspect of the movie.
• Could possibly still be at college/university studying artistic or scientific qualifications.
• Fairly independent people who can survive without parents if needed.
• Possibility of slight mental illness or eccentricity.
• Typical clothes are dark in colour, jeans and hoodie, or very bright in colour bright yellows, oranges etc with converse shoes.

Here is an example.

Evaluation Question 3

Evaluation Question 3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Due to how our film was made, low budget etc, and that it targets a fairly small niche audience it would be unlikely that our movie is to be the Hollywood hit. This means it wouldn’t be able to jump straight into multiplex cinemas and would have to be distributed on a much smaller scale. From here there are two options that we could take to promote the film.

• We could use the internet, posting the film on websites ourselves and hope that news of the film travels by word of mouth. This would be much cheaper but there is very little chance of making an overall success out of the product.

The other option with the internet is to use an internet distributor such as and which are sites dedicated to the viewing of low budget internet films. These sites are more expensive obviously than doing the promotional work yourself, but you are more likely to get noticed.

• The second option is to simply pay an ordinary distributor to market your film for you. These ‘salesmen’ then travel around the world trying to get corporations and countries etc to buy the rights to the film at various film festivals such as Cannes, Venice and London etc. Examples include Entertainment Film Distributors and Dogwoof Film Distributors. They are much more likely to sell your film for you, but all that publicity comes with a price.

I personally think that it would be best to promote ‘Magnus Opium’ on a website such as This would save much more money as less cost would being going to the cinema thus meaning if we did hit cult status, which is when a low budget film becomes really successful, like Slum-dog Millionaire, we would make far more profit. This would allow us to then put more money forward for our next film and also hopefully find some backing to help budget it so that when it comes to promote that film we can spend more money on getting the film noticed by the public.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Evaluation Question 2

Evaluation Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our opening sequence targets a number of niche groups which include young people who suffer from mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. People, mainly female teenagers who have suffered domestic violence and also the art house audiences who are interested in unusual productions and how the title sequence and film were created.

Characters that could be associated with our lead character could be Dr Hannibal Lecter as well as the Blair Witch and the antagonist in the much later film Shrooms. All three are associated with the thriller/horror genre as they do not only kill and terrify but also build suspense and thrill the audience throughout the there films.

The main character in our Film is:

• White British , Female
• Young, aged 14
• Obsessive over spiders and mentally unstable due to schizophrenia- get the sense that this is all she knows and that she has nowhere to go.
• Looks slightly unstable but would be difficult to tell until up close.
• We learn from the title sequence that this person is dangerous but also not quite with-it. She is obviously a loner who only needs the company of herself as she wonders aimlessly around the woods. But we learn latter in the film that she leaves home, which you see a glimpse of in the first scene after a series of violent acts from her father. This therefore makes the audience feel some remorse for the character despite all dark twisted things that she has done to others.

The setting of where we chose to film the opening sequence was hugely important as this would be where the majority of the film would also be set. It is a vast, secluded place that would allow someone to hide for days without being found, not to mention corpses. Therefore it represents the ideal place for runaways and murderers as they could almost exactly what they pleased without being noticed.

In conclusion I believe that our film does represent particular social groups and therefore does appeal to people who are interested in these groups or also people who do belong to them.