The Group

Working Title- Waxed

Group Photo

Group Photo
Sophie Dixon, Emily Moore and Melodie Abraham

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Final Cut

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

Evaluation 7

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

In the progression from my pre-lim to the full product I feel I have learnt many things and this is reflected in the obvious improvement.

Just by looking at the pre-lim it shows how basic both our camera skills and editing skils were at the begining of this process and by comparing it to the final product we can see how much we have learnt about the research,shooting and evaluating.

When conducting the research it was clear that this would affect our product, I learnt a lot about the genre and the conventions used when making a film. We spent a lot of time researching real media texts from our chosen genre as well as looking at female main characters. The research was one of the most important aspects when looking at the progression from pre-lim to now. When we did our pre-lim due to time constraints we didnt have any time to plan. This meant that we had no storyboard or call sheet or treatment and we had very limited time to get shot variation due to bad time management. If we compare this to our final product we had more than one storyborad as the idea kept changing in the early stages and having changes made becuase of our audience feedback it meant our product would develop more at each stage. We could make sure the product was close to its best because we had the time.

If we look at the technical side of making the product we can see that with the pre-lim the editing was very basic, we had no soundtrack and hardly any transitions we didnt have time to create reshooting because of things such as not having the camera in the right place of having a unsteady shot. In comparison to the final product it is clear that we had developed a lot in regards to editing (using diffent transitions and titles from iMovie) and the use of sound (using garageband to create our soundtrack). Sound was one thing that we didnt particularly like in the pre-lim, it wasnt very good quality, we learnt how to use the boom mic which improved the quailty of the sound in the product.

The editing of the product was done to a much higher standard, this was partly due to being able to re-shoot after we have seen what does or doesn't work and we had to understand when to use fast-pace editing to create the desired effect, this we did not know when making the pre-lim. We also used a tripod to overcome the issue of a unsteady shot. Shot variation was another thing which we improved on a lot, in the pre-lim we had very limited shot variation with it mostly being shot-reverse-shot, in the product we had cut-away shots, close ups and establishing shots, more two-shots could of been done even thoguht shot-reverse-shot is good as it helps with exposition.

Audience feedback was a really good way of us testing our idea on people and being able to change it to make it better, by doing these improvement it shows how are product has progressed from our inital idea when we had to pitch the idea to the class and pick what we wanted to do (which we didnt do with the pre-lim) to the final product complete with idents.

Im many of the shots in our pre-lim the lighting is not very good which means seeing the characters is rather difficult, where as in the product we were able to make the insideof the salon very well light and in the treatment room we wanted a dark place to make it have a false sense of relaxation. The casting fo the pre-lim was done only by using the people in the group as due to bad time mamngement we didn't have time to do any casting, in the product we were able to get people who reasonably resembled the ideal characters. We also made it clear the costumes we wanted our characters to wear whereas in the pre-lim we just wore what we had on that day so it didnt look very realistic. The mise-en-scene of the pre-lim was not in our control we used a class-room that was free at the time, in the product we wanted to make sure we had the salon looking like it was new and clean, we also wanted to make sure things like the pad and the scissors were clearly in the shots. Another problem with the pre-lim was the continuity, Sophie walked through a door into one room but came through the door into another, this made the pre-lim look very amateur. The idents are another way of showing how our editing and computer skills have progressed as they are very good. Achieving verisimilitude was difficult in the pre-lim but it was also hard to achieve in the product especially when we had to re-shoot but we made it work.

Making sure that the individual roles were shown was hard as in the pre-lim we just worked together and didnt show who did what. Also making sure that we worked in a group with everyones views being discussed was hard as sometimes people had different ideas. One of the problems with the final product was getting everyone to commit with a day to shot as wel as getting the cast to be there aswel. It was also added pressure to make things to a good standard because we had other peoples grades as wel as our own to think about.

Evaluation 6

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

In Research and Planning I used technology to help with my research into the genre and research different films.The internet was the technology i used most in this section, it was useful in accessing 'old media' such as books and articles from papers. The most obvious wedsite I used was blogger which is how I recorded our progress and showed my groups work. I also used different search engines such as google and bing to find our facts and look at different websites for research into the horror genre and into the different stereotypes of the genre. I also used the site IMDb for looking up budgets and box office figures of the films I deconstructed it was also good for checking up facts like the director of a film.. I used the scanner to upload the call sheets and storyboards so they could be uploaded also it was good to use to everyone in the group had copies.
When making the product the most important tool I used the digital camera to actually do the filming, this was one of the things which i feel was easiest. Another form of technology was email, I used this to email the picture of the location to the macs so we could upload the onto the blog, this helped us in being able to communicate with each other when we were apart. When making the podcast with used the recorder to make them then upload them to the blog, this was good because we could all have our imput.

We used the Macs to upload and edit our product, this is how many low budget real media texts are made so it was good that we had access to them even it we didnt have the same software because it helped us to learn about the way real media products were made.

We had certain programmes on the Macs which helped us to create our our product such as iMovie which is what we used to edit and software and put the different effects on it. This gave the product a real feel and when we edited the product together it was easy to use and understand the different tools. We also used this programme to make title screens.
Garageband was used to create our soundtrack, we used it to find the notes we wanted and overlay them and make a track that fitted with our film. 
LiveType was used to make our Idents, this was done by picking a background, adding text and adding sounds to creat a clips that was a few seconds long. All of these programmes were very helpful and few ago they would not of been available to students. 

In the evaluation I used many different wedsite to gain pictures, as well as using pictures and links from previous post on my blog.
Other forms of technology we used was youtude to get audience feedback and upload our roughcuts and idents. It made the process of getting audience feedback a lot easier than it would of been years ago. We also used sites such as Divshare and Scribd to upload our treatmeant and some of the idents as well as a USB to share information in the group. 
The forms that were particulary useful other than the internet search engines themselves was the iMovie it made the whole editing process a lot easier and I was suprised at how good a product we could get from such a basic programme. Along with garageband it helped make the finished product rather professional and look like a real amateur film.

Evaluation 5

How did you attract/address your audience?

We attracted/addressed our audience in several ways. Our target audience was 15-24 males and females with a secondary audience being slightly older and younger. We used narrative enigma in regards to the male character George and with katie and at the start you dont see her face to attract the audience and keep them interested. Also by have George as the first person on screen it makes the audience assume he is going to be the killer. We also used a false scare to attract the audience and also make our product 'fit' in with other films as this is a technique typical of the slasher genre. As previously said people most likely to watch are film are people from the same area which is yorkshire and by having the our cast with the same regional accents it helps the audience to identify with the cast although we had to make sure the product looks realistic so having a 17year old owning a salon is not so we had to make Katie look older then her actual age which was qite easy to create by making her quite heavily made up, this in turn also made her subject to the male gaze as well as Colette which should hepl reinforce our male audience. We wanted to have a a traditional 'scream queen' which was played by colette we wanted her to appeal to Laura Mulvey male gaze also we used suggested sexual content, when Colette gets into the tanning booth and drops the towel outside- we hoped this would help get a male audience. By having a female killer instead of the typical male we wanted to make the product appeal to a feminist audience and by putting a feminist spin on the genre we feel we could widen our potential audience. Katie was meant to be more like the 'final girl' then the 'scream queen'.

We wanted to have music that would help build up tension and create suspense so we used high ptich strings and notes that echoed each other to get the effect. An example of this is 'The Shining' it contains low notes that keep the audience in suspense as they are waiting for the next note but dont know when its going to come. "Repetitive high pitched notes in a common rhythm are now a staple in the horror industry. The movies have used these musical sections in reference to stabbings, especially the stabbing in Psycho. People have a fear of stabbing; stabbing is linked to the music, and now the music causes fear." Also we used our idents to keep the audiences attention, we wanted to make them look professional and to a high standard so that the audience would be impressed.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Evaluation 4

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Our core target audience would be aged 15-24 both males and females. The secondary audience would be people with an interest in low-budget indie films or other media students. As we stated in an earlier post on classification we feel our film would get a 15 rating due to the nature of the film and the implications of the axe and some of the language that is used, at first when we were planning the story we knew we wanted to to target an audience similar to our own age so we knew what certain things we would have to exclude for this to happen such as very strong language and extreme gore. We also thought that it would have this rating because many other films like ours have this rating such as psycho and the rating of that film was set by the bbfc so we looked at this films and others and decided what age our audience should be targeted at. We also looked at recent films to see if there was an audience for our film and a very recent film called Attack the block which was a action/sci-fi horror has certifiate 15. Obviously older people and people younger than our target audience are going to watch our film as many people older than 24 have an interest in amateur indie films. Because our film is only an opening with a very small budget it is very unlikely that it would be seen by any people overseas but if it did it maybe wouldn't be understood as well due to the accents of our cast (they are all from yorkshire). This is why it is targeted at british 15-24.

Targeting both a male and female audience was what we wanted at achieve because we want the film to be seen by as many people as possible.  We wanted to include a strong female character which we did by having a female killer, this would appeal to our female audience as well as having a female "scream queen"   to appeal to our male audience as part of the "male gaze". Middle class could be another secondary audience for the film because of the setting and the characters we use, although Yorkshire is typically seen as having stupid working class our film is set in a very middle class area and our character speak with quite 'posh' yorkshire accents. Also the soundtrack is set to appeal to our core audience as following many other 15 rated film we used the soundtrack to create suspense and build up tension.

Evaluation 3

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
In a perfect world we would want one of the biggest companies to distribute our film. Some of the most well know distribution companies like Warner Bros or Paramount but seeing as we are only indie film makers with little to no budget that doesn’t seem very likely.
Many big film companies have smaller companies they work with that are ‘independent’ the larger companies own shares in the smaller companies.
I would pick a Company such as New Line Cinema because they have distributed other horror such as ‘Nightmare on Elms Street’ and its sequels. After doing some research I found that New Line doesn’t distribute outside the U.S but it collaborates with other companies such as Entertainment Film Distributors. They distribute New Line films in the UK, they distribute independent films and have distributed films in the horror/slasher genre such as ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Cherry Falls’. They are known for the distribution of the ‘Lord of the Rings Trilogy’
Another example of a Company that could distribute our film would be Warp X. Warp X is a subsiduary of Warp. They have been working with the UK Film Council and Film 4. Their joint objectives as set out by the UK Film Coucil and Film4 is; | To develop a more integrated and cost-effective model for the development and production of low-budget films by accessing a core team of production, financing and business affairs expertise and taking into account the cultural and commercial needs of the UK film industry.To provide an opportunity for and to encourage established filmmaking talent to reinvest their expertise in the talent of the tomorrow, both in front of and behind the camera.They are a UK independent distribution company. They have distributed films such as ‘Donkey Punch’ in 2008. But are most well-known for thier £1.5 million budget 'This is England' 2007.

Evaluation 2

How does you media product represent particular social groups?
We only have 3 characters in our opening so that narrows done how our media product as a whole represented particular social groups.
Katie- Killer. She played the role as a killer.
We decided you to make our villain/ killer a countertype of the general convention of a killer in horror. We wanted to out a feminist spin on the killer stereotype and by having a strong female who has the power to kill we feel we have target that stereotype and broken it. Katie is the opposite of the typical brunette in horror. We wanted to represent our killer as being a pretty, very  done-up young woman who is slightly twisted. But  us being amateur film makers we could get our ideal killer of the right age so we used a teenage girl but hid her face until the very end. We want her to be quite young because of our target audience 15-24, this would help the audience to keep interested in the film. It is just typical to have pretty women on television especially in horror films because the of the male audience. Like all our cast our killer is Caucasian, this wasn’t does purposely for any reason I believe it is just representative of the area we live in as it is majority a Caucasian  community and we used what actors we could. Our killer seems to be middle class this is based on her accent, she doesn’t have a strong Yorkshire accent; her clothes, she is wearing a typical salon workers uniform but she is wearing nice shoes and has nice nails and also the location, it is supposed to be her salon that is set in a middle class village in Yorkshire. By looking at this I would say she represents the middle class. Her class isn’t that obvious to the audience in our text. Katie’s nationality is obvious British from Yorkshire. A stereotype of Yorkshire is stupid, dumb. Katie doesn’t that stereotype because she is a rather successful business woman. We chose to dress Katie in as ‘Gender Neutral’ clothes as we could, plain white trousers and black high-neck top. We didn’t want Katie to be seen as a subject of the male gaze. Also looking at Judith Butlers idea that gender is ‘performativity’ that we learn to be a certain gender and things like what we wear and how we look after our selves is learned. We wanted Katie to be seen as a masculine female the countertype of the ‘scream queen’ or ‘girlie-girl’.  Katie’s sexuality hasn’t been shown to be either homo-sexual or hetero-sexual so the automatic assumption from the audience will be hetero-sexual.
Colette- female victim ‘Laurie’

Example of Sream Queen for Psycho

We want to portray Colette as a ‘scream queen’. Ideally we would of liked her to of had much more blonde hair but I think we still get her across as the ‘dumb blonde’ who is very cheerful as ditzy. Colette was also subject to the ‘male gaze’ she is pretty and gets killed off very early one and serves no real importance to the story line. Colette is playing I younger woman/old teenager. This fits with the story of a younger girl going for her leg waxed it seems realistic (verisimilitude). Again Colette is Caucasian which like a said before just represents our resources. Colette being female is very important as it shows we are not only following some of the conventions of horror but that we understand them. Colette represents and middle class maybe even upper middle class because she has an accent that is typical of and highly educated person of that class. Also when we think about her role, its normally middle class that would be going to get their legs waxed and tans especially in the economic climate. As with her other cast mates no emphasis has been put on Colette’s sexuality it is something that the audience would really notice that much during this short opening, but things such as her talking to George and maybe trying to flirt with him could signify she is hetero-sexual. We dressed Colette in a rather short dress. We made her hair wavy and down, typically this makes her seem middle class but she is wearing tights to make her look more middle class.

George- male suspect
We put a George character in the film so that the audience will think he is the killer. Obviously this isn’t the case but we only find that out right at the end of the opening. Ideally he would be an older man but we could find any available actors. We wanted an older character so we could provide more anchorage he is the killer by facial hair. Having the ‘fake killer’ with dark hair and thick eyebrows are common in horrors because blond males are normally seen as the ‘hot jocks’ from American movies I feel this idea has worked its way into horrors as well. George’s appearance as well as accent helps to re-enforce the class of all the characters. George is rude to Colette, this is slightly playing to the stereotype of Yorkshire people being rude and it could also signify to the audience that George isn’t middle class like Katie and Colette. George’s sexuality is questioned in the film because he is going to a salon and there is a stereotype of homo-sexual men going to salon. We tried to countertype this by having George dress in dark clothes have unkept hair.
We made other choices when considering representation and some choices were out of our hands for example the age of characters and having any physically disabled in our opening, were wernt able to include any because our location didn’t have wheelchair access neither did we have the resources.

Evaluation 1

Evaluation 1

Saturday, 19 March 2011

New Ident- Distribution

We decided to change the name of our Distribution to 'illusion'. It sounded much better then Boredshore or any of the other idea we came up with.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Ident- Production

This is the Ident for our Production Company. 'Bricolage Productions'.