Monday, 2 May 2011

Short Film


Film Review

Evaluation 4: How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

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We used a variety of media technologies in the research, planning, construction and evaluation stages of our three products.   

  • We sed Empire Magazine to help with our research into film posters and film reviews. As we adopted the Empire – Plot, Review and Verdict structure to our film review. 
  • We used YouTube to research into other similar films to get inspiration and to grasp the conventions of short films. This included looking at the films such as: Sliding Doors, Memento and The Family Man. We also used YouTube to look at editing techniques which we wanted to apply to our short film, for example the time lapse shot in The Script’s music video, slow motion from The Matrix and the rewind effect from Coldplay’s music video. Additionally we used YouTube during the planning stages of our production as we made some vlogs about the filming of certain scenes. We also used YouTube as a great tool when conducting our evaluations as by uploading our short film to there, we could receive feedback on how effective our final product was from our demograph.  
  • We used the website IMDB to research into short films and film posters and also used it to get an idea of which production companies would work with us to produce our film.
  • We went to the cinema a couple of a times as a group to watch films to get inspiration, for example we went to see the film ‘Inception’, which encouraged our decision for the ending of our film where we leave it on a cliff-hanger so the audience can decide the outcome.

  • We used to help with the creation of our script for our short film.
  • We used blogger to update our blogs regularly, keeping us organised and up to date on our planning and the progression of our short film and the two ancillary products.
  • We used the BBC weather site to check the weather before organising filming for the exterior locations and Microsoft Word to organise filming schedules.
  • Regarding the construction of our three products, we used Adobe Premier Pro to edit our short film, Adobe Photoshop to create our poster and Microsoft Publisher to create our film review. These are programmes which we had used last year, hence were familiar with them, yet still experimented much more, as included lots of features to make our film more interesting and appropriate for our demograph, for example: the time lapse, the slow motion, the change of colour and the split screen effect.
  • In relation to the music within our film, we used Apple’s Garage Band to create some non-diegetic music yet also used the website to add other diegetic sound to our film.
  • We uploaded our film to YouTube and then posted the link on the social networking site Facebook to receive audience feedback, hence indicating the convergence of 2 mediums. We also uploaded an image of our poster to Facebook too and by doing this we could receive direct feedback from our demograph. Additionally, with the use of social networking sites being worldwide we could receive feedback on our products from people from other countries, thus helping our film to become international. So, although our film was intended for a British audience, people from America gave us positive feedback on it, probably due to it being regarded by them as a quintessentially English film, hence a type of cultural imperialism.
  • For the evaluation tasks we used websites such as Animoto,, and Prezi, proving to be creative ways to analyse our products.
  • Canon 400D Still Camera to capture photos when we went location hunting and to capture the images for our poster.
  • PC and Mac to edit our film and create the non-diegetic music
  • Sony HD camcorder to capture the footage for our short film.
Therefore, new technologies can be seen as very important as have helped us in all stages of the production of our 3 products, with the internet being a key element in the whole process, as it contributed to all stages of completing our product and without it, it would have hindered our progress.  

Evaluation 3: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Evaluation 2: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

In conclusion
The train station is the main location within our short film as is where disequilibrium occurs. Therefore, as it is a pivotal part of our film, we made sure to include it on our poster and in our film review. Thus, consistency to do with the train station has been achieved in all three products as we incorporated the train station as the background image to our poster, it is seen as a still image on our film review and of course it is the central location within our short film.
We kept the mise-en-scene the same through all three products, helping to construct verisimilitude. When we organised the photo shoot to capture the images for our poster, we made sure our protagonist wore the same clothing to what he had been wearing whilst filming, hence creating continuity.
We also made our actor have the same facial expressions in the poster and in the film, creating continuity between those products. This is because, in the successful life of the film where Lucas is lonely, his facial expression conveys him as being sad and depressed. Therefore, when capturing the successful life photo of him for our poster, we made sure he kept this same sad facial expression. However, in the family life of our film he is see much more happier and this is also portrayed in the family life picture of him in the poster, as we got him smiling and sitting much more casually.
In our film we juxtapose the parallel lives with the use of split screen and in our poster we made a duplicate image of our protagonist side by side, hence contrasting the 2 different lives he could lead in both the poster and our film.
Black has been a common colour for our products, as is consistent in all three. In our film our production company name and our film name all appear on a black background with white typography. For our poster, the title is seen with a black background and white font too and in our film review we have a black border accompanied with white font. Therefore, we have kept this black on white theme consistent in all three of our products as we believe these colours fit with the drama genre.
Our film and the review were consistent in the way we included pictures from our film within our review. We chose to do this as we thought that way when people are reading our review, they can get an insight into our film, as the images included are still shots from our film. Also, we made sure to include pictures of both of the parallel lives as well as the train station.
Another similarity is that both our poster and film review make use of our tagline: “The smallest decision can make the biggest change”. We made sure to include this in these 2 products as this is something which will help to promote our film and is unique to our film.
The final point which is similar in all 3 is that none of our products reveal too much information. For example, our film is left on a cliff hanger leaving the audience to make their decision. Our poster hints at the parallel narratives with the duplicate image of our protagonist on the bench. Also, our film review talks about our film but doesn’t spoil it for the audience.

Evaluation 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

In relation to this evaluation question, we created a website: 
Website Homepage

  • We believe that our film develops drama genre film conventions due to having a structured plotline which is understandable and can be linked to the film Sliding Doors which was our inspiration.
  • We believe it may challenge film conventions by the way there is limited dialogue which is unusual for short films, yet again this is linked to the fact our film consists only around one main protagonist.
  • The ending can also be seen as challenging film conventions due to the way it is left on a cliff-hanger, whereas most films these days have a definite ending.
Film page on website

  • We researched into film posters and discovered how the bench feature is a convention of rom-com films. Although our film is of a drama genre, it does have an element of romance, so our film poster does conform to this convention.
  • Regarding our poster, something which challenges poster conventions could be the opaque train background image, as most film posters have a solid image, whereas we wanted to reinforce how the train station was an important part of our film, yet wanted the focus to be on the bench feature.
Poster page on website
  • Our film review conforms to the conventions of published film reviews, especially as it adopts a Plot, Review and Verdict structure like Empire magazines.
  • It may possibly challenge film review conventions with the way it doesn’t include any features which indicate it is an extract from a magazine, like “also in this edition…” and “turn over to find out…”. However, we felt this was not necessary and that our film review has a good style to it.
Film review page on wesbite