Wednesday, 27 April 2011

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

How Effective is the Combination of Your Main Product and Ancillary Texts?

Our short film and ancillary texts compliment each other well, as they both epitomise the enigma of our product. The ambiguous teaser poster and mystery depicted in our film concerning Sean's past, reinforce each other - and whilst the film review gives some information away it avoids ruining the twist. We wanted to maintain a consistent colour scheme throughout our 3 media products with black, white and red being prominent colours - which are seen in our poster and film review but more implicitly in some shots of our film such as Eddie in a black suit behind the red backdrop

The pictures of our central characters in the magazine film review displays there characters, with the archetypal villain Eddie staring menacingly down the camera, unsettling the viewer whilst the nervous Sean is shown in desperation looking away from the camera drinking alcohol to calm his nerves. Clearly you can see the difference the character profiles make at the centre of our review opposed to the poster in earlier designs. In addition the mock interview, influenced by 'Empire' gives the director's perspective - informing the viewer of his intention, and humanising the characters.

Our teaser poster utilises the creative dark space, that was used by the film 'Buried' this enhances the enigma and suggests the dark themes within our film. The poker table surrounded by a faint glow symbolises the light at the end of the tunnel for Sean but it is a treacherous path with a host of unseemly characters standing in his way of obtaining the IVF money.

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Whilst creating our film 'Face Down' we have sought audience feedback and learnt a great deal from it. Indeed at various stages of planning on our film and ancillary tasks we asked a variety of audiences to offer their opinions, thus helping us establish our demographic and improving our product.

The audience feedback led us to the poker film idea after comments that our initial football music video idea seeking to emulate Skinner and Baddiel's 'Three Lions' music video would be difficult to produce. Taking this on board we changed to the poker film idea and received more positive comments surrounding this idea.

This is the shortlist of film posters we created on our ancillary task, that we showed to audiences and asked which one they thought was best. The unanimous favourite was the middle poster, and we ultimately used this one heavily influenced by the audience's feedback. Furthermore, we asked general comments about the poster with one media student, Sophie Sinclair citing it 'wasn't something they would go to see' and was 'too mysterious' however a completely different perspective emerged from Oli Kent who thought it 'looked great' and liked the use of dark. From this and other research we established our demographic to be males aged between 17-40 where they can understand the complexities of poker and IVF whilst still enjoying the gangster narrative.

Using social networking sites we could accumulate honest and constructive criticism from a wide range of audiences, when posting our film we received a lot of feedback and took this on board. As well as feedback provoking changes it also reinforces something you weren't sure on. For example we were doubtful about the freeze-frames with text however after asking audiences we received really positive feedback, Dennis King saying it was 'very professional' and younger audiences enjoying the reference to Guy Ritchie films. One shot that came into question following our production was one of our characters leaving the room that was said to break the 'flow' however we felt this was necessary for the continuity, however we agreed that it could have been framed better.

We were always aware that our film could be stilted and boring and this is something that in early edits people found, however after audience feedback saying it was 'slow paced' and 'could be more exciting' we added an explosion and split screens. For this we were told it was the best part of the film, certainly it added pace and entertainment in a stylistic fashion. Another aspect of our film that was influenced by audience feedback was the very end as it was argued there wasn't sufficient 'closure'. Following this advice we added a scene in which we see Sean dead on the poker table, giving a definitive end and suiting the task.

In conclusion we have learnt a great deal from audience feedback and their comments have shaped the product we have now. Our demographic was established by feedback, shots and ancillary tasks changed and aspects reinforced. We are thankful for all the help that a wide-range of people have provided through social networking sites, emails and surveys.

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

Create your own video slideshow at

Adobe Premier Pro - Once the pre-production and filming stages of our project were completed, Adobe Premier Pro was our primary resource in creating our film. The majority of our film was edited and exported using Premier Pro, and by experimenting with the various effects available we discovered the ‘Luma Key’. We used this to provide a darker and gloomier hue to our footage, to further enhance the gritty atmosphere we were aiming for. We also used premier pro during the evaluation stage of our production to edit the footage for both the audience feedback section and ancillary task evaluation

Garage Band - We had a clear idea during the planning stages of the music and ambiance that we wanted to create for our film.  We used Garage Band to produce an original and suitable piece of music, a blend of jazz like rhythm and rock, similarly found in films such as Ocean’s eleven. We also wanted to create a more gloomy and dramatic section of music for the ending of our film, effectively helping to darken the tone and atmosphere.

Facebook - We utilised Facebook to obtain a wider range of audience feedback post-production. By posting our finished film onto Facebook we were able to receive a lot of helpful feedback, which has helped us to critically evaluate how successful our product is and the ways in which we could have improved it.


Microsoft Publisher -Microsoft Publisher was used to create both our Teaser poster and our magazine review. We firstly created the poster, utilising a black background and a minimalist approach to our poster to connote the ambiguity of our film, inspired by the poster for the film 'Buried'. We also used Publisher to create the magazine review, which we were inspired to create by prestigious magazines such as Empire and Total film. By using Publisher we were able to easily emulate a similar style, using font styling and text boxes to our colour specifications.

Adobe After-Effects - So that we could include a suitably ‘explosive’ Afghanistan scene, our group used Adobe After-Effects to add In extra sound, motion blur, bullet effects and the explosion. By getting footage of our main character running through an area that could (with some FX tweaking) be passed off as Afghanistan, the lighting was altered to create the effect of bright sunlight and heat. - We frequently used during our production stages to obtain appropriate sound effects. To create a realistic explosion for our Afghanistan scene we found a suitable explosion sound effect and the 'ringing in the ears' noise that we decided to use after the explosion for shock value.

YouTube - We also utilised YouTube as a quick and convenient way to upload our evaluations, finished film and pre-production tasks to our blogs. This was similarly helpful in uploading our production to Facebook, allowing us to gain useful feedback both from the social networking site and from any YouTube comments.

Prezi - To create a more diverse presentation for our evaluation tasks, we have used several different professional slide show creators and other technologies to respond to each question.
For example, we used the presentation maker 'Prezi' to create a much more interesting and diverse appearance to our answer. Prezi also allowed us to include photos, videos both ours and from YouTube and text to go into detail regarding our finished product.

Animoto - We also used 'Animoto' as a way to quickly and efficiently show the different technologies used in a short image led PowerPoint set to music. The free edition allows a 30 second video, and a wide array of music choices, for which we chose a hip-hop song as it suited the fast pace and effects in the animoto.

Panasonic NV GS230 - For the majority of our filming we used a Panasonic NV GS230 to capture our footage. It proved to be very easy to use, and efficient for our purposes, and the only criticism would be over the short battery life, which on several occasions interrupted our filming process, costing us valuable filming time. However, on the whole it was very useful, as it was portable, reliable and produced good quality footage.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


When it came to the editing process, we started with around 40 minutes of footage, and the first task was to select the appropiate scene and individual shots in order to create a narrative.

Influenced by our music and footage we have made the decision to take further inspiration from the Guy Ritchie films such as 'Rock 'n' Rolla' by introducing the characters with titles, narration, freeze frames and some shots that summarise their character. Additionally, we are going to experiment with split screens to imply a busy atmosphere - these decisions mean that we are seemingly moving towards a more conventinal gangster film however it will exagaratte the contrast of the gangster theme to the underlying IVF theme that is very serious.

Additionally, we have used After Effects with the help of a more adept visual effects artist in the group to create a bomb scene in Afghanistan. We added an explosion and gun shots with a good audio to highten the verisimilitude