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Evaluation Question 1In What Ways Does Your Media Product Use, Develop or Challenge Forms and Conventions of Real Media Products
I created the media trailer, marketing poster and magazine issue cover for product ‘TheFound’, based upon and around heavily researched existing media products. In the planningstages of my project I conducted vast research into existing media products and trends that willpotentially influence and effect my product, this research was conducted firstly on a wider basisbefore becoming much more specific as ideas developed. Research into existing media productsallowed me to see what typical conventions are attached with media products of this type andthe stereotypical trends that follow.Research allowed myself to recognise effective trends, camera angles, shot types, sounds, miseen scene, story narrative etc. of a typical horror genre product in order to be effective andconnect with the audience. By gaining knowledge of these conventions, I have been able to usedthem within my product to create a professional edge and replicate the success of existing mediaproducts in the same market such as ‘Paranormal Activity’.Without the financial support of an existing product, research and development became a lotmore important, as I will have to rely solely upon use of effective codes and conventions of themarket to successfully differentiate my products and market them successfully; as I have nobacking for star cast members and blockbuster special effects. With a lot of conducted research Ihad to use developed skills to apply the correct conventions to aid my product; byapplying, developing or challenging conventions to ensure success.
The Research in genre specific horror products allowed me to penetrate and trend and replicatethem into my own product; from fast paced editing skills to eerie soundtracks. For Main researchinspiration on the sub-genre of paranormal/demonic possession I ranged my research from cultclassics such as ‘The Blair Witch Project’ to modern day blockbusters such as ‘ParanormalActivity’ to get a varied range to conventions of the genre and allow for me to converge old andnew together to create a ‘happy medium hybrid’ of conventions to satisfy the audiences needsand connect to the viewer, allowing them to feel the terror of the horror genre.These Traits allowed me to create effective fast-paced cuts of footage to really captivate theunknown of the demonic presence, allowing the audience to connect to the seemingly helplesscharacters, while leaving their minds over-worked, and creating the movie monster inside theirown head that they fear most, the one they know nothing of.Other Conventions of Shot positioning, narrative structure allowed for a story basis to theproduction, connecting to the audience before leaving the trailer on a cliff-hanger; making theviewer NEED to know what happens next, what that unknown monster is? What happens to thecharacters? How come the footage has only been found now? All these questions from a simpleconvention leaves the audience with the product in mind hours after viewing.
Further research into existing products allowed me to crack conventions that allowed me to usespecific opening shots, documentation style footage etc. to truly replicate the ‘Found-Footage’approach to filming. Key influences ‘The Blair Witch Project’ allowed me to see how to createeffective hand-held footage, the conventions for this was clear and I feel I have effectively usedthe codes and conventions to replicate ‘The Blair Witch Project’s’ feel to the piece. Throughoutresearch I found there was a set type of sounds that are attached to this type of movie, with loudsound effects for transitions and diegetic music to create tension and suspense through fastedited clips; these conventions are all included within my product to create the best possibleeffects and connections with the audience.While researching I found that a common trailer of this type will have inter titlesthroughout, these inter titles are normally cleverly structured sentences that give the‘background’ of the product. This convention seems to work well within the existingproducts, therefore myself and Molly decided to included technique within our production. I feelthe convention helped us to set out the narrative structure to the audience, allowing forconnection and suspense to be made through the fast paced editing structure.Screen shot of ‘8213: Gacy House’ inter-titles.
To truly replicate and use the conventions I found of inter-titles, I used the same font and ‘whiteon black’ text that is shown in ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘8213:Gacy House’ to truly imitate theeffect. The use of a simplistic white and black colour range creates a psychotic look towards thetitles, while the small font adds for an isolated feel that adds suspense. Throughout all inter-titlesI kept this un-chanced look to keep a consistent feel and repetitive structure. Despite the existingproducts set convention, me and Molly slightly restructured the convention and added for a‘typewriter’ structure, this ‘typewriter’ effect to the inter-titles allows to convey for a moredocumented style that links directly with the ‘found-footage’ basis of the film.With research into stereotypical locations, a typical family household came out on top; thisconvention of paranormal horror is successful as it connects directly with the audience, and addsfor a more personal horror experience. With this in mind our location was chosen: my house. Thislocation allowed to portray this successful connection to our audience through the convention.The majority of footage is of inside the house location, with props helping to portray a typicalfamily location to connect with the audience, and have them feel that the storyline could happento them. Despite the household lighting, myself and Molly used special handheld lighting withinlocation to imitate a unique lighting effect that we found to be successful in products such as ‘TheBlair Witch Project’.Location used for existing media product ‘Insidious’.
To really captivate the target audience (15 year olds to 25 tear olds) typical conventions suggeststhis should be the age group of the actors. With this convention in mind we used actors in thisage group, allowing for a real connection to be made with the audience; to extend upon thisconnection I also conducted research into typical traits in modern clothing with this age group inorder to create outfits that can be easily established with the audience, proving to be a successfulconvention within this media group.Image taken from media product ‘Paranormal Activity 4’, showcasing lead role teenager in outfit.
Throughout my media products I feel I have used successful media codes and conventions toconnect to the audience and promote the product in unique ways. Although I have used a lot ofsuccessful conventions from my research, I have also subverted some in order to differentiate themedia products from other horror products, to give a unique look. Overall from the specificmedia conventions I used, I feel I have successfully included them into my products to create thesame results as the ones researched in existing media products; from convention influences oninter-titles to diegetic sounds and location to casting outfits all to achieve a couple of main goalsof successful promotion and to establish a good connection with the audience.