Main Task: Evaluation – Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

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

On the whole, our Main Task was much stronger than our preliminary. Not only was our narrative more sophisticated, our use of editing was superior and our improved knowledge of camera work is evident.

Most notable is setting, in the preliminary we just used a generic setting of a hall:

shot 4 1

But in our main task we took care and effort to find and use an array of appropriate settings:

This helped establish our narrative, and made our video and its events more believable.

Both our preliminary and main task use camera movement, however there is a lot more room for more movement in our main task, so to compensate we used ken burns several times to enhance static shots.

However, in our preliminary we only used it once.

ken burns 7

On top of this, we used handheld filming in our main task to achieve a shaky cam effect, whereas most shots of our preliminary; whilst containing movement, were filmed using a tripod.

This meant, for our main task, our shots felt less static and subsequently engaged the audience more. However, in our preliminary we utilised camera movement much better than we did in our main task, where many shots could have benefited from movement. For example:

We improved our framing from our preliminary, below Arnold is framed to look tiny compared to the apparently giant Marcus. In the next shot, they both appear the same size, this discontinuity distracts the audience from the media product, decreasing audience pleasure.

In our main task we improved upon our camera, here our some examples of our much improved framing:

In the 4th picture above, we used a loose frame to isolate the victim, and a very low camera angle to create a watching predatory effect; making the victim appear weak and vulnerable.

One major improvement we made from preliminary to main task was our narrative construction. In our preliminary, the entire story is a dweeb attempting to purchase drugs from a dealer, however for our main task, the story revolves around an elusive serial killer and a stumped detective. The relevance of the characters in our main task is much more sophisticated, and there is a lot more potential to develop each character, unlike with our preliminary.

One shot in particular is used to establish our protagonist in the main task was shot 15, where it lingers on the detective for a few seconds in a stressed position, the audience are given time to infer his distress; developing the character.

Shot 15

The audience infer he is stressed, that he cares for his work and that his helpless, isolated and alone.

We have a shot in our preliminary that also tries to do this:

prelim establishing shit

But this shot just establishes the character as a tough thug, instead of developing a depth or emotional connection to the character.

Our use of colour correction developed substantially from our preliminary. Aside from light/exposure correction, we used the tool once to make the antagonist look cold and cruel:

tinted blue

The blue tint gave it a cold, hard feel, emphasising the bitter anger of the character and foreshadowing his upcoming violent action.

Whereas, in our main task, we used it effectively for almost every shot. We used it as a tool to construct our narrative further, shot’s featuring the murderer were tinted a disturbing green and shots featuring the detective were tinted an eerie orange. The unsettling nature of the colours reflected on how the detective and murderer are the same person, reflecting on his disturbed mind. In a sense, the different colours represented the different ‘identities’ but by having the same unsettling feel, we created a link; whilst hinting at the damaged mental health of the detective/murderer.

In conclusion, we have progressed from our preliminary by employing our ability to construct a more sophisticated narrative, making use of a wider variety of editing tools and effects and a greater knowledge of camerawork.

Main Task: Evaluation – What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

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

Using a Cannon 600D we were able to film high quality shots. We had access to a whole multitude of settings; exposure, ISO, focus, in this project we experimented and learnt what would be the best settings to film the shots we wanted. However due to the complexity of the camera we found it hard to change some of these settings to benefit us, an example would be the ISO. The amount of artificial light added to some of our shots made them noisy, decreasing their quality. This is particularly evident in shot 27 and 30, where the glass smashes on the floor and the victim lays dead. The horrible amount of noise in this shot, partly comes from the lack of lighting but is also created by high ISO. If we could re-film this shot, we would ensure it was well lit and the ISO was at an appropriate level.

Final Cut X is the editing software we used, through this project I have learnt a wide variety of tools we can use to manipulate video. Including colour/light correction, timeline, effects, stabilisation tool, cropping/ken burns, speed, sound, music and other tools/features. Editing has vastly increased the quality of our shots, colour correction has allowed us to increase the exposure where needed, and adding a slight green/orange tint has helped create the eerie, disturbing atmosphere we desired. Adding effects such as vignette, blur, flashes and trails has obscured and obstructed the shots, making them feel more unsettling, communicating a sense of despair and disruption, all whilst making the shots look more interesting, increasing their quality. Where we had shaky shots and jolty movement, we used the stabilisation tool to make them smooth. However, we learnt that in some cases the stabilisation tool would actually make the shot shakier, although through experimenting with the settings, we could change the zoom and rotation the tool created, to smooth out the shot; we also found using the ‘inertia’ setting helped as well. For some cases we decided the shot was better being shaky/handheld, it added a frantic, alive feel to the shot, which would have been replaced by a static feel if we had used the stabilisation tool.

 

Main Task: Evaluation – Q.2, 3 & 4

This video answers the questions:

  • How does your media product represent particular social groups?
  • What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
  • Who would be the audience for your media product

Because the video was becoming too long, I decided to include some extra evaluative points below:

Q.2 Continued…

As mentioned in the video, this shot represents the white, male social group as weak, stressed and helpless.

Shot 15

The slightly high camera angle, creates the effect of the audience looking down on the detective, reinforcing how his helpless. Furthermore, the black mise en scene of the backdrop and the suit, helped bring in connotations of bleakness and despair. The loose framing of the detective, reflects on how he is lost, as has no clear idea of who the murderer is.

The narrator speaks about how he feels no remorse  in a delirious, psychotic tone, using elaborate words, this reflects on a lack of respect for human life, as he speaks about murder with such decor, representing the narrator; who of which the audience infer is the murderer: also a white male, as heartless and cruel.

We chose to have white, male victims, instead of conventional female victims. They are not portrayed as weak in shots, up until they are attacked, where the elusive murderer makes them appear helpless as they fail fight back to him.

 

Q. 3 Continued…

Netflix have 75 million subscribers, this means they have an extremely large reach, most of which would be avid media consumers. This makes Netflix the ideal distributor to reach a large audience.

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

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

conventions list 1conventions list 3

Our opening, from the very beginning contains a detective and a murderer. Such characters are very typical of a neo-noir thriller, and we immediately establish them as character possibilities with the murderer’s costume of a black coat and scarf. The covered figure looks shady and intent, and combined with the conventions associated with our genre; created by the dark street mise en scene, suspenseful music, montage format and 1st person narration, the audience infer him to be a criminal.

Neo noir’s tend to revolve around the theme of crime and violence, therefore we incorporated this theme heavily. It is evident in the narrative of murders being committed, and the characters of a murderer, a detective and victims, and it is also evident in mise en scene of a dark and shady atmosphere.

The Neo-noir and thriller genre also inspired us to use water, reflections and shadows. We thought this would create alluring mise en scenes, effectively communicating the shots in a captivating fashion.

We haven’t used conventions such as long-tracking shots because our format was a montage, therefore we felt it would have been more effective to use rapid cut shots, but because we would have found long-tracking shots hard to film, resulting in poor quality shots. We didn’t use low-key/high contrast lighting because it was hard to consistently achieve that style of lighting in every setting due to natural light, and the fact that we had no professional white lights, meant we had too little a control of the lighting in our setting, to successfully achieve low-key lighting. Instead we made sure that each shot was well lit, however on shot 30; where Marcus lays dead on the floor, we failed at this. We didn’t want to move the light for that setting in order to be consistent, but on doing so, we filmed a dark, weak shot; we should have used another part of the set.

ken burns 6

The form and structure of our opening develops upon the Neo noir and thriller genre. Conventionally openings are a single sequence and have a slow build up towards an explosive end, whilst ours is a montage and picks up pace in the middle. However, we found this structure to be difficult to achieve a dramatic climax, something of which is conventional for neo noir openings.

I believe whilst our opening could have benefited from originality; from being more innovative with the neo noir and thriller genre, that the typicality of the opening makes it effective at satisfying our well-accustomed audience. In fact, I wish that we had been more conventional with our opening, being inspired by our genre to use more dutch angles and inverted frames, deep focus, long tracking shots, low-key high contrast lighting, heavy breathing, and bars, diagonals and frames within frames; just to name a few of the conventions that we could have used to further improve our opening.

Main Task: Character Development – The detective/murderer

In our opening the audience are unaware that the detective is the murderer and has an identity disorder. Furthermore they are unaware that the detective is unaware that he is the murderer.

These are all plot devices that typically would be revealed later in the film, in our opening we have enforced several features to hint these plot features.

Colour Correction

To communicate an unstable mind state we have employed the use of colour correction. The detective shots are coloured an eerie orange whilst the murderer shots are a disturbing green; both making the audience feel uneasy. The difference in colour hints at the two identities, but their disturbing and eerie qualities relate them to each other; just like how the detective and murderer are linked by being two identities in the same person.

The Paper

The detective writes in a notepad in shot 9, the same paper from that notepad is used for a fake suicide note; planted at the scene of the crime, written by the murderer. The use of the same paper creates a link that they are the same person as they own the same things.

The Actor

Even though the audience never see the murderer in full or even his skin for that matter, by using the same actor for the murderer and the detective, the two characters (or identities if you want to categorise them as the same character)  have the same size and shape. This hint however would be largely overlooked by the fact they wear different costume. The detective is always in a suit and the murderer always has a coat with gloves. They do both however, wear the same red tie.

We could have made it more obvious through our use of shots, for example one idea would be to have the first walking tunnel shot be the detective, and the second/last walking tunnel shot be the murderer. The actor would be the same, therefore be the same size and shape , but the costume would be different; hinting at a different character. This clue would be large enough for to be a cognitively pleasure for a keen audience member but not too obvious that everyone would notice from the first watch.