1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
For our short film we decided to create a social realism. It is about a young girl, named Mia, whose birthday is approaching. Whilst looking for her present she discovers a diary which reveals that she has been adopted. The film follows the life of Danielle (Mia’s birth mother) and tells the story of her tragic abuse. We decided to give our film the title “The Birthday”. We used this as we didn’t want to give too much of the story away. Initially we were going to call it “The Birthday Surprise” but decided it did not work due to the fact that it sounded more like a comedy film. The equilibrium is at the beginning of the film, where we see Mia and her mother having a conversation. Everything seems normal and there are no complications. The equilibrium allows the setting and time to be made known. However it doesn’t last long as the disruption occurs in the first scene. This is when Mia is searching the house for her present and she happens to find the diary.
Social realism films are made in order to show real life situations and make the audience think about the society they live in. These genre films usually tell the story of a broken family and we decided to take this approach. The film we made is similar to the comedy/drama “East Is East”. Both of the films portray scenes of violent abuse within the family. The characters in our film are typical of those in social realism films. Danielle’s step father Daniel is very similar to the character “Ray” in “Nil by Mouth”. Both characters are abusive and use vile language. The facial expressions Danielle’s character used were very clear and effective. Similar to some of the characters in “East is East”. This helped to show the feelings of the characters reinforcing the realism that was trying to be portrayed. The costumes used were also for the same reason. Casual clothes were used to show the characters were if a lower class like in the film sweet sixteen.
In “The Birthday” the main prop that was used was the diary. The diary played an important part in the film as the storyline revolves around it. Without the diary the story would not make any sense. The diary was shown a lot throughout the film and was used from the first scene.
Throughout the film a hand held camera style is used. This, along with the invisible editing is used to portray the realism.
The film poster that I made follows the forms and conventions of film posters that I analysed such as “enough” and “provoked” these forms and conventions where things such as choice of font type and size and images to grab the audience’s attention but also informs the audience of what genre the film belongs to, in this case social realism. A typical convention of a poster is to have the main character(s) as the image, a bold title to draw the audience to poster/film, and most importantly critical acclaim which influences the audience into watching the film depending on how well the reviews or ratings were. The genre of my film is communicated to my target audience through the image used, of the main character in the background of the poster of a young teenage girl reading a diary which may appeal to our target audience, teenagers. As ‘The Birthday’ is about a teenage girl that experiences struggles in her life it informs teenage girls about social issues that may occur in their life, so makes it relatable to the target audience. As well as the characters clothing suggests that she is from a working class background, which can also be relatable. Also formal language is used with very little text is used other than the critical acclaim used; this is so the target audience are not bombarded with too much information at one time and the storyline is still kept hidden.
The purpose of our film awareness to parents and teenagers and could help teenagers talk about certain issues that are going through in their lives so the film is ideally made to inform but is also a form of entertainment.
The written language we have used is to communicate with our target audience as it is informal, and most young teenagers use informal language. The tagline of our film is short and informal also the typography is not in times new roman but in a font that is easy to read and attracts the audience’s attention. The tagline of our poster is “Mia thinks she is a normal teenager, but on her 16th birthday life will change forever” this tagline doesn’t give away any of the film but gives the audience a slight idea to what the film is about but enough to keep them guessing and wanting to see the film.
Film review page:
We analysed three magazine reviews which all had different main focuses, they varied form narrative to background of the director. The layout of the film review is somewhat similar to those that I had analysed and was inspired by Total Film. As shown above, both the film review that I have created and Total Film share similarities for instance, both are split into four columns, both have relatively large pictures, the name of the films are written in bold with the ratings written next to it in red. The first column is dedicated to background information on the production i.e. the director, cast etc, and a brief synopsis. Lastly they both use stars as a form of rating the films. Throughout my review I consistently made references to narrative, genre and the director. I specifically chose narrative as our main focus as our film may be difficult to understand, so throughout the review I tried to explain the storyline without revealing too much. As our film conformed to the conventions of a social realist film, we lacked a unique selling point, but like other social realist films we decided to choose the director as the USP, thus the reason why it was one of the main focuses in the review. For the picture, I used a still-image of Reean sitting at the bus stop. I chose this particular image as it enables the audience to identify the genre of our film through the use of mise-en-scene the depressed look on the characters face, the fact that she is sitting at a bus stop and the costume that she is wearing suggests that she is not from a wealthy background. These are all typical of a social realist film. Through this image it is simple for our audience to identify that it is a drama of some sort which would attract our target audience to our film as teenagers seem to respond well to drama. The form in which we chose to rate our film was with stars and it was laid out in four columns (as previously mentioned above) I also tried to follow the conventions of other magazine reviews by including a text wrap insert which reads ‘all round this film is a must see’ this draws the audience to reading the review which therefore creates the desire to watch the film. The language used in the film review was formal although our target audience are teenagers the tone of the review reflects the genre of film it’s self.
2) How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary text?
In the poster the genre of the film is portrayed by the imagery which shows a domestic setting, this is common in a social realism film e.g. the use of mise en scene such as costume which is clothing that normal working class people wear. The review also reflects the genre by the synopsis e.g. the quote “mother raped by step dad” this informs the audience that there is domestic violence which is common in society and happens mainly behind closed door without anyone seeing. Our film also portrays social realism by the use of mise en scene e.g. the location was set mainly in real houses and a real hospital (Whips Cross hospital) this is typical of the genre because it is about people and their real-life situations. The costumes e.g. jeans and top is typical of the genre, sound such as digetic and non-digetic sounds makes the audience sympathise with the characters. These all link together because they all use the same technique to reflect the genre of the film more successful in achieving this and gain good reviews from the audience.
2. Clear target audience
Our film as well as the poster and the magazine review, have a clear target audience as the film has several representations of social issues such as teen pregnancy, rape and abuse. Primarily, our target audience would be those who have experienced or are experienced these issues before. As well as the film appealing to those going through similar issues, it also appeals to those who particularly like drama, commonly teenagers. We were also able to illustrate our target audience through the choice of characters, mise-en-scene. Danielle (Reean) age reflects the audiences.
3. A coherent approach to representation
Representation of age is shown through characters costume i.e the main character Danielle. Representation of class is also shown through the location; Danielle sitting at the bus stop in the magazine review page indicates that she is of a lower class. The representation of teenage pregnancy is represented through location, the hospital and the use of props, i.e pregnancy test in the bathroom scene. While she is on her way back from hospital on the bus a point of view shot is used this shows her looking outside the window at a buggy, this is a representation of adoption and the repercussions, the feeling of reject. In terms of the representation of abuse/ domestic violence this is shown through the step dad’s character, he is aggressive, domineering, drunk, and a strong male, these are typical characteristics of