Sunday, 29 April 2012

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

Our media product which is a horror trailer does use many typical horror conventions. We felt that using typical conventions was equally as important as breaking them. By breaking them, there is always that element of doubt that it is too changed and the target audience won't like it. The Paranormal Activity films were our biggest inspiration and we ended up using most conventions found in these films. Characters that we used were a young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. Hitchcock used this character a lot as it connotes a higher level of vulnerability than those with a different hair colour. We also used a dark hooded figure which is our villain. The face of the figure is never revealed during the trailer, so that it builds up more tension and suspense for the audience therefore making it far more scarier for them. Vladimir Propp suggested that each narrative includes many characters. This is a convention which we have broken slightly as we only use three. The victim, the villain and the supporter. By using mainly the girl and figure, it almost adds a personal element as you as the audience feel as though you are the main character and can experience her emotions more and doesn't complicate the narrative for the audience.
Tzvetan Todorov's theory that every narrative can be split into five categories is partially applied to our trailer. He believes that it can be split down into EQUILIBRIUM, DISRUPTION, DISEQUILIBRIUM, SOLUTION and finally NEW EQUILIBRIUM. As we have created a teaser trailer we have not included a solution and we only briefly touched on the new equilibrium right at the end. However we do use equilibrium; where the main character is in the park with friends and also where the main character is having a dream which becomes a nightmare. Then there is disequilibrium; where the hooded figure from the dream appears in reality and the main character spots it on several occasions and finally disruption where the main character tries to out run the demon.
Another extremely typical convention used is the lack of lighting. We filmed several parts outdoors at night and those filmed in other locations feature dark, unnerving lighting which adds to the scary aspect. When editing the trailer together it was essential that we made the trailer appear as if it was a Paramount Pictures Production. With Paranormal Activity being one of their productions, we tried to make the text cards and styling similar, therefore keeping continuity. With Paranormal Activity heavily inspiring us, we feel that their audience would be keen on our film.
As a group we felt that it was important that we didn't use a lyrical song for the soundtrack to accompany the footage on the trailer as this isn't something that happens a lot. We felt that this would add an unprofessional feel to it. We used snippets of musical soundtracks and fitted them together to ensure the sound created as much tension as was possible. This non-diegetic music accompanied some diegetic sounds such as bangs and screams which made it more professional looking. One feature we didn't use was the use of dialogue within the script due to the fact that as a group we felt that our accents would promote the film as being less professional, therefore we used the text cards as a way of conveying messages to the audience. Where dialogue wasn't used, reaction shots to portray the characters emotions.
Our genre is horror and we tried to ensure that we used typical horror conventions and Tom Ryall states that genre provides a framework of structuring rules with regards to patterns/styles etc.. This enabled us to use features that would comply with the horror genre we set out to create.
Steve Neale suggests that the pleasure of popular cinema lies in "difference in repetition." We know that if we conform to too many typical conventions that our audience may not be attracted to the film/trailer. By mixing the use of broken and typical conventions our audience should find it interesting.

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