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Evaluation Question 1

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Media Studies Advanced Portfolio A Level

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Evaluation Question 1

  1. 1. IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE FORMS AND CONVENTIONS OF EXISTING MEDIA PRODUCTS? EVALUATION QUESTION 1 MOLLY CHAPMAN
  2. 2. THE LONG TAIL By researching Chris Anderson’s theory of The Long Tail, I found a gap in the film market for products that would appeal to a niche audience. The most popular film genres are comedy, action and thriller, therefore, my film trailer is primarily targeted towards those who dance (particularly ballet and hip-hop) or are interested in the sport.
  3. 3. INITIAL RESEARCH Due to the proliferation of hip-hop music, there has been a rise in the popularity of freestyle and hip-hop dancing. An article from the BBC refers to it as a genre that ‘continues to constantly evolve and adapt to the times’ During my research in to hip-hop, I found out that ‘London’s dance scene has gone mad for hip-hop’ and therefore found it appropriate to hybridise this genre with ballet. This makes it attract to more of a niche audience as it is likely to only interest those who are fans of upbeat music and expression through dance. Link to my initial research in to the genre here
  4. 4. LEVI-STRAUSS • He examined how stories reflect the values, beliefs and myths of a culture • Usually expressed in form of binary oppositions In terms of my trailer, the issue being presented is having to choose between two different genres of dance. This is highlighted through the use of mise-en-scene, sound, costume and narrative.
  5. 5. FILM TITLE I adopted the convention of using a dance specific term in the film name - often a feature of distributed films. ‘Center Stage’ is a successful film, produced in 2000, that uses the idea of dancers taking the stage at a competition or showcase to show off their talent. ‘Breaking Pointe’ is a pun on the name of ballet slippers, pointe shoes which ballerinas wear at an advanced level. It refers to how the main subject has a change in passion and through the use of the internet (YouTube) found her breaking point(e) – then makes the transition from ballet to hip-hop
  6. 6. TITLES/CREDITS From my initial research, I noticed that, in every film trailer, it is conventional to show institutional references at the beginning. I researched popular film production/distribution companies for films based on dance and entertainment; the company best suited for my trailer was Voltage Pictures as it has a large yet slightly niche audience. Existing Product: Dancer My Product: Breaking Pointe
  7. 7. TITLE SCREEN Existing Product: Dancer My Product: Breaking Pointe From my research in to existing products, I found that the main title screen reflects the narrative of a film one is creating. For example, in ‘Dancer’, it uses a large block font on a plain black background to represent the main subjects ballet journey as he experiences drug use and as a result and quitting the sport. Therefore, the narrative of my trailer is about challenging the stereotypes of ballet dancers being ‘too stiff’ or ‘too technical’ to be good at hip-hop so I decided to use LED backgrounds to represent the successful transition into the hip-hop world.
  8. 8. OPENING SHOT The opening shot of my trailer is a close up of pointe shoes which is an iconic symbol of ballet (the genre of dance my product is based on). This will help the audience to establish the genre straight away without having to ask questions. I decided to use a close up as I did not find a general convention across existing products that I could emulate. For example, Step Up All In uses an over the shoulder shot of one of the characters and Street dance 3D uses a wide angle, establishing shot of a city. Existing Product: Step Up: All In My Product: Breaking Pointe
  9. 9. SHOTS AND CUTAWAYS A trailer needs to be fast paced and engaging; this is done by using a wide range of shot types and cutaways. I used shots such as: • close ups so the audience can understand the emotion that the dancer is feeling • Wide angles to establish the location • High angles and low angles to capture the transition of feeling defeated to being a winner My Product: Breaking PointeExisting Product: Breaking Through
  10. 10. MISE-EN-SCENE As there is a change in dance form during my trailer there is also a change in mise-en-scene. For the ballet scenes, I chose a more relaxed location to reflect the style and I also filmed in named dance studios to establish a sense of reality. This adheres to conventions of existing products as ‘Dancer’ and ‘A Ballerinas Tale’ frequently used dance studios to shows the dancing journey of the main subject. My Product: Breaking PointeExisting Product: A Ballerinas Tale
  11. 11. MISE-EN-SCENE For the hip-hop scenes I used graffiti backgrounds and LED lights to mirror the alternative genre. Films such as Step Up: All In used inner city and urban locations which I tried to imitate by using graffiti walls. My Product: Breaking PointeExisting Product: Step Up: All In
  12. 12. USE OF SOUND Most trailers feature non-diegetic music (soundtracks) and include 2 or more songs, therefore I decided to adhere to this convention by using a slow melodic tune accompanied by an upbeat, fast instrumental track. Also, I found that trailers usually have voiceovers of the main characters aswell as a main narrator – I used a male figure for the narration as it is more distinguishable from the female dancers voice. I included diegetic sounds to increase the realism of my trailer for example, cheers/screams of a crowd and text notifications. Link to the song I used here
  13. 13. IMPORTANCE OF ANCILLARY PRODUCTS It is necessary for a film to have a strong sense of brand identity and brand marketing, which is achieved by cross media platforms. The ancillary products I created was a magazine cover and website for my trailer. I chose to adopt similar aesthetics to existing products as they are successful, well established brands. To do this, I used WIX and InDesign/Photoshop.
  14. 14. ANCILLARY PRODUCT: MAGAZINE COVER From my research of existing film magazine covers (here), I found that each issue had a new aesthetic/look depending on the genre of film. Therefore, my magazine cover does not look exactly the same as others, they all have unique aspects. For example, my main image is striking so there is less text surrounding it. However, it adheres to conventions such as the colour palette and layout.
  15. 15. ANCILLARY PRODUCT: MAGAZINE COVER For a magazine cover to be successful it’s important to conform to conventions of existing products. In my product I included: Coverline in same font as film title in trailer Masthead in bold red font Buzz words such as Exclusive and Plus to entice audience Main Image is a midshot and has direct mode of address Straplines in yellow font to stand out from other text – shows feature articles Barcode, date & price Pug – establishes that it’s a recognisable brand that has won awards
  16. 16. I identified the main conventions of a website during the research stages of my coursework (here) and included these aspects to enforce brand identity : • Masthead in same font as in trailer • Main image as background for entire homepage – LED background reinforces the house style as it’s the same as on the magazine cover • ‘Story’ section • ‘Members’ section • A gallery • Merchandise • Interactive countdown to release ANCILLARY PRODUCT: WEBSITE Link to tour of my website here
  17. 17. CONCLUSION PRODUCT CONFORMED TO CHALLENGED TRAILER I generally conformed to conventions of existing products as it’s aimed towards a niche audience therefore they have distinct interests. For example, I adhered to conventions of using 2 or more songs, diegetic sounds and a narrator. I challenged aspects of existing trailers by having only one main star as most dance films are of groups/ ‘troops’. MAGAZINE COVER Most film magazine covers are similar as they have a overall aesthetic that appeals to mass audiences, therefore, I adhered to conventions such as having a red and bold masthead, an image of the dancer on the front and using the same font as in my trailer to create a sense of brand identity. However, the majority of films on the cover of a magazine are action as they engage the majority. As my trailer is a dance film targeted towards a niche audience, I used an LED background which challenges conventions such as a black/blue background. WEBSITE I found it quite difficult to find websites for dance films and if I did, they were quite scarce on information and design. However, I did conform to conventions of general film websites for example, including interactive features such as subscriptions and links to social media Due to limitations in digital technologies, I had problems conforming to all conventions of trailer for example, I couldn’t insert my trailer so that it pops up as soon as someone enters the website. By researching in to existing film trailers such as Breaking Through, Dancer and Step Up: All In, I was able to use codes and conventions in my own productions in order to create a successful brand.

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