IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIA
PRODUCT USE, DEVELOP OR
CHALLENGE FORMS AND
CONVENTIONS OF EXISTING MEDIA
EVALUATION QUESTION 1
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
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.
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
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
Link to my initial research in to the genre here
• He examined how stories reflect the
values, beliefs and myths of a culture
• Usually expressed in form of binary
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
• 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
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
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
My Product: Breaking PointeExisting Product: A Ballerinas Tale
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
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
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
Link to the song I used here
IMPORTANCE OF ANCILLARY
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
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.
From my research of existing film magazine
covers (here), I found that each issue had a
new aesthetic/look depending on the genre
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
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
Buzz words such as
Exclusive and Plus to
Main Image is a
midshot and has
direct mode of
Straplines in yellow font to
stand out from other text –
shows feature articles
Barcode, date & price
Pug – establishes
that it’s a
that has won awards
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
• ‘Story’ section
• ‘Members’ section
• A gallery
• Interactive countdown to release
Link to tour of my
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’.
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
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
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