Friday, 8 April 2011

Q8 - Looking back preliminary task, what do you feel you have learned in the progression from it to the progression from it to the full product?

After 4 months of studying how to make a film, I have learned a lot. At the start, I didn't even know how to correctly handle a camera...

I remember the day when we finally had the induction lesson on the camera; I was looking towards that lesson for ages.

Our first task was to create a preliminary film, following the scenario that was given to us by our teacher. The scenarios were really simple/boring, therefore our objective was to try and make it interesting by using a wide range of shots and a creativity. Our group was given "Bag Swap". As a group, we really thought we were really lucky at the time, because other groups had scenarios like "reading a newspaper"... But when it got to the planning/filming, we really found it simplistic and it was actually quite hard to try and remember to use all the shot types asked.

As this was our very first film ever, for us all in the group, it wasn't bad at all. We have managed to use several shot types, such as close-ups and mid-shots. Today, when I look at it, I realise how much we have improved, as a group.

Here is an example of how much I have improved my camera skills. On the preliminary task, here on the left, we can clearly see that the character is walking up the stairs. However, the top of her head is cut off. In our real film, the filming is neater as you can see that the top of her head isn't cut off.

This is only one example of how much we have improved. Along the course, we have learned how to use Soundtrack pro and Final Cut Pro with ease and confidence.

During the preliminary task, we have learned a bit more about audience and how to target our film to a particular audience, using stereotypes or Mise En Scene for example. I think that we have made the right decisions in our real film. The main character is a teenage girl and the soundtrack used is popular to teenagers. Therefore, our target audience (which is teenagers aged 15+) is, in some ways, part of the film.

In the process of making our real film, our group had to go through several challenges. First, one of our group member had personal problems and ended up being misunderstood by most of the group. A lack of trust towards him gained us. After talking to our teachers, a radical decision was made; it was best for him to quit the group. I didn't want it to end up like this, however I think it was necessary in order to conserve the well-being of the group. We couldn't work properly anymore.

This was at the start of making our real thriller. After this little "incident", we managed to get over it and carry on preparing our blog. I cannot believe how much planning we have done for... 2 mins of film! This is incredible, and I cannot imagine how much work you have to do for a 2hr film...

Overall, the experience of filming / planning was really good. I loved it! Media is one of my favourite subject, and this experience allowed me to improve my skills in Filming (camera), Editing (using several editing programs, including soundtrack pro and final cut), and how to work in a group. I can't wait to make my second film!

Our opening sequence was a success! Well done guys :-D

Q2 - How does your media product represent particular social groups?

In our thriller, the main character is a 16-year-old teenager girl who listens to mainstream music. She spends her time chatting to her friends and reading fashion magazines. In order to represent our character, we used stereotypes of a typical teenager girl. 

What Lies Beneath and The Return both use stereotypes of women, as they are both shown as vulnerable.

The Return
What Lies Beneath

Question Four & Five

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Question Six.

In order to find out what others thought about The Return, and to collect constructive criticism, so that we could improve our film making next time. Our thriller opening was shown to my media class, and they all wrote down their opinions of it. With this information, I was able to create a wordcloud on


On the 5th of April, all of As media went to the Screen on the Green to watch all the thriller openings. After watching The Return, I asked some of my friends a few questions about their personal opinions of it. 

Question one: What did you enjoy most about The Return, and why?
Albana: I liked that it was in black and white, because it made it interesting, it showed that it was a dream, and it made me want to continue watching it after it changed into colour.
Rahwa: I liked the soundtrack, because it was the instrumental version of a song that i know and really like. This made me interested, because I knew that people like me were the intended target audience.

Question two: What did you enjoy the least about The Return, and why?
Albana: At the start of the clip, some of the shots were too fast, like the panning, which meant that I couldn't see the mise en scene properly.
Rahwa: I didn't like that it was in black and white for most of it, because it made me feel quite sleepy and I also found it very dark.

Question three: What were your opinions on the story line of The Return?
Albana: I found it really interesting, but a little confusing at times- I wasn't sure what the storyline was until it was explained to me after.
Rahwa: I really loved it! I found it really creepy and interesting, and I wanted to find out what will happen to the girl, and if she is really dead or if she will die.

Question four: Do you think The Return was suitable for its target audience of teenagers? Why or why not?
Albana: Yes, because the character was a teen girl, so the audience would be able to relate to her. However, I think that it would only be suitable for older teenagers, as the storyline is quite confusing.
Rahwa: Definately, as the character is probably a lot like the target audience, as she is young and likes typical teenage things, such as magazines and makeup. The music and mise en scene also adds to this, as the song is a popular song.

Question five: How do you think the shot types and camera angles were?
Albana: I think most of them were good, such as the over the shoulder shot, but I think some shots were not very professional, such as the zooming in and panning
Rahwa: I think there was a very wide range of camera shot types used, which made it very interesting

Question Three.

The target audience for our film, The Return is teenagers, especially girls, aged 15 and over. However, some adults may also be interested in watching The Return, as it is a psychological thriller.

Poppy is a 16 year old girl, who is studying for her GCSEs in secondary school. She loves spending time with her friends on weekends, chatting on facebook, shopping, read and going to the cinema. Her favourite shops are Topshop and Zara. She especially enjoys watching films about girls like her, romantic comedies, movies that keep her on the edge of her seat and ones that she can chat about and discuss with her friends.
   This is the contents of her handbag: 


Q3 - Who would be the audience for your media product?

 The target audience of our thriller would be teenagers, aged 15+. In order to illustrate our audience, I have created an illustration of the typical target audience member, with a little lifestyle summary.

Sean, 18-year-old, is a student at George Monoux College. He loves to watch thriller and horror films, especially the ones with a twist.  Always on Facebook, Sean is connected 24/7 with his friends. But when he puts his phone down, it’s to watch a film. He loves going to the cinema, with or without his friends. His passion for films made him more aware of the newest releases but also, independent films.

In his bag, we can find... 

A Vue Cinema card

An iPod

A smartphone, with an Internet plan

An Odeon cinema card

Question Eight

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

Wow, It really does seem as if we just started the media course and our preliminary tasks were set just the other day or so.. This shows that time has passed significantly!!! When we were first given the task to make a normal/boring activity into a suspenseful clip, I thought to myself that it was going to be impossible to make. 
Just to make it clear this task was called 'The Bag Swap' and to summarize quickly what this involved us to do was to include two characters switching over a bag. Simple as that. But seen as we are media students we had to make this 'Idea' into something interesting that involved a deal of suspense and tension, so the audience will actually be in gaged. 

As this was our first filming task, myself and my group members found it slightly difficult to adjust the camera the way we want it, for example the close-up quality-making sure it is not blurry and that the audience can tell what we are filming and also the lighting on the camera.. I wasn't quite experienced when it came down to filming and handling the camera, so I was slow getting to grips with it but eventually at the end I managed to shoot full on scene's for our thriller. Which made me feel great and much more experienced !! 

''Infact, the whole progession from the start of the course uptill now has been a great success. I started off not knowing how to handle camera's or get a perfect shot or even how to edit a single scene THEN end up creating a 2 min thriller opening, which obviously includes all the editing and titles # the main things I wasn't clear of at the beginning.'' 

Here Are Some Pictures From The Preliminary Task 'The Bag Swap'  And From Our Thriller Opening 'The Return' 

The Beggining Of The Bag Swap..

Obviously now that I am more familiar with the whole filming process, I notice now that this shot has too much spacing showing before the actuall scene startss, which is very poor Mise en Scene. 
Taking this screen shot and comparing it to the beggining of 'The Return' you can see a clear difference! As the shot is perfectly angled and partly shows the room.

The Return Opening Shot..
As you can tell much more better and well planned out.

Firstly I didn't purposly crop the top bit of this shot.. This is how it was filmed in the first place and I just print screened it.
Now you can see how poor the filming was, we didn't notice that the actors head is cut off when filming and when we did, it was a awfull quick zoom out.. Which by the way looked slightly bad in the film.

A HUGE difference now.. It is a much tighter shot of the character and the Mise en Scene! We're not cutting out the face of the character or showing any excess background. 
I guess one point that made our final opening more successful than the preliminary task was the timing & planning. For the preliminary task we literally had one hour/half to do all the filming and come back to put them together and make a sequence. However for our final opening we had a more relaxed timetable.. We had a rough plan ( although it did change freqently as well as our storyline ), and we were also able to film out side of college time, whether it was the weekend or holiday. 
Overall the whole filming process was a wonderful experience, although we went through a lot of ups and down, but at the end of everything, we managed to make our thriller opening a success! 

The MAIN Things I Have Learnt In The Progession ..

* How To Use The Camera.. 
-Camera Shots, Angles, Movement
* The Mise En Scene..
- Like I Mentioned Before At First There Was Alot Of Excess Scenary Compared To The Final Opening (much tighter)
* Working With Other People In Groups..
- It was nice to get to know my group members, I believe I have built good relationship with each of them. But at first no one knew what the other person is like! 
* Edit and Sound !!
- At first I would have never thought that I will understand how to Edit something using final cut or add a soundtrack. But this is one of the biggest point I have gained a lot of experience from. And now I can finally say that I Know how to use each of the programmes.


Q1 - How does your media product use, develop or challenges forms and conventions of real media product?

I have decided to compare our thriller opening The Return to another thriller opening called Panic Room. I have chosen to compare our film with Panic Room because they both have a narrative opening.

 Also, as our thriller opening challenges the traditional way of opening a thriller, using a narrative title sequence, I thought it was a good idea to compare it to a the conventions of a real thriller.
In order to make the differences clearer, I have made a little montage of both videos.

As you may see, our opening sequence challenges Panic Room in several ways. Panic Room have Columbia as their distribution/production company. As our film is an independent student film, it is produced by our college's studio City And Islington College Studios.

Panic Room have their title shown right at the start of their opening sequence, while ours is at the end. Also, they have started their opening sequence with an establishing shot of New York when we have immediately started our opening with the story.

Our thriller also challenges the conventions used by Panic Room by using a wide range of shots. While they only have establishing shots and a long shot at the end, we have used mid-shots, close ups, long-shots... But this is mainly due to the fact that they have decided to start their opening sequence with establishing shots.

Question Two

'' How Does Our Media Product Represent Particular Social Group ? '' 

The main social group our media product represents is teenage girls aged 15+. I believe our opening shows this by the following aspects;

- Our character Hanifah is in her bedroom on her laptop. 
This is typical for most teenagers, sitting in their rooms chatting to their friends etc (not necessarily girls). 

- The clothes/costume. 
Most teenage girls tend to wear their pyjama's when their at home. Being a girl myself I can say it is more comftable and relaxing to wear this type of clothing. 
We chose to have our main character in this type of clothing as we find it more realistic then wearing jeans and a hoodie at home. 
We had no trouble choosing the costume for our character to wear.

- Mise en scene/make-up 
This point is obvious.. As we ALL know girls love their make up!!
There's no doubt. Therefore we decided to have a shot of her putting any sort of make-up on, to clearly represent the social group. 
Now we had a mid-shot/over shoulder shot of her mirror reflection putting on red lipstick. ( although you couldn't notice the colour, as we added the effect black and white )

A ) Here I compared the Character from 'What Lies Beneath' with one shot of our opening. 
Similarities; - They are anxious about something they either see or hear. Both shots include stairs.
Differences; - The clothing; Our character is wearing pyjamas whereas the other character is wearing a dressing robe. Another difference is the fact 'What Lies Beneath' is showing the character going up the stairs, while Hanifah is going down the stairs.
B) Although this comparison is nothing to do with characters, I thought it was important to discuss the shots. 
It was a great similarity as they both included a smooth panning shot of the Mise en Scene.
( I couldn't upload the video of showing this )




D) You can clearly notice the similarity and differences between these two shots. 
Our Character Is Shown From Behind Opening The Door.
Whereas The Other Character Is Shown From The Opposite End Opening The Door. 


A mid-shot of her reaction


A close up of her reaction


   F) Finally this is the last shots I will be comparing.


                      F) In both openings we have a smooth/slow zoom, on the 'Point' each character is looking/react to; 
What Lies Beneath; the bath room, the bath filling up, steam.
The Return (Our thriller); The memorial paper, the wind blowing to show some suspense effect.

Question Seven

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Q6 - Audience Feedback

 Class Feedback... (28th march)

Wow, that was interesting! We had a chance to be able to see how our class' mates react to our opening sequence.

The most common thing that came up was the music, the soundtrack. Most of them likes it, some loved it but some hated it. It was interesting to see different point of views.

Another thing they talked about a lot was the black&white sequence, which we used in order to emphasis the fact that it was a dream. Again, some loved it and some didn't like it. However, some didn't understand why it was there, which I think is a really bad feedback unfortunately. It's very important that the audience understands everything, and that nothing feels out of place.

Another thing our audience loved was the titles (both opening and the title of the movie). A good point for us because it took us quite a while to make the "wipe" effect wiping at the right time in order to make it seem it disappears as the character walks "into" it.

Audience Feedback... (5th April)


Yesterday, everyone doing media had a chance to see their films on the big screen, at The Screen On The Green (an independent cinema in Islington). We also got the chance to see other groups' work!

As you can see, there was a long queue in front of the cinema. In fact, there was 200 students in total! 200 students seeing our film... Wow. We started to panic...

After having a little chat with our friends and one of my group member, Marry (one of the media teachers, here on the picture) came at the front to congratulate us of our work. This was it! The show was finally starting, after 2 months' worth of work it was finally ready to be shown. Our first film, on the big screen...

The films weren't shown in any particular order (or it didn't seem to be anyway) so we couldn't really know when our film was going to be shown. We saw really good films out there, it was good to see other ideas being developed on the screen and to be able to "compare" our work with others'.

Wow, that was really funny. We expected everything, everything BUT people singing along the soundtrack! It was fun though, and it clearly showed that the soundtrack we used matched our target audience. As the film continues, I was getting a bit worried because when we showed our film to our class, some people didn't quite get the story... But when the memorial was shown on the screen, our audience became quieter. This definitely got their attention. When the memorial was then shown in between the magazines she threw on her bed, our audience had a really good reaction to it. They got it, this was a relief.

After the show, I interviewed a 3 people to ask them feedback about our film... (Even though they had a trouble remembering our film! It wasn't surprising actually because after viewing 45 films... You can't really remember everything!)

Some great feedback here, thanks to Ada, Vanessa and Evie! :)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Question Six- Part Two


Today 05.04.11 the entire AS year in media, went to watch our thriller openings in the cinema aka the screen on the green. This was a wonderful experience as we all had the chance to not only see our own thriller opening but our friends and other groups opening on the 'Big Screen'. 

To be honest, I was quite nervous because we didnt know the order they were playing the openings in, so we never knew when our turn would be! ( my heart was literally beating ).
Below is the video, I recorded on my phone of our thriller opening showing..
( it might be abit dark, due to the fact I couldnt have my flash on )

(You can hear my voice in the background if you listen carefully, and you can tell by the things Im saying 'how nervouse and anxious I was.. Quite funny actually! )

So that was the video I recorded while our opening was playing.
one point I LOVED the most, was when everyone was familiar with our soundtrack and therefore started singing along the words to it, although it was only the instrumental. This was a good sign for us, as it showed that we achieved the target audience.
Another point that I was glad to catch on my phone was the suspense of the character opening the door and the camera showing the memorial paper. This REALLY shocked the audience,as you can hear them lower their voice. I really felt proud to hear their reaction, because when we showed our opening to class members, not everyone understood the storyline. So Im glad everyone at the cinema got the gist of the .RIP paper.

Below are some videos of couple of friends commenting on our thriller opening. I dont blame them for asking 'What was your thriller about again?' because we did just watch 45 openings, therefore there no doubt anyone would remember exactly who created what.

Famida Azad ( Group 33 ) Commenting On Our Thriller.

Reema Akther ( Group 6 ) Commenting On Our Thriller Video!

 I asked my friend to give feedback to our opening, in order to add to my evaluation. 
So here it is.. I had a feeling she would mention the soundtrack, which was Rihanna-Unfaithful (Instrumental), because she was one of the many people, singing along to the soundtrack, as our opening was playing.


Friday, 1 April 2011

Question Three

'' Who Would Be The Audience For Your Media Product ''

The target audience for our thriller would be mainly Girls aged 15 and over. The reason being, if we had a high age certificate immediately we would loose the majority of our audience. The type of audience we are trying to attract and think would be interested in watching our opening would be those who enjoy films with a ' surprising twist'

I Chose to upload this film as the character in the film does not remember anything he does or has done in the past. Similarly to the character in our thriller, although we established that 'it was only just a dream' towards the end the character does not know about the same memorial paper in her 'dream' is actually on her bed.

I have created a typical audience member for our thriller movie and below is a collage of her belongings, bags and personality. Here is her story; 
'' Avalon, 16 years old dropped out of school as soon as her mum ran away from home. She lives with her old neighbour on Broad shire Avenue. Avalon enjoys the typical teenage activities like going out with friends, cinema's, park etc. Her dress sense is very different to her friends as she mostly wears the colour black and silver and stays in her trousers or jeans. 

Below is a frame of words Avalon friend's describe her as; 

- Phone
- Lipstick
- Lip Pencil
- Ipod
-Head Band
- A Wrist Band 
- Money