1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions used in the productions?

Our media production is set in the Victorian era; we have therefore decided to stick to old stereotypes to make our production more representative, for the time in which it is set. So we have included a variety of shots showing Gretel displaying more emotion in comparison to Hansel who is shown as the strong male and comforting figure, this is to keep to the conventions of the typical fairy tale stereotypes of gender. The facial expressions are key to showing our audience the emotions of the characters, close-ups and mid-shots have been used to display these key emotions to the storyline. An example of this is when we observe Hansel comforting Gretel, this is to support the stereotype that women are more emotion and want/need the comfort of a ‘strong’ male relation. This is shown when Hansel places his arm around Gretel, also he embraces her in a hug another example is when Gretel is wiping tears from her eyes. The camera also shows Hansel ‘staying strong’ he has a blank expression in some shots and he is not shown to be crying, just solemn. This helps develop gender stereotypes from the Victorian era, when women were seen to be more prone to expressing more emotion and in need of male comfort and support.  This is why we have to incorporate a number of shots displaying different ranges of emotion in Gretel and shown Hansel with stronger body language and emotion.

When typing into Google Images “Victorian stereotypes (gender)” this is on of the images that are found within the search to show gender stereotypes from the Victorian era. You can see that the maids are all female and the men in this picture appear dominant through their dress and what they are involved in which looks to be a meeting of importance.

2.      How does your media product represent particular social groups?

In the Victorian era there was a strong divide within social classes you were either very poor, in the middle or very rich, this could have been judged through the clothes individuals would wear. Originally Joe and I planned for Hansel and Gretel to be shown as very poor, like they are shown in the original story. However we wanted our characters to look elegant and therefore through Mise-en scene they are represented as the middle class between very rich and working class. This is also part of our inter-textual reference with the movie ‘The corpse bride’ and ‘Alicein Wonderland’ by Tim Burton, therefore the costumes and props were used to match the characters from these movies. Jim (Hansel) wears a 3 piece suit and has a fashionable, of the time, pocket watch, this pocket watch is inter-textual reference with the previously mentioned film, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Tim Burton. Katherine (Gretel) wears a long dress and elbow length gloves with jewellery. Because of the Mise en scene the characters are represented to look like they are from a better off social class/background.

Bellow is an image example of “Victorian era social groups” from Google images. It expresses rich culture within the Victorian era. We can see well dressed people, with a wide variety of accessories and material products. Although our characters were not of a very rich standard displayed in the image below, they did posses material goods such as the pocket watch.

  

3.      What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Our media product could be distributed by a number of institutions for product promotion, because it is only the first 2 minutes (opening) of the film it could be used as an advert within cinemas to promote the whole film. There may also be online internet institutions such as ‘Youtube’ to distribute our product for the enjoyment of the audience. Social networking sites such as ‘facebook’, ‘twitter’, ‘bebo’ and ‘myspace’ are all examples of internet institutions that could use things such as the 2 minute clip and also could use the poster that we created as a teaser. Using social networking sites would be of a bonus to us because it is highly used by our target audience (15+)

4.      Who would be the audience for your media product and why?

Joe and I have chosen our target audience to be teenagers at the age of 15 and above. We decided on this certification through the BBFC, the British Board of Film Classification, “Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised. There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘f**k’).” We have taken into consideration the rest of the film and script, and we certificated as a whole rather than just the two minute clip. We decided it to be a ‘15’ because of the Horror and Language we may use if the film was to be finished as a whole. I felt that as a teenager, looking back on some of my favourite fairy tales as a child and now being able to see them visually and with a dark twist, was interesting and intriguing. As a child, fairy tales are something that every child reads and is in involved in, by creating a twist on the storyline and visual effects it creates an appeal amongst teens because watching or reading a fairy tale as they normally were as a child is not as appealing as seeing something with new and exciting elements to them.Alice in wonderland directed by Tim Burton is an example of this, because the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel has been read by so many generations we hoped that we would therefore create a wider age range audience. This is something I particularly wanted so the audience can see what can be done to make the story so much more exciting than it already is with a modern imagination input.

5.      How did you attract/address your audience?

We addressed our audience by emailing a survey to students that are of the age 15 and above. We included questions about genre to see if our idea of a dark twist on a fairy tale would be of interest to this selection of targeted audience. We asked a variety of questions to see if this select age group audience would accept the genre of fantasy/horror. We also created a poster that we have posted over the social network site, ‘facebook’ to see if it was of interest to people. Their feedback showed us that they did have an interest in a dark twist on the story line of Hansel and Gretel. Also from our questionnaire we gathered more feedback such as, other horror movies that were of interest to this audience and the most popular answers were; Tim Burton, Edgar Wright, Alfred Hitchcock, Danny Boyle and Stephen Spielberg Joe and I therefore carried out extensive research on these popular answers.

6.      How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

Joe and I have made sure that everything we produce has the main production name (Solo Productions) entitled on them, an example of this is the production name appearing in the opening credits of our film “Solo Productions Presents” and also this appears on the poster we created. We have taken the criticisms from our preliminary task and have developed our May task to take on board these criticisms of ours and improve our work on horror but through a completely different concept.

7.      What have you learned from your audience feedback?

From two questions, in the survey, we received feedback from the answers, providing us with information with this audience’s favourite directors and horror movies. The movie Psycho, The exorcist and Saw movies were most popular to appear. To see what made them the most popular, we completed deconstructions on the first two opening minutes of each of the mentioned popular films. We also deconstructed the music closely; in our survey one question was to do with how the music, to see if it had an effect on the audience. We then took into consideration how to recreate certain elements that are involved in these favourite movies and compositions of music, transferring them into our own film.

8. How did you use new media and technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages?

Throughout all of the research I carried out to provide us with extra information in how to create our film to get the best results, I used media technologies such as the internet. Within the internet I researched things through ‘Google’ ‘Wikipedia’ and also ‘slideshare’, they provided me with information that was continuously updated by people with information. For the planning of something like the story board I drew the images and then used a scanner to then further upload them onto this blog.

During the editing stages Joe and I used the latest adobe software to edit our film and produce. We also used up to date technology when it came to the creation of the music and this is further explained in the diary entries.  When constructing the film we used video cam corders to capture the footage that we needed.

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

From our preliminary production I have learnt to be more organised with the pre-production for our main project. Within our preliminary task our ideas changed a lot, as a result of this our storyboard does not match up with the final product we created for the preliminary task. I have also learnt that background research and deconstructions play a vital role in helping us with inspiration and also by involving our audience with a detailed survey we can find out what our target audience will really be interested in.

Even though in the Preliminary task I criticised the lack of speech, I feel that the lack of speech on the main task had an excellent effect. It created a mysterious allusion, in which the audience can make up their own mind on the story and what they will be seeing as the film goes on.

Something that we planned much better in this task was the planning of the shots. In the preliminary task I found that the lighting of the shots was not well executed and therefore had a knock on affect in the overall film because the audience could not see what was going on. I feel that in our main-task, the lighting and shot planning was handled very well and the lighting in our final product for the main task has created an amazing affect overall. Because of the whole project, apart from the final shot, being in black and white the lighting was crucial to showing a gloomy atmosphere.

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