A2 EVALUATION- How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

Film Poster
Film posters are used by production companies to promote their film. They are released before the actual film in formats such as magazines, billboards, and advertisements on buses and at bus stops in an attempt to create a hype about the film prior to its release. Normally, they are only created once the film is completed because they incorporate many elements directly from the film, such as fonts and editing styles. This is relevant for both feature-length films and short films. However, it is more common for feature-length films to use film posters because they generally have a bigger budget to advertise with. I began to create the film poster once the actual film was in its final stages of production for the reasons mentioned above.

I believe that the combination of my short film with my short film poster is very effective and this is largely because thanks to research, my production group and I have been able to use many forms and conventions of similar products for both. As these conventions are so well established, they help my products to be easily recognisable and therefore they are both more successful than they would have been if I’d have challenged a lot of conventions, in my opinion.

In the film poster, I have used elements of mise-en-scene to create a link between it and the short film. This link is important because it helps my film poster to achieve its purpose – to encourage people to go and watch my short film, and to provide my audience with more information about the short film in order to encourage them.

Most of the elements of mise-en-scene can be found within the photograph that I took of Lucy.

One of the most obvious examples of mise-en-scene is the rock that Lucy is sat on – it is the same rock that she is sat on in the beginning of my short film. The rock is significant because it plays a vital role in the film’s narrative because the rock is what allows Eve to be noticed by Richard as he drives along the moorland road and sees her there, by the side of the road, huddled up on this rock. To compliment the film, Lucy is replicating Eve’s huddled position on the rock in the photograph.

Another important element of mise-en-scene is the dress that Eve is wearing – it is the same one that is used in the film. This dress was carefully selected to fit the narrative. It is white to connote Eve’s innocence as a young girl, and also subtly hint at her ghostly presence. Furthermore, it is a modern style to represent the way Eve died. She passed away tragically after running away to a party that her father had forbidden her to go to and so the dress has to be seen as a party dress by the audience.

Eve’s facial expression is also an in important contribution to the mise-en-scene. She is looking off into the distance, connoting that she is distant from the world in some way, and this is important to the narrative as it represents her as being different somehow, and the audience finds out when they watch the film that this is because she is actually a ghost.

The dark sky represents the time of day the film is set at – late evening. It also connotes that something is wrong, because it shows a young girl to be out by herself at this time, and this is, in essence, the issue that my short film is based around. I changed the colour of the sky in Photoshop to fit the setting of the short film, which is filmed during the late evening. I took the photograph during the day so that the photograph was better quality because I would have more light, but it was also more convenient for me and Lucy because the evenings have been coming gradually later, and I knew I would be able to change the colour of the sky in Photoshop.

The photograph of Richard which is incorporated into the film poster represents the ghostly presence in the film, as the opacity has been reduced which indicates to the audience that he isn’t really there, linking the poster to the film further. The image of Richard also helps to show him as a friendly, caring character who is looking out for Eve, rather than as a love interest or sinister character because if the audience got this impression from him, the narrative wouldn’t be viewed in the light we intended it to be.

In terms of structure, our film poster follows conventions, too. For example, we have a large, bold title at the top which denotes the name of our film to the audience. As a group we came up with an innovative and interesting design for our title, which featured ‘Lost in the’ inside the word Eve, as Eve is the protagonist of our film and therefore her name is the most important part of the title. As we are drawing attention to Eve here, we are strengthening the link between our main product and film poster which we made as part of our ancillary task.

We also have a conventional banner at the bottom of the page which shows everyone who worked on the film and how they contributed. For instance, I am listed as the person who did the screenplay, because I wrote the script. Although this isn’t directly related to the narrative of our film, it still strengthens our combination because it coincides with the credits at the end of our short film and may encourage our audience to watch the short film, if they were to recognise one of our names.

The ‘BBFC’ rating that’s present of the bottom of the poster is also effective in linking the film poster to the short film because it gives the audience an idea of the sort of content that will they will find within it. The rating 12A warns our audience that there is some moderately bad language within the film.

Overall, I think that the film poster that my production group and I have created is effective in linking to the main product – our short film, ‘Lost in the Eve’ because through mise-en-scene the poster represents several elements, themes and ideas from the film, and the structure follows a conventional format, allowing our audience to realise what it is and how it might link to the film (because they understand what the purpose of a film poster is).

The Film Review
Film reviews are released later than film posters, usually after the film has premiered, but before is general release. This is done by critics outside of the film production process, and therefore it was difficult to separate myself from the film in order to write a review like a short film critic. They are honest about their opinions of the film and either encourage or discourage people to watch the film when it is released into cinemas for the general public. As we are pleased with the way our short film has turned out, my group and I decided to give our short film a positive review.

Again, I think that the combination of my film review and my short film is effective because of what we have decided to include in the film review. We have mostly used conventions of real short film reviews to construct this piece.

One of the main chunks of text in the film review is a synopsis of the film, that purposefully doesn’t give too much away to the audience so that the film isn’t spoiled and they will still be in for a surprise if they go and watch it. This helps to link the two products because it clarifies that they are both based around the same themes.

Furthermore, I have included stills from the actual film in the film review, and this is a convention as the film is premiered before the film review. Otherwise, the the film reviewer wouldn’t have anything to base their review of our film on. This clearly combines our the two products because there is crossover in what’s included.

Colour was another important combination factor which linked our two products. The film review has a black background, which symbolises the time of day that the film is set in – late evening. I think that this was an effective choice as it would stand out more in a magazine for reversing the traditional black on white colour scheme to white on black. The contrast of the white text against the dark, black background represents the juxtaposition of the innocence of the characters within my short film and the sinister, dark situation that they have found themselves in because of Eve’s death. The character’s innocence and purity shines through in the way they deal with the situations that are thrown at them during the short. The images in the film review helped to add colour and a little vibrancy to the product, but the black and white makes the product appear professional.

In conclusion, the combination of our short film review with our short film is effective because it is clear to our audience how and why they link because we have followed conventions which they will recognise and understand.

AS EVALUATION – How does your product represent particular social groups?

My music magazine represents two social groups in particular – the two social groups that my music magazine is geared towards: young people, aged from around 11 to 22, and the ‘middle-aged’ generation who were young in the 1980s. I wanted to appeal to young people because they are the generation who music magazines, especially pop magazines, have been aimed at in the past during the peak of their success, so they seemed to be the appropriate demographic to target. However, I also wanted to appeal to the ‘middle-aged’ generation, now mainly in their 40s, to create a sense of nostalgia for them.

Furthermore, although I believe that my music magazine would be appropriate for both genders because I have included a wide variety of content including information about both male and female artists, but typically pop magazines have appealed to the female audience more than a male audience and this has influenced some of the decisions I made whilst creating my final product.

In order for my music magazine to appeal to my target audience, it had to represent my target audience so that it is relatable for them.

I have represented particular social groups mainly through my images; I have used both age groups that I want to target in the photographs I have taken and these can be seen particularly on my contents page. I have also used images of males and females and included photographs of people from two different ethnic backgrounds – Caucasians and black people.

On my cover I have used an image of Chelsey who is 18. She represents the younger end of my target audience and is acting as an ‘up and coming’ glam pop star who is 19 years old. I have used Chelsey as the main subject of my music magazine because I felt that I would have to work harder to get the younger generation to be interested in an 80s style glam pop magazine as the genre is so niche and ‘old-school’ so it may feel a bit out of touch for them. Whereas on the other hand, buying a music magazine is familiar for the older end of my target audience as it is something that they will probably have done regularly during their youth because music magazines were extremely popular at the time. Having her, a young, beautiful, successful woman as my main focus will help to show the youngsters that glam pop is still current and relevant because old music is coming back into fashion, hence why Chelsey is an ‘up and coming’ glam pop star. This phrase that I have used within my magazine will also help my younger audience to feel like they are ahead of the trend, because it is ‘up and coming’ – it hasn’t already come. Being ahead of the trend is something which is important to young people as it is likely to make them more popular as they move through school and their early career. Importantly, it can already be seen that trends from the 1980s are coming back, such as vinyl records and 80s glam pop fashion.

My use of Chelsey as a the prominent model for my magazine, featuring on both my cover and double page spread has also helped me to appeal to a wider range of ethnicities. Typically, music magazines only include one obvious ethnicity because they are often only trying to target one ethnicity in particular, but mine includes two prominent ones – Caucasian and black. I believe that my music magazine appeals to all different ethnicities, but I have used these two ethnicities within my music magazine as they are the two I discovered to be most common in glam pop music through researching different glam pop music videos and actual 80s pop magazines. For example, Grace Jones was a famous and well-respected 80s glam pop star, and so was Madonna and these two artists come from different ethnic backgrounds.

As different ethnicities come from different backgrounds, people from the same ethnicity often have similar tastes in music, and this is often because of their heritage. For example, black males are often interested in rap music because rap music stemmed from their culture. This can make it easier for music magazines to target a specific ethnicity, as they can include elements of things that are generally popular in their culture.

I represented females in my music magazine predominantly through my colour scheme which involves a lot of pink, a stereo-typically girly colour. The pink is bright to give my magazine a fun and upbeat feel to it, much like glam pop music.

Females are also represented in my photographs as they are more prominent than males – my cover and double page spread only features a female, and only 3 out of my 7 contents page photos feature males. This is due to the fact that I feel that my magazine is more appealing to girls than boys because the concept of a pop magazine has typically always been more attractive to girls than boys. However, I didn’t want to cut males out of my target audience completely, and this is why I have used range of images in my magazine which use and could appeal to men as well.

Before creating my music magazine, I decided that I wanted to target the middle class predominately. This is because I feel that this social group is the most likely to buy music magazines because they have enough disposable income to be able to afford it, but would still be interested in the glam pop genre of music because stereotypically, those from the higher classes prefer to listen to more ‘sophisticated’ music such as classical and jazz, whereas the lower classes stereotypically prefer to listen to more gritty, realistic music such as rap and grime.

I appealed to the middle class mainly through the informal tone I created by using specific language. It was important for me to create an informal tone as I judged this to be a convention of pop magazines from my research, but I also knew that it would help me to appeal to my target audience because it would ensure that my magazine isn’t too high-brow as stereotypically the middle classes don’t want to read high-brow pieces.

I created the informal tone using informal lexes which includes slang. In some respects, I have written how the text would be spoken, giving my magazine a chatty feel to it. For instance, on my contents page I have included a note from the editor (me), as this is something else which I judged to be a convention of pop magazines through my research. To make it feel authentic, this is one of the places within my magazine where I used a lot of informal language, as though I was giving a verbal introduction to my magazine. I have used phrases such as “glam poppers”, which isn’t considered to be formal English, which is how it helps to create the informal tone.

Overall, I have used photographs, colour and language manipulation to represent young people, those in their 40s, males, females, and the middle class in my music magazine as I feel that these are the social groups that my music magazine appeals to the most. Therefore, in order to attract them to buy my magazine, they have to be able to relate to it.

Our Film Screening

Yesterday we hosted the first screening of our short film for our target audience to come and watch so that we could get some feedback and find ways to improve out short film. We invited friends and family within the age range of our target audience (19 – 25 year olds, mixed gender) and also put posters up around school and the local area to invite others from the same age that we don’t necessarily know, to make our feedback less biased.

Before our guests arrived, we set up the room with the film ready to play and the questionnaires put out in each place like this:
Set up

When our guests arrived, we gave a short welcome speech and then got straight on with screening the film:
Screen Watching Film
We were pleased with the turnout. Over forty people came to our screening in total. We just gave questionnaires to the first forty that entered.

When the film had finished, we asked everyone to complete their questionnaires. Here is a photograph of just some of our audience completing the questionnaire (some had already finished and left by this point to be elsewhere):
Completing questionnaires

Here are some examples of the questionnaires we received back:
They were completely anonymous. Everyone put them on a pile as they left and we did not monitor who left at what time. To make sure we really didn’t know who’s was who’s, we shuffled them too before reading them.

AS EVALUATION – What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Through the process of creating my school-based magazine and music magazine, I have learnt a lot about a range of different technologies, including both software and hardware, which has helped me to create a product which I judge to be successful. These are the different technologies I have used and what I have learnt from using each one:

Canon EOS 400D Camera
To take my original images for my preliminary and main tasks I used a Canon EOS 400D camera. I had never used a camera like this before, and so earlier this year I conducted some research into how to use it during the planning stages of my photo shoots. Through this research I learnt how to do the basics, including how to insert the battery and start up the camera properly, how to focus my shot and how to select the right shooting mode using the dial, to more technical details such as how to adjust the aperture of the camera and the depth of field.

This helped me a lot when I came to take my original images because it allowed me to recognise what was wrong with some of the images that I took, and also how to fix them. I was also able to set up my camera properly before my models arrived so that the shoots were efficient and therefore I didn’t waste their time that they were giving up for me. This meant that my models respected me more and were more responsive to what I asked them to do which was beneficial for me as it allowed me to take better photographs, the way I wanted to.

Taking Media Studies at A level has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone in relation to photography. Previously, I would generally use the automatic settings on the camera to take a photograph, but now I have learned about cameras in more detail, I know how to use the manual settings. Through tutorials, such as the one below, I have learned how to focus the camera properly using the manual focus.

I tried to use the camera on the fully manual mode most of the time, and use what I learnt from this tutorial:

to adjust the focus, focal length and depth of field.

Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud CC 2015
Another of the pieces of software which I have become accustomed to during the completion of my Media Studies AS level is Photoshop. The particular version that I have used to construct both my preliminary task and the majority of my music magazine is Creative Cloud CC 2015, which is the more recent version of Photoshop. Prior to beginning my A level media journey, I used Photoshop CS6 when I was doing my GCSE. There aren’t many major differences between the different versions, but there are some more minor ones. For example, Creative Cloud CC 2016 has changed the layout and design of Photoshop slightly and has added some new features such as a customisable tool bar and 3D imaging.

Despite having some experience with Photoshop from my GCSE, I had to re-learn how to use most of the different tools because I haven’t really used Photoshop much since I was in year 10, and I am now in year 13 (because I am completing the AS and A2 course simultaneously).

The main way I learned how to use Photoshop this year was through trial and error. As I was already somewhat familiar with where things were located within the programme, I decided to practice using Photoshop before I began to construct my main product and to do this I used random images off the Internet, and some that I already had saved on my computer. I used these before going on to use my original images because it didn’t matter if I went wrong. I was able to see what worked, and what didn’t and this was really beneficial when it came to creating my final product because I already had an idea of what was going to look good, and also what was going to look bad through using specific tools and techniques.

Another method I used to familiarise myself with the new version of Photoshop was tutorials on YouTube done by professionals, such as Terry White. They were useful because they were done by people who knew far more about Photoshop than anyone I actually know in person, because it is part of their profession. Terry White’s tutorials, such as the one below were extremely comprehensive and encouraged me to remember what I already knew about Photoshop, and learn even more.

One of the main things I learned through using Photoshop is that it is an extremely clever and interactive piece of software that allows you to be completely creative, as long as you know how to use it properly. This is why I spent so much time learning how to use the programme, so that I could have full creative control in order to create the best product I could.

Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud CC 2015
InDesign is a piece of software that I hadn’t used before I started my Media Studies A level. Therefore, I had to learn how to use it completely from scratch.

Again, I used mainly tutorials to do this, including more from Terry White, such as the one below:

Using InDesign was scary at first because it threw me out of my comfort zone as I wasn’t at all familiar with it. I wanted to use some of the tools that I knew were in Photoshop out of habit, but I quickly realised that these weren’t there because Adobe InDesign has been created for a different purpose to Photoshop and so I had to learn what I could do instead in InDesign to create the same effect. This often took a lot of time and a lot of researching, but it was extremely rewarding.

InDesign is Adobe’s programme which focuses more on constructing a page rather than creating a product or manipulating an image. I have learnt that once you move over to InDesign, your photos should be adjusted and cropped to however you want them already, as this is not something you can do easily in InDesign. However, as Photoshop and InDesign are now part of the same ‘Creative Cloud’, it is now even easier to switch between the programmes.

Once I learned how to use InDesign properly, I discovered it was much more suited to creating a double page spread than Photoshop is, meaning that I should have created a better product for using it.

WordPress – my blog
Having a blog has been a new experience for me, and so I have had to learn how to use one properly, including the basics such as how to create a post, how to add images and how to embed things from other medias. The provider of my blog is WordPress, and due to its format, it has allowed me to learn about coding somewhat.

Creating a new post in WordPress is simple, you simply click on ‘New’ in the top banner and then ‘Post’. Nothing too difficult about that, right? However, once you have created a post, you will see that it is not like the format of Microsoft Word or Google Docs which you might be familiar with using. You actually get a much more basic layout, where you have to know some lines of simple coding to manipulate your text. For instance, to make text bold you need to put ” (without the dots) before and after the text you want to make bold. Furthermore, if you want to embed something, you need its iframe code, which sometimes needs manipulating to change the dimensions of the media to fit your blog.

Miscrosoft PowerPoint
In order to make my blog work more interesting and dynamic, I have often used the format of a PowerPoint, which I have then embedded onto my blog. This is something that I have been using throughout my time at school, but through using it so frequently in Media Studies, I have learnt even more about it.

For instance, I have learnt how to add a design to my PowerPoints, which made them more interesting and colourful and more aesthetically pleasing in general.

I have also learnt how I can combine the use of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint to include tables and graphs in my PowerPoints, which has been particularly useful when I have been evaluating and presenting feedback to my questionnaires.

Slide Share
Slide Share is a media platform which I hadn’t used before I began this course. It is what I have used to embed the PowerPoints and Word documents that I have created onto my blog using a link to their website that embeds the file called an iFrame code.

To get a PowerPoint or Word document onto my blog, I first need to upload it onto Slide Share, and then obtain its iframe code which I then insert into a post.

Lights (Hard and Soft)
Another technology I have learnt how to use properly is the lighting equipment. Both how to use it practically, and how to use it effectively.

Before the photo shoots that I organised, I learnt how to use the lighting equipment to achieve a particular effect. I researched into how to create the four main lighting patterns which can be used when doing portrait photography (which I did for most of the original images within my music magazine) – split lighting, loop lighting, Rembrandt lighting and butterfly lighting. In addition to these four patterns, I also learnt about broad and short lighting.

Furthermore, I learnt how to use the hard and the soft lights. More specifically, how to put them up, adjust their brightness and also link them to the camera so they acted as ‘flash’ when I took my photographs.

AS EVALUATION – Who would be the audience for your media product?

As I have already mentioned, I feel that I have a wide target audience for my music magazine because the genre of music that my magazine is based around (glam pop, and specifically 80s-style glam pop) is appreciated by a variety of different social groups and therefore my magazine which explores this style is likely to be appreciated by people from all of these groups.

In terms of age, I feel that the main age groups that would form my audience is 11 – 22 year olds, and also those in their 40s. I believe that people aged 11 to 22 would be more interested in the more modern elements of my music magazine – the parts that suggest glam pop is coming back into fashion, such as the interview with Chelsey Denton, the ‘up and coming’ glam pop star and the return of Depeche Mode, a group from the 80s who played glam pop music, whereas the older end of my target audience would be more interested in the 80s-inspired sections which will give them a sense of nostalgia. The whole experience of buying and reading a music magazine will probably nostalgic for those in their 40s, as music magazines were extremely popular when they were in their youth. This is what I consider to be my USP – the factor that no other music magazines currently in circulation, that I am aware of, have this element.

In terms of ethnicity, I believe that my product would be accessible and interesting for anyone. However, as I found there to be more Caucasians and black people in the world of glam pop, in terms of artistry, I have represented these ethnicities the most throughout my music magazine and therefore these ethnicities may be more interested in it because it is more relatable for them. This would mean that Caucasians and black people may be more likely to make up my audience.

I also think that the middle-class would make up the majority of my audience because they should have enough disposable income to be able to afford to buy a music magazine on a regular basis.

Super-injunctions Under English Law

Super-injunctions under English law are a type of injunction in English Tort Law which prevents publication of something which is an issue and also reporting of the fact that the injunction even exists. The term was coined by a Guardian journalist covering the Trafigura controversy.

If the media does report on such cases, they are in contempt of court.

Critics of super-injunctions have argued that they go against the freedom of speech present in England, and that they are ineffective as they can be breached using the Internet and social media. Furthermore, the taking out of an injunction can have the unintended consequence of publicising the information more widely – this is referred to as the Streisand effect.

Source: Wikipedia

Sex Scandal Involving Well-Known Celebrity Couple

Recently, news has come about of a sex scandal involving a well known celebrity couple. This case is high profile because of the status of those involved, and also the injunction that one of those involved has put in place via the courts in order to stop the story being circulated by UK media until it has been proven to be true. However, we know about the scandal in Britain because of media from other countries which has circulated online, because the injunction doesn’t apply to them – it only applies to the UK.

The alleged story states that **** ****’s husband, ***** *******, has been having a long-term ‘affair’ of a sexual nature with ***** ********. However, this may not be an ‘affair’ at all because the couple have always described their relationship as ‘open’.

The injunction **** set prevented the UK media from mentioning his or *****’s names in English (or Welsh) because he and his lawyers argued that they had always wanted to keep their private life private, having never courted publicly, and having details released about their sex life would be “devastating” for them. However, this has caused much controversy with many freedom of speech activists, members of parliament and members of the general public disagreeing with the injunction. If any journalist or other member of the UK media breaks the terms of the injunction, they could potentially face jail time. Even citizens who refer to **** or ****** by name on social media are subject to prosecution.

The UK media have got around this injunction by describing the couple as a “well-known celebrity couple”, knowing that the identity of the couple isn’t more than a few clicks away. These types of injunctions have typically been frowned upon by the British public as they see them as tools for the rich, famous and powerful to hide their transgressions from the public. “It is not about the stories they are trying to stop but the absurdity of trying to prevent a free press identifying them when the whole world already knows who they are,” said an editorial in Scotland’s Daily Record.

It can be said that on the whole, injunctions defeat their purpose as they often attract even more attention to the case for having them in place.

AS EVALUATION – How did you attract/address your audience?

Below is a PowerPoint explaining the main decisions I made when I was creating my music magazine. I have presented it in the format of a deconstruction of my own magazine in order to help me explain. All of the choices I made were intended to attract and address my audience.

The main way I addressed my audience was through my editor’s note on my contents page where I welcomed my audience as if I were speaking to them properly. These type of personal touches should hopefully make my music magazine more appealing to my target audience.

Responses to Music Magazine Feedback Questionnaire

Here are some examples of the responses I got on my music magazine feedback questionnaires chosen at random from the thirty people I handed them out to. This compliments my video feedback, where I asked some of my friends and teacher what their thoughts on my magazine are so that I can improve it.

I decided to do both a questionnaire and video feedback (asking the same questions) because I knew that my video feedback may be slightly biased, due to the fact that the people I asked know me well. However, I handed out my questionnaire to random people within my target audience and made them anonymous so that the feedback I received from this was less biased.

N.B. I forgot to provide lines for reasoning on question 7 and only realised after I printed the questionnaires, so when I handed them out I asked everyone to provide their reasoning in the space next to the tick boxes. I pointed it out to try and avoid any confusion.