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my internet has broken, so I am uploading like crazy. I have an hour

Finished film opening. Storyboards to follow

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Camera Shots – I am using screen shots from British teenage drama Skins to demonstrate my knowledge of different camera shots.

Extreme Long Shot/Establishing Shot – This is usually an exterior shot, to establish the setting and allows the audience to infer more about the storyline.

Long Shot – shows the character from head to toe, to allow the audience to become more familiar with the character.

Mid Shot – shows the character from the waist upwards, allowing the audience to become more familiar with the characters intentions, as they’re face is visible here.

Two Shot – shows two characters, revealing the interaction between two people.

Close up – Shows the head and shoulders of a character OR an object relevant to the narrative.

Extreme Close Up – No background, only shows the face or object

Point of View – this engages the audience with the characters motive and view point.

Camera Movements

Tracking Shot – The camera moves backwards/forwards on a track, following the characters movement
Tilt – the camera is tilted up or down on an axis. And upwards tilt signifies power and a downwards tilt generally indicates a point of view
Zoom – used as a cheaper alternative to tracking
Arc shot – when the camera moves around the action in a full or semi-circle. It allows the audience to see the reactions of characters and it increases the intensity of the action
Crane shot – follows action from a vertical point
Panning – the cameras moves from one side to another. This is commonly used with Point of View shots, when a character is searching a room

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Blog 3.1

20Q with Media Studies… ?

1) List five media sectors and one leading profit making company for each sector.
Film – Dreamworks
Music – Sony Music
TV – Sky
Magazine – Condé Nast
Radio – MTV

2) Name two independent music labels
Aardvark Records
Fat Cat Records

3) Why is some music downloading illegal and some legal?
Some tracks aren’t protected by copyright laws, and are therefore available for download.

4) Who owns the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)?
The president is Quentin Thomas and the director is David Cooke

5) Name three organizations that own British newspapers
News Corporation owned by Rupert Murdoch and distributing The Sun and The Times
Trinity Mirror owns the Sunday Mirror and The People (not actually ‘the people’, just the newspaper)
Northern & Shell distribute the Daily Express and the Sunday Express

6) Why does the BBC have no adverts?
The BBC is a Public Broadcasting Service, which means that it is paid for and exists only for the public, meaning that money doesn’t need to be made from advertising.

7) What is OFCOM?
OFCOM is the Office of Communications – ‘we regulate the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms and mobiles, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate’. At the moment, OFCOM are trying to ban misleading Broadband speed advertisements, as consumers hardly ever get the promised speeds.

8) What is MP4?
MP4 files are video files :)

9) Why does sound regularly disappear on the live Big Brother feed?
Channel 4 (or any broadcasting station) cannot broadcast anything politically incorrect. Also, swearing ain’t a good idea

10) Who owns Channel 5?
Richard Desmond bought Channel 5in 2010 and also owns Northern and Shell

11) What happened as a result of the Hutton Report?
The Hutton Report was a judicial inquiry into the death of David Kelly. BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan quoted him on saying the the government ‘sexed up’ the September Dossier (a report into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction). The government were cleared but the BBC were heavily criticized, so Gavyn Davies resigned his role as chairman of the BBC. Interestingly, he was a former Goldman Sachs banker. Typical

12) From what do magazines publishers make most of their money?

Advertising’s an amazing thing, isn’t it?

13) Who owns your regional ITV channel?
I actually have no idea. I’m gonna go for ITV Yorkshire?

14) How do websites that offer content for free make money?
let’s go advertising

15) Who responds to viewers’ complaints about adverts?
As tempted as I am to say Watchdog, I have to say the Advertising Standards Agency

16) Which is the biggest film industry in the world?

17) Who decides on age classifications for videogames?
There isn’t one definitive rating system or company, but an example is the Entertainment Software Rating Board

18) Which media company do you pay the most money to?
Personally, magazines. I reckon. I don’t know. Sub-conciously I probably pay a lot more else where.

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Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it – to full product?

The most important thing I have learnt is less is more, in terms of editing. In the continuity task, I edited it too much, making it black and white, changing the exposure and the contrast. Also, with the inclusion of shot/reverse shot and match on action, it seemed like there was too much going on. For my film opening, I was determined to make a more simple piece, with less faffy editing. As much as I wanted this to happen, however, I ended up finding the editing for my final piece a lot harder. This was because although I had less editing too, the edits I had chosen were a lot more time consuming and harder to do. For example, instead of just whacking on a filter, I had to change the individual film properties i.e in order to show two pieces of film at the same time, I had to change the opacity of one image.

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

Before I started AS Media Studies, I had a bit of an inherited hatred of Macs. With two older brothers who are complete tech-heads, I was taught to hate Macs. However, I resisted the urge to break all the computers and, now, I actually like them. They are a lot easier to use, and although I had to learn a whole bunch of new keyboard shortcuts, it was worth it. Also, they just look a lot prettier than normal computers. Smaller too.

I had also never used a digital film camera. Infact, the only ‘film’ camera is an old Canon… but when I say film, I do not mean ‘filming’… I actually just mean ‘film’. Bit old fashioned, but lovely. It was interesting learning to use the camera, and the first time I went to film I ended up filming the wrong things. I pressed ‘record’ when I meant to stop filming and vice versa. Thankfully, I sorted it out the next time I was filming and ended up with all the footage I needed

Maybe not too techincal this one, but it was an integral part of filming. Photography is a hobby of mine, so I had used a tripod before, so there wasn’t a lot to learn with this one.

Having never used a film camera or a mac before, it follows that I have never used Final Cut Express before either. There was a lot I needed to learn. However, I know find it really easy to use. I know the shortcuts that I need to know; how to cut a clip etc. I also had to learn how to overlay two pieces of film, by changing the opacity of one of the images. Perhaps the easiest thing was the filters and transitions, which are just click and on.

For the titles of my movie, I used a programme called LiveType. Guess what, I’d never used that either. Surprise, surprise. I found this surprisingly difficult to learn. I still have to make sure I write down everything I do in order to make sure all my titles are the same. The first time I used it, I forgot to do that, so all my titles were slightly different sizes and looked really messy. Not nice at all. Thankfully, I sorted it out.

For my ident, I decided to create a stop motion using my Canon EOS 1000D. I’ve have it for just over a year, so it isn’t that difficult to use now. I have never made a stop motion with it before, so that was a new thing to learn. The hardest thing was making sure all the pictures were framed the same, so it didn’t look messy when it all came together.

Overall, I am happy with how it went and I think I have a much larger grasp of how to use different technologies now

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How did you attract/address your audience?

So, in order to attract my audience, I had to make sure my film looked like a stereotypical love film; pretty music, pretty clothes and even prettier actors :)

The choice of my main actress was my good friend Louise; a photographer who takes a lot of self portraits, so is used to being infront of the camera. This was important to me, as I wanted it to look quite natural, so it was easier to use someone that spends a lot of time in front of a camera.

In order to show the love film side of things, I used modern music that sounded classical. The track I chose in the end was a song called Von by Sigur Ros. They are an Icelandic band, and one of my favourites. I didn’t want any lyrics to detract from the visuals, so I only used the introduction, which was purely instrumental.

One of the most important thing to me in the production of the film was to make the film pleasant to watch, aesthetically pleasing. This wasn’t just during the editing, but straight from the storyboard. I put a lot of time into making my storyboards, maybe too much time, but I don’t like to ork off anything that isn’t well presented. During filming, I treated each shot as if I was setting up to take a photograph. I had to make sure that the composition and light were just perfect, as from personal experience, I find it really difficult to watch a film if the shots aren’t framed nicely. When editing, I used several filters to make the film more easy on the eye, such as a sepia one, but not to full strength. After getting feedback from the people in my class, I also decided to mirror some of the images of the watercolours and overlay them so it looked like a mirror image. This is because someone thought that the repitition of the watercolour painting was a bit repetitive. I have to agree with them.

One thing that would appeal to the audience quite directly were the makeup and preparation scenes. These are common in both film and television, as it is an easy way to grab the attention of teenagers viewers, as the anticipation of going out somewhere is something that most teenagers like. There is also something quite intimate about seeing someone putting makeup on, or selecting clothes. It’s almost voyeuristic in a way, as it isn’t something that is usally seen, especially in the time period of my film, which also makes it quite exciting, sort of like a guilty pleasure. However, due to this sort of thing being used widely, I didn’t want to use it too much, so i tried to restrain it a little, only using it in the first half of my opening.

The title choice of Lilies was also a way of attracting my audience, in the hope that some people would recognise the semiotics behind it. Aswell as being the protagonist’s name, showing that the film would be from a female perspective (bringing in feminist viewers), lilies are said to be the flower of death.

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Who would be the audience for your media product?

Whilst working on my treatment, I realised that I would be a terrible producer. Like, seriously. Absolutely shocking. I’d advertise the film as a typical ‘happy ever after’ in order to get viewers, and then I would be happy to read reviews that tell me that I am a horrible person, making them think that they would leave the film happy, when they actually were quite shocked that it didn’t end happily, not satisfying their gooey, tacky needs. Then, when my actual target audience (people who appreciate a more realistic, unhappy film) will see the reviews and – hopefully – be impressed with my nonchalant mockery of the weak minded Love Actually mega-fans, and then go and see it.

In terms of all the technical stuff, I would rate my film a 12. Following the BBFC’s guidelines, a film rated 12 can contain ‘infrequent drugs, infrequent use of strong language, brief nudity, discreet sexual activity, and moderate violence’. My film would contain no drugs, no strong language and no nudity. However, there are discreet references to sex and the death at the end might seem a bit violent… but, it would be off screen.. just hinted at. So, yeah, a 12. But really, the film is more aimed at late teen, early twenties, as, from then on, adults don’t seem to be too interested in love films. But that might just be my mum

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

Independent film: ‘independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and they way the filmmakers personal artistic vision is realised… produced outside a major film studio’*

For these reasons, I think my film would be suited to being distributed by an institution like Film4 Productions or Magnolia Pictures, as these institutions deal mainly with distributing independent or art films. To me, making my opening visually pleasing and artistic was the most important thing. Although I do realise that I have only made a low budget, student film and would therefore not be distributed by either of these institutions, I would hope that if I had the appropriate equipment to film and edit to a professional standard, I would stand a chance with Film4 Productions. Film4 works with new talent and co-finances the projects that they are involved with, which would be helpful, as I wouldn’t be able to afford the production and distribution of an entire film by myself.


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How does your film represent particular social groups?

Well, it doesn’t really. It’s definitely not a gritty social commentary, it’s just idealising the upper classes. My idea for the film was inspired by F.Scott Fitzgeralds books Tender Is The Night and, of course, The Great Gatsby. However, instead of focusing on the glamour of America’s high society of the fifties, I wanted to do a tamer, 1930s English story. Think less Tiffany’s and champagne, more water colour painting and formal dinners.

Because of this, I filmed the progress of painting a water colour, in order to show the old fashioned setting. I also made sure I had a fall length, vintage dress (taken from the closet of a grandma) so it didn’t look too modern. Highlighting the ‘englishness’ of the film was difficult, as there aren’t many stereotypically english activities, as the sway quite close to the americanisms of the time. So, I watched High Society, directed by Charles Walters. It was made in 1956, so it isn’t quite the time period that I was looking at, but it helped me to differentiate between English and American films.

The whole film is very extravagant and over the top, with swirling ball gowns, women covered in jewellery, two men singing a show tune in a private room, a couple dancing by a swimming pool and a lady in full evening wear climbing out of a window… right. Basically, to make my film more English, I had to dull it down. If you make things more boring, you make things more English. This is what my research has shown to me. In feedback from the Upper Sixth, someone wrote that it ‘looks like a nice, traditional, olden style english film’, so I feel as if I’ve managed to portray the England’s high society of the past quite well.

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