Media Studies Practical Production evaluation

The aim of my production was to make a movie trailer. During the pre-production my roles in my group were to create the storyboard and we shared the other process during the production and post-production equally which includes shooting and editing.

When we have finished shooting the trailer, first of all we used Adobe Premiere software to edit our trailer. We produced a multi-generic movie trailer which includes psychological suspense thriller and mystery and the trailer is called “Slashed”. There were four characters in our movie trailer.A generic convention of psychological suspense thriller and mystery include ominous mise-en-scene and narratives that move from equilibrium to disturbance and back to a new equilibrium, in our movie trailer the characters within the trailer were wearing a dark costume which connotes dark, evil and the villain was wearing black costumes to signify danger and horror. This also will enable the audiences to recognise the dress code. In terms of music we used eerie and suspense orchestration to convey a great deal of information about the mood of each shot, and the tone and to create tension in the audience.

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Also, the music throughout the trailer reflected the viewers feeling. The music quickly fades out, leaving silence before the villain appears. The effect this has is that people wait in anticipation for what will happen next. As a trailer the shots were not in chronological orders, our trailer was closed narrative and theatrical as our trailer seems to provide plenty of detail as to what the plot is about.Trailer conventions and different semiotic techniques were included in our trailer such as titles; we used red font colour and Chiller font style to connote blood, danger and horror.

Black background has been used to signify dark and death. Secondly, the setting is mostly in the college (but the location wasn’t as we expected to be dark due to the weather condition), introducing main characters are introduced with a suitable soundtrack to that particular genre. These types of conventions are used to create audience attention which will hopefully get a huge amount of people to pay to watch the film. The atmosphere of appearance of the villain was spooky as the villain was wearing dark costumes and a mask which serves to differentiate the villain from the other characters in the trailer and a creepy music form Psycho were used during every appearance of the villain to create attention. The trailer can be said to have cultural verisimilitude as the trailer seems to have a relation to the world we experience as the trailer shows recognisable locations.

In terms of camera techniques, we used establishment and pan shot at the beginning of the trailer to show the audience the details of where the action is. Close up shots were used during the trailer to show the character’s reaction to something and to help the audience to understand what a character is thinking during a particular sequence. Mid-shot were used to show the character’s body language, facial expression and surroundings. Low lighting connotes a sombre feeling without the need for speech, the denotation of NVC (non-verbal communication)-e.g. hunched shoulder, head hanging down connotes the character is feeling vulnerable, unhappy; this shot was used when the first character got killed.

Also, the narrative theorists can be applied to our movie trailer in certain ways. Firstly, Propp’s 8 spheres of action seems to apply well to the trailer as the hero is clearly shown in the trailer, the villain can easily be recognised by the audience as the killer were wearing a mask, black costume and carries iconographic tools of the trade such as knife which seems to differentiated from the other characters. The princess seems to be the hero as she needs rescuing. But the helper, dispatcher, donor, false hero and the princess father are not revealed as it’s a movie trailer. Secondly Todorov, he was primarily interested in the structure of narratives. He discovered five distinct stages which seem to relate to our movie trailer.

Firstly, the equilibrium is established when the teenagers are in a college socialising, the disruption of the trailer recognised when the characters got killed, the recognition of the disruption, attempts to repair the damage and the new equilibrium hasn’t been shown as it’s a trailer. Thirdly, Barthes noted that stories must use of enigma code. This refers to the way in which stories will usually contain a central mystery that must be solved by the conclusion of the narrative, in our trailer the enigma code seems to be ” who is the killer?” and ” will Angela survive?”. This keeps the audience actively engaged with the storyline and the action code in the trailer allows the audience to predict what will happen next. For example the close up of the characters looking around, generic conventions, type of music seems to draw on our cultural knowledge and generic competence of the possible meaning of these details and actions.

Finally, Levi-Strauss narrative theory applied to the trailer in different ways, the binary opposition seems to be good versus evil and women versus men. In our trailer the men are said to be powerful as the villain were a male and women said to be weak as they seems to be the victims in our chosen genre.In terms of target audience probably a C1-E demographic, teenagers and youngsters aged 16-22 would be interested in this particular genre as this is the suitable certificate due to the violent scenes portrayed in the trailer. It is also for anyone, at the suitable age that enjoys this type of genre. It mainly aimed at mainstreamers as they are interested in genre product.

I have chosen this type of target audience because, they seem to be the recognisable victims in this type of genre and they have grown up with this explicit use of violence being shown in the cinema.In term of representation teenagers has been represented in the trailer. Men are shown more powerful whereas women are shown as weak in the trailer, in terms of ideology men are more associated with aggressive behavior. Traditional gender roles demand that men should be strong, powerful and dominant. The villain is a male in our movie trailer which again demonstrates that men are powerful.

(Although not ‘protectors’ another role historically proscribed to males.)The institution for our movie trailer is an independent cinema as we had low budget to start up with, and were not working for an established media production institution.In order for our trailer to flow from shot to shot smoothly we decided that some of the original story board shots would need to be changed from the original storyboard. We decided show a close-up shot of the antagonist hand after the groups of friends have heard a door knock but, during the pre-production we determined not to show that shot in the trailer because we thought that it would show more plotline of the narrative. In doing so we were able to anchor the trailer and begin with the audience having some idea about the type of film.

Iconography is included in the trailer to allow for the recognition of narrative conventions. The blood, mask, and knife are part of the iconography in our trailer.If I had another chance to improve the trailer, I would add a voice over in the trailer and shoot some of the shots in dark locations.Overall, I believe that my practical production turned out to be quite successful in following the codes and conventions of suspense thriller/mystery genre as the chosen genre recognisable. We co-operated well as a group which was the key for the success of the movie trailer. In order to make our trailer in a high standard and quality, we used different techniques from the video camera such as medium shot, close-up shot and during editing, we used fade in and fade out which adds a touch of mystery and it gives audience the impression of only getting a glimpse at an ongoing scene before they lose sight of it again.

At the end of the trailer we added the names of the cast, directors, producers, release date and an external link such as a website. We also added universal countdown, 20th century fox Film Corporation at the beginning, all of which adhere to the conventions of trailer production.