Friday, 2 May 2014

Draw - Short Film - A2 Practical Project FINAL

Ancillary Task: Magazine Article

Ancillary Task: Poster

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

In addition to what I have said, it is important to note that these new media technologies have made me a prosumer: in the age of WEB 2.0, video sharing websites like YOUTUBE and VIMEO allow the consumers to create their own content with incredible ease, which is especially easy to do so with affordable high definition video recording equipment like I show in this video. WEB 2.0 is an important term to take into consideration, expressing the vast advances that have been made in the use and content of the internet. Although it is a relatively old term, in sums up the changes that have made everything I have done with this blog possible: social media, video sharing, web applications, wikis, blogs etc. In all, this has pushed the large swathes of the internet community towards a prosumer mind set, inspired by the success of fellow users who may host successful blogs or popular Youtube content. This term applies to the work I have done here, where I have been inspired by the success and entertaining qualities of the western feature films and online short films I have seen, using affordable and accessible technology to produce my own content as a consumer.

Monday, 28 April 2014

EVALUATION: What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Why might my audiences like my short?
Blumler and Katz (1974)
1. Escape and Diversion from everyday life - The story is larger than life, presenting an imagination that takes over the characters reality, an extreme form of escapism, which parallels the audience's own personal needs.
2. Surveillance and Information - The audience watch the protagonist and gain information about him, they enjoy discovering the story and characters. The short film may also provide information on the world as it is.
3. Personal Relationships - The short film represents a starting point for discussion, where the audience and like minded people can discuss the film and forge relationships, an opportunity for personal interaction.
4. Personal Identification - The main character is a young adult male (the same as my core demographic) with a vivid imagination. He may be relatable in many ways for the audience, providing satisfaction for them, however he represents an extreme of a spectrum on which the audience is situated. Showing them how his reality has been obscured.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Audience Response Open (Eval prep)

Here are a selection of answers from the open questionnaire - answered b 15 people , again a range of ages 16 -21 and some upwards and a mix of males and females.
  1. Did you enjoy the short film? Explain why?

    Yes, I really enjoyed it, I liked how it went from the black and white to the colour and was like two different pieces.

    Yeah its short and entertaining.

    I thought it was an easy watch. Thoroughly enjoyed.
  1. What was your favourite part about the short film?

    Loved the music

    My favourite part was the duel. I thought it was very exciting.

    The story I wasnt sure what was going on and really liked the twist at the end.

  1. What was your opinion of the storyline? Why do you think this?

    It sucked me in, liked the contrast between the western and the real life
    I didn't think it went anywhere - wasn't sure if I liked it, the twist didn't catch me off guard.

    Loved the black and white part, really unsettling.

    I completely understood it. Great!

  1. Is there anything you didn’t understand about the storyline? 

    No, it was all good!

    Understood it all, no problems.

    Wasn't sure what the drawings were about. Did they come alive? 

  1. What is your opinion of the locations chosen?

    The locations suited the story. Worked really well.
    Good choice of location, didnt distract.

Click to read more answers -

Audience Responses Closed (Eval Prep)

About 35 people responded to this questionnaire - the percentages are rounded for ease.

As expected the age range was evenly spread across the groupings and the Male to Female ratio was around 50:50, with a slightly more males.

Around 80% responded to the question:  Did you enjoy the short film? with Yes, the Not Sure and No vote were split at about 10%. Again, this is not unusual, I had to expect that my short film couldn't please everyone.

Which part of the film did you prefer? - This question resulted in a majority in favour of the duel, but a sizable minority around 30-40%, preferred the black and white sequences. I'm happy with this result. I was worried that the black and white sequences would be marginalised.

The question - Did you enjoy the storyline of the video? - received the same response as "Did you enjoy the film." Presumably those who were unsure or did not like it found their faults mainly in the story.

Around 90% of respondents said they found the story clear to follow.

Everybody seemed to agree that the location choice was appropriate for the video. I'm glad that the audience appreciated the locations and felt it worked for the story. Similarly, most people liked the costume designs - around 90%, suggested I succeeded in creating authentic/believable costumes.

80% of respondents said they'd share it with a friend and around 20% said they weren't sure - only 1 person said they wouldn't.

The average rating of the acting was 4. I'm pleasantly surprised considering non of the actors were professionals or aspiring actors, just friends willing to help.

For the question - Which parts of the film did you feel were most effective? the answers were evenly spread, with slightly less given towards the shot range- perhaps because people generally don't pick up on shot range when watching films casually.

In response to - Which parts of the recording did you feel were least effective? - most answers were left blank - but around 20% said either acting or shot range.

However helpful these responses are, they only give me a snapshot of my audience's opinion. Perhaps my choice of answers could have been more varied, but again it would only give me a number, which is does not give me anything concrete on what to change, especially when most of the participants have took to it so kindly.  


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Questionnaires - Audience Response

The last two posts are my open and closed questionnaires - I sent them to a large group of people - around 30 - and sent them a copy of the current cut of my short film. Later I'll be able to post the results of my questionnaires - the closed will give me a clear perspective on my audience's opinion as a whole, if there is any consensus on what works and what doesn't - the open will give me wider and more varied answers, a look at some individual concerns and chance for them to elaborate on their opinions.

I'll use these responses to change and further edit my short film to satisfy my audience, and then evaluate how the audience feedback has helped improve my short film.

Closed Questionnaire

Open Questionnaire

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Evaluation: GENRE

In response to: 
In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I intend to follow this up with a more in-depth discussion of "iconography" and how it applies to this question through a audio/visual commentary of the short film itself.:)

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Anxiety Club

Autumn last year I cowrote a short film as part of a Film Academy based in the North East I took part in over a five month period. I was the Director of Photography over the three day shoot and spent a couple of months coediting during post production. The website for the academy with our profiles and an outline of our short film, The Anxiety Club, alongside the other two groups, is now live!

You can watch the short here:
Anxiety Club (Fiction Academy 2013) from Northern Stars on Vimeo.

Friday, 4 April 2014

First Cut of Draw

This is the first time I've managed to stitch together the scenes and have close to a finished product. This is what I will show to peers and "test" audiences to get a sense of what is good and what needs to be changed. I understand it still needs a considerable amount of work, but I won't go in detail about that in this post, but instead will discuss it after receiving an audience response. One note is that the song at the very end is a place holder for the time being, as it interrupts and ruins the tone! If something doesn't seem polished I have probably already considered it, but I needed to export a clip to evaluate over the holiday :)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Magazine Evaluation

Here is my final draft of my magazine. I'm very happy with the turn out; it resembles the style model and looks like a real magazine article. This is all to do with the colours and layout. The columns and text are the right width, height and size, so the audience recognizes it as a genuine magazine.
The red and greyscale colours feature dominantly in Sight&Sound and the emulation of that significantly benefits my article. The simple layout is the same as my style model and its very effective, it shows that its primary audience is not the same as Empire or Total Film; it is not bright, colourful and littered with images.
The image would appealing to my target audience, it quickly and concisely reflects the tone and genre of the film without spoiling anything. The profile section is something I had to invent. Normally Sight&Sound feature the credits, but there were only four people working on my short film, three of them being actors, so the crew section would be underwhelming to say the least.
I'm happy with the content of the article, it still needs to be check over by a teacher, but it contains all the information a Sight&Sound reader would be interested in: BTS, Review, Discussion of themes.
The inclusion of this information makes it easily accessible for both a general audience AND a more film literate audience. The website link recognizes that my audience uses and accesses technology, an important feature to engage my audience and show them that they can access the magazines work from anywhere.
As with all S&S articles, there is no rating system, such as a score out of 10 or stars used to indicate how good something is. The magazine expects the audience to read the article and judge how good it is themselves through the critics writing.
Overall, I'm very happy with what I have achieved: the overall look and content. I feel that it would interest my target audience and find a play in S&S easily. I must create a survey to record my target audience's opinion on this.

Short Film Update

For about the past month I have been unable to edit my short film for various reasons, most of which are to do with the computers I have been working on. That means it still remains unfinished.

However, I have been able to get out and get the last shot I need, but again, I won't be able to know for sure until I can get it into Final Cut to see how it works.

I decided, after my research into the western genre and watching a video on the history of aspect ratio, to change the look of my film. My plan is to have the reality sequences in the original 16:9 aspect ratio, but change the fantasy western sequences so that they are presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the same as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and most other scope feature films. This will emphasise the cinematic tone of the fight and create a clear distinction between real life and fantasy.
Using resources from the internet, I can apply these bars onto the whole duel, and alter the image accordingly. The last screenshot shows how I need to move down so the man in the background has more room above his head, since some of the image is covered by the black bar, I have some room to do so.
Hopefully I can get back to editing as soon as possible!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Magazine - Final Layout

The article still needs to be read over, but I'm happy with the design and layout - I think it looks like a real Sight&Sound article, which is what I was aiming for.

Poster - Near Final

This is the poster at this moment. The awards, billing block and age rating were all creating in photoshop; I attempted to mimic the real thing without using images from the internet that weren't mine.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Magazine Construction - Ancilliary Task

Poster Update

Here I created my own billing block with 'MOVIE FONT' from Since there was no other way to create one, I used a template to mock up my own, which I then inserted into my poster.

This is an alternate design for my poster. With the Awards smaller and positioned to left, with some space left for the billing. I'm not sure what I can do with the space, so I'll have to play around with it for a while.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Audience Feedback Consensus

Positive: First off, the audience and a overall positive opinion on the duel sequence. Most comments talked about the use of close ups, the soundtrack, the costumes and the actors - all 'believable'. I'm really happy with the response. They mostly seemed to enjoy it and think it was 'exciting' the feedback has boosted my confidence in the duel scene.

Negative/Constructive: This mostly centered around things I already haves plans to alter/do, mostly with regards to completing the effects and sounds (of the gun). With some few comments relating to Charlie's character, the main bag guy, who doesn't do much the entire duel making his character rather 'uninteresting'. Which is something I can't really change at this stage.

I'm planning on uploading the current cut of the duel onto youtube to show on the blog for reference.

Audience Feedback

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Magazine and Poster

Plans: I've made the decision to use Sight & Sound as the magazine I will review my short film through. I'm currently writing the article which will feature a review/behind the scenes information on the film and then a short interview with the director to fill in the gaps left by the article on the page.
Updates: I'm keeping print screens of every step through the creation of the magazine so at the end I can post a step by step powerpoint of the creation of the magazine with my commentary on how I created/designed it.

Plans: So far I've created a template of sorts for my poster and from that I need to begin creating it in photoshop properly. I used some photos from the location scouts as place holders and discovered a layout I really liked and thought reflected the narrative/tone of the short.
Updates: I think with the poster I'll update it as I go along as opposed to the Magazine updates that I want to do in one post. This can give a view on how it develops and my choices as I progress.