Main Task: Opening Sequence 'The Witness'

Final Task: Opening Sequence 'The Witness'

Preliminary Task 'Gone Fishin'

Preliminart Task: Continuity Short 'Gone Fishin'

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Dear Moderator

Dear Moderator,

Thanks for taking the time to look around my blog. My group blog is linked to this page aswell as links to both of my teachers blogs. Both are found on the left hand side, from which you can find links to the other members of my group's blogs.

On this blog you will find my individual research into film opening sequences and the film industry and also a few of my planning and production work over the course of the project.

As you have probably noticed my film opening sequence and preliminary task sequence have been posted at the top of the blog.

Use the labels, also on the left, to navigate my work. Enjoy at your leisure..

Thanks, Lewis.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Question 1

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products.
Our film 'The Witness' is and Action/Thriller that follows the story of a teenage boy named Jack. Feeling isolated by everyone else in the world Jack turns to drugs and soon finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He witnesses two murdering gang members attempting to burry their victim, he attempts to flee, but not before being spotted by them. After a chase through the forest Jack is caught and taken capture by the bloodthirsty killers.

After escaping the gang use evidence of Jacks drug use as leverage to keep him quiet, threatening to turn him in to the police. In order to stay alive, he must take matters into his own hands and uncover the truth behind the gang's murders and protect both himself and their next victim from harm.

'The Witness' is a British Action Thriller. The primary signifier of its genre comes from the gritty themes of Gang violence, kidnapp and murder. The film contains many moments that create both adrenaline and fear with multiple point of view shots to immerse the audience and allow them to empathise with Jack. Our project shares similar themes to Pierre Morel's Action Drama Taken, a film where an ex-spy must save his daughter from an estranged captor. 

These similarities are:
- Themes of Kidnapp.
- A protagonist having to take matters into his own hands to bring the antagonists to justice.
- Similar plot line (an alone protagonist having to track and fight his enemies to survive)

Within this trailer we can clearly see the similarities between story lines of the two films and how in both the primary victims are women with a male protagonist attempting to save them.

Narrative Structure:
When deciding the narrative structure for our film we took into account Todorov's theory of equilibrium:

As this theory works particularly well with Horror and Thriller films we decided to apply it to our storyline. Following this idea you can see use of the theory within our opening sequence.


As our project is only an opening sequence we do not yet have a 'Journey' or a 'Resolution' featured however these two would be Jacks mission to stay alive and the final resolution being Jack defeating or exposing the gang, winning the girl (their next victim) and walking off scott free. Very similar to the film 'The Sentinal' where the main character is on the run whilst trying to figure out the truth about the things happening around him, the character is also being blackmailed from doing the right thing and cannot turn to the police for help.

Our films form is similar to that of most others as the story is often set up within the first few minutes and the Heros Journey makes up the rest of the film with the resolution ofcourse coming in at the final minutes of the film.

Purposes of opening sequences:
Opening sequences aim to achieve three key things that will encourage someone to watch the rest of the film, these include the introduction of characters, the establishing of the films themes and genre and to engage the veiwer so much that they continue to watch the film.

I believe we achieved all three of these as we introduce the character of Jack and the two unknown villians, we set the tone with the image of a dead body and a chase sequence and we also engage the audience through fast paced shots and handheld POV shots.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Question 2

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups

The main characters within our product have quite obscure backgrounds and portray an acute social group. However as a whole modern, British, teen culture does play a role within our film we could argue that we are representing a portion of teenagers. This social group is represented in a gritty, realistic fashion without glamouring up the lifestyle. This is similar to the social group shown in the films Adulthood and Kidulthood. 

We represent this social group through costume and props, for example we have a spliff being smoked which immediately and quite obviously shows that our characters are drug users, this is shown in a lesser extent in the main characters clothing which is branded Adidas jogging bottoms and a jacket, this suggests he is working class and not particularly well off.

In certain aspects I believe our casting was not particularly representative of the social group we were aiming to present. In my opinion our actors didn't look the part for who we were trying to represent and looked to staged and unnatural.

Question 3

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Our film company, Bite the Bullet, focuses primarily on the production of British themed films with emphasis on youth and gang culture. Our films are most likely to be of the action/thriller genre as the name suggests.

I think our film would be marketed through various media platforms such as the internet and our advertisement for it would probably be featured on websites such as iTunes as our target audience are more likely to see the advertisement online than anywhere else.
A possible distributor, on which our group agreed, was Revolver Entertainment. This was chosen as the company has both a UK and a USA base for which to distribute and market our film from giving us a international reach, however we are unsure of the reception our film may get in the US for the reasons that we believe the theme and story may not be believable, applicable or realistic over there.

They are also a leading, high-tech distribution company that utilise multi-media technology in terms of distribution and marketing, this is great for our audience who are youthful and tech-savvy.

Question 4

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
Our pitch was originally aimed at young men between 16-25 who are fans of action/thriller genres. This is because the film features violence and drug use and would probably be certificated as a 15.

 I would expect our film to have a national appeal and a minor international appeal this is because our target audience is somewhat niche, to the extent that the film is intended for a British audience, and the genre is fairly open to everyone. We expect our audience to be similar to that of the main character, young, thrill seekers who can relate to our protagonist.

Example Audience Profile: 

This is Mark, He is a 19 year old student who lives in London. He goes to Kings College London and enjoys going out to clubs and bars etc.
He utilizes a range of different media platforms and owns an iPhone. He regularly uses the internet and his most visited sites are FaceBook and YouTube.

We chose this audience within production as we thought it would be an exciting audience to create a film for, despite being very conventional. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Question 5

How did you attract/address your audience?

We tried to make the film appeal to our audience in a number of ways. For starters we made sure that even our main characters costume would feature things that we believed our audience would be able to identify with. For example here is a sketch of our protagonist, Jacks, outfit.

Jack's clothing is very casual, immediately making him a normal, approachable person, and features a number of brands such as 'Nike' and 'Adidas' that our audience would recognise making the character more believable and realistic.

Similar to his clothing Jack speaks casually using slang and abbreviations common in youth culture in London. Jack is an 'antihero' and more appealing for it. It is proven that our audience, more often than not, are more likely to admire characters such as Jack; with fatal flaws or dark backstories. Considering the theory of uses and gratifications we decided to focus on the idea of adrenaline and fears. e.g. Fear of gangs, abduction, police etc.

Jack is of a similar social background to our audience, the difference being, he is considered a loner and neglected. Despite this throughout the film we see him change and become more heroic and confident allowing the audience to aspire to be like him. The fast paced chase scene within the opening sequence is intended to thrill the audience and 'gratify their needs'.

We wanted the realism of our film to aid the audience in the 'suspension of their disbelief'  and help them enter the world of our film. We went about this by setting the film primarily in an urban environment within London, despite the opening sequence location being within the suburbs.

The Witness Audience Feedback Questionnaire:

After seeing our audience feedback it was reassuring to see that our film had successfully appealed to young men between the ages of 14-18 this was a fraction lower then the age we had originally intended to market the film towards, however, it is still  above the age limit to what we had based the film, 15. Along with this we also noticed that some females had also enjoyed the film rating it with an average of 7/10 where as the males within the audience averaged it out at at 8.5/10.