How do your products use or challenge conventions and how do they represent social groups or issues?
The set brief that I chose for my advanced portfolio was short film package. The genre of my short film is inspirational fiction. The ancillary tasks involved developing a post card advertisement and a website. The production of my film along with the ancillary tasks goes in line with the codes and conventions established by the six media giants.
My short film revolves around a person who is doubtful about her talents and her ability to move forward. Throughout my film, I have used various media conventions so that my production is in line with what audience wants to see. Conventions relate to stereotypes which are accepted in the society as the most appropriate approach towards something. Hence, conventions allow for greater audience engagement and higher profits.
Women in media are often portrayed as victim of anxiety and stress. The media generally represents women as weak and incompetent. For this reason, the main character of my film is a girl who goes through failures and believes that she is incapable of doing great things. However, later in the film I challenge this convention by showing the girl achieving success and giving a message that women are capable of achieving their dreams and they are not incompetent. It is the media that molds women into a stereotype which is later accepted by the society and thus my film addresses this social issue.
With regards to camera angles and camera shots, my short film follows the media conventions and uses a combination of wide shots, over the head shots, and close ups. These camera shots helped refine the final product and added a sense of verisimilitude.
Furthermore, in today’s competitive environment, teenagers are often faced with a fear of failure which results in them missing numerous chances that might define their fate. My short film addresses this issue in depth highlighting the need to take chances regardless of the consequences. It gives out the impression of how learning is more important than winning. According to our mainstream media, winning is the only solution to problems people face. However, it is essential to promote both the sides (winning as well as losing) equally. Thus, my short film challenges this media convention and provides a more realistic view to life.
My short film is in line with Tzvetan Todorov’s theory of narrative structure (1969) and therefore uses the conventions of equilibrium and disequilibrium laid by him. This added enigma to my film which will allow for more audience engagement and thus higher viewership.
This is how my short film both uses and challenges media conventions and represents two social groups: women and teenagers.
How do your products engage with the audience and how would they be distributed as real media products?
The target audience of my short film is the teenage group who are often low on moral and motivation. My short film intends to create awareness about the need to distinguish ourselves from the hundred people around us and the need to maintain our identity.
Today’s teenage group is the victim of immense pressure that the society has put on them. The standards of success have been elevated to great heights which requires the teenage group to strive and struggle to attain that level of success and where failure to do so results in undesirable consequences. My short film highlights this social issue and thus is in apt position to engage the target audience. The audience will be more inclined towards watching the film as it focuses on what the teenagers go through in their daily life. The film will allow them to relate the situation with their life.
The distribution of my short film will be done mainly through social media. We are living in a globalized era where physical and cultural boundaries have been blurred and everyone has a convenient access to all that is being produced. Globalization coupled with advancements in technology have enabled extensive distribution of media products. Widely accessed media websites such as Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Yahoo! Movies have millions of users from around the world. Uploading content on such media platforms allows the institutions to reach millions of people from around the world. Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have also allowed its users to upload content and express their message to millions of people using it.
I intend to use these social websites to distribute my short film as these websites are extensively used by my target audience. Uploading content on these websites will allow me to reach many people throughout the world. It will allow me to virtually break through any geographical boundaries laid between countries. Moreover, distributing through social media will allow me to minimize my costs that I would have otherwise incurred if I had decided to distribute through a media institution in my country.
How did you integrate technologies – software, hardware and online – in this project?
Throughout the production of my short film, I used various technologies that eased my production work. I shot my film using the camera I already owned: Canon 1100D. Although, it is not a video camera, and the video shooting operations of the camera are not very good, I managed to shoot my film using it. I manually focused the scenes to attain a better-looking shot. I borrowed a tripod from my friend in order to shoot the scenes as it added stability to the film.
For the editing of the film, I used Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015. I learned the basics of the software during my summer internship at Plan 9- a tech incubator. I furnished my skills throughout the editing process by watching YouTube tutorials. Adobe Premiere Pro allowed me to add various effects to the film such as adjusting the lighting or the sound of the clip. It allowed me to create a sequence which helped me in organizing my work.
I used Garage Band for Apple installed in my iPad to record the voiceovers and add appropriate effects to it. GarageBand served to be a convenient voice recording software and saved me a lot of time. I had initially thought of using Audacity for editing my sound. However, later I realized that GarageBand was more convenient to use and it had the quality of sound that I required for my film.
I used Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 to design my postcard advertisement. I earned my Photoshop skills while working on my foundation portfolio. I further experimented specifically with text for my Advanced Portfolio. Photoshop allowed me to integrate different images into one and use a variety of font styles to make my postcard look more appealing.
Furthermore, I used wix.com to design the website for my film. Wix.com is a convenient platform for the creation of the website as it does not require any coding or programing skills. I chose from various templates available to me and designed a website in accordance with my need.
Finally, all the platforms that I used worked together towards the final production of my film. They gave me a sense of direction and enabled me to define my production objectives.
How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of ‘branding’?
Branding refers to giving a unique identity to the media products so that they are easily differentiated from all the similar commodities available in the market. Branding allows institutions to establish a brand loyal clientele.
To begin with, the name of my short film, “Writer’s Dream” clearly suggests what the film is about. The film name is precise and simple making it easier for the potential target audience to remember it and refer back to it. They can conveniently search for it when required and also suggest others to watch it which may result in more views.
Secondly, my post card advertisement highlights the film name allowing viewers to identify with it. The cover of my post card advertisement is an image of a piece of writing. The picture has been taken from the short film which will further create a sense of branding. The post card advertisement is likely to be distributed amongst the potential target audience and thus it will serve to be a promotional tool for the film.
The film’s website will also contribute towards the branding of the short film. The website contains all the details about the film. It contains the film name on top informing viewers about the short film the website is about. The name of the short film is what really binds all the production work together and creates a sense of branding.
The quality of my products is the best that I could achieve using the available resources. It is in no way in line with the production works of larger media organizations with a better source of finance and technologically advanced equipment. However, the content is what actually sells while the institution name only adds to the chances of increased sales. An established brand name and image does substantially contribute towards a rise sales but it is the actual content which attracts the viewer more. I selected my content keeping in view the responses to my questionnaire. It is in accordance with what the audience wants to see and so achieves a high quality. The quality of the content may also serve to establish a sense of branding for my short film.