Published on March 28, 2014
Our three pieces ultimately create a promotional package for a psychological horror film. I believe that generally, our promotional package is extremely successful in communicating to present the same idea. They work together to effectively promote the film in a professional and successful way...
The trailer promotes the film by giving an intense insight to the film‟s narrative, and by revealing the name of the film and release date . The trailer starts by introducing the characters and establishing the antagonist and the protagonist, their background is introduced and the environment they live in. Mary-Anne, John and Lizzie are a happy family, Mary-Anne is extremely close to her mother and they live a normal, blissful life. All is well until Mary-Anne‟s mother dies under suspicious circumstances and as the trailer progresses her world comes crashing down and she is stalked and kidnapped. The end of the trailer conventionally reveals the title of the film „Forgotten‟ and the release date in the signature display font that we have used across the whole promotional package. These elements are situated at the end of the trailer so that they are the last thing the target audience see and therefore the information sticks in their mind and forces them to go and watch the film. A theorist who ties into our narrative structure is Todorov. He is known for his theory on the typical narrative structure of a film. He says that film narratives can be divided into four key parts: equilibrium, disruption, reaction and repair and new equilibrium. However, generally in trailers, only the first two and a half of the components are revealed (equilibrium, disruption and reaction to the disruption). There is no repair or new equilibrium as it would break conventions and it would ruin the whole concept of the film as the ending would be revealed. It is important for trailers to give audiences an insight into the narrative for them to make sense of it, but to not give everything away so that there is enigma surrounding the narrative. In our trailer we have clearly introduced the equilibrium of the film (happy family life) disruption (Mary-Anne‟s mother dies and she begins to be stalked) and the reaction which shows how she responds to being stalked. The „normal‟ elements of the beginning of the trailer and the minimal blood and gore throughout the trailer establish that this horror belongs to the psychological sub-genre. Psychological horrors always feature plausible narratives with real life situations and minimal blood and gore, this creates realism, therefore making it more terrifying for the audience.
Similarly, the poster also promotes the film by giving an insight into the film‟s narrative. It does this by revealing an image of the female protagonist looking injured, terrified and vulnerable. We have created this representation by using a medium close up of Mary-Anne. She has messy hair, ripped clothes and blood and bruises on her face, this reveals the end part of the narrative when she is kidnapped and attacked. She is using direct address and therefore inviting the target audience into the world of the film, intriguing them and forcing them to want to watch the film, just like the trailer does. The horrific elements of the image support the trailer successfully and create a symbiotic link by featuring the same main character that is in the trailer. Just like the trailer, the poster informs the audience of the sub-genre through the tagline. The tagline is „Blood is Thicker Than Water‟ which, once again, links in with the narrative of the film as this saying is known to be about families and our narrative is about a family. The tagline also links in with the image as the image shows Mary-Anne crying a bloody tear drop, once again, linking in with the idea of blood and water. Finally, the poster combines with the trailer by revealing the title of the film and the release date in the signature display font. Once again, these pieces of information are at the bottom of the frame, therefore allowing the information to be the last thing the audience sees which will make it linger in their mind.
• *IMAGE OF OUR FILM POSTER TO BE INSERTED*
The magazine front cover combines with the trailer and the poster to establish the symbiotic link as a whole for the audience. The image for the magazine front cover is similar to the image used for the poster, therefore creating a link between the two. It shows a medium close up on Mary-Anne, once again looking scared and vulnerable, her hair is messy, her clothes are ripped and she has bruises and blood on her face. The image once more links to the end of the narrative when she is kidnapped and tortured. Our film „Forgotten‟ is the magazine‟s main sell-line and the signature display font is used, once again establishing the symbiotic link. The sell line reveals that inside the magazine there is exclusive information about the film. This will intrigue the audience, as after they have seen the trailer and the poster they will be eager to find out more about the film before they see it in cinemas, so that they are clued up even more. Finally, the magazine front cover links in with the trailer and the poster as it has horrific elements. The magazine is a general film magazine but this edition is a „Halloween Special‟ therefore, the magazine is bursting with horror. Sell-lines on the magazine include: „Behind the scenes at Woman In Black TWO!‟, „Top 10 Horror Films‟ and a horror quiz, it also gives the audience the chance to win a trip to „fright night‟ at the theme park, Thorpe Park. Our target audience will love the magazine just as much as the trailer and the poster because it is professional and for intelligent minds. It is not childlike, or covered with blood and gore. it is simply sharp and intellectual so will appeal to our target audience, just like the poster and the trailer.
• *IMAGE OF OUR MAGAZINE FRONT COVER TO BE INSERTED*
A symbiotic link is created through the entirety of my promotional packag. All three pieces complement each other by including the female protagonist, minimal blood and gore and an insight to the narrative. By including an insight to the narrative and the female protagonist suffering in each three pieces, the female audience will invest in her even more emotionally as they become more aware of her physical and psychological scars. This will drive them to watch the film, as they will be desperate to find out whether she survives her torment and terrifying ordeal and long to see if her fate is revealed...
Another way our promotional package successfully combines is by maintaining a sense of ambiguity throughout. The use of ambiguity in the narrative and other promotional methods is a common convention in psychological horrors as they always leave their audience second guessing. In our case, the tagline on our poster is ambiguous as it doesn‟t give too much away, “Blood is Thicker than Water”. The tagline suggests the narrative and will intrigue the audience but, it will still leave them second guessing. The trailer is ambiguous too as it doesn‟t give out too much information and doesn‟t reveal the twist at the end of the film. (Dennis is Mary-Anne‟s older half brother, who she never knew about, he blames their mother and Mary-Anne for the abusive life he has lived. He killed the mother for adopting him and now Mary-Anne is next as he is jealous of the happy and stable life she has lived.) The audience do not know this, so they don‟t know the reason why she is kidnapped and tortured, therefore the ambiguity of this part of the narrative sparks their intrigue and encourages them to go and see the whole film.
My target audience is a female aged between 18 to 35; bright and intelligent, she is either in university or has graduated with a degree in a creative subject such as Media Studies or Drama. She is an ABC, career-orientated individual – she has a professional career in PR or journalism. She‟s sociable, funny and instantly likeable, therefore it is no surprise she has a solid group of friends and is in a stable, long-term relationship with her boyfriend. She is feminine, attractive and friendly, yet serious and frank when need be. She loves to be mentally stimulated and enjoys thinking „outside the box‟ and „reading in-between the lines‟. This is why she will be impressed and will enjoy our film.
OUR TARGET AUDIENCE:
Once we created our promotional package we had to individually gauge our target audience‟s response and find out if we had been successful in drawing them in and persuading them to watch the film. I achieved this by conducting a post production interview which allowed me to speak one on one with members of my target audience and gain direct feedback about what they think of the promotional package and how effective they think it is. I also posted the three media texts on to a networking site so that my target audience could give me even more feedback and tell me what they thought. I used this social networking site as my target audience are young and fun and are into using things such as Facebook and Twitter for interaction and escapism. Facebook allowed me to easily access my target audience and retrieve relevant and useful feedback on a wider spectrum, whereas using the video I was able to make the feedback more personal as it was on a one-to-one basis. Please see the interview and screen shots from social networking sites which include the feedback from my target audience in following slides...
POST PRODUCTION AUDIENCE FEEDBACK: SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE:
This is the introduction to receiving my target audience feedback, please click on the image for the video to begin... Please carry on to the next slide to see the rest of the video...
This is the first member of my target audience telling me what she thinks of my promotional package. She is a woman in her 20‟s who has a degree in Media and Drama, in her spare time she likes to have nights in with her boyfriend and go out with her girlfriends. She also enjoys going on holiday and going to music festivals. Her favourite sub-genre of horror is psychological. Please click on the video to hear what she thought... Please carry on to the next slide to see the final part of the video...
This is the second member of my target audience. She is in her early 30‟s and has a degree is Drama and English. She is a member of a band and has a real passion for music. In her spare time she likes to go shopping with her girlfriends and relax in the evenings with a glass of white wine and her favourite chocolate. Please click on the video to see what she thinks of my promotional package...
My target audience responded very well to the three promotional pieces and said that they looked incredibly professional. However, in the one-to-one feedback they said that they thought because of the colour scheme of the ancillary pieces the symbiotic link was lacking so I thought it would be wise to change the colour scheme of the magazine and make it similar to the poster. At first the colour scheme of the magazine was purple, green and black because it is a Halloween special and they are Halloween colours, however having a symbiotic link between the pieces is very important so I changed it. My target audience said that they especially liked the fact our sub- genre of choice was psychological, as horror films recently have stuck to the supernatural/possession sub genre. They said that we successfully and professionally exhibited psychological conventions, such as using a realistic narrative and „normal‟ looking characters in realistic settings. They understood the narrative of the film and were able to identify with the protagonist, Mary-Anne.
I have learned that my promotional package is very successful, effective and professional, which makes me proud. I learned that I have appealed to, and satisfied the needs of my target audience by persuading them to go and see the film. I have managed to intrigue, surprise and impress them by following codes and conventions of psychological horrors, trailers in general and magazine front covers and posters. I have had the opportunity to view my pieces through the eyes of my audience and I have been able to better my work and gain more understanding and knowledge about my target audience. I have achieved what I set out to do by creating a package which promotes my film in a proficient manner and I have successfully created a symbiotic link throughout the three pieces that the audience have noticed and identified. I have also reflected the genre of horror by using terrifying elements in my narrative such as the kidnapping and torturing and I have also been specific and successfully reflected the sub-genre of my film (psychological) by professionally exhibiting psychological conventions, such as using a realistic narrative and „normal‟ looking characters in realistic settings. At first, I was worried in case the ancillary tasks made the film look more like it belonged to the slasher sub-genre instead of the psychological sub-genre because blood and gore is used in the images, however it is minimalistic and not „over-the-top‟ and therefore does not connote elements of the slasher sub-genre. Overall, I never wanted to terrify my audience, I wanted them to feel „on edge‟ and unnerved by what they were seeing, I obviously wanted to scare them but I didn‟t want to horrify them or make them jump regularly. I just wanted them to be on the edge of their seat, anticipating Dennis‟ next move, in the feedback, the target audience have said I managed to do this, so once again, I have been successful.
RESEARCH AND PLANNING STAGES…
Many media technologies were made use of throughout the research and planning stages of the project. These technologies included: • Blogger • Google/Google Images • YouTube • Slide Share
I presented all of myself and my groups research and planning work on a blog. This is a very technical way which benefitted me immensely. The site is beneficial because it allows you to really showcase your talent and creativity. It kept my work organised and made it look well presented as I could constantly arrange it so it showed my progress throughout the project. I was also able to use a back ground and different fonts to make it look exciting and presentable. I wanted my blog to have element of horror within it and because my film belongs to the psychological sub-gene of horror I wanted to reflect that in the presentation of my blog. At first I was going to use an image of Esther from the psycholoigcal horror film „Orphan‟ however, once it was injected onto my blog it was hard to read the information on my blog with the images of Esther behind it so I decided to use a clear black and white background. These colours are strong binary opposites which can reflect psychological horrors as characters in psychological horrors are so psychologically warped they‟re personality is a battle between good and bad, good being white and bad being black. So, that is why I thought black and white were good colours to use for my background, it also allowed the information to be clearly read. For the titles of the posts on my blog I used the font „chiller‟ as it is a scary looking font and I used century gothic for the information on my blog as it is a easy, readable font. As mentioned before, a blog allows the user to see the complete journey that they have been through in the creation of their work, from the early planning and initial ideas to the reflection and evaluation of the work. Last year I was unfamiliar with blogger but now I am quite a pro; due to using it so much, I have learned new things about blogger, such as how to upload videos. On blogger, you are able to add visuals and audios so, on my blog I have various images and YouTube links. This was beneficial as it gave my audience visuals of what I was explaining and using visuals allowed my blog to not look as if it was bombarded with text. For example, the trailer for the film „Gothika‟ really inspired myself and my group as it is a psychological horror that shows the journey of a woman‟s down hill tumble towards lunacy, just like our film. In our film, it is unclear whether Mary-Anne is really being stalked or if it is just all in her head. We also liked the trailer „Gothika‟ trailer as it uses „fade to black‟ edits and follows the general narrative structure. So therefore, the „Gothika‟ trailer was often mentioned in my research and planning and because of blogger, I was able to embed the video onto my blog. Another good thing about using blogger is that you can also present your work for anyone to see on the world wide web, which is an exciting notion as anyone can view it. Overall, I have enjoyed using blogger and it has allowed my knowledge and creativity to expand. I have been able to clearly show my progress throughout the project from start to finish and I have been able to show all the hard work I have put into the project.
Google came in very hand when carrying out the research and planning stages of the task because it gives so much information. When I first started looking into existing media texts and completing tasks such as „my director case study‟ and when I researched a real life crime similar to that presented in my own narrative it was great because Google gave a wealth of options and information. For example, with Google, if the first site I tried wasn‟t suitable, there was a whole host of additional sites to try instead. YouTube allowed me to watch a range of horror film trailers and to therefore really understand and get to know the conventions of a trailer e.g. the structure. I also obviously watched a lot of horrors that belong to the psychological sub-genre of horror so I became aware of the key conventions in psychological horrors. YouTube was also an incredibly good site to use when I had to research the history of horror and the codes and conventions of psychological horrors. I was easily able to access any trailer from the psychological sub-genre and any sub-genre, no matter when it was made. For example, „Psycho‟ is a psychological horror which was created in the 1970‟s, so, not only was I able to look at specific codes and conventions of psychological horrors I was able to see how the psychololigcal sub-genre and other sub-genres such as slasher has evolved over the decades. Both sites are also very convenient and can be accessed at all times. Whenever I had an idea or wanted to find something out in relation to my promotional package, I would look it up on these sites via my phone, meaning that I could continue with my work whilst „on the go‟ and could achieve more in the time I had available.
SlideShare is an excellent site as it allowed me to provide proof on my blog of analysing existing media texts. Most of my research and planning was created on Powerpoint, for example, when I studied conventions of trailers, film magazines and posters and when I analysed mise-en-scene elements and camera use in existing psychological horrors I used PowerPoint to present my knowledge and SlideShare made it easy for me to transfer the presentations on to my blog. SlideShare also allowed to me to add variety onto my blog and make it look more presentable and exciting. I am glad that I could use SlideShare as otherwise my blog would just be bombarded with text and would lack visuals. By using SlideShare I was able to show my computer skills and swap between Microsoft word and Microsoft PowerPoint. Also, SlideShare is very accessible and easy to use. Once again, it is a website that I could access on my mobile phone so I was able to upload any thing at any time. It is also easy and straight forward to use, you simply can upload the file and then embed it onto the blog.
In the construction stages I made use of many different video cameras including: • A Sony video camera • A Canon EOS 600D • An iPhone 5 In the construction stages of the project, I also used Adobe Premier Pro to create the ancillary pieces and Adobe Premier Pro and iMovie 11 to create the trailer.
I mainly used the Canon EOS 600D camera when filming the trailer and taking the ancillary images because the camera contains all the latest components and features that can really enhance your work and make it look professional. The camera has creative filters, and you are able to pick which shot you would like e.g medium close up. The camera also allows to focus and zoom which came in handy when we were filming Mary- Anne being stalked by Dennis. We only used the Sony camera on one occasion when we couldn‟t access the Cannon. However, after using the Cannon for the majority of our work, when filming using the Sony video camera, the footage was poor and not up to the same standard. The Cannon camera was a lot more superior to the Sony video camera so when using the Cannon camera, we were able to be more creative. Because we had no access to the Cannon camera, we had to think on our feet and I decided to use an iPhone. We used an iPhone 5 which is the latest phone from Apple and has a video camera. This was an excellent idea as the iPhone 5 gave the same standard of picture as the Cannont and we were able to save time and meet deadlines. Using the iPhone 5 camera was good and we were able to keep our work at a high standard and be just as creative as we were when using the Cannon camera. Since filming the trailer and taking photographs for the ancillary pieces my photography skills have developed. I can now easily work a camera, I know how to switch between film mode and photograph mode, I also have learnt the difference between cameras and their different uses and standards.
I was no novice when it came to Adobe Photoshop as I had become familiar with the programme over 2-3 years of using it in GCSE Media Studies and AS Level Media Studies. Adobe Photoshop was a key and important programme in the making of my promotional package as it allowed me to design and create my magazine front cover and film poster. It was thrilling to watch my ideas come to life as I made use of the software and became more familiar with it, I was also able to further my knowledge and experience of Photoshop. When it came to using certain tools, such as the lasso tool and the magic wand tool, I was very confident as I had experienced using them before. The magic wand tool came in really handy when we had to cut out the background our actress was surrounded by, unfortunately we didn‟t have a plain background so we had to use the magic wand tool to cut around the image of her and place it onto a white background, because of the magic wand tool, we were able to do this successfully and not lose the professionalism of the image. So that we carried on the professionalism of the images and ancillary pieces as a whole, we had to make sure that if we used red, we had to make sure we used the same red across the frame, we did this by using the popette tool. I made my ancillary tasks look professional and I completed them to the best of my ability. I heightened my knowledge and expertise and I am very happy and proud of the end result.
The thought of using Premier Pro daunted me as I had never used it before. Unfortunately, my group and I had many technical difficulties with Premier Pro, the software on the school computers was very slow and we had problems saving our work. After weighing up the pros and cons we decided to used iMovie to create the trailer instead...
CONSTRUCTION STAGES- iMOVIE 11 I was a lot more confident with using iMovie as I had used the software before. Myself and my group were lucky enough to have access to an Apple Mac so we were able to create the trailer at home. iMovie was such a good software to use, it was easy to work and made our trailer look effective and professional. We were simply able to drag in „fade to black‟ and „fade to white‟ edits and to insert straps. We were also able to alter the diegetic audio and dialogue and it was easy to arrange and insert non-diegetic sound.
For the evaluation stages I used digital technology such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. I also used the Cannon camera again when filming my target audience feedback…
For the evaluation stages, I didn‟t want to just type it straight up onto my blog, I‟d been creative throughout the project so I wanted to show variety and my creativity again through the final stages; I wanted to show my creativity had flourished throughout the making of my promotional packages. I used Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word as you can insert visuals on the software and so once again the different sections of my evaluation were not bombarded with text and I used visuals to explain what I was saying. I also once again used the Cannon camera to film my target audience feedback, I used the camera as it contains all the latest components and features that can really enhance my work and once again, make it look professional.
To conclude, I have successfully evaluated all of my work. I have enjoyed this project immensely and I am very proud of the end result. My promotional package is effective and efficient and has turned out exactly how I wanted it to after all the hard work I have put in.
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