Published on March 9, 2014
Conventions By Aimee Wilson
Our Product Our group produced a trailer within the Crime/Thriller genre. We used conventional aspects which enabled it to look effective and challenge the forms of real media products. From conducting much research into the genre I discovered many themes that became prominent within film magazines, film trailers and film posters. Conventions of Genre Conflict between the antagonist's and protagonists Violence and fighting Weapons e.g. guns/knives Cars Drugs Themes about murder/revenge Conventions of Form Trailers last usually 2-3 minutes Voice overs Names of the actors Background music Short footage of scenes in the film By following the majority of these conventions we intended to create an effective crime/thriller film trailer. We used these as guides to incorporate them into our characters appearances/actions and make it appeal to our audience. By creating a storyline involving 4 female's who get involved with drugs, alcohol and fights I will explain how we successfully made it conventional.
Conventions of Form Our trailer fitted the conventions of form by doing the following.. We included the names of the actresses throughout the trailer to remind the audience who is featured in it. We found this to be a significant conventions as it enticed the audience who were fans of the actors/actresses into watching the film. Although the actors we used we not famous we still included them to make our trailer professional and stereotypical. We also found that another convention was that the length of the trailer is usually 2 minutes long, with the incorporated shot lengths we made our trailer 1.49 which was nearly the conventional length. Another conventions in which we used within our trailer was the use of voice overs. We used these to include the right information that would allow the audience to understand the concept of the storyline but without giving too much away. We chose to use whispering also, and repeated this throughout to add suspense and to entice our audience. This was used in the trailer to Spring Break which was very similar to our storyline. We thought this was effective and so chose to do the same with our trailer.
Characters Although out characters were not stereotypical for the crime thriller genre (strong/masculine males), we used teenagers. This added the realism of crime as stereotypically in crime/thrillers such as Spring Breakers and The Runnaways young, female characters are used. Since our final product showed some similarities to these films we thought this could convey the wild and chaotic lifestyles that are shown in the story lines. Thus adding to the thriller genre that we tried to adapt to which made it seem more crazy and exciting. The main antagonist 'Luna' was represented using negative connotations similar to villains in modern crime thriller today. With the use of dark leather clothing and heavy eye make up, she stood out among other character's within the trailer to indicate her role clearly. The other character's who are seen as antagonist's at the beginning of the trailer wear light coloured clothing to indicate a innocent persona. Once under the influence of 'Luna' the audience can understand their character change via the use of dark clothing. The use of the feminine characters helped make it effective as, stereotypically, the situations they were involved in seemed more outrageous and interesting.
Camera work Examples of camera work which we used to ensure our trailer met our audience’s needs and conventions of the genre were… Wide Shots - A number of these shots were used in out trailer. For example the shot of the car headlights turning on and the shot of the three characters on bikes and running. This gives the audience a clear view of the scene and allows them to understand the situation. It's conventional as it sets the scene and gives an clear view of the location and situation. For example the shot of the three girls running away looks like they are in a dodgy and run down establishment so the audience can identify this which relates to the crime element. It also connotes that since they are the antagonist's they are running away from 'Luna' the villain and her evil schemes. High Angle Shot - A high angle shot is used in our trailer when three characters are laying on the bed. This is conventional as it introduces the characters and in this scene it shows them to be innocent and inferior. It shows the equilibrium of the story as the characters have not come into contact with ‘Luna’ after which they turn wild and fearless. We wanted to create the identity of average regular teenagers to then contrast with the lifestyle that they begin to lead later on in the trailer. Similar to Spring Breaker’s where the characters are shown in college at the start of the trailer and then within the party lifestyle later on. You can also see that in these high angle shots the lighting is high key which connotes the innocent representations of them. Close Up Shots – We used many close up shots within our trailer which we found to be conventional in other crime/thriller trailers. We found this to be effective as it constantly reminded the audience of the characters involved. It also enhances their emotions within scenes, especially when they are ‘on drugs’ and ‘drunk’ which adds to the rebellious and wild aspect of the trailer. We also used close up shots of scenes where the character is flicking through the money which conveys how much money they have adding the element of crime since they most likely made it illegally. Other trailers similar to ours such as Spring Breakers and Taken, use close ups of there character's too which we identified to be a conventional camera shot and so used this through out our trailer to remind the audience of the characters.
Editing We tried to make our trailer seem very upbeat and energetic to mirror the patterns of other crime thriller trailers such as Spring Breakers, 21 Jump Street and Taken. By including short and fast clips it enabled us to pursue the tension required to make it effective. Fast Paced Editing - We used this type of editing throughout our trailer to ensure that we added the element of excitement and to keep the audience’s focus upon the trailer to keep them interested in our product. By trimming certain scenes that we filmed and putting them in non chronological order it was deemed more effective as it broke up the trailer. This is conventional as crime thriller films often use this to add the thrilling aspects to the audience. Many of our shots were 1s or 2s which we found to be similar to films such as Spring Breakers and Project X. Since our characters are younger, we used these length shots to convey the party lifestyle and drama to the trailer to entice our audience. Fade To Black - We used this technique within the start scenes of our trailer. We introduced the protagonist's within the film which was Me, Hannah and Kate and then we began to use fade to black in between shots to give the hint to the audience of the introduction to the antagonist 'Luna' we incorporated 0.1s shots of Elli to build up tension and contrast with the happy and innocent portrayal of the other characters. We then used the fade to black after the Luna had been fully introduced with the shot of her with a lighter whispering 'Wild' to create a dramatic pause and then used text with the words 'This summer' to add the dark element within our crime thriller trailer. Slow Motion – We used this on a number of our shots including the shot of Kate running away towards the gate and then her clinging onto it. We used this as she was predominantly shown as the weaker character in contrast with the antagonist and her running was a symbol of her running away from the lifestyle that Luna is making her lead. We wanted to emphasis this and by slowing down the shot it created a different atmosphere when in contrast with the other fast paced shots. Another example of when we used slow motion was when Elli 's character Luna was shown partying and then 'Ellinna Horton' was shown. This created the illusion of the character on drugs and distorted the audience's perception to get the idea of the alcohol and drugs involved with the characters. Trailers such as Spring Breakers used slow motion for party scenes too, when conducing our research we found this to look effective and so experimented with shots ourselves. The outcome was successful as it looked creative in contrast with the other shots and worked well incorporated into our trailer.
Sound The sound involved help to create the thriller impact that could make our trailer successful. Some examples of this are… Background Music (Non-Diegetic) - We used non copy write music for the back ground of our trailer. It started off slow and then the pace began to increase. This fitted the scenes that we included as the shots that were filled with more violence and raised more tension were shown as the song became faster. When all the scenes were fitted into the song, this created an effective product. Voice overs (Non-Diegetic Dialogue) - With the use of voice overs we made sure the sound within our trailer was conventional. Trailers such as Spring Breaker's used the repetition of whispering 'Spring Break' throughout their trailer creating and promoting the film as the audience watch the trailer. We chose to use this technique with the word 'wild' and used it to play throughout to create a mysterious and continuous tone. Other voice over's which help introduce the character's were used. 'I think my cousin Luna is coming to stay' indicate the initial storyline without giving too much away. It hints to the audience who the characters are so its easier to understand .# Sound effects - We used the sound of a gunshot at the end of the trailer to create suspense. Since we did not want to give too much away about what happens in the film we used to to indicate the crime that may take place which made it conventional. We did not show any prop of a gun within our trailer so with the sound effect it seems more interesting and creates anticipation to the audience.
Props We incorporated various props into our trailer that we identified to be conventional in other trailers, these enabled us to create realism of the crime/thriller. Props such as the cash helped create a crime connotation within the trailer since scenes within show drug dealing and so it adds the illegal aspect to it. The drugs/alcohol within the trailer express the anti social and wild behaviour that the characters get involved in, relating back to the title of the film 'W!LD' the audience is reminded that with the excessive illegal substances the characters are rebellious. We used the prop of the car to help create a more energetic feel, since most of the scenes do not include any vehicle's in, we wanted to include one to ensure it was conventional. It also showed the audience the extent of the character's behaviour since they drug deal in it. A show was shown of the headlights turning on in the dark which looked effective and eery within our trailer, helping it to seem conventional with the other shots.
Ancillary Product - Magazine Image I ensured my main image for my magazine was conventional by using a mid shot/close up. I found from conducting detailed research into film magazine covers that this shot allows the audience to gain a clear focus upon the character which enticed the audience. I chose to use this image since she is the protagonist within my trailer and so people will recognise her from this and be intrigued into reading the magazine. By centring the image on the front of the cover, its eye catching and stands out to the audience making it conventional as you can see from the comparison to a real life magazine. Masthead and Fonts and Colours From exploring the conventions of film magazines I discovered that to create an enticing cover, the fonts and masthead look best in sans-serif. This way they brand identity of the magazine remains modern and simple which appeals to the audience as it stands out among the background. The cover lines are also in a sans serif font to continue with the modern look, they stand out and seem bold which is eye catching. I chose to red, white, black and pink for the colour scheme. The use of back, white and red look professional and work well together. The use of pink creates a feminine and girly look. Since this issue is the 'Wild' edition the audience are reminded of this and are enticed by the use of pink. The pink's and white's also are used on the film poster and in the trailer to 'W!ld' making the theme more continuous as the audience can relate all the products together. Layout The layout on my magazine fits the conventions of a film magazine as it is the 'route of the eye' layout. It looks neat and ordered and so it is easy to navigate. The main cover story is located on the bottom half of the cover in the centre. Since the main story of the magazine is about the film 'W!LD' it immediately seems enticing and bold due to its position. This is conventional as it clearly illustrates the main story and is clear to the audience. The layout means that the title of the magazine is the first thing they see, the image the second and the cover story the last so it remains memorable to the audience so they will be sure to read about it.
Ancillary Product - Poster For my film poster I researched into many posters to understand the conventions such as layouts fonts and colour schemes. I chose to use the image of three of the protagonist's looking into the distance. I used a long mid shot to allow the audience to see the setting and associate it with the trailer since this scene is use. This is conventional as many posters feature a long shot of either one character or more on. I wanted to feature the 3 protagonists on the poster since I used the antagonist on the magazine so the products are more relatable to the audience. I used a similar layout to the Spring Breakers. The title of the film is big and bold at the bottom of the poster making it eye catching and enticing, the use of sans serif font makes it look more modern and simple. With a route of the eye layout I tried to make sure that the actors names were at the top and so were seen first to gain interest. The use of the billing text at the bottom of the poster is conventional as it is often seen located here and is the last thing the audience see. I added the release date last to remain memorable in the audiences mind as they will be reminded when to go see it. The use of the colour scheme is matched with the colours used on the fonts in my trailer and poster. The pink connotes the feminine element and represents the females within the image and the white connotes innocence which is conventional as it portrays the young and girly persona's. The low key lighting allows the fonts to stand out from the image, it also create the dark crime/thriller atmosphere that is conventional for the genre.
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