Published on March 14, 2014
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Our thriller’s title is: Skate – we chose this title as it is more appealing to our target audience 15-20 year olds rather than our original title ‘Bad Memory’. Also, ‘Skate’ could apply to young people who enjoy skating as it is currently a popular sport. The word is short, sharp and meaningful which immediately grabs the audience’s attention. Additionally, our film has a theme of revenge because the boys steal the memory stick, so she runs one of them over. Similarly, Kill Bill uses revenge as the character, "The Bride", a former member of an assassination team seeks revenge on her ex-colleagues who massacred members of her wedding party and tried to kill her.
Furthermore, the location we used was a city park called Eaton in Norwich. We used a park as it is a realistic place for two teenage boys to be. However, a park can also be dangerous as they are open to anyone and it’s difficult to tell what strangers are capable of. For instance, in the beginning of our thriller they are unaware they are being watched, but when they do realise they feel threatened. This could be an inter-textual reference to “The Silence” ( A TV Drama on BBC 2010), as in this mini series the profoundly deaf girl witnesses a car running over jogger in a park and at night. The ground is fairly gritty, likewise in our thriller which makes the noise of the wheels going over the ground sound more menacing. This murder involves a victim getting hit by a car, similarly, we used a car to run over a character - this is a generic convention in thrillers because this is an extremely serious crime. In contrast, our thriller the running over of the young boy happened in broad day light – this is a way we used generic conventions. Likewise in Jackie Brown when Louis shoots Melanie in a car park in broad day light. Another inter-textual could be the location at the end of Se7en which is an urban park.
“The Silence” & “Jackie Brown The silence murder that the deaf girl witnesses. Jackie Brown: Louis Shooting Melanie at a car park in broad day light.
Also, we used The Playhouse (a café in Norwich) which is quite small and tight, therefore there could be a sense of claustrophobia which is a generic thriller convention. Eaton Park The Playhouse café
Additionally, we named the three characters Jason, Gnarly and Natalia. Jason played by Joel is a reference to Jason in “Essex Boys” as his character is laid back, uncaring and not worried about consequences. Gnarly stands out as unique name because it is unusual, therefore it sounds daring which could result in danger. Threat links to Natalia as she is a perilous femme fatale in our thriller as she is the character who hits the boy with the car. I like the way we have chosen a female to hit the boy with a car as it is more stereotypically expected of a male to behave this way. However, all the characters are victims in our film because the girl gets her memory stick stolen and the girl wants to get revenge on the boys, so she runs one of them over. Moreover, Natalia as a name is quite generic as it is a Russian name and often a name used in Russian thrillers. I researched this and came across a fictional text called ‘Shobyet and Natalia’ that was relevant; this is a quote from it: ‘Natalia was going to strangle him in a few moments…she pursed her lips in the mirror and applied her favourite lipstick’ This is an example of a typical femme fatale.
The costume that the two male characters are wearing are jeans and black hoodies, the use of the hoodies made their appearance stereotypically come across as teenage ‘thugs’. Also, Natalia is wearing a black gloves which could imply that she is a dangerous and menaced women. Alternatively, it could represent that she is hiding something because her hand is covered, this gives a sense of mystery. Similarly, something is hidden on the memory stick that the boy steals. The use of dark costumes in our thriller indicate that there is something shady or shifty with these characters. Similar costumes are used in the film “Kidulthood” which represent today’s youth and is perhaps associated with people who commit crimes. Moreover, in the film "Jackie Brown" is the close up shot of Ordell Robbie wearing leather gloves when he drives to the waste ground to murder Beaumont who is in the boot of Ordell's car. Male character costume Female character - black glove Ordell Robbie wearing black leather gloves.
Objects involved in our thriller were a memory stick which was a significant element as it gave a sense of mystery and made the audience curious as to why it was so important as they are unaware of what is on it. The mystery of the memory stick is an enigma of the brief case in the film “Pulp Fiction” Another object which gave a sense of mystery was the girls phone as it was an unknown call, therefore the audience will wonder who she is communicating with. Also, we used a car, a bike and a skateboard; this enhanced the fast pace movement of our opening, which is suitable for our target audience, and will build up tension and create suspense. Also, the movement could give hints about each character. In addition, a bike and skateboard are objects that can easily be associated with teenagers. The idea of using a bike was influenced by the film “Premium Rush”. The car illustrated stereotypes of how young people are seen to drive – fast and dangerous.
The use of diegetic sound in our production “SKATE” challenged conventions as in thriller films non-diegetic sound is most frequently used in thriller films for uncertainty of what upcoming events will be. The sounds we used symbolised the what type of characters Gnarly and Jason are via the sound of the wheels on the skateboard and the bike which sounds intimidating, especially with the non-diegetic sound we also used (our soundtrack) We used the sound of the skateboard to foreshadow later events within the film, for example Gnarly getting hit by the car and his skateboard rolling along the ground. Alternatively, the sound track allowed us to create a fast and tense atmosphere.
2) How does your media product represent particular social groups? The location we used a park with a skate park is a common place for teenagers to be and it enabled us to use the objects as all of them were accessible to use in this area. Also, teenagers can relate to skating and biking as these are common activities in today’s youth – the location enhances a sense of youth. Furthermore, we presented young males as stereotypically juvenile teenagers which is reinforced by the costume that they are wearing. However, costume was contemporary as a lot of young people wear hoodies, and realistic for the time. A male character steals the memory stick which insinuates that men are more daring and that situations of theft are mostly carried out by men. Alternatively, our production implies that females can also be very dangerous as the female character hits the boy with a car, which can lead to very serious consequences.
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