Sunday, 9 May 2010


In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real products?

I think my media product develops the typical conventions of a real rom-com as we had the same basic set up which meant it was how you would expect a rom-com to be. We had the love triangle with the stereotypical characters. These were based on the American 'jock' and 'cheerleader' type. However, as our film is set in England we just translated these characters to make the 'jock' character seem a complete idiot- and wrong for the girl. We changed the 'cheerleader' to a blonde girl who wore nice clothes and was very attractive, she never did anything wrong but came across as the 'popular' girl.

I do however think that our rom-com challenges the typical rom-com as it is set in only a few locations, and with not the best of actors. This is because we were low budget, and on a tight time schedule, which meant we could only use what we already had. If our rom-com was a real film, it would be set in a city with multiple locations that were so familiar that anyone could recognise. This would help it appeal to a wider range of people.

I think that because we did so much research into our genre before making our film (read books, looked up genre on internet, watched numerous rom-com films, analysed the beginning of many films), we understood a lot of the codes and conventions, the difficult part however was to put these into our film. I think our hard work payed off as it is easy when watching the film now, to see that it is a rom-com.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

I think my media product represents 3 main social groups, which are often seen within high schools. I think anyone would be able to recognise these groups- the 'popular' and the 'geeks' and the 'jocks'. This is stereotypically mainly found in American schools more than anything, but I think that even in England there is still an element of difference.

The popular people- who are always pretty, loud, look nice. We signified this by have Kate dress very attractively and having blonde hair, and having other friends and completely rejecting Nick. The geeky people- don't tend to have many friends, concentrate a lot on work, very shy. We signified this by having Nick wear old-fashion clothes- a denim jacket, he wore glasses and we made it seem like he was into rock music to make him seem even more of an outcast. The jock type- the boyos who are idiots, and mess everything up and behave in ridiculous ways. This was not signified within our opening sequence as this character is not seen much within the first 2 minutes.

I think we incorporated these into our film to appeal mainly to our age range. Our audience would typically be able to relate to these characters, and understand that this is what happens in school.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Our production company is Stussy Media. This is a large production company, managing mainly UK films, from many genres. They would be interested in low budget films, as they don't cost much to make but if they take off, can make a lot of money and bring in a big profit. Stussy Media would be closely like to Like Media, which is a distribution company. This company would distribute many films. They would be entered into many film festivals to try and get their profile raised, any may get screened in a few independent cinema chains. Our film would mostly likely do this, and then get released straight to DVD, as it is unlikely to gain national distribution.

This is quite likely to happen in the media industry these days. The industry is getting increasingly tough for low-budget films with un-heard of producers, who cannot gain the funding to distribute their films. I think that myself and Lucy would send our film to as many film festivals to try and get our film recognised by anyone who would want to watch it. This would hopefully mean that the word would spread around about our film ad people would but it even from DVD.

Who would be the audience for your media product?

The audience for our product is 15-24 year olds. This is because our film is set within a school, which would probably not attract older viewers. Also, the fact that we have young actors, would mean that a younger audience would find it easier to relate to them. A younger audience would also understand the situation better as it happens very often in high schools. The character stereotypes are very often found in schools and therefore they are recognised and having recently been students, our audience could really relate to this.

I think that younger people would possibly watch our film, but I wouldn't think they would be much younger than 15. People older could also watch the film, however I think our target audience would understand and enjoy it a lot more.

The rating of our film is a 15. This is because there is a swearing and a lot of pushing about. I think this also helps the audience be attracted to it because it is not seen as a 'kids' film but at the same time nothing too drastic. I think it is almost in between kids and adults, which is the same as 15-24 years olds are.

How did you attract/address your audience?

We attracted our audience by having our films set in a very familiar location- school. We made it humorous, but with a storyline that they would be able to understand and relate to. We used actors that looked like students, and the typical social groups seen within schools. We exaggerated certain aspects, such as the geek with his denim jacket and jeans and glasses, and when he was getting pushed into lockers.

We addressed our audience by getting feedback from 16-17-18 year olds. This is in the middle of our age range. We asked them questions such as; "did you catch the storyline?", "could you understand what was going on", "could you relate to it", "did you find it funny?", and the obvious "how could we make it better". From the feedback we found out a lot about what people of this age want from a film. We took their ideas into consideration and added and changed a lot.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

I have found out just how handy Mac's are! We used Imovie to edit our film, it was very difficult to use at first, but we soon picked it up and found it easy. We learnt a lot from it, and it had lots of things to help us- such as music and sound effects. We also used Live Type to create our 'Stussy' logo.

However, I had quite a few problems with my Mac- it crashed a lot, sometimes without saving my work and so it was extremely time consuming. I think if I were to do this again I would have chosen a Mac I know wouldn't of done this!

We also found some copyright free music on a website, and so we chose to use this is it fit quite nicely. However, as this was far too long we had to cut it up and do lots with it, so that it was perfectly in time with the film. Lucy was very good at this and therefore it does work extremely well I think!

The cameras that we used were also quite complicated in the first place, but I suppose everything is at first! Once we learnt how to work them they were easy. We never really had to alter the focus or lighting, so most of the time it was kept on auto.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

From the prelim task, we have learnt so much! We have learnt that you need to be aware of surroundings- and that they need to be quiet for you to be able to hear what people are saying. If you look at our prelim task we did it in a crowded common room, in which we through things would work out fine!

We have also learnt about the cameras, and about camera shots and movement. In our prelim there wasn't much movement, just different shots that were quite jumpy- it didn't seem to fit. Whereas we have learnt now that you need multiple shots to break it up a bit, and if it doesn't fit- put a shot of something else (that still relates) in-between.

We have learnt much more about editing. We weren't really too sure on what you could do with Imovie before, however we are much more confident about using it and actually know what we are doing.

I think we are also aware that you need to be really sure about what you are going to film- which shots, where and when. You also need to take numerous shots while you’re there, even if it doesn't seem like you need it. This is so that you can fit much more in and if one thing doesn't work you've got the coverage to be able to swap it without reshooting. We also found that leaving the camera rolling a bit before and bits afterwards works well, as you get the full shot and aren’t cutting it a bit tight.

Getting feedback as much as possible from people within the target audience age is the key- you easily find out what they want and you can see their genuine reactions.

I've also learnt a lot about the genre, and a lot about producing. I think it’s really important that you cast the right people as well, to make sure it all looks good.

Final Cut & Feedback

This is our final version, after many changes and a lot of last minute shooting!

I did a small commentary to go with it;

We also put the video on facebook and got feedback from people within the target audience age range:

We have also used some intertextual references, to Trick or Treat. When we were doing general research into the beginning of films, and we came across this, we liked the idea of the boy, gettings rejected by the girl. We liked the fact that he was a loner, signified as a bit of a geek, into horror, writing a diary. We pretty much took this as inspiration and made it into a rom com!

Rough Cut 2 & Feedback

This was our 2nd cut. We screened it infront of the class and got the following feedback;
  • The soundtrack is much better, however it needs to be a little less loud as it is hard to hear the voiceover. The criticism was that it maybe sounds a little more "actiony" and gives a more chaotic feel.
  • The music over the 'like media' title needs to last for longer, and possibly somehow merge in with the music over the film.
  • The girls clothes need to be changed to fit the genre a bit better as they don't signify the glamorous 'cheerleader' girl.
  • The order could be re-organized so that as he recalls the events, we se them on screen.
  • Our second idea of them being in a classroom would maybe be better.
  • The relationship needs to be much better shown.
  • Titles need to be better done, think of more ways to do them.
  • Narrative enigma could be used by as you hear the voiceover- not actually see whim writing the diary until later on, so you don't know who he is.
  • The idea of humiliation needs to be signified much better.
Re-shoots are being re-done, today hopefully. We are changing things around a bit and making it a lot different and better. :)

Rough Cut 1 & Feedback

We do have a possible soundtrack for our film.

This song is 'I caught myself' by Paramore. It was usued in the film 'Twilight' and we think it would fit into our film as its quite upbeat in parts, and the main chorus is;

Now when I caught myself, I had to stop myself
I'm saying something that I should have never thought
Now when I caught myself, I had to stop myself
I'm saying something that I should have never thought of you

Obviously we would be able to use to original song by Paramore as there would be copyright issues, however we would get people together and record them playing the song and use this instead.

The chorus is as if it is what the boy is thinking.

However, this song has recently been used in the film 'Twilight' and is quite well know for this. Also, the feedback that we had was that the soundtrack should be changed as it is too down beat and we maybe neeeded something a bit more cheery for our rom-com.

We are still looking for soundtracks we could use but for now we are plating around with garageband to see just what we can do and if we can make something out of that.

Production and Distribution Logos

This is a video of all our logos, as well as credits.
We did them in creative ways as this is typically found in rom-coms.
We think it all worked very well, and the only thing I personally wold change would be to make the 'stussy productions' a bit more colourful!

We didn't include sound in the video, however you can see the whole thing in the final cut.

Hardware and Digital Media

Here is a list of the following that we are using to help us to make our film;

Apple Mac, we are using these to help create our film. We have been using them now for us to understand them and to know what we are doing with them. We find them useful and they help with our media project.

Imovie '06, we think this is the best possible program to use. It is easy to work, and has all the tools to use, such as quick ways to add titles, music and transitions.

 Garageband, we are planning to use garageband to make a soundtrack for our film. It needs to be quite upbeat and fit in with the rom-com genre.

Livetype, we have used this program to create out 'Stussy Productions' logo. We think it look very good and shows creativity.

Video Camera, obviously this is the main thing that we are using to create our film.

Voice Recorder, we are using this to make sure that we get a clear voice over of our main character when he is reading his diary.

iDVD, we will be using this to burn copies of our final DVD.

Soundtrack & Copyright

We were going to make our own sountrack on garage band but unfortunately ran out of time.

Instead, we found a really good website called FREEPLAY MUSIC of which we used to track 'cookies and milk'.

We cut this track up ourselves so that it fit nicely.

Here are some screen grabs to prove it is copyright free:

Image Reproduction Sheets

We got our main actors to sign sheets to simply say that they gave their permission to be in our film :)

We cannot put these image up here as they include the names, adresses and phone numbers of our actors!

So just a quick post to say we have permission.

Revised story board

We scanned 2 pages into the mac today, but due to major techinal difficulties, i can only upload the 2nd sheet! I will sort it by tommorow.

Production Schedule

We scanned this into the mac today, but due to major techinal difficulties, i cannot seem to upload this!! I will sort it by tommorow.

Target Audience and BBFC

The BBFC is the British Board of Film Classificaion. It gives every film a certificate before is it shown in a cinema. 
We think our film would fit into the category of a 15.
A 15 would also make our film appeal to a wider audience as it isn't seen as a 'kids' film, but then again there's nothing that is too adult themed. It also would appeal to high school students, which is what our film is based on.

We think this because it will have moderate language in small bits, and a small bit of violence, but nothing too drastic.
It also may invlove sex, between the girl and her boyfriend. This will obviously not be shown within the opening 2 minutes but further in the film it may be.

This age range also fits into the range that we want our film to appeal to, 15-25 year olds. We want our film to appeal to people that go to school and therefore understand the humor in that this is an everyday occurance that happens in every school. Also, people that have been to school will understand the humor in our film.

Our film has 3 main characters, all of which are caucasaion. This is was not intentional, it was just the way things worked out. I think that it doesn't not affect the film, however it would appeal to a wider audience if there were a few non-caucasian people in our film.

The roles of gender are very stereotypical within our film, a blonde, pretty, well dressed popular girl- whose boyfriend is a 'jock' type character. Also a typical geek who doesn't care how he looks and is a bit of a looser.

I think the socio-economic gouping would be C2DE. This is lower middle-class and working class. I think this helps appeal to our age range as this is what most people come under.

The nationality of our characters is British, and they are all from Ilkley. This has come with its downfall- a slightly posh accent. This was not intentional, however we had to work with what we could. I think if this was made into a real film the accents wouldn't be as posh and therefore would once again be something that people could relate to much easier.

The sexuality of all our characters is hetrosexual. This is typical of a romcom, boy loves girl- girl loves a different boy. It is not intentional that our film doesn't include any gay characters, and I don't personally think it would affect our target audience.

All of our students are typical students, the girl and the boy seem to be in different social groups and so act a lot differently. This is typical of many people within high schools.

Initial Storyboard

We have drawn out a plan of what we think our film will end up like and we have ordered each shot in the way we think it ill play out.

Shot 1:
STUSSY media. The production company logo.

Shots 2 & 3:

More credits. Here will be the names of the actors, the producers and the directors.

Shot 4:

The opening shot of the main protagonist (male) in his bedroom writing a diary. This would be a high angle shot to make him look vunerable. He would be reading over what he had written and this in turn would be a voiceover providing exposition.

Shots 5, 6, 7 & 8:

An extreme long shot of the school. This will be the main setting. There will be a few shots, zooming in around the school - corridors, classrooms and then the common room, this is where the main action will take place.

Shot 9:
A point of view shot from the main protagonists view, of the girl and her boyfriend. He thinks the girl is looking at her, and she waves.

Shot 10:

Laughing is heard and he turns around to realise that she wasn't waving at him, but a friend behind him. This would be an over the shoulder shot of him seeing the other person.

Shot 11:

The bell goes, and an extreme close up of the bell is shown.

Shot 12:

The boy is barged into the lockers by the girls boyfriend. The sound of him falling into the lockers is heard.

Shot 13:

Back to the boys bedroom where he is finishing his voiceover. He closes his diary.

Shot 14:

A low angle shot shows the boy walking down the steps in his house, he is about to put his plan into action.

Shot 15:

The final shot; the boy closing his front door behind him. The screen goes black.

Shot 16:

The movie title comes up. So far the working title is 'In His Eyes' but this is set to change.

Please note that the pictures aren't very good, but hopefully you'll get the the general idea from them.

This is our initial storyboard and is set to change.

In romcoms typically have credits done in fancy, different ways.

For our film we have been thinking of ways we could do our credits that could be included within the settings of our films.

So far we have come up with the following;

  • Post it notes- this foreshadows what will be coming as the male sets up a trail of post it notes for the girl to meet with him.
  • Above a window- as we are zooming in on the shots which establish the locations we could have some credits above a window on a door.
  • A whiteboad- sets the location as school, we could have a teacher writing it but you cant see what it says until they have moved.
  • In the boys diary- he could open it and whilst he is trying to g et the the correct pages here could be credits in it, or as he is starting his newer post he could write a credit, tear it out and throw it in the bin.
  • A notice board- similar the the white board, but you could have someone reading the school notices, and then it says a credit at the bottom.
  • A computer screen- this could be at school or in the boys bedroom.
  • On a piece of paper that gets blown away- This would be an interesting way of doing credits, something different.
  • Two people passing a note in class- once again signifies the setting.
  • A text/msn message- relates back to the younger audience.
  • On a poster in the central protagonists bedroom- the would be a simple yet effective way of showing the bedroom and credits at the same time.
  • On an exercise or text book- signifying school
  • Using pieces of stationary- in the bedroom or within the school.

These are the ideas that we are thinking of doing, we have lowered it down to the follwing which we think we will se. However we may shoot some of the others and just use which turn out best.

  • Using pieces of stationary
  • Notice board/ whiteboard
  • In the diary
  • Computer screen
  • Exercise/text book
  • A text/msn message

These were some of the credits which we have already done. The main characters name is hidden withinh the diary, and as he is opening it we see this.

Written on a whiteboard with each letter appearing one at a time on their own. Signifys a school.


We did an animatic of pictures of where we are thinking of shooting our film. We presented this to the class, and the outcome was that

  • We should delay the revealing of the couple
  • We should find more ways to prove that the boy the girl is currently with is wrong, and the guy that we see is right.
  • We should save the other guy as a next door neighbour to the girl, or he could work with her in school to show how he knows her.
  • The 'jock' character could be snobby and have a high social standing.
We were given ideas of films to watch and these were;
  • John Tucker Must Die
  • The Girl Next Door
  • John Hughes films
This is our animatic. It may not make too much sense as we talked over it when we were presenting it. It is basically pictures of where and how we are thinking of doing our film.


So far we have 3 possible people.

We have a definate person who we would like to act out the girls role.
- Kate Luty, 16
She is a typical high school girl, pretty and funny. I think she wold be good at this role because she does fit the conventions of a schooll girl, she is prettty (like most girls used in rom-coms) and she would fit nicely with a boy.

We also have a definate role of the 'geek' boy.

- Nick Smith, 17

He is a tall male, who wears glasses and we think we could dress he accordingly to look like a geek. He is quite funny, and would suit this role well.

We have another boy for the girls boyfriend.

- Luke Walley, 16

He would fit nicely into a sporty 'jock' type role. He is tall and good looking and I think he would suit the role.

Genre Research

The typical thing in romcoms seems to be that they are set in big cities- usually America. They also seem to have upbeat pop music to bring in the film. The characters are usually shown in their prime, eg their job, and within the opening scene we usually see the male that they are involved with.

The Breakfast Club
1985, John Hughes
  • Non digetic sound of a song whilst credits are shown.
  • Credits shown for 1.48
  • Yellow writing on a black background isn't too formal.
  • Quote, smashes into pieces which leads into the first shot- FX.
  • The first shot is a high school, this is clearly where the film will be set.
  • The voiceover provides exposition, as well as the still shots of different things.
  • The voiceover is presumably our main protagonist.
  • The main people are all in cars with parents, this suggests the film is going to be about students who dont want to have to go to school.
  • The end of the opening sequence is at 4.41
2009, Robert Luketic
  • Upbeat, well known pop music
  • Set in a city in America
  • Helicopter- high budget
  • Subtitle prodives exposition
  • Working woman is the central protagonist
  • Credits last 3.00

2009, Robert Schwentke
  • Credits last 45 seconds
  • Music is digetic
  • Family scene - mum dad and child.
  • American, city, christmas time
  • Main protagonist introduced

When in Rome
2010, Mark Steven Johnson
  • Upbeat, pop music
  • Water, Statues, Rome = love
  • Postcards are used as exposition
  • Main protagonist = small, blonde, pretty, american working woman
  • Just split up with partner
  • Credits = 45 seconds

2009, David M Rosenthal
  • Upbeat music
  • New York
  • Titles done in fancy ways
  • Credits = 2.30
  • Main protagonist = male, white, america, fat

Leap Year
2010, Anand Tucker
  • Opening shot- womans shoes. Working woman
  • Upbeat music, sets tone
  • Setting- Boston. Busy city
  • Career shown, high flying
  • Main protagonist shown  as happy with her partner.
  • Credits- 3.25 
  • I have been looking at the opening's of rom coms as this is the genre we have decided to do for our film opening. Here is some research that i have done looking at common codes and conventions that appear with romcoms
  • Non diagetic music, guitar upbeat and happy
  • Produced by Warner Brothers andAlcon Entertainment these are repeated again in writing over a black screen
  • Establishing shot of a city then it pans down into possibly the central protagonist
  • A males is approaching the female he is walking quickly up the stairs after her, they have an argument then make up and are friends again. 
  • 12:30 for the self contained opening scene to finish, then the tittle appears with the main actors names.

  • Touchstone pictures twice with two different animations, Mad chance and Jaret Entertainment production the title comes in straight away after the production credits
  • Pans across a sunny city
  • The names of the main actors appear on screen over the picture
  • Pans in onto two cars, with some of the main characters in them
  • Establishing shot of the school
  • Teenager in a head teachers office
  • The opening scene in 3:30 seconds long

  • Production companies: 20th Century Fox, Regency, they are then repeated against the black background - 28 seconds of tittles
  • Voiceover with non diagetic music. Someone is walking their dog your immediate reaction is that this is the central protagonist
  • Then the music changes pace the action on screen freezes to show the main character
  • Then there is a shot of a couple running along a road in the snow, then it cuts to them sat on the edge of a bath
  • It then pans out through the window as they kiss it's also snowing, then it fades to white
  • The music then changes by picking up paces, panning across sunny places with the music 'Shiny happy people' 
  • The credits and tittle are against what's happening on screen
  • It takes about 3 minutes to get to the self contained 'first scene'
The 40 Year Old Virgin, (Judd Apatow), (2005)

  • Universal production company logo, also repeated against black in writing with non diagetic music
  • Shot of houses to establish the location, central protagonist in bed, montage of him getting ready for the day doing exercise, making breakfast, having a bath etc, through this we find out he is a perfectionist, there is then a few shots of him travelling to work on his bike
  • There are diagetic sounds but non diagetic music
  • The opening scene is 2 minutes 50 seconds.
  • However within this we don't see any signification of romance or love with the central protagonist