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.
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?
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?
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 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.