Finished Sequence

Prelim Task

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This blog is now CLOSED

I have had loads of fun working on this project, and am very happy to say that it is now completely finished!!

Thats all really

Goodbye xxx

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The project is coming to a close...

The evaluation is done, which means we're coming to the end of this project. All there is left to do is to get the blogs finished and working properly.

For example,

  • I went through both blogs and made sure every post was labelled properly

  • Made sure that all photos, videos, and links on the blog work properly

  • Added anything I felt necessary to some posts

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Evaluation Question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

We decided to make the opening sequence of an action film. Despite rarely getting much critical praise, action is one of the most popular and highest grossing genres of film, and has been a reliable source of income for the movie industry.

Action opening sequences often throw you straight into the action, often offering little or no clue regarding character or narrative, such as in The Bourne Identity (1988). Our film does exactly the same, not revealing who the two characters are, why they are there, or how one has come to be being hunted down by the other, but instead grabbing the attention of the audience with high paced music, fast movement, fast editing, guns, bad guys, and fights.

Blackout sticks to many conventions of the action genre, for example kidnap is often a theme, such as in Taken. Our use of camerawork and editing is typical of the genre, with faced paced cuts and lots of movement. In fact, we took shots directly from Casino Royale and Wolfman and used them in our own sequence.


Tztetan  Todorov was a narrative theorist who examined hundreds of russian folk tales to try to find similarities between them, and came up with a theory that he believes can be applied to every story ever written. He proposed that each story is broken down into these 5 basic steps:


However, Blackout challenges this model, as the film opens with a chase and a kidnap, with no real equilibrium and not introducing the hero or the villain.

Narrative continued

Blackout follows a parallel narrative, cross cutting between Matt’s father trying to rescue him, and Matt trying to escape (similar to Finding Nemo). We have also used many binary opposites, as in Levi Strauss’ narrative theory, which says that important parts of the story always appear in pairs.

For example:

  • Matt is wearing appears terrified and runs through the house, while the kidnapper is very professional and composed, and walks up through the house.
  • The homeliness, safety and normality of the setting and the abnormality and danger of the event

    Form & Function

    The main function of a title sequence is to introduce character and narrative, and to inform the audience of the people involved with the film through the use of titles.

    We have chosen to place our titles both before and after the main opening sequence, such and in The Bourne Ultimatum, and more famously, the Bond films.



    In the opening part of the sequence, we use fast editing, lots of camera movement, and fast paced music to create a sense of excitement and danger in an otherwise normal and unexciting setting. Each shot is edited to about a second or less, and is matched together well to create a continuous sequence. Most shots are LS or MS in this part of the sequence, so that we can really get a sense of his movement, like in the airport chase in Casino Royale.

    When the kidnapper enters the house, the pace of the sequence slows, many of the shots are more tightly framed and the music becomes more tense, increasing the audiences awareness of Matt’s fear. The sequence feels much more like a stalker/thriller, despite the setting still appearing very normal and safe. The use of manual focus and tightly framed shots helps to withhold the identity of the kidnapper as he walks through the house, and the gradual build up of the music gives the sense increasing danger.

     This tension climaxes with the track across to Matt’s eyes, a technique also shown in Wolfman. The pace of the editing and the music speeds up again for the fight, another convention of action films, and again, is matched together well. We added the blur on the final shot in ourselves on Adobe Premiere CS3, which works well, as it looks like a focus pull (which we didn’t think of on the shoot).

    Evaluation Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?


    The two men in this sequence are represented very differently. The kidnapper is represented more stereotypically for an action films, than Matt. Men in action films are always expert fighters, never show any fear, and have guns, for example Jason Bourne or James Bond.

    While the kidnapper is wearing jeans and trainers, suggesting that he is young, and not a professional killer, he displays his strength and fighting ability when he kicks the door open, and in the fight scene. This is stereotypical of men in many films, and always in action films.

    Matt, on the other hand, shows absolute terror when being chased by a man with a gun, where usually a young man in that situation in an action film would try to fight him. This is more stereotypical of women in action films.

    He wears normal casual clothes, while the kidnapper wears all black, with a balaclava, emphasising the kidnapper’s superiority, and Matt’s vulnerability. Matt only attempts to fight once he is trapped in the final room, but the kidnapper beats him easily, not stereotypical to the genre. An example of something like this is the last fight scene in Tomorrow Never Dies between James Bond and Stamper.

    Evaluation Question 3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

    Our production company is AX Productions. We produce high budget films aimed at mass worldwide audiences, spanning a wide range of genres, similar to The Kennedy/Marshall Company.

    Our film is distributed worldwide by Focus Entertainment, which distributes high budget films through smaller, local distributors, in this case Infinite Pictures. This is similar to the relationship between Paramount and Icon. The use of local distributors is hugely important because they are vastly experienced experts at distributing films locally, so things like marketing etc. can be area specific.

    Blackout will have a huge worldwide release on the same weekend, which will come after an extensive marketing campaign, which will use TV, internet, radio, symbiotic deals and posters. A premiere will be held in London’s Leicester Square about a week before the worldwide release, attracting publicity by bringing our Hollywood celebrity actors, Hugh Donnelly and Matteo Bragoli, and world renown director Tomas Poffley to the city.


    Here are the platforms on which Blackout will be exhibited on.


    Evaluation Question 4: Who would be the audience for this media product?

    Here is a typical member of our target audience.

    - His name is John
    - He is 20
    - He is a student studying at the London School of Economics
    - He has a girlfrined, also 20, who is called Amanda, also studying at the London School of Economics
    - He enjoys going out to bars and nightclubs with his friends
    - He enjoys watching football, and is a chelsea fan
    - He enjoys a wide range of pop music
    - He will typically go to the cinema about once a month, and will watch a blockbuster, and particularly enjoys action, explosions, and gun-porn
    - He doesn't enjoy Rom-Coms


    Primary Audience
    • Male
    • Aged 15-30
    • May not necessarily be a film fanatic, but enjoys going to the cinema
    • Enjoys going out with friends, partying, gaming, sport, and social networking
    • May have an averagely paid job
    • Or be a student
    Secondary Audiences
    • Girls of the same age range, either that enjoy action films themselves or are going with their boyfriends
    • Older/middle aged males who still enjoys action films, gaming etc

    Evaluation Question 5: How did you attract/ address your audience?

    Our primary audience is goes to the cinema relatively often, almost always to watch an action film. They like explosions, guns, fights, chases, and watch films for excitement purposes.

    The events are stereotypical of the genre, so the audience can associate our film with other films they know and like. The setting and characters are very familiar to the target audience, and are recognisable from their everyday lives. This allows them to place themselves in Matt's position, making the sequence much more tense and exciting for them.

    This is especially apparent in the POV shot at the end of the sequence, where the kidnapper looks directly at the audience and then swings his gun down towards them.

    The use of manual focus and tight framing helps to build up enigma, as it masks the identity of the kidnapper. This adds suspense, which gives the audience emotional pleasures, as they can guess that he is a danger to Matt, but don't know anything about him, why he is there, or what he is going to do.