Describe the ways in which your production work was informed by research into real media texts and how your ability to use such research for production developed over time.
1a) Over the two year media course we had to produce both a foundation portfolio of a school magazine and music magazine as well as an advance portfolio of a horror teaser trailer, film magazine – developing foundation skills further and a poster to advertise our trailer.
In the first year we researched existing music magazines and analysed each one so that we could gain knowledge of particular layouts, fonts and key elements that need to be contained in our production to make it successful. Research and planning allowed us to recognise ‘mastheads’ on magazines as being the most important and therefore the need to focus on a font more detailed to keep continuity with the contents page and double page spread which we also had to create.
Personally I researched ‘Rock’ magazines such as Kerrang, NME and others because I had chosen after carrying out a questionnaire to use Rock music as my theme. The real life media texts allowed me to visualise my favourite parts from each magazine – ripped sticker graphics and broken font on my own work which I then attempted to recreate within Photoshop CS4. In year 1 we were limited to what we could research because magazines were the only theme however, in the second year I was able to develop my ability to research real life media texts much further because we had a range of products we needed to create all under the ‘horror’ genre this time. I was able to research teaser trailers analysing my favourite and least favourite parts allowing me to plan with a mood board which I produced from a range of stills from previous horror films my ideas for my own trailer which helped me to develop my production of my products in relation to real life media texts and techniques such as restricted narration and handheld camera found in the ‘Blair Witch Project’ trailer which inspired my trailer ‘Laquem’ which is also set in the woods. Research into film documentaries like the ‘American Nightmare’ inspired me to create a product which reinforced fear and went against usual horror conventions to make it more interesting. Over the second year research became so important to achieving a product which was realistic and is now like my own distributed on YouTube as a real life media text of its own.
Real life media texts like advertising film posters were able to help me develop my Photoshop skills further because I was able to push myself with the ‘colour burn’ filters and want to create the scary atmosphere of my trailer from just an image and text which I found really fun.
Research into film magazines allowed me to develop my work from AS level so much further because I was able to produce a high standard piece of work in two weeks this year when the magazines took over 3 months last year which shows how much my skills have improves just by being able to constantly refer back to real life media texts for inspiration and even colour schemes that work well together such as black and red which in the first year I just found experimenting with. Research into horror trailers allowed me to recognise different styles of film and how we like Alfred Hitchcock could be an auteur creating new angles and ideas using generic conventions as well as unconventional representations that I have picked upon when watching films and analysing certain techniques which I have then attempted to do in Final Cut Pro when editing certain shots together to create collision cutting and changes in pace which my trailer does extremely well. I was inspired initially by the hand held camera in the trailer REC and the fact I want as an auteur to change the stereotyped representations to be able use a female psycho killer.
Research also allowed me to produce text and inter-titles that shook in order to capture my audience but narrating the story slightly so the shots when together made sense. Research into types of camera movements needed were really helpful and allowed me to completely change the pace with tracking shots and handheld camera which I noticed was used in Silent Hill and American Werewolf in London which I analysed and placed on my blog for reference as some pieces of footage I wanted to recreate including the final girl representations.