Evaluation Sophie Lemm AS Media Studies The Pursuit
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or
challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our media product has used and developed conventions from a
typical Thriller film. This is to make it clear to the audience
that our film is a Thriller film. These conventions are, dark
lighting, dark theme, stereotypes of characters and setting,
shadows, and creating enigma. We decided to develop and change our
film from being a typical thriller. To do this we did not have our
stalker character wearing a hood which appears in most thriller
films including for example Adulthood. Also, the main character is
of a different ethnicy.
Subgenres and hybrids are often used in thrillers which are for
example crime, action, psychology and more. Our film is very
mysterious so from the opening you cant tell which subgenre it is
going to have which i think would make the audience want to watch
I think our thriller does indicate other thrillers that have
influenced our work. For example, using a main character of not a
white ethnicy is also done in Gothika. The theme of the stalker is
done in When a stranger calls although there are very different
Both the main characters are not of a typical white vulnerable
teenager often used for main roles in thrillers. Hitchcock used a
blonde white female in every one of his thriller films.
2. How does your media product represent particular social
Our production represents the teenage social group. I think it
shows typical teenagers as it opens with a typical party. Also, the
topic of our production is something which does happen in real life
to, for example young women are at risk of being followed home in
the dark especially when under the influence of alcohol. This may
send a message to young people to be careful and not walk home
alone at night.
Our group consists of different races so this may appeal to a
wider range of audience. Also, it does not follow the stereotypical
white woman victim. Our film is aimed at the same target audience
as TV programmes like Skins. This is because we feel our target
audience connect with our film more if it involves real life
activities for this age group, such as parties and drinking etc
which we can see worked very successfully in Skins.
Skins The Pursuit Dancing Young people Party Having fun
Drinking/ Drunk behaviour The film Gothika and our film The Pursuit
have both got a main girl character of a different ethnicy.
Comparisons to The Pursuit
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media
product and why?
I think our film could be distributed by a major company like
Warner Bros as it is a successful film institution and i feel they
could promote our film and be successful. They have produced films
such as Harry Potter, The Matrix and The Dark Knight. I think our
film, The Pursuit has potential to be a successful film as it is
realistic and connects with its target audience as we can see from
our Audience Questionnaire results. Also it has mystery and I
believe it has a good and exciting storyline. It could be compared
to other films, for example When a Stranger Calls, as that is along
the lines of a stalker storyline.
Also, after receiving feedback from our questionnaires we can
see that our target audience enjoyed our film opening and feel it
was successful and they would like to see the rest of the film. I
believe our film offers opportunities to rise awareness to young
people about walking alone at night and the other issues our film
contains. Posters and videogames could also be produced as
merchandise to advertise the release of our film. I think it would
be released because it is a fresh, young, exciting thriller which
relates to its target audience. We make sure we did this by the
shots we used and the characters and plot. Also, the music we have
used really creates the suspense and makes it exciting to watch. We
have dressed the characters in what they are wearing to represent
who they are. For instance the party goers are dressed as typical
teenagers in dresses, jeans or tops, to show their social status to
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
Our product is aimed at a target audience of 15 and over. We
have decided this because we think an audience of a younger age may
find our film scary as it has a chilling feel to it and the
storyline could happen in real life. Also, as the characters are
young, the audience will feel they connect with the characters and
can put themselves in the same situation.
Kidulthood is a successful film aimed at this target audience
and also TV dramas like Skins. It is obvious that they are aimed at
teens because of the storylines, the language used and parties and
various other things whith teenagers are typically known to do. The
audience watching it may also be able to relate to the way the
characters live, or their group of friends. I think raising
awareness of safety is important for our film as I believe we can
send a strong message across to teenagers, especially girls. The
film may show them how vulnerable they can be when in a drunken
manor, or walking alone at night. We have also used a non typical
use of ethnic minorities in our film as this does not follow the
typical conventions of a thriller. We thought it would make our
film stand out and reach a wider target audience.
Consider the age and gender of your target audience. Link this
to the narrative and style of your film
What other films are similar to yours, who do they appeal
5. How did you attract/address your audience?
I believe we have attracted our target audience of 15 and
over, by the opening of our film. As we are in that target
audience our self, we have knowledge of what attracts our age group
to a film through our own experiences. Our film opens with a party
which is instantly going to draw in that age group as it is
something that they can relate to. This is also the case in TV
drama Skins. Skins is full of house parties, drugs, sex and
drinking which this target age group are interested in watching or
even relating to themselves. I feel our audience will be able to
relate to the characters in our film as they are normal teenagers
themselves so our film is believable and not at all far
As I have said before I feel our film may send a message out to
young people about the dangers of being out drunk or walking home
dark at night.
I feel an audience under 15 would feel uncomfortable watching
our film as they are maybe to young to connect with the characters
and storyline. Also, as the storyline could happen in real life,
they may feel scared to go out and the film may affect them in a
Party in Skins Teenagers party
We have used a range of camera work in our film to make it look
as realistic as we could. We have included, close ups and mid-shots
a lot to ensure we have the most important setting in our shot,
match on action, the 180 degree rule and point of view shots to
make the audience feel as if they are in the characters position.
We have done this with the blurred shots of the drunk eyes. This is
to show how vulnerable and drunk the character is and make the
audience feel as if they are looking through her perspective and
walking in that state. The camera view is done so the shot looks
like you are looking out of her eyes. I believe this attracts the
audience as it makes them feel a part of the film and more aware of
what is happening. This may also create more suspense as the
audience knows the state of what the girl is in and so when we see
the shot where she drops her keys it may create more panic and
tension. The conventions in our film ensure the audience and the
theme of our film is a thriller. They can see this by for example,
our opening scene is filmed in the dark and has a tense dark plot.
Also, the music we have used creates suspense which is a major
convention of a thriller.
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of
constructing this product?
I have learned a lot while I have been working on this product.
When I first started on the preliminary task I had no clue how to
edit or work a camera. Once I grasped how to do this i found that
it was fairly straight forward. I found the lighting was difficult
to do whist filming as creating shadows in the dark was hard to
avoid and getting just the right amount of light so a shot could be
seen was difficult. I think this is the issue which we could have
improved in our filming. I think most of the shots do look
effective but for example the shot with the stalker opening up the
photograph was too bright which we also found someone else had
commented on in our audience questionnaire.
Filming everything took us roughly 3 hours all together. We
filmed on two separate days, one day the inside filming for the
opening shots and the second day for all the outside filming. We
found filming quite stressful as the lighting was difficult to do
as we had to keep playing around with it before each shot to check
it looked effective. Once we had everything filmed we edited as
soon as well could. We had not had much experience of using the
MACs before but once we got used to them we found editing pretty
straight forward. We previewed different effects and sounds for the
shots we had chosen.
We looked for music on free music.com and sound effects and
eventually finished editing when we were happy with the footage we
had got and believed it contained good mise en scene for a
thriller. We really wanted to use top chart music in our opening
party scene so the audience would be able to relate and to show how
modern our film was, but we were aware that to use an artists song
we would need permission or to pay a fee. To create our overall
mise en scene I feel that the effects and sound effects on the MACs
really helped as these conventions really make a film fit into a
category, in our case a thriller. I learnt how to add sound,
transitions and how to add text to our film.
7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you
have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
The preliminary task helped a lot with understanding how to
work the cameras and how to edit. I think it was good we did that
before the main task as we needed experience. We needed to manage
our time better and have a plan of what we were going to do to make
sure our main task went well. We produced a colour story board so
we knew the setting and props and costumes for each shot. We also
noted camera angles and shots that we needed to include. We wrote a
list of props that we would need which I think was very useful as
we could then get straight on with filming.
One thing which I feel we improved a lot was the continuity of
our product. The preliminary task continuity was poor and the
transitions were not smooth. I feel in our main task, our film
flows and looks professional. One thing that our target audience
did pick up in our questionnaire was that one shot was lacking
continuity. This was where the stalker drops the photograph and
then the camera shoots a close up of it on the ground. We realised
this looking back also but it was too late in the process to
re-film. If we were producing the whole film and had the time we
would go back and perfect the shot.
We received very good feedback from our audience questionnaire
about our use of music in our film. We feel very proud of this as
we did not have any experience of using music in a film before. We
wanted the music to create suspense and for the opening party scene
to give the feel of a realistic party.
We researched lots of information on conventions of thrillers
and locations and different plots. This was to get an idea of what
we needed to do to make it clear to an audience that that was the
genre of our film. We found out about Hitchcock who is the Master
of Suspense. This helped because he is known for making thriller
films so finding out what he used in his films was inspirational as
it helped us see what the typical conventions were and how he made
his films successful. Also, we needed to chose an appropriate
setting for our storyline so that the viewers would not get
confused. We chose Halsey Drive to film our shots as there is a
small ally way next to Jasmines house which was ideal for what we
wanted to do.
Alfred Hitchcock, The Master of Suspence Filming location. Halsey
While researching thriller films, we watched several openings
and noted down shots and the mise en scene used. This was very
helpful as we could see how this shots created suspense and drama.
I feel our camera shots improved greatly as we experimented a lot
more, for example the over shoulder shot when the girl drops her
keys which creates suspense as it make it look as though there is
someone coming up behind her. We added a sound effect in there as
well to add to the tension. We have included match on action and
point of view shots. The point of view shots i feel worked very
effectively. They were the shots of the drunk eyes which we got
good feedback about in our audience questionnaire.
I feel the lighting was difficult to do because it was dark
outside but we still needed enough light for the footage to show up
on the MACs. We were aware that if we did not have enough light,
then our film would be too dark but if we had too much it would
look unnatural. I am quite proud that we got the lighting right
although it was a little bright in a couple of shots.
I think an important thing i learnt was that we needed loads of
footage to edit as we realised we didn't have enough in our
preliminary task. This was a problem because we found ourselves not
having a very long film and the scenes were not running smoothly as
we had to scrape together what we could find. This time we made
sure we had plenty of footage to edit so we could pick the best