For my A2-Level Media Studies coursework I was tasked with producing a film trailer, poster and magazine cover design for an imaginary up-and-coming film release. We were required to document our progress by use of a Blogger account, and so the following is excerpts from certain key posts that most accurately display the thought and knowledge that went into the final pieces. I’ve posted this here to help anyone who is on a similar course regarding what to write and focus on when forming their evaluation.
The premise of our film is that a young man named Vincent started his adult life as a simple graffiti artist who begins to witness the grim underworld closely linked to his favourite pass-time. As pressure from friends to enter a world of drugs and violence reaches its peak our protagonist has to make a decision to either stay or leave it behind.
His eventual choice is implied, and so the film is focused around the boundaries of what good and evil is, and a man’s struggle to find peace within blurred moral boundaries.
Throughout the trailer itself a lot of typical conventions were intentionally put in place to make it as realistic as possible. Features such as captioning the directors name as well as the actors who star in it, a backing track is included and even a voice-over by the protagonist himself. These not only make the overall production that much more professional and believable to be a trailer, but also give great insight into the story’s plot and leaves plenty of questions left unanswered by the time the two minute mark hits.
The backing track is the instrumental version of Survival of The Fittest by Mobb Deep – a track that has not only a fitting title but a suitably paced beat that was great to couple with a voice-over.
The one aspect of our trailer that could be seen as challenging the norms of expectations is the attitude the viewer could take in respect to the protagonist. Vinni is seen as someone who believes himself to have seen the light (morally speaking) and wants out. For this people can sympathise and grow to like him within the realms of the narrative. Graffiti is his vocation however and the legal issues surrounding this activity could lead Vinni to take on some what of an anti-hero status. This unclear vision as to what the protagonist stands for challenges the norms of today’s film trailers of similar genre.
Upon completion it was directly uploaded on to YouTube; as a group we created our own channel RunA2Media1 so that we could easily track any comments made – helpful critique or not. Subsequently, a member of our group posted the video onto his Facebook wall in order to gather some immediate feedback from people we know personally.
As an additional method of feedback our group held a short presentation of our trailer pitched to a class of younger students within our school. Of the few who gave feedback the general consensus was that we did not make clear enough who the protagonist was within the trailer, nor was the plot explained to a sufficient level for them to grasp the general plot once the two minutes was over.
Upon review of this information we decided that this might have been a result of focusing too heavily on the technical side of things during the filming process and possibly trusting too heavily in the storyboard we drew up originally to carry the message through. This was the most useful and honest feedback we have received regarding our trailer and so the information was greatly reflected upon.
On the other hand, my film poster showcases many conventions associated with posters belonging to films of a similar genre. These are:
- The film title being very clear and at the forefront of the design
- the official age certificate given to the production
- Whatever company had hands in the creation and marketing of the production
- Credits situated typically at the bottom, detailing certain key people who had great influence on the film
- the director very boldly displayed at the top of the poster
Regarding the actual creation of my film poster, I used a variety of skills and techniques in order to produce the final product. Working on my initial draft (seen on my blog), I filled out my design using primarily simple photo filters in order to enhance the amateur photograph that I had taken.
All of features present on my design cannot be referenced to the Inception posters, however. There are clear differences in way of the age certificate being present, the very core genre that it is conveying and even the colour of the photo filter tint does not match. These are decisions I made as a designer in order to make my poster as close to my target audiences’ expectations as possible (using not only the 2010 questionnaire results as data, but my AS coursework questionnaire results which of course focused on magazines).
To begin with, my front cover displays plenty of features that echo mainstream magazines. I chose Total Film to replicate in respect to the housestyle, because I believe our film would definately be the sort to appear in such a publication. Film Four has recently pushed the urban/ street life films and Total Film I feel would very likely house the underdogs of the film industry.
The housestyle, or theme, of a typical Total Film magazine cover comprises of the following:
- Date, Issue number and price are positioned alongside the masthead
- The Total in Total Film is situated inside the first F
- The colour of the masthead greatly contrasts whatever background colours are present
- Sub-titles and puffs are usually locate exclusively on the left-hand side of the cover, meaning the main focus within photographs used are alligned to the right
- The main title is of the same colour or contrast than that of the masthead
From the trailer to the poster to the magazine cover, a constant check on unifying the overall appearance and feel of the brand that is now RUN: Never Enough Time was done to ensure that each individual product did not stray from what we as a group wanted the film to represent.
The poster and magazine cover, made in Adobe Photoshop CS2, were rigorously edited with photo filters, levels and curves effects in order to match the grimy, street-life feel that the story attempts to represent.
Personally I feel the ancillary pieces of media I have created greatly capture the essence of what the film is about through the process of articulated photo editing and choice of words. In both the poster and magazine cover there is not only the visual aspect of graffiti, but the general undertones of something darker and menacing.
Further images in relation to my media studies coursework can be seen within my ‘A-Level Media Studies Coursework’ Photobucket album, and as previously stated the full documentation of this work can be found on the Blogger link at the top of this article.