Tuesday 16 December 2014

Henry's evaluation

Soap Opera Trailer G324 - Closed Doors Evaluation

1. In which ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our media production contains many controversial storylines that are directed to tackle certain social issues in the public. We thought this would be clever to use our soap as a vessel to inform others of these social issues and raise awareness for teenagers as their self-confidence can be vulnerable and very low. For example, the first sin is vanity but it is portrayed as a girl with an eating disorder due to her physical appearance. Our storyline follows this girl as someone who lacks self-confidence but will do anything enhance her appearance, leading to more serious matters like bulimia. This is a problem occurring in many teenage girls and boys but the topic isn’t tackled by many soap operas. The most accurate figures we are aware of are those from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. These suggest that 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder, of which around 11% are male. These statistics gave us the opportunity to use a female actress for this scene which enhances our use of Laura Mulvey's 'Male Gaze' theory. The Male Gaze is described as the dominating audience view being male and therefore media productions contain themes and view from a heterosexual male's point of view. In our plan, I presented to my group that our over-riding target audience, keeping in mind we had set the target audience to teenagers and young adults, is heterosexual males and to think of the 'Male Gaze' theory. The piece's dark and sinister meanings behind the characters (eating disorders, abusive relationships, depression, isolation, insecurity, addiction and jealousy) was inspired from a school assembly we were given. It was about teenage struggles and health issues we must be aware of now and in the future. The numbers and statistic of teenagers with eating disorders, depression, issues with self-harm and bullying was beyond ridiculous in my eyes. As a result of this assembly, I asked my group if we could tackle issues that we are faced with now, our target audience is teenagers so why don't we raise awareness to them. We then researched all the facts and figures behind the problems we face and we finally developed a structured piece that we could follow and link with the theme of the 7 deadly sins.

Furthermore, as our original plan, lust was to be two teenage boys kissing in an alley, getting caught and setting off a story of secret homosexuality and ‘not coming out’. This is also a very common problem with not just teenagers but many people that are afraid of being gay or lesbian due to mass-homophobia and bad connotations to the word. However we were unsuccessful with finding actors for this scene so we re-arranged it to be a boy and a girl and enhance the aspect of cheating or getting caught.
2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
Our poster gives off a very dark and atmospheric sense, the absence of light and slightly violet filter creates a mysterious set to the soap opera. As we follow the concept of The 7 Deadly Sins which is more of a biblical theory, we needed the poster to match the eerie impression the trailer would make on the audience. Furthermore, on our TV listings cover, we went for more of a commercial look, eye-grabbing and colourful by making the text boxes bright red and yellow in contradistinction to the cover's other colours. It's background is a black starry night which has that element of mystery, darkness and fear. However, I think the most provoking part of the front cover is the two characters in shot centre of the page. You can see that its a man and a woman in a street but the woman looks behind her at the man these are the two tainted-lovers that feature the most gruesome part of our trailer. Jackie (the female) is seemed to be running away or looking in surprise to what's behind her which is different from her acerbic and devilish character in the trailer, however this will intrigue the audience to find out what has happens, if the roles have reversed? Did Danny deserve to die? Was it an act of self defence? Although Danny's character is portrayed quite accurately, he looks back at Jackie apathetically linking back to his 'Stud of the Street' characteristics.

I learnt that our transitions were innovative and clear as to what our intention was. the music correlated well with the timing of the piece and also the atmosphere it created. in terms of each scene for each sin being attention-grabbing, it lacked in consistency and people thought the first scene went on for too long. This enlightened me by looking back over our trailer and seeing how we could have enhanced some of the scene with other characters or more story.

Some of our effects, especially the sloth scene which had a scene in fast forward of her sitting on chairs and not moving, were highly rated by our audience, the thought it was very clever and not too hard to understand as that is what I thought they might struggle with. Lastly, we had correlating numbers throughout the trailer to number each scene, they were discretely placed in each scene that flowed almost unnoticeably from one to the other. However, the end shows a number 7 as the photograph burning on the ground, it moulds into the number, but some audience members did bot see this so they said it was not clear enough that it was the finishing number.

Here is a link to our audience feedback session- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8rScZZnNEw

In order to research, evaluate and compare other more established soap operas we used YouTube and TV's to watch them and analyse. we also watched other A level Media trailers from other student groups to form some kind of idea on what themes were being used, which were the more successful etc. Furthermore, to form and construct our piece, we used HD camera's and Adobe Premier Elements 10 to edit our film and put effects and transitions onto it. We also used a piece of music "You're the one that I want" by Lo-Fang and to avoid the copyright law, we edited the music by changing the pitch and speed to it ever so slightly so that it still had the same atmosphere that we wanted. Lastly, we used this Blog not down all of our minuted meetings, evaluation of other soap operas and to communicate with our teacher what our progress looked like.

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