In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
While looking at our short film, it can be considered to follow conventional codes and conventions of the ‘Spiritual Tragedy’ (sub-genre Romance). While d
oing research we constructed our narrative to suit the genre of our research. Our narrative tells the story of a stereotypical teenage boy, who was content with his life and his memories but is ripped away from his reality to be placed in his own limbo state of mind/world. The narrative is stereotypical as inspired by ‘The Answers’, Isaac wakes up confused and frantic. Isaac continues to look around the room finding items from his life, allowing him to travel into his memories. Once Isaac came back from his slip from reality, he sudden goes towards the door, finally able to open it. The unanswered ending to our short film is open ended to allow our audience to provide their own ending if Isaac dies or survives.
While looking at sound, we decided that the audio would have a greater impact if there was no main dialogue/monologue. This is to focus on the visuals and narrative, beginning starts with a detached white sound noise rising in pitch until the character wakes up. After the character has woken, there is a continuous background soundtrack of a single chorus of guitar notes.
The echoing soundtrack works well throughout the short film as we left the only dialogue in the memories, slightly muffled and echoed to show the conventional dialogue within the memories only; adding to effect of seclusion in limbo world. At the beginning and end of the short film we had a heart beat highlight the limbo world and have the conventional it slowing and fading until the screen goes black. This is common within short films we researched as story line ends with the music continuing into the credits (seen within both short films; ‘The Life of Death’ and ‘The Answers’)
The premise of our narrative is the idea of Limbo and an afterlife. After doing research for short films, the common ideas were to develop the narrative immediately to fit the story line into a short time. As we only had 5 minutes to create the short film, we followed a similar process of our short film. Isaac is the generic teenage boy, who follows the narrative concept of having to overcome his obstacle of accepting his fate. This is common within short films that we’ve researched, such as
‘The Answers’ we watched as the main character, asks unanswered questions of his life which contribute to him accepting his life and the mistakes he has made, following up to the open ending of the character saying asking ‘is this the end?’ with no seen reply. We follow the same structure of Isaac needing to overcome his situation helped through the ‘triggers’ of the objects used to make memories. This then leads to the ending of the short film, which having an open ending, allows the audience to interpret it themselves.
We used a variation of shot types to portray certain emotions within ‘Isaac’, looking back over our research to see what types were used as a way to tell the n
arrative story of an afterlife world.
- Mid shots allow the audiences to see the characters and their personalities (e.g. Isaac and his girlfriend comfortable together, connotes to the audience that they’ve together for a while, as there’s the prom scene,
the Halloween scene and the sparkler scene). We got this idea from ‘The Answers’ as they show a range of romantic scenes throughout the short showing the couple together, mid shots of the both of them on the counter, close together to show the comfortability and that they’ve chosen to be close in the area around them.
- We used close ups to show the emotions from Isaac, his distress (when he yanks on the door handle). This shot type is significant for our short film as we use close ups from our first shot to our last. This is to show emotions clearly for our short time slot, portraying the emotions of Isaacs clearly. This is used within ‘The Answers’, where all the scenes within ‘Limbo’ are close ups of the male characters life, portraying each emotion as he looks along at his ‘answers’ to his personal life.
- Establishing shots were used less throughout or short, but are used to show give the audience more of an insight of what is yet to come from the narrative as there are hints within the limbo room of other objects that have yet to be seen.
- There are a couple of panning shots which was to move as the characters move, as near the end we witness Isaac running towards the door. This is to show the ending/ Isaacs rush to the end his time in Limbo.
- Using low angle shots are within our short film, as we used low angel shots and side views to show curiosity as there is low angle shots with both main characters showing curious faces. As the shots are all pan up low angle shots, we break conventional shots as there aren’t any low angle shots in the shorts films we researched and inspired our short film on.
Double page spread:
While doing research for my ancillary 2 double page spread, I found there was a common design lay out for the way the movie was presented. Most double page spreads use half the top two pages for their images and have the context underneath, leaving as much space for the image as for the writing. I wanted to continue with the white theme limbo world, using the first clip of the short within limo as my main top image within the double page spread.
I used the first clip of the double page spread as it was pleasing to see and didn’t give away any of the storyline. The complete white background makes the audience focus on the character and become more interested on the short film as the mise-en-scene created sensory pleasures for the audience.
When looking at the main reasons for our success of our short film ‘Isaac’, a large amount of it was to do with the effect of Limbo. As the majority of the main shots are within Limbo, it was priority to create an atmosphere of an unnatural world. After research we discovered other real productions share a similar technique of using one main colour (usually white or black) to portray the concept of Limbo. Using this we used a plain white room with the basic necessities to show what a plain room looks like. As well the white room, we used the ‘glory’ filter on Final Cut Pro. This created a glow around the white areas of the room, making a surreal effect on the footage.
When looking for actors, we had a unconventional character from his ethnicity, but his conventional good looing clean cut looks is common within real productions. Within all short films I have researched, all leading characters are white males. As we have cast a slightly ethnically diverse characters, we’ve developed our media conventions, widening our audience type. Isaacs clean cut look could be consider to connected to the idea of limbo, the unreal world; showing the best of his life, meaning the best representation of himself. The actress follows conventional role of the beautiful girlfriend. She is portrayed to be likeable through her girly stereotypical actions of taking pictures, having fun with him at prom and with sparklers and her creative Halloween makeup.
My poster portrays individual clips of the memories shown within my short. This has led to numerous pictures of my main character Isaac in different locations. My poster is unconventional as through my research most posters only displayed one image, focusing on one iconic moment within the production. I wanted to display all the triggers within the memories to draw the audience in with the different scenarios. As the posters design is considered a montage of the memories, I wanted to focus on only the memories, considering my double page spread is based on the theme of limbo.