Constructing an opening sequence to a film based on the thriller genre that was no longer than 2 minutes long
In AS level production our chosen brief was to construct an opening sequence to a film based on the thriller genre that was no longer than 2 minutes long. This already differs to the brief chosen in A level as I chose to produce a music video based on the genre of my choice. A music video differs greatly to a film as I am concentrating on a completely different text within media. Different acknowledgement had to be considered when filming as a video uses different codes and conventions to a film.
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The first stage of planning was to discuss exactly what we, as a group, wanted to achieve throughout the filming of the music video. This was done through producing a brainstorm on what genre there was to consider. We researched many genres and music videos ranging from the hip-hop genre of Eminem and 50 Cent; to the rock’ n ‘roll of Metallica. We wanted to find something that appealed to the target audience chosen. (See Planning Page 9. ) We decided upon producing a video based on a song from “The Streets”. This song and video would appeal to a teenage to late 20’s audience mainly based in the C2, D, E sector.
This means we would need a ‘chav’ look for our main character as the rap industry mainly appeals to youths that come in the category of ‘young hooligans. ‘ To do this we had to research rap videos that appealed to this target audience. The rap videos that we researched were ‘The Streets’ – ‘Fit but you know it! ‘ and ‘Dry your eyes;’ Both showing similarities. ‘Dry your eyes’ is mainly concentrated on one man and his dog. This creates well known saying of “a mans best friend”. The main theme to the video is a man dictating his story of how his ex-girlfriend left him.
There are often many close-ups and still camera shots to allow the man to rap into the camera. ‘Fit but you know it’ is a linear structured video to allowing the audience to see a man reminiscing on his holiday through the man talking and past photos of the holiday coming to life. After researching different videos we decide that we needed a better knowledge of the rap/hip-hop genre to fully understand how we can make the video appealing to the modern youth culture. We felt pivotal roles in the media, such as Eminem and 50 Cent affected the youth culture and we wanted to see how.
We found that Eminem was influential through the word lyrics, commenting greatly on political issues within the world and especially America. 50 Cent concentrates mainly on the music to attract his audience. We wanted to follow in Eminem’s footsteps and create a song based on a social or political problem in the UK that we all believed in. Because of this we found that by creating our own song we would be able to control the whole video and music. We found this too difficult, however, especially with our limited technical supply. The music and singing would have to be done separately and then the video would have to synchronise with the song.
Instead of this we looked at would social issues The Streets presented in their music. In the song, “Irony of it All” we found to large social issues on alcohol and drugs. We felt strongly about the large violent affects of alcohol and also felt that in a certain quantity cannabis should be legalised for personal use. The next thing to look at was what techniques are used in a video to make it successful. In researching video’s many different valuable techniques were found. In all videos the scene or shot normally changes dependable on the beat of the music.
We also felt the streets used a number of close-ups to reveal emotions, whether sadness or happiness. The next step was to plan out the video. A storyboard was created using the song lyrics to tell the story. We decided to segment the video and create a series of scenes because there were two narratives. One narrative concentrated on the alcohol side of life and the other on the cannabis use. We decided to use the same person to be two separate characters representing the person using mise-en-scene. The person’s clothes varied from a thug figure with alcohol to a nerd figure with cannabis.
This structuralism relates to the youth culture representing how Cannabis is a widely used drug among not only thuggish youths but also intellectuals. Through using parallel action we shot simultaneous scenes from the alcohol to the cannabis. This allowed the audience to see equal sides to the political issues and see who would win the argument in the end. We used a can of Carling to signify the use of alcohol and uses herbs that looked like skunk to reveal the use of cannabis. This allowed us to make it obvious to the audience what it was the characters were taking.
We also managed to use some editing techniques during the video to enhance meaning. Because one of the characters was ‘stoned’ he would have been looking at the world in a hazy manor so we paned the camera in a cyclical motion toward the character. After our final edit we were left with our video which was approximately 2 and a half minutes long Part 2 We feel that this video would have been very appealing to our setr audience. I have already said that we proposed our video to appeal to a youth audience. In creating the song about drugs and alcohol we were already half way there.
The next step was to produce camera angles and editing techniques that te youth would like. The youth culture in today’s society has based a lot of its interest in artists such as Eminem or 50 Cent so the research created on these artists helped greatly. We found from there videos that they produced concentrated on their structuralism so we dedicated a lot of time to this. We found that cutting scenes only looked right if we changed camera angles depending on the beat of the song. This meant that we could change from fast cutting action scenes to slow detailed scenes.
An example for this is when the ‘drunken’ man hits a total stranger. This scene was quick in cutting to reveal a lot of action, yet when he carried on walking we held the camera on him to show detail and emotion. Location shots were also used on the house and car to make the audience feel it was reality. By showing a run down Rainham area the audience of the lower class are able to relate to the video. We also tried to incorporate many point-of-view shots as this explained to the audience what we were trying to represent. The idea of drugs would only appeal to the audience if we showed real cannabis and a real carling can.
For each of the ‘characters’ their drug was what separated themselves from one another. We clarified each character using the point-of-view shot before returning to either a mid-shot or a close-up. Close-ups were mainly used toward the end of the video where the ‘alcoholic’ and the ‘drug abuser’ come face to face. To reveal the fear of one characters emotions in comparison to the rough, angry exterior of the the other character a close-up was essential. This is due to the close-up revealing only the face and therefore the emotions were shown. In our research we found that many of the videos tried to incorporate signs.
We found that the point of view shots on the cannabis and alcohol acted as a signifier where they would signify a person’s character. Other signs were also shown. The pizza in one scene signifies the man has a common symptom of cannabis, known as, the ‘munchies’ that the youth audience would appeal to. Another signifier was the hooded coat on the alcoholic representing him as a ‘chav’. As the producer we felt that our own process model of communication was essential in representing our own ideas. We decided on what a sign signified and showed this through our knowledge of the youth society.
In our research we found that ‘The Streets’ used mainly a linear structure in their narrative. We liked this idea when segmenting the scenes as it revealed a story or event to the audience. We felt, however, that due to having two characters it would be more beneficial to incorporate a a partallel action narrative. This is because after each scene/verse it was a separate character, and so parallel action would build up the suspense until the two characters had their ‘showdown’. Overall I feel that this video, based on post-modernism attracted the audience greatly.
This is mainly due to its audience appeal. The youth culture is growing greatly in its drink binges and drug abuse so by rebelling against the system with the youth culture we would attract a great deal of viewers and buyers. Part 3 Our video has the ability to compare to many videos successfully already produced ranging from the rap genre to the hardcore hip-hop. Although video’s like ‘In da Club’ and ‘So u wanna be a rap superstar’ concentrate mainly on the ethnic origin of black Americans we concentrated on the youth society of the Whites in England.
There are political issues that we also relate to, such as racism, where it can be said that the alcoholic is racist as he picks on an Asian man. These political issues or not supported in the video as the audience should end up hating the alcoholic because of his violent temper. We relate our video to many of The Streets own videos as it does produce a story narrative and we do use humorous techniques such as the use of my bum in one scene. This allows the audience to have a humorous escape whilst also being presented with serious social and political views. We feel that our video would be shown on many of the Sky/Telewest music channels.
Channels such as MTV Base and the U Channel will be in common use because these channels have a reputation for producing and viewing videos that consist of rap. It is not only music videos where my music video would appear. There are many other places that my video can be seen. Some artist often promote there videos on Talk Shows and there they often play live. This would promote the video to allow a specific audience to see it. I may also put an advert on T. V. Most noticeably the music channel adverts as it would be music channel viewers who would be interested in my work.