Evaluation- question 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

8 May

Final edit and audience feedback

5 Feb

Today I completed my final edit of my opening sequence, I had mixed feelings on the final cut. I definitely know where the strengths and weakness’s are, but some issues were just unavoidable.

I used the same people for my audience feedback so they could tell me if my improvements were or were not successful. I didn’t ask them any direct questions this time. I had 4 categories: titles, sound, cinematography and editing, and I told them to tell me my strengths and weaknesses for each one. Again, I wanted to record the focus group for video evidence, but that wasn’t feasible.


1 Feb

This evening, I re-filmed one shot to improve the continuity. When conducting my audience research, one of my participants pointed out that at 1.30, Darcy takes a step, but the next shot is of her stood still. So I re-filmed it so it was a shot of Darcy stopping.

Below is the original shot.


31 Jan

Today’s editing firstly consisted of editing my titles and putting them together on Final Cut. I have 3 titles for my opening sequence now:

Spectrum Pictures: the font for this is simple but clearly displays the production company. The edits are quite sharp and stylish, to connote the name Spectrum.

Little House Pictures: the font is quite childlike, to represent the idea of it being “little”. Similarly with the transitions, they connote a child like movement.

The title of the film is going to be called Watched. I really struggled to come up with a name, but with some audience feedback, one of my participants came up with the name.  The font is a serif font with a sophisticated look about it. I think the font actually looks quite suspicious and daunting too. The effects put on it are supposed to look like ghosts moving along, to reflect the content of the film.

I very meticulously placed each title to fade into and out of each other in very specific order. I didn’t want any of the titles to be on the screen for too long or too short. I also wanted “Watched” to fade into the opening shot and to fairly quickly fade out, but not too quickly. I’m now really pleased with my titles.

Today I also went through all of my shots to make sure the characters don’t look directly at the camera.

I also decided on the shots that the dialogue needs to be re-filmed;

“Where are you?”

“Come on this isn’t funny”

I’m now going to experiment with the lighting of each shot. I am going to see how it looks by decending the darkness of the shot to build tension as Darcy looks for Jonny


first edit + peer assessment feedback

25 Jan

I have completed the first edit of my opening sequence. Although I know it’s not finished at all, I think it looks okay so far, there are obvious changes that I need to make, but all in good time!

We have now completed our peer assessment of each other’s opening sequences. We had to complete a grid which was sectioned into 4 categories: Titles, cinematography/editing, sound and how we introduced the content of the film, so characters, locations, the story-line and genre. Each category had subsections which we had to comment on showing the strengths and then giving a target.
The main targets I was given were mostly things that I was already aware of:

  • Add more titles to the opening sequence : I appreciate that at the moment I only have one title at the moment, the others are planned, they just need to be created
  • Edit the sound as it cuts quite abruptly: I am pleased that my peers noticed this as I was unsure whether it was that noticeable, and as it is- I will be changing it shortly

The other targets were more feedback on how I could improve my opening sequence to make it have more suspense and to make it more obvious that it is a horror film. I am aware that it doesn’t particularly look like a horror opening, but not a lot of horror’s do. But as I am an amateur film maker, I think will make adjustments to the lighting and sound to really emphasize that it’s a horror.
Some of the targets I was given have made me consider other aspects of similar appearance that could be changed. These are the changes I’m going to make or consider making:

  • See how it sounds if I add footsteps when Darcy is walking around, it could add some suspense
  • Make sure that none of the shots has the actors looking directly at the camera,
  • Re-record some of the quieter parts so it’s clearer
  • Re-film the shot of Darcy’s foot, to add continuity
  • Add titles
  • Think of a name for the film
  • Darken the lighting; to create a stronger sense of horror
  • Get rid of the beeping noises, as most people found them irrelevant
  • Try and create the sound to be as disturbing as possible; to create a strong sense of tension and suspense

I’m hoping that these improvements will make my opening sequence the best it can be.

Audience Research: Results

20 Jan

Today I conducted my audience research using a group of 8 students who are within my target audience,. I chose people that I knew well enough to help me and answer usefully, but also people I knew that would be  I decided to conduct a focus group to obtain qualitative results that would show me reasoning behind the answers and also to conduct a questionnaire to obtain quantitative data that would show me the overall opinion on the questions in hand.

I only asked a total of 5 questions, which may not seem enough, but this is simply to see whether something is more preferred or not. I chose these questions as they are the points I want to focus on, and can do something about. Things about the clothing and setting, I feel are actually appropriate, and I will find it very difficult to change them.

1. Is the story line clear?
Participants who said Yes– 8
Participants who said No– 0

2. Do you think the sound is appropriate?

Participants who said Yes– 8
Participants who said No– 0

3. Do you think the editing techniques I’ve used are appropriate and effective?
Participants who said Yes– 6
Participants who said No– 2

4. Is the pace appropriate?
Participants who said Yes– 8
Participants who said No– 0

5. Are the speech and sound clear enough?
Participants who said Yes– 3
Participants who said No– 5, Those who said no all had put “in parts, no”

I am really pleased with this feedback. Although it’s not my main source of audience research, it still bodes well for my overall research. I conducted the questionnaires before I did the focus group. I begun the focus group by asking each of the questions I asked in the questionnaire and getting them to elaborate. I had previously said that I was going to video my focus group, but due to timings, deadlines and availability of cameras I was unable to. Instead I could only make notes on what everyone had said.

My first question was simply to get them interested in the topic;

1) What did you think of my opening sequences?
The results were all positive, which was a real confidence booster. They all stated how the first opening shot was really intriguing and they wanted to watch more.  They were also impressed with my production company logo.

2)  What did you think to the sound? What are the strong points and what could be improved?

  • “The background sound is really creepy, the high pitched noises really sets me on edge”
  • “The sound isn’t too loud which makes it more tense”
  • “I really like the sound, but what does the beeping represent?” This statement made me consider the relevance of the beeping, I thought it could sound like morse-code. But with that thought, I decided to press on and ask my participants about the beeping. They were split in their decision on it; some said they liked it, others said it was confusing and didn’t seem purposeful. I think that with this feedback, it has prompted me to remove the beeping

3) What did you think to the edits? Should any be removed or changed, or should any be added?

  • “The orangey edits on the tree’s seemed quite unnecessary.  I don’t see it’s relevance, maybe think about removing it?”  I had already considered that the tree’s didn’t look quite right, but when this respondent said that, the other participants agreed. I have decided to remove the orange effects.
  • “I don’t really understand the fades in-between when the girl walks away from the trees after she says she’s going home” This feedback is difficult. I know that the fades don’t look particularly brilliant, but the sharp cuts look even worse. So, although I appreciate this comment, there isn’t much I can change about it.
  • When I asked my participants to state their opinion on the following 3 effects, they all stated they preferred having no effects. I found this interesting as I felt effects would look best, but I have now decided not to.

4) My final question was are there any additional improvements I could make?

  • The only improvement they suggested was to possibly re-film the shot where  Darcy walks across the grass, they said it was obvious that she was walking and then abruptly stopped. So I’ve asked Becky to re-shoot that particular shot, which won’t be an issue as she still has those shoes and tights, and obviously we can’t see her face or body, so it won’t effect the continuity.


Overall, I will make 3 changes that I have taken from my audience feedback:
+ Get rid of the beeping noises on the sound
+ Don’t add any effects to the opening shots
+ Re-film the shot of Darcy’s foot so she stops


I found my audience feedback very useful. It was good to hear what my target audience think about my opening sequence. They gave considered and thoughtful feedback which I really appreciate.

Editing day 8

19 Jan

Today I am creating my titles for my opening sequence. I’ve decided on a simple white font, using a a slight glow around the outside. I decided to keep the font simple as so I could have quite an interesting effect on the writing. I decided to use an effect called “Pin Glow” on my titles. I think it looks quite smooth and professional, I’m really proud of it actually.

Today I also put the final touches to my sound. During the first 3 clips, I’ve decided to put a gun shot in-between each cut as well as an effect as I feel this will emphasize and distinguish the change of perspective.

Today I have finished my first draft of my opening sequence. I’m actually feeling a bit more positive about it now. I do realise there is a lot that needs tweaking, but for now I’ll leave it how it is and let my audience researchers how I could improve it.