I am really pleased with how my review has turned out, espcially the fonts and the colour scheme. Luckily, because I used InDesign, all four columns kept equally in line, which ultimately makes it look more professional. If I were to have used Photoshop instead, I have a feeling it would have turned out alot worse.
I have finally finished my film review, writing about yourself in the third person proved to be an extremely difficult task. Whilst I was writing I realised that I had included more criticism than praise for my short film, which I figured would be inevitable because I am writing about my self and I’m evidently going to have some criticisms for my own work. I origanlly gave my film four stars in the ‘verdict’ box at the bottom, but then I realised that I was probably writing too harshly to then give it a high rating, so I lowered the verdict to three stars and included a slight bit of criticism. I ensured that the quote “a witty short film” was the one I used on my film poster from Empire magazine.
I also ensured to add in a small quip caption over the photo, as I understand that is a very conventional aspect of Empire’s persona as a magazine. I had a few witty comments in mind, mostly to do with the continous loitering the chav’s do, since it is such a common thing for a teenager to do. So I ended up going with “Surely all that loitering must get tedious boys. No? As you were then.”
I wanted to make sure my review was rather informal to adhere to Empire’s general informality and typical conventions, I wanted to make it somewhat witty and very ‘easy-reading’ for perhaps a younger target audience. The image below shows the ending to my review, I aimed to keep it very light and comical.
One large concern that I have for my review is some name confusion people may have . My brother starred as the alpha-male chav and read the script for me, obviously we have the same last name so ‘Proctor’ may refer to me but may also refer to my brother, I tried to make it clear so I mentioned the acting/voiceover/directorial skills soon afterwards to try and differenciate. I didn’t want to continously say ‘Tom Proctor’ or ‘Lucy Proctor’ as it wouldn’t really be conventional for magazines (especially Empire) to constantly state the full name, they usually just refer to them by their last name or by a nickname, it all ties in with the informality.
After making these changes I copy and pasted the entire review into Microsoft Word to ensure there were no spelling or grammatical errors which was so beneficial because InDesign doesn’t incorporate spell check into their programme, so just a simple spelling mistake could have gone completely unnoticed for me.
As my poster is more or less finished (with room for improvement) I thought I would informally ask around 10 members of my target audience simply what they think of the poster/what they think the film would be about. Plus, whether I need to move the date to the bottom left hand corner.
This is the verbal feedback that I got:
“I like the positioning of the actor’s names”
“I don’t think you need to move the date to the bottom left hand corner, it goes well with the billing block”
“The font looks very similar to that of a sci-fi film”
“I would be confused on what the film is about”
“The Mcdonald’s cup and cigarette alludes to the fact is a parody about teenagers”
I am relatively pleased with the swift verbal feedback that I got.
Should I move the date?
Around 8/10 said I should keep the date where it is, purely because it flows well with the billing block. They also didn’t seem to mind that it wasn’t symmetrical, saying that they “wouldn’t have noticed.”
Placing of the actor’s names:
I am pleased they liked the positioning of the actor’s names, particularly because on my draft I planned to place them under the title. However, as I finally got in the midst of creating it, I realised that I had some unwanted space above the title that I could fit the actor’s names perfectly in. Although this was against my plan, I was confident it would still have the right ‘look’ about it, as placing actor’s names above the title is very common in many film posters. Below you can see popular film posters with the actor’s names placed right at the top of the poster, including one from the mockumentary film ‘I’m Still Here’ that I analysed previously.
Confusion on the content of my short film:
This answer may have been a ‘one off’ because 1 of the 5 members of my target audience stated they were confused on the nature of my film, which I can understand. I did originally plan to have my actors on the front of my film poster (you can see one of my original plans below), but a conversation with my teacher made me realise that this was completely unconventional to the genre I was aiming for.
The mockumentary is a parody of the nature programme ‘Planet Earth‘, which evidently focuses on our world and the environment around us. If I were going to utilise an idea similar to this I would have to ensure my film poster linked with conventions of the genre. If ‘Planet Earth’ did have a film poster, it certainly wouldn’t have characters on it. It would use an image of the environment spoken about in the documentary. This is a DVD cover for ‘Planet Earth’, it alludes to the fact that it is factual documentary and obviously will focus on our planet.
This conversation made me realise that using an image of the location I shot most of my film on would be a far more conventional route for my film poster. However, I felt that a long shot of a typical high street/pathway/alleyway would be far too boring for a film poster, plus, I wanted to add a humourous element to allow the audience to gage that it is supposed to be a mockumentary. So, adding in a Mcdonald’s cup and a cigarette (both easily associated with today’s teenagers) would add an extra comedic element.
Here is my (more or less) finished poster. I have added in a tagline, small reviews and a ‘Virgin Media Short‘ logo. I am relatively pleased with it and the simplicity of it. However, I feel like I need to gather some audience/teacher feedback to see what they think. I shall print it out and simply ask my peers what they think the film is about/what they think of the poster in general.
I am considering moving the date down to the bottom left hand corner instead of having it on top of the billing card. Purely to make it symmetrical and perhaps make it look slightly neater, this shall be a question I ask in my audience feedback.
For the quote from ‘Empire’ I have ensured it is a quote taken from the review – to make sure they all tie in together.
After much deliberation and experimenting on Photoshop I decided to go against using the landscape test photo.
I opted for this photo instead, this was mostly due to the fact that the background in the first photo was simply too ‘busy’ and I feel that it it would turn out to be a rather amateur looking film poster.
So, I have begun the editing process on Photoshop. I was slightly concerned about this as Photoshop is not my strongest skill in media, I knew that it would take alot of time for me to get the hang of it.
Firstly, I cropped the top of my photo off. This was because I felt it was too bright and my audience would not be able to see white font over the top of it, plus I wanted the audience to see a really dark, dingy looking alleyway. As this photo was taken in the middle of the day, this unwanted light was obviously unavoidable.
Next, I darkened my background image using the ‘Burn’ tool. To make it appear exceptionally dark and abandoned, plus, it would make the McDonald’s cup and cigarette stand out even more. Below you can see the difference it makes with the ‘burn’ tool, I feel there is now a more defined ‘look’ to the poster.
Now that my photo looked as dark as I wanted it to be, I then used the ‘blur’ tool to blur out any unwanted background ‘clutter’, in order to allow my overlaying text to be more vibrant on the page, I think it gives it a more professional feel.
Now that my background image was sorted, I was ready to add the text over the top. I ensured it was the same font as the title I used in my actual short film – for aspects of continuity and so my audience can relate the two together and straight away know that these media texts are linked. I am still experimenting with Photoshop at the minute, I am currently attempting to get a more 3D effect on my film poster test, as I feel it looks slightly dull at the moment.
Here is what I have so far. I’m very pleased with the layout so far and the billing block especially. I moved the actor’s names around so they are now above the title, so I have lots of room underneath for a tagline and small quotes of reviews/star ratings.
The billing block:
For my billing block, I researched what would typically be on there and the results I got were: the production companies, director, producer, the actors/actresses, screenplay, costume designer, make up and edited by etc.
For the font I downloaded a font from dafont.com called ‘Movie Letters’ which already looks very similar to the fonts usually used for a billing block (if they were in capitals.)
Working with what I already had, I personally feel I have made my final edit miles better than my first edit. I think it looks more polished, plus, it was so beneficial getting rid of some of the more ‘dull’ parts of the script. My short is now the suggested length of 5 minutes and it flows better with the visuals.
I have finally finished and made all the changes necessary to hand in my final edit.
Firstly, I shortened a lot of my clips with the script as it was too long. I shortened the actual film to about 4 minutes and 55 seconds, making sure I got rid of perhaps the more irrelevant scenes. I added on some simple credits at the end, leaving the total at just over 5 minutes. I ensured the credits were done in the same font as my title, having an element of continuity and general appearance of my film.
Other big changes that have took place include the onscreen text I had in my first edit.
My teacher stated that these were ‘messily positioned’ for a documentary, which I agree with. I was suggested to have a black screen with the text on instead. So I have ultimately got rid of some ‘boring’ looking scenes and placed the definitions on a black screen inbetween the action. which I feel looks much better.
Here are some screenshots of the black texts.
I also added some simple, conventional credits to credit the main actors and the director, ensuring they were the same font as my title screen and film poster to add a level of continuity to these tasks.
Today I took some potential photos for my film poster. These are my items that will be in the foreground of the photo, a Mcdonald’s cup and a cigarette, as I have been told these are typical items a teenager may associate with.
I have a few photos taken in a somewhat dingy surrounding, which is what I was aiming for, however I was not happy with them.
Here is the first photo I took, it is in the same place as the test shot I took above, however just rotated the camera portrait to make it more similar to an actual film poster. I am not entirely happy with it because of the background. There is too much going on and too many different colours. This would force me to have the font at the top over the sky in black and the billing card at the bottom in white. In my opinion, it could look really untidy. Also, although I was aiming for a dingy background, I am really not keen on this one.
This was my second position for photos. Again, I am not going to use this photo because of the poor background, if the font was one colour (white) it would be seen in some parts and practically invisible against the sky. I didn’t really like the look of the pavement either, I wanted it to look really grubby. All of the photos I took in this position do not have the right angle I was going for, I was hoping for a more low angle shot.
This was my third and final position for taking photos. I liked the alleyway idea but I would perhaps have to darken the background slightly and experiment with Photoshop. As I took it with my film poster in mind, I’m confident I have left enough space for a title, tagline, star rating, billing card and actor’s/director’s names.
This was merely a test shot for my blog to portray what would be in the foreground of the shot. The more I look at it I can see it being potentially a successful film poster, although it’s landscape I think there is still enough space for all the conventional film poster items. The depth and quality of the foreground is what drew me to this image in particular, I love how you can see the smoke still rising from the cigarette. Although the focus is predominantly on the cup and the cigarette, I would most likely further blur out the slightly untidy background to allow the text to stand out more.
As I am still undecided between #3 and #4, I will perhaps have to create a mock film poster for both of them on Photoshop and see what photo is more successful.