Final Task- Opening Sequence- Group 4-The Witness

Final Task- Opening Sequence- Group 4-The Witness

Preliminary Task

Preliminary Task- Group 2C-You're In My Seat

Tuesday, 5 April 2011



Note To Moderator

Dear Moderator,

Thank you for taking your time to look around my blogs. It's been a long process, but i have enjoyed it fully and really hope its worth it. My group blog is linked to my individual blog, so you will be able to navigate around from one to the other. The link to the group blog is on the left hand side, with the other members of my group's blogs also there (Lewis, James and Sam). Another main link you can find there is the Main Class Blog which is our teacher's central blog , which has links to all the other student and group blogs.

On my individual blog you can find some of my individual research in theorys of opening sequences anf films, initial ideas to the brief, the final sequence evaluation questions and some reflections on the production of our final piece after i had been put into Group 4. There is also work from the preliminary task, which includes the video clip and answers to the evaluation questions.

I have also linked my finished film opening sequence and preliminary sequence at the top of my individual blog.

I hope you navigate around my blogs easily and enjoy looking all the work. I've organised all my work chronilogiaclly on my blog . I have used labels to identify my Research, Planning, Production and Evaluation that I have completed on my individual blog. We have done the same on our group blog and also labelled the posts we were individually responsible for, so for example posts that I have done say 'Philippa.'

Thank you for your time,
Philippa Dodi
Candidate Number 3205

Monday, 4 April 2011

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

The opening sequence of a film serves a number of purposes: engaging the audience, establishing characters and triggering the series of events in the narrative. Often the themes, genres and issues in the film are also established from the outset. The opening sequence, therefore takes on a particular importance in the overall narrrative structure of the film. In our opening sequence i feel we have managed to achieve all these things.

We engage our 16-25 firstly with the ambience of our young lone character (to which they can relate) 

and then secondly with our fast action element nearing the end. Much like this clip from shank has done near the start of the film, with again the lone young male character.


We tried to establish our character as best we could by giving him a big build up and allowing time for the audience to take in his ordinary clothing, the fact he is fairly young and that he is clearly up to no good.
The start of the build up 
of our main character.
Our main character being 
followed to him sitting down.

At the end of the build up
 when we start to see what 
he's up to, the emphasis is 
not not on him but what he's doing.

We also trigger the series of events for the rest of our narrative by instantly disrupting the equilibrium (with Jack seeing the two antagonists and the body), to then allow the outcome, immersion and resolution of this in the rest of the film. This is used in alot of action/thriller movies such as Eden Lake, see clip below.


Disruption of equilibrium- seeing 
the men with the dead body.

We embraced the music in our opening sequence in order to portray the genre to our audience. The Witness is an Action Thriller, and so with our running sequence we used heavy beated, exciting music, to show it is action based and also to portray the adrenaline of the chase through to the audience and made sure it had an upbeat pace.For this we used 'out on a limb' .

 We also get a clear sense of the action element at the end with the simple use of the siren, as this shows the film will involve a lot of chasing/running and also signify an almost ‘street’ and ‘gangster’ element, to engage our younger audience, as this song 'Sirens- by Dizzee Rascal' does in order to put across the street and crime portrayal which is also aimed at a young British audience to which it is very popular.

We have also used Binary opposites with the men/boys in our sequence wearing fairly dull clothes and the only female wearing a bright red top, making her stand out as the main source of the disrupted equilibrium. 
Very dull clothing 
compared to girl.

Very bright clothing 
compared to men.

Again, our antagonists are wearing dark clothes and our protagonist is wearing lighter clothes clearly apposing the two and making it clear to the audience which ones are more villainous.
Ligher clothing
him as the 
Again, dark clothing to 
hide their identity and 
make it clear they are 
the evil antagonists.

We ultimately followed Todorovs theory of equilibrium as a narrative pattern, as in this clip of ‘Lucky Number Slevin’,
by introducing our main character and protagonist Jack, in his equilibrium, although in this case pretty bleak as he is a loner, this is then disrupted by our to two antagonists who end up chasing Jack through the forest and capture him. Through the rest of the film we get to see this resolved and Jack to reach his equilibrium, if not an even better one, once again. 
Our main character in his equilibrium, smoking.

The equilibrium is disrupted.

The disruption triggers the
series of events that follows.
We have also used hints of enigma and action codes to help our narrative, for instance our main action code is our main character Jack entering the forest as this then allows the narrative to move forward with him seeing the antagonists etc. 

Right at the very start when we first see our protagonist we are graced with many enigma codes, why is he going into the forest? Why does he look so shifty? Why is he alone? And all of these are answered later on in the sequence but keep the audience gripped until they find them out. 
Our main action and enigma code:
the main character entering the forest.

Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our opening sequence and film mainly represent gender and age. 

Question 3: What kind of media institution may distribute you media product and why?

We created a production company called 'Bite The Bullet Productions', and we agreed to specialize in (mainly) British action/thriller films targeting national and international audiences, anyone who is a fan of the genre, with a backlog of relatively low budget and gritty/unusual films. 

Therefore I feel that a distributor like Revolver Entertainment would be good for us as it has a UK and USA base, to give us the international reach.

I chose Revolver Entertainment for 4 reasons: 

  1.  Revolver Entertainment is also one of the UK & Eire’s leading ‘All Rights’ distribution companies, 
  2. It has a unique approach to managing an edgy slate of Film and DVD releases 
  3.  It specializes in delivering maximum media coverage and awareness via multi-platforms- something which our youthful audience will benefit from greatly. 
  4. It has had great success with marketing and distributing/exhibiting other edgy action thrillers e.g.‘Dead Man Running’ (also an action/thriller). So we feel they would be specialized in marketing our gritty and edgy british action/thriller to an overseas audience, as it did with dead man running in 2010 being their highest ever Week 1 sales of DVD and Bluray, smashing into the new release chart at number 2 and an overall chart position of number 5.

Question 4: Who would be the audience for your media product?

Our primary target audience was originally quite broad aimed at young men (16-25) who are fans of action/thriller genres but it could also include young women too (possibly as a secondary audience) who would go along with their boyfriends and even for just the tomboy who also enjoys the genre. 

We would expect it to appeal not only nationally but internationally, but because of the wide genre and the fact our target audience isn’t very niche. 
We consider our target audience to be thrill seekers looking for suspense, who like hanging out with their friends and who can relate to our young protagonist by what clothes he wears, the problems he faces in life and the way he talks etc. 

We chose this audience within planning and production as we thought it would be an exciting to create action sequences and make our film appeal to them, despite being very similar to other films of the genre. 

Name: James

Age: 21

How often he goes to the cinema: Once a month

-Competitive and extreme sports,
-Hanging out with friends,
-Playing video games such as COD, 
-Watching action movies
- Media technologies such as the iphone

What he looks for in a film: 
- A small element of romance 

Question 5: How did you attract/address your audience?

We attracted our target audience in 6 different ways:

1)By appealing to their pleasures such as thrill seeking and adrenaline pumping activities such as sports and we tried to portray this through the chase sequences and music etc. 

2) Engaging the audience in the realism of our film, that this could potentially be happening, as it involves gang culture- like films like Kidulthood did, engaging and addressing real issues. 

3) The use of a male protagonist could also potentially attract our audience by allowing them to relate to him, and recognise his fashion styles, manner of speech etc. 

4)The overall genre appeals greatly to our target audience and by conforming to the usual expectations of the genre it will attract them, however we feel by having a slightly unconventional young protagonist it will appeal to our young target audience even more as they will be able to not only obtain the action and adrenaline but be able to relate. 
%of people who enjoy action/thriller films, under and over 25

5)Having an unlikely, almost anti-hero protagonist will keep the audience on the edge of their seats to see whether he will actually have the skill necessary to escape the clearly more experienced stronger, tougher gang members. 

6) Keeping the audience intrigued with the build up of enigma codes in our opening sequence e.g. why is he alone? why is he looking shifty? why is he entering the forest?

After seeing our audience feedback it was reassuring to see that our film had successfully appealed to young men between the ages of 15-18 this was a fraction lower then the age we had originally intended to market the film towards, however, it is still  above the age limit to what we had based the film, 15. Along with this we also noticed that some females had also enjoyed the film rating it with an average of 7/10 where as the males within the audience averaged it out at at 9/10.