Welcome to my AS Media Studies coursework blog. Here I will be showing how I am progressing with my coursework from the planning and preparation to the final evaluation. For my coursework, I have work in a group to create an opening of film which will last up to 2 minutes.
In my piece I contributed to the filming and editing of the main task.
The name of the film on the script is not yet final, it is only a tempoary name that we may or may not use. We will carry put futher research into the type of names, and what names they prefer from a short list we will draw up. Some shots have been slightly altered from the storyboard, however during our filming we will try both and see which works best in our piece.
Mostly thoughout the romantic comedies, two shots are used to show the intamacy of the characters, such as in the moodboard, show a majority of two shots. Which links to the idealolgy and target audience, as it shows blissful releationships, such as the meeting in Love Actually, this could show how the target audience would need to be quite emotional and be taken in by the emotions that are portrayed in the film, and again this means the target audience is women as men are not as likely to enjoy being taken in by emotion, however women enjoy this and as the leads are normally female it means that they are going to be able to connect with them more.
The rule of thirds in the shots that we see espeically in the mood board seem to show women being in the left third. This again shows the idealology of the pieces as it means that the women is the more powerful character in the scene as they are in the stronger position on the screen, as they are first to be seen because they are on the left. This then again shows the target audience to be female as they are again showing an idealistic view of a womans life, and this would be enjoyed more by a female audience of all ages.
Looking at Love Actually, I can see that the editing is imporant for creating pace. The shots are fairly fast we just see the moment that they run to each other and embrace, this then cut to the next shot of another embrace. This means that the emotion continues and builds aswell.
The music in most of the pieces that we watched were romantic. Such as 'Love Is All Around Me'. This song was originally aimed at women as it is romantic, so therefore using it with the love scenes means that it will be aimed at women.
Mise en Scene:
The scenery that we found in all the pieces we found in the moodboard were very modern and stylish, this has connotations of a rich life. This would be attractive to both men and women however the style side of the scenery may be more attractive to women.
As I mentioned before the representation of women in all the romantic comedies are strong characters who are more powerful then men. Such as in 'Over My Dead Body' the main women is shown to be very strong and demanding. This means that women are very pokey to be the target audience of the film as it shows an idealic lifestyle.
Both openings idealology is based around how love is brings great things, in Over Her Head Body the image is of a very grand wedding with palm tree, and huge fields. In Love Actually this idealistic view of love is continued as the narrator describes how he thinks "love is everywhere often its not particularly dignified or newsworthy but its always there." This shows to us something that we really need to make sure we include and this is the ideal view of love, which is that it can conquer anything, even over vast distances, even if that is great and maybe even unrealistic. This was something else that we had noticed though out the pieces that we saw that they all presented very farcicle narrative not just in the opening but thoughout the film. This could again show us the target audience for a fairly older audience as the scenes that are shown would not be relevant to a younger audience, for example the marridge in 'Over My Dead Body' the humor from that would got be relevant to younger women, then to grown women that maybe are already married.
The camera movements in the opening of Over My Dead show the size of the wedding though the use of pans and tilts. This shows the scale of the event that the women is organising. The big wedding shows to the audience the lifestyle that the man and women must leadl, so due to the size and scale of the wedding it would mean that they are either middle or high class. This is something that we gathered from looking at our mood board also. This then suggests that the use of a middle class couple would mean it is open for any demographic to enjoy, as the middle and higher class can releate to what is going on, when for the working classes this would be a sort of fantasy wedding that they could only dream of. Clearly from the narritve that is shown seeing the set up for a wedding, the film is clearly to do with Romance, however there is nothing really to suggest that the opening
Towards the end of the opening, when we first see the women who is orgnaising the wedding, the rule of third is used. She is standing in the left of the screen which is the most power point on the screen as it is the first thing we see on screen. This shows the ideology of the piece, as it shows a woman in charge of a big event, who is going around giving orders to people, mostly men. This is an idealic situation for women, and therefore shows to the us that the film is aimed at women, as it puts them in a high status position, which is not something you normally see in other genres of film.
The editing of the opening is like a montage, however it is not as fast paced. This is done for a reason though, becuase it shows how the preparation is calm and organised, which then shows to us as an audience that the woman who is organising the wedding is doing a very good job at it, as everything seems to be working effortlessly.
The editing of the opening scene is very closely linked with the music that is used in the scene. As the shots go in time with the music. This suggests that everything is going well as it is keeping in time. I will talk about the sound and music that is used in the piece in more detail next.
The song "Mas Que Nada" by The Black Eyed Peas is underscoring the opening of "Over Her Dead Body". There are various translations for the title of the song, however the one that seems most relevant to the piece is "What a Nuisance". Which is quite funny when thought about, since the montage is made up of the waiters and waitresses setting up the wedding very preciesly. Also the song is quite up beat which gives the montage enegry and links everything that is going on.
The music is modern, eventhough it is a cover version of an song originally realased in 1966, but using a cover verison of the orginial song suggests that the target audience is quite young maybe in their 20s-30s, since they may not have heard the original, but would have known this song, especially as the Black Eyed Peas are a band who are most popular with teenagers up to 20 or 30 year olds.
Mise En Scene
The mise en scene in this scene helps to build the picture of a very glamorous wedding. The props and scencery are made up of while and silver. Which creates the image of a very grand wedding. Also, the location where the wedding is taking place, shows that the wedding is not coming cheap as the Establishing Wide Shot of the plam trees and sea suggests, it is in a very up market and dreamy location. This again, as we've seen before, shows fantasy, and something that, in the most part, they would never be able to afford. I think that this is more aimed at women, as they known for wanting big grand weddings, when men are normally not as bothered about where the wedding takes place. So seeing a very extravagant wedding such as this, would make the women in the audience fantasise about being in the position.
The costume that the woman who is in charge is wearing bright yellow. This greatly contrasts to the waiters who are all wearing black and white. This again shows how she has power over what is happening, but also the dress seems quite expensive which again shows this fantasy world, of the rich shows the target audience to be female, because women would be able to fantasise about being in that woman's position.
The titles that are used in the opening suggest again a very lavish and expensive film, as the typeface is very elegant handwriting, which could have connotations of a wedding invitiation. This shows how the film is very elegant, and becuase the writing is very neat, and could be called feminine, it does suggest again that the target audience is women, as well as this is could suggest that the target audience is an older women, due to their hand wiriting normally being more elegant, that what a younger person has.
The representation of women in this scene is very postative, which the woman in the yellow dress, is in charge of what is going on, and becuase of the camera composition, with her being on the left of the screen, the audience are more likey to connect and follow her as she is the first person we read when we watch the shot, as well as her standing out from everyone else becuase of the colour dress she is wearing. The representation could show that the target audience is female, however, it could also be male if they have gotten married. They would know about how the wife-to-be normally takes over the organisation of the wedding, and wants to make sure everything is perfect. This is shown in 'Over My Dead Body' by the diagloge exchange between the women in the dress and the waitress, where she explains exactly and in great detail how she wants a very simple take to work in a way that is overly complication.
The genre of the piece I feel is established again in two separate parts we first see the romance, with the wedding all being set up and being transformed in an even more beautiful and fantasy like place. However when we see the women in the yellow dress and dialoge is exchanged between her and the waitress, this also establishes the genre as a comedy. Which then makes the more precise 'romantic comedy' genre.
The ideology is this opening scene, is based around the rich and famous, with this amazing fantasty open air wedding, in a blissful location over looking the sea. It shows a fairytale wedding, which a stereotypical women supposedly dreams about having. So therefore this ideal could be linked target audience, and it shows how it could be both young and older women, but then linking the mise en scene, such as the decor and props, it would most likey be a more mature women, as the design taste seems a lot more mature as it is more basic and proper.
In the opening of 'Love Actually' we see a montage of footage of people at an arrivals gate at an airport. The shots are either two shot, or wide shots to be able to see the group of people and all their expressions when they met the person who is arriving back. Using two shots captures the intimacy of the scene, and shows the love between the characters. This also suggests the genre of the piece being a romantic film.
In the recording studio the use of shot/reverse shot, shows the humor of the scene, us being able to see the reactions of the producers, which shows their attitude towards the song. The type of MTV edit, with the use of a crane shot as well as a side on close up of the mans face, which to me resembles a music video, in the opening as well again adds to the humor, with a MTV edit normally having connotations of a young fresh band, however when we see the artist being the age he is, it does again add to the humor of the scene. This then suggests the genre of comedy.
When the audience put both of these together, they would be able to establish the genre as a romantic comedy. Also, we noticed how they use opposites, when the film cuts from a very idealic attitude of love, which conquers all to a man using derogatory language to describe the love song he is singing.
In the montage we found that they most of the people who enter are women, and they are normally entering on screen from the left, which is the strongest part of the screen. This shows who the piece is aimed at as the women is shown to be the stronger character as they are in a stronger part of the screen. This also suggests how the man is seen as the more sensitive person in the relationship as they are waiting for the woman to arrive back. Which again shows an idyllic situation for women, as it seems they have a better life then the men as they are arriving back, this could be from business or holiday, but either way they are doing more then the men are doing.
Cross dissolves are used with in the montage this creates a more blissful scene as it is calm and also juxtaposes the action on screen which seems quite emotional. The shots are also quick, this builds the emotion with in the scene. This could suggest how the target audience is women who enjoy the trill of feeling another person's emotions. Which is not normally shown by men, as men are not normally taken in by the emotion of a film, they are normally there to see action, the complexity of the emotions in the scene show how the film is aimed at women.
Music underscores montage is calming with slow pace, which again juxtaposes the scene, for reasons which I mentioned before. The voice over of man, explaining how the feeling of love conquers all. This is a very idyllic view of love, as show the ideology of the piece, as that love, no matter what, will always win. This would again be related to women, and because the man's voice is older, more mature women. I think this is because women would be more likely to enjoy hearing a man's view about love, then another man would.
The music in the recording studio again juxtaposes with the action in that scene, as the song is about love, however the men in the scene seem to not take it seriously and call it by a profanity, and saying 'solid gold' meaning that they are more concerned about the money. This represented men negatively as they are being show to be people who concern more about money then love, which would alienate men, and therefore they are not very likely to be the target audience.
The genre of the piece is established in two parts the first is Hugh Grant's character's view about love and how it conquers all, which is juxtaposed with the comedy of the man singing 'Love Is All Around Me'. This juxtaposition suggests the genre of a Romantic Comedy, as from looking at our mood board we see a lot of opposites, and this sudden change from romance to comedy, again is humorous. This however shows that the target audience is older, as children and even teenagers may be unable to understand the feeling of a person coming back on a plane and meeting the person they love, and as well they may not have experienced true love, which is what Hugh Grant is describing.
Men are represented both negatively and positively in this opening, with at first showing a man's idyllic view of love and then seeing a man calling a love song a derogatory word. This however does really suggest that the target audience is women, as it is going against a normal man's view on love, at the beginning and almost sounding like what a woman would want to hear.
I will look at already existing examples of romantic comedies, and analyise them using 'MIGRAINE' to see if I would be able to identify any conventions in them which would be essential for me to put into my opening. As well as this, looking at examples of work that has been realised would give me more ideas on how to structure my own opening.
My questionnaire does have quite a few limiations, this is mostly the closed the questions that I have used meaning that I may not get a true image of what the people I ask are thinking.
If I were to redo my questionnaire I would include more questions where the audience are able to leave their own opinion as an answer so I can get a more personalised view of the audience's expectations and tastes.
These are the results to my questionnaire that I asked, aswell as the analysis of the results.
From the quantitative results that I have gained I have learnt a lot about what I need to include to make sure the romantic comedy opening meets the audience’s expectations and tastes. Firstly, the question ‘As a viewer, what normally gives away a romantic comedy?” 12 out of 32 people said that the characters gave away the genre. Therefore I need to make sure that I use characters that are found in romantic comedies, so that the audience can easily relate to them, however looking at the research I have carried out it seems that the characters in a romantic comedy seem to be reconisable due to their lavish lifestyle, so this could tell us that the audience enjoy watching those who are better off then them.
The question about what the audience’s taste of music in terms of a romantic comedy will also helps me into choosing the soundtrack of the opening. With ‘contemporary’ music turning out to be the most popular result, meaning that I should use chart songs in my piece, this shows us how contempoary music has a wide appeal and therefore they will be able to connect with the music more so than if we were to choose somethign that would require further reading into. Contempoary music serves it meaning on a plate if it were, and so it is easy for the audience to understand it. We can also connect this to the general audience of the piece, as they would the film to be simple, which maybe does need to be interpreted to be understood, but for the piece to have a simple narrative structure.
We found that the audience expects to be introduced to the main characters in the opening of a romantic comedy. This shows us how prehaps the audience wants to be able to become attached to a certian character from the start of the piece, and therefore it is important to create this atachment early on, which is something that we must focus on in the making of our opening. “WHAT TYPE OF CHARACTERS DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE IN A ROMANTIC COMEDY?” ‘Quirky’ ‘Goofy’ ‘Sensitive’ ‘Hopeless’
These are the words that people used to describe the type of man that they expect to see in a romantic comedy, therefore in our film opening we need to make sure these character traits are shown to the audience. This shows how the audience want to see men represented, it also shows us how women who watch the romantic comedy think of men or even their idea of a perfect man, which is an idea which normally comes across near the end of a romantic comedy.
‘Working’ ‘Calm’ ‘Capable’
These are all words the people used to describe the main women they expect to see in a romantic comedy, this shows to me that the women in the opening of my film will need to be a strong character, and it also means that we need to represent women positively in the opening of our film.
When these are put together we see how we need to represented the releationship of a man and a women, the audience seem to want to see the woman in charge. This suggests to us that women go to see romantic comedies, to see an idealic situation for them when they are in control, in what seems to be a ype of matriarchal society. Romantic comedies could therefore be seen as an escape for the audience from the inequality of the real world.
My name is Marc Walsh, I am 17 years old. I am in Year 12 at Nicholas Breakspear Cathoic Sports College in St. Albans. Where I am studying towards my AS Levels in Media Studies, Theatre Studies, English Litrature and IT.