Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Evaluations- Q6

Q6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

A: I learned a lot about the advent of technology and its importance to a media student like me. I learned how to handle primary media equipment like camera,  lights,etc as well as   softwares like Adobe After Effects for animations along with its various plug-ins ;And also Sony Vegas for sound editing and  Adobe Premiere for movie editing. At first I decided to play with Movie Maker a bit, to see how an  amateur software  is different from the more professional packages and also as a first step towards editing.

Sound editing in a software called Garage band, then later in Audacity:

Garage Band

As far as Adobe AfterEffects goes, after experimenting with the tools and 'Effects and Presets' I finally managed to create a proper opening title for my movie and also a proper logo for my imaginary institute Delight Studios through plug-ins like AEF Flame.

I experimented with various transformation tools in Adobe AfterEffect, using Opacity, Evolution, Anchor Point with the Scaling tool as well  while trying to create the perfect opening title for my movie. At first the result was amateur like this:

Now it looks more appropriate:

So this clearly shows that I have gotten the hang of the software to quite an extent. Also I edited and transformed my logo using AfterEffect:

Also, I managed to edit the audio for my movie using a software to make sound called 'Garage band' and 'Audacity'. And learned how to use the software effectively to combine sound effects along with soundtracks to ensure that they function together in sync. I then used the edited soundtracks and effects for my movie while editing the whole thing on Premiere.

Coming to handling equipment, I had a hard time handling my handycam. It took me a lot of time and practice to shoot scenes steadily, and ensure that the camera movement could give meaning to the shots.
for practice to enhance my camera movement and angles.

Here is the movie shot entirely in POV(this is not my final task):

Also I shot a movie practicing conventional camera angles to enhance my skills as a cameraman (This is not my final task):

I managed to become more effective in editing after practicing shooting and here is the result, my final task:

I also learnt about different types of movie formats like wmv and mpg which I then applied to my final task for good results. Since uploading a mpg file YouTube for easy posting on my Blog was impossible since it took a lot of time, I uploaded my movie in wmv format and lowered its quality a bit to make it smaller for easy uploading on YouTube. Thankfully, the quality didn't drop much.  My final opening title is originally in mpg format:

Initially the only software I was familiar with was Movie Maker, due to which my preliminary video turned out to have natural lighting (sunlight mainly) while I used artificial lighting when making my final opening title. And I didn't know much about sound editing, which I later learnt about in school during Media classes.

However, the Internet helped me a lot with my practical work. When designing my logo, I browsed tutorials on YouTube for AfterEffect animations, and did the same when figuring how to effectively animate my opening title 'Sweeping Tides'. And I was able to get responses and suggestions through Facebook, as I easily uploaded my video and responded to the suggestions the viewers gave on it. Also, I was able to discuss problems I was facing in practical work on Facebook with my media colleagues on a private group we had created for ourselves.

Also I learnt using PowerPoint to give visual and auditory presentations as I did when recording my Mohatta Palace trip while searching for ideas to be inspired by for my final opening title. I used YouTube for easy upload of my videos to then simply embed the links and quickly post on my blog.

Also whenever I wanted to compare my media work with others on YouTube, I was able to do so by editing the links' html in my posts. YouTube proved useful throughout my media course and the tutorials on AfterEffect and Premiere proved helpful too.

I also used Google Pictures to analyse concepts similar to mine, but taking a pictorial form. So, I admit that the Internet helped me progress technologically as a media student.

Therefore I learned that technology makes the life of a media student easier. With softwares to help in editing like Premiere, a media student like myself can easily learn professional editing on it along with the aid of Premiere tutorials on YouTube. Also, with the help of softwares like AfterEffect, animation is made really easy. Sound editing is also easy on softwares like Sony Vegas. So, if these softwares are used efficiently, it can really help in making effective media product

Evaluations- Q5

Q5: How did you attract or address  your audience?
Background signifying the creative mind of  the protagonist.

A: I think that the peaceful beginning addresses my audience well enough, bringing a sense of drama and enigma as to what the story is going to be, bringing the audience into the mind of the character and bringing his dreams to the surface along with his primary concerns and problems firstly to ensure that the audience manages to connect with the character.Also the mood is well defined during the shots signifying Ali since I've used a deeply noticeable soundtrack which has an intense effect and makes it clear enough to the audience that he is concocting something creative. The audience will find his room interesting because I've put a pencil box near his bedside to signify that. The POV shot showing him drawing his brothers and himself is interesting and instantly gives the audience an idea as to how his innocent mind works.
POV shot to connect audience with individual's mind

The actor choice will also instantly attract and address the audience because by looking at the young child, the audience can pity his innocence and playful nature. And even by looking at the brothers, they can empathize or end up hating their emotion-less and rude attitudes. Appearances help the audience understand the characters' nature more easily in movies.
Ali- a sweet innocent looking boy
John- An emotion-less macho looking guy


Ouni- A lazy looking boy, wasting time in front of a TV

An important attraction of my movie are the soundtracks which effectively hint at the mood of the protagonist and the situation he is in. For example, when he is drawing, the soundtrack is intense and makes it clear that he is thinking heavily while drawing his brothers and himself.  Then when he gets up to roam around in the house and vainly try to get his brothers' attention, the soundtrack becomes a bit sad as his brothers simply ignore him and makes the audience understand the situation easily.

The sound effects also have an interesting effect on the audience. For example the effect of the door slamming heavily when John shuts the door of his room smirking that he managed to rid himself by his rather pestilential brother (since he considers Ali a pest).

Also, the slow-paced shots in the beginning also manage to connect with the audience as they help them understand the state of mind of the individual properly.

Another main attraction is the logo I've used to show the imaginary institute (Delight Studios) which will distribute my film. The logo looks different and stands out, showing that it is indeed unique. The sound effects accompanying the logo also attract the audience as they give a dramatic sense and making it clear that the institute aims to distribute movies which are intense and dramatic, helping the targeted audience generate expectations from the institute instantaneously.

Imaginary Institute Logo

However, the most important attraction of my movie is the animated opening title 'Brothers' which is shown in an inky black sky and also tells the audience that Ali is thinking about his strained relationship with his brothers and trying to reason as to why they despise him so much..

Attractive opening title

Evaluations- Q4

Q4: Who would be the audience for your product?

A: With the main genre being Drama, I can assuredly say that my movie appeal to a much wider audience. To make it clearer what types of audiences will like my movie and how they wil lrespond to it, I have analysed them in terms of the following categories based on their age, gender, financial status, interest and hobbies and demographics:

Age: I have made it clear that my movie will appeal to teenagers and most probably young adults, if not all. So, I can agree to set an age limit of 13 and above.Since the movie will try to be more reality-oriented, there will be parts in which the protagonist will suffer brutality at the hands of his oppressors (in this case being his brothers). Also, the psychological content of my movie takes a more 'mature' turn which will definitely not appeal to audiences below the age 13 as they will not be able to comprehend the gravity of critical situations  an alienated young brother faces alone , and the aftermath of such life-shattering situations.

Drillbit Taylor (2008-Paramount Studios) was PG-13 and revolved around school life and bullies. Primarily, it had Comedy as a main genre, but had Drama as a sub-genre too. The reason it was made PG 13 was because a person below the appropriate age wouldn't be able to grasp the psychological significance of that film. And there were scenes in which the main characters(three high school victims) suffered violence at the hands of their oppressors(bullies). In my movie similarly there will be such scenes and only an audience above the age of 13 will understand the magnitude of such situations being either familiar or aware of such moments in life.

Gender: The target audience will consist of mainly males as my protagonist belongs to that gender. The Karate Kid(2010- Columbia Pictures) also followed this convention. In the movie, 10 year old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) had a hard time adjusting to his new school in China where he was also abused by bullies of his own age who even used violent means to annoy and scare him. This had a drastic effect on him and at times caused him to hate his life.

Conventionally, boys are more violent and aggressive when compared to girls, who are considered usually soft and tender hearted. Even in the Karate Kid, the protagonist was beat up by BOYS not GIRLS. And out of the many characters who did feel sympathy for him in that move was an adorable girl Mei Ying whom Dre develops a crush on. Therefore boys will be able to understand the movie more fully as their lives are considerably more 'grim' as compared to the fairytale world in which girls usually live in. Girls are able to sympathize with boys possessing qualities considered feminine like gentleness and empathy.

There have been movies like Mean girls (2004-Paramount Pictures) in which girls have been shown more aggressive. However it should be noted that this movie had comedy as a main genre, and though it concentrated on critical social issues, I am not referring to teenagers above 15 in this movie and I am not limiting my movie on purely Western ideology. I will therefore take Karate Kid (2010- Columbia Pictures)  to prove that not all cultures (especially South Asian) believe that girls are more pre-disposed to violence than boys.

Females might like my movie as it revolves around Social problems and my character will have interactions later with some girl to discuss problems he faces at home (his brothers being mean to him, ignoring him, etc). Dre Parker in the Karate Kid does with his so crush Mei Ying. So, perhaps the softer parts of the movie might make an impact on girls as well.

Financial Status:  Since the movie revolves around the life of a slightly upper class boy,  it will appeal to young adults who are strictly middle-class and have gone through a similar school life. However, since the movie is mainly about young children and teenagers, my audience will most definitely be dominated by teenagers who are unemployed for the time being, but might be employed since they are gaining an education and are thus capable enough to work if given a chance too. All the hopes and aspirations a young boy have been put into the character of the protagonist and therefore I am certain that these teenagers will be able to understand the movie as such type of movies are watched by teenagers too, making them mainstream. Boys who are currently gaining an education in schools or colleges will like this movie as it strictly relates to a rather typical school life. So in short I am certain that students will appreciate the content of this movie more than young adults.

Interests/Hobbies: People who are interested in movies revolving around social-related issues will enjoy my movie since the story revolved around social problems like lack of support from siblings.

I think my movie might also appeal to first-world audiences even though it has been made by  a South Asian Pakistani student (me) because movies like Slumdog Millionaire were also enjoyed internationally.

Also, people who are interested in books on people with social impairments like the book 'Daniel isn't talking' by Marti Leimbach will also find my movie interesting as the protagonist of my story will have some social impairment issues and will at times be rendered as incapable to become one with the society, which is quite normal for many boys at similar critical stages in life.

Demographics: The target audience will be representative as it will consist of people of varying age. Young Boys have been stereotyped in this movie and will appeal to teenagers from different cultural backgrounds since the movie is broad-minded in its approach. Adults who find such psychological movies interesting will also be from various backgrounds as the issue of social impairments is global. The audience addressed is global, and is not restricted to South Asian audiences as the movie will concentrate on social issues same all around the world,