Our finished film opening sequence.

Our finished film opening sequence.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

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

Our Opening Sequence:
Our Film is Titled A Sight for Sore Eyes, and is a mockumentary focused on Toby, A boy who suffers from invisibility, and his first year away from home at university.

Our film mostly sticks to the conventional forms used in film openings in style, narrative struture, genre conventions, and general conventions of film openings:. I created a mind-map to show this:

Use Ctrl Mousewheel to zoom in and out, and drag to move.
Theorists we used when creating our sequence:

  • Todorov:
    • In terms of the classic narrative pattern the opening sequence of a film usually makes up the equilibrium at the beginning of the film, with everything relatively happy and stable before the disruption.
    • We can see this in What we do in the Shadows as the opening sequence shows the vampires living happily together before Nick comes in and disrupts their usual lives.
What we do in the Shadows Opening sequence
    • In terms of the classic narrative pattern our opening sequence represents the equilibrium at the beginning of the film. In this equilibrium Toby is happily living at home with his mum and brother.
  • Barthes:
    • Our film mostly uses enigma codes to create suspense and humor. For example The sequence starts with you knowing Toby has a genetic disease, but you don't find out hes actually invisible till a few shots later. This quick pay off creates humor as the audience expect it to be something really bad, but instead the outrageousness of it helps to create humor.

  • Propp:
    • In our film we didn't really apply Propp's character roles much, however our characters do slightly conform to the archetypes created in the character roles in some respects:
      • Toby, the Protagonist. Toby is the main character of the film, and although not particularly heroic or brave in any way throughout the film he goes on a mental journey, and learns to be more outgoing.
      • Joyce, the Helper/ Mentor. In our opening Joyce works as a mentor to her two sons, even though she doesn't focus on Kenny he still sees her as a role model.
      • Kenny, the Antagonist. Although he is not particularly a bad person Kenny's jealousy of his brother leads him to slightly bully Toby.
Joyce Lerone
Toby Lerone
Kenny Lerone

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

Our sequence:
In our opening sequence we have represented a quite stereotypical white middle-class family in the form of a single mother, and two very contrasting teenage sons. Our opening sequence also positively represents disability.

Viago from What we do in the Shadows
Toby Lerone:
  • Toby is very socially awkward, and has been home schooled his whole life.
  • For him we tried to represent him as someone who hasn't had much communication with the outside world. For inspiration for his character we looked at Viago from What we do in the Shadows.
  • To emphasize Toby's awkwardness we tried to give him very awkward dialogue in the same style as Viago.
  • Toby represents a large group of teenagers who feel that they don't really fit in, and the invisibility emphasizes this, as it helps to connect with teenagers who feel like they are invisible, and don't really have a place to fit in in society. However through the film we see Toby finding a place that he fits in to.

Kenny Lerone:
  • We chose to have Kenny's character contrast greatly with Toby's character by being very outgoing and a more self-obsessed character.
  • For Toby we wanted to represent someone that hasn't really experienced much motherly love, and tries to cover up his insecurities by acting out, as he thinks it will get people to like him. We wanted Kenny to seem really self obsessed, as he is trying to be like how he believes his mother to be. An inspiration for Kenny's character in our sequence was J.P. from Fresh Meat.

Clip of J.P. from Fresh Meat (only the first half of the clip is relevant, and please excuse the rude language).
  • We tried to create this character for Kenny by making him turn every question around to himself, and through the inter-title to show that he hardly ever stops talking about himself.
  • Kenny very much represents the stereotypical rich teenager in our sequence.

Joyce Lerone:
  • We tried to make Joyce the "fitness mum" type of character who favourtises Toby.
  • Joyce very much embodies the single-mother character, as she is very much independent and hates her ex husband. To represent these characteristics we really emphasized the fact that she is single, by showing her on Tinder, and creating comedy through her hatred for Toby's father.
  • a big influence for her character is Aunty Angela from Outnumbered. We really liked the passive aggressive new age style of Angela's character, and felt that she really connected with the character of Joyce.
Aunty Angela from Outnumbered.

  • We really wanted to show Joyce as someone who has just left a long term relationship, and is enjoying her new single life.
The Family Unit:

Our film opening contains representations of the family unit. Here is a diagram I created of common representations of the family unit in the media:
Representations of the family unit in the media.
In our sequence the representations of our family are slightly different to these as the family has a slightly different make up. In our family Joyce plays the role of the Mother and Father from classic representations by being the main "breadwinner" and being distant to one son, whilst being close with the other. Toby takes on some aspects of the role of the son by not being comfortable in social situations, however he is more awkward and nervous than standoffish. Kenny takes on aspects of the daughter and son representations as he is extremely conscious of how he looks, but also suppresses his emotions and doesn't particularly like other people much.

Another key area of representation for our sequence is disability as Toby is invisible. We hoped to positively portray disability in our sequence by showing that even tough Toby has a genetic condition that affects his life, he is still able to live a full and happy life, and is even going to university.We wanted to show that Toby's disability does affect his life, but he is able to deal with it and not feel like he is missing out much.

Toby talking about how his disability affects his family