Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Genre vodcast exercise 25Jan2012

No matter how many openings you've looked at, you should keep refreshing your knowledge and awareness of genre conventions and viewing actual examples of how concepts such as final girl or even violence are actually handled on screen. You also need to be engaging in wider reading, and we will do an exercise on this later.

Today each of you will get a slasher DVD you haven't previously seen, and your challenge is to view the opening 25-30mins (depending on time) and take notes on how this media product uses, develops or challenges the forms and conventions of the slasher genre. As you go you will need to take notes, plus screenshots or screengrabs (stills from the film), taking care to note what each is of; in the second period today you will have an hour, in a pair, to produce a vodcast comparing these two. Details follow...

Set out at the top, as follows (you can copy/paste and edit from this post for speed):
TITLE: Slasher X
YEAR: 2012
DIRECTOR: D Burrowes
BUDGET: $4.7m
BOX OFFICE: UK: £0m [no distrib] US $6.7m
DISTRIBUTOR: UK: n/a US: Warner Bros
Add a poster or other image to right if you can find one.

And now you're ready to begin critical viewing...

You now have the rest of this period to view around the first 25-30 mins.
Take notes as you go on how this film uses, develops or challenges the forms and conventions of the slasher genre, noting aspects such as:
CHARACTER TYPES: final girl/s. qn binary opposition (eg reflects Laurie Strode type; visual appearance of BUT not virginal; uses s.qn type as; figures of authority (traditionally hopeless, reflecting teen audience); main characters teen/20s; male killer; Propp's roles
LOCATION: rural or subarban usually; isolated; confined space (characters trapped)
SOUNDTRACK: non-diegetic music - denote what kind, and why/where used; exaggerated diegetic sound at key moments
NARRATIVE: narrative enigma; false scare; killer's motivation/personality disorder; binary oppositions
EDITING: any SFX?; fast pace (older films had slower pace than today's) for youth aud; PoV shots of stalking
REPRESENTATIONS: lack of non-Caucasian characters (or killed off early); lack of disabled characters (or killed off early); sexist gender representations? (arguments on whether this is the case

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Distributors + UK releases in 2011

I've posted on this in several past posts plus a links list, but one of the things you need to consider (look at the Evaluation questions) is which company might distribute your work, and you also need to consider/evidence that there is an audience for your idea/production.
So, you need to be looking at actual past releases, their distributor, box office, critical reception, awards, DVD sales etc
There are some things to consider: films with no distributor listed presumably failed to find a distributor willing to risk money financing a marketing campaign ... as most UK film productions do in our Hollywood-dominated market.
Box office flops can be DVD hits - famously The Shawshank Redemption, but also the British eg This is England.
Its worth thinking of a US distributor as well as a (separate) UK distributor.

Use the links list to research this, with such sites as:
Wiki of 2011 films weekly list of UK releases in 2011 list recent and upcoming releases weekly release schedule