Sunday, March 13, 2011

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and convention of real media products?

The genre of our movie is drama and it follows and challenges some conventions of real films of this genre. The title of our movie is "These Two" and it is about two people from an entirely different social classes. Where on is shown as being a simple person and his morning routine is slower paced, the other is shown more charismatic, dominating, and better off financially. The opening shows the beginning of the days of two different lives and as they go about their morning routine, the difference in them is made more apparent.

Story of our movie and  the characters in it.

Our movie is about two entirely different college students and about the series of events when a low class loner and a High class jock coming from schools similar to their social status and their personal preference meet on a common school. When Hammad (The first character) who is shown depressed, gloomy and  Karar (the second character) who is shown relaxed and visibly energetic.  come across each other, how their lives change with Hammad trying to fit in amongst the high class elite and the popular Karar adjusting with the middle class, and the bond they develop amongst themselves while trying to fit in.

In most of the drama movie the characters are introduced and a glimpse about their lives shown to the audience for example in the movie Boys are back, the audience gets the idea within the opening sequence that it is about a carefree man and his son. In other films some element of surprise is still kept for example "In "Imagine Me and You", a girl is shown in excitement and in anticipation and here the audience knows that she is dressing up for the occasion but the occasion itself is not made clear.

Similarly we have shown two different people dressing up simultaneously and here we have not shown for what they both are dressing up. Unlike other genres, the opening of drama sequence is not very dramatic and full off mystery.


The genre of our movie is drama and like other drama movies the opening is shown not so dramatic and very simple at the same time giving the introduction about the characters and where they currently stand in their lives. Drama movies are usually slow paced and usually true issues of the societies are represented in them. Drama movies are also shown realistic and we have adapted as much of realism as we can with the characters and their physical appearances, mise en scene etc. Like in all drama movies we we define our character in the beginning.  

Title and the font

Title of Miss Potter appearing during the sequence
Title of Boys are Back appears in the beginning of the sequence
Title of Revolutionary road appearing at the end of the sequence. 

Opening title of 'Is anybody there' appearing at the end of the
The title of most of the drama films appear during the opening sequence for example in Miss potter, An education, etc. However our title appears in the end of the sequence just like it is done in the movie 'Is anybody there?' and 'Revolutionary road'  The font, and color of the title of usual drama films are not so flashy and they go with the color theme or mise en scene of the sequence and they fade in the screen. Here we break a convention of the title by making it look flashy and transitions have been added as well.

In most of the drama films the title the only effect used is fade in and out. In opening sequence that show enigma or excitement do not usually show the name of the movie. Our opening title builds up the anticipation as well as shows the title appearing at the end with special effects.

Like some drama sequence such as 'Revolutionary road" we haven't added the names of the cast and crew.


To define an opening sequence a track plays in the beginning and fades away as the real movies starts In 'Imagine me and you' a non diegetic track plays in the background for approximately 2:04 minutes. In most of the morning sequence the starting is generally as a montage with hardly any dialogues but the shots are set to the music which tells us in short hand where the character is in his life. When the opening sequence ends, the music fades away. Similarly we have used a sound track which at first is slow and soothing but gradually builds up tempo as the video proceeds.

In most of the drama genre different sound tracks are used to depict two different moods. We showed the beginning with a slower track but than after the tempo builds up, the tempo it is maintained throughout the sequence even during the inserts of Hammad's shots when we should have changed the tempo. This has been done in the movie 'Imagine me and you' the volume and the tempo changes when an insert of the flower shop is shown. However in an opening title of 'An Education' there is an insert shown of the main character who is shown going to her school and the same sound track is being played throughout the sequence. However unlike the energetic sound track that scene is slower and depicts a low mood.

Camera work and editing

Still taken from 'Imagine me and you'
In the morning sequence we were planned on showing mirror shots of the characters as we thought this would be an interesting exercise and would go along well with the morning routine. In these mirror shots we can also define two different moods as it is done in the still on the left side. This shot is approximately of 7 seconds.

The camera work done in the shot of the first character is still and we have used tripod in taking all the shots whereas in drama movies when the mood of the movie is shown sad and gloomy, the camera movements are hand held.  In movies like 'The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' and 'Fish tank' where a character is introduced, the camera looks shaky and there is no or very less sound for example in the starting scene of 'The Eternal sunshine of the Spotless Mind, when the character wakes up, the camera moves with him keeping him within the frame and following the third grid rule. We followed the third grid rule during the Karar's shot in the bathroom where the camera pans towards him while keeping him in the middle of the frame.

We have tried with some camera movement in the second characters shot when the second character is shown waking up. However we did not used too vigorous movements as done in that film. In the first part we have merged both morning routines and we have shown match on action for 1.14 seconds. Such match on action has been shown in an opening of a  movie called 'Four weddings and a Funeral' where four people in different places are shown dressing up simultaneously.

When the second character Karar is shown getting ready in the washroom, the camera is panning closer. Such panning is done to connect the audience with the character. This panning has been done in eternal sunshine of the spotless mind between 2:13-2:18 seconds. Below is the still of that shot when the camera was panning in to the character

Another example of zooming in closer to the character is in the revolutionary road between 1:12-1:22 minute with an insert of another shot. Below is a still from revolutionary road when the camera zooms in to the character 'Frank'

Later, to emphasize on the difference between two characters, we have shown both of them getting ready in separate places on a single frame.

opening shot of 'Imagine me and you'
This still in the right is the scene when the girl looks at the alarm clock and waits for it to ring. This scene is of approximately 10 seconds and is a still shot. Similarly we have used a still show to show Hammad to switch of the alarm clock in the beginning.

In many drama films I have noticed that different filters or different color schemes are used according to the moods the sequence represents. For example in 'Imagine you and me', the video is bright and there is a lot of contrast and the morning sequence is fast and full of excitement.

However in the 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', 'Is anybody there', and 'Fish tank' the color scheme is dark and there are more shadows used to depict gloomy and melancholy mood. Even the mise en scene is bluish and dark.

Similarly we have used two different colour schemes in two different scenes to make the difference on the mood even more obvious. An example of an opening sequence that shows two different moods is 'An Education which is also about a school life and where girls are shown playing and going about their routines. In that video there is an insert of the main character who is shown going about her routine but in a slower pace than everyone else.

Two different lighting and filters on a single screen

The still from the opening scene of 'Fish Tank'. Shadows give a sense of foreboding and loneliness here.

Still from an opening sequence of revolutionary road. Dark mise en scene along with the characters expression shows how miserable the character is.
Use of shadows has been made in movies such as Fish Tank and such effect can be useful to emphasize gloominess therefore we experimented and thought of using this effect in our movie as well. Such shadows are made when placing the camera in a darker area and focusing the character standing toward the light.

Props and Costume

The costumes we have kept for both is simple and plain however the second character is shown taking time in getting ready and to emphasize that he is high class socialite he wears an expensive watch and checking his messages on two different cellphones. Where as the first character is shown buttoning up his shirt, only which shows that either he is a simple dresser or he cannot afford any fancy accessories which is typical of lower class people. He was not shown using any cellphone as well which shows that he is also a loner whereas the second character is socially active.

In the starting of the sequence we have focused on the alarm clock and on the time. In some drama movies small objects/props are focused e.g in Miss Potter glasses, paints and paint brushes are focused more throughout the sequence than the character. We applied that in the first few seconds of our film. The only focus we give on our props are when our characters dress up for their school

Settings / location

We have developed the convention of the Mise en scene of two different situations in our movie to define different moods. The first character is in a room with plain furniture's and a simple manual alarm clock whereas the Mise en scene of the second character is shown more posh and comfortable. This highlights their social status. The camera in the first shot is kept closer to Hammad therefore showing him in a small confined space whereas Karar is shown in a more spacious room when he wakes up.

The location we used was real i.i.e Arif's home. As we were representing two college boys therefore we needed a masculine room. Also to make the Hammad's room more empty and gloomy we covered the windows with blinds to give a dark effect. In Karar's shot we turned on the light of the room so that everything appears cheery and bright.

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