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Film Trailer, Poster and Magazine Cover for “Run: Never Enough Time” (A2-Level Media Studies Coursework)

For my A2-Level Media Studies coursework I was tasked with producing a film trailer, poster and magazine cover design for an imaginary up-and-coming film release.  This was a group project that allowed us

We were required to document our progress by use of a Blogger account, and so the following is excerpts from certain key posts that most accurately display the thought and knowledge that went into the final pieces:

A2-Level Media Studies – Coursework Portfolio (Documentation)

The premise of our film is that a young man named Vincent started his adult life as a simple graffiti artist who begins to witness the grim underworld closely linked to his favourite pass-time.  As pressure from friends to enter a world of drugs and violences reaches its peak, our protagonist has to make a decision either to stay or to run from it.  His choice is implied, and so the film is focused around the boundaries of what good and evil is, and a mans struggle to find peace within the whisps of blurred moral boundaries.

Throughout the trailer itself a lot of typical conventions were intentionally put in place to make it as realistic as possible.  Features such as captioning the directors name as well as the actors who star in it, a backing track is included and even a voice-over by the protagonist himself.  These not only make the overall production that much more professional and believable to be a trailer, but also give great insight into the story’s plot and leaves plenty of questions left unanswered by the time the two minute mark hits.

The backing track is the instrumental version of Survival of The Fittest by Mobb Deep – a track that has not only a fitting title but a suitably paced beat that was great to couple with a voice-over.

The one aspect of our trailer that could be seen as challenging the norms of expectations is the attitude the viewer could take in respect to the protagonist.  Vinni (Carl Backland) is seen as someone who has seen the light (morally speaking) and wants out.  For this, people can sympathise and grow to like him within the realms of the narrative.  However, graffiti is his vocation.  The legal issues surrounding this activity could lead Vinni to a some what  anti-hero status.  This unclear vision as to what the protagonist stands for challenges the norms of today’s film trailers of similar genre.

Upon completion it was directly uploaded on to YouTube; as a group we created our own ‘channel’ (RunA2Media1) so that we could easily track any comments made – helpful critique or not.  Subsequently, Adam Kennedy posted the video on his Facebook wall in order to gather some immediate feedback from people we know personally.  Below are the screenshots and descriptions of both:

As an additional method of feedback our group held a short presentation of our trailer pitched to a class of younger students within our school.  Of the few who gave feedback the general consensus was that we did not make clear enough who the protagonist was within the trailer, nor was the plot explained to a sufficient level for them to grasp the general plot once the two minutes was over.

Upon review of this information we decided that this might have been a result of focusing too heavily on the technical side of things during the filming process and possibly trusting too heavily in the storyboard we drew up originally to carry the message through.  This was the most useful and honest feedback we have received regarding our trailer and so the information was greatly reflected upon.

On the other hand, my film poster showcases many conventions associated with posters belonging to films of a similar genre.  These are:

  • The film title being very clear and at the forefront of the design
  • the official age certificate given to the production
  • Whatever company had hands in the creation and marketing of the production
  • Credits situated typically at the bottom, detailing certain key people who had great influence on the film
  • the director very boldly displayed at the top of the poster

Regarding the actual creation of my film poster, I used a variety of skills and techniques in order to produce the final product.  Working on my initial draft (seen on my blog), I filled out my design using primarily simple photo filters in order to enhance the amateur photograph that I had taken.

All of features present on my design cannot be referenced to the Inception posters, however.  There are clear differences in way of the age certificate being present, the very core genre that it is conveying and even the colour of the photo filter tint does not match.  These are decisions I made as a designer in order to make my poster as close to my target audiences’ expectations as possible (using not only the 2010 questionnaire results as data, but my AS coursework questionnaire results which of course focused on magazines).

To begin with, my front cover displays plenty of features that echo mainstream magazines.  I chose Total Film to replicate in respect to the housestyle, because I believe our film would definately be the sort to appear in such a publication.  Film Four has recently pushed the urban/ street life films and Total Film I feel would very likely house the underdogs of the film industry.

The housestyle, or theme, of a typical Total Film magazine cover comprises of the following:

  • Date, Issue number and price are positioned alongside the masthead
  • The Total in Total Film is situated inside the first F
  • The colour of the masthead greatly contrasts whatever background colours are present
  • Sub-titles and puffs are usually locate exclusively on the left-hand side of the cover, meaning the main focus within photographs used are alligned to the right
  • The main title is of the same colour or contrast than that of the masthead

Film Trailer Product Evaluations on Prezi

From the trailer to the poster to the magazine cover, a constant check on unifying the overall appearance and feel of the brand that is now RUN: Never Enough Time was done to ensure that each individual product did not stray from what we as a group wanted the film to represent.

The poster and magazine cover, made in Adobe Photoshop CS2, were rigorously edited with photo filters, Levels and Curves effects in order to match the grimy, street-life feel that the story stands for.

Personally I feel the ancillary pieces of media I have created greatly capture the essence of what the film is about through the process of articulated photo editing and choice of words.  In both the poster and magazine cover there is not only the visual aspect of graffiti, but the general undertones of something darker and menacing.

Further images in relation to my Media Studies coursework can be seen within my ‘A-Level Media Studies Coursework’ Photobucket album, and as previously stated the full documentation of this work can be found on the blogger link at the top of this article.

Filed under: Digital Art, , , , ,

Magazine Design for “MACHINE” (AS-Level Media Studies Coursework)

For my AS-Level Media Studies coursework I was tasked with designing a front cover, contents page and double-page spread for an imaginary music-related magazine centred around a genre of personal choice.  We were required to document our progress by use of a Blogger account, and so the following is excerpts from certain key posts that most accurately display the thought and knowledge that went into the final pieces:

AS-Level Media Studies – Foundation Portfolio (Documentation)

  • The genre I chose was metal, and so the magazines Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and NME were naturally chosen for research (they have a similar target audience) regarding the language choices, appearance of magazine features and layouts within the front page, contents page and double-page spread.
  • My magazine was designed for those between the ages of 18-24 who were fans of the genre known as ‘metal’.
  • A few examples of bands from the genre would be In Flames, Soulfly and Machine Head.

To replicate the feel of magazines within this particular genre I had a local band Soilborne dress the way they would if they were performing in a concert. This fortunately resulted in styled clothes that perfectly fit the stereotypical ‘metal head’ look and worked to give my magazine that much more of a realistic appearance.  Photographs I took of this band were to be somehow used in each of the three magazine pages as dictated by coursework curriculum.

The below image is my final front cover design for my MACHINE magazine that focuses on the genre of metal. I decided to include such bold elements as the Future Publishing logo and slogan “The United Kingdom’s Best Selling Metal Magazine” to make the overall production feel much more ‘real’, and to further display how typical mainstream magazines use wordplay to grab the attention of their target audience.

I used valuable information gained from analysing front covers from Metal Hammer and Kerrang! magazines to accurately gauge what my target audience is looking for when it comes to aesthetics and language qualities within the realm of magazine publishing.

On the front page, I made sure my magazine title was concise, bold and of some kind of decorative font type.  I deemed the title of ‘MACHINE’ appropriate, as not only did it feature the same first letter as ‘metal’, but it seemed the kind of typical industrial word one would associate with the genre.  I also made sure that the colour scheme used was of a dark association so as to put across the relevant mood and appearance of such a genre.

The contents page was a lot easier to design; I had discovered that the typical colour scheme that was used on the front cover was not necessarily uniformed here, and so created a clean, mainly white and red colour coordination.  Throughout my analysis’ of current media pieces, I also noted that there was always a dominating image on the contents page; it breaks up the page by giving the reader something extra to look at rather than text, and also adds a lot of colour variety.  The band in the photo would also be a crucial choice, as a customer who quickly scans through the pages will notice it.

Besides Soulfly and In Flames, I created all of the band names myself; this was not only a creative process that was fun to engage in but a hyperbolic play on what I believe to be overly typical metal band names that get churned out of the music industry. I let the photograph of choice (of which I took myself) dictate the colour scheme – which is evidently shades of red, brown, black and white. I manipulated the stock image of the cityscape to follow this scheme.

The double-page spread was the final piece of magazine design I was tasked with, and I wanted to make sure it was as accurate to the real thing as possible.  As seen above, you notice the very large header which would do well at attracting anyone’s attention; this was a convention of magazine double-page spreads, as well as there being a large photo of the band along side a moderate amount of relevant text that offers the reader an insight into how the band get along and operate.

‘MACHINE’ Magazine Product Evaluation on Prezi

The above link will direct you to the final written piece of coursework.  The evaluation is intended to collate all research and design processes that I underwent throughout the AS-Level coursework assignment.  It is effectively a final report on the posts I made individually on the Blogger account.

Retrospectively there are several aspects of the overall design work that I would improve on, which are:

  • The word ‘Atheist’ is spelt incorrectly on the front cover.
  • On the front page there’s no need to repeat the word “Metalfest” in the subtext underneath it – unnecessary as the title already states the topic of information.
  • On the “Exclusives” header (front page) the top of it is fuzzy – probably the result of a resize.
  • The subtitle of “The United Kingdom’s best-selling..” on the front page would have looked better if I used a different font as it’s a) small sized text and b) not the main title.
  • The image of the two tickets looks out-of-place – not sure what I could do to improve it.
  • Missed the hyphen between the words “drive by” in the band title “Cool Face Drive By” on the front cover and contents page.
  • At the bottom left of the contents page, the 1 pixel thick border on top of the “This week only..” deal is behind the band photo but in front of the white background – should be a the forefront of both elements.
  • The thumbnail of the front cover on the contents page doesn’t align with the bottom of the “Edition” text.  Likewise, the right leg of the letter “N” intersects with the white background of the contents list.
  • The fist brush behind the introductory text on the double-page spread looks odd, and the text would probably look better if justified.

Further images in relation to my Media Studies coursework can be seen within my ‘A-Level Media Studies Coursework’ Photobucket album, and as previously stated the full documentation of this work can be found on the blogger link at the top of this article.

Filed under: Digital Art, , , , , ,

Stop-Motion Animations

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Source Map Releases

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