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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

EVALUATION - Question 1

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our main inspiration for Facade was the 2009 film The Stepfather. We aimed to break (and in some cases re-create) the conventions created in its opening. Below I have taken still frames of various shots from both openings to analyze and compare.

The Stepfather uses a minimalistic sans-serif all-caps title in black, which is displayed over the shot. For our thriller we used an almost completely stylistically-opposite title: it is separate and shown on a black screen in a white serif font. It is also all lower case. In comparison to The Stepfather, it is very unconventional. In addition, it makes the sudden visual contrast of the Facebook chat that suddenly appears right after more interesting.

The Stepfather's narrative begins with an exterior establishing shot. In contrast, we opted to plunge straight into interior shots of the character's bedroom. In addition, our shot is similar in composition to the second frame above from The Stepfather – we can see both characters from behind in the middle of their actions. In The Stepfather, the whole house expresses naturalistic lighting. This works in a deceptive manner to portray a homely domestic setting that contributes to making the reveal of the murdered family shocking. In Facade the lighting is warm but quite dark, with the source of light being an everyday lamp (which later contrasts with the white glare of the screen). This works in a similar fashion to The Stepfather to make the reveal of the mood board more surprising.

Everything isn't what it seems in the opening of The Stepfather, as it is soon revealed... We further set out to replicate this with the Facebook chat scene, where it becomes evident that our character is impersonating someone of the opposite sex online.

In The Stepfather, the camera pans to the left revealing various utensils. In Facade we used tilting, which conveys a similar style of movement, to show our key prop (the mood board) and allow us to follow with cuts to various close-up shots. We also incorporated a jump cut with a transition applied in between the two shots to create more pace.

We used level close-up shots of the keyboard , whilst titles ran over the narrative, both of which The Stepfather utilized too. We can also see that the camera concentrates on the main characters' hands in both shots, which draws attention to their actions (in The Stepfather: the character using hair dye and changing in his appearance; in Facade: the character typing on the keyboard).

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