Evaluation Draft

April 18, 2010

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

In television drama technical forms and conventions are used by the director to structure the specific text. The forms and conventions for a children’s TV drama are often ‘fairy tale ‘or unrealistic situations that the characters find themselves in. The codes and conventions may slightly differ for a children’s TV school drama. If you use the example of Hannah Montana, we see a ‘normal’ school girl going about her day to day school activities, who then also doubles up as a famous pop singer by night. This is an unrealistic situation that your average school child would not find themselves in.  Hannah Montana clearly uses the forms and conventions of your typical high school drama TV series by displaying school children in unrealistic or ‘fairy tale’ situations. As we can see from this clip (Hannah Montana, Series 1, Episode 1), a young school girl doing her studies, suddenly doubles up as a famous pop singer at night.   

However, unlike ‘Hannah Montana’ that uses the forms and conventions of your typical school drama, our product challenges them. We have decided to use real life school situations, such as bullying, shown n a light comedy way, but with the serious message that bullying is bad. This allows our target audience to relate to what they are watching, have a laugh, but also see the serious side of real life school situations. I have decided to not use make belief, ‘fairy tale’ situation in my product as I feel this may give young children false expectations of what school is really like, or further more they may try imitate one of the impossible situations.

In our product we use stock characters but all with their own individual stereotype. I have used six different stereotypes that consist of: The Jock, The Teacher, The Geek, The Rich One and The Class Clown.  Each individual stereotype holds their own values and as the series grows we see their character change. We have decided to use an Ensemble cast. This is effective because there are no main characters, and everyone plays an equal part. It also gives our target audience the chance to pick their favourite character, or the one they feel they can relate to without being pressures to pick the one main character. We also use the stock setting of the school, with modern, up to date classrooms, hallways and canteens. This is essential because by using modern settings it’s easier to shown the contemporary issues discussed in each episode.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

For our ancillary tasks, we had to produce a DVD cover (front, back and spine) as well as a front cover for a magazine. I have done various research into each, that can be seen here and here. A lot of big television dramas often put a lot of time and effort into the DVD release, as this brings in a lot of revenue.  This is certainly the case for the Hannah Montana DVD, that can been seen here. I had previously discovered that nearly all of the children’s TV series that have released DVDs and magazines use a range of bright bold colours, alongside ‘snazzy’ fonts and bold images that would appeal to a younger target audience, by drawing them in and gaining their attention. We have decided to incorporate this into our magazine front cover by using a very vibrant background, with loud colours such a pink to draw in the viewer’s attention. We then used a large, bold, but clear and easy to read font (Snap ICT), to accompany the rest of the magazine. We used these vibrant styles as they appeal to the modern younger generation, and feel they would help to raise magazine sales. The DVD cover uses a modern day school building, with one of the characters dressed in school uniform to give and insight into what the setting, location and mise-en-scene is like. Magazines and DVD’s can often be appealing to young children as they may offer promotions such as free gifts. I have decided to use this style of advertising to tempt young children into buying my magazine by offering them a chance of winning a holiday to new York.

Our three productions are made to harmonise with one another via the use of images and text used throughout. We have kept the same styles of font throughout each production to keep the same effective house style. The images used in each production are different, but can all relate to one another as they are based in the same locations (School Buildings), or the characters are dressed in appropriate costumes (School Uniform).  We also use the same image of a young school girl, in each of the DVD and magazine covers.

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Organisation of Actors, Locations, Costumes and Props

April 18, 2010

Actors

After producing a large amount of permission letters to print out and hand out to various year 7 & 8 classes in the lower school we had to wait for our reply before we could choose out actors and commence filming. I decided to hand out the letters just before the half term break so that they would be handed back in and ready to film after half term. We had a large reply of permission letters with a wide variety of children wanted to star in out piece. We decided to choose six (6) actors for our opening sequence. These were two (2) main characters, one boy and one girl, to star in the opening sequence, our DVD cover, and Magazine cover. We then chose four (4) other actors to star in our opening sequencer and the background of our DVD cover. We also choose one class to be shown in our opening sequence for the first section where we shot a pan from left to right of a classroom.

Locations

After looking at all of our possible locations that i had previous studied and taken still images of (shown previous), we weighed up the Pros and Cons of each and decided to use the classroom and hallway shown below. This was mainly because the hallway is very modern and contemporary, as its clean, tidy, and uses a wide range of modern materials and colours such as glass ect.. (shown in the image below). This is effective because we would like out opening sequence to be as modern as possible and display contemporary issues in each episode relevent to school children and our target audience.

Costumes

We have decided to use the school uniforms that our actors will already be wearing. This saves us valuable time and money as we do not have to buy costumes for all of our actors, and get them ready. Before we started filming we checked that all the uniforms were modern and up to date, as well as clean and tidy so that the actors looked professional and presentable. We asked the teacher actors to wear casual clothes that they would normally teach in, and to make sure they looked smart, clean and tidy for our shoot. Finally we asked the head teacher (Mr Kibble) to wear a smart suit for the section of filming that contained him. these costumes make the opening sequence look real, modern and professional, as if it was a real school drama, filmed in a school using real school children and teachers.

Props

We did not need to use a great deal of our own props as our choice of Locations and Costumes already provided us with many of the props we needed such as tables, chairs, pens, paper, bags and all our your typical school stuff. However we did need to make sure that we had all of these props available before filming so that we did not waste time gathering items whilst shooting.