As part of my research for my final media product, which is going to be a short film of the drama genre, I have analysed 10 drama short films, 10 website homepage and 10 magazine reviews. Analysing these 30 media texts benefitted me significantly as I received a lot of inspiration for my final video and I also learnt a lot about the generic codes and conventions.
Short film analysis
I analysed 10 dramatic short films which all explored themes that I am considering to include in my final video. I also chose to analyse all the short films that created an emotional impact on me as that is what I aim to do with my final video.
The first short film I analysed was ‘Father’, which explored the theme of parent-children as well as homelessness. This influenced me as I am going to portray a mother-daughter relationship in my short. However, the relationship in ‘Father’ portrayed the relationship in a positive way, whereas I am going to portray a negative mother-daughter relationship.
I then analysed ‘Oxymoron’ which focused on the impact that technology and social media has on us as a society. Although I am not using this idea in my final video, I really liked how this impacted me to think about my own life, even after the film ended. I also liked the beginning part of the film, where the girl is trying to focus on schoolwork but her phone keeps going off, distracting her. I liked the way audio has been used in this scene as the only sound that can be heard is of the phone going off, which is quite effective. This has influenced me to focus on my audio a lot more, in order to help create an impact on my audience, as well as keeping their attention focused on the film.
‘What’s on your mind?’ is the next short film that I analysed. This is also based on the impact that technology and social media has on society, and how it influences us to seem like our lives are perfect to others. Once again, I am not using this idea in my final video, but I really liked the editing throughout the film, therefore I decided to analyse it. I was quite surprised with the lack of dialogue, however the use of sound effects made up for it and was quite effective whilst getting its message across to the audience.
Next, I analysed ‘The Return’, which focuses on relationships, loss and accidents. I analysed this as it relates to my idea of pain, relationships and loss of loved ones. This short film presents the regrets of someone, who unintentionally caused a death, which relates to my idea of kids bullying the protagonist, which leads to her death without them realising the impact of their actions at the time. This film was extremely effective, and the make up used on the child has influenced the way I am going to present my protagonist.
Then, I analysed ‘Alone Time’, which is based on a young girl who takes some time to herself as she needs to get away from the busy city of New York. However, she has a stalker that she does not know about, until the end. I liked this short film as it kept me intrigued throughout and I was left thinking about the whole film even after it had ended, which is how I want my audience to feel when they watch my short film. Therefore, I will be using similar camera shots in order to help create the same effect.
‘Are You Living an Insta Lie’ is the next short film I analysed. This was another film based on social media and how people try to make their lives seem perfect and happy on social media, where in reality, it is the opposite. I liked this film as it made me reflect on myself and the way I use social media. I think that the editing throughout this film was of an extremely high standard and I aim to make my film of a similar standard. Although, I will not be using as many editing techniques as I will be presenting my film differently, however I definitely aim to make my audience reflect on their own lives.
I then analysed ‘Burns’, which is about a teenage girl who is struggling in high school and resorts to self harm. Eventually, she ends up in hospital as her whole body has been burnt. This film impacted me a lot emotionally, which is why it has also influenced me a lot. Self harm and depression are serious topics that aren’t openly spoken about, but they should be as creating awareness can help people who do suffer from depression and self harm as an escape. My short film is going to be quite similar to this as I am also going to explore the themes of depression and self harm, and I absolutely aim to create a similar impact on my audience.
The following film I analysed was ‘Dear Mum’, which was about a girl who wrote a suicide letter to her mother. The mother reads it and is extremely upset, but the girl then walks in. At this point, the audience feels a mixture of emotions as we are instantly connected to the film. This film gives out a positive message to the public about how important it is to share your problems, and what the impact of suicide will have on your loved ones. I really liked this film due to the message it portrays and the impact on the audience. It has influenced my short film as I will be exploring the theme of suicide and I wish to create the same impact on my audience.
I then analysed ‘Love Hurts’ which explores the theme of domestic abuse. It is quite emotional, however the film itself could have been made to a higher quality. Nevertheless, I still analysed it as I liked the message it portrayed. My short film will also include the theme of abuse, but not in a relationship. I will be using similar camera shots to create a dramatic effect.
For my final short film analysis, I analysed ‘Alone’. This short film is about a father who has lost his son and reminisces throughout. I analysed this as it explores the themes of loss and pain, which I will also be exploring. It also was quite emotional and kept me intrigued throughout. It has influenced me a lot as I will be using similar camera shots and editing techniques.
Overall, analysing these specific short films really helped me understand the common codes and conventions of drama short films, which will enable me to make my drama short film to the highest standard I possibly can. I now know which films are most effective, and I understand it is because of specific camera angles, shots and editing. Sound and mise en scene is also important as I have noticed how they have been used to create realism, which is important in a drama film. Nothing really surprised me a lot, I just learnt about what is important in a drama short.
Website homepage analysis
The majority of the website homepages that I analysed were quite simple and used dark colours. All of them were based on drama films, as I needed to know how to portray my movie through a website homepage in the most effective way.
The layout was quite simple, as there was not too much on the screen and everything was simple, clear and easy to see. The title was always larger than anything else, as it is meant to stand out more than anything else. They were all quite visual homepages which is more effective on the viewer than being more text based, as not a lot of people visit movie websites to read a lot. I have learnt that it is important to portray the film through the website’s colours and layouts, as it is supposed to be an accurate impression of the film, and may also intrigue the viewer to watch it.
Typically, dark colours are used with a hint of a more vibrant colours, such as red, purple, blue or maybe just white. This is effective as it catches the eye of the viewer which then intrigues the viewer to read anything on the page or even click a button.
Imagery is also important as it gives the viewer an insight into the film, which is why the viewer has visited the page. I think the website homepages with the larger images as a background were most effective as it instantly drew the viewer to it, as well as giving an insight into the movie.
I was not surprised by anything as the pages were what I expected as they all reflected the movies through the whole page and there was not too much information on the page, which is a good thing.
In my short film website homepage, I will aim to make it more visual than text based as I wish to reflect my film through imagery and colours. The layout will be quite simple, however I will allow my viewers to have options to learn more about the film, as it is likely for me to have a drop down bar and a menu.
Magazine Review analysis
I analysed a lot of Empire magazine reviews and I analysed some from A Guide To Fantasy magazine. From both of these magazines, I noticed the common codes and conventions to a magazine review.
On some pages of the magazines, a whole A4 page was dedicated to a movie, sometimes a double A4 page was dedicated and sometimes one A4 page was divided into three sections. I noticed that this depended on the movie and how well it did. Typically, the movies that received 4/5 or 5/5 stars had a single or double A4 page, whereas movies that that received 3 or less stars were split into three sections. However, this was not always the case. The review was also generally written in columns, which I was expecting from a review. Nevertheless, I was surprised that some reviews were not written in columns, however this was rare.
With every single movie review was an image. The size varied depending on the amount of space allocated to the review, however they were generally quite large. I was not shocked at this and actually influenced me as I am sure I am going to have quite a large image with my review. I also noticed that every image seemed to be a screenshot from the movies, which means I will do the same as I want to follow the codes and conventions of a movie review.
The background for every review was plain white, with black text. The title was always bolder and bigger than the other text as it is meant to stand out. Credits to the director is also typically to be seen under the title, alongside the star rating. However, I analysed a lot from Empire magazine’s July edition, which means they had a theme of including a yellow border around the edges to stand out more to the reader. I really liked this as I think it catches the reader’s eye a lot more and makes the page a lot more brighter and colourful. Therefore, I think I will include some type of coloured border myself as I want my readers to be intrigued instantly.
As I analysed each review, I realised that each write used different language and spoke about different things. There were some reviews that were extremely formal and sophisticated, whereas some were informal and used colloquial language and some were a mixture of both. Personally, I think that I will use a mixture of both as it will be professional and the readers will be able to connect with it too. I also noticed that some reviews were more factual rather than opinion based and some the complete opposite. I think the factual reviews were most effective as it allowed the reader to form their own opinion instead of just following someone else’s opinion, therefore I think I will also make mine more factual.