Progression From AS To A2

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

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

In the above sound clip, I outline my initial thoughts of how I have progressed from AS to A2.

I personally feel that I have made substantial progress from the beginning of last year to this year. I began the course with a limited knowledge of most industry standard software packages or how to correctly frame shots to create an effective media text. Not only have I gained this knowledge, but I also learnt fundamental skills such as working within a team and meeting important deadlines. My research into the noir genre this year hs given me a sophisticated understanding as to the ideological motivations behind the director’s intentions to create their films they way they do. I would have never perceived a media text in this way before, despite having taken Media Studies at GCSE. I also never obtained such a sophisticated understanding of the horror genre either in my opinion and that is hopefully a testament to my own work this year to gain a wider interpretation of the repertoire of elements in the noir genre.

Thus, I feel that the production of the three media texts and the creation of this blog has been extremely important to the way I view the media and this will be a skill I can take with me beyond my A-Levels.


How Our Group Blog Helped Us As A Group

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

At the beginning of our construction stage, I suggested to Luke and Seona that I produce a group blog detailing the progress of the production of our media texts. By having this blog we were able to regularly post updates detailing each stage of our production.

For example, this post, clearly communicated what we had produced and who was in charge of each role on the day. We also have some planning documents on there that I produced.

Therefore, producing this blog shows an understanding of how to use multiple websites such as WordPress and Weebly to produce an informed blog. Therefore, we were able to use free technology packages available to us effectively to track the progression of our piece.

Deciding on a Final Plot as a Group

As a group, Luke, Seona and I came up with a final plot for our film. We decided that Luke’s initial idea was the most plausible to make, as both my and Seona’s ideas were a little too ambitious to film in England. For example, my film was set in LA and required scenes such as mass political rallies with hundreds of extras. This is not a realistic goal for a low budget trailer like our own.

A full copy of our plot can be found below, but during our discussion we also discussed; casting, costumes, locations and what to add to the trailer. We examined the trailer for the Neo-Noir film ‘Nightcrawler‘ and found that several of the elements used in that trailer could be applied to our own. For example, I had already suggested that the opening shot of our trailer should be from the interview scene, where the main protagonist is asked why he is suitable for the job (as a journalist) and he gives an undecided charismatic response. We then proceeded to dissect the trailer and analyse the different stages it progressed through. Therefore this helped us to establish a clear and basic order of how our trailer will progress. After the interview scene, we will give a basic introduction to the main protagonist and his friend Hans, before introducing the conflict of the film (the suspicious text messages). Towards the end of the film, we will include shots such as Rosette holding the gun, but out of context, before a standout line from the main protagonist to close the trailer on with the films logo and branding.

This conversation via Facebook Messenger Audio Call lasted for around 80 minutes and gave us a much clearer idea of where our trailer is going and how we can go about producing.

Here is our agreed plot:

Present: In an alternative future, where crime is high, law enforcement has collapsed, the police are corrupt and you could get away with anything, former private detective, Frederick Haussemein, gets a job as a journalist with the cities only and ruling newspaper, The Text Graph. Rick hurries home, chuffed with his new occupation, he gets home and rushes to find his wife, realising she’s not at home, he calls her, it rings out and the message plays. He innocently waits for her in the kitchen with vodka poured out into two shot glasses. When she gets home she seems angry, Rick tells her the good news and she calms down, they celebrate the night away.
Past (flashback 5 years): A younger Rick walks into a night club in the darker part of town. He walks in looking around until he sees a woman in a black dress, e-cigarette in hand, red lipstick on her lips. She seems to command the whole club, people wait for her every move. Rick stares at her for hours, sitting alone. After a while he walks up to her, the whole club seems to stand still in shock as he does. He asks for her attention and she turns slowly, he asks to buy her a drink and she playfully agrees. They spend the night talking, the rest of the bar staring in contempt, Rick doesn’t realise.

Present: Rick heads for his first day at his new job, he walks into the large building at the centre of town. His first day goes well, he makes a friend in a colleague and equal: Hanson Ferry. Hans writes the press releases for the crime stories of the town. After the day he heads home, ensuring to get Hans’ number. He goes home and tells his wife, Rosette, who seems to have had a stressful day at work. He tells her of Hans and she seems uninterested until he mentions Hans. The second day goes by well too. After a few months, Rick is fully immersed in his new job. However, his wife seems to have had tough months at her job, of which Rick thinks is secretary of the cities only bank.

A year passes and Rick enjoys his job, he and Hans are deeper friends. On a regular day Rick receives a text from Hans, it is barely coherent but reads “Black Widow is closer than you think, escape or you’ll be stuck”. Another text comes through moments later “like me”. Freaking out Rick runs and tells Rosette, she doesn’t seem worried and shows little emotion, she tells him to calm down and to go to bed. He lies down, sure that it was nothing, laughing to himself. However he lies in bed awake, Rosette asleep next to him, he gets up and drives down to Hans’ apartment. He knocks on the door but no reply, he knocks again, harder and the door swings open a little. He steps inside and the place is ransacked, he finds drugs, unsurprised he carries on. He slowly manoeuvres through the house, until he reaches the attic. Rick finds documents and unpublished press releases of a figure named Black Widow. Rick rushes through the files, trying to find a hint of where Hanson had gone. He came across a letter, addressing himself, written by Hans. The letter stated, “Rick if you read this I am probably dead.” At this, Rick fell backwards. He continued to read “Black Widow is someone close, you have to run. Don’t go deeper, don’t get suspicious or you’ll end up like me. Leave the city.” Rick hears a crash downstairs, the door slamming shut, footsteps following the slam. Rick jumps up and looks around for a hiding spot, he heads toward the door but realises that they’ll see him if he leaves the room. He tiptoes to the closet and steps inside, holding the door shut. He hears the person traverse through the whole house until his footsteps reach the bedroom door. The huge silhouette wanders into the room hurrying and shuffling the papers, Rick catches a glimpse of the guy’s face, he recognises him but can’t place him. Heart pumping and sweating all over, he stays as still as he can. After ten minutes, the man leaves and Rick sneak out of the closet and leaves the house.

Arriving home he tries to act as nothing is wrong, Rosette knows that he’s lying, convincing him to come to bed, seducing him into comfort. They have sex and Rick lies next to her, but cannot shake his thoughts about Hans’ letter, leaving it down to drugs and insanity, he falls asleep.

The next day he heads to work. Walking in the door he senses a solemn mood. Sitting down on his block he questions everyone’s depressing tone. Mrs Stern walks up to him and tells him to go to the bosses office. Worried and scared he heads there. Upon arrival, he senses that he isn’t getting fired. His boss sits opposite him, empathy struck across his face. His boss says that he’s sorry and that he knows that they were close. Confused Rick asks what he is on about. His boss seems surprised but empathetic. He tells him of how Hanson was found in his office, hung. He had committed suicide said Rick’s boss. Rick blurted that he was murdered, his boss seems worried and tells him he can have the day off. Rick rushes out of the office, looks back and sees his boss on the phone.

Leaving the building he knows not to rush home, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone, panic and fear rising in his throat. For a while, he thinks to follow Hans’ advice and leave. He convinces himself to find out what happened to Hanson. His first approach is to go to the library. Arriving there he uses the computers there to search up “Black Widow suicide”. At first look he finds nothing, but after looking deeper he finds lists upon lists of names, people killed by the ‘Black Widow’. He is left more confused, the police report was years old, way before the police went corrupt. He continues to search and finds nothing more. He looks up and sees a dark figure in the corner of the library staring at him. He slowly gets up to leave, worrying that whoever that is, is not someone he wants to mess with. He rushes out and as a last ditch attempt heads home and grabs his old detective gear, including his personal batch of chloroform. He heads to the police station and sneaks in pretending to be a detective. The first policeman he encounters isn’t focusing and he swiftly runs up behind him holding the chloroform to his face, the body goes limp and he lets go. Knowing his time is short, he heads down the corridor looking for the  evidence room. After a few minutes, he finds it and heads in to find a computer. He sits down and begins to guess passwords, knowing it was hopeless. After using four of his five attempts, he becomes desperate and types in ‘Black Widow’. To his surprise, the computer unlocks and he is left with documents upon documents of evidence. He searches for the black widow with only a few results appearing. He clicks on the first one, learning that it is a drug cartel run by a woman, nicknamed ‘Black Widow’ because she killed her husband to take over the company. It is said she is the first woman to control a drug cartel this large in history. The door opens quickly and a gun is put to his head, turning around slowly he recognises the man as his old friend and colleague; Stan Foreman. Standing in silence they look at each other. After a few seconds Stan lowers his gun and nods towards the door, Rick understands and leaves quickly knowing his time is short.

Rick heads to the Internet accessing the darker web, in which you can access anything need. Rick searches for ‘Black Widow drug cartel’, more results and success. The results told him that they were based in his town, however, this did not surprise him. He also found something more surprising. It told him that the cartel was based in and around the bank and Text Graph, those buildings being filled with insiders. Panic struck Rick turns off the computer, just in time to hear the door creak open. Thinking it was rosette, one of the few he could trust, he rushes towards the stairwell, however looking towards the door he sees a male, muscular figure. He pulls back hiding behind the railing. The figure looked around, thoroughly checking each room. Knowing he would eventually head up the stairs, just like Rick’s earlier experience, he rushes into his office, slipping under and behind his desk, into a cupboard hole in the desk. The figure slowly moves through the house, until reaching the office, where he slowly moves in, expecting Rick. When he didn’t find anything, he begins looking harder, bending over into Rick’s view, recognising him Rick puts two and two together, knowing it was the man from earlier knowing that whoever he ism he is most likely involved with the drug cartel. Rick stays absolutely still until the male gives up his chase. However Rick is quick to move, hearing the door slam and rushing out of his hiding space, grabbing his car keys and hurrying to his car, making sure he is still not seen. Spotting the man pulling out in a black van, he begins to follow. At first, it is slow, but not long after Rick has to speed up to keep the van in sight. After a 20 minute drive, the van signals to turn, Rick holds back and does the same. Rick parks by a wall on the street the van headed down. In the distance Rick sees the van parked and heads towards there. As he gets closer he lowers his body, determined to find out the truth, determined to find proof that Hans didn’t commit suicide. Rick heads round the back of the huge building, it seemed to be behind the bank, however, Rick was unaware. He reaches a ladder and begins to climb, he reaches the roof, and tests the roof exit, it’s open. Sneaking in, he only attempts to see what he can find. However when he reaches a spot when he can see the entire warehouse. He watches the comings and goings for minutes, moving closer every now and then. After ten minutes he gets up to leave but hears something familiar. He freezes, knowing she could’ve been kidnapped, Rosette’s voice echoing against the walls, he rushes closer, still out of view of anyone. He sees her sitting in an office, strangely not tied down. He notices that everyone has left her office and that she is alone. He rushes down and barges into her office exclaiming that he is here to rescue her. She seems surprised and for the first time panicked. She tells him to leave, run, reminding him of Hans, angering him. He hears someone coming and knows that he won’t be able to slip out, instead prepares to battle his way out. However when three men bash in he knows he won’t win, so he backs up next to Rosette. They question Rosette and she stutters, knowing revealing her personal life would ruin her reputation. Rick still baffled and confused moves closer to her. Soon the office is filled with men and woman in intimating outfits. They begin to shout questions at her, demanding to know who this weakling was. Not long after that, everyone is shouting at her to kill him. Rick stands by his wife trusting her, but Rosette lays conflicted knowing not killing him will kill both of them. She turns to him, whispers that she loves him, he looks lovingly back, still dazed and trusting her. She begins to explain, about how Hans worked with them, but was an inside man for the newspaper , at first Rick didn’t believe her, but it made sense, pieced together. She explained how she was the leader before they had met she had killed her husband and taken over, hence The Black Widow, she explained how she had liked his innocent charm and had decided to keep their relationship a secret. The crowd was now unbearably loud, all shouting to kill him. She says she’s sorry. As quick as she can she whips out her gun and pulls the trigger, staring at him straight in the face as the bullet penetrates his body and he falls to the floor.