2.1 Review a range of research

For this task we had to describe who we are in many different ways, the first way was to make a mood board using magazines and newspapers and picking pictures that represent ourselves. We had to pick things that represented our likes, dislikes, introduce the town we live and the kind of media that I enjoy and that has influenced the direction of my project.

Capture.PNGBlade-Runner-2-Director

(Arant, 2015)

There were specific reasons I chose the pictures for example I chose the images of the actors because they are most of my favourite and especially the film the images is from.  The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015) is about a man who gets stranded on Mars for three years.  The film has comedy elements despite the seriousness of the situation shown.  The main actor is Matt Damon, who I think visually suits the role.  The other film image is from Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner (1982).  This is a much earlier film but it also has a male lead character and is also a sci-fi-esque production.  There are also thriller elements to the film because it is a genre mix (sci-fi and noir).  I like the futuristic element of his films and showing a world no one has experienced.

In terms of dislikes, I am not keen on rom-coms in film.  I prefer action and sci-fi across different media, in films and in games too.  I have also put an image of football above that I found in the paper and used red strips to create a cross over it to show I dislike the sport.  I don’t enjoy the hype and it is a mainstream media event that I have no interest in.

The second thing we had to do was to give a brief explanation of who we are. This is similar to the mood board but goes into details about more personal and physical things. Talking about myself was surprisingly difficult to do and I struggled to think of anything to say. I just described my likes and dislikes and where I grew up.

 

The third thing was to describe what you think of another person, the video above was of another student describing me. When I described someone else it was so much easier than talking about myself. In the video above George is describing me and gives some good feedback about how I could improve my confidence to improve my work which I agree with. These are similar thoughts I have about myself and how I could get more involved in discussions and be more vocal.

https://prezi.com/rknrzywmbsk8/what-do-you-really-care-about/

 

I created a Prezi answering a few questions about the task we did this week.

 

If I was going to do these tasks again I would spend more time thinking about what I was going to talk about myself before we record and also get a better variety of magazines and newspapers to get images from for the mood board as most of the magazines I used were film related therefore so was the mood board.  So, I think that overall more preparation is needed on my part for future tasks.  

Capture

 

My four interests that I am going to look into are:

  • Cinema
  • Games
  • TV
  • Music (Movie Soundtracks)

 

One of my interests is the Cinema, the experience alone is enjoyable no matter what film you are seeing. It is a global thing as there are cinemas all over the world and they all show the most recent movies. although it is also a local thing as I go to my local cinema, Kavanagh in Herne Bay, often to support it and keep it open. It shows mainstream titles but it is a small cinema with only two screens.  I also go to View in Westwood.  The screens and cinemas are bigger and the sound quality is much better.  I don’t think cinemas were that different when they first started compared to now, but you would have to go to specialist cinemas like Curzon to watch a non-mainstream title.  The projectors work in similar ways  and the layout of the room is also really similar and hasn’t changed but obviously we have digital projectors now.  This is something I could research into more detail to find out more.

Music is another thing that I am interested in mainly for the reason it is relied on in films and shows to create the scene, if you pick the right song for a certain scene it can make a difference between a good scene and a bad one. Sometimes I imagine a whole story or scene from just listening to a song.  The soundtrack for the loosely sci-fi apocalyptic film 28 Days Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007) is really memorable for me because I immediately link it to a particular scene: the main character leaves his wife and child for dead, running from a zombie; this really establishes the character and he is tormented by it during the rest of the film.  I am interested in how a specific choice of music can change the feel of a scene and this is something I am keen to look at when I do my practical final project.

Games are another hugely followed franchise, same as films and shows there is so much you can do in a game and probably more than you can do in films. Games are also global as some of the best games are developed by different companies around the world. People tend to get more immersed in games than they do films as they get to play as the protagonist rather than following them. Some games allow you to choose the path you take and make decisions for yourself so that you get fully immersed into that character. And that’s what I think makes it so popular as it is escapism into another world that may never take place in reality.  There is a sci-fi/fantasy game called The Witcher 3 that I am playing at the moment and this allows you to play the Witcher, who is a bounty hunter type of character who is paid to go and deal with monsters.  These are mythical creatures invented for this game.  The game world is medieval and is forest-based.  This immersive environment makes the game more sinister and unnerving.  I am already thinking about re-creating this kind of setting for any practical work that I go on to do.

TV shows such as The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad are very popular all around the world. TV also has sitcoms which are generally about half an hour-long, there are loads of different sitcoms however they all tend to be similar in certain ways. I enjoy sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.  I could look into what the first sitcoms were and how they have changed compared to now.

For the Primary and Secondary research tasks for this Unit I will be basing my research on my interests in cinema, music, games  and TV.

Primary research plan:

  • Do you go to the cinema?
  • What’s your opinion about the cinema?
  • How often do you go?/would you be interested in going?

Secondary research plan:

  • Cinema foundation
  • Famous cinemas
  • Old theatres as cinemas

Primary research plan:

  • Do you listen to music?
  • How often do you listen to it?

Secondary research plan:

  • Old piano in theatre
  • Famous soundtracks

Primary research plan:

  • Do you play  video games?
  • How often do you play them?

Secondary research plan:

  • How interactive games are made (Heavy rain)

Primary research plan:

  • Do you watch sitcoms?
  • How often do you watch them?
  • Do you watch a range of different ones? If so is there any difference between them?

Secondary research plan:

  • First sitcom
  • evolution of sitcom.
  • Difference TV series now and then

 

Reflective writing for the research task

For the research task I struggled to understand what I had to do for the task which wasted a lot of time but eventually I came up with some good ideas that are quite broad so there is a lot to potentially research. Music was one of the ideas but I decided to focus more on soundtracks and theme songs as this ties in with film and games side of things as well.  

My main focus was to see what area of media (cinema, TV, games or music) my respondents were most interested in and then think about whether that should influence my own production work.  

 

PRIMARY RESEARCH

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/726SJZR

I created a Survey Monkey questionnaire as my primary research. The questionnaire is above. I will write out the answers to the questions for each interest from the survey below.

Primary research for cinema:

Do you go to the cinema?

  • Person one: “Yes.”
  • Person two: “Yes.”
  • Person three: “Yes.”
  • Person four: “Yes.”
  • Person five: “Yes.”
  • Person six: “Yes.
  • Person seven: “Yes.”

What’s your opinion about the cinema?

  • Person one: “Love it, love the big screen and the atmosphere.”
  • Person two: “It’s fun and gives a better experience than sitting watching a movie.”
  • Person three: “Great way to see films. Better atmosphere and sound involves you more in the film.”
  • Person four: “It creates a better experience watching films.”
  • Person five: “Good entertainment but can be expensive for drinks and snacks.”
  • Person six: “Brilliant”
  • Person seven: “I like it”

How often do you go?/would you be interested in going?

  • Person one: “Not as often as I would like.”
  • Person two: “About two times a month”
  • Person three: “Couples times a month maybe. Depends on the films that are out at the moment.”
  • Peron four: “About once a month.”
  • Person five: “Once a month.”
  • Person six: “Two times a month”
  • Person seven: “About once a month”

From the questionnaire I created, everyone who answered goes to the cinema and enjoys it a lot.  That tells me that film is one form of media entertainment that people really engage with.  

Primary research for music:

Do you listen to music?

  • Person one: “Yes lots.”
  • Person two: “Yes.”
  • Person three: “Yes.”
  • Person four: “Yes.”
  • Person five: “Yes.”
  • Person six: “Yes.”
  • Person seven: “Yes.”

How often do you listen to it?

  • Person one: “Everyday.”
  • Person two: “Everyday on my way to school.”
  • Person three: “Have a radio on daily and play music at home occasionally.”
  • Person four: “Everyday in the car.”
  • Person five: “Twice a week.”
  • Person six: “Everyday”
  • Person seven: “On laptop, radio in the car, sometimes from phone or tablet.”

 

Everyone who answered the questionnaire said they listened to music and everyone except one person said everyday.  Clearly, music forms a major interest in the lives of the people who completed the survey.  

Primary research for games:

Do you play  video games?

  • Person one: “Yes.”
  • Person two: “Yes.”
  • Person three: “Yes.”
  • Person four: “Yes.”
  • Person five: “No.”
  • Person six: “Yes.”
  • Person seven: “Yes.”

How often do you play them?

  • Person one: “Maybe once a week.”
  • Person two: “Most ways.”
  • Person three: “Not as often as I’d like. Used to play all the time but hardly play now.”
  • Person four: “Most days.”
  • Person five: “Never.”
  • Person six: “Rarely”
  • Person seven: “About once a fortnight, but sometimes more.”

 

6 out of 7 people said they play video games but not as much as listening to music and also less than visiting the cinema.  Video games are hugely popular but not an everyday form of entertainment used by my respondents.  

 

Primary research for TV:

Do you watch sitcoms?

  • Person one: “Not really.”
  • Person two: “No.”
  • Person three: “Yes.”
  • Person four: “Not really.”
  • Person five: “Yes.”
  • Person six: “Yes.”
  • Person seven: “Yes.”

How often do you watch them?

  • Person one: “I don’t really have time.”
  • Person two: “Not very often.”
  • Person three: “Often watch them.”
  • Person four: “Not often.”
  • Person five: “Once or twice a week.”
  • Person six: “Four times a week”
  • Person seven: “About once or twice a week depending on my schedule.”

Do you watch a range of different ones? If so is there any difference between them?

  • Person one: ‘no answer’
  • Person two: “I prefer to watch horror.”
  • Person three: “There’s a big range. I like comedy in general. Some with more adult themes to the more nonsense kind of comedy and the more run of the mill. they’re all good if written and done well.”
  • Person four: “I don’t watch many, comedy is not my genre of choice. However, when I have watched them I felt they have the same format.”
  • Person five: “Yes, I tend to like the quirky ones.”
  • Person six: “Some are funnier”
  • Person seven: “Mostly comedy, one drama perhaps and I like documentaries.”

 

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MLY5VSJ Although more people said they watched sitcom than not, they didn’t seem exited about it. They talk about how comedy isn’t their go-to genre and that they prefer other things. Because of this I decided to change sitcoms to TV series’ and to post another questionnaire, which is below.  I focused mainly on the TV series The Walking Dead as I enjoy that show a lot and love the apocalypse scenario that it’s set in.

Q1: Do you watch The Walking Dead?:

Person 1: Oh yeah!!
Person 2: Yes.
Person 3: Yes.
Person 4: Yes.
Person 5: No – I’ve seen some but have struggled to keep up with it due to a v hectic last yr (also I’m not overly keen on some types of scenes) and am now very far behind!

 Q2: If yes what do you like about it?: 
Person 1: The rules of modern society are gone and the world as you knew it is all open for exploration. It’s interesting to see how people survive and act differently to how they were before.
Person 2: Great story and i like zombies
Person 3: I like the thrill of a horror. In walking dead, I enjoy the personal stories of the characters, how they adapt to the new world.
Person 4: Everything
Person 5: The excitement and suspense
Q3: Would you like to see an apocalypse inspired film?:
Person 1: Yes
Person 2: Hell yeah
Person 3: Yes
Person 4: yes, would be interesting to see more of them
Person 5: Yes
Q4: If yes, what aspects of it would you like to see?:
Person 1: Not only zombies but how a major threat of any kind can disrupt our lives that we take for granted.
Person 2: Drama, death , action
Person 3:  How they create life after the event and the traits it takes to be successful in a new environment.
Person 4: he beginning of the apocalypse and what happens after, so the rebuild of civilization
Person 5: I love a bit of action and suspense. The good of human nature triumphing over terrible circumstance!
Q5: Have you seen any other TV series?:
Person 1: Yes
Person 2: Yes
Person 3: Yes
Person 4: Yes
Person 5: Yes
Q6: What makes you keep coming back to them?

Person 1: Most importantly is a good story line and depth of character.
Person 2: The stories
Person 3: Likeable characters, and a story line that creates an understanding of why they do what they do.
Person 4: some the humor, some for the problems that we are left with from the last episode
Person 5: If they are gripping, if the pace is good and I know there’s going to be something different each time. Or if they’re v funny/feel good. I don’t really do things that are depressing/make me feel stressed (why I don’t watch soaps!)

Q7: Do you play video games?:
Person 1: Sometimes
Person 2: Yes
Person 3: Yes
Person 4: Yes
Person 5: Yes
Q8: What your favourite game scenario?:
Person 1: Grand theft auto, Resident evil, TomeRaider. They’re all escapism I suppose. Same as the zombies, in that the rules no longer apply as you know them and you can play out situations that you wouldn’t face in everyday life. You can do things and act how you wouldn’t in real life.
Person 2: War or survival
Person 3: It really depends on the difficulty of the game, I’m not very good at them.
Person 4: actions that affect the outcome of the game, and change the game depending on your choices
Person 5: Tough question!! With people -Wario Ware/Singstar (or lips) or a retro Fusion Frenzy! Solo – Tomb Raider, Shen Wui, Harry Potter, Scooby Doo when I was a kid! Ooh, current faves for either on my own or on Xbox live – Disney Infinity, Viva Pinata, Splatoon!
Q9: What makes you come back to the game?:
Person 1: Wanting to win and get to the end of the game. A lot of games have a story linked strongly within the game play. The same as if you was reading a good book or watching a good film, you want to see the outcome of the story you are playing.
Person 2: Story and the multiplayer
Person 3: I like a game in which you don’t get stuck at a particular point, one that gives other avenues to avoid replaying the same scenario, open world type games.
Person 4: memories and sometimes to try to find different bits that i haven’t found before, as well as alternate endings
Person 5: Fun, silliness or to level up…getting stuck on a bit, a challenge!

 

This survey did better than the sitcoms one, I got more detailed answers and it seemed that the audience were more interested in these questions.  In general terms the respondents wrote at greater length in their answers.  What is clear to me from the feedback on The Walking Dead is that the audience survived the survival aspect of The Walking Dead and that there is a still an appetite for more zombie-based stories.  The zombie genre has been hugely popular for decades and especially in the last five or six years, so this might be a possibility in terms of making a production that will reach to a large audience.  Most of the answers as to why people watched TV related to a strong narrative so I know that a good story is key for my own practical work and interesting characters.   The same was true of the responses for games: the story was the reason players kept coming back to it, and more complicated and open story lines was what people wanted to see, and to see the fate of the characters. 

SECONDARY RESEARCH

Secondary research for the history of the cinema:

The earliest machine used to project the movie onto the wall was called a Magic Lantern which was developed in the 17th century, ‘it used glass lens, a shutter and a powerful lamp to project images from glass slides onto a white wall or screen. [5](Wikipedia 2016.) No one really knows exactly when this was invented, however it is thought to have been created by Christiaan Huygens in the late 1650s.

(Project Happening, 2011)
This video shows the evolution of the cinema well, it talks about the first motion picture shown to public audience and the effect it had on the first time audience. The motion picture shown to the audience captured a train arriving at a train station to pick up passengers, the audience was worried when watching this as it was a new experience and didn’t understand what was happening so thought a train was heading their way.  This shows that film can have a strong effect on the audience.

Secondary research for music (soundtracks)

(timededecker, 2010)

The video shows 30 of the most famous soundtracks from movies, I watched through the video and have heard most of the soundtracks however I have not seen all the films.

Before film, when theatre was the closest visual experience to film, there would still be theme songs and soundtracks going along with the show, however it would be live music by an orchestra at the bottom of the stage.  Theatre producers still understood the importance of music for triggering certain responses from an audience and creating a certain feeling or atmosphere on-stage, as they do today on screen.

 

Secondary research for games:

When I was researching into some of my favourite games, I  found out that they all use motion capture to show the exact emotion of the actor playing the character and the exact movements. So I decided to look into how it works, as this also can be implemented into film as well. You can see the effect it creates in the video below.

(Fresh Movie Trailers, 2014)

(whereisnovember, 2010)

Although the clip from Fresh Movie Trailers relates specifically to film, motion capture is used in the same way for games, it makes the actor into an animated character on-screen. The beginning of the video above is an example of what they have the actors do once they’re in the suits. They calibrate it at the start by standing still then just act. The cardboard boxes are there as guide lines for the actors as their surroundings will all be put in digitally around the characters and the same goes for the environment.

Secondary research for TV:

I did some initial research into TV but later changed it to other TV drama shows.  Originally I wrote:  I think that all sitcoms follow the same structure and scenarios, I can’t think of an original sitcom that wasn’t similar in any way to the other. I’m going to look into the first sitcom to see if that evolved into what we see today or if it has always been that way.

I looked at the following: The first UK sitcom was Pinwright’s Progress and the first US one was Mary Kay and Johnny [6](www.guinnessworldrecords.com, 2016)

There are many popular TV shows to date like The Walking Dead, Dexter, Game of thrones and Breaking Bad.  I will focus on The Walking Dead as this has a huge following not in the US where it is shot but all over the world.  The series is based on an original comic book of the same title by Robert Kirkman (first issue released in 2003 by Image Comics, and ongoing).

the-walking-dead-comic-book-cover-01the-walking-dead-season-5-trailer

(Butler, 2013)                               (Smith, 2016)

James Poniewozik in the online review paper Time states: ‘what is arguably TV’s most relentlessly disturbing and violent drama is also arguably its most popular. Extreme is the new mainstream’.  He argues that the living characters suffer so horribly that they are the real walking dead. He says that the show is brutally honest and this is why it is such a hit.

Bibliography 

Arant, J. (2015) Neo-Noirvember: Blade runner (1982). Available at: http://deadshirt.net/2015/11/12/neo-noirvember-blade-runner-1982/ (Accessed: 27 June 2016).

Author, N. (2016) ‘Movie theater’, in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movie_theater#History (Accessed: 10 April 2016).

Butler, E. (2013) Comic con: THE WALKING DEAD 10th anniversary panel Recap with Robert Kirkman. Available at: http://collider.com/comic-con-walking-dead-anniversary-panel-recap/ (Accessed: 27 June 2016).

Fresh Movie Trailers (2014) Dawn of the planet of the Apes MOTION CAPTURE clip. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lezfSnO9n5g (Accessed: 19 April 2016).

Poniewozik, J. (2014) Why The Walking Dead Is So Brutal — and So Popular. Available at: http://time.com/3506057/why-walking-dead-so-popular-ratings/ (Accessed: 22 June 2016).

Project Happening (2011) A brief history of film- animated documentary. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKJqeJ48CPs (Accessed: 10 April 2016).

Smith, C. (2016) The walking dead. Available at: http://bgr.com/tag/the-walking-dead/ (Accessed: 27 June 2016).

The walking dead (comic book) (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_(comic_book) (Accessed: 22 June 2016).

timdedecker (2010) The 30 most famous film scores. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0di9tiulb4Q (Accessed: 19 April 2016).

whereisnovember (2010) Leon Ockenden – heavy rain interviews and motion capture. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zj001Zst78 (Accessed: 19 April 2016).

2016, G.W.R. (1946) First television sitcom. Available at: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/first-television-sitcom (Accessed: 20 April 2016).

 

Reflection for primary and secondary research:

For the primary research I created a survey using survey monkey and sent it to people to answer about their thoughts on film, music, games and TV.  I learned that every one of the respondents went to the cinema to see films on a regular basis.  Music was listened to by all respondents except one, every day.  I found out that story and character depth was what made people interested in the outcome of the games they played.  And finally, I learned that people are not that interested in the history of sitcoms and the certain features that make them sitcoms.  

I went on to make a second survey that removed the questions about sitcoms and instead asked questions about how the audience felt about TV shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  As with the feedback for games, respondents said that a strong story was really important, and again, interesting characters were key.  

I got some good answers and they were wide ranging, and I think that based on the responses, narrative is a strong aspect of any production project and this is something that I will try and make as interesting as possible to draw in the target audience.  

For secondary research I looked on the internet into each of my interests,  then referenced them at the bottom of the page.  I looked at the history of cinema theatres, the first cinema screening and its impact on the audience.  I explored the magic lamp, which was the first projector.   Then  I researched motion capture in games and films. This advanced technology was  used in the same way in games and films, which was interesting, as they had similar outcomes.  Finally, I did research into the phenomenal success of The Walking Dead, its origins as a comic book and its brutally honest adaptation to the screen. 

This survey did better than the sitcoms survey, I got more detailed answers and it seemed that the audience were more interested in these questions.  In general terms the respondents wrote at greater length in their answers.  What is clear to me from the feedback on The Walking Dead is that the audience survived the survival aspect of The Walking Dead and that there is a still an appetite for more zombie-based stories.  This was also clear from my secondary research into The Walking Dead.  The zombie genre has been hugely popular for decades and especially in the last five or six years, so this might be a possibility in terms of making a production that will reach to a large audience.  Most of the answers as to why people watched TV related to a strong narrative so I know that a good story is key for my own practical work and interesting characters.   The same was true of the responses for games: the story was the reason players kept coming back to it, and more complicated and open story lines was what people wanted to see, and to see the fate of the characters.  

The research I did for this task has been very helpful in the journey to making my final major project.  Across my interests in films and games, I realise that there are a lot of common themes, such as survival, action-based narrative, other-world and dystopic scenarios; in terms of character, I relate to the Everyman characters who have to make hard decisions that affect him or her or them. 

I now have a clear sense of what the audience want or feel would make a good programme or film.   

 

 

 

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2.1 Review a range of research