For our AS film production coursework, myself and my group chose to make a short film to portray a sense of enlightenment and generally to create an uplifting, happy experience for the audience. The genre of our film is a family film with child references and connotations throughout. Our chosen setting, a family home also conveys this with genre conventions including a kitchen and a happy ending. For our coursework, the two main features that we focused on were Mise-en-scene and cinematography as we thought that these features would be most essential for conveying emotions to an audience. Ideally, our audience was aimed at our own age group, primarily teens and older. However after producing the short film, we realised that our target audience could in fact be applied to a younger audience. This is because one of our primary focuses, the bear, could expand the target audience to younger eyes as children would familiarly recognise the key prop. This is because they can relate to the character as stereotypically, the majority of children own a teddy bear and can adhere to the current situation. In our short film, we applied a range of different micro-features to communicate to the audience what is currently happening as well as possibly foreshadowing what may happen next. Some parts of our short film breaks generic conventions, however in a restorative way. For example, our generation is known to be the generation of technology with mature teens engrossed in their phones, unproductive in every way. Our chosen protagonist is a teen; however she breaks the stereotype as she is represented as innocent, childlike and constructive. Allegorically conveying the sense that hope is still left in our generation as our protagonist is optimistic and sees things positively, unlike our current generation.
In the beginning shot of our short film with the character walking up to the bear, we introduced our character dressed in light, girly clothing to establish to the audience her kind nature. Initially, the shot consisted of the character walking past the bear and coming back to retrieve it, however we thought that the shot deemed to be too long and would be perceived better if she approaches it; like an outsider. In the new shot her trousers are shown to be unevenly folded which conveys to the audience a scruffy, childlike persona. Also, we purposely made the bear dirty and ragged in order to follow the narrative of the character restoring the bear to its natural state.
The second feature that we focused on was cinematography. In the group, this was a shared job between myself and another group member, however before any decisions were made, we negotiated as a team incorporating each other’s input. Many different shots were taken to include a range of shots for when it comes to editing, so that editing could be played around with to see what worked best. I made sure that regarding cinematography, the angles that we used were explorative and unusual. For example we used a lot of ground shots as well as angles that aren’t used occasionally in regular films. This was to create a more artistic, perceptual atmosphere to our short film. We minimally used handheld shots in our short film as I felt that this created an unstable feel to the sequence. It was essential to use stable shorts as it reflects the deeper meanings in our short film. For example the use of stable shots incorporated the sense of a stable home, a safe setting.
Before the short film was complete, we decided as a group that we would like our audio to be played over the whole sequence, without any excess sounds. This is because we felt that it was necessary for the footage and the audio to convey the same emotions towards the audience. The audience played a large part in how the audience are manipulated to feel. For example if we added a gloomy audio over the uplifting footage, it would create a biased reaction. We chose our audio based on the way it made us feel. For example with both the footage and the uplifting audio put together, it created a sense of happiness followed by something that is aesthetically pleasing as you don’t get to see a bear being restored every day. The first audio we found was rushed and we felt like it was a bit tedious which had the same effect on our audience. So, in our second draft we changed it to something more exciting and upbeat.