Poster Mock Up

poster

This is a rough design for the poster that I will create for my short film. I got a picture of a crowd from google (I will be recreating a similar image myself for my real poster) so that I could have a wide range of different people. This is because it ties in with the idea of my short film because I want to know who is happy and why. By having this group of people I am able to question who out of that group is happy. Usually at the top of a poster there are actors names, however no one is really an actor as it is a documentary so I chose to put ‘A short film by Matthew Cassidy’ at the top of the poster. This was the best alternative as it makes it look more professional and doesn’t leave an empty space at the top. The title “ˈhapɪnəs” came from me googling the definition of happiness. When you google a word there is another version of that word underneath the original word. It’s just the word happiness but different, but I chose it as my title because I thought it looked more artistic. The tagline was chosen as it is the last point in my documentary. I am closing the documentary with those words and it is really the main theme of the documentary. The font that I used is called ‘Palatino’ which is a serif font and I chose it as it looked simple but at the same time it doesn’t look too basic, and the way that a lot of the letters are subtly facing down makes it look kind of sad. This font fits perfectly with my documentary. The text at the bottom was added as it is seen on most film posters and it details information about the movie. I just copied it over from another poster however I will be doing it myself with relevant information in my real poster.

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The Pursuit of Happyness poster analysis

This isn’t a documentary but the subject matter seems relevant enough so I feel like I should talk about this film. I have not seen the film, but I know the basic idea of the film. The first thing that stands out in the font is the red colour used to highlight the word ‘Happy’ which is part of the word ‘Happyness’ in the title. This brings attention to the misspelling of the word, but also means that the audience can focus on the ‘Happy’ part of the word. The words ‘Pursuit’ and ‘Happyness’ are written in bold caps and what appears to be a different font to the other two words. This highlights the two important words in the title and brings attention to them.

The main focus of the poster is the sunlight peaking through behind the main characters hands. They are holding hands in front of a city and some rays of sun are lighting it from the back. This imagery is symbolic of hope, which is a key theme throughout the film. This idea of hope is also represented by the blue sky in the background, as well as their hand holding as it portrays that they are sticking together and supporting each other. The blue background clashes with the dark colours of their clothes, which again suggests that even though they are going through a hard time, there is still hope. Behind them is a city. This is relevant because in the film they are homeless, so the entire city is their kind of their home. Their facial expressions imply that they are still holding on to hope even though they are homeless and earning no money.

Target audience feedback

I created a survey where I asked a few questions before the production of my movie to get a greater understanding of what people would like to see in this documentary.

q1

Question 1 gave me an idea of who was answering the survey. Although this question does not give me a good idea of the audience for my film, it gave me a good idea of who was answering the survey.

q2

Question 2 was similar to question 1. By getting the ages of the people who answered my questions, I was able to look at the answers to the following questions with that knowledge in mind. A 14 year old my look for one thing in a film, where as a 40 year old may look for something entirely different. By understanding the demographic of the survey I was able to have a greater understanding of why questions were answered in certain ways.

q3

This question is the main point of my movie. I can use the answer to this question in my actual movie. It also gives me an understanding of overall who is happy. This helps me with knowing who is answering these questions, as well as helping me out in the pre production stage of making the short film.

q4

This question allowed me to see what percentage of people would be interested in this documentary. I was hoping the percentage would be higher however I am happy with the amount of people that find this premise intriguing and would want to see this film.

q5

From the responses to this question I have decided to go with a voice over. This is the result I was hoping for as I don’t really think that a presenter would work well in this type of documentary.

q6

This again influenced the writing process of the film. A huge majority of people expected interviews in this documentary, so that is why I chose to conduct interviews with people, that act both as research and an important part of my film.

q7

This helped me understand the audiences expectations of a film. They would expect that I should carry out my own research (e.g. the interviews as well as question 3) and also look at existing research that has been conducted by professionals. This would give me a wider range of statistics that I could talk about in my film, and could link it to people in other places in the world.

q8

I disagree with the results of this question. 2 thirds of people chose upbeat music, but I don’t think this will work well in my documentary. I think this is due to some miscommunication in the questions, as the documentary is about happiness, but it isn’t a happy documentary. It is more focused on a lack of happiness rather than people being happy. This is why I think that slower, sadder music would fit better with my short film.

q9

Again, I disagree with this question but mainly due to the run time. I have to keep this film 5 minutes long and I am already using interviews so I don’t really have time to tell peoples stories about happiness. Although this could be very interesting to go into in this short film, I really do not have the time.

q10

Again, due to time issues I do not think I will be able to get into this too much in my documentary. I will try to include professional opinions, however, I can’t fit many more interviews in to the 5 minutes that. I will include some opinions in my narration from the secondary research that I get, but unfortunately I can not go and interview more people.

Film review analysis

The colours used are very basic. The only colours that are used are black, white, yellow and red. The title of the review is just the name of the film as is the case of most reviews. The subtitle as well as the age rating are in yellow to separate them from the rest of the review. The subtitle describes what the special edition is and then has a reference to the movie. Most of the review is entirely text, with no real images being used. This is different from the other reviews that I have looked at as there is usually a picture from the film taking up half the page. This is also different as it is focusing specifically on the special edition and this means that rather than just talking about the film as a whole, the reviewer is highlighting specifically the extras from the special edition. The writer goes into detail about the content of the special edition and saying what the hits and misses were of the bonuses, such as the subplots that were originally cut fitting so well in the extended cut of the film. The language used is a bit more formal than others, however it is more sarcastic when referring to fans disappointment of the film. Another thing that is different with this review is that there is no rating. Most reviews have some sort of star rating system ranging from 1 to 5 stars, however this one just sends with a sentence which sums up their thoughts of the film.

How ‘American Vandal’ influenced me

American Vandal is a Netflix mockumentary series parodying true crime documentaries such as ‘Making a Murderer’. It is about a kid who was expelled from school for spray painting 27 dicks onto teachers cars. However, he claims that he didn’t do it so two students make a documentary trying to prove his innocence. And I found this series very helpful. It came out as I was planning my documentary, so I watched the whole thing in a day for inspiration. The series does an excellent job of satirising and breaking down the codes and conventions of documentaries. I found this useful as it allowed me to focus on the common tropes of how documentaries are made. The things that stood out to me the most was the way interviews are filmed. It inspired me heavily and has influenced the way that I will be filming the interviews in my film.

Lighting

In my short film I will be conducting a series of interviews. This got me thinking on what kind of lighting I will need to use. I will be hoping to use a basic background, maybe just a simple black backdrop, however I will need good lighting to light the subjects of the interview. I will be using 2 cameras, both in a similar position however one will be more zoomed in on the subject and they will both be to the right hand side but diagonal to the subject. This means that I will need to use 3 sources of light. One in front, one to the side and the final as a backlight. This will mean that there are no shadows on the subjects face, as well as providing a high quality professional looking set up for my interviews.

‘Long Shot’ short film review

Long shot is a 40 minute documentary that was just added to Netflix. It tells the story of Juan Catalan, who after being wrongly imprisoned for murder must prove his innocence. Luckily, during the filming of an episode of the HBO series ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ some footage was captured that was able to back up his alibi. This short film was directed by Jacob LaMendola and uses footage from news reports and interviews as well as footage from a baseball game and the episode of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’. I found the footage used in this film to be very inspiring for my short. All of the footage was relevant and linked to what was happening on screen. The story was very engaging as well, and even though the film was 40 minutes, it moved very quickly and kept my attention the whole time. Other than that, this film was pretty basic. Nothing was outstanding, however nothing was bad. There was some stuff that was quite inspiring. As I said I liked the visuals as well as the engaging story.

‘3000 miles’ short film review

https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2017/10/02/3000-miles/

This short film is a docmentary that takes place over a year and is told through a montage of the directors time in New York accompanied by a group of voicemails that he recieved from his mother during his stay. This short is the best that I have looked at so far. This film is able to evoke a lot of emotion with such a simple premise. The imagery perfectly accompanies the voicemails and the subject matter of the voicemails. For example, when his mother is talking about Donald Trump, there is footage of the protests that proceeded Trumps election. The cinematography in this is beautiful. Almost every shot (except the montage of footage from his phone) is amazing to look at. The framing, the movement, everything is perfect. This, accompanied by the music is able to make the audience feel something real. The music fits flawlessly with the visuals and really boosts the film up to such a high level. I am so inspired by this film, and I will look to it for inspiration when starting my films production.

Research

Before I can complete the final draft for my script and story board, I must collect some research that plays an important part in my short film. This research will be conducted in the form of an interview with a handful of people, and this footage will be incorporated into my short film as well as being the main point of discussion. By doing this before finishing my script it will allow me to have a greater understanding of what I want to say in my short film and I can base my narration on the answers given to the interview questions. I will be asking people in my age group these questions, as this is the age group I want to focus on, but I will also be getting answers from people of different ages so I can get a wider range of opinions.