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For my Film Studies coursework portfolio, I produced a five minute

short film called Epiphany as I intended to reflect my thesis; the
representation of black males has changed over the years, focusing
on the 1990s to present day. My aims were to illustrate how the
representation of black males has been demonstrated, due to the
influences of social and political factors in particular. My film is in
the hood drama genre, similar to the films that have inspired my
idea; Menace II Society and Boyz N The Hood, aiming to make the
film plausible for the audience. It is important I included a similar
type of characters as a common hood drama film would, which is
why the use of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound
was crucial to the overall success of my final piece of my creative
Before constructing my short film, I decided to creating planning
and research materials that would keep me on track as well as
ensuring that my final product would be most suitable and relatable
for my target audience as well as delivering powerful messages and
values. While my audience was a concern, my prime aim was to
illustrate how the perceptions on the black male community have
reformed over the years and the progression of black males is now a
common theme in films. I decided to present my idea through codes
and conventions that audiences tend to find when viewing a drama
film. My target audience consisted of black males and teenagers as
the characters in my short film appeals to both groups, enabling for
the theme and narrative to be more relatable, increasing the
credibility of the short film.
I created a potential character list which involved different
individuals who I thought had the ability to participate as the prime
roles in my production. I aimed to deliver my idea by having two
black male protagonists in which I came to a conclusion to have,
Jardel(17) and Michael(17). The narrative I decided on is to illustrate
Jardel going through moral strain in which to either avoid a situation
which could bring him trouble later down the line or to keep true to
his friendship and help Michael to harm another boy. I decided to
present Jardel as a caring character, willing to help his friends do
almost anything but still conscious of what could come of it. I done
this to include a countertype for the stigma of black males, this is to
represent the reforms in the portrayal of black males in films. To
contrast I made Michael conform to a variety of stereotypes of the
black male through the use of mise-en-scene and sound. For
example the use of costumes through hats and dark clothing, also
the use of language Michael uses.
I decided to name my film Epiphany as this connotes a sudden
event occurring, which keeps the audience engaged as they expect

something to happen. I incorporated a narrative theory in my short

film, Pan Cooks common Hollywood narrative theory with no actual
finalised ending was used as the ending of my film was ambiguous.
This allows the audience to raise questions about the film and keep
the narrative in their minds.
In my planning and research, it was required that I produced a shot
list, listing all the shots I intend to take while filming, this included
the angle I was intending to use as well as the shot type. This
allowed me to save time and be more efficient as I knew what shots
I needed to take. Through doing this I realized there were some
shots that didnt look good and some shots I stumbled upon that
worked. This meant that some shots on the list were not included, it
also meant that some shots that were included are not on the list as
they were filmed after the list was made. In my planning and
research, it was also required I produced a location report, gathering
images and notes of my desired locations, analysing how each
location would be most suitable for my short film. I had to come to
the conclusion that I wanted a bedroom as it was one of the easiest
ways to convey the stereotypes of a modern day teenager, making
it easier for my target audience relate and keeping them interested.
The use of Oaks Lane was to satisfy the theme of the hood. For the
most part, the scenery reflected the low economic environment that
was seen through my textual analysis in such films as Menace II
Society and Boyz N The Hood, reflecting the stereotypes put on
black males.
My planning and research was beneficial for me during the stages of
post production, as my final product has successfully reflected upon
my planning and research materials. The use of these materials
allowed me to make sure I was constantly organized as well as
making my timing more efficient, allowing me to film more than
once and have enough time edit. Overall, I did manage to create an
artifact that touched on my two case studies as well as managing to
explore my thesis effectively, portraying the development of black
male representation in film. My production has been distributed
through YouTube as this is an established distributing site for short
films especially as people are constantly visiting YouTube, looking at
the videos and leaving comments, this enables me to receive
feedback from an array of people efficiently. Although if I had a
chance to reconstruct my product, I would have changed the
location of Oaks Lane, as this location had some scenery, which did
not reflect the low economic status that was needed for my film,
which may have made it less credible. I would also improve the
narrative to emphasize the reforms of the stereotypes of black
males over the years. Improving the ending by showing the
audience the endeavors of Jardel after Michael was hurt could have

done this. I could have also used effects to alter the lighting in some
scenes to emphasize the atmosphere of the situation.