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Evaluation

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


film called Wrong Turn as I intended to reflect on my thesis; the
representation of teenagers has changed in recent years in contemporary
films.
My aims were to illustrate how the representation of male
teenagers has been demonstrated due to the influences of social and
political factors in particular. My film is in the crime genre, with elements
of drama and action, similar to the films that have inspired my idea;
Kidulthood and Adulthood, aiming to create a verisimilitude for my
audience. It was vital that I fascinated a similar category of individuals as
a common crime film would, which is why the use of Mise-en-scene,
cinematography, editing and sound was integral to the overall success of
my final product
Before constructing my short film, I decided to create planning and
research materials that would help to keep me on track as well ensuring
that my final product would be most suitable and enjoyable for my target
audience as well delivering powerful messages and values. Although my
aim was to satisfy my audience, my prime aim was to illustrate how adults
look at teenagers in a negative manner and how teenagers are constantly
demonised by the media. I decided to present my idea through the uses of
codes and conventions that audiences usually find when viewing a crime
genre. My target audience consisted of teenage males mainly as the main
characters are teenage males whilst my subject of thesis was also based
upon teenagers, making it more relatable for the teenage male
population.
I created a potential character list which involved a few different
individuals whom I thought had the skills to participate as the prime roles
in my production. I aimed to deliver my idea by having a male anti-hero
and a male antagonist, in which I came to a conclusion to have, Amir (18)
Asian and Trevor19) Black Jamaican, in which I decided to have them both
being involved in the same gang. Amir, stuck between making the right or
the wrong decision, delivered his emotions through dialogue. I decided to
present Amir as a rather quiet, scared and vulnerable character with a
rather opposite countertype appearance, as my use of costume and props
provided him with a closed off look. I used a variety of shots such as close
up and point of view shots in particular to present a clearer view of his
character. Throughout the spoken dialogue along with the use of nondiegetic score, I was able to receive a sympathetic response from my
audience, a target achieved as the use of additional non diegetic sound
allowed me to emphasize on the struggles Amir was going through,
creating a form of relationship with my audience. Unlike Amir, Trevor was

presented in a more stereotypical aspect as he is tall, well built and has an


intimidating look to himself. I presented Trevors character also primarily
through dialogue which I created for verisimilitude towards the audience,
as he was telling Amir what to do. I used a variety of shots varying from
extreme close up shots to point of view shots, showing the gun for
example, which was presented with a close up low angle shot which
emphasised his superiority The gun was also a symbolic icon within my
film as it was used to demonstrate the dangerous activities both
characters were involved in, as influenced through one of my
case studies Freedom Writers. During the opening scene, I decided that
both caracters would be dressed in contrasting ways. Amirs costume was
dark and dull, but not what a stereotypical gangster would wear, in
comparison to Trevor, as his costume conformed to a more stereotypical
representation. Analysing both films Kidulthood and Freedom Writers, I
used similar character traits making sure my audience would retaliate
similar to previous viewers of both inspired media products.
For my planning and research, it was required that I produced a recce
report, gathering images and notes of my desired locations, analysing how
each location would be most suitable for my short film. I had come to a
conclusion that I wanted a bedroom as my prime location as it included a
single bed to specifically present Amir as well as using the bed in
reflection of Roland Barthes enigma code theory; using specific icons to
provide the audience with suspense and enthusiasm, which is why I
decided to position on the middle of the bed, building onto his loneliness
showed through the remaining empty space. As well as this, the bedroom
was a good size which provided me with the opportunity to be more
creative and artistic with cinematography, creating a larger effect towards
my final product.
My second main location was a dead-end road. I chose this location
specifically as It was secluded with barely any human activity and also low
lighting. In reference to micro elements, lighting is an important factor
when filming as it can be used to symbolise emotion and current
conditions of specific situations. In this case, I was able to use the lighting
to reflect upon Amirs inferiority and him being helpless, a contrasting
representation to how teenagers are portrayed in Hollywood films. The
lighting of this location was beneficial for my final product as it added a
more gloomy effect to my film as well as providing a dull atmosphere,
reflecting on their emotions over all.
Similar to other crime films, I followed a linear narrative whilst it being an
open text as it allowed the audience to feel eager to watch more during

their experience viewing the film. I decided to do this as the title Wrong
Turn is used as a metaphorical way of presenting a mysterious message. I
incorporated three prime narrative theories in my film which consisted of
Todorovs 5 stage equilibrium theory as the plot of the story is disrupted,
realised, noticed and constructed again to form a new equilibrium, Pan
Cooks common Hollywood narrative theory with no actual finalised
ending, which is shown in my film as it ends with Amir scared for his life,
illustrated through a high angle medium shot. Finally, Roland Barthes
enigma code theory was used as many icons were used as clues for the
audience to figure out the plot of the story. Therefore, by using these
narrative theories, I was able to keep the audience engaged with the
storyline, adapting to the ways in which I attempted to present how male
teenagers are represented, an important factor within my media product.
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 organised as well as making my timing more
efficient, allowing me to film more than once and have enough time to
edit.
Overall, I did manage to create an artefact that touched on my two case
studies as well as managing to explore my thesis effectively, portraying
the representation of teenagers in my film. My production has been
distributed via Youtube as this is a well known distributing website for
short films especially as people are constantly visiting Youtube, viewing
videos and leaving comments behind, which allowed me to receive good
audience feedback. Although, if I had the chance to reconstruct my
product, I would have added on more to the beginning of the film for the
audience to make ore sense of the situation Amir was in. As well as this, I
would have involved more of a story line as the ending is not complete,
which would possibly provide a more exciting atmosphere for the
audience as well as showing more examples of how the representation of
teenagers has altered over the years. However, overall I did fascinate my
audience and my product does clearly reflect on my planning and
research materials, clearly conveying my effective use of production in
both pre and post production, delivering a clear answer to my thesis.