Sunday, 13 September 2009

A2: Coursework Introduction

Me and my friend Toby will be making a short film for our A2 coursework project. The decision to make a short film over a newspaper, music video and a film trailer was because a short film is much more practical and a great way to develop our media skills and use an interesting and realistic story line.

It will be an english london-based short film with a cliche yet powerful story line - the dangers of the 'gang culture' in inner london. To summarize: a gang of teenagers decide to steal drugs from the local drug dealer - under the influence of the gang's leader Derek. The rest of the gang seem reluctant to do so, but follow his instructions. This is because they have no adult role models and want to feel a sense of belonging to the gang. After they steal the drugs from the drug dealer and bea him up, they find a remote location to smoke the drugs. Meanwhile, the drug dealer is looking for the gang to find revenge. As the gang are about to smoke the drugs, the drug dealer finds them and stabs Derek, killing him.

The moral of the story will be is that gangs are not the answer and despite any teenager's mind state and situation at home, there is always an alternative router rather than turning to drugs and violence.

Unlike Hollywood style films, we aim to capture what is actually happening in Inner City London - nothing will be glorified. Everything in the film will be realistic, from the language to the drugs and violence, nothing will be concealed as our aim is to show teenagers the 'dark side' of growing up in Inner City London. We will use little editing, shaky camera movements (to add a documentary type realism effect) and music that is associated with gangs in London.

Here are the Key Concepts that we will be using in our film:

Representation - we will represent the gang culture almost perfectly, from growing up in London we are surrounded with teenagers who are in gangs, so representing teenage criminals will be absolutely no problem. Inner City London will be the setting for our short film, primarily as this is where a lot of the gang culture is occurring. Also, the run down and poor estates and scenery will be perfect for the representation of gang culture in London - primarily because this is where a lot of teenagers who have grown up into gangs live! This is exactly the same with the music we are going to use that is associated with gangs - we are going to use audio of what the gangs listen to and follow.

As a whole we will be representing how joining a gang could ruin a teenager's life but also how staying on the right path could allow a teenager to lead a successful and crime-free life.

Institution - The promotion for our short film will be by designing a poster. This is a conventional way of advertising used by most film producers and companies and is very effective. The poster would follow the same themes and concept of the film which includes: A shot of the protagonist or setting and a deep dark background theme to connote the genre and theme of the short film itself. If a full film was made, we would hope it would be certified and funded by the British Film Council as it is a clear imitation of adolescent gang violence in modern London and therefore very British.

Values - Our film will have the similar values to the UK based and funded films Kidulthood and Adulthood - a real-life view of growing up in London as a teenager in the 21st century.

Audience - we will be aiming our short film primarily to teenagers growing up in London as they will be the most affected by the story line of our film. Especially those who are members of a gang. Although it could apply to any teenager growing up in England as gang culture is all over the country and not just in London.

Language - we will be using props, clothing and audio that is associated with the London gang culture. For example: how the gangs dress, the music genre they listen to (grime) and literally the use of the language and actions that a typical gang would use. All of these seem to have a negative vibe, especially the music - which is often about killing, drugs and violence. We will be able to represent all of these perfectly as we have grown up around the gang culture in London.

Ideology - The majority of the film will be set at night - as the darkness of the night will represent the violence and death in our film. Not much editing needs to be used, as we want our film to be as realistic as possible and represent gangs in London to a tee. Our aim is to avoid the flash and glamorous film making used in Hollywood.

Narrative - A beginning, middle, end, equilibrium and disequilibrium. The equilibrium will be a group of friends discussing what they are going to do at night - not knowing of Derek's plan to steal from the drug dealer. Then the disequilibrium will be the film's protagonist Derek, telling the gang to help him steal from the drug dealer then carrying out the task. The equilibrium will then be brought back when unfortunately, the protagonist is stabbed and dies whilst he and the gang are about to smoke the drugs. It is a sad and shocking story-line, but very realistic - our plan is to have no happy ending as nothing good can come out of joining a gang. This also helps our aim of our film not being like a typical hollywood film: the equilibrium is brought back and everything turns out perfectly - very unrealistic.

Genre - this will be made up of all the key concepts above. It will be a Crime-Drama as it is based around the crime and drama that is associated with gangs in London. The film will be a certificate 18 due to the violence, bad language and drug use. But the audience we aiming for are teenagers as young as 11 - as the narrative of the film also affects them. The age of young offenders are becoming younger and younger and although the Film Council would certificate our film 18, young offenders could relate to the film as they'd be able to see what the consequences of their actions when they grow older and may change their life-path from an earlier age.