Friday, April 17, 2015

Critical Reflection for A-Level Project

A-Level Project

Our two trailers:
Music licensing for Trailer #1:
"The Escalation" Kevin MacLeod ( 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 
Music licensing for trailer #2:
"Undaunted" Kevin MacLeod ( 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
And our poster:

Spinning an intricate web(site)

As Elanna spearheaded the editing and the creation of a poster, I've ventured into a territory I've never really explored before: web building.
So after much trial and error (God, SO MUCH error)  I finally constructed something I can say I'm somewhat proud of. Disclaimer: I know I said before that our website was going to be at, but for the life of me I could not figure out how to make an attractive website using Wordpress due to my complete utter lack of fluency in html, which is essentially a prerequisite to building a halfway decent Wordpress site. Instead, I opted for using Wix, which is far more user-friendly for the technologically impaired such as myself. Our finished product is available at
Using a single page scroll site, I built the site to follow a logical path that entices a prospective consumer the more he scrolls down.
Our first screen below the header is a theatrical poster featuring raving reviews of our production, and ultimately serve to pique a reader's attention to find out what the hype is about.

Next, we feature our trailers and a brief synopsis of our production. This provides the background information about the film, giving the reader a broader understanding of what themes the film will tackle and its general plot. Including the #BeTheChange hashtag in this portion of the site also provides a subliminal clue to the viewer about engaging with us on social media.

Next, an exclusive sneak peek will compound the interest of the viewer, especially since the scene is both ambiguous and carries a strange sense of foreboding. This is our film opening, and it equips the viewer with the necessary background to ensnare them into our production. 

I always loved character profiles that accompanied movies, because they provided a dimensionality beyond what was on screen. Our "Meet the Characters" component does just that: provides the background and motivations for our characters, and helping viewers develop a greater idea of their complexity (thereby increasing their interest).
And, finally, a uniquely critical component: the call to action. Part of our branding is that there will be a real-life Alma's Angel movement alongside the fictional one portrayed in our film. This will not only mobilize viewers to advance our cause, but will provide a method of engagement and positive publicity as viewers sign our petition.
And finally, an increasingly crucial part of our website will be the social media engagements, including the following sites available on both web and mobile platforms:
and Twitter.
Our website provides not only a web presence and convergence of our product, but also a platform to engage and interact with our audience.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Constructing a website

Since our project also features a web-building component, I've not only started to construct our promotional site, but also looked at engaging examples from other hit movies.  Though most of my posts and visuals are still saved as drafts on our website, you can see our project at

Two of my favorites were the promotional websites for Gone Girl and The Imitation Game. The Gone Girl site alluded to the general conflict of the movie in a creative way – with television reports, newspaper clippings, and interviews that implicated the central character in the disappearance of his wife. This approach added a real-world dimensionality to the movie, which was probably captivating to its core audience.

The Imitation Game’s website, on the other hand, featured a code as its central motif, which though I have not seen the movie, I understand that is a recurring image on the film. Though it was a little more convoluted and harder to access information to movie as a result of the code or puzzle on the home page, I’m assuming that the site is more intended to dazzle die-hard fans of the movie rather than attract a new following.

The key problem with both of these sites is that they are both intended for a more mature audience than our project, and so they can afford a greater degree of subtlety and sophistication than our movie. So in addition to these, I also took a look at more teen-oriented films, such as the recent If I Stay and Fault In Our Stars, and concluded that they are much more simplistic and straight-forward, often featuring a one-page layout with the film's basic information, a trailer or teaser, and maybe some engaging photography.

Another aspect we need to consider, especially with our young audience, is connectivity through social media. Since our film wants to not only captivate these young people, but also promote social change, its vital that we inspire people and connect with them even after they finish watching the movie.

Back to square one: Scriptwriting Edition

AICE Media Project, take two. Now we are turning our attention to creating a marketing campaign, featuring two movie trailers, a website and a movie poster.

Over the course of the past week, Elanna has concentrated on creating a movie poster, I started our website, and we both completed the scripts for our two films. Since we don't have the luxury of filming an entire movie and extract parts of it, we constructed entire scenes just to have them for trailer.

We decided, in order to better pander to our target audience, to launch a two-pronged marketing strategy in order to receive the largest share of our 15-27 year old audience: one more focused on establishing an inspirational uplifting tone, and the other focusing more on dramatic aspects to cater to the dramatic audience.

Below are the two scripts we created:

Trailer 1:
Tone -- uplifting, inspirational, focused more on perseverance of M.C.

Black screen. As REPORTER voice is heard, the screen fades into an image of ELEANORA making eggs in the kitchen.

In other news, 17-year-old Alma Rodriguez committed suicide last night.

ELEANORA whips around, dropping the egg-y whisk on the ground. Report takes over the screen.

The Harrison High school junior was reportedly being bullied at school for being gay and died from drowning herself in her bathtub.

Oh my God.

Fade to black. Cut back in to see Eleanora, flyers in hand, walking from door to door, handing out flyers and giving speeches.

I thought Alma was really brave. She put up with a lot of shit just for being gay, and I always admired her. I’m bi, and I never really told anyone and she just… I dunno. It’s my last year, and I want to make sure that what happened to your sister never happens to anyone again.

Cut to ELEANORA’s face, pleading with RAINA.

Or, y’know, at least try.

I appreciate that, but now isn’t the time.

I understand. I’ll go. I just wanted you to know.

Fade to black. Cut to ELEANORA opening her door to RAINA, the two of them working on Photoshop, RAINA passing out flyers on campus. While this is happening, ELEANORA’s doing a voiceover.

There is no difference between us. Gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, demisexual, transgender, and all the rest: we’re all just people trying to make it in the world, trying to find our joy and our pleasures.There is no need to be cruel to each other. There is no need to belittle those who are different from us.
Life gives us enough troubles.

Cut to ELEANORA on a stage.

Why do we need to help it along the way? Sign the pledge, join Alma’s Angels, and together, we can make a difference in lives across the city, across the nation, and maybe even across the world.

Trailer 2:
Tone -- sad, focused more on struggles

Black screen.
Something happened. Something bad. And nothing will ever be the same.

Abridged version of suicide scene, interspersed by flashes of black, fading in and out, more somber music. Drinking alcohol, grabbing pills, sinking into bathtub. A drum beat per shot
In other news, 17-year-old Alma Rodriguez committed suicide last night (pause). The Harrison High school junior was reportedly being bullied at school for being gay and died from drowning herself in her bathtub.

Shot of grieving family, sitting at table covered in black. Shot of memorial made by students with pictures, teddy bears, flowers

Why are you doing this?

(tearfully) To make what happened to Alma never happens to anyone - gay, straight, whatever - ever again.

BULLY (screaming, with a laughing crowd around him)
You’re nothin’ but a bunch of FAGGOTS!

Nora riding bike, with fliers under her arm. Nora looks broodingly at mirror. Nora stares into her bath..

You can’t do it. It’s impossible - the people, the prejudices - they’re not going to change. You can’t possibly take on the world.

Large crowd of people flocking to table and signing up.

You can take on the world, or let it take you. But it should always be your choice. It only takes one person to make a difference.

We will be filming our trailers both today and tomorrow, so though I have the sneaking suspicion that we (once again) overscripted, I look forward to getting this part of the project in the bag and over with. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Final Project & Critical Reflection

Whew. What a ride. My final project and critical reflection are below.

Note: Due to the protocol of the Creative Commons format and the wishes of the music's creator Kevin MacLeod, our music is credited in a very particular way in our production. We apologize if this is unconventional.

Wrapping Things Up

Whelp, the end is nigh. Basically, everything was done with our project - except one crucial part. The soundtrack of our piece has just been one continuous headache for the past three weeks - I have called Chad Brown, my contact at Glassnote Productions, every day for the past week on both his cell phone and home phone numbers, and day in and day out the response has been the same:  no, your paperwork is still being processed with upper management.

Urgh. It was enough to pull out my hair.

Finally, about three days ago, Mr. Brown told me that it was time for me to formulate a contingency plan, because it did not look like our request was going to be accepted. Elanna and I were very chagrined, especially since it was such short notice. But after some sleuthing, I found that there was in fact royalty-free music online, which was free to use provided we gave credit to it author, Kevin MacLeod. The Creative Common licensing that we used is available here.

We ended up using Heart of Nowhere, which was hauntingly beautiful and widely appropriate for our piece, matching it wonderfully. The credit is as follows:

"Heart of Nowhere"
Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

In other news, I committed a bit of a faux pas in my last post by answering the A-level questions on our AS level project. My new-and-improved script, which I've been working on for the past week, is in my next post in my Critical Reflection video.