Thursday, 25 April 2019

MAJOR PROJECT: Marketing VET-MAN

I previously gained advice from Emily and Oscar on how I should market VET-MAN. I started by taking on Oscar's advice and looking at other social media accounts to see I how they promote and market their films / product with the aim to become inspired for my own marketing. Oscar initially suggested making a marketing schedule which I hadn't considered before speaking with him. As I have been making schedules throughout the making of VET-MAN, I understood that it may help me with my marketing. Oscar advised that I should note down what I want to share and when. This will help me see how balanced my marketing is and what part I may need to improve on. For example, I may only have a couple of posts in pre-production but maybe too many in production. This would show that I haven't really introduced the project to our followers but instead immediately focused on the filming side. From my research in the pre-production package and subsequently from Oscar, I found that it is possible to overshare on social media as the more regularly you post in a day, the less likely the posts will show to followers. This would be a bad move for a marketing strategy as you would want your posts to be shown to followers in order to get their attention. Below is the table I created detailing the different posts I have made throughout the unit on both Facebook and Instagram:




As it can be seen from the table, I posted all of the pre-production information within one month. Although this was spread out throughout the month, ideally, I should have posted more content over the months from September through to December. However, as this content was posted in November 2018, it was before the research I took out in February 2019 when I was advised to create a schedule. As a result of this, I have learnt from the mistake of only posting in the one month and as it can be seen from the table, I had improved this throughout production. I didn't have a lot of content to post in the January as all of the test shoots and work towards the project was completed in the previous unit which ended in December. We filmed in February so inevitably this would have had a number of posts about the shoot days. The longest time amount of time I had to market the film was in the post-production stage. Once I handed over the edit, I was able to focus completely on the social media and other marketing strategies I found through my research. As a result of this, the post-production stage is where the marketing schedule is longer. I also had more content to post at this point during the project because we had shot all of our BTS photos and production stills, and we were working on the poster. Although I spent more time marketing the film during the post-production stage than any of the other stages, this was expected because according to my previous research (blog post - Development of Fine Cut and Poster), the producer may "market...and generate a buzz for the project" (StudioBinder, n/d) during the post-production stage of a film, as well as overseeing the edit.

Introducing the crew

I posted individual photos of the production team consisting of Alex, Katie and myself during the pre-production unit. However, I hadn't considered the idea of introducing the crew to our followers until I developed my research into marketing. As a result of this, I simply updated the posts to explain a little bit more about the production team. 


Alex's crew introduction post

I included a bit of background information about each of us, such as the roles in film that we are passionate about and our experience throughout our 3 years at University. I was inspired to include this information from A Christmas Cracker's social media. As I explained in the research post, their posts are more posed and edited than ours, but I was still able to take inspiration from their captions. 

Katie's introduction post
My introduction post - written by Alex

My introduction post was similar to both Alex and Katie's, however, I found out in my research that because we are creating a comedy our posts should reflect this and be light-hearted. As a result of posting it on Valentines day, Alex made up a line linking the post to the day. Silly lines like this are a good way to keep our posts amusing for our followers. This may ultimately reflect the comedy that we are creating.

Introducing the cast

I first considered this idea during my research into different marketing techniques. Similarly to the crew introduction posts, I found cast introduction posts on A Christmas Cracker's social media. Again, I thought this was a good idea to inform our followers as to who is playing the different roles. Relating back to my research into The Laughing Mirror Theatre, I noticed that they try to include their followers in their posts. I also felt that relating the posts to the audience was a good way to write amusing captions for our photos. 



Oscar advised to establish the tone of the film and write captions and statuses in that way. As VET-MAN is a comedy, I wrote an entertaining line for each of the cast members. Becky's was 'Luckily she knows what she's doing with the animals, but can the same be said for the other characters? You decide!'. I tried to keep the caption relevant to the film, by incorporating Becky's character, Mollie. Subsequently, this then linked onto the other characters by asking if our followers think they know what they're doing with the animals. This opens up the following questions for our followers - do they know what they're doing with the animals? Does that mean something bad will happen to the animals? 



Sue's comical line was - 'Wondering why she's making that face? We think you'll all be making that face when you see what we've been working on'. From when I first started to develop my marketing skills I knew I wanted to use this photo of Sue. She creates the best facial expressions, this can be proved by scene 4 in the film when Tim puts his blood stained hand on her shoulder along with this photo. As a result of this, I knew I would be able to link an engaging caption with this expression.


Skevy - 'Tess looks extremely fed up, but can you guess why? (or could she just be feeling a bit chilly?' Being the older sister, I wanted to incorporate this into the caption. This gives our followers to guess why she may be fed up, or what has happened for her to pull that disappointed expression.


For Dan's light-hearted line I re-posted a photo and caption that he had already posted on his social media - '"Luke is 100% cut out for this vet thing. Honest" Yep, looks like it'. I really liked the post Dan created on his own social media, so I wanted to use this again on our platform. The only way to do this was to re-post it, rather than copying it and not giving him any credit towards it.


Finally, for our main character Ed - Tim looks as if he's got into a bit of trouble! Can you guess what? Find out in May!' The photo shows Tim with blood splattered on his mask, this could get our followers thinking about the things he could have done to get blood on his face. I ended it with 'Find out in May!' because we hadn't set a release date when I posted these.

Scheduling posts

Once we had finished shooting I was the rough cut editor, and as a result of this all my time was put into making the edit resemble the final film as much as I could ready for Katie to take over. Due to this, I felt that it was appropriate to use the social media scheduling app I researched into during the pre-production package, Buffer. When I first looked into the app I was sceptical if I would actually use it or not. However, I found it a very helpful tool when I was completely focusing on the rough cut. Using Buffer meant that I was able to schedule future Instagram and Facebook posts to share automatically on the day and time that I set. Once I discovered the idea of posting cast introduction alerts to introduce our followers to our cast members, I scheduled them to share one day after another for 6 days. By doing this, I could concentrate on the edit and passing it over to Katie, while keeping our followers entertained at the same time.

Using Buffer to schedule posts

I initially experimented with buffer for these posts to make sure they went out everyday at the same time. As this worked really well, I will use this technique to schedule the countdown posts as these will be posted after our deadline. The posts scheduled for the 'countdown until film release' are shown below. I have decided to start the countdown 5 days before our release date (Thursday 30th May). I initially thought of posting individual cast photos again like I did for the introductions, however, as I have done this before I decided against it. I was also inspired by the idea of putting up large bold numbers to signify a countdown from my research into A Christmas Cracker. Their numbers leading down until the release of their crowd funder are also designed to match their branding. I felt strongly about our numbers matching our branding as well. I felt that the countdown would make sense to follow the tone of the poster. As a result of this, I placed the countdown numbers over the top of the same background we used for the poster. Keeping with the tone of the poster, I kept the font - 'Avenir Next' in heavy. I didn't feel the need to put the numbers in a shade of red, although this is our main colour because it wouldn't have matched the poster as much. The branding between the poster and the countdown numbers flow better with these colours than if I had changed it to red.



I realise that if these were to post in the order I have scheduled them, it would overtake the social media with numbers. Another point that I took from A Christmas Cracker is that they posted additional photos in between their countdown to spread the numbers out slightly. I will ensure I post an extra photo a day of promo photos, allowing the numbers to be split across the social media platforms evenly.



For the release day post, I have scheduled a promo photo of Dan. I felt this was a light hearted and comedic way of explaining the release of the film, in keeping with the tone of our film as Oscar suggested. 



Keeping the social media up to date

Apart from the tactical posts which add to marketing VET-MAN such as the crew and cast introduction posts, I had to constantly post photos and statuses to keep our followers generally up-to-date and interested in our project. When I was giving feedback on the poster, I didn't think the comic strip was suitable as it was difficult to see the photos behind the characters. It also look the focus off the characters which was not what we wanted for a promotional poster. Nevertheless, I came up with the idea of using the comic strip photos for a spoiler without context post. These posts give off spoilers but without any context so the viewers don't understand them until they've seen the film. This works well with this photo collage because if you don't know the story of VET-MAN then it would be difficult to understand what an owl, Tim with drugs, Tim with a mask and hoodie, the vet van, Tess and Sheila all mean. Once the viewers see the film, the individual photos will start to make sense.




My priority with the social media was to keep the posts light-hearted to reflect the tone of the film, this can be shown by the captions I chose in the two screenshots above. I kept all the photos on the social media accounts as natural as I could to fit in with the tone of the film. We shot the film with natural light and I wanted to bring across the naturalness in the social media. It wouldn't be appropriate to post a lot of graphics as they wouldn't represent the tone of the film well. The content above is scheduled to post on both Instagram and Facebook in order to gain two different audiences. As I found in my previous research from pre-production, I will target the younger half of our target age range on Instagram, while targeting the older half of our target age range on Facebook. As a result of this, I felt it was necessary to post on both social media accounts. 

I have decided to use Twitter mainly for research, for example, I found The Laughing Mirror Theatre on the platform, however, I have been continuing with Tim's personal Twitter account that I created in the pre-production stage. I wasn't confident that this marketing method would be effective until Oscar suggested creating an account in a character's perspective and I explained that I had already started it. I struggled with Tim's Twitter account in the previous unit as we didn't have a lot of content that I was able to use on the platform. However, now we have captured our footage and gained promo photos, I have been able to personalise the Twitter to him. This is essential if I want the account to look like his personal page. I started by changing the profile picture to one of him with an owl. This adds to the authenticity of him being a vet, I also changed the cover photo to the van as if it is his pride and joy. 


Tim's Twitter page

I tweeted, re-tweeted and followed accounts to try and make the page as believable as I could. I kept it all relevant to animals, apart from the odd tweet about football. I thought it would be amusing to hear about his animal experiences and then a random football tweet appears. My aim for the Twitter page is to keep it as comedic and light-hearted as I can in order to help bring the tone across of our film. I enjoyed writing these because of the light-heartedness, it was amusing to think of odd things to write about. 


Tim's Twitter page

Screen grabs of VET-MAN's Instagram page:





Screen grabs of VET-MAN's Facebook page:





Poster
VET-MAN poster

I have previously described the stages the poster went through before getting to the final one. However, sharing the poster with our followers is another marketing technique. I wanted to find out how posters can be an effective marketing tool and I found out that we need to get peoples attention with the poster as this will bring in new viewers / followers, it is essential to "ensure that your designs are alluring, but simple. Don't use too many fonts or colours in one design" (PrintPlace, n/d). Alex did a good job with this as I believe the colours and positioning of the characters are alluring / interesting, he also didn't use too many fonts as the main text is the title, and the secondary text is the movie credits at the bottom of the poster. I also found out to make sure that the "company's colours and logo are captured within your poster design, but don't overdo it. Too much could take away from the company's message" (PrintPlace, n/d). There are a couple of colours in the poster but not too many, the main colours being red, grey, white and dark blue. I believe these colours all complement each other and bring across our branding well. The previous poster example with the blood splatter across the background may have been too much and taken the focus off the characters as I explained on the development of the poster, and therefore, it may have taken away from the message of the film. 

While Alex created the poster, I had the chance to give advice and feedback to make sure the poster was bright and bold and matched the rest of our social media pages. It was inevitable that the colour red was going to be involved somewhere in the poster as this is our main colour throughout the project. However, we knew the colour shouldn't cover too much of the poster and make it overbearing for our followers. Throughout the project, we have only featured a small amount of the colour and combined it with whites, greys and black, keeping it subtle. I also made sure that the poster was created with our social media platforms in mind to keep it matching the rest of our content. The poster has a natural feel to it with the photos of Tim and Luke, instead of making it as one large graphic. The natural feel relates to our filming style and promo photos, and therefore, the look of the social media pages.


A different approach to marketing 

After establishing the channel that VET-MAN suits the most, I decided to look into their adverts to see how they market their television shows, with the hope of some inspiration of different ways to promote VET-MAN to our audience. I first looked into Channel 4 adverts to see their layout, I already imagined that the logo would be a prominent part of the advert, which it is looking at the two adverts below. I have also noticed along with the logo, the only thing that is written on the advert is the television show name, genre, time and date. Another thing that stood out were the colours. The colours match between the writing and logo. The orange in the advert below stands out more than the blue. Although the blue writing and logo don't stand out as much, another colour may not have suited the advert. I will aim to make mine stand out in a similar way as the first advert, however, I will make sure I pick a colour that represents the film.



Channel 4 advertising examples 

After looking into the advertising examples above, I decided to create my own. I picked a shoot photo which we took with the aim of it becoming a promo photo. I picked the larger photo below out from the other's below as it was positioned nicely. There is an even amount of background and characters / van, whereas the first photo below had too much background. I believe that the positions the characters are standing in give off their personalities well. Tim looks authoritative and like someone you'd look up to, and Luke's smile looks quite innocent, as if he's excited and doesn't realise whats about to come. Similarly to the poster, this suits the characters and the tone of the film.

Other potential promo photos
I previously pointed out the colours that the television adverts used. They matched between the writing on the advert and the Channel 4 logo. Again, I replicated this and created red box with the white writing inside saying 'VET-MAN. Brand New Sitcom - Starts Thurs 30 May 10pm'. I put that specific date because that's the day Alex wants to release the film - one week after the screening. In addition to this, as VET-MAN is a dark comedy it needs to be on after the watershed at 9pm, and looking at the Channel 4 TV guide, this is the time in which some of their comedies air. To go with the writing I created a red coloured Channel 4 logo. I positioned the logo and writing at the bottom of the photo because if it was at the top it simply wouldn't fit, it would cover the characters faces. I also purposely covered the VET-MAN writing on the van because I didn't want a repeat of the word on the advert as it's featured in the advert writing.

I tried to position the red 4 logo in different places around the photo but it looked best in the bottom left hand corner. When it was on the right side against the side of the van, there was too much going on and the red colour didn't stand out as well. It stands out nicely in front of the dark background. Ultimately the white logo looked the best, however, to comply with Channel 4's advertising I had to make the logo match the writing. I chose red as it has been the main colour throughout our branding, from initial presentations, through to the final poster. However, the red we have been using is a brighter shade but to match the writing on the advert I had to change the red slightly to a softer shade. Nevertheless, the red is still significant in the progression of VET-MAN. 


Our main colour shown throughout the project

Below is the final Channel 4 advert I created for VET-MAN. I researched into the Channel 4 font and as it is bespoke I couldn't find a template anywhere. As a result of this, I had to find a font that was similar to it - 'veranda'. I believe that my Channel 4 advert looks quite effective and it looks like something that could be on the channel. I have followed the guidelines of the other Channel 4 adverts and I think that the bold colour match helps the advert stand out. Ideally, the shade of red in the 'VM' on the van would match the logo and writing so the shades matched throughout the advert. However, the photo made the red 'V' have a lighter shade to what it was in person. I didn't think this shade represented the film well. As it can be seen above the red we have been using throughout the project is darker and bolder than this. Instead, I matched the writing and the logo and didn't match the 'V'. Nevertheless, as shown in the above adverts, the main feature of the advert is that the logo and writing match which is what I made priority when creating the VET-MAN advert.


VET-MAN Channel 4 advert
I watched Channel 4 live online to get a better understanding of their adverts and how they promote their television shows. Although the new shows coming out now aren't the same genre as VET-MAN, their adverts will be the same. The sitcoms I previously researched into such as Peep Show, Frasier and Everyone Loves Raymond are older sitcoms that shown on the channel, so as a result of this, I based my marketing on the programmes that are coming out now on Channel 4. On the other hand, this is reasonable as VET-MAN hypothetically is a new show coming to the channel, so it makes sense to replicate their advertising on a brand new show. 

The first one I saw was advertising for Location, Location, Location. This was a new series starting soon on Channel 4. Throughout my research into Channel 4's marketing, their branding all follows a pattern. Their branding is made up of blocks with straight lines. The red 4 logo above is their current logo and that is made up of red and transparent blocks and lines. Again with the red and white writing, I noticed that the advert writing is usually in a box with straight lines. Thinking back to the Location, Location, Location advert, the time, date and name of the show is written in the white blocks. I replicated this for VET-MAN as shown below. I kept to the branding of Channel 4 while changing the time, date and name. I also changed 'New Series' to 'New Show' as we aren't creating a series, only the one episode. I thought this looked really effective and as if it could be on Channel 4. This method with the while blocks would appear at the end of the trailer or extract of the film. 


Next, I saw another couple of adverts that were more focused on the colour of the advert. They didn't have a clip or still of the film underneath the advertisement, just a coloured background. Both adverts below had an animation to them but the animation became still once the text came onto the screen. Again, these are advertising brand new shows starting on Channel 4 so I felt it was necessary to replicate their branding and marketing technique for VET-MAN.

I started by creating a variety of 3D rectangles of different sizes, some with a pointed edge and some with a flat edge and scattered them accordingly to the advert for D-Day (below). I tried to match them as best as I could to make a suitable replica. Once I had set the look of the advert similar to Channel 4, I had to personalise it to VET-MAN. I decided to change the coloured blocks to the same shade of red that I used for the first advert I created (matching the shade of red from the writing to the logo). By doing this I am keeping our colour scheme throughout VET-MAN's marketing. In the original advert, the show was sponsored by a make of car. I replicated this by having the sponsored section but put the UCA logo to show that we are sponsored by the University. I think this looked effective and authentic as if it could be shown on Channel 4. Again, I promoted the show to start at 10.00pm so it is after the watershed. However, the advert for it would be clean so this could be shown at any point throughout the day.


The next few adverts I saw were similar to the D-Day one above, but the animation just finished in a different position on the screen. I also noticed how Channel 4 uses their colours. The advert for First Dates had a pop of colour to reflect the tone of the show. Using the teal and pink colours together made me think of fun, excitement and adventure which is what First Dates is about. The synopsis for the show on IMDb is described as a 'dating show with a twist that takes advantage of modern forms of dating'. The colours they have used in the advert for First Dates would usually clash, so it can be said that they've taken a twist on standard colour rules and emphasised the modernness of the show. The next advert I saw was for Chimerica which is a completely different genre to First Dates. Although it is obvious that these are completely different shows, the tone of the show can be seen from the colour choices alone. Chimerica is a drama with the IMDb synopsis describing the show with the word 'mysterious'. As I said previously, the different tone of these two brand new shows are represented by the colour palette in their adverts. I described First Dates colour palette as fun, exciting and adventurous, however, I could describe Chimerica's black and grey coloured palette as dark and mysterious. From this I have learnt that the audience can learn a lot from just the colour palette of an advert. 


I wanted to replicate the tone of VET-MAN into my advert for Channel 4. After looking at the adverts above, I have learnt how important the colour palette is. VET-MAN is essentially a dark comedy so I could go two ways in the colour palette of the advert. I could either go bright and cheerful to represent the comedy aspect to the film, similarly to the way I've been posting on the social media, or I could bring out the darkness of the film by using a darker colour palette. 

I decided to create both. I started with brighter colours that usually wouldn't be put together, inspired by First Dates. I decided to go for a bright blue and a slightly duller shade of red. Similarly to the previous advert, I created red blocks but I put these on a light blue background. I think they represent the comedic tone of VET-MAN well. To me, the red and the blue signify superhero colours. As we wanted to give off a superhero look to the poster, I think these colours are suitable for the VET-MAN advert. I kept to the same day and time for the film to be shown - Thursday 10.00pm, as we are releasing the film on a Thursday (30th May). Hypothetically, this advert would appear on the week leading up to the release date (week commencing Monday 27th). 

Subsequently, I created another advert but with a slightly darker colour palette. I wanted to include the colour red as this is the main colour in our branding throughout the whole project, but this time I made the background red rather than the blocks. I brought the brightness of the red down compared with the red on the blue advert to keep with the dark tone. I then made the blocks into a shade of grey as this colour is also quite prominent in our colour palette as shown in our poster. The colour of the text was next. The black in the blue advert suited well, however, the black text on the red advert looked a bit too dark as it wasn't clear to see. As a result of this, I decided to use white so the text was clear. However, I didn't use a bright white as we want a dark tone to the advert, I used a darker shade of white / light shade of grey so it didn't look too different to the general look of the poster. I was inspired by this from Chimerica's advert as they also use white text, but it's not a bright white, it's more of an off white in keeping with the general dark tone of the advert. I believe that both adverts look effective and authentic. I think they both also give off the different tones that the film could be perceived by - comedic and dark.



As well as advertising on television, Channel 4 have their own catch up service online. I decided to try our advert on there as this required the promo photo to be in a different format. These adverts are still landscape, however, a lot smaller in size as they are advertising more programmes than just the one on the computer screen. Throughout my advertising examples I have kept the same photo of both Tim and Luke in front of the van. This is because the adverts I have been manipulating are the same layout, just different sizes. If I came across a marketing technique on the channel that required a portrait photo, I would change the promo photo to a close up of one of the characters. However, I have not needed to do this. 

To create the two adverts below for the catch up service, I inserted our promo photo and found a font most similar to the Channel 4 font already on the screen. As I said previously, the font is bespoke and therefore, not available for me to download. As a result of this, I found the font 'Trebuchet' which looked the most authentic for something on the Channel 4 catch up website. This was a simple advert to make and I believe it the look of the chosen promo photo looks really effective on the screen, it has a realistic feel to it due to our natural shooting techniques during filming. I believe this looks authentic next to the Hollyoaks advert as this show also has a natural aesthetic to it.

VET-MAN advert on Channel 4's catch up service - 4oD

Street marketing


I was advised by Emily to advertise VET-MAN with street marketing, for example, printing images / illustrations onto lamp posts or coffee cups, hiring out a room and projecting bits of the film on the wall. These were all well thought through and creative ideas but unfortunately due to our small budget, I wouldn't have been able to do the projections or hiring any spaces for exhibitions. As a result of this, I decided to try the more cost-effective marketing method that she suggested, such as printing an illustration onto a sticker and sticking it in locations that are popular with our target audience. Emily offered to create some illustrations for us so I set her up with that. She suggested getting some adhesive paper to print the illustrations out on so I can easily create the stickers to help advertise VET-MAN in other ways than social media. She explained that she was going to put our main hashtag on the illustrations and then ideally, the public will go to our hashtag and then find our Instagram account. Once they find this, it'll be easy to find the Facebook account and keep up-to-date with our film. After a few weeks she had created a couple of illustrations for me to print out. I can also post these on social media if I wanted. Below are the illustrations she made. I advised her on a couple of things but apart from that I let her create what she wanted. I sent her the story synopsis so she had an idea of what happens in the film, I sent over the poster so she could see our colour scheme and I explained that our main colour was red. As she suggested, she included the #vetman so if any members of public were to look up the hashtag they should come across our Instagram, and subsequently the rest of our social media posts and platforms. 




When I received these illustrations back from her, I was impressed. I thought they looked really effective and the shade of red gives a good pop of colour. The red and black can also represent the dark comedy side to the film. I went back to Emily with this and asked if she thought I should put some more information with them for people to read, but she said the idea of these is so they just have the hashtag and then people will find out more information about the film once they find the hashtag on social media. Emily next suggested finding different locations in which to place the stickers, she advised something metal such as a lamp post but she said to be as creative as I can. I started thinking of places that are popular for 16-30 year olds to visit. I placed these stickers in a variety of different places, such as my local high street, a shopping centre and on some clothing recycling bins. I felt that anywhere to do with fashion would be popular with younger people, especially at the weekend. I also placed some stickers on bins at the beach, as we had a spout of good weather at the time I was looking for creative locations. I also placed them outside my local cinema and down one of the main high streets where younger people like to go in the evenings. I found a couple of lamp posts and bins that already had some stickers on them so I added mine to it. Some of my locations are shown in the photos below:

Recycling bin & high street

I posted a variety down the high street, at the promenade along the beach and at the shopping centre, rather than just one or two. I feel that these will appeal to more people if they see them scattered in the area. They may ignore the first one or two but may become interested in what the sticker is about after realising they're scattered everywhere. I wasn't sure whether this would work or not but some time after I distributed the stickers we had additional followers on our Instagram page. In the end we had a total of 164 followers when before this we had about 30. Subsequently, we had more comments and more people found the Facebook page. This has proved that this marketing technique works, the stickers are small but effective. 

Shopping centre & high street

Reflection
- The marketing schedule helped me see where I was stronger in posting on the social media and where I was weaker. I believe I was able to make up for lost time on the social media because during the post-production stage I was able to put all my focus on marketing VET-MAN. My posts were spread out over the course of the whole project which helped gain followers, as I was posting every now and then rather than over indulging on the pages and annoying followers.

- I believe I brought the tone of the film across well in my social media posts. I wanted to keep the posts light hearted to reflect the comedy aspect of the film. This was initially suggested by Oscar and something that I hadn't thought of prior to contacting him.

- Surprisingly, the stickers worked and we gained many new followers on our social media page. I have learnt about the impact other methods of marketing have on our target audience, rather than just relying on social media alone. 



References:
StudioBinder. (2019). What Does a Producer Do: The Various Types of Producers in Film & TV. Available: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-does-a-producer-do/. Last accessed 24th April 2019.

- PrintPlace. (n/d). Market with posters to reach potential customers in many different locations.. Available: https://www.printplace.com/articles/a-successful-poster-marketing-campaign. Last accessed 25th April 2019.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

MAJOR PROJECT: Development of Fine Cut & Poster

DEVELOPMENT OF FINE CUT

As part of the feedback from Beth, she suggested getting someone from outside the production to watch the film to see if they think any scenes don't add anything comedic to the film. This will be a good way to decide what needs to be cut down in order to make the film snappier, and therefore, funnier. As it was a case of refining the footage now, I felt that it was a good time to pass the edit onto Katie. She hasn't been looking at the edit as much as I have and therefore, will have a fresh mind when looking at it. She will be able to refine the film and remove parts that don't add anything comedic to the story. In addition to this, I am confident that I have done as much as I can with ordering the footage and making it resemble the final product. As I found in my research, this is as far as the rough cut goes. Once it starts to resemble the final film it is time to focus on the audio, sound effects and colour which means it is now in the fine cut stage. Although the film has now been passed on, I will still be involved with the fine cut by scheduling viewings with Katie. Similarly to the shoot days, I need to make sure the initial vision of the film is being realised. We shot the film similar to our original plans which was ideal, but as we are progressing further into the post-production stage, I need to make sure the film still holds our initial vision.

Fine cut 1



After Katie had the edit for a week, I had a viewing with her. She said that she felt the footage was all in the right places, and she only changed a few minor shots that she thought fit better. This was completely fine with me as I had been staring at the edit for over a month, and it needed a fresh mind looking at it. As the footage was pretty much in the correct order, Katie went onto fixing the audio and importing sound effects. I left the sound effects out as I concentrated purely on the footage, so it was good to see the film with more character in it with the added effects. I added in all the audio / sounds (e.g. the vase breaking, some of the owl screeches) that we had recorded but we agreed that finding the sound effects online was a part of the fine cut. 

The sound effects needed were:
- The printing sound
- The additional owl screeches
- Flapping sounds / wind, air
- Thud's when they hit the dog, when Luke drops the dog at Sheila's doorstep
- Dog cry when they hit the dog
- Gameboy noises

My feedback to fine cut 1:
- The sound effects listed above add to the story really well. The printer sound really brings together the first scene which is good.
- Audio is a bit pitchy in scenes 7 and 9.
- The owl screeches really add to the idea of the owl being distressed and get the point of the scene across well.
- Katie had tweaked the owl punch and it looked a lot better to when I had it. I knew passing it to Katie at this point would be beneficial so she could look at it with a fresh mind. 
- Game boy noises still to do.
- The edit is really improving and I am liking it a lot more with the sound effects included. 

As I have finished my job as editor, I started to view the footage with a producer's mindset. The producer "oversee[s] post-production from editing, through music composition and picture lock" (StudioBinder, 2019). I was creating the rough cut previously, so I was involved with the picture lock because I was deciding what order the footage went in. I understand Katie will change some of the footage around if she thinks it'll look better elsewhere. However, she will inform me when she changes the footage so I can oversee it and give my feedback. From this piece of research, I have established that I will oversee each aspect of the fine cut, as I did for the rough cut. Music, audio, sound effects and colour will be down to me in the end. Once Katie has applied it to the film I can give my feedback and request it to be changed if I think it needs to be. During this time period, the producer may also "market the project and generate a buzz for the project by working with a PR team" (StudioBinder, 2019). I have started the marketing process for VET-MAN, however now I have the opportunity to take this further as I will no longer be in full control of the edit. As we are a small production group, we don't have a PR team like a large-budget film would have. However, I have commissioned Emily, an illustration artist, to help create pieces to help market the film. Therefore, I can still take on this research into the final stages of the film by getting her more involved with the marketing side of VET-MAN. 

In further research I found that even if the shooting has finished, the producers can still demand that additional scenes be filmed. As I have been creating the rough cut and believe that we have got all the successful shots required for our film, it will be unlikely that I will want to re-shoot additional footage in the fine cut stage, however, this was interesting to keep in mind. I believe I will continue my marketing of VET-MAN while keeping track of the fine cut. I will schedule viewings with Katie to see how the film is developing and give feedback where it is necessary.

In the fine cut, Katie had started to work on the audio issues during scene 7 & 9 when Tim and Luke arrive at the Owl Academy for the first time. We filmed right next to a river, which we didn't notice when we visited the owl academy for previous test shoots. The wind through the trees didn't help either, as a result of this, we needed a bit of sound work done on these scenes. Katie attempted to fix the unwanted background noise, however she found this difficult as the more she decreased the background noise, the more robotic the characters voices sounded.

To work around this, Katie came up with the idea of putting in a shot of the river to first establish the noisy background before we see the characters getting out of the van. As a result of this, Katie will be able to slightly adjust the background noise but she won't need to take it out completely because we have established the idea of a river behind the characters. We had planned to conduct an ADR day. We initially were going to do this on the voiceover day, however Alex and I realised how much practice and preparation we would need beforehand. This was no problem as I spoke to Ferg about sitting with him a couple of times to learn the basics of ADR, as the rough cut editor. Once Katie realised changing the audio in scene 7 & 9 makes the characters voices robotic, I brought up the ADR day again. Up until this point, Katie and Alex both communicated that the audio issue was being solved, however, I didn't realise that they were struggling with this. As I said previously, I brought up the ADR day again but both Katie and Alex weren't keen on doing this. Admittedly, we are running low on the budget that we have already added to so I understand their hesitation to hold off on the ADR day, however, if it's going to bring the quality of the film up, I was interested to try it. Due to our differences, the decision was made to not conduct an ADR day, I left the edit with Katie to continue improving the audio as much as she could, particularly in scene 7 & 9 and I would review it again in the next few days.

On the other hand, to support our decision to not conduct the ADR day, in my research with Randy Thom, he advised that "in the end directors almost always prefer the production sound, even if it's noisy and distorted" (Thom, n/d). ADR can sometimes sound too clean, which is what I experienced from replacing the dialogue for scene 11 (when Tim and Luke enter the academy before owl punch). Even if we conducted the ADR properly, I wouldn't have been confident in using it for a whole scene incase we struggled to get it to sound natural with some added atmos. 

Fine cut 2

 


Katie's method of editing is slightly different to mine. She prefers to do a lot to the edit and then show us. As a result of this, I left it a week from the previous viewing until I saw it again. At this viewing, Katie had progressed really well. The colour correcting was nearly finished and it looked a lot better to when I had the edit. During the rough cut the footage was very yellow in the first scene, however, now it looks more natural. 

Main points from fine cut:
- Colour grade is nearly completed 
- Audio is almost done

My feedback:
- Audio when Luke runs back to van
The audio when Luke runs back to the van after visiting Sheila didn't quite match the rest of the film. The volume of this needs increasing.

- Titles could go after “I’m VET-MAN” then continue with him running out of the room
We need to establish where we want the titles to be. Alex suggested having them after Tim's line "I'm VET-MAN". I think the titles would be suitable there as we've basically introduced the title and idea of the film with that line of dialogue. I don't think the titles would be as suitable anywhere else. Once we finish with the titles, we can cut back to the scene when Tim knocks the vase off and runs out the room. 

- Owl noises echo slightly
The additional owl noises in the owl punch scene sound slightly echoed. It doesn't quite match the location of the scene as we are outside at this point in the story, and you wouldn't hear many echoes outside. This may need a re-think to see if there are any other owl effects that sound more appropriate for the outside location.

- Possibly cut dialogue when Tim walks around the van in scene 13. The audio dips and sounds different to the rest of the audio.
One of Tim's final lines in the film is when he walks round the back of the van to get in it in scene 13. As we had the boom on the left side of the van, when Tim walks round to the right, his dialogue is quieter. This sounds different to the other dialogue in the film and therefore, is quite noticeable, especially as we can hear Tim's line "The game is a foot" quite clearly when he enters the owl academy but is a distance from the camera. If this line can't be made louder, it may be a case of cutting the line and dialogue leading up to it. If it cannot be fixed, cutting this line would be necessary as it brings down the quality of the film and doesn't add anything to the story. Relating back to previous research, I must not be afraid to cut something. If it doesn't add to the story then it needs cutting.

Viewing catch up

While I was viewing the edit, I decided to find out how their last tutorial went with Beth and Simon as I was unable to attend. Apart from some tightening of shots, Beth was very pleased with the progress made on the fine cut. 

Simon's feedback:
- Possibly change shot of dog round so we see Tim and Luke first before seeing the dog in scene 4. Only problem with that is that we don't have a shot of Tim picking a dog up as the dog was filmed on another day. Due to this, we need to see the dog as the first shot in scene 4.
- Audio on car park, scene 7 & 9. Katie is currently working on this to improve it for the next fine cut.
- General tightening of shots. This is happening throughout the edit. The length of a shot may seem correct one day, but then the next time we look at it, it may need cutting down. As a result of this, refining the footage will be ongoing until the deadline. 


Individual viewing on big screen (fine cut 2)

Fine cut 2 on big screen

We are due to have a big screen viewing after the Easter break. Katie, Alex and I felt that it would be best to view the film on the big screen before the group viewing. By doing this, we can see how it looks first to make any tweaks that may be needed. Ideally, we want the film to look its best before the rest of the group see it, which is why viewing it prior to the rest of the group is a good idea. 
Katie, Alex and I met up in the Easter holidays at the studios and set up the latest fine cut (fine cut 2) on a projector in one of the lecture rooms.

My Feedback to individual big screen viewing:
- Timing a bit quick?
I felt that the timing was slightly faster in some parts of the film. As I have worked on the edit myself in the rough cut, I understand how difficult it is to view the edit in Premiere Pro as it lags a lot. Some parts of the edit, I felt went a lot quicker than the rest of the film. I put together the rough cut but as I haven't seen it for a while, it seems faster than when I was working on it. I understand that Katie has been changing bits that I originally worked on which is completely fine. I checked with them both that they were happy with the timing and pace of the film, in case this was something they didn't think of when watching the edit back. However, they were both happy with the timing, and as a result I was happy with it. 

- Tim's ear - weird yellow reflection. 
There was an odd yellow reflection on Tim's ear in scene 2, when he gets into the van after seeing the slogan. Katie and Alex didn't notice this until I pointed it out. I recommended Katie try to change this, whether it's by changing the colour slightly so the yellow colour isn't as vibrant and obvious.

- Export at full quality next week. Should we do it before the viewing? 

During the viewing, Katie suggested exporting the edit at the full quality we want to export the final film at. I agreed with this, as we may not like it at the quality we have been working towards during the project, and we'd rather realise this now rather than on the final export. This point led me onto suggesting to do this export before the big screen viewing next week. I feel that this is important because we are watching it on the big screen in front of everyone to see how the quality and audio are on the big screen rather than a small Mac screen. However, so far we have been exporting the film at a lower resolution than what we want to export the final edit in to speed up the export process, purely for rough and fine cuts. As a result of this, I felt that it would defeat the point to show the group the edit in the lower resolution due to watching it to see how the quality is on a bigger scale. I suggested this to Katie so ideally she will export it at the real quality before the big screen viewing by next week.

- Audio in car park (scenes 7 & 9) - change audio so the pitch matches - different levels at the moment. 

The audio in the car park of scenes 7 & 9 is something we have struggled with from the beginning of the edit. We decided that an ADR day wasn't ideal due to the budget, so we thought we could solve it in the edit. Fortunately, the dialogue is still clear and we can hear their voices well. The background noise from the wind and the river is what is bringing the quality of the film down. To start solving this Katie put in a shot of the river so we establish the reason for the loud background noise. However, it was still quite prominent. At the moment the edit consists of some changes to the audio in those scenes, but it causes a pitch issue where the sound is louder and then quieter in different takes. This doesn't allow the sound to flow smoothly. The audio problem is more noticeable as it is now, with the pitch issues, rather than if it was loud but flowing smoothly. As a result of this, Katie said she will take the changes off and simply try to lower the volume of the background noise.

- Stops quite abruptly after scene 9 (Tim shows Luke the drugs in the car park. Stops abruptly in night scene when Luke goes into enclosure.  

I felt that some of the transitions weren't quite right. The scene stops abruptly at the end of scene 9 and 10 and personally, it feels a bit awkward. I checked with both Katie and Alex whether they wanted the hard cuts or a fade to black, and Alex said he'd rather the hard cut to match the tone of the film. I understand what he means - we haven't got any other fades due to creating a comedy the editing needs to be quick, and a fade isn't quick.

- Game boy noises

- All colour correction looks good on big screen

- Red eye from Mark's punch looks better now it's colour graded.
The red eye on Tim's face at the end of the film looks a lot better now it's colour graded. Throughout the rough cut I felt that it had an orange tone to it on camera, even though it didn't look like this in person. The orange tone made it look less believable to me, so I am pleased that it now has a bright shade of red.

- Too much flapping sound from owl - notices more from the audio on big screen. 
Katie added in more owl screeches and flapping noises for the owl punch scene, however we realised on the big screen with a better audio system, there was a bit too much flapping. We decided that we could do with less flapping in order to bring the believability up. I also think the added owl screeches have a slight echo on them, there may be another sound effect which may suit the situation better. As we are located outside, the echo in the owls screech didn't suit the scenario. I suggested this to Katie and she said she'd look for more owl screeches.

- Turn saturation down slightly in The Bell Inn car park (scene 13). 
The general colour of scene 13 in the car park of The Bell Inn is quite bright. The bright sunlight may have added to this, Katie said she would play with the saturation in order to try and bring the brightness down to match the rest of the film. 

Beginning titles

Now the fine cut was developing really well, we starting thinking about titles and music. From the beginning our inspiration for VET-MAN was The Thick Of It. We used their filming and editing style to complete the film - this includes the titles. In The Thick Of It they simply have a black screen with white text on top. We wanted to replicate this for VET-MAN. The titles were due to be done in the fine cut, so Katie did this after fine cut 2. When I viewed the titles after she had created them I was surprised how small they were compared with the titles that we were taking inspiration from. I liaised with Alex about this and he explained that he liked the idea of a anticlimactic feel to the titles. The audience may be expecting big and bold titles, so it's the idea of doing the opposite to what they are expecting. The idea of the anticlimactic feel could also reflect Tim's character. He portrays the idea of being a successful vet even after the audience find out about the fake diploma. This can be shown in his confidence when he says "I'm a vet, I can fix this... door.... tools". Once he slips and kills the dog, the we see him as a failure and the idea of him being a successful vet is gone.


The Thick Of It titles (left) our titles (right)

Music

Alex chose the music for the film as he had a vision of what he wanted the music to sound like, however, from previous research from an article by Studio Binder, as part of my creative role of producing, I must "oversee post-production from editing, through music composition and picture lock" (StudioBinder, 2019). As I have been a part of the editing by creating the rough cut, scheduling fine cut reviews with Katie and giving feedback, this means that I have successfully been a part of the editing and picture lock. To follow through with my research, the producer is also involved with finer details such as the music, as a result of this I had to be a part of the music choices. I was happy for Alex to choose the music as long as I could review his choices to see if they fitted with the style of VET-MAN. We originally didn't want to include any as our inspiration The Thick Of It doesn't have any music. However, we received feedback about adding music a few times during our viewings. As a result of this we decided to include a small amount. Alex decided that the best place to put the music was when we were inside Tim's mind when he believed he was being a successful vet. Along with my jump cuts, this may help bring this idea across to the audience. To reflect this, Alex wanted a superior theme to the music and then the idea of it stopping when we are back into reality, for example music over the surgery scene and then cut it when he slips and kills the dog. Once we cut back into reality and the music stops, we hope to make the audience believe we are now out of Tim's mind. Although we were undecided about music, we knew we wanted some in the night scene due to the lack of dialogue. Alex suggested from the start to have a 'heist' type of music, which I agreed fit really well. I was confident with all Alex's choices surrounding the music. I really liked the idea of cutting it when we are back in reality, I think this will help the idea of Tim feeling superior. As I was happy with the music, they went ahead and put it into the places that Alex explained, I was very confident once I heard the edit back with the music. I think we have developed the film so far since the first rough cut that I created.

Reflection
- Overall, I think the film is coming along really well. The colour grade has made a big impact on the film and has improved it massively. The first scene was a horrible shade of yellow due to the sunlight reflecting off the curtains, however, Katie has done really well with the colour and it has more of a natural tone to it. 

- The sound effects have also improved the quality of the film. As the sound effects come into the film in the fine cut, I had to edit the film without them. It was difficult to enjoy editing the film when the sound and colour hadn't been touched at that point. However, now the majority of the sound effects and the colour is almost complete, I am starting to really like the look of the film. Personally, that in itself means that the film has developed well. 

- Katie has refined the edit even more than I had which is good. There are a couple of shots that she's taken out, such as the shot of the broken vase and a couple of lines from Luke. I agreed with her reasoning behind this because when she first had the fine cut she was looking at it with a fresh mind. That is what the edit needed to help refine it even further. 

- I think the music brings the edit together well, and is cleverly cut around the action. 

- From previous research, I discovered that the producer should understand all "aspects of production from development through to final edits" (Levinson, 2018). I believe by scheduling fine cut viewings and being there to watch and give feedback that I have taken on the creative role of producing well. I have been present throughout production and after I passed the fine cut on, I was available for viewings to ensure the film was going in the correct direction, following our original plans. 


POSTER DEVELOPMENT

While I was working on the rough cut, Alex started playing around with the poster. I suggested asking Emily to create something for the poster, but we decided that we'd rather work on it ourselves for our project. Alex has had previous graphic design experience at school and he enjoys it in his spare time. As a result of this, I was happy for Alex to create the poster as he was keen to do it. Alex created a number of different examples of posters and I gave feedback on each one. 


Poster 1 & 2 

Poster 1:
In order to get an example of the first poster, Alex picked two photos we took on the last shoot day that he liked the look of. This gave us an idea of how we could develop the poster from here. We wanted Tim's authoritativeness and Luke's innocence to come through in the poster, without giving too much away. The first poster started with the blood splatter as this is quite a prominent part of the story, it also goes well with Luke holding the needle. The audience may be able to get a gist of it what the story is about. This is ideal because the audience may be more likely to watch it if they can picture a story with the poster that interests them. 

I liked the photos of the characters that Alex picked because they express the personalities well that I explained in the previous paragraph. Luke looks innocent as he's holding the syringe up with the needle pointing towards his face. It's as if he doesn't realise what a syringe is for and any other person wouldn't point the sharp end towards their face. In addition to this, the way Tim is standing expresses the confidence that he believes he has as a vet. From the start Alex said that he would quite like a superhero theme to the poster to go with our title of 'VET-MAN'. I believe that we have achieved the superhero look to the poster with Tim's body language. The authoritativeness that I mentioned before gives off the superhero look, as superhero's are shown in a good light in films, where vulnerable people look up to them. However, I felt that his facial expression looked a bit cocky with the raised eyebrows and one eye open more than the other, whereas Tim's photo in poster 2 his facial expression looks more serious and wise. I think the photo of Tim in poster 2 is ideal as we want the audience to think he knows what he's doing, and then they will find out that he doesn't. 

Alex also said from the beginning that he wanted a 'comic book' look to the poster if we were going down the superhero idea, but I didn't feel that the design of this poster expressed that well. 

Poster 2:
I like both photos in poster 1 of Tim and Luke but I don't think they look right together. The way they're positioned makes them look as if they are two completely separate scenarios. As soon as Alex showed me poster 2 I thought that the photos looked better together. They look as if they've come from the same scenario of Tim being brave while Luke stands behind scared and hugging the bag. Once I saw these photos together I was confident that they should be shown together in the poster.
Comic strip idea with photo collage

For this background, Alex put together a few BTS photos and stills from the edit to create a 'comic strip' look to reflect his idea of the comic book. He chose a variety of photos, and tried to include each character in the background. Reflecting on the collage, he's included Tess, Sheila, Luke, Tim, the van, the drugs and an owl. 

These photos can imply 'spoilers without context', as they include each aspect of the film, but the audience wouldn't be able to work out what happens from these photos. These types of posts are very popular on Twitter with the most popular at the moment being about Avengers: End Game. As Avengers: End Game is such a long-awaited film that is part of a very well-known franchise, viewers are worried that they'll see spoilers about the film before they've seen it. As a result of this, people who were first to see it have been posting 'spoilers without context' where there are a number of completely different photos that make no sense unless you've seen the film. As this is very popular with a big franchise like Marvel, it may be worth using this idea in the poster. The only problem surrounding this idea is that you can't really see each photo in the background so the audience wouldn't be able to see the spoilers anyway. However, the background does take some of the focus off Tim and Luke and the meaning behind their body language. Although both ideas of the photo collage and the positioning of Tim and Luke are good ideas, they don't quite work together. I fed back that maybe a plain coloured background would be more suitable, as long as it's not white. I feel that the background would need to be a colour of some sort.

Another point that I fed back to Alex was that I wasn't too keen on the spots on Tim and Luke's faces. like the spotty comic look to the background, but it didn't look right on their faces. Alex took on this feedback and removed the spots from their faces. 

I think that there is a lot going on in poster 2, and I feel that the focus should be on the main characters rather than the background that you can't really see anyway. After feeding this back to Alex he started on poster 3.


Poster 3 & 4

Poster 3:
The poster has developed well without the spotty effect on the faces. I also quite like the plain background. That particular shade of grey brings out the colour in the rest of the poster, and keeps the focus on the characters. This is what I fed back about in the previous poster so I was immediately drawn to this. Although he has kept this idea all the way through the posters, I like the white outline around the characters. Even without the comic strip background, the outline gives off a cut out / pop art / comic look to it, which is what Alex originally wanted to go for to combine with the superhero idea. 

I also like the new VET-MAN title rather than the logo we've been using for social media. As we've been looking at the VM logo throughout the project, it looks slightly boring and uninteresting on poster 1. It also looked as if it had a 'cut and paste' look to it, whereas, we want the poster to wow the audience and for it to be slightly different to the photos and videos I have already posted on the social media. I think the new title also gives off the comic book idea we want to come across. The bold, white writing stands out well too, it shouts 'VET-MAN' which is ideal for a poster in order to grab people's attention.

Similarly to the spotty effect on the skin, I wasn't sure it looked right on the white title. Looking at poster 4, the title without the spotty effect looks as if it stands out more. I believe that the bolder, the better on a poster.

Poster 4:
As we were starting to like the basic features of the poster, it was time to add more detail. For example, we all liked the positioning of the characters, the colours, and comic book effect, so now it was time to add in the titles that are featured at the bottom of every film poster, detailing the cast and main members of crew. From the start I wasn't keen on Ed and Dan's name at the top of the poster. I thought it should be featured in the small writing at the bottom. As we were happy with the poster design, it was just a case of rearranging the bottom titles and making them smaller as I felt that they took up too much from where they are positioned in poster 4. Alex made them fit on two lines and they looked a lot better and more professional.

Once we had established the final poster, I contacted my local copy shop to get the poster printed in high quality, size A1. We also opted for a matt finish. We thought glossy may become too reflective so matt was the safer option. I collected the poster later that day.

The final poster



Reflection
- While Alex was creating the different poster examples, I thought that I had made the right decision in letting us create the poster rather than asking Emily to create something. When we had our final poster, I thought that I could have considered asking Emily to create something anyway in case we were to like hers more or even if we liked different aspects about it to add to ours. Nevertheless, I am extremely happy with the outcome and I like the idea that we have created it to help showcase our project.

- I think the photos chosen reflect Tim and Luke's personalities well. We were lucky to have two extremely good cast members for our main characters to help portray these characters well. Their body language and facial expressions look very effective on the poster, and give off the correct impression for the type of film we have created.

- I really like the colours used in the final poster. As I said previously, I like the grey as it helps bring out the other colours well. I think the comic book idea has come across well with the spotty effect on the background, the white outline and the banner-like title. The white writing also looks good on the darker background. I am glad our photos have a darker tone so we can see the white writing well. I don't think it would have looked as effective if the colour scheme of the poster was made up of light colours with darker coloured writing.



References:
StudioBinder. (2019). What Does a Producer Do: The Various Types of Producers in Film & TV. Available: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-does-a-producer-do/. Last accessed 24th April 2019.

Thom, R. (n/d). ADR. Available: http://filmsound.org/terminology/adr.htm. Last accessed 9th March 2019.

MAJOR PROJECT: Project Evaluation

Production My aim for this major project unit was to further develop the aspects of production which I had written about in the p...