For this reflection, I will be reflecting on the entire trans-media project I complete for Convergent Media. My thesis for this project was to entertain the audience in a comedic way through a video program, Facebook page, twitter page and website. The central concept of this project was centered on the idea of Citizen’s Arrest and the crazy laws that counties have that no one really pay attention to. This movie pokes fun at those laws while adding a complete story line that captures the audience’s attention.
The intended audience for this film is for college students. The reason why I chose college students is because of the character’s age. All of the characters in the film are college aged. The script is written so that the situations that the characters are in reflect similar situations that the audience could be in. For example, a lot of men in college are in athletics and work out frequently. I added two workout scenes so that the audience can relate to workout room conversations like the one the characters have in the film. Not every college student works out however, so I added other scenes like poker night, getting ice cream and drinking coffee at a coffee shop. All of these scenes are similar to actual experiences the audience has. The first draft of the script did not take into consideration of the age of the characters. Instead of beer and pretzels during the poker scene, the first script had the characters eating iced tea and sandwiches. That didn’t seem like the right food college students would eat during a poker night. Almost every college student has drunk a beer before, so this was another way I tried to connect the characters with the audience.
In this project I created messages that were delivered through several different media types. Starting with the website, I wanted to make the website look like an actual county website as much as possible. To do this I made it very simple and clean. Everything had to do with Hegel County and Citizen’s Arrest. I used web-based content that was precise and simple. The paragraphs were big and concise. The content of the website continued and coincided with the content in the movie. The concept of the class is to integrate fan experience beyond just watching the movie. The website is featured in the movie and everything that the main character does in the movie, the average viewer can do on their computer. For example, Jack takes an online test to become a Citizen’s Arrest Officer. On the webpage, fans can go and take the exact same test. Therefore if they watched the movie, they will know the answers. This is one way to engage the viewers and give them more of an opportunity to become invested in the movie. The page’s navigation is simple and easy to follow with all of the links going to the appropriate places. My color scheme went with the color scheme of the movie, which was established on the Facebook page. I added the orange accent to catch the attention of the viewer. For the Facebook page, I wanted to content to reflect the style of the movie. My main goal of the Facebook page was to inform fans of how the movie is going and to interact with fans. I did this through several posts that informed the fans about the trailer or deleted scene and asking questions like what would you have done in this situation or asking them to tell us a time when this situation has happened to you. I also included bios of certain characters like Jack’s girlfriend Megan to give viewer more information. Fans are able to comment and ask questions on the page. This way, the fans not only receive the information, but also have a fun way to interact with the information. The twitter page I created was for the fans to interact with the main character. The page’s purpose is to further develop the story line of Jack Flannigan. The tweets are about his life and what he experiences from day to day. The posts showed funny laws that Jack has been busting people for. These laws are also on the Hegel County website. This way, the two mediums are used together to create a full experience for fans. The tweets from Jack that are about certain laws are the same laws that appear in the movie and on the test that fans can take online. This completes the overall experience and links all of the media that is used in this project.
The movie itself has been edited and tweaked several times before the final product. The movie demonstrates quality message execution by using different camera angles, music, sound effects and proper volume control. To give a real cinematic feel I tried to use a variety of different camera angles. I switched from high to low. In the first and last scene I used a camera angle that was looking at a mirror that reflected the characters face. This angle is different from all of the other angles and it adds a different element to the scene. In other scene’s I used establishing shots that told the audience where the scene was in the world. In the scene where Jack asks if they are “official,” the camera starts on the outside of the building looking in at the couple. This established that they are at a café having coffee. In Hollywood movies, music is being played almost constantly throughout the movie. In my movie, I used music very frequently to add to the mood I was trying to set in the scene. For the poker scene, I changed music in the middle of the scene as the mood went from happy and fun, to suspenseful, and then to sad. I chose three different music pieces for each of those times when the mood changed in that scene. The music sets the mood in the movie. Actors can do a great job portraying a certain emotion, but music makes the audience feel that emotion. In the first scene, the music is upbeat and energizing. The pace is faster which makes the car seem to go by faster, Jack seem to talk faster and the when the car slows down and the music stops, the scene slows way down; more so than it would have without the upbeat music at the beginning of the scene. Music not only helped set the mood, but also enhanced the timing and pacing of the scene.
Overall, all four forms of communication work together as one to bring fans the ultimate Citizen’s Arrest experience. Fan interaction, quality video, story development through social media and the functionality of the website create an experience that is in the fans control. This message shows how all types of media and technology can be skillfully created to create a funny and entertaining piece of communication.