Saturday, 28 April 2012

Evaluation - "In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?"


'The Lads' - Final Coursework

This post is going to look at the ways in which our coursework film opening - The Lads - makes use of traditional conventions that we're used to seeing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. 

First up is probably one of the primary things you'll be paying attention to when you watch the film, which are the characters. Our cast consists of Luke, Oliver and Samir - young male characters. The idea of using males as main characters is pretty common in the film industry (particularly amongst comedy films aimed towards a large market - think The Inbetweeners), though it is generally quite common to have a female star as "the chick", who has absolutely no character background other than being a friend/love interest etc.. In a way this does subvert certain expectations, though as we've only shown two and a half minutes it wouldn't make sense for any additional characters to show up.

(In the vein of existing media such as The Inbetweeners, our main cast are young males)

In regards to the action seen on screen (plot stuff!) a fair bit of what we see is typical 'laddish' irresponsible behaviour i.e. getting thrown out of lesson and drinking in public. This is pretty much a textbook example of Barthes' Mythologies theory which says that things we often see together (in this case, teenage lads and drink) will be presented together.

With the sound we have quite a heavy bassline playing whilst the action is happening on screen; we've used the beat of this to support the pace at which the film moves - from what I've seen this is quite a common way to use music, as it keeps the audience attentive to what is going on. During the title sequence, we have used a vocal theme whilst the credits are shown on screen; this is something which is generally rather common. On the topic of the song, we are well aware that not only is rap music popular amongst youngsters, but rock music is too. This was purely what led us to recording a rap/rock inspired theme.

During the scene at 1:37 where Oliver picks up the wine bottle we've slowed down the playback whilst playing a loud 'magical' sounding piano effect - this looks completely out of place for a lad film aimed at teenagers which was an intentional effect; we played on the wonder of finding the drink for humour (thus satisfying Bahktin's "Carnivalesque" theory; which mentions that the piece may subvert the audience's expectations for humour or chaos). It kinda reminds me of those moments in kids' programmes where they try to shoehorn in some educational content by highlighting a certain object/concept on screen, which again plays on the idea of "look how hilariously out of place this is!".



  1. Use the mind map we came up with to create as detailed a post as possible (I have posted it to my blog). Screenshots and as much media terminology a must.

    1. (Following on from what I said on the other comment)

      I can't seem to find the said mind map; is there a chance you could link me please? In regards to what is here, I've added pictures of the cast of both The Lads and The Inbetweeners, went on a bit more about the song and linked the sound effect to Bakhtin's Carnivalesque... what other essential things do you reckon need mentioning?

      Thanks :D