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1. In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forums and conventions of real media products? 2. Research In preparation for the film opening, I researched existing films for conventions of the sci-fi genre. While analyzing films such as Star Wars I noticed a number of genre conventions such as: The characters- The protagonist of the film (Luke Skywalker) is an ordinary person within the world until he is thrust into a story that changes their life. Alien species are also a large factor within the story. Setting- The sci-fi genre mainly uses space and other worlds for the backdrop of the story. Sci-Fi props such as blasters, spaceships and droids are used to help bring the fantasy world in which the story is set to life. CGI effects are commonly used to create planets, monsters and spaceships. Sound- Non-diegetic soundtracks are used in order to sound futuristic. Diegetic sounds are used for spaceships, laser noises and even alien communication. I attempted to create a film opening that borrows from these conventions but still attempts to achieve its own identity within the genre. 3. Setting From the size of the budget that was available for filming, I knew that I wanted to make a sci-fi film that was more grounded and took place on Earth. In order to achieve some aspect of a mysterious location I chose a forest to begin the opening. I took inspiration from Donnie Darko in this aspect as I wanted to keep the story on Earth. The use of an ordinary location allowed me to enhance the events that continue to follow the character for the audience. 4. Sound Due to the grounded characters and setting of the film, it would be difficult to conform to the conventions of the sci-fi genre. Where most films within the genre would focus on a futuristic soundtrack, I have used the diegetic sound of an Indie rock song in order to reflect the setting and tone of the film. In an attempt to replicate the strange sounds that you might hear in a sci-fi film, I used a reversed audio clip of a cup smashing in order to show that something strange was occurring within the scene. 5. Characters and Props I decided to conform to the conventions of the genre by having a young character who is thrust into a life-changing story. Due to the slightly darker and more grounded tone of the film I made him an average teenager who instead of being a pure hearted character actually goes out to parties and drinks with his friends. In order to achieve these character traits I had him use sunglasses and a beer bottle to show that he had just returned from drinking with his friends. Due to the low budget of the film, I had to stay away from the high budget effects that are commonly seen in the genre. To compensate for this I used visually striking practical effects such as a cup smashing or an article bursting into flames. 6. Narrative While researching the sci-fi genre I found that the films would mainly feature an ordinary person who is thrust into a situation where they must save everyone. In my film I conform to the genre conventions as the character is just a typical teen who is thrust into a situation where he must save the world from an oncoming threat. I challenge the conventions of the genre when I make the threat more relative to the character. Due to the low budget I could not have him save the universe like many sci-fi films do, instead I have made the threat smaller.