How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
I think the combination of my main product and my ancillary texts is effective, and they worked together to produce an authentic and believable promotional package. I chose to create a promotional movie poster and a magazine article for my ancillary texts and I think this was a good choice. Both ancillary tasks have certain intriguing aspects, although neither gives too much of the plot away to make the film not worth watching.
For the poster I wanted to incorporate the masked characters to provide a link with my teaser poster. Although they were different masks, I think it is possible to associate the two images successfully. With the teaser poster I was unable to include an image of the central protagonist as this would have gone against the conventional model for a teaser (e.g. James Cameron's Avatar poster doesn't include any of the characters). However, I was able to incorporate Chris Parks onto the promotional poster. I had an image taken from a still in the film (at the point when the girl says his name at the bridge) that had him looking worried and a little scared. I then took another still of the cannibals around the fire to place in the background, to suggest that it’s them that he’s scared of. This provides narrative enigma for the audience; why is he scared of the people by the fire? I think it makes an interesting overall image and entices the audience to watch the film.
Also to tie in with the teaser poster I included the same tagline in my promotional poster. Although some films have had different taglines for different promotions, (e.g. Nolan's The Dark Knight; teaser poster "Why So Serious?" and promotional poster "Welcome to a World Withough Rules") I decided that the same tagline would provide more anchorage that the two posters were referring to the same film. I used the same font for the tagline as well, although made it different from the rest of the font on the poster. The billing block and “coming soon” were written in white, but the tagline and film title were a shade of orange that I took using the palate tool on Photoshop from the heart of the fire. The fire connotes danger and is a sinister source of light in the darkness, so this provides anchorage that my film is quite dark in nature and has a sinister plotline.
The actor that I used in my film, Ash Caton, is mostly unknown so when including his name in the poster I had to use the word 'introducing' to indicate that he is not a well-known actor. Having un-heard of actors in a common convention of short films as many short films have very limited, if any at all, budgets, so I think it was important to incorporate this in the poster.
My magazine article followed the conventions of a film article that I discovered during my research. I was careful not to divulge the entire plot, as this would make the actual film obsolete, but I included a brief synopsis to provide the reader with the basic storyline and leave them interested in the rest of the film. I also included positive quotes from some of the actors (actual quotes that I asked them for) and placed them in bigger, coloured letters so that the reader is drawn to them first.
I kept the formatting of my article very simple and minimalistic as I didn’t want it to look too overdone and tacky. I think being blue and black on a plain white background gives it a more professional look. This format was taken from my research into film magazines such as Empire and Total Film. I included the image from my promotional poster, although not with any text on it, instead of stills from the film in order to provide the reader with some idea of what the film would look like without giving too much away. I also included images of myself editing the footage and the actors reading through the script to show the full production of the film rather than just the finished product.
I think that both ancillary texts provided the audience with interesting images and information that would make my film appealing. Having a four-star rating on the poster from Total Film, a well known film magazine, would not only show the audience that the film is a good one, but also make it appeal to readers of the magazine, potentially widening the target audience. Similarly, including positive comments in the article would make people want to see why critics have acclaimed the film by watching it themselves. I think that the images used will make the film appear interesting and appealing to the audience, and that’s why I think that my ancillary texts are complimentary to my film. I think that the overall package is very effective and would attract a wide audience.