This essay is to comment on my photo story that I did for my coursework, I will be talking about various things like the lighting, costumes and mise-en-scene, what they did for the photo story and how it helped.
The genre I chose for my photo story was a sports genre. I thought it would appeal to the vast majority of male readers of around 14-18 years old, as it is a football magazine, which I have called “The Kick-A-Bout Crew.”
I think that the story I chose would also interest younger readers as an incident like this one could crop up in their everyday lives. In a newsagent’s local to me, most of the space for papers and comics had been taken up by football magazines; this is partly why I used a football idea.
If I were to sell my magazine, I would be very confident that my target audience would be teenage boys, and my grey market would be female readers as they are not likely to want to read football stories very often in most cases, but not unheard of. I would be very satisfied with this target audience.
The way my story was narrated was through caption boxes and speech bubbles; this made my story quite easy to understand without too much difficulty. My captions were being placed at the bottom of a photo, to be read first, while the speech bubbles on the photo, perhaps slipping onto the background of the document to make sure that they didn’t cover up the characters faces. I placed my speech bubbles in the direction the story’s pictures were placed, normally flowing from left to right so as to make it easier to read.
I used many different camera angles, to subtly highlight the events occurring in my story. For my first photo, I took an establishing shot from a fairly long distance away, taking it from a high angle to symbolize the fact that the boys are really just kids, innocent in youth and also to show the readers were the story takes place. In my second photo I take the photo as a medium shot, from a slightly low angle, so that it appears to the readers that the watching boy is much taller physically and symbolically than Paul and Jimmy showing that he is more important. For my third and fourth shots, I used eye-level close-ups that display the clear emotion on both of the boy’s faces, to depict to the readers the emotions of the boys and put the readers in their positions.
The fifth photo is simply an eye-level medium shot that was the plainest and most obvious way to show the audience what is happening quite clearly. When my main character, Paul, gets tackled, the photo is taken from a high angle from a medium distance for the first view of it, to show the vulnerability of Paul to the audience before switching to an eye-level close-up to make the readers see how cheap the tackle was. The next shot is taken back to a high-angle showing the discomfort and pain that Paul is feeling, making him pitiful to the audience and to make them feel sorry for him, whilst not showing the boy, who is helping Paul up in the same light.
For the next shot I used another eye-level medium shot, with a slight over-the-shoulder feel to it were you see Jimmy listening in behind the two talking boys, to show his sly jealous side to the more judgmental of the readers.
For my penultimate shot I used an eye-level long shot to fit the characters all in but not leave too much background so the audience are drawn to the colour and action of the shot. And finally I used an eye-level close-up of Jimmy getting punched; the camera is supposedly a first-person view from Paul, to make the audience feel as though they’re throwing the punch.
I think that all of these different angles have really illustrated the point that I was trying to make in each photo, they help keep the readers entertained and even kind of involved and would easily help them to understand the characters.
I used particular colours in my background to lure my reader’s attention and immediately tell them the type of story I have chosen. I used a background of green and white like a football field and had the title set against a black and white football, in the actual title the word “foul” was a chilling blood red in the style of chiller. For each of my photos I used a different colour for each caption boxes to try and not make the page too boring and also to try and describe the photos, for instance at the start of the story where it is just a friendly kick about the caption box is a merry yellow, while proceeding through the story coming to the tackle it has slowing turned to a violent shade of scarlet.
I shot my photo story at Dundonald Playing Fields as it fitted in with the story and provided a good mise-en-scene. It’s in the grounds of a shabby looking high school to show that these kids lead a normal school life and this is their day to day surroundings, a the dual carriage way in the background shows how busy the place is and stands for their urban lives.
I also used different costumes to display the type of characters starring in my photo story. Jimmy wore a black tracksuit to show him as the villain, while Paul wore a green and grey Northern Ireland tracksuit, to show that he is not exactly good as gold either, but generally decent and has strong loyalties. The boy watching is wearing a bright red Man U top to show that he is very friendly and is chasing a spot on Manchester United Youth team.
The only lighting was the afternoon sky that made it seem as though they were still at school having a lunch-time game. The football and the goalposts fitted in nicely with the story giving it that sporty touch.
I also added a competition to star in the magazine, which I thought would really grab the reader’s attention and spread the word to their friends.
These are all the devices and techniques I used to make the story interesting, eye-catching and comprehendible.