Website: Audience Review

After finishing my website, I wanted to conduct an audience review just like I did for the postcard so that I could see how people responded to the site. I wanted to make sure there were no glitches and that people found it easy to navigate. I held a twitter poll with a link to the site so that people could look through it and then answer the corresponding questions. I decided to use Twitter again because it worked really well last time and it gives me access to a large cross-section of people from around the world.

Here are the poll results:

Question 1)

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Question 2)

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Question 3)

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Question 4)

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Question 5)

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On the whole, all the results were very positive and I didn’t get any negative feedback regarding glitches, errors, etc. So, I concluded that the site is fine as it is and I don’t need to fix anything.

Page: Acclaim

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The “Acclaim” page is the last page of my film website. Since I purposefully created a scenario in which “Split” is a huge critical success, it only felt right that the website should have a page dedicated the all the acclaim that the film has received from various sources. Featuring positive reviews is an effective marketing tool as people will be more inclined to watch a film if they see that critics have praised it. They think that if other people liked it, they would probably like it too. Especially with short films, reviews are very important as the films do not conventionally feature A-list stars or big budget special effects to gain attention.

I came up with 6 fake quotes from different magazines, newspapers and websites and laid them out in a neat format on the left side of the page. The structure looks balanced as Ashvita’s face takes up the other half of the screen. In each quote, I selected the most important words/phrases and made them larger and changed the colour to blue. This way, the page looks more dynamic and the attention of the viewer will be drawn to the right place. Additionally, I have included the social media links on the top left corner as on every page.

Homepage: Update

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I have made a few alterations to the homepage of my short film website. I added a tagline, and also adjusted the positioning of the film festival laurel leaves. The tagline is featured just below the title and is a single, snappy sentence. I wanted the line to be intriguing and somewhat mysterious, but without giving away anything about the plot of the movie. I didn’t want the disorder to be explicitly mentioned anywhere as this is the big reveal at the end of the film and the audience shouldn’t be told of it beforehand. “Enter the world of a girl who is never alone” is catchy and seems to fit all the criteria. I may alter it if I think of something better, but this is the line that I have decided to go with at the moment. Saying that the girl is never alone references the identities who are always in her head but without giving away the fact that they are identities, and the phrase “the girl” ties the film to the girl featured in the image. Also, using the word “enter” speaks directly to the audience and invites them in.

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I decided to have the tagline be in the same font as the movie title as any other font looked out of place, but I changed the colour to blue so that it would stand out and add some life to the page. Plus, I made the laurel leaves smaller and positioned them in such a manner that the two leaves begin and end along the same lines as the word “Split”. This makes the layout appear neater and more organised.

Gallery: Blooper Reel

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I have edited a short blooper reel with outtakes from filming to include in the ‘Gallery’ page of my film website. As talked about in an earlier blog post, I created a photo gallery for this page that will be featured along with the video. The blooper reel is basically just a compilation of the actor’s messing up/laughing. Bloopers are a great way to engage audiences who enjoy getting a peek behind the curtain, and they are often very entertaining too. Lots of film websites feature blooper reels and use them as effective promotional tools, because when people are watching the video, they are being marketed to without even knowing it. I edited the blooper reel using Final Cut Pro X, and then uploaded the video on YouTube before embedding it on the wix page and publishing.

Here is the Youtube link to the blooper reel:

Page: Film Festivals

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This is the ‘Film Festivals’ page of my film website. For a short film, this is a very important page to have because the film will only be released through film festivals, not theatres. Therefore, for people to be able to watch the film and for the film to make money, audiences have to know where to go and when. So, this website provides information about all the different film festivals that the film has been nominated for and the dates and screening times at each festival. The information is presented in a neat, concise manner that will be easy for users to go through and understand. This way, by just glancing at the page , they will know exactly where to go and when in order to watch this short film.

I selected four film festivals that the film would theoretically be a part of. I selected the “Chennai International Film Festival” and the “Pune Short Film Festival” because this is an Indian-made short film and it is only fitting that it would be featured in some Indian film festivals. However, I also selected two international film festivals – “Cinequest Film Festival” and “LA Shorts Fest”. This is because, even though the film is made in India, all the dialogue is in English and the theme is universal. The film can be watched and understood around the world. I designed each of the laurel leaves as transparent .PNG images on Adobe Photoshop CS6, and then added them to the page.

I have structured the text and laurel leaves in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing, with all the writing beginning and ending along the same line. Thus, all the text appears to fit into a neat, invisible rectangle that creates a sense of order. The page is balanced with the image of Ashwin taking up one half of the screen and the information taking up the other half. The fact that all the writing is in black creates an uncluttered and elegant look, with the black of the text mirroring the black of the shirt and the hair. In the background image, I have blurred everything below the neck so that when the writing overlaps the image a bit at the bottom, the logo still remains readable. On the top right corner I have included the social media links as on every page.

Page: Cast and Crew

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I have designed the “Cast & Crew” page of my film website. For the background I used another still of Anamika from the film and blurred out the rest of the picture from her neck down. This creates a dynamic effect and pulls the attention of the viewer to her face in a powerful manner. The fact that she is positioned on one side of the frame with negative white space to her left, allows the page to have a clear visual structure. The letters are clearly readable against the white background and the text and image strike an aesthetic balance. On the top right corner I have the social media links which I plan to include on every page in order to enable easy cross-promotion.

On this page, I have included a short biography about myself in order to familiarise users with the creator of the film and included a photo as well as contact information (phone number and email ID). The contact information will encourage people to reach out, and keep me easily accessible. This is important for most short film makers as this could open doors for more opportunities. Below that, I have listed the six actors in the film alongside the roles they play. I tried to keep the amount of text minimal as people will not spend a lot of time reading paragraphs of information. The writing has to be short and convey just the most crucial information.

Gallery: Images

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On the “Gallery” page of my website, I am going to show a display of 12 stills that include both key screenshots from the film as well as behind-the-scenes photos. First, I went through the entire film and took screen-grabs of any particularly striking shots of the different characters that don’t give away anything about the plot. Then, I went through all the photos that were taken on the days of filming and chose a few stills of the cast sitting around on set, getting makeup done, posing together, filming, etc. These are the kind of images that film websites typically display so I felt that it would be appropriate to showcase here.

Then, I went through the different Gallery templates available and chose the one that I felt most fitting. This template was both aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate, so I decided to go with this one. I added my images to the template and adjusted the order. With that, I have finished the image gallery.

On this page, I still have yet to add the blooper reel. I also need to work on the background and the additional features (such as as social media links and options to pre-order the film) that I will need to add o every page.

Homepage: Starting work

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Today, I started work on the Homepage of my film website. It is not yet done, but the basic look is laid out. I chose this shot of Anamika (the protagonist) as my banner image because it was instantly striking. The photograph is bold and eye-catching, and has a poster-like quality to it. The fact that her face is positioned on one side of the frame allows ample room to place the title and other information on the other side without clutter. This provides a visual balance that is aesthetically pleasing. Also, from a design perspective, the eyes seem to direct the attention of the viewer towards the title so that the focus is at the right place.

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The only feature on the page that needs to be just as eye-catching as the image is the title logo. That’s why I chose to have it in a dark font in a large size and placed it right at the top. Underneath the title I want to have either a tagline or a review. I haven’t decided yet, but I will be adding that soon. Another very important feature on the homepage is the option to pre-order film either on Amazon or iTunes. The ultimate goal of any site is to promote the film so that the public will spend money and view it, so these options needs to be readily accessible and visible. The same is true of the social media links – the users should be encouraged to follow the film on social media as new media is a very important promotion tool. The social media links will also be present on every other page too, as users should be able to access these features at any time.

Since short films are released through film festivals and not theaters, it is important to highlight the festivals through nominations, selections, etc. That’s why I wanted to have some of the film festival recognitions that the film received on the home page. If the audience sees the film is critically acclaimed, they will be more inclined to watch it. First, I looked up some Indian film festivals that the film could theoretically be a part of and designed the film festival laurels using Adobe Photoshop CS6. I saved the designs as transparent images and transferred them onto the website.

At the very top, I added the menu-bar with tabs to other pages:

  • Synopsis
  • Cast & Crew
  • Gallery
  • Film Festivals

I may add more pages or change these pages if I see the need in the future.

The color scheme of my website is going to be largely blue and black in terms of buttons, text, etc. The blue relates to the film as all the scenes in Anamika’s bedroom are dominated by bluish hues and the banner image itself has blue undertones. The menu bar and the text “COMING SOON TO DIGITAL HD” are both in a navy blue that goes with the image. The colors work well against the backdrop and are not jarring as the image itself only comprises neutral colors such as black, grey, white, light brown, etc. The rest of the text (the title; the film festival laurels) and the buttons are all in black. This gives the page a sophisticated and serious look. Too many different colors will make the site appear too cheery and bright, and that will not work for the theme of my film.

Website builder: Wix

The website builder I have chosen for creating my short film website is wix.com. I chose this software because it is easy to navigate and offers a wide range of design options, allowing me room to work creatively and freely. The first thing I did upon choosing wix.com, was purchase my domain name  – http://www.split-short-film.com. Then, I proceeded to select one of the templates offered and start work. I chose a template that was associated with a documentary film because it would give me a solid starting point and a base to work off of. However, I quickly began re-structuring the page layouts and getting rid of the template format. I experimented with the different tools available and familiarized myself with how the site works. With this basic groundwork in place, I can begin working on the actual design of my short film website.