In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
• Production logos• Titles• Credits• Mise-en-scene• Narrator• Introduce main/ important characters• Set the story• Establishing shot• Set the scene/ date/ location• Music can reflect genre and mood• Lighting can set the tone• Enigma• Props and costume that suggest genre
• Location – Usually somewhere haunted for example an abandoned house, a forest.• Low key lighting.• Production logos are generally edited to fit the mood of the film.• Fast editing generally, although sometimes they can be slow for suspense.• Characters – male – scary / female – vulnerable.• Costume/ make-up – bloody/ torn, etc• Sound – music that sets the mood, dark music, deep sounds to make it scarier.• Props – there is generally some kind of weapon, either as a murder weapon or for the victims to defend themselves.
• In our film opening we used a production logo that we made, called ‘Hammered Cinema Productions’.• We put the title of our film on a black background and it fills up most of the screen. We have found this is common for horror films.• We opened our film with an establishing shot.• We introduced the main character straight away, also the antagonist is introduced within the two minutes.• We have used music that is brooding and fits the mood.• We Stated the dates and locations to set the scene.• We have used very fast editing in places to make it more jumpy.
• We have used a flashback to show what happened, however flashbacks in films are usually peoples memories but our character main character, Eve doesn’t actually know what happened.• We have found that it is quite common to have horror films set in basements and cellars, so we decided to develop that and set our film in the cellar of a pub so that it wouldn’t look so generic.• We have used a ghost for the villain in our movie, we have developed this by dressing her in casual clothing, when it is customary for them to be dressed in some sort of costume. However we do feel that costume helps to show the time and place that that character is from and with our ghost those details are not really given. Also in films ghosts tend to wear the clothes that they died in, in which case our ghost would have to be fairly modern, we left this open for the audience to decide.• Generally in films they stick to putting their opening credits either over the footage or on a plain background, we have developed this by using both.
• Generally in films colours are used which match the mood of the film, for example if it was a romance you might see a lot of red and pink on the screen. We challenged this by using white for the flashback, this would usually suggest something happy was going to happen but in our film it is not a happy flashback. Also we thought by doing this it would be more surprising to the audience.• We have challenged stereotypes in horror movies with our film. We have made the male characters the vulnerable ones, when stereotypically they would be strong and heroic or they would be the villain. The antagonist in our film is a young girl, who looks innocent and non-threatening but really she is a lethal, murdering ghost.
When coming up with ideas for our film characters we watched several horror filmsto give us inspiration. We got the idea for the ghost from ‘Let Me In’, a horror filmabout a young girl who is a vampire. We wanted our film to be unique and stand outfrom others, so we decided to have a young girl for the villain as it challengesstereotypes. Also this film is set in the past which gave us the idea to set ours in adifferent time.Also sticking with the theme of having a female antagonist we got some inspirationfrom ‘The Roommate’, in which she tries to kill everyone in the other girls life. Thisrelates our film because we see that the main character does not get killed by theghost but her and family friends do.
We watched a number of films from our genre to help us get ideasfor our film, we found that a lot of them were set in lots ofdifferent places. We wanted to stick with one place for our ghostto attack, so when we came across ‘The Burbs’ A film about acreepy family who move to the suburbs and kill people in theirbasement, we really liked the idea. We then decided to developthis by changing the basement to the cellar of a pub. We thoughtthis would be more effective for our film because it is a morepublic place and the ghost in a house would only really be able tokill its residents, whereas in our film the ghost kills all of the girlsfriends and family. Also we found there was better use of props inthe pub because it enabled us to roll the barrel, etc.
The editing in our film is quite fast, we found this is common for most of the horror filmswe watched. We decided this method would be best because it makes the film scarier. Wehave used flashes of the ghost in places to make it jumpy. We have purposely put theseflashes in places they don’t fit to confuse the audience, for example in one of our sceneswe have a shot of the main character walking down the stairs, it then jumps to a reallyquick shot of the ghost on the stairs then jumps back to the other girl. This happens a fewtimes in our opening, we believe it creates a sense of enigma.For the flashback we have made it fade to white at the beginning to separate that scenefrom the previous scene, also we made it white instead of black to make it more of a shockfor the audience when they see what happens.We used an effect called Ghosting to make the ghost look more ethereal. This effectoverlaps the frames when there is movement onscreen. We think this looks effective forthe ghost because it makes her look more transparent.
When watching ‘Let Me In’ we saw that the vampire girl had blood on her facein some of the scenes. This gave us the idea to put scratches on the ghostsneck in our film so she would look scarier and less casual. We didn’t give herwhite face makeup because she is supposed to be discreet and we didn’t wantit to look too exaggerated or tacky.The main character eve wears a lot of black eye make-up, this was not plannedintentionally, however we think it adds to the character as she has lost peopleshe cares about in her life including the death of her friends less than a yearago.
When we was watching horror films to get ideas we noticed that a lot of the props inthe movies were murder weapons, things like hammers and chainsaws. We decidedour ghost wasn’t going to have a murder weapon as it is too generic.Having decided to locate the most part of our film in the cellar of a pub, it gave us a lotof opportunities with the props, we decided to use a barrel which we rolled towardsthe characters, making it look like the ghost had done it. We also used a basket whichthe ghost knocked on the floor, this basket is used again later when Eve is working inthe pub putting drinks into it.We used some flowers for the graveyard scene as it is common for people to putflowers on gravestones, also it shows that she is visiting that particular grave and notjust standing in the graveyard.
For the non-diegetic sound we have used a total of three different pieces ofmusic. These vary from fast and high pitched to slow, deep and brooding. Wethink these pieces of music work well together, especially the second and thirdas they are similar sounding and but they set completely different moods. Wehave used this convention as they are the kind of pieces of music you wouldusually hear in horror films.For the diegetic sound we decided not to have any speech in the openingbecause we wanted to have a sense of enigma so we didn’t want thecharacters to explain anything by talking. We have used a scream at the end ofthe flashback, we have used this to show that they are being killed by the ghostbecause we have made the screen black out for when the actual murder takesplace. Adios Blood Deep No Reflection
We decided to use some handheld and shaky shots for our film as theseare common in horror films because they help to create tension and theyhelp to draw the audience in. We liked the way they used handheld andpoint of view shots in ‘Paranormal Activity’ as the whole film is from thepoint of view of a camera. We have used the point of view of a lot ofcharacters to create a particular atmosphere for the audience and tomake it as though they are really there. Also we thought the handheldshots help to portray emotions such as fear.We opened our film with an establishing shot of the sky, we found that alot of films open with establishing shots or extreme long shots, so wedecided to use conventions again.
Horror films usually use very low key lighting, however we decided not touse this convention as we wanted to create a false sense of safety tosurprise the audience when the ghost appears and kills the characters, sowe used normal lighting. The outside scenes are just natural lightingmaking it more casual. We decided to keep the lighting steady so that it ismore of a surprise when the blackouts happen, we did this to make thefilm more jumpy.
Overall our film has used more forms and conventions of real media products than it has challenged or developed them.