Evaluation Daniel Barrett WBS 7 Media Studies ( View in full screen due to small text size)
Forms and Conventions
Our film is a hybrid between a Psychological thriller and a Gore Horror. Leaning more towards the horror genre it has many typical conventions of a horror. It is typical of the conventions of the horror genre with the sound, props and characters but is typical of a thriller with its narrative. Our soundtrack ,much like a conventional horror soundtrack , it has slower paced music that be comes increasingly fast and finally leads to harsh striking beats in frightening parts to increase tension and rattle the audience.
We also incorporated the sense of isolation for our Protagonist as the backdrop of the wide open woods is very repetitive and there is no one in sight. This repetitive backdrop is within convention of a horror as it gives the idea of seclusion and helplessness for the protagonist. Not within convention of a horror though is the use of hi-key lighting. Most horrors rely on the dark backdrop for seclusion. We used the natural lighting as the sun was going down to create silhouettes , creating a powerful and surreal image for our antagonist
Forms and conventions
Are Nightmares Real’ is also very typical of horror conventions with the antagonist . The character is a very generic character for a horror on ,he has no name and his reality questioned by the audience. The costume and weapon he is wearing and using is also generic to the conventions of a horror ,he is wearing a black suit with black shirt and red tie , it is simplistic and could be worn by an every day person (further questioning his reality). More importantly he is wearing a mask, it is a simple white clothe mask with eyes and mouth stitching , very similar to the Scarecrow mask from Batman Begins. He also uses a close proximity weapon in the form of a knife as this builds tension because the antagonist must come within touching distance to harm the protagonist.
The way it becomes conventional of a thriller is that if were to continue the film the storyline would be very much like a thriller storyline, It would leave the audience guessing all the way through and would end with the audience being able to understand the antagonist and why he has done the bloody and awful things. This is unlike a generic horror plot , as horror plots usually end in the protagonists over coming or defeating there antagonist. It is conventional of a thriller plot as the antagonist would be the main character , the main character being in the form of an anti hero is very typical of a thriller.
Are Nightmares Real represents two groups. The first group is people with mental illnesses, our protagonist is suffering from schizophrenia. He is a middle class teenage male wearing unbranded clothing (jeans and a hooded jacket) , he wears unbranded clothing because we did not want to make him a stereotypical representation of young lower class/Middle class males. He jumps violently in and out of delusions about his antagonist ,his condition is shown on screen through the very jumpy and unstable movements of the character .He is not a positive stereotype of young people with serious mental illness ,Due to the extreme conditions and his mental state (very schizophrenic) our protagonist is represented as a negative stereotype of young people with serious mental illness.
The other group that we represent is professional , middle/upper-class ,middle aged men; A middle aged doctor. He is represented as a very professional and well educated man as he uses a wide range of words in a well educated vocabulary. We have tried to give him a positive representation as he is trying to help our protagonist and does not display a heightened amount emotion , remaining very professional and calm giving us a very positive representation of middle aged men in professional jobs. We also made him in this sense very stereotypical of professional working men , as well spoken and very professional towards his work (however sensative it may be)
For our film to be distributed by a large distribution company would be unlikely. Are nightmares real is a new hybrid between physiological thriller and gore horror because of this new hybrid the majors may hesitate to produce the film until the genre is further tested. This would mean a smaller production company like Rouge Picture or Lions gate would be most likely to produce ‘Are Nightmares Real’, I expect Rouge Pictures would be the most interested in making our as they have produced many low budget horrors in the last few years . We would not get much interest from any of the larger distribution companies due to a smaller production company , Companies like Pathé and even Rogue Picture Distribution. Sometimes on the other hand larger companies will distribute a lower budget film for example ‘The Uninvited’ (2009) was produced by a minor ,Intrepid pictures, but distributed by two major company's ; Universal Pictures and Paramount.
Through our research into films of the same genre (pearl and dean website) we found that the audience was mainly males aged 15-24 consisting of mainly aspirers and adventurers. When we handout questioners and interviewed various people about what films they would like to see it came back with very similar results.
We found that the target audience was again Males but this time 16-21 years old. Are audience was mainly middle class/lower-class, either in college , sixth form or university with part time jobs or job seeking having just come out of education . Like the results in our research we found that they were mainly aspirers and adventurers with aspirations to succeed. The people who we discovered would watch our film would be most likely to watch on a weekend or Friday night with friends , simply looking to enjoy the film and have a good time. When watching horrors most said they would expect to see blood and gore. We also found in are results that all ethnic minority came back with mainly the same results , there is nothing to seclude any minority in are film.
We found that the female audiences did not enjoy horrors but enjoyed thrillers so we incorporated the two in our film and we there ended up with an average result of 61% male and 39% female
Attracting Your Audience
We attracted the audience mainly through use of genre. The audience expects to see blood and gore and a recognizable character within horror. Are film gives the audience what they want from horror film but we tried to give them more through combining the two genres , Horror and thriller. This expands are audience and gives people a reason to see are film as they have not seen it before. The character based storyline and the hi-key lighting gives the audience a striking and memorable image. We did use ideas from other popular films to further attract our audience. We used similar shot types to the successful Hollywood film Cloverfield as the audience will enjoy te repetition of shot types across the genre .
It also gives the audience something to relate to. The protagonist is around the same age as are target audience which also makes easier to scare and shock the audience as they can find it easy to get attached to the character.
We could also reach an older audience through use of the doctor character, he will attract the middle aged middle/upper-classes to watch the film as they can enjoy seeing a character there own age and with a respected profession
During the making of the opening sequence we have used two types of camera. The first was a standard definition video camera, we experienced a few problems with this camera. The camera struggled in minimal conditions out side , the sound quality was very poor and it would struggle to focus in close ups and long shots .The worst problem we experienced was the that the camera struggled the pick up light . This was at 5:00 in the afternoon on a sunny day (you could read fine print in the same light)
We quickly decided to use a different camera. The second camera we used was a Sony HD camera, we were all very impressed with it. Outside it coped very well with any conditions and picked up the light very well. The high definition image was much more professional and looked brilliant with the use of many colours (blood red and green grass). Perhaps the most amazing technology that the camera had was its infra red night mode , unfortunately unnecessary for are opening sequence but very impressive.
During are project we used The Apple Macintosh Professional. This was a very useful piece of technologies that offered very professional image , sound and video editing software. The large HD screen and very good speakers helped us immensely in editing our film. The apple Macs are far superior than standard laptop computers when it comes to editing and design. There easy to use and elegantly designed interface was very user friendly. The task bar at the bottom of the screen helped use to pieces of software very hassle free. One of the most useful features was its finder tool at the top right corner of the screen, this helped us find the editing software and files very easily
The software that the ‘Macs’ of Is vast . For are music recording we used garage band. With the use of its drag and drop music feature it was very simple to use ,although we had some trouble at first trying to find the correct music for are genre , we eventually combined the two of its features . We used its drag and drop feature to give us a good tempo and then added sounds by playing the Mac's qwerty keyboard as a piano key board
The main piece of software that we used was apples Final Cut Express for the editing of are film. Final cut is a near industry standard piece of editing software , at first it seemed difficult to use but became very easy and proved to be very professional. The editing is simple , it has a drag and drag feature for video and music that is very simple to get a hold of. The most impressive thing is its range of effects and transitions for its music but more for its video. We used these effects with are film to make the audience slightly disorientated and further question the realism of the two antagonists. We used the speed controls of final cut express to edit are short montage of the antagonists. We used the slice tool to cut are film and piece it together.
Progression From Preliminary Task
The step we took with are progression from are preliminary task was with planning. For the preliminary task we did not thoroughly plan , and the quality suffered because of it. For are opening sequence we made sure that we had planned every step of the way. We first thought of initial ideas and planned them all out on story boards. We picked the one that we decided was the best idea and story boarded three possible plot lines (low budget , medium budget , high budget) , we chose the one that was the best all round (medium budget). We researched the audience of are film and looked closely at opening sequences in a similar genre. After collecting are results we storyboarded a final draft to accompany the audience. Unlike the preliminary task we planned were and when we were going to shoot on a shooting schedule, we also scheduled back up dates if anything went wrong. We had planned to shoot in a popular tourist location , the Copper Horse in Windsor Great Park. We were careful to plan are shoots when there would be less tourists so that we could have more freedom. We also had to ask the proper authorities if we can shoot in the great park before doing so as we used a weapon prop.
Unlike the preliminary task we also planed costumes and props. We did some in depth research into costumes and props for are antagonists and decided a suit, tie and cloth mask ,with a close proximity weapon for effect ,trying to stay within budget we made the masks are selves .
Another key difference between are preliminary task and are opening sequence was the simple use of a tripod. Although simple it was very important to the shot quality and opening sequence hugely benefited from the use of one.
We the planning and equipment used in making the opening sequence , we progressed hugely from our preliminary task