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Media Studies Horror Evaluation.

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An evaluations to Hauntsville Productions horror teaser trailer, film poster and magazine cover.

An evaluations to Hauntsville Productions horror teaser trailer, film poster and magazine cover.

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  • Hi,

    I'm studying the same course as your self.

    Have you submitted your work, if so what grade did you get?

    Thanks, Ross
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  • 1.  
  • 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Icons: Blood Darkness Gore Mask (hides identity “the unknown”) Music & sound : Atmospheric suspense music Loud bangs Screams Heavy breathing (chase scene) Mise-en-scene : Isolated settings (woods) Dark atmosphere Camerawork and editing: Crosscutting for suspense sequences (Doll villain Alex) Fast cuts for violent action Point of view shots for those who are being watched “voyeur” (The villain watches over Alex and her friends) Chase scenes - hand held shots Characters : Innocent girl Victims become heroes Final girl (Alex survives) Psychologically damaged characters (Lucas the villain has multiple personality disorder) Themes : Good vs. evil (Alex vs. Lucas) Unfinished business with a villain coming back for revenge Good triumphing over evil Horror conventions we used:
  • 3. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? In the teaser trailer, the characters themselves are significant in representing the stereotypical struggle of good against evil. The villain is portrayed as the evil killer whereas the victims are innocent teenage girls who are simply enjoying a party. However in our teaser trailer in the last few shots we create a twist by having Alex reach out to the camera with blood on her hand; suggesting that she may have been murdered. On the other hand, in the last frame we show the villain appear behind her. This creates enigma as to whether Alex survives and murders the villain or gets killed.
  • 4. We included gory shots which involved the use of fake blood. We had shots where blood was splattered and smeared across Alex’s arms and hand. Blood is commonly used in horror films to display the violent and gory element to the film. The villain was shown throughout parts in the trailer to wear a signature plain black mask. This is similar to horror characters such as “Ghostface” in Scream (1996) and “Leatherface” in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) “ Ghostface” – Scream (1996) “ Leatherface” – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) “ Lucas” – Dual (2010)
  • 5. The Final Girl Theory ( Carol J. Clover ) The final girl is a horror film pattern that specifically refers to the last girl or woman alive to confront the killer, and usually the one left to tell the story. The final girl is typically virginal, she sometimes has a unisex name. Occasionally the final girl will have a shared history with the killer. The final girl is the need of moving the narrative forward and, she shows intelligence, curiosity, and alertness. Examples of final girls. Ellen Ripley , Alien 3 (1992) Sidney Prescott, Scream (1996)
    • Boyish
    • Short masculine-style haircut
    • Smart
    • Sexual reluctance
    • Unisex name: Sidney
    • Short masculine-style haircut
    • Intelligent, resourceful, becomes stronger
    • Covered clothes
    • Natural
    • Survives all three films
    • Androgynous name: Alex
    • Short haircut – bob hairstyle
    • Intelligent, smart, intellectual – glasses
    • Covered clothes
    • Natural – no make up
    • Survives
  • 6. Our location suited well with the horror genre. We chose to shoot in an isolated area which was realistic for a murderer to kill without being seen. We chose the woods as our only location because it showed that the murderer could strike anyone, anywhere. In film, a cutaway is the interruption of a continuously filmed action by inserting a view of something else and is often popular in horror films. We used numerous crosscutting for suspense sequences including cutting away from a doll to the villain and back to Alex. For our chase scene, we used a lot of cuts were the sequence would repeatedly cut to a black screen. The combination of the close shots with the short duration between cuts makes the sequence feel longer, more uncontrolled, and more violent rather than if the images presented alone or in a wider angle. Other techniques we used was that we sliced different shots together making it look distorted. We edited the time frame to switch from past to present. Unlike The Blair Witch Project which was a big inspiration for our teaser trailer, we revisited the past in our teaser trailer. Past Present Dip to black
  • 7. Once we knew our synopsis, we researched into other films that was relevant to us. We spoke of Paranormal Activity , an American independent horror film released in 2009. The movie is presented using found footage by a couple who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. Our biggest inspiration was The Blair Witch Project which is a 1999 American horror film which was filmed all using a hand held camera in the woods. The film is presented as a documentary pieced together from real footage. The film relates closely to our very own teaser trailer. We analysed The Blair Witch Project which helped us with our storyboarding activity.
  • 8. Stills from The Blair Witch Project Stills from our teaser trailer Dual Similar settings: the woods – isolated, dark atmosphere, kill without being seen. Our establishing shot at the beginning of trailer tells viewers where they are. Introducing characters: close up, introducing the audience to the main character (s)
  • 9. Stills from The Blair Witch Project Stills from our teaser trailer Dual Extreme close up: shows only one part of the subject in great detail. Shows the character’s emotions; audience focusing on the characters eye, shows fear. Chase scene: They are a popular with the audience due to their intensity and the innate danger of someone running after you trying to catch/kill you.
  • 10. Magazine cover
    • Conventions we used for our Total Film magazine cover:
    • Masthead,
    • the price,
    • issue number,
    • date (month and year),
    • a main image,
    • a puff,
    • a website,
    • pull quote,
    • and bleeds (pictures at the edge of the magazine cover)
    We used ideas from an existing poster from Total Film magazine, where we used the design of the title to instantly create recognition as a film magazine. We also looked at how we could incorporate the duality of Alex and Lucas; we looked at the film poster “The Grudge” and a film “Psycho” in which they focused in much detail on the eye. We decided to put the mask as the pupil. The Grudge 2 (2006) Psycho (1960)
  • 11. Film poster
    • Conventions we used for our film poster:
    • Tagline,
    • date,
    • movie title,
    • a main image,
    • a website,
    • credits (cast/crew),
    • certification,
    • and production logo.
    Conventionally many horror film posters have a black background to represent the darkness or evil of a character. Similarly we followed this notion by choosing to have a dark background of the woods. The red writing is also commonly used in posters as it can symbolise blood and evil.
  • 12.
    • I feel that our media products suit well to the horror genre. Before starting our media products, it was vital that we did research into existing media products within the horror genre. From this we were able to take elements and endorse them into our own ideas.
    • By using audience feedback it was useful in finding out how well we suited to the genre and ways we could improve to make it more realistic as a new horror film. Overall I feel confident that our media texts are clear in following horror conventions but at the same time I feel that we have variety and diversity by choosing to subvert conventions.
  • 13. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts? “ The film poster is brilliant; it’s attractive and just by the poster I would want to watch it!” “ The close up of the mask inside the girls eye is scary”
    • For each of the three pieces (trailer, magazine and film poster) we used the main character Alex as she was the focus of the plot.
    • Duality is shown through all three pieces; in the trailer the audience can see twins, in the magazine cover the mask is visible in Alex’s face by replacing her eyeball.
    • All our pieces use the same colour scheme which is white, red and black. The theme of the darkness is very prominent within the three products . This is due to low lighting with black and red effects to create the eeriness. This helps us to convey the meaning of a mystery waiting to happen, this appeared through all of our pieces for example the background, the images and the low lighting in each piece
    • Fonts; shadows of the word “Dual” is repeated.
    • The trailer is set in the woods, which corresponds with the film poster.
  • 14. What have you learned from your audience feedback? To gain audience feedback, our first mission was to upload our teaser trailer onto YouTube. The advantage of uploading our clip onto YouTube meant that the video could be watched by anyone and appeal to a broader audience. It’s also a beneficial way of getting positive or negative criticism which you can improve from. Youtube comments :
  • 15. As a whole we all set up a focus group to watch our trailer and then asked them to answer the questions from the questionnaire we had created. This would able us to get a mixture of both detailed qualitative answers and quantitative data. To make sure we received Quantitative and Qualitative data our questionnaire included both open and closed questions. We also allowed the group to speak out and say anything they liked/disliked about our trailer to get a more detailed answer and opinion.
  • 16. Results from questionnaire:
  • 17. Trailer: “ I like the way you sliced different shots together making it look distorted”. “ The doll reminded me off Chucky” “ I like the background music and the way that the time frame switched from past to present” “ Sound effects: breathing is really effective” “ The music is scary” “ I liked everything, well done great job” “ Very horrifying I had Goosebumps, it was a great teaser trailer” Positive feedback: Magazine cover : “ The close up of the mask inside the girls eye is scary” “ The red title of magazine connotations of death links with genre”. “ I liked the use of other ‘real’ movie image clips, adds to autheticy” “ The faces on the magazine and the word DUAL sound scary” “ I like how the eye isn’t obvious” “ I like the close up of the face – looking serious” Film poster: “ Very professional looking and a very good looking model” “ The film poster is brilliant; it’s attractive and just by the poster I would want to watch it!” “ I liked the poster and the duality of it”
  • 18. Negative feedback: Trailer: “ Could have been slightly more scary to bring across the horror genre” “ The close up of the actor’s face, could have had more impact at the end” Magazine cover: “ The eye isn’t that obvious, I didn’t notice it” “ I liked the poster and the duality of it, a shame this was not done on the magazine cover”. What have you learned from your audience feedback? The feedback we received from the questionnaires, focus groups and the various internet sites such as YouTube and Facebook, enabled us to reflect on our project and the scenes/effects that were seen as not scary enough. Audience feedback is essential for the success of a project, as it enables you to see mistakes you may not have noticed as well as to see how your target audience responds to the piece you created.
  • 19. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? We uploaded our video on to YouTube in order to gain feedback from people who might not necessarily be part of our target audience, but could still give us feedback regardless. YouTube allowed us to get positive/negative feedback to help us as a group to see on the things we could’ve improved on. I also used YouTube to download music for our teaser trailer. I used my online blog to organise my planning. I continually updated my blog entries throughout the planning and production stages of my project so that I could easily make changes and evaluations if needed to. http://hauntsvilleproductionsnahed.blogspot.com/
  • 20. We used social networking sites such as Facebook which is currently a huge hit. Similar to YouTube it allowed friends to comment on your teaser trailer, film poster and magazine cover. We used the Internet to do most of our research by looking at YouTube trailers, Google images of past horror film posters and magazine covers. We used the tripod to film a lot of the shots to make them look smooth and professional, especially when using techniques such as panning. We also used it on close ups, because it was important there was no movement in the camera. However, for some parts we wanted to create the feeling of rough and jagged movements so we held the camera our self.
  • 21. We used Adobe Premiere to edit our footage. This was one the hardest task as we had to consider the type of effects we used. Adobe Premiere allowed us to add music and effects including making sequences faster or slower. We used Adobe Photoshop to produce our ancillary texts (magazine cover and film poster), I found Photoshop difficult but after sitting there and pressing different tools I eventually got the hang of it. We used Photoshop to add text, crop photo’s, enhance text etc.