Evaluation Ruth Fahy and Lee Broadie Coursework Unit G324
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
To represent danger, we had our victim use a red blanket – this is a convention of horror films as red is a colour commonly associated with blood and danger.
Low key was used when the main protagonist of our film felt there was something/someone in the house, this is a convention used by the horror genre as it puts the audience on edge. It helps the audience to empathise with the main character as they cannot see what is in the shadows either.
Horror genres traditionally use teenagers as their intended audience and so use teenagers in their film. The use of teenagers in a film will help the audience to relate to the characters; this will make the viewing experience scarier as the audience will think it is something that could potentially happen to them. In our trailer we too have used a teenager as our main protagonist; we have used a girl which is also what the horror genre tends to do. Horror films do this so that the film will appeal to both genders, boys will get to see a girl run around and girls will be able to relate to the character.
At the start of our trailer we have stated that the trailer was based on ‘true events’. This is a convention used by horror films such as ‘The Strangers’, ‘The Fourth Kind’ and ‘Paranormal Activity’. By stating that the film is based on true events it increases realism, if the audience knows that some of the images they were watching on screen actually happened, it makes the film scarier.
How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?
I think our trailer, poster and magazine combination is very effective. We have kept a common house style throughout, the title of the film always being in capitals, Times New Roman font. This will help build recognition with the audience so that when they see the colours (red, black and white) or they see the title font they will think of our film.
I think our magazine is effective because it keeps with the house style, and I think the picture – the look on the actress’ face hints as to what genre the film is as she looks scared.
Our posters are effective for the same reason, the actresses face highlights what genre the film is. The colours used – black and red hint to the genre horror as people associate those colours with evil and danger.
The mise en scene of our trailer is effective because of the element of red – highlights that the girl is soon to be a victim. The low key lighting that we used is a convention of the horror genre. In addition, with the lighting we used shadows to create a scary atmosphere, we researched German expressionism and film noir and I think we used it well. When our character is running up the stairs away from her attacker, there are shadows on the wall, this scene pays homage to the German expressionism film Nosferatu and when we show the light flickering it is reminiscent of film noir.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
Before creating our media product, we researched into what audiences of each genre expect when watching a particular film. Because we knew that we wanted to create a horror/thriller trailer, we listed a number of factors that we thought were obvious when watching a film. The list included blood, gore, murder, darkness and teenagers. We then found other things that people expected to see when watching a film of this genre. The audience feedback we received after finishing the final trailer was that it fit into the genre well and that it seemed to present elements of both horror and thriller. They also said that the way in which the killer was never shown in full to the audience worked well as it made them want to see the film in full to see what would happen.
The only criticism we received was that they wanted more blood – but as we wanted it to look professionally done we left out the blood. Also I think that people’s imagination is much worse than what we could possibly show. This is a technique Steven Spielberg used in his blockbuster ‘ Jaws’, we hoped to create the same lingering suspense; this is another reason why we chose to give the killer limited screen time.
How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
When creating our film trailer, we used a range of technologies within different areas of each research, planning and construction stages. When planning the project, taking photographs on location scouts at different times of the day, we experimented with settings on the camera. We adjusted the brightness and contrast as well as the overall settings, changing them to 'pin hole' to create the darker, more eerie setting that we wanted to use in our final product. When we came to recording footage to be a part of our trailer, we used a HD camera. After uploading the footage to the PC, we had trouble editing it using Premiere Pro because the quality of the footage became pixelated. Because we had recorded in HD, resulting in the footage being saved in Quicktime format, we then decided to edit using Final Cut so that we could keep the quality of the footage. Whilst editing using Final Cut, we developed skills within different areas including the sound, where we learnt to overlap and fade in/out sounds into each other which added to the quality of the product due to continuity. Another aspect of editing we improved on was the editing of still images within the trailer, e.g. the 'Big Picture Productions' logo was edited so that it was shaking, with the eclipse image made to look like a black tear. Another programme which we used was Photoshop to create magazine covers and posters, by using Photoshop in other parts of the course, we knew how to edit and create the posters and covers.