After researching about film noir and German expressionism, as a group we have decided to create a film trailer of the horror persuasion.
We chose this genre because of personal preference and because we feel that there are certain aspects and conventions of the horror genre that will be easy for an amateur group - such as our selves - to mimic.
Conventions of a horror film usually include:
- Isolation – an abandoned house; a remote location
- sex is sin – the promiscuous girl always dies first; the smart ‘nerdy’ girl survives
- violence – blood and gore is a very common convention
The Last House on The Left
The element of this trailer that I liked was the music used. When the equilibrium ends a song ‘Sweet child o’ mine’ by Taken By Trees is played. This music is contrapuntal to the images on the screen but I like the effect that it has.
The music is peaceful but the images are violent the combination it has is unsettling on the audience.
The trailer uses the hand held camera effect throughout. This would be an easy convention for our group to mimic. It is also a simple and effective way of increasing escapism in the audience – this camera effect makes the audience feel like they are watching the scene first hand.
Lighting and colours are used effectively in this trailer. In the equilibrium, pastel colours in the mise en scene and natural lighting give the equilibrium a feeling of peace and happiness. However, when the equilibrium is broken a pathetic fallacy is used when it starts to rain and the colours become darker as the scene is lit by candle light. As it is now night, the shadows from the candles look sinister and makes the atmosphere scarier.
I looked at the ways in which the trailer had been edited using different effects, the sound and the amount of detail shown to the audience.
It gave me ideas of how to keep the audience guessing yet not to give too much information away how to keep the audience on the edge throughout the trailer.
We need to avoid giving big pieces of information away, yet still keep the trailer interesting.
The effects and sounds of this trailer are simple yet effective. Not a lot of dialogue is used throughout. The trailer is lit by low key lighting and is mostly silent, except for the parts when the sound volume increases to build suspense and tension.
From our target audience research we found that our audience enjoys films from the victims perspective as it adds to the realism and escapism of the film. As a group, we favoured the way ‘The Blair Witch’ was filmed. The documentary style of filming gave the film an air of truth – made the audience question whether the film was acted and scripted or whether they were watching the real thing.
The trailer for this film brought suspense by keeping the trailer very short. The audience can hear news readers talking about the disappearance of students. This is a convention I feel would work well in our trailer, it intrigues the audience and makes them want to find out more. The minimalistic information that is given to the audience only makes them want to find out more about the film.
Our target audience we are targeting is going to be 18 year olds. We chose this age group because we feel they will be able to relate to the characters of our trailer as they are going to be of similar age. If the audience can relate to our characters it will increase their film watching experience because they will feel that it could happen to them.
People tend to look at age ratings when reviewing whether to watch a horror film or not. If the film is rated 15 they know that they are going to be watching a mild violence, mild gore film. However if the film is rated 18 they know they are going to be scared as it will have been restricted to younger viewers as it is too scary.
Questioning our target audience
We conducted a questionnaire and used it on our target audience. This is so when we are making our trailer we can keep in mind what our audience wants. This could save us time filming something that is unnecessary and unwanted by our audience.
We used our questionnaire on 31 people so that there wouldn’t be a chance that there could be a tie.
Who’s perspective do you enjoy?
Victims – 25 Killers – 6
Who do you like the main protagonist to be?
Female – 21 Male – 10
Where’s the ideal horror location?
Woods – 12 House – 13
Do you prefer to get a lot of information about a film from the trailer?
No, I like knowing the basic outline – 20
Yes, I like being able to guess what happens throughout – 11
How often do you buy film magazines?
All the time, monthly – 9
Sometimes, depends if the cover is interesting – 16
Never – 6
Has a film poster ever persuaded you to see a film? If so why…?
It never has – 0
The age rating of the film – 8
The picture – 13
The critic quotes – 10
I feel we have learnt a lot about our target audience. The audiences wants and needs are always changing so I feel this gives us an insight into what our audience is looking for in a film today.