In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
There are many types of film conventions and it depends on your genre to which of these conventions apply to you.However there are many film conventions which tend to applyto the majority of film openings in all genre’s. There are a few which are certain to apply to all film openings, such as:-• Production company logo’s are certain to be within the opening of all films, but can be changed to fit with the tone/mood of the film.
Titles and credits: you dont see all the credits within theopening as these tend to come at the end of the film;however you normally see the more important credits andtitles such as the producer, director, main actors, the title ofthe film, sound operators and production company’s withinthe first few minutes.The main actors/characters are usually introduced, with theuse of mise-en-scene.The music and lighting helps to set the tone and mood of thefilm, it usually has an establishing shot to set thestory, scene, date and location.Normally there is enigma created within the opening to hookthe viewer to watch the remainder of the film.
Horror conventions tend to create lots of enigma, the lightingis low-key, with certain types of music which may altersuddenly.The location which is associated with horrors are ones such asa woods, a haunted mansion or out on the moors which isopen countryside.The time of day is normally night time as this helps set thetone of the film better.
In the opening of a film characters are usually introduced, in ahorror these are stereotypically a vulnerable woman or youngchild, with a bad guy wearing dark clothing with a weapon ofsorts, or sometimes a supernatural being.These are the typical horror conventions of the opening fewminutes, but there are more depending on the type of film.
We have used an establishing shot at the beginning of the filmopening, these are normally used in the majority of filmopenings.We introduced the main character within 30 seconds, andspot the other many times within the opening.We have used a production company logo.The title is on a black background that fills the screen, thistends to be typical in horrors.Sound – The music is broody which fits the mood and tone.Editing – The editing is quick in placeswhich is regularly used in horror films. We created this using Photoshop, it appears at the beginning of the two minutes.
We have used a flashback which is usually seen in horrorfilms, however we developed this by it not been the personsmemory.Location – We developed this from an ordinary cellar, to a pubcellar.Characters – The ghost is casual which is not a convention ofghosts in horror movies, yet she is still a ghost which are. This is what appears on the screen just before the ‘flashback’ takes place.
For the flash-back we used a white ‘flash’ which tend to be forhappy memorys, this however was not a happy memory.Costume – The ghosts costume is normal clothing, this is notusual for horrors or ghosts in general.Actors – We made the men vulnerable ones which is notstereotypical for any genre of film. The females in the openingare not represented in a certain way, this makes the audiencethink about their characters, so you don’t find out whattheyre like until later on, this creates enigma. White flashback flash but for a scary memory instead of happy, this lures the audience to a flash sense of safety.
When in the planning stage of our film we watched many horror’s toget ideas on who to base our characters on. We got the main idea forthe ghost from the girl out of ‘Let Me In’ who is a vampire, we thoughtthat the “bad guy” being female would challenge stereotypes.Another film of which we acquired a suggestion for our characters wasfrom ‘The Roommate’.
Whilst getting idea’s for the location of our film we came acrossthe typical woods and haunted houses, however we wasn’t keenon these idea’s. We kept looking at different types of films fromdifferent times/years and came across ‘The Burbs’ and ‘The Beastin the Cellar’ which were both set in a cellar.We quite liked this idea but decided to develop it further bymaking it into a pub cellar instead of one in a house.
We decided to use fast editing in places, we decided to use this convention asmany of the horror films we analysed had quick editing which was effective.However we decided to develop this by using some slower editing in places, wedid this so the audience were able to keep up with the storyline. We alsodecided to use slow editing in places with random fast flashes of the ghost, thismade the film more ‘jumpy’ and helped create tension.Ghosting is an effect which we used to make the ghost have a ‘fuzzy’ effect, thismakes the ghost look more ghostly. Our title.
We didn’t use the typical lighting for the scary bits of the horror, this would surprise the viewers more. For the lighting we didn’t use the convention of low key lighting all theway through the film, instead we challenged this and used the naturallighting for the outside scenes and dim artificial lighting for the insidescenes.By doing this we were able to make certain parts of our opening stand outagainst the rest. It also makes the audience more relaxed until the suddenblack-outs which then shocks the audience.We decided to do this throughout the film as it means that it’s hard to tellwhen something sudden is about to happen making the film more jumpy.
We didn’t use the typical props within the opening, as we challenged this convention.When watching different horror movies there was a great number ofdifferent props used, such as chainsaws and hammers. We didn’t want touse these types of props as we didn’t think they fitted the tone of ourfilm very well.Instead we decided to make the props casual day to day things which younormally see laying around, such as bottles, a basket and flowers. We didalso use barrels and crates as props, we used these props as they fit withthe setting well and were needed in the storyline in the opening and lateron in the film.
Whilst watching horror films we noticed that many of them havehandheld shots or shaky shots somewhere within them, we thoughtthat this would work well in our film as it helps create tensionthroughout the film. We use quite a few handheld shots which is alsoseen in films such as ‘paranormal activity’.In places we used POV shots, mainly in the graveyard as it made the scene seem moreemotional than it would have done with out the POV of the grave, for the POV we madethe camera wobble abit to make it look as though the person was cracking from all theemotion. However in certain places we decided to use very still shots which made theshakier shots look more impressive.
In conclusion I feel that we have used the majority of conventions, however we have also developed andchallenged a fair amount. We decided to have a mixture of using, developing and challenging as we thought it wouldbenefit the film most as it would be a good way to create a lot of enigma to keep the audience hooked to watch the rest of the film.