- What is genre?A category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized bysimilarities in form, style or subject matter.Although genres are not always precisely definable, genre considerations are one ofthe most important factors in determining what a person will see or read. Theclassification properties of genre can attract or repel potential users depending on theindividuals understanding of a genre.The producers and institutions have to know what kind of film genre they’re going toproduce right from the word go, so they know to get the rightactors, props, set, dialogue etc.
Theorists• Daniel Chandler: “Conventional definitions of genres tend to be based on the notion that they constitute particular conventions of content (such as themes of settings) and/or form (including structure and style) which are shared by the texts which are regarded as belonging to them. “• Gunther Kress: “Genre is a kind of text that derives its form from the structure of a (frequently repeated) social occasion, with its characteristic participants and their purposes.”• Denis McQuail: “The genre may be considered as a practical device for helping any mass medium to produce consistently and efficiently and to relate its production to the expectations of its customers.”• Andrew Tudor: Argued that genre is only what we collectively believe it to be. He says that a genre defines a moral and social world.• John Hartley: Argued that genres are agents of ideological closure; they limit the meaning potential of a given text.
Narrative InvestigationWhat is narrative?“ a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship occurring in time”(Bordwell & Thompson).Narrative theory analyses the way in which media texts communicatemeaning about events.Narrative theory can be applied to range of different media includingfilm, TV, photographs and magazines.Narrative analysis of internet based media is more problematic, thoughmay still be relevant. For example, you could consider how someone’sFacebook profile creates a narrative about their life.
Theorists• Edward Branigan - Argues that narrative is a way of organising spatial and temporal data into a cause- effect chain of events with a beginning, a middle and end that embodies a judgement about the nature of events. His key point is that the narrative will embody a judgement – ideology and narrative.• Vladimir Propp – Proposed that it was possible to classify the characters and their actions into clearly defined roles and functions. He suggests that there are a limited number of character types that share a function, when an audience reads a media text it deploys its knowledge of these character types in order to decode the meaning of the text.- The Hero (seeks something)- The Villain (opposes the hero)- The Donor (helps the hero by providing useful objects)- The Dispatcher (sends the hero on their way)- The Helper (gives support to the hero)- The Girl (reward for the hero, also needs protection from villain)• Tzvetan Todorov – Suggests most narratives start with a state of equilibrium in which life is normal and the protagonist is happy. The state of normality is then disrupted by an outside force, which has to be fought against in order to return to the state of equilibrium.
Representation Investigation• What is representation?- A representation can be a single image, a sequence of images or a whole programme.- The media do not present reality they’re ‘re-present it’ –they are representing things that have already occurred.- The description or portrayal or someone/something in a particular way or as being of a certain nature.
Theorists• Laura Mulvey – argues that cinema positions the audience as a male. The camera gazes at the female object on screen. It also frames the male character watching the female.- We watch the girl; we see the male watching the girl; we position ourselves within the text as a male objectively gazing at the female.• McRobbie – Analysed gender in youth culture. Argued that more emphasis was needed to address the importance of taking gender into account and the need to examine the works of male writers for the versions of masculinity they contain.• Ella Shohat – Argues that we should constantly question representations. She also suggests that representations in one ‘sphere’ (the sphere of popular culture) affect the other spheres of representation, especially the political one.• Branston and Stafford – stated that representation has characteristics such as the following:- A categorising and evaluation of the group being stereotyped- The evaluation is often, but not always, a negative one.
Audience Investigation• What is audience?– The assembled spectators or listeners at a public event, such as aplay, movie, concert, etc.- The people giving or likely to give attention to something- there will alwaysbe an audience for romantic literature.• Stuart Hall: Encoding and decoding; preferred/ negotiated/ oppositional readings.• Denis McQuail: Uses and Gratification theory (audiences consume media texts for Surveillance; Personal Identity; Personal Relationships; escapism/ diversion.• Ien Ang: “Audience hood is becoming an event more multifaceted, fragmented and diversified repertoire of practices and experiences.”
Research & Planning InvestigationResearch – The systematic investigation into and study ofmaterials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. Planning – The process of making plans for something.
What research and planning stages are needed to make a horror film?1. Get a scary idea for the movie. But make it good so they wont suspect it coming, and when it comes, make it as scary as it can be. It could be more frightening if you HEAR noises, rather than SEE the ghost or monster etc.2. Turn your idea into a plot, or story. A great way to get an idea is to brainstorm ideas, then choose one and write the story. Always have a story before filming, or else it might turn out cheesy.3. Find a place to film the movie. Good ideas are in the woods (especially at night), cabins, wooden buildings, abandoned houses, etc. Make sure that you have permission to film at the location before you start.4. Find a cast who’s willing to star in your thriller. They don’t necessarily need acting experience, but that depends on the complexity of your movie. Make sure they are willing and able to take orders from the director.5. Add scary and scratchy, eerily atmospheric music for suspense. Add scary, screechy music for when something surprising happens.6. Have a scary killer/monster. For some reason killers that don’t talk are scarier than ones who do. Make sure their motive is simple (revenge/insanity is good).7. Make something completely ordinary the centre of the drama (paper bag, telephone, toilet, doorbell, TV, videotape). If you do it well, it will be scary!8. Have a plot twist (at the end or middle end).
9. Add good effects (if the blood looks like ketchup you’re not going to scare anyone so use hot sauce ortomato soup instead, or even paint. It looks more realistic. If you choose to go with effects …that is. Its proventhat a sudden moment of suspense without graphic bloody violence is more scary because the watcher’simagination finds the scariest possible outcome that they personally can imagine… much scarier than even arealistic gore fest… think De Neros Hide and Seek… scary because of the suspense, not because of theblood, or the realism of said blood.10. Make sure you use good effects. If you want to make magic balls, fire, explosion etc. use effects lab pro! Analternative, which is more expensive, but can give much more professional results is called Adobe After Effects(it has motion tracking, colour correction etc.11. After all of the filming is complete, start moving it to the computer. Editing it is often fun, butfrustrating, seeing as it could be erased with one click.12. About half way into editing, set a release date. Put up posters around school or the neighbourhood. Trynot to invite general public though, just people you know.
Digital Technology Investigation What is digital technology? The term digital technologies is used to refer to the ever-evolution suite of digital software, hardware and architecture used in learning and teaching in the school, the home and beyond.
What digital technology do you need to create a horror film?• CGI- CGI is used for visual effects because the quality is often higher and effects are more controllable than other more physically based processes, such as constructing miniatures for effects shots or hiring extras for crowd scenes, and because it allows the creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology. In the horror genre, CGI may be used to distort the face of the antagonist to make them look monster-like.• SFX- In motion picture and television production, a sound effect is a sound recorded and presented to make a specific storytelling or creative point without the use of dialogue or music. This is vital in the creation of a horror film as they rely strongly on the use of eerie music to set the tense atmosphere.• Film Editing Software – without suitable software to edit the film with, the creation of any film is impossible. Each scene is shot multiple times, from varying angles and then cut together to create a smooth, interesting final product. It is unrealistic to film an entire scene in one shot, and expect it to be flawless.
Creativity Investigation What is creativity?- The use of imagination or original ideas especially in the production of artist work.
What ‘creative’ features are used in horror film trailers?• It is typical of horror films (and effectively, their trailers) to feature stories that depict, address or explore people’s nightmares, hidden fears, phobias and psychotic and neurotic tendencies.• The trailer should evoke emotions such as fright, terror, panic or shock through scenes of morbidity; murder, disease outbreak, or supernatural events.• Special effects are used to create horrifying graphic scenes that give a preview of what the film entails.• A jumpy, rough cut montage gives a sense of fear to the trailer, as though the killer is getting closer, until at the end they appear – the height of the trailer is seeing an attack.• Voice over’s of deep, yet soft voices are used to create a sense of danger, and heighten the tension within the trailer to make the audience feel fear.
Post-production Investigation What is post-production? The final stage of the filmmaking process, normally involves picture editing, sound design, visual effects and outputting the film to a format suitable for release.
What post-production stages do you need to create a horror film?• Editing – take your footage to your computer – upload the photos/production you shot, and edit it. Cut out the boring parts. Make quick cuts and hold the viewers interest. Editing between various angles can quickly show multiple things going on in the same scene.• Adding music/sounds – make sure that your music flows with what is going on during the movie at the second. Music gives the movie an emotional stance. It changes the audience’s emotions which give them a more positive view on your film. You can vary your music, to make the audience feel happy, sad, angry, scared, excited, etc. depending on the outcome of the film.• Add titles/credits – The name of the film needs to be added at the beginning so that the audience know what they are watching. It also gives the first impression of the film, so the typography should fit to the genre, which in this case is horror. Credits at the end of the film will acknowledge the cast and crew so the audience knows who was in it, or helped produce the film.
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