Contents Intertext Research 1 – The Grudge Pages 3-9 Intertext Research 2 – Paranormal Activity Pages 10-16 Intertext Research 3 – Cloverfield Pages 17-23 Intertext Research 4 – Black Swan Pages 24-30
Intertext Research 1 – The GrudgeAbout“Karen Davis is an American Nursemoves to Tokyo and encounter asupernatural spirit who is vengeful andoften possesses its victims. A series ofhorrifying and mysterious deaths start tooccur, with the spirit passing its curseonto each victim. Karen must find away tobreak the spell, before she becomes itsnext victim.”Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj88_yqlFMA
Intertext Research 1 – The GrudgeInstitution Produced by Columbia Pictures and Ghost House Pictures Released 24th October 2004 Estimated budget of $10,000,000 Grossed over $180,000,000 Average review of 3/5 – “Throughout the entire film a feeling of complete unease gripped hold of me”
Intertext Research 1 – The GrudgeVisual CodesThis is the first intertext that I have looked at, it is the trailer for themovie The Grudge. The colours used are very dark, lots of blackand pale blues, greys and white which contrast therefore binaryoppositions theory can be applied. The dark colours connote fearand danger thus the audience immediately understand that it isscary, which is very conventional.The dress codes for the trailer are casual, Karen is wearing ajumper or hoody and you don‟t see her trousers. This gives theaudience the impression that she is just going about her everydaylife and so it is a surprise when very abnormal things begin tohappen.The setting is predominantly the house that she is investigating, thatthe previous deaths happened in and where the spirit of Kayako is.The house becomes associated to death and fear for the audienceand they expect bad things to happen when she goes there.
Intertext Research 1 – The GrudgeAudio CodesAudio is very important, it is used to build tension. It uses non-diagetic sounds such as a cat meowing, which has the effect offear on the audience as the connotations of cats are bad luckand black magic, they are also very iconographic. The fact that itis non-diagetic because the boy makes the very realistic meowsound is very effective in scaring the audience. The trailer uses amix between soundtrack and voice-over which is also effective inbuilding tension and making the audience feel involved in thetrailer, it sounds like the narrator whispering in their ear, this hasthe effect of fear on the audience, which is very conventional.
Intertext Research 1 – The Grudge Technical Codes There is a range of camera angles used, the particularly effective ones are the low angle shot and the extreme close-up of an eye showing a reflection of what is happening, this gives the idea of seeing through the eyes of the character and is an interesting and unusual shot. It also begins with a very conventional establishing shot that shows the setting, Tokyo. The shots are edited together mostly with fast cuts between the narrative shots and then fades are used when it goes to information/text shots. This builds tension but also gives the audience a sense of confusion and panic. The trailer is fairly effective in terms of scaring the audience but also getting the audiences interest.Establishing Extreme close-shot, very up of eye butconventional with long shot in reflection
Intertext Research 1 – The GrudgeAction CodesThe action codes for the trailer are often quitequick, sharp, sudden movements. This isbecause it along with the audio is veryeffective in making the audience jump, andscaring them. There is also the movement ofthe background behind the text, it wavesdiagonally across the screen and looks likehair blowing in the wind which is quiteiconographic of the film because of the girlwith long, dark, straggly hair.
Intertext Research 1 – The GrudgeNarrative CodesThe trailer follows a fairly linear narrative but with quickflashbacks to the past when the original family lived there. Itfollows Propp‟s theory quite clearly, Karen Davis is thehero, Doug is the princess and Kayako is the villain. Thereare the rest of Propp‟s characters in the film but those are theones that you see in the trailer. They are very often seen asthe most important characters and so it is very conventionalthat you see them in the trailer.The trailer follows Todorov‟s theory but also the conventionsof the genre because it shows the equilibrium briefly at thebeginning, then it shows the disruption and the recognition.This is fairly representative of the film but without giving toomuch away, although the film does spend a while on theattempt to repair. It is conventional for films in this genre tofollow Todorov‟s theory even if it has been manipulated.
Intertext Research 2 – ParanormalActivityAbout“After a young, middle classcouple moves into a suburbanhouse, they become increasinglydisturbed by a presence that mayor may not be somehow demonicbut is certainly most active in themiddle of the night. Especiallywhen they sleep.”Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_UxLEqd074
Intertext Research 2 – ParanormalActivityInstitution Produced by Blumhouse Productions UK released date 25th November 2009 Estimated budget of $15,000 Grossed almost $200,000,000 Average review of 4/5 – “Both hair- raising and chilling, this suburban drama skips genre clichés, to come up with a claustrophobic classic”
Intertext Research 2 – ParanormalActivityVisual CodesThe dress codes are very much everyday, casual clothes. This isbecause the people they are filming are supposed to be average peoplejust going to the cinema. The people in the film are also dressed incasual clothes such as jeans and t-shirts, this is conventional ofthriller/horror movies, this is because it allows to audience to identifywith the characters, thus making it scarier and so uses andgratifications theory can be applied.The lighting for the film looks natural, like the lighting that would exist inthe setting of a house because again it allows the audience to identifywith the characters but the lighting in the cinema is dark because it ismeant to look like a real cinema. The colours used are quite contrastingand so you can apply binary oppositions, it has the effect of fear on theaudience because the lack of colour connotes fear and darkness.The setting is also very conventional as thriller/horror movies are oftenbased around one particular location or character. But showing thelocation of the cinema and people reactions is very unconventional. Itcreates a lot of interest and so it required them to spend less onmarketing/advertising.
Intertext Research 2 – ParanormalActivityAudio CodesThe film uses mostly voice-overs that are diagetic butnot always synchronous. This is a direct mode ofaddress and the audience feel more involved in thetrailer and therefore the film seem scarier.It also uses sound effects that are diagetic such asdoors slamming or when the boyfriend is thrown intothe camera, this makes it seem more real andtherefore scarier also. It also uses some soundtrackin the background, such as drum beats. These areused to build tension in the trailer.
Intertext Research 2 – ParanormalActivityTechnical CodesThe film looks to have low production values theaudience so identify with the characters and so they feelinvolved in the movie and trailer and like it could bethem. The trailer looks like someone taking a camerainto the cinema and recording. The idea behind thecamera angles/shots and the editing is that it makes thefilm seem much more realistic, therefore making thestory more believable and scary to the audience.The trailer uses lots of medium close-ups and zoomingshots, but the camera is not held steady it looks like anamateur holding the camera because it feels more real. Shot showing Explains to the Micah holding the audience that main camera used they are filming for filming themselves
Intertext Research 2 – ParanormalActivityAction CodesThe film also uses quite a lot ofsharp, sudden movements match theaudio and use of editing, such as cuts. Thetrailer ends quite suddenly with Micahbeing thrown at the camera and so this hasthe effect of fear on the audience. Suddenmovements, particularly if they start fromnowhere, can be very effective in makingthe audience jump.
Intertext Research 2 – ParanormalActivityNarrative CodesThe trailer is unconventional because it is much more aboutpeoples reactions to the movie than the movie itself it showsquite a small amount of the movie, so it creates a lot ofenigma.The trailer follows a fairly linear narrative, it also followsPropp‟s theory quite clearly, Katie is the hero, Micah is theprincess/helper and the psychic is the mentor.The trailer follows Todorov‟s theory but is quiteunconventional because it doesn‟t just use clips from the film.It shows the equilibrium of the people going to see the filmbut also in the film itself. And it then show the disruption andthe recognition of the disruption which is when they start tothink something it in the house and when the people in thecinema start to get scared. And then the attempt to repairwhich is when they are talking to the psychic.
Intertext Research 3 – CloverfieldAbout“Cloverfield follows five New Yorkersfrom the perspective of a hand-heldvideo camera. The movie starts as amonster of unknown origin destroys abuilding. As the characters go toinvestigate, parts of the building and thehead of the Statue of Liberty comesraining down. The movie follows theiradventure trying to escape and save afriend, a love interest of the maincharacter.”Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvNkGm8mxiM
Intertext Research 3 – CloverfieldInstitution Produced by Paramount Pictures UK release date 1st February 2008 Estimated budget $25,000,000 Grossed over $170,000,000 Average review 4/5 – “A dazzling experiment that paid off immensely, this is cinematic pleasure at its purest.”
Intertext Research 3 – CloverfieldVisual CodesThe trailer is quite dark and fairly dimly lit it looks realistic likeit is set in an apartment at night and like it is filmed with justand hand-held. This makes it more relatable for the targetaudience so uses and gratifications theory can beapplied, and thus it is scarier and more appealing.It is set in an apartment mostly. This is important to thenarrative but also it is again relatable for the targetaudience, it looks like an average, everyday setting, it is justpeople living their normal lives which makes it scarierbecause the audience can identify with the characters. Soagain it follows uses and gratifications theory.The dress codes fit in with the other visual codes and arevery conventional, they are dressed in clothes appropriate forthe setting and narrative such as going-out dresses and ashirt and jeans.
Intertext Research 3 – CloverfieldAudio CodesThe trailer uses diagetic sound of people talkingand music, it doesn‟t use a soundtrack. Thismakes it seem much more realistic and scary. Itis mostly people speaking or screaming whichalong with the direct modes of address makes theaudience feel more involved in the scene. This isquite unconventional, to use entirely diagetic andpretty much entirely synchronous audiothroughout the entire trailer. It comes as a shockto the audience and makes the whole trailerseem much more realistic and scary.
Intertext Research 3 – CloverfieldTechnical CodesThe trailer uses a lot of medium close-ups which is very conventionalbut again makes it look more amateur. It also uses some panning shotsbut they are not steady shots, they are a bit shaky, this makes the filmlook like it has low production value and makes the audience feel moreinvolved in the film and allows them to identify with the characters.The trailer uses entirely cuts, this is so that it looks more amateur butalso so that it doesn‟t detract from more important things in the shots.Some of the editing uses cuts but with brief gaps in between the shots.This builds tension and confusion because the camera jumps about andso the audience don‟t understand what is going on, which makes itscarier. The shot goes from straight to looking up and on its side which is very confusing
Intertext Research 3 – CloverfieldAction CodesWhen the rocks start flying at the charactersfrom the sky they all start to run across theroof and down the stairs, this shows theirurgency and so the audience understandsthat they must be afraid. They are alsorunning frantically which suggestsurgency, this fear is passed onto theaudience. Then in the street lots of people arerunning across the shot, this adds to the ideaof panic which is mimicked by the audience.
Intertext Research 3 – CloverfieldNarrative CodesThe trailer follows an almost entirely linear narrative to the pointwhere it just shows pretty much one scene of the film. All apart fromthe very end after its shown a small part of the credits it cuts backto obviously before the party because one of the guests says“Tonight‟s gunna be the best night ever.”. As the audience you knowthis isnt true because you‟ve already seen what is going to happenand so it is scarier for the audience because they can identify withthe character, they can imagine it happening to them.The trailer seems to follow at least part of Propp‟s theory which isvery conventional, the hero is Rob and the princess is Beth andthen there are a number of characters who play the role of helper:Hud, Jason, Lily and Marlena. It is fairly unconventional for a film inthis genre to have quite so many important characters, theygenerally have fewer main characters, but this just makes it moreinteresting for the audience.Todorov‟s theory can also be applied to the trailer, it shows theequilibrium, the disruption and the recognition. These are wheneveryone is at the party and they are all happy and having fun; thenwhen they feel the earthquakes and they go onto the roof and seethe disaster in the city; and finally when they all start to panic andrun out into the street.
Intertext Research 4 – Black SwanAbout:A ballet dancer wins the lead in"Swan Lake" and is perfect forthe role of the delicate WhiteSwan - Princess Odette - butslowly loses her mind as shebecomes more and more likeOdile, the Black Swan.Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jaI1XOB-bs
Intertext Research 4 – Black SwanInstitution Produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures UK release date 21st January 2010 Estimated budget $13,000,000 Grossed over $100,000,000 Average review 4/5 – “This is a very strange film. In a way, it seems like nothing weve seen before.”
Intertext Research 4 – Black SwanVisual CodesThe trailer is quite well lit and bright but uses a lot of dark colours such as blackand grey these connote evil and darkness. But then it uses soft, pale coloursiconographic of ballet such as pale pink and white, these colours connote goodand purity. It follows the theory of binary oppositions as there is lots of conflictvisual and conceptual and the conceptual conflicts are represented a lot throughcolour. The contrast of white and pale pink with black is fairly unconventionaland comes as quite a shock to the audience as usually darker colours are used.The connotations of the colours used are very important and they become easilyrecognised by the audience as representing good and evil.The dress codes are in line with the colours used they are mostly dressed inpale pink/white and black. Nina is shown in the beginning of the trailer in palepink/white but as the trailer goes on she is shown in increasing amounts of blackand Lily is shown in black, these colours correspond with the audience‟s feelingtowards the characters based on the connotations of the different colours.The trailer is set mostly in the ballet studio, it is not only because of itsimportance as part of the narrative but also because of the various connotationsof it and how it is so iconographic. Ballet and ballet studio‟s representtradition, femininity but also purity as it is widely considered to be one of thepurest art forms and so the contrast between that and the evil surroundingit, makes it fascinating and terrifying for the audience.
Intertext Research 4 – Black SwanAudio CodesThe trailer uses a mix between a soundtrack and voiceover, which is sometimes diagetic and sometimes non-diagetic. The sound track uses a variety of instrumentsbut one that stands out particularly is a violin, it createsvery pure notes but with a quite sinister edge to them. Itis very effective in creating fear in the audience.The soundtrack is also used to build tension veryeffectively, by fading in and out. It also uses sounds thatsound a bit like a gust of wind but in a context in whichthey don‟t fit this can be very scary and suggests theidea of spirits moving around. And it uses lots of peoplewhispering over the top of each other to create asinister effect, this makes it very scary for the audience.
Intertext Research 4 – Black SwanTechnical CodesThe trailer uses a variety of very interesting shots veryeffectively. There is an extreme close-up of her ballet shoes, thisis effective because they are so important, so iconographic.Another extremely effective shot/use of special effects is the onewhere she is looking away from the mirror behind her and herreflection turns around. This is not only scary, but furthersuggests the idea of madness.The shots are edited together using mostly cuts but with somefades, this builds tension and is very conventional of films in thisgenre. Extreme close-up of iconic ballet shoes
Intertext Research 4 – Black SwanAction CodesAt the beginning of the trailer themovements are all very soft and gracefulbut as it goes on and Nina goesincreasingly mad, her movements becomefaster and more panicked, she begins torun at various points and the feeling of out-of control is passed on to the audiencemaking the trailer scarier.
Intertext Research 4 – Black SwanNarrative CodesThe trailer follows Propp‟s theory to an extent, but it has beenmanipulated and it is very complicated because thecharacters seem to change rolls within the film Nina beginsas very much the hero but as it progresses she becomes thevillain and Lily goes from being the helper, to the villain, tothe hero. Then Thomas is the mentor and then the princessand her mother is the dispatcher. And so the lines betweenthe character roles are very blurred. It is conventional for apsychological thriller to do this, but perhaps not to theextreme that it is done in this film.Todorov‟s theory can also be applied, it shows theequilibrium, when Nina has got the part of Odette and she ishappy; then the disruption is when Lily comes along andthings start going wrong and Lily becomes Nina‟s alternate;the recognition is when she start to realise she is goingslightly mad.
Censorship Issues – 15From BBFC Website:http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/guidelines/15-2/Suitable only for 15 years and overNo one younger than 15 may see a „15‟ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a „15‟rated video work.DiscriminationThe work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.DrugsDrug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuseof easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely tobe acceptableHorrorStrong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.Imitable behaviourDangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail whichcould be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.LanguageThere may be frequent use of strong language (for example, „fuck‟). The strongest terms (forexample, „cunt‟) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongestlanguage is unlikely to be acceptable.ThemeNo theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.ViolenceViolence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images areunlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There maybe detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet andhave a strong contextual justification.
Censorship Issues – 18From BBFC Website:http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/guidelines/18-2/Suitable only for adultsNo-one younger than 18 may see an „18‟ film in a cinema. No-one younger than 18 may rent or buy an „18‟ rated video.In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC‟s public consultations and The Human Rights Act 1998, at „18‟ the BBFC‟s guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely in the following areas: where the material is in breach of the criminal law, or has been created through the commission of a criminal offence where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society – for example, any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts, or of illegal drug use, which may cause harm to public health or morals. This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault where there are more explicit images of sexual activity which cannot be justified by context. Such images may be appropriate in „R18‟ works, and in „sex works‟ (see below) would normally be confined to that category. In the case of video works (including video games), which may be more accessible to younger viewers, intervention may be more frequent thanSex education at ‘18’Where sex material genuinely seeks to inform and educate in matters such as human sexuality, safer sex and health, explicit images of sexual activity may be permitted.Sex works at ‘18’Sex works are works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation. Sex works containing only material which may be simulated are generally passed „18‟. Sex works containing clear images of real sex, strong fetish material, sexually explicit animated images, or other very strong sexual images will be confined to the „R18‟ category. Material which is unacceptable in a sex work at „R18‟ is also unacceptable in a sex work at „18‟.
Censorship IssuesWhat I have learnt from this: That censorship for films is very important because it effects who can watch the film and therefore who the target audience is. I haven‟t learnt the difference between „15‟ rated films and „18‟ rated films. „15‟ rated films can contain violence, horror or sexual content but it cannot be too explicit or be shown for too long. Whereas „18‟ rated films can show almost anything but if they are extremely sexually explicit they are classified as „18R‟. I have decided that my film will be rated „15‟, this is because it will include a certain level of horror and violence but not too much that would make it an 18 because this could seriously effect my choice of target audience.
Questionnaire The results from this question shows that almost two thirds of the people who answered my questions were female so this will slightly skew my results but nit by enough that it will have much of an effect. Also my target audience will be males and female so I know that I have collected results from both. The results from this question show that the majority of the people who answered my questions were 15-18 this is good because this is the majority of my target audience and so I know that the results I collect will be helpful and useful.
Questionnaire This tells me that the people who answered my questions were all in demographic E which fits with my target audience and so I am further sure that the answers I get will be applicable to my target audience. It also just adds to my knowledge of my target audience and my target audience profile.These answers tell me more about my targetaudience, it tells me about their media usage whichcan come under the interests heading. But also it givesme an idea about how I would go about doing themarketing and advertising for my film.Internet, music, TV and film all have high percentagesthis is good because I could advertise my film on theTV and via the internet but it also tells me that a lot ofmy target audience watch films fairly regularly.
These answers tell me that all of Questionnaire my target audience watch at least some films, with the most common answers being 3-4 and 5-6 times a month. This means that I don‟t have to get them interested in film altogether but that I do need to do something that would stand out and make them choose my film/trailer over another one.The answers that I got from thisquestion tell me that my targetaudience watch quite a lot of TV.Again this provides me with moreinformation about their interestsbut also this could be used whenplanning a marketing/advertisingcampaign.
Questionnaire This gives me a further idea about the interests of my target audience, I know that they have a wide range of film interests and that they watch a range of genres almost half like horrors and thrillers but The answers that I got from interestingly more than this question are very half like crime/mystery helpful. They tell me that a so I think that we will small proportion of my target think about audience don‟t like horrors incorporating this into or thrillers but that most do. our storyline. Perhaps Also that there is a slight through an sway towards thrillers over investigation of some horrors and so I think that sort. we will go for a thriller trailer rather than a horror one.
These answers tell me that The GrudgeQuestionnaire and Paranormal Activity appear often as people‟s favourites. This is very good news because they were both film trailers that I analysed and so hopefully I have worked out what made them people‟s favourites in my analysis and can hopefully bring these things across into my film trailer.This again adds to my targetaudience profile, my knowledge ofmy audience and their interests.
These answers have given me things to think about for my trailer lots of people liked howQuestionnaire they are scary and so I want to make my trailer as scary as possible. Some people also disliked when they looked unrealistic, so this is another reason why I will do a thriller instead of a horror because a horror would require more gore, blood and guts, which would be difficult to make realistic and so I will avoid this with a thriller. Also a thriller gives more opportunity to do things jumping out, which a couple of people also talked about. The people that gave answers to this question said that they liked hand- held camera work and the tense, effective use of music. These are both things I will think about carefully for my trailer.
Questionnaire The answers that I got from this question are extremely helpful because before this I hadn‟t thought much about characters. Most people liked teenagers in horrors/thrillers, I think that this is because they can identify with the characters. This is also good news for me because realistically they are by far the easiest actors for us to get hold of to use in our trailer. They also equally like male and female characters so we will probably include both. But interestingly the characters they want to see the most is bad characters, this we will think about a lot when further planning our storyline.
QuestionnaireThese two questions were linked and theywere two of the most important questions.The really interesting thing is that everybodypreferred the second idea of a movie filmedfrom the killers point of view. They said thatthey preferred it because it was moreinteresting and unusual. They thought that ithad more potential and that we could use itto get some good camera shots and anglesuch as point of view shots, like suggested inthe first question. We will definitely use thisto decide on our storyline and we will go withthe second idea based on the results fromthe questionnaire. The second idea got verypositive reviews and because the peoplewho answered my questionnaire were in thetarget audience, the trailer is very likely toappeal to the target audience.
QuestionnaireWhat I have learned from my questionnaire results: I got answers from people that I know are in my target audience based on gender, age and occupation. I got background information on my target audience based on types of media they use, genres of films they watch, how much TV and film they watch and what their favourite films are. I also collected information that I will use more specifically for the genre of my trailer, the characters that I will use, the influences and intertexts my trailer will have, the effects etc that I will try and include and the storyline itself. I have found out which of the ideas that I was considering the target audience preferred and why they preferred it. I also received a small amount of constructive criticism, but overall very positive reviews for the second idea that I proposed. From this feedback I have decided that the basic storyline for my trailer is going to be “A movie filmed entirely from the killer‟s/murderer‟s point of view, where you see everything the way they do.
Target Audience Theories andProfile
Audience theories applied to my text Hypodermic Syringe ModelI will be injecting the idea of fear, thrill and excitement into my audience through my trailer. Uses and Gratifications TheoryBecause the results of my questionnaire showed that most of my target audience want to see teenagers as characters in my trailer at least some of my characters will be teenagers. The reason that they wanted to see teenagers is because they can identify with them. The trailer will also be used for entertainment and social interaction and integration.
Audience theories applied to my text Polysemic Readings-Preferred Reading: That the audience will find the trailer scary, exciting and interesting and that it would make them want to watch the whole movie.-Oppositional Reading: That the audience will find it boring, unrealistic or too scary, and that it does not make them want to watch the whole movie.
Audience theories applied to my text Two-Step Flow TheoryThe audience will be filtered information from opinion leaders such as friends and family that they look up to, respect and trust the opinion of. However, other opinion leaders could also be film critics or anyone‟s opinion that the audience trust not necessarily someone they know. But the hope in these situations is that the opinion leaders like it, otherwise they could lead other people who might like it to dislike it.
Target audience Profile Age:15-21 Gender: Male & Female Occupation: Student and/or weekend/part-time job Income: Low, maximum monthly income of £200 Education: At least GCSE‟s but most likely A Levels also if not Higher Education also Demographics: E – Unemployed, Students, Casual workers Psychographics: Most likely to be mainstreamers or explorers Media Consumption: High – 5-8 hours of TV watched a week, 3-6 films watched a month Hobbies & interests: A wide range of media interests but particularly internet, music and TV; other interest can include magazines and video games; also a wide range of film genres watched, particularly comedies Nationality: Can be any but most likely to be western; British, American, etc