Our film is about a serial killer, Billy who stalks ballet dancers in the
night. It is about how and why he stalks them and what happens
to them once they’ve been kidnapped. This then lead on to the
torturing of our victim, Elle. The film gets it’s title “The Music
Box” from the fact that the music box that the killer has is
actually acting as a voodoo doll of Elle and controls her actions.
For example when he slams the box, Elle falls.
Our opening starts off the story by showing by the typewriter, a
possible past victim, or possibly the killer himself writing the
story of “The Music Box”. It then leads into the “stalk” and we
watch Billy follow Elle. At the end of our opening, you see Billy
appear behind Elle in the car park which then fades into the clip
of the music box spinning starting the film. This leads our
audience on a cliff hanger and hopefully makes them want to
watch the rest of the film.
Use – To make sure that our audience can recognise that our film is
a thriller we used thriller typed writing on black backgrounds for
our production names.
Develop – We developed Claude Levi Strauss’ theory of binary
oppositions and opposed our two characters, the killer, and the
victim, which most thrillers do, to make the audience engage in
the film and support a character and understand and develop
their thoughts and feelings.
Challenge – In our opening we didn’t use any blood or gore to
represent the film. Most of our opening is about the adrenaline
chase between the characters. Therefore we may be
challenging some typical thrillers/horrors as we didn’t use any
gore. Therefore at the end before Billy captures her, as you can’t
see it, the thrill is implied and makes the audience think for
themselves what could have happened.
Killer (Billy) – In our film, our killer is played by a man. We did this as in reality most girls are
stalked by men. We created Billy with his hood up so he looks older than he really is
and makes the audience expect danger and mystery from him. Men are normally
stereotyped, O’Sullivan’s theory, as superior and dominant to woman, and in our
opening it shows how Elle is vulnerable towards him.
Victim (Elle) – Dressed in ballet clothes to represent the killers obsession with ballet girls,
hence the ballet dancer in the Voodoo music box. It represents a young girl as a
vulnerable character and easily targeted. She is also typically paranoid looking behind
her after she hears noises on a street at night. Elle dressed in black also shows that
she is mysterious and makes you wonder why Billy is stalking her.
After some general research I think that “Newmarket Films” would distribute our film. I
chose this production company as it distributes films such as “Prom night” which
is like our film, a young teenager being stalked and possibly killed. This film also
follows the same rating of 12 as our film and so do other films by this production
company such as “Death of a President” which is also classified as a thriller. It
also could be produced by the distributor “Original Film” as it also distributes
films of the same genre and rating such as “Stealth”.
After cinema, our film will be distributed onto DVD and Bluray so it will be available
for audiences at home to watch suitable in the home. On DVD it will rated 15 as
it will have additional material and will have an alternative ending which will
appeal more towards an older target audience. This will be distributed in stores
such as HMV, WHSmith and on websites such as Amazon and Play.com.
Since most of our horror/ thrill is implied and in the film little physical
torture happens, most of it is psychological harm, we have given
our film the certificate 12/12A following the guidelines of the
BBFC. Although our film is not rated PG certificate as there are
some moments in the film that may be frightened or disturbing for
younger viewers. We also wanted to rate our film as a 12, as it
broadens the audience so more people legally are allowed to
watch it and will hopefully make our film more popular.
However when our film is transferred onto DVD it will be rated 15, as
it will have some additional material that may not be suitable for
The title “The Music Box” is ambiguous as it has many meanings. By the
title it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a thriller/horror film. This leads to
audience into a state of confusion and makes them want to find our more
about the film.
We made a typical thriller chase in our opening to attract the audience and
to engage them into the genre of thriller.
Our film is also set in the typical streets of a Town which
helps our audience to relate to the film and hopefully
makes it more scary and put the audience in the victim’s
shoes, which makes the drama and tension more
We included close up’s and jump cuts in our film with low
key lighting which reflect the genre and gives a sense of
unease in the audience which reflects how our victim is
Construction – During the construction of our film, we have learnt how to
use a camera effectively to create good shots. We have also learnt
that using a tripod at times is good to create a professional steady look
but at other times, for example in the middle of a chase, an unsteady
hand held camera is better as it makes the audience feel as if they are
part of the chase and make our film seem more realistic. We also
discovered the night mood on the camera, but later realised it was
better to film in a lighter lighting and darken later as some of our shots
were hard to see.
Editing – We have learnt a lot with the functions of iMovie and Garageband.
We have learnt how to effectively cut our film and edit it together. We
have also learnt that you can change the contrast etc of the shot and
you can add an effect. We have also learnt how to lengthen and
shorten clips and add transitions to make sure that the continuity flows
correctly and smoothly. We also learnt how to upload music onto
Garageband and to edit it by cutting areas out and lengthening other
areas. We also learnt about the sounds on Garageband and how to
create our own music.
The preliminary exercise was useful as it helped me feel
comfortable behind a camera and helped me learn the basics of
editing together for continuity. It also helped me realise the 180
degree rule and so when storyboarding and filming we made
sure that our angles were not disobeying this rule.
We realised that the mise-en-scene needed to stay the same
every shot to make it seem continuous as if it was all one shot.
We also realised that the positioning of the character needed to
be exactly the same, for example when Sophie raises her feet
onto the table, they needed to be the same distance and the
same leg crossed every time we filmed it.
I now realise that the lighting and composition is crucial in
maintaining continuity to make a film seem realistic and
effective, and I will take all this progression onboard while
making our music video next year.