Question 1:In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products
A conventional antagonist found in many horror movies is a supernatural entity. In our Horror film we used a form of demonic possession to turn a seemingly innocent character into an unforgiving killer. The technique of turning a character into an unrecognisable villain has been used in some big horror movies of the last few centuries perhaps most recently in the paranormal activity series where the initial protagonist, Katie is discovered to be being possessed by an entity we had seen disturbing the happy life she was leading with her boyfriend.In The Hellion we decided to give the initial perception thatthere is a purely human villain at work and that this personis responsible for Willow’s disappearance (the reason theothers enter into the woods in the first place). But then asthe story gradually unfolds the truth becomes apparent andit becomes a race for survival. This is takes a conventionalstoryline and alters the beginning before retuning to thestereotypical horror roots.
LIONSGATE: This is a company quite heavily associated with some of the big, modern horror films and franchises such as The haunting in Connecticut and both the Saw and Hostel series. If you can be associated with a reputable company that has horror films to its name then you instantly have a fan base who could associate the institution and subsequently your film with some of theBAD ROBOT: greats in the genre.One of our biggest inspirations for ourfilm was the another hand help camerastyle film, Clover field. We thereforedecided that we wanted to draw furtherconnections with a movie in the samestyle as our own, so we chose Bad Robotas one of the institutions that supportsThe Hellion. We Furthered the effects of the logos and instantly allowed the audience to draw a connection to the upcoming trailer and the horror genre through a mysterious growl and a distorted transaction between the two logos.
Once the audience feedback on ourinitial poster had been collected, it hadbeen implied that the typeface neededchanging so we looked through all ofthe fonts and chose an archaic lookingone. We then specifically asked peoplewhat connotations this font and theyimmediately associated it with a horrorand old feel. This is because the old,gothic texts were written in a similarfont and it draws on the darker side ofthe old texts that are still with us today.Any connection available needs to bemade to a horror film. And theconventions of trailers and promotionpacks is to keep a recurring font/titleso the audience can draw clearconnections between them. Wecontinued this theme within our work.
One of the typical conventions of any movie trailer is tofeature the green screen before the trailer actuallybegins, this reassures the audience that the trailer islegit and it’s contents have been verified as beingsuitable to be viewed in a cinema showing of a certaincertificate.]
One of the most conventional settings for ahorror movie is the woods. Some of thehorror films that we were inspired by areset in the woods, Cabin Fever and mostprominently, The Blair Witch Project.The reason we decided to follow thisconvention is because the woods can act asa perfect place for people to hide behindthings and for mysterious noises to occur. Itbegins to play tricks in the audience’s andcharacters minds because they beginquestioning whether they are hearingthings, whether they are hearing nature(i.e. Animals) or whether there really issomething supernatural at hand.The woods we chose we deep and thick sothat there is no clear exit points or placesthat they can see where they can feel safe.Its unforgiving and foreboding.
One of the crucial things Myself and Jess had to work atwas the development of the characters. Theconventional characters for horror movies is to have agroup of young, attractive friends who each havedifferent personalities, sometimes having differentsocial cliques.• Olivia – the pretty blonde who becomes the primescream queen•Jack – The Macho-man who takes charge of thesituation and leads the others to safety•Grace – The Goth who initially refuses to show her fearabout the whole situation•Willow – The seemingly innocent one who becomesthe films biggest victim
Challenging the genre conventions of the characters: CharlieIt is unusual to have a stereotypical, camp, gay character within the horror films butwe decided to break these conventions by featuring amore modern, scream queen.We gave him a cardigan (a more feminine form of clothing) to where and featuredhim as one of the first to be killed. By doing this we allowed him to conform to thetypical character a young blonde girl might have.
Light:We wanted the light toshine over Willow so thatit could potentiallyobscure Graces’ vision,providing a furtherobstacle for her.We chose the thicktree for willow to standbehind so that it couldhint that Grace feelssafe as she has someform of shield betweenher and the antagonistbut at the same time itshows there isn’t a bigdistance between thetwo characters Pan: We used a conventional shot of panning around a tree from the antagonist to the protagonist so that it slowly builds the mystery of the shot. Building the suspense as to who will be around the corner.
The addition of the wall means that Olivia can hide behind it, once again feeling safe anbut she still cannot see behind the wall it therefore adds an extra message to the trailerthat we are trying to convey, the idea that you do not know what’s around the corner.We chose to haveWillow as the centreof the shot. Thecharacter holding thecamera is looking ather and acting as theeyes for theaudience. HavingOlivia at the side ofthe action andlooking at Willow in asimilar angle to theaudience means thatthe audience isfeeling the sameemotions as Olivia. The tree’s are there to obscure the vision, it adds a greater sense of uncertainty tot he scene as you are looking at the scene through leaves. The addition of the trees behind Willow also suggest that there is nowhere for Olivia to run to.
You can see that it isgetting darker as thereis a dimmer look tothe shot but we cansee the light comingfrom through thetrees. The lightshining on Olivia isalmost angelic givinghints that she haspassed away and ispotentially in a moreheavenly place,contradicting thedarkness of the themeof the film. Camera Angle: We chose to have the camera at a tainted angle as it adds a sense of uncertainty for the audience. It could also signify that Olivia has dropped the camera and is now in trouble, which we can see in this shot. To achieve this angle we had to use varying objects to prop the camera up and ask the actress to lye flat on the ground.
We attempted to create the sense that something was leering over the character byusing the technique found in many movies of manipulating the shadow loomingover him. The area is well lit but he is in a shadowy surrounding which could alsorepresent the darkness and secrets the character is hiding.High Angle Shot:We used a high angle shotwhich is a conventionalmethod of making it lookas though you’re lookingat someone from anothercharacters perspective.Conventionally in horrormovies it would be fromthe villain’s perspectivewhich is what we’re tryingto achieve here.We tapped into the conventional look of horror movies by making the landscape lookabandoned and dangerous. We put the character into this desolate place as it highlightsthe character and the danger he’s in. In horror movies such as The Blair Witch Projectthe woods create a sense of feeling tapped and everything feels a lot scarier than itactually is.
A typical convention of any movie is too create an extreme close up on a certain factor ofa characters body. This conveys emotion to the audience in the clearest way. We chose tozoom in on her eyes as it represented that she was always looking over the othercharacters and building the anticipation as too what she will do next.We used make up andpost productionediting techniques tomake the character ofWillow paler so thatshe did have thatconventionalhaunted, ghostly lookto her image. Thiscreates a depth ofcoldness in hercharacter that wewanted to achieve.We challenged the conventions of the normal extreme close up shot of a paranormalbeing’s eyes, and chose not to manipulate the look of her eyes, by making them red ordemonic looking. You can see by the look on her face alone that she is up to somethingbut we wanted to remind the audience that she is still the best friend of the group ofprotagonists.
After watching some horror movies like Clover field we decided to do a scene where thecharacters we running away from something although you could not see what it was theywere running away from. This always works well as it builds the tension and builds moreanticipation as the audience now wants to see the antagonistThe unsteadiness that isachieved through theuse of a hand heldcamera is a techniquethat Jessica and Myselfwanted to achieve. Wewatched some filmsthat used the techniqueand decided that it wasone of the best ways ofcreating a relationshipbetween the audienceand the characters theyare seeing on screen.This technique also allows the shots to look out of focus or for the shots to be unsteady, it alljust adds tot he characters story and how their feeling as the camera acts as a third camera forthe audience.
The use of a low angles shot is conventional within horror movies as creates the feelingthat something is leering over protagonists and allows you to look directly at thecharacter but often without giving too much away about what they look like. There is agood example in this when one of the characters looks up at the alien in the movie,Cloverfield. It takes a moment for the audience to process what they’re seeing and gainfocus on the situation as it becomes an unexpectedoccurrence. We also wantedto create this feeling for theaudience as the shot itself ismeant to be a reaction shotas the first time the charactersand the audiences see thedemonic Willow.We broke the conventionalway that a horror moviegives the first shot of theirantagonist and set the shotin the daytime . As I havementioned before this is key to allowing the audience to react to the charactersreactions as this is the key to building the crucial audience character relationship.
We wanted the audience to feel like their hero was being dragged away from them so that they didn’t feel as safe by having Jack drop the camera and leave it behind (as the audiences only way of seeing their hero. . Stereotypically the alpha male either doesnt die or lasts to the end so we wanted to challenge this and show him falling a cropper to his female nemesis. We wanted to create a stereotypical viewpoint of an antagonist and have something obscuring Jack and the audiences viewpoint of her however unlike a typical horror movie we have used lightness rather than darkness (as fond in Quarantine) to do this.One of the reasons the woods is a conventional setting for horror location because there isnothing in a woods that the characters can use to properly protect them and this shot provesthat there is nothing Jack can get a grip on to try and stop Willow from pulling him towardsher.
One of the techniques many editors of teaser trailers use is too create titles that describeprevious works of the director, producers or actors as this entices people to come and seetheir movie. By connecting ourselves to another movie of a similar, highly popular movie,audiences are immediately attracted to the style of the movie as they think that if theymade a masterpiece once they can do it again.We decided to keepthe same style of titlefor all of our titlesalthough we didexperiment with themore stereotypicalapproach of creatingtitles that describeprevious works in thesame style of thoseworks famous titles.We decided that wewanted to build abrand for our filmand have somethingaudiences canconnect throughoutall of our projects.
The image takes up Masthead that makes a directThe colour red is most of the front cover reference to the main subject focus ofused because it is and covers some of the the magazine so audiences can see iteye-popping and masthead. relates to their interestsconnoted horrorDate of issue’s It isn’t conventional for apublication mainstream film magazine to focus purely on one genre ofBuzz Words to entice film as it may put off somethe audience and build readers but wanted to highlightexcitement the genre of the film. We didn’t include the The image on the front cover is strap line of an of the main character is the indicator of the article feature film of the magazine, info as we felt the title often this image would be of a was the strongest hint famous actor or a significant at the style of the film. image from the film Title of main film featuredUnlike some magazines we featured only in magazine so the audiencethree colours, black whit and red to stick Barcode know what the featureto the horror conventions rather than article will be aboutthose of some magazine front covers.
We have The colour we have used is red, a A convention for horrorconventionally colour that connotes blood and film posters is to use thecreated a strap danger and is featured in many location (which is oftenline to adverts and promotion for horror key to the story) as theaccompany our movies main image for thefilm . posterStereotypically the films’ Unlike mosttitle is the main feature of conventional filmthe film poster and is in an posters we haveeye-popping red to make manipulated the mainit stand out from the rest image , the audienceof the poster. will not see an shot like this in the film, butUnlike many film posters normal woodlands.we have split the strap lineto add emphasis on the playon words and horror genre Film Certification indicates to theA convention for almost any film poster is too feature the audience over whatcredits at the bottom which will tell the audience the age audienceproducer, director and the actors of the main characters. members are allowedIt also features our self - designed production company, into see this film