Question 1 -In what ways does yourmedia product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventionsof real media products ?By Louise Fisher 6081
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Camera Movement A sci-fi horror film conventionally uses tracking shots to establish the characters role as a victim, as the shot may suggest they are being followed or watched, our opening sequence challenges this as we have used a handheld camera through-out. We did this as we believed it would make our media product more successful as the audience is now put in the position of the victim making the opening sequence seem more realistic and terrifying. However this unconventional use of shots is becoming more and more popular in the 21st century of horror films as producers are using it to present films as actual documentations to make the audience believe they are real, for example paranormal activity which has noExample of handy cam film opening title or credits and simple informs thetechnique in ‘Paranormal audience that the footage has been ‘found’ and is aActivity’ true story.
Framing a shot and Camera angleConventionally, close up shots and extreme close ups areused to capture the emotion that the character is feelingand builds tension for the viewer. For our openingsequence we used a combinations of close ups with thehandy ham, which exaggerates the characters sense ofdistraught and panic in the scene. The extreme close upsused on the characters face when she looks away from thecamera scared create a sense of mystery as the viewer is leftto their own imagination to visualize what the character isseeing. From our opening sequence ‘Feedback’The film ‘Cloverfield’ also uses close ups with the handycam to reveal the characters deep emotions and toestablish a connection with the viewer to feel as if they arein the position of the character. High camera angles arealso used to imply a characters position; generically inhorror movies the victim is shown from a high cameraangle to signify their weakness. However we challengedthese conventions and used low angles affectively in orderto emphasize and captivate the characters distressed stateof mind. From Cloverfield
Mise-en-scene Generally low key lighting is used for the perpetrator which The Blair connotates evilness, darkness and wrong doing. This is Witch contrasted with high key lighting for the main protagonist Project in the film to show their vulnerability and innocence. By challenging these conventions and using dark lighting throughout my media product, a bigger sense of fear is introduced to the audience in which they immediately Our film sympathise with the character. For example The Blair Witch ‘Feedback’ Project the lighting is constantly shone on the protagonist face to reinforce her exposure and helplessness.Dark clothing has the same connotations with the evilcharacters, where as the victims in horror films areusually seen as more vulnerable with the fewer clothesthey wear. We aimed to use this convention by showingthe character ripped tights in order to communicate tothe viewer her predicament. For example Psycho has afamous scene in which the protagonist is naked in ashower and with a combination of extreme close ups isshown as a targeted and weak character.
Mise-en-sceneFor our opening sequence we chose thelocation of dark woods to isolate thecharacters from the world in order for themto appear more helpless and as if they arebeing trapped inside.This is similar to Blair witch Project whichalso used the location of a woods in whichthey became lost and trapped, to be picked Feedback Location, Streatham Commonoff one by one. This is a typical conventionof a horror movie in which we wanted tofollow in order to make the film seemrealistic as the location would be a familiarsite to the viewers. The Blair Witch Project Location
EditingSci-fi/horror films tend to use sharp cuts, these are used to keep a fast pacenarrative and to build tension throughout the opening, long takes are also used tocreate fear and suspense.Typically a horror/sci-fi film is never shot in the order that the eventshappen, partly because they want the audience to feel included and to try and workout the storyline.We developed this convention by filming the end of an event first, which draws theaudience straight into the action and leaves them wanting to watch more to findout what happens to the protagonist.In our opening sequence ‘Feedback’ we used this convention of sharp cuts to buildup a sense of speed and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The film‘aliens’ also uses sharp cuts throughout the narrative to keep the suspense of thefear of the unknown.
Sound Disturbing sounds are especially important in horrorClick for a typical horror and sci-fi films, generally low pitched and dreary musicmovie non-diegetic helps to set the mood and scene, however occasionalsound from the film high pitched sounds create tension and make the‘Psycho’ audience jump. Horror films tend to emphasize ambient diegetic sounds like footsteps and rustling from bushes, they also use non-diegetic sounds like heartbeats to emphasize the fear. We challenged this convention by not using any particular sound in our opening sequence, however we used diegetic sounds like footsteps and heavy breathing to build up fear, also we didn’t want to include any music to keep the film as realistic as possible, the blair witch project also doesn’tClick for example of use music for this same reason – arguably the silence‘Feedback’ digetic itself can be more frightening than music.sounds used throughoutthe opening sequence
Narrative TheoryHorror films generally vary their beginnings, the majority begin with anequilibrium (Tsvetan Todorov Theory - all stories start in a state ofequilibrium, which is then disrupted, setting in a motion a chain of events. Theresolution of the story is the creation of anew/different equilibrium) and as thestoryline progresses it develops into a disequilibrium. However, we decided asa group that we want our film to start off with a disequilibrium as it will keepthe audience on the edge of their seat, trying to figure out what is going on.We can compare the beginning narrative of our film Feedback with the filmMemento because it also begins with a disequilibrium as a hand at thebeginning of the opening scene holds a Polaroid photograph of a bloodyscene. Memento Feedback