Film / Artist: Saw series Web Address: http://www.officialsaw.com Genre/ Subgenre: Slasher/ Psychological
Brief Plot Synopsis: Two men wake up in a room chained to a pipe, and realise that they are part of an elaborate game conducted by a serial killer going under the name ‘Jigsaw’.
Briefly describe the content of the homepage / first impressions The homepage consists of a circular blade with navigational buttons placed around each ridge of the blade – this seems to fit the conventions of the film and is very pleasing to the eye.
Describe the home page in detail using the following sections: Was the site easy to navigate? Describe the navigation tools used e.g. drop down menus/banners etc. The site is easy to use as the navigational buttons are all clear to see as they form around the circular blade and are categorised appropriately.
What colours were used principally on the homepage? How many colours were used in the palette? There is a very limited colour palette – black, white and red, which are the stereotypical colours that connote horror and bloodshed etc.
Was there a specific site style e.g. layout / typography i.e. a common look for the page? Describe it? The theme/layout for the page is the use of the circular blade as a murder weapon, so even if you have not seen the film it is clear from the homepage that the film contains slasher/psychotic elements.
How many and what images did the page contain? What was the purpose of the images? Technical construction e.g. close up/low angle etc? The only images on the homepage are that of the circular wheel, pictures of ‘Jigsaw’ in the updates section on the homepage (so the audience is familiar with the villain) and logos affiliated with the film itself (such as Lionsgate, Twisted Pictures, Dolby Digital etc) for legal purposes. There is also a rating ® showing that the website is of American origin.
What was the tone of the copy – i.e. style of language _formal/humorous etc. What could you find out about the film/artist from reading the text? The text on the homepage is simple and directional in order not to confuse the audience. The text is also promotional and intertextual with updates on the homepage regarding a Saw auction on Ebay and an official Saw Store.
How many pages did the homepage link to? What were these pages? How did the links operate? Where were the links positioned? The homepage linked to 8 other pages, which consisted of a page for each of the 5 Saw films, a Store, a fan section, and ‘House of Jigsaw’ which takes you into the world of the villain, his weapons and his victims etc., gaining a broadened insight into his mind-set.
Does the website promote a CD release/showcase the film poster – where were these located within the site? How were they promoted? Style/layout etc. The posters are not shown; however there are links from each film section to buy the soundtrack to each film, and to buy each DVD also.
Were there any examples of Interactivity/Flash/Video Streaming or Real Audio? How were these used? What did they add to the homepage? The website has clearly been made from Flash as there are very good effects from the circular blade and each button blurring or turning red when you hover over it. There is a video streaming of ‘Jigsaw’ when you first visit the website, which you can skip by pressing the ‘skip intro’ button. There is also fast paced music fitting the theme of the film, and you are given the choice to switch the sound off with a navigational bar at the top of the page.
Could you tell by the style of the site which genre the film/artist belonged to? How? Yes, as the circular blade/colours used/the fast paced music all connote a horror film and paint a horrific picture.
Write down anything you think worked particularly well on the home page? I think the circular blade for the use of navigation was a great idea as it represented the conventions of the film and a murder weapon used.
Anything you didn’t think worked? I thought that the sound used could be rather annoying, although there was an option to turn it off (however the button was small and could not be found immediately) and the opening video, although impressive and fitting to the film, could be seen as somewhat of an annoyance, however again there was an option to skip it.