1) In what way does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media?
My media product uses, develops and challenges forms and conventions of real media products by making it looking as realistic as possible. The typical features that would be expected in a horror film are blood, weapons and other terrifying objects and themes.
My film did not develop or challenge generic horror conventions as I wanted it to be similar to a realistic horror film so the audience know what to expect and that it lives up to their expectations so they don’t feel cheated. I wanted a wider audience appeal as possible for my product.
So therefore it contains typical conventions of a horror film, an example of this is were my mother drops the phone at the end of the sequence and at the same time were I’m laid against a tree in the woods with fake blood on my wrists so it looks like I’ve cut them.
Here are some screen grabs from my film to compare with the examples I have given previously.
Above is two medium shots of my mother on the phone and of me holding the knife getting ready to cut myself and the occult symbol. To the right is a shot of me laid against a tree with blood on my wrists after cutting myself with the knife. It keeps the audience on edge, keeps them guessing and makes them wonder what’s going to happen next.
This adds to the horrific effect that is being created. The sub genre for my film is super natural horror as the son becomes obsessed with the occult and goes missing, then comes across a lot of occult symbols. There is a lot of references to the occult included throughout the film such as the son copying occult symbols and researching them on the internet. The only horror film that influences, and is similar to my work is ‘The Craft’.
2) How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My media product represents particular social groups as the only two characters featured in the film are the mother and son relationship as when the son goes missing the mother gets worried and becomes caring and maternal towards him by phoning the police as soon as she realises he’s gone missing.
Gender is also represented in a stereotypical way as the son is more of a dominant character as he becomes brave when walking through the woods wearing a leather jacket with the hood up. The mother is less dominant as she becomes helpless because she doesn’t know what to do as her son’s gone missing. This links to the target audience as my film is an 18 rated certificate as people at that age would be able to understand the film and relate to it more.
Here are some stills of an occult symbol from my film.
Above is an over the shoulder shot
of me looking at the occult symbol in the
woods getting ready to slice it in half with a
knife, looking like I’ve become obsessed.
3) What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why?
My films going to be a British made film with a wide theatrical release so it gains media attention, such as reviews and ratings in newspapers, and appeals to a wider audience. Also I think it’s the type of film that would be released at the cinema as it’s a typical horror film which I think people would be talking about.
I think quite a large number of people
would want to view the film as it contains a
lot of twists in the storyline and many
people will be wondering what’s going to
happen next as a lot of unexpected things
occur, it will also create tension when being
An advantage of showing my film at the cinema is that after a few months it will be available to purchase on DVD, like most films that are at the cinema. Therefore if people enjoy the film at the cinema they can buy it to view at their own leisure. I would like my film to be viewed by a wider and diverse audience.
In order to extend the longevity of my film
after releasing it on DVD I may release it on Blu Ray and HD in order for the audience to view it in better quality.
After a number of years I may re-release my film on DVD with extra content so people don’t forget about it or I could make a sequel to keep the brand fresh so it doesn’t get old quickly. Another idea is to release a special edition DVD when it reaches its 10 th , 20 th and 25 th aniverseries.
The mise en scene for my film is my house, my kitchen and the woods behind Bishop Cuthbert Estate which is quite deserted and is the perfect location to film parts of a horror film.
Here are some stills from my film to show examples of the mise en scene .
So far this year there has only been three horror films made, it could be argued that there is a gap in the market for this genre of film for example, ‘Paranormal Activity’, is a super natural horror and became a success. Therefore it could be assumed that a film similar to this is needed to fill the void in the market, as my film is a British film it is cheap to make and not a lot of big name actors would be needed to star in it because that’s not the purpose of people watching a horror films, they view them for their own enjoyment and entertainment. Also a horror film makes a large return to the box office as when one is released a lot of people to go and see it and it becomes popular in the media.
Below are some statistics from the numbers website stating how many horror films have been released this year.
4) Who would be the audience for your media product?
The audience for my media product is adults over the age of 18 as it’s an 18 certificate and myself as one of the actors is 18 so therefore people my age will be able to relate to and understand the plot more. Also adults in their 30’s and 40’s would understand the plotline as the mother is that sort of age so therefore mothers that age would get the storyline. Younger people in their 20’s would be within the target range and anybody who enjoys a good horror film as usually horror films are aimed at an adult audience. I think my film could possibly reach out to a wider audience demographic as a lot of adults could understand and sympathise with the plotline. Although my film would be an 18 certificate people who are a lot older than that age can view and enjoy the film.
5) How did you attract/address your audience?
I attracted and addressed my audience by playing on the mother and son relationship throughout the film so therefore both people in my age group and mothers can relate to the storyline and really feel the emotions.
There are some particular
throughout my film that would appeal
and terrify the audience for example,
the beginning were I am looking up
occult symbols on the internet.
Another part which may ‘creep’ people out towards the end were there is a quick flash of me running a knife towards my wrist, then an over the shoulder shot of me looking at the occult symbol then slicing it in half with a knife. Then a close up of me with fake blood on my wrists so it looks like I’ve cut myself. The audience can put themselves in mine and my mothers position when viewing it especially people in those age groups, as it may feel realistic to them and they may think it’s creepy and weird which are typical conventions that are associated with horror films.
6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
The strengths of using the camera equipment is that the footage from the hard drive can be put straight onto the macs. However the cameras that require a tape take longer to upload as the tape has to be rewound first which can take quite a while. I experienced use with both of these types of cameras as I had to film twice to improve my film and add more special effects.
I didn’t face many problems during my filming process but I did have to film in deserted locations such as the woods so I would have had to protect my camera and equipment in case it rained and I always carried the camera around in the bag. The cameras were small so it was hard to see the screen to see if I had filmed the right footage and see if I had filmed it properly however I couldn’t get an industry camera as those are not available in college.
However an advantage
to having a small camera
is that they are light and
compact whereas an
an industry camera is
heavy and can be hard to
The name of the camera’s I used were ‘Sony Handycam ‘DCR-SR37E’ and ‘Canon MD216’.
The software I used to edit my film was iMovie and I played around with the special effects to make it look like a proper horror. It allowed me to shorten clips and make them longer in order to fit the two minutes, the dialogue, to show the camera shot and to make sure the soundtrack would be in sync.
I made the mise en scene darker in order for it to look terrifying and to fit in with my genre. To do this I clicked on the arrow underneath the clip, clicked video adjustments and adjusted the lighting on the clip to make it look darker and to fit in with my genre, then when I was happy with it I clicked done. To create my titles I clicked on the ‘T’ icon for titles then I selected a theme which I thought would be suitable for my film.
For the production logo I chose
the background from google
images, put it onto photoshop
for it to fit the correct size.
For the font of the logo I visited
the website dafont.com and
picked a font that I thought
would relate to horror.
When it came to choosing my soundtrack for my film I used garageband which I found useful as it was quick and easy to import over my film. Firstly I chose some sounds that fit into the genre of horror and that would be realistic, imported them onto iTunes then imported over my film to make the soundtrack. However I did find it hard to find a suitable soundtrack that would fit in with my genre, I had to have a good luck around through all of the different sounds but I eventually found one that was suitable enough.
To create the soundtrack I picked sounds from the category dark and they are very different sounds, however they are all called texture and ambience and have various different lengths. When all sounds are mixed together it creates a very dark creepy soundtrack which would fit in with my film and when the titles are shown between each one there is the sound of heartbeats, towards the end there are screeching noises when I have the knife in my hand.
7) Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt from the progression from it to the full product?
After looking back at my preliminary task I feel that I have progressed a lot and that my knowledge relating to editing and camera techniques has improved. For the preliminary task I had to film a short sequence showing match on action, shot reverse shot and the 180 degree rule. I worked in a group of three and filmed in various locations around the college to show these different camera techniques.
The strengths are that we all worked well as a group, I felt that our editing techniques were quite a high standard as the software was easy to use. However the weaknesses are that the camera work wasn’t very good but when I carried out the task I had only just started the course. We did use all of the camera techniques that were asked of us but not to a high level for example, when filming the part when walking down the corridoor the camera was shaking all over the place therefore making the picture blurry and you can hardly make out who was being filmed.
Another reason for this is
because the person I was
working with was walking too
fast and I couldn’t keep up so
had to go at a faster pace.
I also accidently got my other group member in the shot and he was shown carrying the tripod which didn’t look realistic or professional. Another part of the film which I thought was unrealistic was towards the end when I was filming and my other two group members were playing table football in the common room, I don’t think this part was needed and it didn’t add much to the sequence so was therefore pointless. Also the end credits were there are some random people I didn’t know, but the other two members of my group knew, were pulling faces at the camera.
For the main task I had to create the opening of a film either a film noir or horror lasting approximately two minutes. For my first task I created a mind map and researched both genres and decided to choose horror for the genre of my film. I carried out a lot of research into the genre to give me ideas and help plan my film including creating a storyboard and an animatic. To help with my opening sequence and title order I used the opening clip for ‘Halloween’ which I got from you tube and posted it on my blog. I found that the research of my genre, the storyboard and the animatic really helped me produce my film as it gave me ideas of what to include.
The audience feedback I received was mostly positive and many people commented on how I used the software and the special effects which I created. For example, making the mise en scene darker, using quick flashes between each shot to build the tension and creating a ‘creepy’ soundtrack that fits perfectly with the genre.
Overall success of film
My brief was to ‘create the opening of a film either film noir or horror lasting two minutes’. I feel that I achieved this as my film is a horror it lasts just over two minutes and is an opening as it just gives out small hints of what might happen in the rest of the film. It keeps the audience guessing and when they see the opening it may make them want to see the full film.
I used the software to a good effect as I think that I edited it to a high standard and added different types of special effects using iMovie. Some of these include making the mise en scene darker, adding quick flashes between each shot towards the end and adding a suitable soundtrack using garageband and importing it onto my film using iTunes.
I was happy with my overall product as I fulfilled my brief in making the opening sequence of a film lasting two minutes and I think that it fits in well with the genre of horror and reflects a typical horror film. I also think the plot was well thought of as it contains different twists and turns in the storyline and the audience won’t know what’s going to occur next.