In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Horror Trailer EvaluationIn what ways does your media product use,develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our media product conforms to conventions of horror films through its useof paradigms and application of narrative theories such as Todorov’s theory of narrative, Barthes’ Pleasure of Texts and Propp’s character types. We decided we wanted to do a slasher horror film trailer and so we researched existing slasher horror film trailers such as Scream andHalloween. We decided to incorporate paradigms from Scream and Sorority Row as well as the conventions we had seen in other slasher films.
We have used forms ad conventions of real media products in our trailersuch as preview cards, production logo and end credits because whenresearching existing film trailers, we found that all films had these, whateverthe genre. We added a blinking effect to the production logo to make it fit with our horror genre
Paradigms we followed:Setting:We chose to set our trailer in different settings but mostly followed paradigms of settingsin real media products. However, the first scene is set in the school’s dance studio toestablish a sense of equilibrium, this challenges the setting paradigm as not many filmsare set in a dance studio; we also created the moment of disequilibrium in this scene. We set the second scene in the tennis courts as the disequilibrium continued because woods/forests are a setting often used in slasher horror films; we filmed when it was dark which conforms to conventions of real media products. The third scene is set in a bathroom because it makes the death more personal as well as intriguing the audience to want to find out how the killer got in and who it is. Also, we wanted to recreate our own Psycho shower scene as it is an infamous scene, so the link to it attracts more people. Our bathroom Psycho scene shower scene
Our scene Scream scene The final scenes were also filmed in a house which is a common setting for horror films, but usually for supernatural horror rather than slasher.We wanted to film our trailer while it was dark like in most slasher horrorfilms, because people are more afraid of what they can’t see; however, thiswas difficult to do because the camera wasn’t picking up the actors in the darkso, we used a torch light on a mobile phone to film Kirby’s death.Additionally, most slasher horror films are set in secluded locations such asPsycho and Texas Chainsaw Massacre; we followed this conventions but alsochallenged it with the house and dance studio settings.
Props:• We used a fake knife as the murder weapon in our trailer asknives and sharp objects are often used in slasher films, becausethey allow the murder of the victim to be more personal• We also used fake blood to make our trailer look more realisticand professionalMasks:• We used a mask for the villain as slasher horrors keep theirvillains anonymous; also, because our questionnaire resultsshowed that our audience prefer if the villain remainsanonymous
Characters:• The villain in our trailer is a masked villain; we decided toincorporate this paradigm from the slasher films Scream andSorority Row, who also have a masked villain, as well as otherslasher horrors.• We decided that we would follow Propp’s character types theoryfor our trailer, as they are conventional in the existing trailers welooked at; we decided that since our trailer is based on Screamand Sorority Row, that our characters would each have a certainpersonality and the victims would be female, as in Sorority Row.Also, the answers from the questionnaire showed that mostpeople preferred the villain to be male. Our• We had five main characters: 4 charactersfemale victims; Buffy (the sportycharacter), Kirby (the geekcharacter), Tatum (the promiscuouscharacter) and Nina (the final Sorority Rowgirl).Thomas (the villain/Nina’s charactersboyfriend) who we chose to be thevillain based on the Scream trailer.
Costumes:Costumes are a large part of conventional mise-en-scene in slasher horror, such as revealingclothing worn by the promiscuous character. We decided to reflect the personalities of ourcharacters through their costumes: Buffy is wearing a sports t-shirt and leggings to conveythat she is the sporty, unafraid character; Kirby wears a t-shirt, cardigan, leggings andglasses, in her death scene, she wears similar clothes to portray her as the geeky character;Tatum wears a low cut top and cardigan with shorts and tights in the first scene, to conveythat she is the promiscuous character; in the bathroom scene she is ‘naked.’ Nina wears awhite t-shirt and leggings in the dance scene to convey her purity and changes into casualclothing in the next scenes.We have conformed to the conventions of costume for the villain as he wears all black tojuxtapose with the white the victims wear and a mask; when we researched slasher horrorfilms, we found that the masks the villains wore often linked to the plot or film title, such asin Scream, which our villain is similar to. We decided that the ‘Anonymous’/’V for Vendetta’mask was appropriate. Our villain Scream villain
Narrative:We have followed forms and conventions of narrative in real media products by conforming toTodorov’s theory of equilibrium; our trailer begins with a calm balance as in most trailers,such as Jeepers Creepers, which is followed by a moment of disequilibrium as the first victim,Buffy is being attacked in the dance studio. This is where the disequilibrium begins as theother victims are consecutively attacked. The return to equilibrium is not shown at the end ofthe trailer as most trailers don’t show this because, it creates mystery for the audience andmakes them want to watch the film to find out who survived, if anyone, and how, as well asthe identity of the villain.We showed the main protagonist, Nina being attacked by the villainto create mystery like in the Halloween trailer: the villain walkstowards a victim and the audience don’t know if she survives or not.We wanted to re-create this in our trailer to further intrigue ouraudience.We also added the shock after the title tone card as most horror films do this toBy following these forms and conventions we have conformed to structuralist theory as wehave used the props, settings and characters to communicate with our audience andconvey meaning.
Jeepers Creepers Trailer Our Trailer Equilibrium Moment of disequilibrium Disequilibrium Quick short cuts (montage) as disequilibrium continues Title
Shot Types We used a range of shot types for our trailer, following conventions of real media products such as the Psycho and Texas Chainsaw Massacre trailers, by using close ups and making the cuts quicker as the disequilibrium continues. Our shots Psycho Texas ChainsawIn the beginning of the trailer, we used long, mid angle Massacreshots to portray the characters as vulnerable. We also usedpans to reflect the balance and calm in the trailer, similarto Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Additionally, we kept the camera still rather thanhandheld, again to reflect the harmony, in the first parts ofthe trailer.
After the moment of disequilibrium, we have used extreme close ups to convey the fear of the victims. We used a handheld camera to reflect how the balance has shifted and everything is obscured by the villain’s arrival.We used low angle shots of the villain to portray his power over the victims and make himlook dominating, similar to trailers like Halloween.
EditingWe edited our trailer once we had all our footage; we put clips of each scene together andedited the scenes individually before putting them together to create the bare bones of ourtrailer.In the beginning of the trailer, we added effects such as fades and cross fades to reflect theharmony of the equilibrium in the dance scene. As the disequilibrium begins, the cuts get faster and shorter to create tension. We also made the fades go in and out quicker so that the shots of characters only flashed onto the screen briefly, in order to create tension.We used montage editing at the end of the trailer by putting clips of eachscene together to highlight the discordance that the villain’s arrival hascreated.We also added effects to the tone cards as most trailers such as JeepersCreepers, Scream and Cabin in the Woods also do this. Jeepers Creepers, Scream, Cabin in the Woods Our tone card
SoundWe developed forms and conventions of sound in horror film trailers as we researchedexisting trailers and created our own soundtrack from what we had learnt. We created twosoundtracks and asked our audience which they preferred; we received mixed reviews andso thought of editing them together, to cerate a new soundtrack. However, as both thesoundtracks were in a different, they didn’t fit with each other, so we decided to go withthe one the audience thought worked better with the trailer but also added bits of thesecond soundtrack.The sound in the trailer is all non-diegetic; it begins with a slow song which we heard on theTexas Chainsaw Massacre trailer and thought worked well with our dance scene, as itportrays the equilibrium and calm of the first scene. As the moment disequilibrium occurs,the non-diegetic music gets more tense and crescendos into a faster tempo as thedisequilibrium continues. We also added sound effects as we learnt that many trailers use,such as the sound of a heartbeat, screams and water for the bathroom scene.
LightingWe used conventions of lighting in horror films by filming the outdoor scenes when it wasdark, as all horror movie play on the idea of the dark and fear of it. We used low keylighting in the other scenes to create a mysterious mood and tension; we didn’t want it toodark in the house scenes as we wanted to show the juxtaposition of the villain in black andthe victims/the house in white.This is conforming to Strauss’ theory of Binary Opposites; opposites can be conceptual(love/hate) or used (light/dark) or to do with soundtrack. Our trailer follows this theory asthe binary opposites in it are good/evil (conceptual), light/dark (visual) and slow/fast in thesoundtrack.
Ancillary TasksEmpire Magazine Cover & The Blair Witch Project Film Poster
Strapline informs readers Masthead is at the top so people what’s inside and is placed can see it when displayed in at the top so that it can be shops; as it is a well known easily seen when displayed magazine, the main image is able in shops. to cover part of the masthead. The masthead links with the main cover line and background Cover lines inform readers image which attracts attention. of other articles in this issue; the lighter colour of the text stands out againstIssue number and price written the dark background.above the masthead; this ischaracteristic of Empire The main image is a longmagazine as the text is easy to shot which makes the actorsee and informs the readers that look powerful – Empireit’s a new issue. often use long and mid shots and rarely use extreme close ups. Button attracts readers’ attention as it is a different colour to the background Main cover line is placed image and the text is easy to in the centre so it read. It informs readers of a attracts readers feature in the magazine. attentions; the font and colour stand out against the background image. Extra cover lines places at the Barcode is placed at the bottom to inform readers what bottom so it doesn’t else is included and the light cover parts of the main coloured texts stands out image. against the dark background.
I have followed conventionsby placing the strapline at Masthead is at the top sothe top so that it can be people can see it wheneasily seen when displayed displayed in shops; I have usedin shops and informs conventions by covering part ofreaders what’s inside. the masthead with the main image, as it is a well known magazine. Issue number and price written above the masthead; I have used conventions of I have used conventions of Empire Magazine as they Empire by placing my barcode often do this so readers at the side so it is visible but know it’s a new issue. doesn’t interfere with the main image. Empire often do this. I have used forms and conventions by adding a I have challenged forms and button as it attracts readers’ conventions of Empire attention; it is a different magazine by using a close up of colour to the background my character to attract readers image and the text is easy as, the direct eye contact to read. attracts attention by forming a connection with readers.I have placed extra cover I have challengedlines at the bottom to conventions by placing theinform readers what else is film at the bottom because Iincluded; I have followed didn’t want to have it acrossconventions by using two the main image because thisdifferent colours as Empire wouldn’t create adoes. connection with the reader.
The top half of the imageestablishes the setting;this isn’t common as most Instead of a tagline, thisposters focus on the main poster has a short prologueprotagonists and usually and gives some backgroundshow the main setting as information about the filmthe background image. which intrigues the audience.The main image is anextreme close up of awomans eyes looking The film title is near thedirectly at the audience to bottom of the page so,attract attention. like the Scream poster, it fills up some empty black space.The cast and crew areunder the film title inwhite so that the text can Production andbe seen against the black distribution logos at thebackground; the font is bottom appeal to thedifferent to other text on audience as they showthe poster and easy to that well knownread. companies have worked on the film.
I have used and developedconventions by using animage which establishes The film title is near thesetting on my poster, like the bottom of the page so,posters for Sorority Row and like the Scream poster, itThe Blair Witch Project. fills up some empty blackHowever, most posters often space.show the main setting as abackground image so thefocus is fully on theprotagonist. I have conformed to conventions of film posters by adding my own tagline and I have used forms and placed it under the film title, conventions of The Blair because when I researched Witch Project poster by real media products, most using a similar image of a film posters also did this. character from my trailer. I have also used a light effect on my image. I have followed conventions by placing the production andI have used forms and distribution logos at the bottomconventions by placing the to inform the audience that wellcast and crew at the bottom known companies have workedin white, so that the text on the film. I have also addedcan be seen against the links to websites which peopleblack background; the font can visit, as The Blair Witchis different to other text on Project poster has.the poster and easy to read.