Evaluation- Final Major Project
For My final major project we were assigned to create a media piece of our choice.
My first initial idea was to create a music video for “Why’d you only call me when you’re
high” by the Arctic Monkeys. I started my research for this idea and soon came to realise
that for the equipment, time and money that I had, that my idea was too complicated.
That’s when I decided to make a horror film trailer.
To make this as professionally as I could, I had to research horror movie trailers and
see what works and what doesn’t. I made mood boards, tadxedo and mind maps to get
ideas down. This was my ideas generation. I then had to pitch my idea to the client; I
wrote my script following simple headings. Intro, synopsis, target audience, needs and
techniques. I had to present the script as though I was selling my idea. I had a slide show
on loop in the background showing photos I had found for research.
As my primary research I needed to find out whether my target audience are
interested in horror films and what they like and don’t like about horror films. To learn this
I made a short survey covering the questions I wanted to know. I first asked what their age
and gender was. Then whether or not they enjoyed watching horror movies. To get a better
understanding of what genre of horror I should do, and asked in the survey what they
preferred, the genre with the most votes was supernatural. Next I wanted to find out what
locations people liked to see in horror movies, the outcome was that old pub, forests and
hospitals were the most voted. A main convention of horror films are weapons, I asked
“what weapons scare you the most”. Chainsaws got the most votes. Unfortunately I didn’t
think chainsaws would be appropriate to use in my idea. Finally I asked what villains they
liked to see. The unknown (supernatural) got the most votes. For my secondary research I
put together a power point of settings, editing techniques and iconography used in other
The first part of pre-production I drew out my storyboards, showing each shot,
camera angle and a description of what scene is it, what is happening in the scene and
what the audience will hear. Then I did a location recce. This was to decide on a location
that is suitable and safe for my idea. Next I did a risk assessment on the location. I had to
make sure the place was safe enough for all cast and crew to be in. To make sure all the
cast and crew knew where they needed to be and when, I created a call sheet. This gives
everyone all the information they needed about the shoot.
Once I had booked out the location, I booked out a camera for that date and shot
my footage. I used a Nikon DLSR. I used adobe premiere pro to edit my footage together
and adobe after effects to add text.
Within making this whole production I have learnt lots of new skills. I have learnt
how to manage and direct a small cast and crew. I have learnt that time keeping and
continuity is important.
When it came to using the camera I felt completely comfortable as I have used
these types of cameras before. I believe that my skills using the camera has improved since
using it the last time as my shots were clearer and varied. The most difficult part of using
the camera this time was trying to make sure my shots weren’t too shaky. As my trailer was
made to look hand held some of the shots were too shaky to be put in.
Another skill I think I have improved on is my ability to use Adobe Premier Pro and
Adobe after Effects.
My original idea was completely different to what I finally went with. My original idea was to
make a music video to “why’d you only call me when you’re high”- Arctic Monkeys. I first wanted to
do a video to this song because when I was listening to it I quickly came up with a narrative for it. I
had the idea of a main character in a pub on a night out. Who then is approached by weird looking
characters in fancy dress and Halloween makeup. I had planned to have the protagonist singing into
the camera whilst the characters in the background were sped up. I also wanted to add slow motion
to the video. But when I sat back and planned out the whole thing, it didn’t seem realistic to make.
I didn’t have the time or the money to create what I wanted. I would have had to have lots of
extras and a male actor willing to learn the song. I also couldn’t get 10+ Halloween costumes and
makeup. I also thought that the narrative was too much like the official music video to that song.
So I decided to think of whole new idea. That’s when I came up with my idea for the horror film
trailer. I stuck with the idea of it being in a pub because I had easy access to a good enough pub.
My idea changed a little bit from what my storyboards originally said but the idea is pretty much
From doing this project I learnt that time management was very important. I had to plan a
time for me to go and book the location. Once that was booked I had to decide on a time that I
would hire out the camera. The once I had the camera I had to make sure all cast and crew knew
the time and schedule for the shoot. I told them how we only had an hour in the cellar and an hour
in the main pub. This was due to times that the pub was open till and times that the pub had things
on in the spaces where we wanted to film.
I took me two shoots to get all the footage I needed. This is where I got my first problem. In
the first shoot one of my casts had green dip dyed hair. It took me a few weeks to be able to book
out the camera again and within this time my cast member dyed her hair a different colour,
therefor resulting in me having to re-film the shots she was involved in. That was my only problem
I created a focus group with my target audience and asked them to give comments on what
they thought of my trailer. The overall response to my finished trailer was good. Most people said
how the music fit really well and built up the tension. This is what I was aiming for. It’s important
for there to be tension in a horror trailer as this builds up excitement. It leaves an enigma, making
people want to go and watch the film. They said that the editing was well done and put together,
also that it was professional.
From looking at my feedback I now understand that I could have used more effects on the
trailer to make it scarier. I believe that after a bit more training on premier pro that this is
possible. If I was to self-evaluate I would change the section in the middle of my trailer from 1:10
to 1:30 could have been cut out as it makes the trailer feel slow.
If I was to do this project again, I would make a short film or a music video rather than a
trailer. I found making this trailer difficult at times because it didn’t have to make sense. There
was quite I few times where it was borderline being a short film rather than a trailer.