My filmCanine is a psychological horror/thriller in which the lives of a brother and sister are changed forever when one thinks they have killed the other, and the other thinks they are a werewolf.It will be targeted at the 18 – 25 year old audience with an 18 certificate. By targeting the film for this age range we are not only showing that it is a genuinely scary movie and so would suit younger adults, but at the same time creating interest for the younger teenage audiences of horror films (15 – 17) as they want to watch only the scariest films to impress their friends.
The Aims of my Trailer• To scare and shock the audience:I have used some of the methods from the Alien trailer in order create a sense of unease for the audience which will then make them easier to scare.• To leave the audience with unanswered questions:If the audience have questions that they want to be answered after watching my trailer then they are more likely to search for the official website or use the web address at the base of the poster. This increased number of visitors to the website and other digital sources will create hype for my film because more people are talking about it. This will also hopefully aid in its success at the box office.
Heartbeat Technique• One way in which I will create the sense of unease for my audience is by increasing their heart rate and making them feel tense and anxious.• To do this I will use the sound technique from the Alien trailer in which many of the sounds resembled heart beats. As these heart beats increase in speed the heart of anybody watching is going to speed up also as it trys to keep time with the audio.• It is this faster heart beat and the resulting state of unease that will allow me to scare my audience more effectively and draw the horror fans to see the whole film.
Complications• Unfortunately the cameras that we were given to used were not of a high enough quality to capture usable footage whilst dark. This meant that the dark settings of The Wolfman and Alien were not within our capabilities to copy. We therefore had to make the trailer scary but not as dark as you would expect from a monster film.
Section 1One of my aims is to shock and scare the audience. I am doing this firstly by tricking the audience and lulling them into a false sense of security by making my trailer not look like that of a horror film. I have begun by using the found footage technique, something that will appeal to fans of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, to give the impression that this is a fond memory being looked back on. The Super 8mm recorder sound is playing in the background and there are beeps to mark changing shots. These beeps are examples of the heart beat technique that I am employing but will have little effect at the moment.
Section 1 Cont.The mood of this section is very happy. The male character (Gareth/The brother) does begin by being grumpy but is soon laughing and joking along with the female (Ramandeep/The sister). I have not even included any tension building music during this section as I want people to begin to question whether or not this trailer matches the tone of my poster and Mag cover. This uncertainty will cause them to continue watching to get an answer.
Section 1 Cont.• This is the point where the façade is given up and I begin to introduce some horror elements. Just before the attack the Sister screams ‘Gareth what’s that’ will start to unnerve the audience as her fear is passed on to them. The shaking camera also connotes panic and a loss of control whilst she is running away from the scene of the attack. After this particular scene the trailer cuts straight to black in order to emphasise the shock of the attack the feeling of fear from the sister.
Section 1 Cont.This is the last part of this section and marks the end of the found footage style shots. The Super 8mm camera comes to the end of it’s film reel during this particular scene which shows the sister continuing to run away from the scene of the attack. The sound produced by the handheld camera has been muted to ensure that the ending of the film reel can be heard. It coming to an end also has connotations of a fresh start or more worryingly somebody’s time being up i.e. death.
Section 2This is where I am using a psychological technique to scare/shock the audience. From the found footage scenes we cut straight to the word ‘blood’ written in red to represent itself, followed by ‘is’ and ‘thicker’ on separate screens. These straight cuts are accompanied by bass booms which make the transitions more dramatic and makes the audience feel uneasy when they watch. The psychological technique revolves around the connotation of the phrase ‘blood is thicker’, short for ‘blood is thicker than water’, which is that there was some kind of very strong family bond between the two characters. The fact that it appears in red connotes that the bond has been damaged or broken which provides us with tension.
Section 3Bass booms and straight cuts are again used to present the grey scale POV shots through the woodland. It is grey scale to mimic the colour blindness of a dog or wolf, providing the audience with a subtle hint that there is a werewolf on the hunt. These different bass booms sound like a strange, almost alien heart beat and are used to create the effects detailed on slide 4.
Section 3 Cont.The moment captured here is the point where the danger really sets in. The creature has spotted a potential victim sat alone on a park bench. This then cuts straight to black to emphasise the overwhelming danger which will be felt by the audience as they watch, adding to the sense of anxiety and unease.
Section 4The creature is stalking it’s prey and we are presented with flash transitions and short scenes that connote as the possible memories of the creature, raising the question as to whether or not it is just human or something a little more feral. We begin with another cheerful scene but they quickly turn into serious and very faced paced, with the underlying human heartbeat sounds slide 4. The characters in these scenes display much of the same terror shown in the closing stages of the Alien trailer and this fear will be passed on to the viewing audience. The suspense is increased by the use of a cinematic build-up sound that lets the audience know that something big is coming. These scenes are juxtaposed with gradual POV shots of the creature getting closer to its target, connoting once more that maybe they are memories and thoughts rushing through it’s head. This is one unanswered question that my audience will desire answered.
Section 5Throughout my trailer I have been preparing my audience for the big scares that occur towards the end, just like the trailer for Alien. By the time the audience hear the girl scream they are in such a state of unease that the terror is amplified and will hopefully stay in their memory. The title of my film fades in and a big clue about the werewolf comes in the form of a howl against rushing wind. The howl forms a sound bridge as another victim fades into view.
Section 5 ContThe howl fades out to leave just the wind momentarily before an ominous silence sets over. As the girl looks around she is suddenly pulled back by what we can only assume is the creature. This action and her scream is the second big scare and work well together to shock the audience, as does the bass boom that I have used to mark the appearance of the tag line ‘There’s one in all of us’. This then fades to black and concludes the trailer.
Norms and ConventionI challenge the norms and conventions of most horror trailers by making the beginning look out of place i.e. it doesn’t look like it should be in a horror trailer. I am providing my audience with a false sense of security as they believe the trailer to be more light-hearted than it really will be. This makes the shocks and the jumps far more effective in the later stages of the trailer.I conform to the norms and conventions by using a structure similar to most other movie trailers. I also wait to reveal my title until the end of the trailer, just like most others. I have used these techniques so that movie lovers will recognise the video as a film trailer and the balance of pacing and content is just right to get audiences interested.