Media Studies Portfolio Evaluation By Hollie-Jade Higgins
After finding out that I needed to make a teaser trailer for a film, I began looking at the various genres that are available. I personally find both the horror and thriller genres fascinating, so after much consideration I decided that my trailer would follow a horror/ thriller genre. Primary Research I began looking at different images that can be associated with these genres, in order to gain a greater idea of what images I could use in my film trailer. To the left Is a mood board that I created showing things associated with the horror genre.
Primary Research Continued The above table shows more elements that make up the horror genre. Rocking Chair Nightmares Spine Chilling Hide and Seek Hell Hammer Scary Eyes Anti-Christ Banshees Other Possession Visions (Flash Backs) Scars Summon Exorcism Blood Curdling Walking under a ladder Raven Black Cats Other Zombies Ouija Board Beasts Spirits Vampires Werewolf Supernatural Voodoo Dolls China Dolls Dolls Creaking Footsteps Heavy Breathing Blades Screams Eerie wind Wolf Cry Owl Hoot Sounds Tattoos Tribal face paint Masks Masked Identity Coffins Skeletons Candles Witches Bats Pumpkins Halloween Abandoned building Mental Institution Haunted House Forest Lake Torture Chambers Dungeon Grave Yard Gothic Castle Setting Cold, Rain, Thunder and Lightning Weather White- Mist, Ghostly Presence Grey- Historical Black- Death, Darkness, Abysses Red- Blood, danger and sacrifice Colours associated with horror
Research Continued <ul><li>My research helped me to understand that the horror genre uses signs and signifiers to tell the audience what is going to happen without showing them, a prime example of this is if a female runs for safety and is alone, then she is likely to be killed, similarly, if somebody goes outside to investigate a weird noise they are also likely to be killed. As all of the characters in my film are female, the audience will perceive them to be weak. The fact that there is no male to ‘rescue’ the girls also signifies to the audience that death is almost certain. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to gain a more in depth understanding of the genre, I created a timeline of the horror genre which has been uploaded onto the blog. While doing this I realised how over time, it has became more acceptable to show more shocking and gory films. Blood Circle is quite shocking as it is not expected that a sweet child would be so evil, although there is not really any blood and gore in the trailer, the trailer does signify that the film could be quite gruesome with the dolls body being mutilated. </li></ul>
Research into ‘British’ film <ul><li>Part of the task was to make our media products ‘British,’ in order to do this I began to look at what makes films appear British. After looking at British films such as ‘This is England,’ ‘Love Actually’ and ‘The Boat that Rocked’ to mention a few I found that there were in fact similarities that help show a film to be ‘British.’ Such ‘codes of Britishness’ include regional accents; In our film Blair’s character has a clear London accent which automatically signifies Britain. Looking at my research deviant behaviour including smoking, swearing and drunkenness seem to also be high in the British culture, however, Kurt and I have not used any of these in our film as they were not relevant to our storyline. Ethnic diversity is also commonly linked with Britain; we tried to capture this through our characters- who have different ethnic backgrounds. It also appears that high fashion is associated with Britain, taking this into account we chose for our characters to dress in the fashionable ‘indie’ style clothing. This is England is a very gritty film, which is what British films are commonly known for; for this reason filming on a council estate was perfect; it also goes against then convention in horror of haunted houses being very big houses/castles making ordinary people like you and I able to connect with the film. </li></ul>
British Film Continued The above is a copy of a slideshow that I made. The slide shows various things that are featured in British films. The bold font highlights regional dialect, council estates, high fashion and ethnic diversity which feature in our trailer. I believe that each of these helps to make our trailer British.
What Makes Blood Circle British? Ethnic Diversity Ethnic Diversity is a huge part of British culture. For this reason I found it important to portray this in our film trailer . Fashion Accent Council Estate London is one of the worlds fashion capitals. When considering my characters outfits I looked at the current trends. Blair wore bangles and gladiator shoes. Regional accents are also very important in the connotation of Britishness. Blood circle has London accent with general ‘southern’ accents. Council Estates are commonly associated with Britain. For this reason, we filmed on a council estate.
Britishness… Royal Family Regionality Fashion James Bond Class System Heritage Music Under dog Feminism New Labour Britishness
Aspects of Films Lighting Camera Angles Setting Lighting Sound Track Costumes Accents Star Text Mise en Scene Script Metanarrative Edits Migraine Diagetic Colour
Horror Codes & Conventions Codes & Conventions Love Twist Dark/ Bad Weather Blood & Gore Norms and Values of Society are destroyed Attractive Female Victim left alone & unprotected Popular Charachters Violence Eerie Music/ Strange Noises Strange/ Silent phone calls Dippy/ Blonde female Killer is a loner
Additional Research <ul><li>After watching a variety of films, I found that there where a number of factors that had hidden messages to the audience. In Blood Circle we showed people going outside and females running alone; no death is shown in the trailer, this is an enigma code that the audience are able to answer. </li></ul>
Trailer Deconstructions <ul><li>In order to take into account the codes and conventions of horror film trailers I watched and deconstructed Cloverfield and Saw V1. Both trailers were very different, however, they also both had similarities. Neither of these trailers used voice-overs, however, this is a common code and convention of film trailers, although Cloverfield uses clips from the film to explain the story which we used in Blood Circle. Looking at other trailers, the usual voice-over is a deep mans voice, which in our case we could not use. Because of this we used Blair's London voice as a voice-over to give the audience greater insight to the plot. </li></ul>
Trailer Deconstruction Continued <ul><li>Similarly, both trailers start of slow paced, then speed up and slow back down again- this technique fits in with Todorov narrative theory which establishes a pace to a text; Kurt and I chose to follow this technique in our Blood Circle teaser trailer as it helps scare the audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-diagetic Sound effects are common in both trailers; once again this has been used in our teaser trailer to add effect . </li></ul>
Poster Deconstructions There are three main colours used on each which is a convention Kurt and I have followed onto our poster. Another convention that all three of these posters have in common is that they use 1 main image- this is a convention that we have also followed. The title has been positioned in the middle of these posters, however, due to the format of our image, we have positioned out title at the top of the poster. Similarly, we have positioned our credits at the bottom of the poster and have used similar fonts. Kurt and I chose to use red, black and grey- these 3 colours are common with the genre and we have followed this through all of our media products.
Chosen Poster Flat Plan The flat plan to the left is the one in which Kurt and I felt would be the best to base our poster around.
Progress of Film Poster The above was our first draft of the poster. After asking a focus group we found that this poster didn’t look very professional and the image was too dark. For the second draft we chose a different image which had more enigma codes… What is she looking at/for. After talking to our peers we found that the poster was a little plain and the fonts used on the credits didn’t fit the conventions.
Progress of Film Poster Continued With the third draft I decided to try and make a circle of blood to mirror the name ‘Blood Circle,’ however, after looking at the poster, it wasn’t very effective and looked more like graffiti. This poster was a great improvement, after asking our peers their views via Facebook we found that there where a few areas in which we could tweak further.
Final Poster This splattered style blood draws the attention to the title and across the poster. The image used creates an enigma code that attracts the audience…What is she looking at/ for? The misty look of the poster represents the spirit world. This font is positioned in a curve to mirror “Blood Circle.” The font used looks like dripping blood and the curves signify no end. This tag line was made smaller after our survey results. Coming Soon is smaller than the title which is a convention in which we’ve followed. The company logos have been placed here to follow the conventions. After audience feedback we made our credits smaller and added a film website.
Audience Feedback What Genre does the film poster suggest? What gender does the film poster appeal to? The majority of respondents said that the poster signified the horror genre. This shows that we followed enough conventions on our poster. I am very happy that the majority of people believe that our poster will be suitable for both genders; this means that our target audience has been reached.
Audience Feedback Continued What attracts your attention to the poster? Does the poster reflect a British film? The varied results show us that our poster is effective in numerous ways. It can often be difficult to tell if a film’s British by the poster, so the fact that ours has received such a high response is brillaint.
Magazine Deconstructions As with the poster, the magazines all have a 3 colour scheme. This convention Kurt and I followed, once more with red, black and grey- these colours are significant because the red signifies blood and danger, the black signifies death and the grey signifies spirits. The main image is usually of the main character- this convention has been followed on our magazine. Another convention that we followed was positioning the masthead in the top left of the cover and usually take up ¼ of the page.
Chosen Magazine Flat Plan The flat plan to the left is the one in which Kurt and I felt would be the best to base our Magazine on.
Progress of Magazine Our first draft of our magazine didn’t look very professional magazine, therefore we began making changes. The second draft was much more improved, however, there was still something missing. FINAL MAGAZINE COVER
Deconstructing Cue Flicks <ul><li>The title cue flicks signifies queuing up films; this gives readers the idea that there are a lot of films inside- this is backed up by “157 films to see before you die.” </li></ul><ul><li>“The Best Film Magazine Around” This fills the reader with confidence that they will not find anything better. </li></ul><ul><li>The cover lines are positioned on the left third giving maximum shelf exposure. </li></ul><ul><li>The top of the magazine shows 5 new films that are coming out- these act as additional cover lines tempting the reader. </li></ul><ul><li>The image used leaves lots of space for cover lines and means that the cover doesn’t look cluttered. The image goes against conventions of magazine covers in a way because the character isn’t making eye contact with the audience. Although, she is the main character which is a convention that we followed. </li></ul>
Audience Feedback What type of magazine do you think Cue Flicks is? Do the colours used go with the image used? The majority of people chose Film magazine which shows we followed enough of the codes and conventions. Once again this is positive as we followed the convention of using 3 colours; red, black and yellow.
Audience Feedback Continued What genre does the image indicate? Does the magazine look professional? The two most popular answers here are horror and thriller- Blood Circle is a horror, however, both genres often overlap. Therefore, this tells us again that we have followed the correct codes and conventions. This is a high percentage of people who agree that the magazine looks professional.
Plot Ideas A photographers obsession with a celebrity leaves him stalking her. His psychiatric disorder leads him to believe that they are married. When the photographer sees his “wife” with her boyfriend, he is tipped over the edge and all hell breaks loose. A group of friends go hiking in a forest, where, unknown to them, a ‘forest clan’ is not happy with their presence. After playing with a Ouija board the friends begin to realise that they are in big trouble. After friends participate in a Ouija board, one of them becomes possessed by a negative energy, forcing her to kill and attack her friends. 4 friends take part in playing a Ouija board, whilst doing so they unleash a ‘ghost child’ who seeks revenge. In order to capture the concept of Britishness, I decided that we could film in London, showing London buses and other such icons. Filming in this location would also allow us to film classy clubs which would host celebrity events. However, after planning the trailer Kurt and I realised that we were being unrealistic and our plans for this trailer were quashed. In order to portray the ‘forest clan,’ I used make-up and wild hair on my friends, we then made a bonfire in which they danced around and chanted “6, 6, 6”- the sign of the devil. Upon reviewing this filming, I was very pleased with the result. Unfortunately, due to the quality of lighting in Parkhurst forest, Kurt and I decided that we once again, needed to re-think our story. After reviewing our filming for this plot, it became clear that the shakiness of the camera meant that we couldn’t use this filming for our trailer. Fortunately, after so many disasters, the filming of this plot was very successful.
Location The location is very important, which I established in a PowerPoint. Above are various locations that Would suit the horror genre.
Location Continued <ul><li>Downstairs in the house: The use of the colour red in the house (sofa, curtains, rug, clock) helps to represent danger and blood. The main colour in the room however, is white (walls, table, chairs, cabinet). The white in this case signifies purity, peace and innocence, the binary opposition of the red and the white give of the idea that the white can be stained by the red- the purity of the girls who are safe inside the 4 white walls could be ruined/ stained by the danger of the red. </li></ul><ul><li>Upstairs in the bedroom: </li></ul><ul><li>The green walls in this room represent being cold and sterile; they reflect the Childs cold personality. The teddies have been used to show the child-like side and to almost lull the audience into a false sense of security . </li></ul>
Naming our Film Soul Cry Hunting Heat Blood Circle After Brainstorming ideas for the possible name of our film, Kurt and I asked our peers there opinions on each name… Our class mates said that this name signified the sci-fi genre rather than horror. Class mates said that Hunting Heat did fit in with the horror genre. Blood Circle was the preferred name, students said that the title signified the horror genre. Kurt and I decided that as our film is about a Ouija Board which is round.. This would fit in with the “Circle”
Characters <ul><li>Using Propp's character profiles (set out in fairytales) we where able to label our characters… </li></ul><ul><li>The Hero </li></ul><ul><li>The Donor </li></ul><ul><li>The Dispatcher </li></ul><ul><li>The Villain </li></ul><ul><li>The False Hero </li></ul><ul><li>The Princess </li></ul><ul><li>The Helper </li></ul><ul><li>The Princess’s Father </li></ul>Blair Fox Aerial Angel Yates By using some of these character profiles, our trailer has a varied set of characters which help to make the film more interesting and has more chance of the audience being able to relate to the different characters.
Planning for Filming Before we could start filming, I created a shooting script detailing clothes, accent and facial expressions for my friends to follow when acting in the trailer.
Planning for Filming Continued <ul><li>To the left is the story board in which I created to use as a guide to filming… </li></ul><ul><li>The storyboard details such details as: </li></ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul><ul><li>Camera Angles </li></ul><ul><li>Edits </li></ul><ul><li>Sound </li></ul><ul><li>Mise en Scene </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue </li></ul>
Filming Blood Circle Filming Tripod to Create a Steady product Hand held Camera to Give a Disturbed feel
Technology… <ul><li>Through out the project we have utilized a variety of new technologies: </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>The use of Blogger has made working with a partner much easier because it allows us to view and review each others work. Blogger also allows us to upload our work and share it online, which I have found quite straight forward to do Throughout this project I have used Survey Monkey to create, collect and analyse surveys for audience feedback.
Technology Continued <ul><li>Slide Share has been very useful for this project, it has enabled us to create PowerPoint presentations and then upload them onto our blogs. </li></ul><ul><li>When deconstructing current teaser trailers, I used You Tube to watch them. You Tube was very effective for this use as it allowed me to re-watch each clip as many times as I needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Another was in which we used new technologies was through Digital Photography. Digital Photography allowed us to take photographs of possible locations as well as images for our print work. </li></ul>
Photoshop <ul><li>By using Photoshop, I was able to manipulate images for them to be used on our print media. </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshop has a wide variety of tools allowing you to do anything from remove a blemish to changing a background. </li></ul>
Editing <ul><li>Once Kurt and I were satisfied with the quality of our filming, we uploaded our footage onto I Movie to enable us to edit. I Movie allowed us to use a non-linear style of editing which meant we could chop and change the order of clips. </li></ul><ul><li>I Movie also allowed us to cut the length of clips and to add special transitions. </li></ul><ul><li>Kurt and I decided to use a variety of transitions in order to keep the audience interested, an example of this is the scene pictured right- I changed the saturation of light to create a more mysterious confusing feel to the audience. </li></ul>
Sound <ul><li>Kurt and I used Garage Band to create and add sound effects and voiceovers to our trailer. Garage Band works with I Movie allowing us to add our Garage Band sounds to our I Movie. </li></ul><ul><li>By creating, and manipulating sound loops and recording voiceovers we were able to compile a successful accompanying sound to our trailer. </li></ul><ul><li>After showing the trailer to our focus group, we where told that the Childs singing was very scary and spine chilling; which is the affect we hoped for. </li></ul>
Trailer Feedback What genre do you think Blood Circle belongs in? Did the sound used add to the overall effect of the trailer? This shows us that we followed enough conventions for the audience to understand the genre. 100% of people agreed that the sounds added to the overall effect of the trailer- this shows that the sounds that Kurt and I added worked well.
Trailer Feedback Continued Was the child's singing and sound effects successful in creating an eerie feeling? Would you say that Blood Circle fits into the conventions of a British film? 100% of people agreed with this; after talking to our focus group, it became apparent that the child’s singing was very important in installing fear. 100% of people agreed with this; this tells Kurt and I that the aspects of ‘Britishness’ that we chose to illustrate paid of.
Trailer Feedback Continued Did the film trailer leave you in fear? Do you think that the scene with the green tint and the scene with the high contrast where effective? After showing our focus group the trailer, many of them where peeking through their hands! Because of the suspense and mystery teamed with the effective use of sound. In order to distinguish these two scenes as separate we decided that it was necessary to change the colour of one. Clearly this has paid of thanks to the delirious feel.
Mixed Methods of Promotion <ul><li>By using three methods of promotion; Trailer/ Magazine and Poster Blood Circle; if it where a real film, would stand a higher chance of being a success. </li></ul><ul><li>All three methods of promotion are used together to reinforce the plot etc in the audiences minds. </li></ul><ul><li>We have used similar colours in all products to tie them together, similarly, Blair Fox has been used for both the magazine and poster as well as being the main character in the trailer. </li></ul><ul><li>Each of the products sell a different part of the story; the poster shows Blair crawling with a torch- this is not seen in either the magazine cover or the trailer. Similarly, the trailer doesn’t show any blood and gore, where as the poster has smeared/ splattered blood which signifies things are being hidden in the trailer. All in all I am very happy with the end result of our promotional pack. </li></ul>