How did you use media technologies
with the construction, research,
planning and evaluation stages.
In the preparation and production of our media products, we used a lot of different
technologies to help us. Obviously computers played a big role in all aspects of our
production, but we also used other hardware such as DVD players and a projector so we
could watch trailers with the entire class. DVD’s also provided us with special features
– such as the documentary The Dead Will Walk on the Dawn of the Dead (1979)
“Ultimate Edition” – that gave us further insight in the filmmakers’ ideas.
Evil Dead (2013)
When I was looking for inspiration for our trailer, my filming group found the Evil Dead
(2013) trailer. We liked the style of this trailer and was similar for what we imagined
our trailer would end up like. We liked the amount of body horror in the trailer because
we wanted there to be quite a lot of gore in our trailer too, and ideas about Suicide Pact
began to form. We also liked the way that the titles came up in time with the music. We
tried to incorporate some of these techniques in our trailer too.
Click to watch
Blair Witch Project (1999)
We watched the Blair Witch Project trailer and although we didn't want to make a
psychological horror we still found conventional elements that would enhance the
shocks in our trailer. For example we thought that setting the trailer in a forest was a
good idea because it's isolated, with no clear exit. This is a stereotypical horror movie
setting, and one that continues to disturb audiences because of its claustrophobia.
Click to watch
The Cloverfield trailer – which was also found on YouTube - gave us even more good
ideas that we could use in our own trailer. Cloverfield uses a handheld camera for the
entire film because it it puts you in the feet of the characters, creating an immersive
feeling. Although we didn't use handheld camera for the entirety of our trailer, we did
use occasionally to try and draw the audience into the diegesis of Suicide Pact.
Click to watch
In terms of production, the trailer was the most complex. I used many different programs
for editing the video and audio, mainly using Adobe Premiere for the arranging of clips
and minor editing (including mixing the sound and images) and Adobe After Effects to
create complex digital effects and animated text.
The primary uses I had for Adobe Premiere were trimming the clips to the right
duration, ordering the clips, aligning the soundtrack and also altering the brightness and
contrast to make the video look more as if it were shot with low key lighting.
For the more advanced editing such as the special effects and the animated titles I used
Adobe After Effects. For effects such as blood splats I downloaded royalty free gore
effects from websites such as FootageCrate. This supplied me with free to use effects
that I only needed to remove the white background.
Adding Blood Splats
To remove the white background from the blood effects I used the 'Colour Key' tool in
the effects toolbar of Adobe After Effects. This allowed me to select one colour from the
video and remove it. I could then scale the effect and position it in the frame.
The characters in our trailer were not static when we needed to add in special effects this
meant I had to animate the path of the effect so it would stay still relative to the
character it was being applied to. When applying a colour tint to a needle in our trailer I
used the built in motion tracker that After Effects has, this meant I could simply
select a portion of the needle that the program could scan each frame and produce a
path for the effect to follow.
One of our body horror effects was slicing someone's throat, but the footage was quite
kinetic and didn't have
a good anchor point
for the motion tracker
to use, this meant I had
to do it manually. I
inserted a solid red
colour layer above the
clip and drew a cut
shape, every few frames I would add another keyframe and adjust the cut to fit the new
position of the character, I could then choose the parent layer of the various blood splats
to the cut so they would also follow.
Quick Selection Tool
For making my magazine cover and poster I used Adobe Photoshop. For both my poster
and magazine cover the first key technique was using the 'Quick Selection Tool' which
allowed me to accurately select parts of photos that I needed. In the case of my magazine
cover I had to select the head of the cover image so it could sit on top of the masthead,
whereas for the poster I merely selected and utilised the severed head,.
The other major tool I used on my
poster was the lighting effect. In the
filter toolbar in Adobe Photoshop there
is a subheading 'Render' and in there is a
'Lighting Effects' option. I chose the
'Spotlight' style of lighting because I
thought it fit with the low-key lighting
stereotypical of the horror genre. It
drew the audience’s attention towards
the centre of the image, creating a
darker background to connote the evil
that makes up Suicide Pact’s diegesis.
Finally, in my magazine cover I used the 'Burn Tool' to darken the area around the eyes
so as to look more sinister. I also used this 'Burn Tool' in my poster to add in the closed
eyes to the severed head prop.
For evaluating our trailer we used a few different web services such as YouTube,
Blogger, and Survey Monkey. This allowed me to safely store my work online, but also
to get feedback on how the improve the trailer for Suicide Pact.
When we finished our first rough cut of our trailer we put it on YouTube so we could
embed it on other websites easily, but also to get feedback through YouTube's comment
and like / dislike system.
With Blogger we could easily create a public website which is easily customisable so we
could display our rough cut trailer. It also provided the backdrop and safe location for
this evaluation and all of my coursework.