Reflective analysis by Hayley MorrisFor my AS film coursework, in my group consisting of Charlie Benn and Annie Hopkins, we created ashort film "Decapitated" of the thriller genre. The film is about a serial killer with a new victim held captive,with whom he plans to kill. It is then revealed he isn’t alone, and a friend was filming it with him. Thescreen darkens and the implied death of the victim is heard over the credits. Our intention for our projectwas to scare the audience and make them feel uncomfortable, with our target audience being those over16. We followed certain horror movie conventions, such as the victim being female, and the killer being amale; however in response to the male killer, we developed this by having dual male killers. The otherkiller videos the situation which we feel isn’t a stereotype of the horror genre, and gives it a voyeuristicthriller element. My role within the group was to take charge of cinematography and mise en scene, and Iwill be evaluating these.In regards to cinematography, my role was to organize, plan and do the camerawork, as well as designlighting. I used a hand held camera for some shots, so as to use it as a gateway for the audience toempathize with the killers, which I believe worked according to our feedback. I also used a tripod forsmoother shots, to represent the audiences outsider view, and then for another of the victims. This waseffective in that it provided an eerie insight to the killers mind, making the audience feel uncomfortableespecially when it is later revealed, breaking further horror conventions, with multiple vehicles of empathyfor all characters. However despite this, I feel the hand held camera shots could have been filmed in amore realistic way i.e. more shakily, so that it was more apparent it was being held by another person.Despite this I feel the shots worked to our advantage as its subtle shaking made the twist of anotherperson much more of a shock.My work within the mise en scene can also be well evaluated first by use of the scenes major prop; thepin board. Consisting of a glove, a girl’s bracelet and various headlines and images of girls, this wascreated from scratch. It was effective in providing a narrative, by use of specific headlines and pictures toimply what has happened such as "decapitated" or "new victim". It also had a positive impact by acting asour films name place holder, with a pan shot of the board, to a zoom into the "Decapitated" headline,making it apparent that it is our films title. I think the lack of animation used for it adds to voyeuristic feel ofthe film, in that it is rawly shot, in the same hand held way the later incorporated shots are. The use ofvaried colour schemes and the manipulation of lighting, mainly in darkened monotones was noted inhelping feel the audience understand the atmosphere of the film, and allows them to envelope themselveswithin it. This was done by use of a darkened room, with only one light source used, which was signalleddownwards so that it could create a shadowy effect. I feel this worked well, and was consistent throughoutthe film. The most important aspect we discussed in our group was of location. We did consider using adilapidated house, but felt this would be unsafe for us. We eventually found a small confined room, thatwas a painted black with very little natural light able to film in, conveying the bleakness of the situationand possibly as an insight to the killers psyche, in that it is dark and evil (as dark colours connotate bad).This claustrophobic environment was effective in both conveying the helplessness of the situation for thevictim, so the audience can empathize with her. It was also good for playing upon the audiences ownemotions, such as if the viewer is afraid of the dark, they can deeper sympathize with the victim, and it willalso make them more uncomfortable which is what we want our film to do subtly.Overall I feel our film was successful in completing its objective to be a part of the horror genre, and sofollow horror genre effects, in causing anxiety and fear in the audience. I feel my effort with the projectwas significant, and done to the best of my abilities.