Main Task: Horror Film TrailerMark Ramey of Media Magazine (2010) states that in film makingit is essential to to know the generic conventions of the film genre.This is because it will enable the trailer to be received better by anaudience as it is easier for them to identify the genre.For example, conventions of horror include low-key and highcontrast lighting, canted camera angles, extreme close-ups andjump cuts. Ramey suggests that film conventions create a set ofrules which is like a recipe to follow when making a film.Canted Camera Angle Extreme Close-Up Low Key Lighting
Barthe’s Enigma Code• Barthe’s Enigma Code (1964) suggests that the purpose of any trailer is to draw in an audience through mystery. From a trailer they are likely to have questions that they are intrigued to find out the answers to but to seek these answers they need to view the entire film. Therefore, it is likely that from this enigma, consumers will be attracted.• For example, in The Blair Witch Project trailer, the opening scene reveals that three student filmmakers have gone missing in the woods. This creates a instant enigma as audiences would be keen to know what has happened to them and why which for these answers to be found, audiences need to watch the film.• In our trailer, we plan to apply Barthe’s Enigma Code by ensuring that we do not reveal too much information to the audience. For example, as we are planning to use toys or a doll, we will hide the true backstory to create mystery.
Todorov’s Narrative Structure• Todorov’s Narrative Structure (1969) suggests that products start at an equilibrium, a disruption then occurs before ending at a balanced state. However, trailers usually do not follow this process and instead follow a non-linear structure.• This is because trailers try to entice audiences by showing some of the best, most exciting scenes and will usually end with the disruption so that consumers are intrigued to view the film to see whether it ends at an equilibrium.• We will apply Todorov’s Narrative Structure by making the opening of the trailer balanced before introducing the disruption. Our trailer will end unbalanced so that audiences are unaware of how the film will end and therefore are curious to watch it as there is an element of mystery.
Example…• Todorov’s Narrative Structure can be applied to horror film, The Possession (2012). The trailer starts as balanced where the consumer is introduced to the setting and the characters. Everything appears to be calm and this relaxes the audience.• However, as the main protagonist gains possession of the box, the disruption begins to occur. This is indicated through the disjointed editing, change in mise-en-scene and music as these are all signs that the film is gradually becoming more intense and shocking for an audience.• The trailer does not reveal the new equilibrium which is a method of enticing audiences to view the full film.
Influences - Trailer• Firstly, for our film trailer, we are planning on following the horror conventions as proposed by Mark Ramey as this creates a recipe to follow. Therefore, we plan to employ elements such as extreme close-ups, canted camera angles and low key lighting as this will allow audiences to identify the film as a horror and feel the emotions associated with it.• After looking at Barthe’s Enigma Code, we now understand the importance of creating mystery as this will entice audiences in. To create mystery in our trailer, we plan to do this by not revealing too much information surrounding the key plot of our trailer.• To enhance the mystery, our trailer will follow a non- chronological structure where the pace will gradually build to create tension where the equilibrium will not be revealed unless the entire film is watched.
Ancillary Task 1: Film Posters In an article found at Web Designer Depot, Matthew Carpenter states that there are 7 elements to creating a great movie poster. 1. Attention – Use a striking image to gain attention. For example, a character, as this will not only gain audience attention but allow an insight into the style and plot of the film. This poster for the Hangover gains attention for its amusing and quirky image which highlights this film to be a comedy. 2. Iconography – Tell the audience the themes of the film through the image without directly telling them with words. http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/02/7-elements-of-a-great-movie-poster-design/
3. Interest – Create an incentive for the consumer to see the film by placing them in the scene which to find out why they are there can only be solved by viewing the film.4. Appeal – Try to make the film desirable for fans and non- fans of the genre by using elements that will be attractive to both audiences such as choice of actors or directors names. For example, a consumer may not be a horror fan but entice them in with an actors name or well-known production company.5. Style – Make sure the poster has a unique style that reflects the genre of the film as this will help consumers identify what the film is. It is also important to ensure that the style of a film is kept consistent across all products as this will allow the products to become recognisable. http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/02/7-elements-of-a-great-movie-poster-design/
Example…• For example, the Harry Potter franchise has kept their marketing consistent by ensuring all posters use the same actors and style in the choice of text, colours and mise-en-scene. These film posters have also developed throughout the franchise to reflect the style of the film. The poster for the first film, is fairly bright to reflect the warm hearted and uplifting feel which the original creates. However, in later posters, the style turns quite gloomy to reflect the darker themes of the film therefore, this shows the importance of how mise-en-scene is used to create a first impression. http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/02/7-elements-of-a-great-movie-poster-design/
6. Lasting Appeal – For a poster to achieve its maximum successit needs to be one that can be used again in the future. To dothis, elements of the poster need to be clear and recognisableenough for smaller products. For example, on a DVD case, eventhough on a much smaller scale, the product identity needs tobe recognised.7. Recognisability – A film poster should include somethingunique to make it different and distinct from others. Forinstance, the Godfather films are instantly recognisable throughthe iconic title style and the layout of the image being the maincharacter against a dark background. http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/02/7-elements-of-a-great-movie-poster-design/
How to Read a Film Poster Denotation & Connotation• In How to Read a Poster by Tom Brownlee, he states that that all words and visual images have a denotative meaning. The denotation of an image is literally what you are seeing.• However, all images also have a connotation. This is known as the underlying or deeper meaning of why certain elements have been chosen. All elements used on a poster can express a message to an audience whether it is a colour, costume or setting, they all can convey a deeper meaning.• In our film poster, we are planning to use colours such as grey and white as they can connote a ghostly, chilling atmosphere which is suitable for the plot of our film.• Also, the choice of actors we will use are intended to reflect our target audience of young adults as this will be represented through their age, costume style and status.
Intertextual References• In his article, Tom Brownlee also explores the concept of intertextual references. This is where a product either visually or verbally refers to other media within their product.• In our film poster, an idea for an intertextual reference is to use similar text as the Woman in Black poster as we feel the reflection creates the chilling and ghostly atmosphere that we are aiming to create.• We have also been inspired by the background hiding the ghostly figure and perhaps this is another intertextual reference that we might use.
Tips for Making a Movie PosterIn an online article found at Unified Manufacturing, they provide someuseful tips which will help to create a successful film poster.1. Understand Your Film – In order for an audience to understand the general plot of the film from the poster alone, the creator needs to understand their film by heart, so that when a consumer first glances at the poster, they instantly know the message and genre.2. The Right Font Style – Posters that are delivering a message of what the film title is, the release date and actors should always be in a clear, vivid font which is readable so that this information is clearly communicated to the audience.3. Avoid Clutter – White space helps a poster to remain balanced, clear and more organized which will allow the consumer to keep there attention on the most important details and prevent them from being distracted. http://unifiedmanufacturing.com/blog/5-tips-making-movie-posters/
Influences – Poster• When researching advice for creating a film poster, we found the article by Matthew Carpenter’s, 7 Elements To Making A Film Poster, particularly useful.• We understand the importance of the image in a film poster as this is the element that is going to entice audiences as well as telling them the story without words.• An idea we have is to use one of the toys in our film poster as this will appear striking as quite often people are used. Also, toys are often associated with childhood and imagination. This is the basic storyline of our film however we would combine this with elements of horror such as dark colour and lighting so that the image would communicate a darker story without the use of text.• We are aiming for our film poster to appear quite simple and use white space as this will allow the poster to appear organized whilst keeping audience attention of the main feature.• Conventions of film posters include a striking image, film title, release date, and actors/company names which we will try to include in order to create a professional feel.
Ancillary Task 2: MagazinesIn an article online by Magazine Publisher, they provide someuseful advice on how to make a magazine noticeable.• 1. Use a Great Cover Photo – A magazine only has one chance to make a good first impression. A photo is vital to achieve this. A photo can be made recognisable by making sure it shows action or relates to the target audience. Using unusual colours and unusual camera angles will also make the image stand out to the consumer. For example, Empire’s front cover of The Joker is instantly noticed because of its unusual choice of colours, particularly the florescent green. The camerawork is also different as the subject is directly in the middle whereas often in magazines the subject would be placed to either the right or the left. http://magazinepublisher.com/designtips.html
2. Use a Great Masthead - The masthead is the magazine’s logotherefore, it needs to be one of the first things that the readernotices. All magazines are competing for attention over othersso a masthead that is well-designed will entice a reader to pickup your magazine instead of another.3. Careful Font Usage – The choice offont used also can have a major impacton the overall impression of a magazine.Using too many fonts can be visuallyconfusing for the reader as it becomes difficult to distinguish thebetween the different coverlines. Therefore, a maximum of 3fonts should be used on a magazine front cover and should befrom the same font family so that it is consistent. http://magazinepublisher.com/designtips.html
Tips for Magazine Front Covers Tina Zennand offers some advice on how to make a magazine appeal to a niche market. • Offer Something Extra – Entice readers by offering them something extra that they are unable to gain from any other magazine. This could be something exclusive such as an interview or review only found in this particular magazine or could be a free gift or special offer which is displayed in an insert. • Show Energy – Entice readers by making the images appear exciting and include a compelling heading. The front cover should have enough energy to tell the consumer what the magazine is about without telling them directly with words. http://www.underworldmagazines.com/how-to-design-a-great- magazine-cover-simply-irresistible-tips/
Successful Magazine CoversRebecca Loveridge (2011) explores what it is in particular that makes amagazine front cover successful. She proposes that there is a recipe thatmagazines follow in order to achieve success.• A Powerful Story & Compelling Image – The article featured on the front cover needs to be most compelling as consumers initially look at this and will be what is going to draw in readers.• Benefits for the Reader – Offer the reader something exclusive that cannot be found in any other competing magazine such as exclusive interviews and articles or free gifts.• Spark Curiosity Have a main coverline which is exciting and written in a bold typography. However, limit the amount of coverlines so that the cover does not become overcrowded with text.• Keep it Simple Loveridge states that simplicity is most important as a strong image against a plain background will not only gain attention but tell a story. http://engage.tmgcustommedia.com/2011/08/successful-magazine-covers/
Influences – Magazines• From researching existing advice on creating magazine front covers, a common tip is to offer the audience something extra which they are unable to find from any other competing magazine as this will make it more likely for the consumer to buy the product.• To apply this to our film magazine, we are planning on featuring our horror film as an exclusive, perhaps as an interview or review that is unique to our magazine. This would benefit audiences because the magazine is featuring an article that they would have never seen before.• The masthead also needs to be significant as it will become the brand identity for the magazine and will influence whether someone picks the magazine up as it needs to stand out from a distance. Similarly, the title needs to convey to the audience what the magazine is about.• The photo is one of the most important elements which is going to attract consumers therefore, to seem attractive to an audience we are planning on using unusual colours and camera angles to make our magazine appear different as suggested by Magazine Publisher.