This is the location of ‘The Set Up’. The film will start with an establishing long shot to set the scene allowing the audience to understand the time of day being night time. We will initially film in the evening to take full advantage of the natural lighting- we want the film to be featured at night to play on the usual horror conventions and provoke the audience into fearing the ‘unknown’. . The location is a semi-detached house in the local area belonging to a friend of one of the films producers chosen specifically for the concept of the film. Once we had decided on key scenes in the film such as walking through the long hallway towards the door I immediately thought of this location and set about asking for permission of the owner on the dates necessary to our team for filming.
The protagonist goes upstairs and settles in from a long day of work. In this scene, we play on the usual horror conventions involving mirrors and the fear of the unknown as he slides the mirror across and we fear what we may see as the door returns. The sound in the scene provokes the audience into believing there will be an unknown reflection in the mirror behind the main character. This tension will be built by a crescendo of orchestral sounds. The medium shot we hope to use for this scene will allow us to focus on his homely routine as he removes engages in relaxing after recently returning home. A close up is not necessary as we do not need to have an understanding of his emotions from facial expression.
We class this as one of the key ten shots as it is the first time you see the character in full view. This allows the audience to understand that he has been to work, which is signified by his suit. It also shows a standard house setting and allows the audience to see that the character is from a working class background. This general shot helps the viewer to notice we are at an equilibrium and creates tension as they await for the balance to be disturbed.
This shot contains the first signs of uncertainty as it shows a subtle shot of a large knife on the counter. The protagonist is unaware of this, however, the camera cuts to a close-up of the knife which creates suspense. The audience is curious as to the relevance of the knife and along with the soundtrack, sets up the eerie atmosphere for the rest of the film. Again we have used a normal action in the house whereby the protagonist is getting a drink to indicate the characters unawareness to the possible danger surrounding him.
The close-up of the knife emphasizes the notion that it will be significant to the story. As a horror convention within the fact that we see a knife and therefore a threat, the item itself is isolated creating a further element of fear. This also makes the character vulnerable to danger as only the audience can see the elements against him; he is unaware.
This shot is of the protagonist walking to answer the door as someone violently knocks. This over the shoulder tracking shot is used to partially block our vision as we cannot now see the door in full. Also he stands between the audience and the suspected danger giving him hero status relating to key horror conventions where the protagonist stands up to the threat. However this factor also enhances his vulnerability.
This shot shows the protagonist opening the front door and is astonished to see no one is present after the violent knocking. The audience share his shock as they are led to believe someone will be waiting for him mainly signified by the buzz track and its crescendo as he previously advanced to the door. This is another common horror convention- the knocking on the door yet no one is there.
After the protagonist re-enters the house, there is an eerie moment of silence outside and the audience expects to see whoever was knocking. However, we challenge their expectations by no one appearing and making the audience even more fearful of the unknown character. We have discussed including a shadow at this point and will need to use an orchestral sound to signify this and research lighting we can use to create this effect.
The protagonist then hears a phone ringing, and is even more surprised when he pulls out his own phone and discovers it is not his. The protagonist follows the sound to an unknown phone in the hallway. This emphasizes the view that something strange is happening and makes the audience believe there is someone in the house. The silence apart from the ringing phone is in contrast to the constant suspense building buzz track. The conversation misleads the protagonist into believing someone has set something up in his house and causes fear in the audience.
The protagonist moves from room to room checking for safety and as he approaches the conservatory which is pitch black, he hears an eerie whispering. Tension in this scene is built up by loud high pitched piano chords and provokes the audience into believing the protagonist is about to be confronted with the unknown character. It is important that this scene is the climax of the film as it sets the audience up for the next scene.
The film has an unexpected ending: the protagonist walks into the conservatory and is confronted by his friends and family who have thrown a surprise party. The effect of this ending is to show how codes and conventions of horror films can provoke you to expect/feel or things that may not necessarily occur. The unexpected surprise makes the audience feel relieved and extremely shocked at their original conclusion. We shall pay particular attention to the sound track and how this can build tension among the audience.