Question 1: In what way does your media product us,
develop or challenge forms and conventions of real
Firstly, when creating our media product we thought about a number of different things that would be conventional to actual media products of the
same format and theme of our own. The first thing we thought about when creating our media product was the location of our film. Due to our chosen
theme of our short two minute sequence being a horror film, we decided to research into other well known horror films; looking specifically at
locations. Within our research we found that a popular location which kept on appearing into the horror films were abandoned/old looking buildings
and isolated roads or pathways. From this, we took our places of filming on a road just outside of our college, where there is an old building and a very
isolated road leading to nowhere.
The next thing we had to think about when filming our short opening sequence was the clothing for each character. We decided that it would be best
to keep the characters in ‘realistic’ clothing rather than dress up clothes. We kept the victim in casual clothes such as a dress, tights and a jacket;
whilst the murderer was dressed in a long black coat with a full white mask, which we took inspiration from a horror film we came across whilst
researching different types of horror films. For the victim in our film we decided it would be best to give the stereotypical ‘teenage’ look, further
portraying the vunerability of the victim, as well as the story line being that she has just left from spending the day at her friends house. I thought that
this would further lead the audience into believing that the story revolved around a teenage age – following the convention of a ‘teen terror’ film.
In regards to our sub-genre, we decided on a slightly ‘gothic horror’ due to the characters often wearing dark clothing such as the victim wearing quite
a cute outfit including a dress, but it is black. This is also proven when the murderer is dressed in all black, including a long black coat. During the
filming of our media product, we chose a total of 3 different places to film. We further thought that it would be a good idea to use many different
cinematography including long shots, which are commonly used in horrors in order to establish the whereabouts of the film and to create tension
within the sequences.
For sound within our film we decided we didn’t want to put in any script or dialogue as we wanted our music and sound effects to portray and bring
tension to the audience. By not including any dialogue it means that the viewer doesn’t really know what is going on, apart from through the body
language and actions of the characters. We were inspired to do this when we were researching different types of horror films and we came across
‘Saw 4’ which contained two characters, which using only sound effects of chains and the body language of the frightened woman, bringing the viewer
and the audience to be on the ‘edge of their seats’.
Question 2: How does your media product
represent particular social groups?
Within our film we have two characters that you see, and a further two characters which you only hear
about. The two visible characters include a teenage girl called Emma, and a murderer that we obviously
do not know the name of. There are then two characters that you don’t get to see in our short 2 minute
opening; Emma’s friend where she was returning from, and Her Mum who was on the phone when the
Emma is a teenage girl who wears casual, quite girly clothes, and is quite a middle class girl. Due to the
fact that she is returning from her friend house within the film, proves that she is quite a friendly and
outgoing girl. When Emma is walking through the street on her own we can see that there is nobody
else around her that she knows of, proving that the street could be very isolated from any public places.
She also uses her phone when walking through the street, showing that she is not really concentrating
on anything but chatting away to her mum on the other end of the phone. Her behavior changes
drastically when she begins to feel on edge and thinks that there is someone watching her. She begins
to look around her surroundings and starts to walk at a much faster pace – which is all signs of typical
teenage girl behavior.
Due to the killer being dressed in all black with only a plain white mask on his face, we begin to wonder
what he is doing there. His behavior and body language is also quite worrying as every shot which he
appears in, he is hiding behind something. When the killer stops hiding and walks directly behind
Emma, the viewer begins to wonder what is going to happen next.
Question 3: What kind of media institution might
distribute your media product and why?
To find out which media institution may distribute our media product we had to do a lot of research. When researching
many different media institutions we came across ‘Metrodome Distribution’ and we thought that this institution would be a
good choice for us. Metrodome Distribution is a fully integrated rights management that has released many different horror
films. The reason why I feel that this would be the best distribution company for us is because our movie has no
famous/well known stars or budgets, which this company concentrates on. In addition to the previous, many of the films
that Metrodome Distributions have released have quite similar themes and qualities to our film such as Cherry Tree Lane.
Cherry Tree lane is a horror, just like our film. It has very similar qualities such as no famous actors, the same genre, and it
is a budget movie. We have found from research that our movie would definitely not be a Hollywood movie, so based on
this we decided our movie will be an internet only release. As everybody knows, internet is a cheap, fast, and convenient
way to share many different things, meaning it is the best way for us to advertise our movie in view that we have no money
to do any publicity.
A television movie is a feature movie that is a television program produced to be originally distributed by a television
network; in contrast to many films especially made for showing in movie theatres. On IMDB, it says ‘the best TV movies of
the horror genre, including some which might be classified as thrillers rather than a horror’. Due to our movies nature and
themes, it met the conditions of a TV movie therefor we decided to make our film and TV/Art house movie. An Art House
movie is the result of filmmaking which is a typically serious, independent film aimed at a niche market rather than a mass
market audience. Overall, we decided our movie would be a Metrodome Distribution, internet release, teen-horror art
Question 4: Who would be the
audience for your media product?
During the planning side of our G321 project we decided that the majority of our audience for our media product would be teenagers – mid 20s. We
decided the age of our audience is not only based on the media product that we chose but also we considered that we also have responsibility to the
society. When looking through BBFC, we decided the audience of our film should be over 18. IMDb released what they think are the 5 best teenhorror films, they include:
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
I know what you did Last Summer (1997)
Friday The 13th (1980)
By Looking at those sucsessful teen horror films we noticed that our genre of film are not only popular in the past, but also now. From research we
know that the teen-horror genre is a hot horror film genre which is very popular – which is promising for our film as the style of our film is very similar
to those which are typical teen-horror films. As previously mentioned, during the planning of our project we decided that the core audience of our
media product would be teens, students and mid 20s. Whilst researching this subject, we found that people of this age love exciting things and horror
is a great way to make them feel this. We also felt that the storyline and character of our media produce suit the chosen audience due to it being
‘close to home’. We decided that our secondary audience is people aged around 30-45, because we believe they are people who will enjoy watching
horror films like ours.
We would like our film to appeal to both females and males of the ages we have previously mentioned. However, through research and results from
our own questionnaire, we found that the percentage of females who enjoy watching horror films was in fact higher than the percentage of males. In
conclusion we found that the audience we finally appeal to is the female who is aged from 18-45, but we still hope for people to watch and enjoy our
film no matter of the gender.
Question 5: How did you attract
and address your audience?
We decided our audience to be people both male and female within the age group of 18-45. We decided this as people within this age group are currently either in further
education such as university or in a job; meaning they can relate to the characters situation of leaving their friends house and making their way home alone. We thought
that it would be much easier for the audience to connect to the film further making it feel like it could be a true story. Camera work was especially important to not only
create good, clear shots, but to also clearly describe the story and add more of an atmosphere for the film. We used many different camera shots when creating our film
such as long shot, and hand held, in order to keep the audience hooked and to make the viewer wonder what is going to happen next. We thought that change of shots
and view creates tension; something which is desperately needed within horror films. Hand Held shots is a classic shot used in horror to show the view of the characters.
We used this shot in our film when showing the view of the murder as he is walking towards Emma, the victim. We felt that this shot creates a very tense atmosphere for the
audience, and it also makes it easy for our audience to understand our story. Another type of camera work which we used a few times is Pan Shot. We used slow pan shot
at the beginning of our film when Emma leaves her friends house and turns the corner, we did this to not only create tension, but to show the surroundings within this shot.
When creating and reviewing our film ideas we decided that Emma is the character the audience is asked to put themselves in the position of. Due to our plot synopsis,
Emma is the ‘victim’ who is to be remembered and who wants revenge, which is why we used a variety of camera shots such as hand-held and point-of-view shots to show
our audience the view of Emma. As our media product, the opening of a horror movie, we mainly focused on cinematograph, but at the same time we tried to include all
four representational areas of cinematography including mise en scene, editing, and sound to go with the conventions of horror. We attempted to create suspense within
the four areas I am about to discuss:
Camera – as I have previously mentioned, we used a variety of camera shots within our film which will impact upon the overall feeling of the audience to make
them feel the tension we are building and for them to feel slightly worried/scared; which the horror genre is supposed to do. Slow Pan, close up, over shoulder,
eye-line match. Zoom in, long shot, low angle, medium shot and hand held shots etc. are what we used mainly within our film. Those shots are rather common
camera shots in horror which I have previously mentioned are used to crease tension and suspense within the film.
Sound – Sound is a obbligato part within a film which could fret the creation of suspense. Throughout our film we used background music that was decided
mutually by the group. We decided music that is not too loud would go best with the tense feel of our film. We also added in noises such as creaks, wind, and
thunder when the victim is present – we thought the loud sound of thunder would contrast the quiet background music, giving the audience a fright.
Editing – We decided during the editing of our film that we had to re-shoot and cut out some of our shots in order for the film to flow properly due to the large
amount of shot changes. We also added a black and white tone to our film, making the shots look slightly darker; further adding to the mood and atmosphere. We
also had to crop the side of some of our shots, due to a problem that arose after filming – that some of our group members were in the side of the shot. We
decided that instead of reshooting the whole shot, it would be much easier to just crop them out.
Mise en scene – We used a variety of mise en scene to create suspense within our opening. The locations that we chose are the old looking house, and the
abandoned and isolated street. Also in our opening, we used body language to let the audience establish the different traits between the two main characters. In
addition to these we also used lighting, colour, props and costume to create a better suspense within the opening.
Question 6: What have you learnt about
technologies from the process of
constructing this product?
When filming, we found that using the camera was fairly easy, as we already learnt
how to use it within the creating of our preliminary task. We also found that using the
tripod when filming was really simple as this was also used within our preliminary
Within our film we did not feature any dialogue in our film, but we featured a piece of
music within the background of our film. We edited this using the software
Garageband, which was fairly easy to use as it only really included cropping the
sound track. We encountered a small problem when transferring the sound over to
final cut where we edited our film but managed eventually with some help.
Using the editing software was probably the most difficult aspect of the film. We also
struggled with using this within the creation of our preliminary task. Before this
project, none of us had used the software before, so we often had to ask for help.
We encountered a serious problem where the software would not let us place one of
our clips onto the timeline; but we overcome this problem within a few lessons.
Question 7: Looking back to your Preliminary
Task, what do you feel that you have learnt in
the progression from it to the full product?
For both our preliminary task and our final film we found
that using the camera equipment was quite easy. The
equipment is very easy to use, but we also had previous
experience with using the video camera. I feel that our
skills with the camera have certainly improved as we
have worked with them much more and have had much
As I have previously spoken about, we are still fairly
unfamiliar with the editing software: Final Cut, due to it
being very difficult to use. The editing in our preliminary
task was rather basic but as we progressed to our final
film, we used a lot more of the editing software and the
effects it has.