IN WHAT WAYS DOES YOUR MEDIAPRODUCTS USE, DEVELOP AND CHALLENGEFORMS AND CONVENTIONS OF REAL MEDIA PRODUCTS? By Georgie Jackson-Nash, Molly Lancaster and Georgina Moore.
THE UNINVITED HORROR TRAILERIn order to make a successful horror trailer our group realised thatcertain aspects of our trailer would need to be similar to establishedand recognisable horror trailers. We researched into many existingand successful trailers in order to gain inspiration and recognise thereoccurring genre conventions. We wanted to be able to understandwhat audiences expected from this genre and what was imperativefor us to include. However we wanted to present some of our ownoriginality and challenge these conventions so a stronger message isbrought across to the audience and our ideas weren’t entirelypredictable.
THE UNINVITED HORROR TRAILERResearch-In order to take our horror trailer to it’s highest standard, we carried outresearch so we could analyse and take inspiration. We researched into differentsub-genres and the Slasher genre appealed most to us. We came across an urbanlegend ‘The babysitter and the man upstairs,’ we found we could base our initialplot around this but putting our own twist upon it.We carried out most of our research on YouTube by watching existingtrailers, here we could identify the key conventions which we wanted to involvein our trailer as we could tell they worked well. The majority of the trailers weviewed involved key scenes that left the viewer wanting to carry on watching thefull film.
WHEN A STRANGER CALLS - 2006As we had a basis for our film, in terms of the urban legend. Weresearched into films that were similar to this, we soon came across‘When a Stranger Calls’ which was based entirely on the urbanlegend we had found, although with a modern twist.This film was already a remake of the famous original in 1976 so weknew this type of film already had a fan base and was moderatelysuccessful. We decided to not follow in the footsteps of this filmbecause it would take away our own originality. Instead we alteredthe ideas we initially had, changing key scenes planned for the trailer.
KEY ELEMENTS WITHIN THE TRAILERAt the beginning of the trailer wedecided to include the previewscreen. After our in depthresearch to existing trailers, wefound that this consistently cameup. Therefore we included thepreview screen within our owntrailer so that it’s appearancebecame more realistic. Afterreading through our audiencefeedback it appeared to workwell, most answers said that theyliked the idea of this and they feltthe trailer did seem morerealistic to them when viewing it.
Another key element trailers commonly include is their production logobefore the trailer begins. This is to initially advertise the productionhouse, giving the trailer a more of a professional look and as a group wedecided to include this element within our own trailer to advertise ourbrand and keeping a professional, realistic approach.The length of our trailer also reflects this of a teaser trailer. Initially theyshould last between a minute or a minute and a half. The reasons for areto entice the audience as much as possible without giving away too muchof the storyline. Our own trailer ended up being just over a minute inlength, reflecting this. When a stranger calls - Production Logo. Our GMG Productions Logo.
Throughout our research into existingtrailers we found that commonly anextreme close up focuses upon the mainplot focus. When a Stranger Calls uses aclose up of a phone, used and referencedthroughout the film, thus enticingaudience to ask questions like Who’scalling? Why are they calling?. Mirroringthis, we used the images of thechildren, as this is constantly referencedin our trailer. We wanted the audience tothink about certain questions whenwatching this part of the trailer: Are theChildren in danger? Will they be okaywhen the film ends? To add moresuspense and to get the viewer to askmore questions, we added a bloodsmudge as this symbolizes danger anddeath.
When looking at previous media trailers, we noticed each one had a bigmoment, a final scare at the end. Although our trailer had lots of bigmoments through we wanted to keep the pace going towards the endand keep the audience engaged till the end , and then end with a bigfinal moment that tips the audience over the edge for them to say “Iwant to see that!” this was only a teaser trailer, so we could not give toomuch away so we developed our trailer by adding text, breaking up theshots. Using a variety of different events within the trailer hopefullyenticed to the viewer to want to come and see the film as the outcomeswere not given away. This is text from our trailer.
• It could be argued our big moment is at the end as she is being dragged out by the killer, and the previous scene builds up to her being caught by the killer, although we believe it challenges the key convention of the big moment as there is no sudden music change and the scene fades out to black. This develops the convention as although there is no ‘jumpy’ scene, the fade out to black leads to curiosity and attracts the audience to see the film. Also this teases the audience as it does not give too much away, therefore we believe it could be more effective doing this way. We also felt that the scene where the protagonist discovers the intruder became somewhat iconic to us. Our audience feedback told us that this was a key scene for the viewer as well, we therefore decided to carry on that key image within the poster.
KEY CHARACTERS PROFILES OF THE SLASHER GENREKiller, identity hidden- It was key from the start that we use a scary killer figure.In our current modern climate, people find hoodies quite frightening, so we usedthis image in our trailer as it was something that most people could relate to bequite scary, it’s part of society today. The majority of trailers we researched, usedhooded figures, we soon deemed it appropriate to use this kind of killer in ourfinal trailer.‘Final Girl’, The survivor- Typically in the Slasher Genre, the main character is ateenage girl, who has surrounded herself with failure. This convention was aobvious choice, we wanted a strong female protagonist that was relatable andlikable by the audience. Looking at the Scream trailer, we took some of theelements of the female protagonist, Sidney, and used some features of hercharacter in our ‘Final Girl’Weapon- Much like the Scream Films, we decided to go with the traditional‘Butcher Knife’ as this has been weapon of choice in most successful horror films.The Halloween films also incorporated a Butchers Knife, so it seemed perfect tochoose this as the weapon wielded by the killer.
CONCLUSION OF FILM TRAILER• We researched many film trailers in order to gain ideas and inspiration in order to make our horror trailer to its best potential. We identified the the key conventions and in order to make our film trailer realistic we used these conventions, such as preview screen, masked killer ect, However we wanted to develop and challenge these conventions so we challenged the big moment scene, this improved our film trailer as it made it unique, however not having a major big moment with sudden dramatic music may eliminate the suspension and tension. Overall we believe our teaser trailer was a success as it included many conventions found in real media products yet had individuality as it also challenged these conventions.
MAGAZINE COVER Knife is clear to the audience, This follows real media products similar to this one as it shows what genre the Identity hidden which is film is. also a key convention followed within slashers on magazines. To stick with a consistent theme we used the ‘celebrate horror’ cover line and specific colour scheme, which is red, white and black, all Typical conventions on a colours connotate magazine have been danger especially red followed, as we have and black. This followed • Masthead the conventions of real • Tagline media products. • Cover lines • Puffs/Plugs • Set colour scheme • Bannering Our film is the main These basic conventions feature on the were a must, in order for cover, hopefully us to have a successful encouraging readers to magazine cover. take an interest in it.
MAGAZINE KEY CONVENTIONS Small sub headings, we have sub headings and extra information but it is mainly dedicated to our film in order to attract the audience to the film more. Large masthead that stands out. Sizeable and bold so that the loyal reader can instantly pick out their magazine from the others. Masked killer, main image and focus point and attracts the audience to the magazine and film. We have used this convention, however we have challenged this as the knife is the main focus point to represent danger and a knife is a recognised symbol that represents death, pain and is line with Slasher films. Colour scheme is mainly red black and white, keeping the dark and consistent theme of the horror genre.
CONCLUSION• Our final magazine reflects similar conventions to existing magazine covers as we wanted to take the most realistic approach possible. With the research we obtained we could identify the typical conventions needed, such as colour scheme, recognisable masthead, cover lines, puffs and plugs. So therefore we included all these conventions in our work. However compared to the ‘Entertainment’ magazine cover on the previous page, we have challenged some of the conventions as we have included a lot about our film, and have more information as we believe this will attract more of an audience and advertise our film more effectively. In conclusion, although we have many similar conventions to other magazine covers we have also challenged these in order to attract a bigger audience and make the magazine cover more interesting. Although we could have challenged these conventions more by a possible interview with the protagonist or the man from the darkness, giving the feature a more open feel.
CONVENTIONS OF A HORROR FILM POSTER Dark background‘Tag Line/ logo’Dangerrepresented in aweapon Killer is main focus, clear and masked, here low angle shot shows status andTitle, bold and empowerment .contrasts withsurroundingcolour Credits, all the peopleRelease date involved with the filmand production and productions.company logo.
Large Title the Under the title we have put our films tag line “You’re not alone”. Here we havefont is Many films include this in order to make there film memorabale, it cropped out adistorted, this also attracts the audience. silhouette of theis a key killer, thisconvention as challenges thethe title needs conventions of ato be horror film postermemorable as they mainly haveand the killer as therecognisable, i main focus point ort also needs to the weapon, yetlink with the here our killerfilm, here we blends in with thehave background whichred, sharp does not give muchwriting away yet it is clearconnotating he is holding adanger. knife so the audience can see what convention it falls in. Age Certificate and production Also included logo is a key twitter and convention, th facebook links so is makes the Here we have put the production our film will go poster look Release date was key, so it is name and the people involved viral and attract realistic and clear to the audience when we within the film, most film posters bigger professional are advertising for. include this convention and we audience, most film have so it looks realistic and posters have these professional logos or barcodes
CONCLUSION OF FILM POSTER• In conclusion we followed many conventions that other horror film posters use like bold title, catch phrase, however we did take our own approach with the silhouette of the killer, he is not clear which I believe is effective as it makes the audience curious, however we could of improved by maybe making the silhouette more clear, as its not eye catching as it is blended in. Also I think the font we have chose is effective as its distorted and with the sharp edges resembles knives/danger, however compared to the other film posters it doesn’t look as professional, and looks amateur. Furthermore the colour scheme that we have used is effective as it is dark and the red contrasts with the black making it stand out more, this is another key convention film posters use in order to attract the viewers eye. Overall we believe the film poster is effective and has a stronger message than the typical film poster as it has challenged the conventions and developed them, for example our silhouette instead of the killer in main focus.