How my media productuses, develops and challenges formsand conventions of real mediaproductsLouisa Dack
In relation to my filmThis is shot is set in the first woman’s house; this is shown through the darkfilter which has connotations with evil, suggesting something dark ishappening. Dark colours are very conventional of horror films and as I madea social realism horror I tried to incorporate this into my film to meet theconventions. The filter contrasts with the actual image, which is a childishimage. I did this to make my audience uncomfortable, as the idea of mixingevil with children is an unpleasant thought. Children are conventionally usedin horrors to show the destruction of innocence, which is exactly what I triedto do with my film. An example of this is the horror film ‘Orphan’. Thedirector used a young girl to create a false sense of innocence for the girl, sothat it was more shocking when she turned out to be evil. I didn’t want toachieve this with my film as my baby is innocent however, I wanted to makethe audience feel discomfort and worry for the child’s safety. This dark filteron top suggests the destruction of innocence and that the child is in danger.The titles are in white which contrasts with the background image, as whitehas connotations with innocence and naivety. This was done to portray thechild’s innocence and that she doesn’t know what is going on. The writing isin a childish handwriting, again suggesting the presence of a child. For myfilters I took inspiration from the horror film ‘Alone With Her’ which uses ablack and white filter for one side of the story, like I have. The director wastrying to show the two different sides to the story and portray thecontrasting views. This is also the reason I have used the convention in myfilm as I wanted the audience to be able to differentiate from one woman’sstory to the others. The filtering technique is commonly used in horror andthriller genres and as my film is partly of the horror genre I felt it wasappropriate to use it.
This shot is of the first woman playing with what appears to be a baby. We don’t actuallysee the baby or absence of the baby in this shot as I didn’t want to give away theending, as it is conventional of a short film to have a twist at the end. This shot has filterover it. This is done to differentiate between the shots of this woman and the shots ofthe other woman. The filter is dark to suggest that there is something dark and evilabout the woman, making the audience uncomfortable. It is a common convention of athriller film to use dark lighting as it makes the film more creepy and mysterious. In theoriginal, unedited version of this shot the camera was just to the left of the woman.However I used the editing tool ‘flip’ to flip the shot over so it appeared that the camerawas to her right. This contrasts with the shots of the other woman and I have kept thisdifference constant throughout my film in order to create a difference between thewomen and make the storyline easier to understand. This is conventional of short filmsas it makes them easier for the audience to understand.Most short film use this technique as it gives the audience a better sense ofperspective and subtly helps them understand the story. This shot is in anormal, ordinary home which is conventional of a social realism film as they’re usuallyset in normal, everyday settings. In this shot the woman has her back turned to thecamera, this could suggest that she has something to hide or, alternatively that she istrying to protect the baby. The door on the left creates a barrier between us and thewoman, showing that the audience don’t feel a connection with her and are trying tokeep a distance from her as they are currently unsure of her character. This isconventional of a horror film as they often have long shots to warn the audience andmake them feel in danger. This is used in many films such Saw to create a distancebetween the audience and the villain. I chose to use it for the same reasons in my film asI wanted my audience to be wary of this character.This second shot shows the first woman fussing with babies’ clothes. This shot shows theextent the woman is going to in order to keep up the façade that she has a child. Theobsessiveness of the situation uses conventions seen in such horror films ‘Stalker’ The shotcuts off the woman’s head, which creates a sense of mystery about the woman and makes itharder for the audience to distinguish between the two characters by looks alone, whichwas my intention. Short films often have shots that don’t give away much about thecharacters, as they want to keep the audience guessing until the end. This is conventional insocial realism films and I used this as I thought it would work well in my film as I also have atwist at the end. The woman’s costume is very motherly again playing on the idea of havinga child again. The character in this shot is presented at first as a normal mother but theobsessiveness of the clothes for a child she doesn’t have and the humming imply that she isnot mentally stable.
This is a screen shot of one woman playing with the baby. This screen shot also introduces the actress ‘Harriet Dack’ who isshown on screen. The titles are in white, which has connotations with innocence and purity, suggesting she is naive and perhapsa victim. The titles are in a font, which looks like handwriting. Its conventional of a film to use the type of writing to conveythemes of a film. This font looks like it has been written by a child which links to the theme of my film as it is about a baby. This isvery conventional of a horror film and is done in lots of films such as ‘Orphan’ and ‘The Uninvited’ as they link in with children,like my film. This type of storyline is very conventional of a horror as it plays on the audience’s fears and portrays the destructionof the child’s innocence. The shot is set in the other woman’s house, contrasting with the setting of the previous shot,establishing that they are different people. The house is a normal, boring house, this is conventional of a social realism film asthey are usually set in everyday settings with ‘normal’ people/ The background of the shot is full of baby toys, suggesting thatthere is a baby present in the household. It also mirrors what we saw in the other house. The woman is positioned just to theright of the middle of the shot. This is so we can just see round her and notice that there’s actually a baby there. The way thewoman is blocking the child out mirrors the previous shot and also keeps the mystery about who actually has the baby. This shotcould also been seen to indicate that the mother is a barrier between the baby and us and that she is trying to protect her. Itsconventional of a social realism film to give away as little as possible about the storyline, waiting until a twist at the end. This shotachieves this by keeping the mystery about the child. This shot doesn’t have a barrier between the audience and the woman,unlike the other shot, this indicates that the audience are more comfortable with this character and feel like they can trust hermore. The shot also makes it seem like we are watching her and that she is unaware, this makes the audience uncomfortablewhich is very conventional of a thriller film. This shot sets up the story as it is the first shot that mirrors the shots of the otherwoman, this shot starts to imply the storyline. In this shot the woman is presented as naive as her back is literally turned,suggesting that she is unaware of what’s going on. Conventionally in horror films the main characters are unaware of what isgoing on. This makes the audience cautious and this is what I wanted to achieve. In an alternative view you could interpret this asbeing ignorant and not wanting to see what’s going on. The shot could also show her as a protector of the child. This shot alsoportrays her as friendly and loving.
This shot is a close up of the second woman cutting up cheese for her child’s sandwich. Close ups are veryconventional of the horror genre and are used in a lot of horror films such as ‘Saw’ to distract away fromthe violence. This isn’t why I chose to use them however; I used them to keep a sense of mystery aboutthe film, which is more conventional of social realism films. This shot is used to show the everyday life ofthis woman, which portrays the social realism genre as this type of film often shows everyday occurrencesbefore the climax of the film. This is exactly what I have tried to do as I feel it builds up a false sense ofsecurity for the audience. This shot is very bright, indicating to the audience that the character included inthe shot is a positive character. The knife is in the centre of the shot. Knifes are generally used in horrorsas a weapon, for example in ‘Scream’ the killer brandishes a knife to threaten the innocent. However Ichose to go against the convention as in this instance the knife is clearly not used in a threatening way.This could bring out more of the social realism genre. In this shot, although we can’t fully see thecharacter, she is presented as trusting as she isn’t brandishing a knife in a threatening way but is using itfor a everyday purpose. It also presents the character as caring as she is clearly looking after her child andthe closeness of the shot shows that the audience feel comfortable around her and trust her, implyingthey will be on her side and that she is the protagonist.This next shot is a shot set in the first woman’s house. It is a close upof the printer as the first woman prints out a picture of the baby.This is the point where the audience really know that the woman isweird and stalking the baby. The close up shows the intensity of thesituation and shows the audiences curiosity. I took the inspirationfor this shot from an Eminem music video where he has an entireshrine full of photos of the person. The idea of stalking and takingphotos and obsessing over people is a general theme for manyhorror films such as ‘Stalker’ and I conform to this throughout myfilm. The shot itself is from a high angle and suggests that we’relooking down upon the picture from the point of view of thewomen. This shot presents the woman as obsessive, contrastingwith the motherly image we originally got of the woman. Thischaracteristic is often used in horror films in the main character, forexample in ‘Psycho’. This is done to scare and worry the audienceand this is the exact reason why I chose to do it. The babies face iscentre of the screen implying she’s the centre of attention, linking inwith the woman’s feelings towards the baby as she obviously feelsthat the baby is also the centre of her life.
This shot is a long shot of the two women crossing paths. It’s a long shot which indicates thatthe audience are taking a step back from the situation and not taking sides. The characters arepleasant to each other which shows another side to the first woman as it shows she isobviously very sneaky and secretive. This fits my social realism genre again as it is an everydaysitation with a twist. Its very bright outside and the woman on the right is walking into thelight, showing the audience that she is a positive character. Lighting is a conventional way thathorrors express who is the protagobist and villain in the film. Films such as ‘Woman in Black’do this to establish which charcaters are good and bad. This is exactly why I chose to use it inmy film as it subtly gives the audience a hint of which character is the protagonist. The otherwoman is walking away from the light into the shadows showing that she is more of a negativecharacter and has a dark secret. Both the characters are dressed in bland outfits in this shotwhich doesn’t give much away to the audience. This is another horror convention that I saw in‘Woman in Black.’ The woman in ‘Woman in Black’ is dressed in dark colours to portray her badcharacter. I thought this worked really well and wanted to incorporate this convention into myfilm to send the same message. The red pushchair has connotations with danger and acts as awarning to the audience. Its conventional of films to use colours to portray emotions andfeelings and I have chosen to do so in this instance to make it more clear to my audience whoto trust, without making it to obvious. By doing this I am also conforming to social realismconventions as I am not making it too obvious, saving the twist for a few moments time.This screen shot is of the woman walking off and is the moment when the audience first see that the woman reallydoesn’t have a child. I have saved the twist for the end of the film which is conventional of a social realism film as theyoften save the twist for the end. This is done in social realism film ‘The Machinest.’ I found this was really effective in thisfilm and shocked the audience whilst making all the lose ends come together to make more sense. I like this and wantedto do a similar thing in my film and have done with this moment of realisation shot. The way she is walking into theshadow from the light shows that she is covering up a dark secret and wants to appear normal. I took my idea for thestroyline from the film ‘Amber’s Story’ where a child gets abducted. Children being abducted is a conventional stroyline ofhorror films and is used in many films such as ‘Ambers Story’ to play on the audiences fears. I wanted to play on theconventions of horror films and add a social realism dimension into it. I also wanted to create a new storyline and not copya previous idea as I feel this idea is more orginal.
In relation to my magazine spreadThis screen shot shows a quote from the article, which I have made bigger and stand out of the article. This isconventional of a magazine article and is often done in film reviews. The red of the writing is conventionallyused in both thrillers and social realism films due to its connotations with danger and blood as well as beingbright and bold, a feature of the text in social realism review pages. The font I used matches the font I used inthe article so that it doesn’t draw away from the main text and is just read when the viewer gets to theappropriate place. An example of the large quote being used can be taken from ‘The Kite Runner’ film review.The quote itself is placed in between the other text as I found this to be conventional of most magazinearticles, not just thrillers or social realism films.The title of the film is written in handwriting that looks like its beenwritten by a child in coloured crayon. This obviously has connotations andlinks in with my films storyline as it’s about a baby. The colours are brightwhich is a convention of film reviews for social realism films such as ‘FishTank’, which uses bright orange font to grab the audience’s attention. Thetitle also looks like it has been ripped out or torn. This portrays the imagethat a family is being torn apart. I chose to place my title right at the topof the page, I chose to do this because I think it’s easier for the audienceto read and makes the article less complicated.
This is a quote I added onto my magazine article from the producer and director. This is usually done in magazinearticles and is very conventional. I chose to include it to live up to the conventions and layout of a magazinearticle. The film review for ‘A Junkies Salvation’, which has a line at, the bottom of the review as you can seeabove. This gives another view of the film. This line is placed at the bottom of my review as I found this to be theconventional placement of the director quote. I wanted to follow magazine conventions as best I could toconform to both my genres but in different ways.This is a screenshot of the entire left page of my magazine article. The photos take up the majority of the article; I saw this happen inmany magazine articles before deciding to use it in mine. I like this layout because it grabs the audience’s attention and, according tothe way we read magazine articles it should be the first thing we see. My writing for my article is down the right hand side. Its verycommon for film reviews, particularly action or thriller genres to have half a page of a screenshot of the film and the other half thetext. I like this layout, as I don’t think the writing it too overpowering. Its very conventional of a film review page to show a largepicture of the main character, as seen in the spider man article above. However, I chose not to do this in mine because I thought thatby following the conventions I would be giving too much about my film away and want to keep the mystery about the film.
In relation to my posterThis shot of my poster shows the photos I spread out and took apicture of with the top photo being of one of the women and thebaby being on top. In this picture the colours are bright and vibrantto pull in the audience. This goes against the conventions of thrillerposters but follows the expectations of a social realism film poster.I chose to do this, as I wanted the thriller genre to be an undertoneand add another dimension to the film with the social realismgenre being more of an overall genre for the film. The baby isdressed in pink in the top photo, which is a convention colour for ababy girl. This shows that the baby is just a normal, sweet baby andthe light colours connote her innocence. The woman is dressed inblue, which has connotations with water, which is pure, giving theimpression that the woman is pure and innocent. The colour bluecould alternatively be interpreted as a sad colour. This also fits myfilm as the storyline is sad and affects this woman in a negative wayeven though she is unaware of it. I got inspiration for this from theposter for the woman in black where there is a picture of twochildren with their eyes scratched out.
The text on my poster, which contains the title and the release date, is in the same child like handwriting that I usedfor my film, making a direct link. This font also links with the storyline as it appears to be written by a child. It is acommon convention for films of the thriller genre to use handwriting on their posters, for example the film ‘Orphan’uses a similar handwriting technique in their poster. I took inspiration from here as it think this poster is verysuccessful. My title and release date are written in a mixture of pinks and purples. Generally, posters for social realismfilms use brighter colours and so I have conformed to this by using the bright colours. For example the film poster for‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which uses bright colours and bold writing. The colours I used also are very soft and haveconnotations with baby girls, which is what my film revolves around. It demonstrates the babies’ sweetnature, eliminating any idea that the baby may be evil, like they often are in horror or thriller genres. The position ofmy text is to the side of the photos as I didn’t want to draw attention away from the main image. Posters are readfrom left to right so it is conventional for the writing to be in this position.This next shot of my poster is a closer view of the crossed outface of the woman. This is a conventional thriller thing to do toa poster and I have seen similar things be done on posters forfilms such as ‘You’re Next’ which uses red writing across aface. The crossed out face shows that whoever crossed it outwants that woman gone or that the woman is already out ofthe way. The face is crossed in black, bold marker pen. This isdone because the blackness has connotations with sadnessand evil which is a conventional theme for a thriller film. Theboldness of the cross and the fact that is hand drawn showsthe determination of the character that wants this woman outof the way and implies that she will get what she wants.At the bottom of my poster I put text informing the audience of the actresses and Production Company. This is very conventional of afilm poster as most include this sort of text to inform and draw in an audience.