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Question 1 - In what ways does your media
product use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products?
This is the first frame shown in the opening sequence, which immediately reveals the film’s title. I decided to
place the title at this point because it allows it to enter the film both dramatically and unexpectedly as the
audience would not anticipate it this early on. The title’s entrance is also startling for the audience as it is
accompanied by non-diegetic sound; a loud, unexpected drum suddenly reverberates, which is juxtaposed with
the low rumbling that plays right at the beginning when the company idents are shown. The drum sound is an
element used to hint to my audience that something bad is yet to take place, and it also indicates that this is a
significant event in the world of the film as it suggests that the following scenes will construct the narrative for
the film. A significantly common convention of horror films is the ‘jump scare’ and so I thought it would be very
appropriate to incorporate this into my film opening sequence through the use of non-diegetic sound.
Furthermore, the first frame suddenly emerges from the darkness, suggesting the dark nature of the film and
the events that will follow. This is also a relatively common convention seen in horror films, such as The Blair
Witch Project and The Silence of The Lambs. I chose the title ‘Captive’ meaning “a person who has been taken
prisoner”, which suggests the tense themes of the film to the audience. Also, I believe that this title would fit
along the lines of a horror/thriller film as it is short, snappy and to the point. (Like Saw, Hostel, Halloween, etc.)
This frame is included to reveal the dark setting to the audience. I deliberately avoided showing an external
establishing shot of the warehouse so that the audience would be left questioning where exactly the scene is
taking place. This adds to the uncertainty of the character’s situation, which further promotes standard horror
themes such as isolation and helplessness This shot is only seen for about two seconds before it cuts to a
high angle shot looking down on the character. I believe that this is effective in keeping the audience gripped
as the setting is revealed through a series of shots at a relatively fast pace. I particularly like this frame as it
has a rusty/deteriorated look and suggests that the opening is set in a run down, secluded area. This adds to
the audience’s sense of dread for the character as they are encouraged to emphasise with his isolation. These
types of shots are typical of horror film openings as they show the audience the character's surroundings and
through this, convey that they are the victim in the world of the film. An example, of this would be the opening
scene in Saw (2004) where the first character shown on screen is portrayed to be the victim as he awakes in a
dark, dirty industrial bathroom and is chained to a pipe.
At this point in the opening sequence, the audience have established that our character is the victim due to his
vulnerability as he is unable to defend himself due to his imprisonment. This frame is important in furthering
that sense of vulnerability to the audience as it communicates the first sense of possible threat/danger implied
by the eerie writing’s on the wall. This is a common convention in horror films as it creates the opportunity to
reveal the antagonistic nature of the villain to the audience, without immediately showing him. One of the most
iconic film openings of all time belongs to Jaws, where the audience are not physically shown the predator until
much later in the film. I decided to try and incorporate this style into my opening by not showing the antagonist
straight away, rather, allowing the tension to gradually build up through the use of non-diegetic sound and
camera shots before the audience is briefly shown the antagonist’s physical presence, just seconds before the
final title is shown. I believe that this was an effective decision as it would encourage the audience to further
engage with the narrative in order to find out more about this masked villain. In conclusion, I think that all these
features combine to successfully communicate the horror genre of my film to the audience.
This is the final frame in the opening sequence which was constructed in a manner that I
believe would fit the traditional genre conventions of a horror-thriller, whilst also representing
the narrative of the film. For example, I chose to have a sudden impact of smoke and dust
when the antagonist exacts his attack on the victim to uncover the final text in the opening
sequence which helps communicate both a sense of mystery and a fear of the unknown to
the audience, as the words are only revealed by force. I thought this was a suitable decision
as it links back to the film’s antagonist, who is completely absent until the end of the
opening, where he is only briefly seen for about two seconds. This, paired with the
antagonistic mask he wears, creates a mysterious atmosphere about him which would then
make the audience want to engage with the narrative so that they can find out who this
masked villain really is, and what he looks like beneath the mask.
These frames show the props that were most significant in the film’s opening scenes. The handcuffs
are effective in communicating the victim’s helplessness and are also used to fit both the narrative
and the title of the film; ‘Captive’ as the victims are imprisoned and subsequently held like a pig for
slaughter. Again, this links backs to the antagonist’s pig mask which allows his identity to remain
concealed which constructs a surrounding aura of both mystery and fear. Furthermore, the use of a
mask, paired with the all-black attire give the audience a clear indication that this man is the film’s
primary antagonist, thus avoiding any possible ambiguity and allowing mise-en-scene to act as a
typical representation of horror genre conventions in this frame. Also, the mask is a very common
convention in horror films because it accentuates the character’s evils and makes the audience
question what the man underneath really looks like. Horror films featuring masked villains such as
mine include Jigsaw, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, Michael Myers, Ghostface, etc. The list is
endless, and this just goes to show how common the convention of masks in horror films are.
This frame represents one of many significant examples of editing in my opening sequence. I decided
to play around with the titles appearing alongside objects seen in the frame in order to make the film
appear much more unique and give it a more professional appearance. In the feedback we received,
one student said “The titles added to the film are added innovatively, e.g. along the chair. This really
helped to communicate a sense of originality in a horror which would make the audience want to
watch on as it could be quite different from the average horror out there.” One of the ways I helped
achieve this look was through the font that I used (Orator Std) as it follows the traditional genre
conventions of a horror film. It is a simple white font in bold capitals which is quite commonly seen in
horrors as it allows the audience to focus on the seriousness of the film and not be distracted by an
elaborate font/style of text/fancy colours which can quite often detract from the tense atmosphere that
a horror film aims to construct. An example of a horror film that follows these kind of conventions
would be the ‘Scream’ franchise, where the titles appear in a simple, white font.
This frame represents the use of mise-en-scene, most notably costume. I had Andrew’s
character wear dark blue jeans as it is simple, casual clothing that would be typically
associated with older teenagers, so therefore this clothing is fitting to the character and his
age. Furthermore, I think that the dark blue was a good choice of colour in terms of mise en
scene, as it symbolises the character’s calm and composed demeanour, thus adding to his
fragility and ultimately furthering him as the victim. He also wears a plain white t-shirt due to
it’s established colour connotations as white is typically associated with purity, goodness and
innocence which combined to help communicate that he is the victim. I had an all-black
costume for my character in order to communicate his dark and evil nature, whilst conveying
to the audience that he is the film’s primary antagonist. This use of costume included a black
jacket, black jeans and darkly-coloured shoes. For these reasons, I believe that his costume is
highly fitting to the dark nature of his character.
This frame represents the lighting and technical aspects of my film opening. I
specifically used this location as it’s central lighting installation in the middle of the
room is really effective in directing the viewers attention on the victim. The bright
beams of light also help to reinforce a sense of the character’s vulnerability as all the
focus is on him, which communicates to the audience that he is going to be a
significant character in the narrative that will later unfold. The use of costume is also
very effective in this frame as the harsh lighting bounces off the white t shirt, further
emphasising his innocence and victimisation. This would encourage the audience to
further engage with the narrative by feeling sympathy and dread for the character.
By means of truly establishing that this character was the victim in the film opening, I
used this frame to convey this through the use of camera shots and angles. The
character’s imprisonment is revealed right from the first frame of the opening, but this
shot was significant to ensuring the audience’s understanding of his captivity as it is a
high angle shot looking down on the victim, promoting a sense of his isolation and
powerlessness to both the viewer and the antagonist who has captured him. In my film
opening, I tried to keep the audience engaged by incorporating various shots and angles
that one would expect to see in a horror film, such as high angles shots like this one,
close up’s to show my characters facial expression of panic and fear, and a canted angle
to make the audience feel disorientated and confined to the same area shown on screen.

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Evaluation Question 1

  • 1. Question 1 - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • 2.
  • 3. This is the first frame shown in the opening sequence, which immediately reveals the film’s title. I decided to place the title at this point because it allows it to enter the film both dramatically and unexpectedly as the audience would not anticipate it this early on. The title’s entrance is also startling for the audience as it is accompanied by non-diegetic sound; a loud, unexpected drum suddenly reverberates, which is juxtaposed with the low rumbling that plays right at the beginning when the company idents are shown. The drum sound is an element used to hint to my audience that something bad is yet to take place, and it also indicates that this is a significant event in the world of the film as it suggests that the following scenes will construct the narrative for the film. A significantly common convention of horror films is the ‘jump scare’ and so I thought it would be very appropriate to incorporate this into my film opening sequence through the use of non-diegetic sound. Furthermore, the first frame suddenly emerges from the darkness, suggesting the dark nature of the film and the events that will follow. This is also a relatively common convention seen in horror films, such as The Blair Witch Project and The Silence of The Lambs. I chose the title ‘Captive’ meaning “a person who has been taken prisoner”, which suggests the tense themes of the film to the audience. Also, I believe that this title would fit along the lines of a horror/thriller film as it is short, snappy and to the point. (Like Saw, Hostel, Halloween, etc.) This frame is included to reveal the dark setting to the audience. I deliberately avoided showing an external establishing shot of the warehouse so that the audience would be left questioning where exactly the scene is taking place. This adds to the uncertainty of the character’s situation, which further promotes standard horror themes such as isolation and helplessness This shot is only seen for about two seconds before it cuts to a high angle shot looking down on the character. I believe that this is effective in keeping the audience gripped as the setting is revealed through a series of shots at a relatively fast pace. I particularly like this frame as it has a rusty/deteriorated look and suggests that the opening is set in a run down, secluded area. This adds to the audience’s sense of dread for the character as they are encouraged to emphasise with his isolation. These types of shots are typical of horror film openings as they show the audience the character's surroundings and through this, convey that they are the victim in the world of the film. An example, of this would be the opening scene in Saw (2004) where the first character shown on screen is portrayed to be the victim as he awakes in a dark, dirty industrial bathroom and is chained to a pipe. At this point in the opening sequence, the audience have established that our character is the victim due to his vulnerability as he is unable to defend himself due to his imprisonment. This frame is important in furthering that sense of vulnerability to the audience as it communicates the first sense of possible threat/danger implied by the eerie writing’s on the wall. This is a common convention in horror films as it creates the opportunity to reveal the antagonistic nature of the villain to the audience, without immediately showing him. One of the most iconic film openings of all time belongs to Jaws, where the audience are not physically shown the predator until much later in the film. I decided to try and incorporate this style into my opening by not showing the antagonist straight away, rather, allowing the tension to gradually build up through the use of non-diegetic sound and camera shots before the audience is briefly shown the antagonist’s physical presence, just seconds before the final title is shown. I believe that this was an effective decision as it would encourage the audience to further engage with the narrative in order to find out more about this masked villain. In conclusion, I think that all these features combine to successfully communicate the horror genre of my film to the audience.
  • 4. This is the final frame in the opening sequence which was constructed in a manner that I believe would fit the traditional genre conventions of a horror-thriller, whilst also representing the narrative of the film. For example, I chose to have a sudden impact of smoke and dust when the antagonist exacts his attack on the victim to uncover the final text in the opening sequence which helps communicate both a sense of mystery and a fear of the unknown to the audience, as the words are only revealed by force. I thought this was a suitable decision as it links back to the film’s antagonist, who is completely absent until the end of the opening, where he is only briefly seen for about two seconds. This, paired with the antagonistic mask he wears, creates a mysterious atmosphere about him which would then make the audience want to engage with the narrative so that they can find out who this masked villain really is, and what he looks like beneath the mask. These frames show the props that were most significant in the film’s opening scenes. The handcuffs are effective in communicating the victim’s helplessness and are also used to fit both the narrative and the title of the film; ‘Captive’ as the victims are imprisoned and subsequently held like a pig for slaughter. Again, this links backs to the antagonist’s pig mask which allows his identity to remain concealed which constructs a surrounding aura of both mystery and fear. Furthermore, the use of a mask, paired with the all-black attire give the audience a clear indication that this man is the film’s primary antagonist, thus avoiding any possible ambiguity and allowing mise-en-scene to act as a typical representation of horror genre conventions in this frame. Also, the mask is a very common convention in horror films because it accentuates the character’s evils and makes the audience question what the man underneath really looks like. Horror films featuring masked villains such as mine include Jigsaw, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, Michael Myers, Ghostface, etc. The list is endless, and this just goes to show how common the convention of masks in horror films are. This frame represents one of many significant examples of editing in my opening sequence. I decided to play around with the titles appearing alongside objects seen in the frame in order to make the film appear much more unique and give it a more professional appearance. In the feedback we received, one student said “The titles added to the film are added innovatively, e.g. along the chair. This really helped to communicate a sense of originality in a horror which would make the audience want to watch on as it could be quite different from the average horror out there.” One of the ways I helped achieve this look was through the font that I used (Orator Std) as it follows the traditional genre conventions of a horror film. It is a simple white font in bold capitals which is quite commonly seen in horrors as it allows the audience to focus on the seriousness of the film and not be distracted by an elaborate font/style of text/fancy colours which can quite often detract from the tense atmosphere that a horror film aims to construct. An example of a horror film that follows these kind of conventions would be the ‘Scream’ franchise, where the titles appear in a simple, white font.
  • 5. This frame represents the use of mise-en-scene, most notably costume. I had Andrew’s character wear dark blue jeans as it is simple, casual clothing that would be typically associated with older teenagers, so therefore this clothing is fitting to the character and his age. Furthermore, I think that the dark blue was a good choice of colour in terms of mise en scene, as it symbolises the character’s calm and composed demeanour, thus adding to his fragility and ultimately furthering him as the victim. He also wears a plain white t-shirt due to it’s established colour connotations as white is typically associated with purity, goodness and innocence which combined to help communicate that he is the victim. I had an all-black costume for my character in order to communicate his dark and evil nature, whilst conveying to the audience that he is the film’s primary antagonist. This use of costume included a black jacket, black jeans and darkly-coloured shoes. For these reasons, I believe that his costume is highly fitting to the dark nature of his character. This frame represents the lighting and technical aspects of my film opening. I specifically used this location as it’s central lighting installation in the middle of the room is really effective in directing the viewers attention on the victim. The bright beams of light also help to reinforce a sense of the character’s vulnerability as all the focus is on him, which communicates to the audience that he is going to be a significant character in the narrative that will later unfold. The use of costume is also very effective in this frame as the harsh lighting bounces off the white t shirt, further emphasising his innocence and victimisation. This would encourage the audience to further engage with the narrative by feeling sympathy and dread for the character. By means of truly establishing that this character was the victim in the film opening, I used this frame to convey this through the use of camera shots and angles. The character’s imprisonment is revealed right from the first frame of the opening, but this shot was significant to ensuring the audience’s understanding of his captivity as it is a high angle shot looking down on the victim, promoting a sense of his isolation and powerlessness to both the viewer and the antagonist who has captured him. In my film opening, I tried to keep the audience engaged by incorporating various shots and angles that one would expect to see in a horror film, such as high angles shots like this one, close up’s to show my characters facial expression of panic and fear, and a canted angle to make the audience feel disorientated and confined to the same area shown on screen.