Sunday, 31 January 2010

KG - Photos of music box

Here is my music box that I thought we could use in the film, let me know what you think.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Group - Analysis: Opening Sequence - Film decision

We need to a different film each, so which film does everyone want to do?

Thursday, 28 January 2010

ERT- Genre Analysis 2

Light and dark ...
(white which still has a hint of darkness to it, or very dark and mysterious place)

(Old fashioned, plain white, tatty, ripped, overally smart)

Typical locations ...
(Out of the way, Dark, old fashioned, woods)

Typical Characters ...
(Victims, Mentally ill, Villians)

KG - Genre Analysis: Typical Narrative and Other Conventions

Typical Narrative:
A story whose primary purpose is to invoke fear onto the audience.
Typical narrative is generally something bad is happening; either somebody is possessed in which case it fits into the satanic/demonic sub-genre; somebody has a grudge, or seeks revenge from somebody and kills everybody in their way, typically a slasher film. Somebody is just obsessed about something or has negative traits, similar to Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs and subsequent films.
There is always the hero and the villain, the audience is traditionally positioned with the hero and is fearful of the villain, although some more recent films have played around with this convention and have made films more sympathetically steered towards the villain, in an attempt for audiences to be able to understand them. Some horror films do not even have a sufficient narrative, some like Saw and Final Destination although there is a narrative, do not particularly makes sense and are just used to invoke fear and distress onto audiences due to the violence, the blood and the gore. I think I want our film to have a distinct storyline, one that fits the more psychological horror genre, and that positions the audience with the villain, but has a certain ambiguity in the opening as to who the villain really is.

Conventional Characters:

Archetypal heroes: Brave, courageous, sometimes morally flawed, potentially role-models, usually filmed in bright lighting, sense of vulnerability, always have a weakness, often young, solve the puzzle.

Archetypal villain: sinister, evil, misunderstood, often carry weapons e.g. blades, cover faces, dirty, blood spattered, filmed in dark lighting, bad childhood, masks, power crazy, corrupted, dangerous.

Stock Characters: make the heroes look better, the fall-guy, victims so the hero survives, dispensable, boring, sidekicks.

Conventional Locations:

Conventional Costumes:

Lighting and Colour:

Dark to create an enigma, and enhance horror due to impaired vision. Strobe, lightning effects can be used to create suspense and drama and to obscure vision so the horror is enhanced on top of the darkness.
Colour is often black and white, very dark to colours to represent horror, red is used to connote danger, blood, the devil etc. but essentially conventional horror films are very dark and somewhat faded, with limited lighting to create the desired effect. Some films, like the more teen-horror, play around with the conventions and make the colours bright to contrast the impending doom, similar to that in scream.
Other colours frequently used for effect are blue, green and grey, but all faded and with lowered hue and saturation levels to enhance the horror effect.
I think with our lighting we want to juxtapose the ideas that are presented in our narrative, and have seemingly normal bright lighting, but at the same time I am drawn to the overall lowered hue and saturation levels, so although it will be bright to give the audience a false sense of security it will be faded and washed out to reiterate the genre and to create a style for the film.

Font Suggestions:

When I was looking for fonts, I was thinking about horror but also our idea so I looked more at the handwritten styled ones than any others. Personally I like the 1st and 5th ones the most, but obviously it depends on hw our idea goes as to which font we need.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

ERT- Genre Analysis

Our Chosen Genre

Our group has decided to create the opening sequence of a horror film. Horror films generally try to make the audience feel fear, terror and horror. The plot of a horror film would typically involve death, the supernatural or mental illness, which could be applied to the victim or the villan.

Sub -genres of horror
  • B-Movie Horror
  • Cannibalism or Cannibal Films
  • Classic Horror
  • Creature Features
  • Demonic Possession
  • Dracula
  • Erotic
  • Frankenstein, other Mad Scientists
  • Ghosts
  • Gore
  • Gothic
  • Haunted House, other Hauntings
  • Halloween
  • Macabre
  • Monsters
  • Older-Woman-In-Peril Films ("Psycho-Biddy", aka 'Hag Horror' or 'Hagsploitation')
  • Psychic Powers
  • Psychological Horror
  • Reincarnation
  • Satanic Stories
  • Serial Killers
  • Slashers or "Splatter" Films
  • Supernatural Horror
  • Teen Terror ("Teen Screams")
  • Terror
  • Vampires
  • Witchcraft
  • Wolves, Werewolves
  • Zombies
Conventions and typical narrative of horror films
As already researched and published on the blog as well as from previous knowledge we found out that horror films normally consists of: Blood, Death, Killings, Villains, Victims, Haunted houses and isolated settings, Monsters, Evil, supernatural, Weapons, Darkness, Storms, Chase sequences, Gore, Violence, Screams, Ghosts, Threats, Obscured vision, Camera angles and movement, Lighting [low or limited or stylised]. Our ideas at the moment conform to the conventions of isolated settings, mental illness and screams, although we may or may not inclued all off these. The narrative mainly focuses on making the audience feel fear.

Pick three to look into ...

The ring (Verbinski, 2002) is a horror film with a gothic/ psychological sub-genre. This film includes a child, which relates to our idea and also the fact that she is psychologically ill. It represents her well through the use of costume and in particular her hair, which i think we should bear in mind whilst filming ours. Two of the locations for the films is in a basement and a white room which resembles a hospital. As we are only filming the beginning sequence I think it would possibly too much to use to heavy locations within the first two minutes unless in a flashing still images sequence. I do however think that it would be suitable and really relevant for us to see if we could film in a white room as it would fit in with our initial ideas really well.

The exorcism of Emily Rose is a film also based on a child but with a demonic possesion. As I have not personally seen the film I viewed the trailor and from this I can see alot of the locations used are typical to the horror genre and very dark. It has a fast cutting rate and uses alot of close ups. I think these are things we should include in our film as well because they are very effective and create an edgey fearful mood for the audience which is our aim.

The orphan is a film, again, about a young girl who is psychology ill. The techniques used in the trailor for this film is again alot of darkness and typically horrific locations, such as a playground, school, and dark bedroom. I think we will look into using all three of these locations as they bring a certain type of fear as they are all places that parents send there children to because they are thought to be safe and normal. Therefore, when used in a horror film a creates a more dramtic fear especially for any parents watching.

KG - Genre Analysis: Inspiration From Other Films

Here is just my list of films that I think will help inspire us in making our opening, as they all fit with our theme and contain children in them, which is clearly the main focus point of our ideas so far.
  • The Ring (Verbinski, 2002)
  • The Orphanage (Bayona, 2007)
  • The Orphan (Collet-Serra, 2009)
  • Hide and Seek (Polson, 2005)
  • The Sixth Sense (Shyamalan, 1999)
  • The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Derrickson, 2005)
  • The Omen (Moore, 2006), (Donner, 1976)
  • The Bad Seed (LeRoy, 1956)
  • Cubbyhouse (Fahey, 2001)
  • Poltergeist (Hooper, 1982)
  • Village of the Damned (Rilla, 1960)
  • The Grudge (Shimizu, 2004)

Pick three of these and outline specific techniques and styles:

The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)

I think we can draw a lot of inspiration from this, the things that I like most about this film that I think we can use are the way the camera is used, some of the shots, though chilling, are beautifully composed and the movement of the camera creates an enigma and suspense that keeps an audience gripped.

Just looking at the trailer,, You can see at about 38 seconds in the movement of the camera into the woman's face, enhancing the suspense and the reaction shots that keep the audience involved. At sbout 45 seconds in the use of lighting and silhouetting which is something I would love to experiment with in our film, and finally at 1:18 the shot of the room and the objects create an enigma of the person in the room, without them actually having to be shot, which is useful for us because it means we can create themes and ideas and it is not necessarily vital for our actress to be at every single shoot.

The Bad Seed (LeRoy, 1956)

What I like about this film is the contrast between the story line and the imagery, the film, particularly when filmed outside, is bright and has connotations of the child being good and angelic, which I know to be the point, but I think from this we can take the idea that we don't have to film everything entirely in darkness or have our main characters as a deranged, demonic-looking child such as the girl from the Ring (Verbinski, 2002). Below is a picture of the main character from this film, she has the appearance of an innocent young girl, but in watching the film you know that not to be the case. I think we can use that technique in our opening to create a juxtaposed character that challenges stereotypes.

I'm not sure how far this next film will count, it is classed as a genre to some, but it is a musical, although that can be argued that it is challenging conventions and stereotypes, but nonetheless I find the techniques and overall style incredibly inspiring.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Burton, 2007)

This is one of my all time favourite films, I think Tim Burton is a visionary and we can take a lot from his work. To a certain extent this film fits within the constraints of the horror genre, there is blood, violence, vengence, gore etc. but it also plays around with them but being a musical itself, and by having some humour in there too. But regardless the reason I have included this is because I think we could shoot our film like Burton has done this, with lowered hue and saturation levels to give it that washed out, chilling effect, that I think will compliment our idea perfectly, and also from Burton, not only from this film but from his other works, I think we can take the style of shots, the framing and composition he uses as well as the use of makeup; the pale faces and dark set eyes, which I think are incredibly effect and if done well would be fitting for the main character in our opening.

KG - Genre Analysis: Horror Conventions

Conventions of the horror genre include:

  • Blood
  • Death
  • Killings
  • Villains
  • Victims
  • Haunted houses and isolated settings
  • Monsters
  • Evil
  • Supernatural
  • Weapons
  • Darkness
  • Storms
  • Chase sequences
  • Gore
  • Violence
  • Screams
  • Ghosts
  • Threatening
  • Obscured vision
  • Camera angles and movement
  • Lighting [low or limited or stylised]

The conventions of horror films are similar to the iconography in them too. Iconography means the visual, aural or oral signifiers which indicate a particular genre, for horror they are seemingly more mise-en-scene than anything else. More specific examples of iconography are:

  • The moon
  • Blood
  • creaking
  • dark figures
  • cobwebs
  • howling
  • screaming
  • forests
  • fog

Are we following the conventions?
I think to a certain extent we should follow the conventions, but I want to experiment with them and interpret them myself, and have a chance to play around with them to create something that is fittingly a horror but is in a new and innovative style, that we can adhere to call our own. So we can create our own conventions rather than confining ourselves to the constraints dictated by more industrial cinema. So I think we should overlook the blood and gore as I don’t think that will be fitting to the type of style we want to create. I think we should be focusing more on the psychological sub-genre particularly as we are using a child as our main focus.

LS - Genre Analysis

1. Our chosen genre is horror. Within this genre there are many sub-genres including:
- Classic horror e.g. 'Frankenstein' (Whale, 1931)
- Gore e.g. 'Saw' (Wan, 2001)
- Gothic e.g. 'Heart-shaped box' (Hill, 2007)
- Horror of personality e.g.'Psycho' (Hitchcock, 1960)
- Psychological Horror e.g. 'The sixth sense' (Shyamalan, 1999)
- Teen Terror e.g. 'The Final Destination' (Wong, 2000)

Are we following the conventions of the genre?
We are following some conventions of horror of personality as we hope to convey the main protagonist as perfectly human but posseses horrific personalities. We also hope to use the convention of an ordinary location for example Pembury Park. Some films that fit in the the horror of personality genre are:
- 'Whatever happened to baby Jane?' (Aldrich, 1962)
- 'The Shining' (Kubrick, 1980)
- 'Psycho' (Hicthcock, 1960)

2. Techniques and styles from the horror of personality genre that we can use:
'Whatever happened to baby Jane? (Aldrich, 1962)
- The use of a child
- Main protagonist has psychological problems

'The Shining' (Kubrick, 1980)
- The main protagonist having an 'imaginary' friend
- Writing on the door
- The use of photographs at the end of the film

'Psycho' (Hitchcock, 1960)
- Alternate personality
- 'The shower scene'

3. In the horror genre the audience are positioned with the victim of the horror being done. This creates suspense as the character can see the tension between good and bad as they themselves can connect with the good character. The audience also feel sympathetic with the character as they are 'feeling' what the character feels.

4. What characters are conventional to the horror genre?

The victim - This character is usually a woman as the weaker of the 2 genres. They do not always overcome evil

The villain

The Archetypal hero - Usually overcomes the evil
5. Typical locations and settings of horror films

Desolate House

Dark Woods

6. Iconography of the horror genre



Creaking weather vane/Sign

China doll

7. Costumes we could use or have been used in the horror genre
Hospital gowns

School uniform

Hooded Cloaks

8. Lighting

The use of low key lighting helps to create shadows and this is an iconography of the horror genre. The use of shadows helps to create tension and mystery as the audience cannot sometimes tell form the shadow whether the chracter is good or bad. We would want to use thie lighting technique as it creates an atmosphere of daner and mystery.

Lighting the background creates sillhouetes as again the audience cannot identify whether the character is good or bad. We would also want to use this lighting technique as it creates mystery.

The use of red lighting connotes blood, danger or murder. The colour red can also connote evil as it is the colour used for the devil.

Fonts that could be used in the horror genre