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AS Media Studies Foundation Portfolio

Eve Friel

Category

Research

Quantitative Research

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I created a survey on http://www.surveymonkey.co.uk in order to understand and make sure that my target audience was the correct target audience for ‘The Book’. Within this survey I asked a plethora of options to understand the person more; age, class, fears, preferred film genre etc. This helped our group to narrow down our demographic and to enhance our knowledge on how to inflict fear upon our audience, as we understood what age range fear what (in general).

My Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FWM2M9N

Conventions of Horror

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I felt although it was crucial to fully understand the Conventions and Iconography used within the horror genre. I created a slideshow which looks in depth into some of the essential horror conventions.

History of Horror

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Below is a slideshow that I created as I researched into the history of horror, as I felt although it was important to understand where many sub-genres and conventions derived from. By doing this research, i feel although I am able to fully understand and appreciate how horror has changed over the years.

 

Qualitative Research – The Book

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I felt as though audience research would be necessary for developing our sequence into the best version possible. We understood that the narrative may be unclear for some viewers, so we took this opportunity to ask questions that would help to further our sequence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QurdypzWgz4&t=1s

 

Familiarising myself with After Effects

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-9-25-36-amIn Order to create the animated titles within our production of ‘The Book’ we needed to use the correct software that would allow us to freely create the perfect animated effect. After effects allows a plethora of things to be made, including titles, it was also a very efficient software for us to use.

Firstly, we needed to decide what the text would say, as the title of the sequence is The Book, we felt as though that would be appropriate. We simply used the text tool to do this. After doing this, I simply scaled up the text to the correct size.Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 09.45.55.png

Next, we went online to royalty free text websites to find the font that we wanted this main title  to be in. This is the font that we chose:

(source: http://www.dafont.com )

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After downloading this font, we simply chose it in the search bar at the side.

By going to effect and then clicking on generate, an option for ‘stroke’ is given which is what I selected when creating this title. From here, by grabbing the pen tool in the top left corner of after effects, I traced the paths of the letters in the way that we decided that we wanted the words to be written. This was very challenging due to the different widths  of the letters in the font that we chose, while also focusing on keeping the tracing in the middle of the letters at all times.Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 10.40.14

Within the effects panel to the left of the screen, after activating all masks, I decided to make the font colour red, as this way it would match the writing in the book, as the write on animation was chosen to reflect the script within the book. I also increased the size of the paths that I created from tracing the letters so that they were the same size of the litters themselves. Furthermore, by dragging the ‘end’ option to the left, the text is disappearing, in the style that has been created, just backwards. So, by starting at 0 on the end bar, and setting the timer tool at the bottom of the screen is selected in order to create a key frame; the text is animated to start completely hidden and slowly be ‘drawn’ on screen. Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 12.37.16

Once again on the timeline, a new key frame should be made an set to 100 a few seconds after the first key frame, this causes the animation to be fully displayed at the time of the new key frame.

After rendering the final product, it was ready to be implemented into our final edit of ‘The Book’.

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How Research has informed my Planning

The Research that I have done has helped to influence my planning when understanding the use of cinematography and mise-en-scene within the horror genre. Firstly, I closely observed opening sequences from films such as Insidious and American Psycho, this helped me to further my knowledge of the iconography within the horror genre. Within the Insidious trailer, a children’s bedroom is used, this inspired me to also use a children’s bedroom in my opening sequence because I now fully understand that it promotes vulnerability, which conforms to the horror genre.

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As well as this, low key lighting is a typical feature of horror, as highlighted within the insidious trailer also, and so I shall use this convention when filming my own sequence.

Titling within American Pyscho, san serif black font is used throughout all of the titles. Although thin black text is atypical when looking at horror conventions, from looking at this piece, it has helped me to understand the importance of using the same font throughout to give my sequence a sense of identity.  American Psycho also uses typical conventions such as blood and weapons (knives), which

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Research into horror genre

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The horror genre is a film genre which intends to effect the audience in one way or another. This is normally done through the use of gore, jump-scares, paranormal and violence. Within the horror genre there are different sub-genres, each sub-genre has it’s typicalities and distinctive style of narrative formulas and iconography. The four horror sub-genres that I will be looking at in-depth are gothic, psychological, zombie and slasher. It is important that I have thoroughly looked into each of these sub-genres and have extensive knowledge on them so that when planning for my final piece of a horror sequence, I will have a strong knowledge on the typicalities and iconography used within the sub-genre that my group and I choose.

Gothic Horror Conventions 

  • Frankenstein (1931) Is an example of a gothic film which includes many typical gothic conventions. The typical settings are used to inflict fear and anxiety onto the audience ; Graveyards, Laboratories, Castles and dungeons.
  • Many Typical characters also act as iconography within the gothic sub-genre. Monsters, such as Dracula and Frankenstein are famous examples of monsters which have appeared within Gothic horror films. Monsters are typically used for their unusual and unnerving appearance and intern, spook the audience. Although Zombies and Vampires are still considered typical conventions, within the modern day tim industry, they’re being used less and less; Ghosts and demons are becoming more popular.
  • The Plot often shows the consequences of power belonging to the wrong person. Scientific endeavour or black magic are common themes highlighted within gothic narrative.
  • Style is often known as ‘German Expressionist’. Dramatic lighting and Camera angles are often used to emphasise a particular effect or emotion – fear, horror, pain.
  • Similarly to slasher films, Within gothic films, Females are usually victims. Boris-Karloff-as-the-mons-009.jpg

 

Slasher Horror Conventions

  • Scenes of gore and violence are gratuitous and explicit.
  • Serial killer figures tend to be loners or social outcasts. Many are also commonly seen to have mental disorders to deeply troubled pasts.
  • Victims are represented as immoral and deserving of their fate. The purest individual tends to be the sole survivor. In Psycho (1960) Marion pays with her life for stealing the money. However, her sister, Lila, is rescued before Norman can carry out another attack.
  • Attack sequences often feature a multitude of shots from various angles and distances. This technique is done so that the audience feel although they’re keeping up with the action and to prolong the brutal attack. An example of this is in Psycho, the shower sequence.
  • Within Slasher films, a serial killer will commonly stalk their victims in one location; Summer camp, woodland area, Warehouse.

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Psychological Horror Conventions 

  • Psychological Horror films often feature jarring, canted angles or unusual farming techniques. This is because the audience are often made to question what they see.
  • Locations are commonly claustrophobic to reflect the feelings of isolation or entrapment.
  • Lighting is often used symbolically- a face cast in shadow may represent a conflicting dual persona. By lighting someones face from underneath, they can appear more menacing
  • This sub-genre plays on Freud’s notion of the ‘Uncanny’.

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Zombie Horror Conventions

  • Typically, a tight group of people are living within an apocalyptic world and fighting for survival
  • Many of the locations they’re seeking shelter in are Urban, but deserted
  • Typical themes include loss and isolation – Due to their situations, many of the characters have an inability to trust or build attachments to others
  • Contrast between slow and fast editing – Mundane day to day survival is punctuated with gruesome Zombie attacks.
  • Zombies can be listless, roaming, recently deceased humans or frenzied, infected humans.
  • Human sacrifice for the greater good of the community is often a plot point.

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Familiarising Myself with Premier Pro

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My First experience with
premiere pro was in GCSE Media when editing a news sequence. From there, in AS media and Film Studies I have used it when editing short films or horror sequences. I extremely enjoy video editing and I’m able to spend hours perfecting a simple scene. From the very beginning, I have tried to understand Premiere pro as much as possible so that my final piece could be as well made and professional as possible. To do this, when editing, I have asked as many questions as possible and edited short clips to try things out that I otherwise might not have had the chance to do.

When editing, I realised that I was struggling with colour correction. Due to this, I have focused lots of my time on perfecting this technique through watching Youtube videos outside of school and editing short clips using this technique. Low key lighting is also a typical convention of horror so I knew that it would be a helpful technique to use when editing my final piece. rr1_pp_color-11374247

Roles Within a Film

166027.ME.0528.tim-burton01.FO.jpg There are many vital roles throughout the process of writing, making and producing a film. Because of this, I felt that it would be important for me to know the roles and fully understand what each role does. Typically, The most important role are shown at the beginning of the opening credits and decrease in importance, before the most important role is shown at the very end, the director.

  • Distribution company
  • Production company
  • Movie star
  • Name of move
  • The top cast
  • Supporting cast
  • Casting director
  • Music composer
  • Art director- set design
  • Costume designer
  • Hair and makeup designer
  • Editor
  • Producer
  • Writer
  • DirectorBelow is the opening title sequence for Insidious (2010). As you can see, this follows the typical structure of an opening title structure. I also intend to follow this structure when creating my own opening title sequence for a horror film
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