Monday, 30 December 2013

Mise-en-scene within the Horror/Thriller genre

The mise-en-scene within the Horror/Thriller contains anything from props to lighting and costumes. usually within the associated genre there is a focus on blunt/sharp weapons in which the villain commonly attacks the prey with. Films including A Nightmare on Elm Street (Freddy Krueger's blade gauntlets) and Texas Chainsaw are just some of the movies which contain violent weaponry and rather sadistic killings. Another feature is the lighting, which normally is low key in order to maintain the tension and scary atmosphere. Todays films, especially within the supernatural subgenre, is used a lot, with films like Paranormal Activity shot mainly I  the dark to surprise the audience when something eventually happens. Moreover, the use of eerie and dark clothing similarly creates a sense of inevitable death, especially when in some scenes one of the characters is being chased. Again this can help contribute to the general mood, as the movie progresses. The last component in my opinion is the most effective: the location. Without knowing an immediate setting, the audience do not get a general feel for the movie; establishing shots help convey where it is set and the character's position. iconic settings like castles, isolated houses and dark streets are some to mention. All of these factors seem to always need to be considered within the Horror/thriller genre because they are conventions which are established in the majority within this genre today thus enabling the viewer to have a small expectation to the aspects the movie will have. Therefore for a better mark and overall effective opening there needs to be some mention of these in order for it to be successful and intend to be set in the correct genre.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sound within the Horror/Thriller genre

In the majority of Horror/Thriller films the sound seems to match the mood and atmosphere, which creates an unnerving, eerie feel. This is used to sometimes emphasize specific characters or objects; Stingers allow the viewer to take notice of a specific person, and his/her relevance towards the scene through sound e.g. a low grumble when a mysterious/evil looking character walks in. There are also other terms such as diegetic (the people in the film can hear the sounds as well as the audience) and diegesis (when the sound matches the narrative structure) which similarly factor in the mood created by the film. Continuity music can flow from one scene into another in order to establish a sense of importance and significance upon the shot; it could be used if the "hero" is chasing the "villain" to emphasize the importance of the situation and could therefore possibly make the audience feel on edge and anxious about the following scene. Other terms such as Emotional Realism helps contrast the feelings within the scene, which is generated through sound. All of the previous terms and key words can help to bring out the meaning of the film, or can be used in a variety of aspects to scare the audience and create tension. The common convention of a horror film is to incorporate some sort of high pitched, disorientating sounds which will help convey the general tone of the film; especially effective at the beginning so people know what to expect later on. It is an aim to try and use most of the subsequent techniques to allow the effectiveness and development of my 2 minute introduction, and since components/conventions which are frequently contained within the similar genres are common today, it would help bring the film into the Horror/Thriller genre, thus creating the mood I set out to establish.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Inspiration - Analysis

Throughout the 6 films that have inspired me in a variety of ways, from conventions to narrative, they all use similar components to engage the audience and help transfer them into the Horror/Thriller genre. Through this I can use them as a baseplate for the 2 minute introduction of the film I will be making. There are some factors that cannot be recreated due to the technology and money/budget, however despite this, most of the shots can be alternated through the use of a cheap camera and steady hands (or a tri-pod) the final product could possibly be effective. The designated target audience is probably from the age of around 15 and over, due to content that may be involved, and going by most films, this is the expected rating of a movie within the similar genre. The only aspect that maybe effect us during film making is the weather and location, which may prove difficult depending on the time of year. Besides this, hopefully with a good enough storyline, effects and acting the film will go to plan and produce a decent piece of work.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Reeker 2 - Inspiration

My final inspiration towards the 2 minute intro. is Reeker because it uses a variety of horror conventions to scare and un-nerve the audience. The most effective part of it, was the twist in storyline at the end (a continuation from the first theme, which expands the nature of the narrative.) There was also a fear factor created by the creepy and unsettling look of Reeker himself, seen to be more like a grim reaper collecting souls, again a common aspect of the Horror/Thriller genre. The components are similar to The Final Destination series of films, except use of an actual figure of death to illustrate a sense of inevitability and doom. However, with this film compared to the rest (excluding Evil Dead) gore seems to be the most emphasized attribute, which leads it more into the horror genre. Despite this, there are a range of ways I could recreate some of the scenes in my film.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Carrie - Inspiration

One of my last inspirations towards the intro. to my film is Carrie because it focuses on the life of a girl and how she gets revenge on the "bullies" and her mother. The main theme throughout the film is religion, which plays a big part in most horror films, due to it being a common convention. This could be used similarly to The Conjuring because of the supernatural aspects and therefore has the same effect on the audience. I find it is very helpful establishing a theme in the very beginning so the  viewer can dwell on the subject and expect certain things to happen. Very early on in this film, you get a sense that Carrie will eventually get vengeance as her anger gradually builds up; by the end you are almost pleased something has been done to stop the people from hurting her. In my opinion, the film uses a good narrative side to involve the audience and get them on her side because she is being tortured; again a key convention is revenge and those that harm another will eventually die. Some of the components that this movie has could be altered into a different way to fit the specific genre of film I want to focus on. I'd like to create a sense of victimisation so that people can respect the situation the character is in and maybe refer to scenarios in real life, emphasizing the Thriller aspect. The plan is to concentrate around this same genre, however, as yet not finalised, thus having reason for specific inspirations to veer me in the right direction.

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Conjuring - Inspiration

This is another inspiration which has made me think about common conventions that can be used in the introduction to my film. Because this film is supposedly based on a true story, it makes the audience rather anxious towards its realism, thus adding extra tension; expectations of the movie will therefore be made to convince the viewer it is going to be scary. Again with other films within the genre, there is a range of shot types that create an unsettling atmosphere, such as the scene with the hung woman on the tree; here the shot reverse shot is used to create tension. There are also sometimes that make you jump whereby a ghost will jump out unexpectedly from nowhere, which is an aspect I think is great in developing the fear factor. This would likely to come under the supernatural side of the Thriller genre, and doesn't purposely fit the exact sub-section (we were thinking more along the lines of a crime or psychological Thriller,) however this does not mean elements from the film can't be used in mine. Overall, in my opinion, this is the scariest film out the previous 3 I have analysed because of the development of the storyline which leads up to a climatic and dramatic sequence of scenes, especially when darkness and shadows are the key concept of the film.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Silent Hill - Inspiration

This film also uses a variety of techniques similar to that of the others which creates an eerie atmosphere and a general creepy outlook. The monsters have added to the atmosphere and scariness of the film, however despite not having a plan to use these in my film, there is still the majority of conventions which can be used. Such examples include having angled and close up camera shots of the character in order to establish emotions the character is experiencing. With this film, there is also a focus on darkness and the fear of the unknown, which is used for effect whereby the creatures hide in the dark and only come out when the siren goes off, a trigger to allow the audience to know when something bad is going to happen. This is a big inspiration because of the game series which similarly has the same effect on the gamer; not knowing what is next and also because I feel the movies develop a good (although confusing at times) storyline, another aspect which needs to be considered in the process. Overall, I think that through music, imagery of the location and characters within the film, helps to develop the film's tension as it progresses, something I would like to include in my 2 minute introduction.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

REC - Inspiration

The above trailer is a summary of the first 2 films, which leads up to a climatic scene whereby the next movie will follow from. This is a big inspiration because it uses a variety of atmospheric, conventional scenes which incorporate fear and make the audience feel uncomfortable, similar to the effects created by other horror films. Again the genre isn't the same as what I want to base my film around, however because I am focusing on creating tension, it is not essential. The use of close, claustrophobic spaces is also a key concept in establishing a phobia. I also like the use of the cinematography, as it changes from close ups to first person shots which make you feel involved in the film, as if you were there, again emphasizing the importance of scaring the viewers. All the qualities which this film covers, will be considered and hopefully maintained in the introduction to my film. Due to the short time in which I have to introduce my film, I would like to contain more tension in order to foreshadow the general outlook of the film, so the audience can create a sense of what it is going to happen.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Evil Dead - Inspiration

I found this film an inspiration because it uses a variety of horror conventions such as isolation, blood and tension in order to engage the viewer. The music is also rather dramatic but quite creepy which sets the general atmosphere for the film. As mentioned before, my aim is to not focus on the horror genre, but instead use similar aspects in order to create an attractive yet enticing 2 minute introduction. Because it is a short amount of time, not all conventions can be crammed in, however, it is still possible to use some of them, in order for it to be effective. I think this film handles those components very well, especially when the trailer feels very foreboding thus establishing an idea for the kind of techniques that can be incorporated into my film. There a variety of shots which vary from Birds eye views, to establish the location, to close ups of the characters, specifically on Mia with her creepy make up and wide unsettling eyes. Due to the film being a remake, there are expected scares in it, which are similar to that of the original therefore the audience may know what will happen in some scenes, if they have seen the first film, which helps keep the tradition but also uses different ways to make the audience feel anxious. All of these parts from the film help contribute towards a plan and attitude on the way it will be created.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Iconic Horror/Thriller Scenes

For inspiration towards the opening of my 2 minute sequence I have picked 3 of the most iconic scenes from different horror films to see what they have incoprated into the film and the techniques which have been used, for effect on the audience.

The Shining

Here the effect of being stuck in a room and almost isolated suggests fear and gradual tension as Jack tears down the door with an axe. The conventions of a horror film are illustrated via sharp weapons (for the woman, as a form of defence) and a rather psychotic character who's aim is to kill, which generally in most horror films, is common. I don't intend to recreate this scene, but instead create the same atmosphere and fear that is forced upon the audience.


Nightmare On Elm Street

This scene is similar to The Shining's use of creating an eerie and uncomfortable atmosphere. Due to the fact that Freddy Krueger can harm you whilst asleep is quite disturbing in some sense and is perfect when considering the concept of fear, especially in the Thriller genre. This helps create a sense of what is needed in order to scare the audience, however it isn't realistic enough to appeal to a target audience watching a Thriller film, but is still important in considering key aspects/conventions within the genre.



This is probably one of the most iconic scenes within the Horror/Thriller genre, in film. The use of high pitched "squeaks" from violins are used frequently throughout movies today and is one of the most important factors when considering setting a tone for the film. Again the concept of tension is emphasized through short cuts of the murderer and the woman showering, which helps establish an inevitable sense of death. As with most films today, out can usually guess who is going to be killed either through attitude or specific things they do which leads you to the conclusion of them dying, eventually. With this film it makes it more obvious, but in a good way to build up atmosphere and reach a climax. These are similar features I would like to use in the intro of my film in order to foreshadow the general tone of the film.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Resident Evil - Music Inspiration

The Resident Evil music is very inspirational towards the sound I want to try and recreate in our 2 minute intro. It contains a lot of key musical conventions, including violins and build ups in crescendo. The following, I think are some of the best pieces of music within the series, that create an atmosphere and seem quite eerie:


Resident Evil

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Resident Evil: Extinction

Resident Evil: Afterlife

Resident Evil: Retribution

All of these films contain a range of similarities in their music style, which is one of the reasons for it being an inspiration because it allows room for variety. The effect on the audience from un nerving screeches of violins and gradual build up Is much greater than that of something from a guitar, however there is still reason for the use of such instruments because they develop the sound, and seem to emphasize specific components e.g. it would commonly be used during an action shot. There is not much room for enabling the use of the majority of this type of music within a 2 minute introduction, but It helps to understand certain features which allow us to create that atmosphere in the Thriller genre. Although this film may be classed as a horror, it still incorporates the same features and thus very useful.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sub-Sections within the Thriller Genre

Due to the inspiration from multiple Thriller films, we have decided to recreate an intro within the same genre. However, in this moment of time, we are still deciding and planning how to successfully achieve an atmospheric film with tension, therefore analysing different subsections within it will help illustrate a wider idea and understanding of the specific one we want to do. Below Is a range of alternate types of Thriller films:

Psychological - Refers to the emotions and conflict amongst specific characters mentally, instead of physically. People within the film, tend to deal with the situation through mental strength, figuring out the issue without any physicality; In some cases a mystery is involved, which needs to be solved in order for the characters to restore equilibrium (Psycho)

Supernatural - Where the film is based around an unworldly element (usually being ghosts and spirits) and are associated with being evil, therefore the characters need to work together in order to remove its presence. In some cases, the protagonist has a second sight or "gift" which enables them to overcome the issue. (Paranormal Activity)

Techno - This is linked with the alternation of technology, where it is used under control of a villain in order to create un-equilibrium and force/takeover mankind, where the human race is replaced with robots and machinery. This is also heavily linked to Sci - Fi, where Aliens and other species are involved. (Terminator)

Crime - The interchange between Crime and the Thriller genre has enabled a more realistic aspect towards most films, therefore creating a bigger impact upon the audience. They tend to aim their attention towards the villain or criminal in order to get a point of view from their outlook and how they perceive certain aspects. Within this genre there is a focus around murders, robberies and general mayhem. (Se7en)

Conspiracy - The genre focuses on a hero who struggles in keeping alive against a group/gang of people, aiming to kill him/her for specified reasons.  They commonly find out more about the "organisation" later on during the film and become more adapted to overwhelming them; with attention to understanding out the reason for such events. (Bourne Series)

Disaster - Pays attention to a group of "survivors" who have managed to stay alive after a massive, global disaster and aim to survive during the majority of the film. Natural Disasters normally play a key role, which includes anything from Earthquakes to Floods. There is also sometimes mention of  Nuclear Fallouts or events that could possibly take place In the future. (2012)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Storyboard Brainstorm

Below is a brainstorm depicting elements within the Horror/Thriller genre which have inspired me towards the creation of my 2 minute introduction. We aim to not overflow our intro. with a lot of conventions, but at the same time we want to create tension and atmosphere, which is why I have analysed key components of other inspirations in film in order to obtain more information around the topic

Monday, 9 December 2013

Game Soundtrack Inspirations

The following are a series of soundtracks from games that have inspired me into recreating a similar type of music in my 2 minute film introduction:

Far Cry 3 - Intro Song

The intro to this film is some what disorientated and creepy but at the same times seems rather sad. The mood that is created from this can help distribute to the audience and foreshadow what the film is generally about. However, similarly I can't help feel almost intrigued as if something was being discovered. The tempo seems to build up to a point where it gradually gets to an establishment through a crescendo, which is what I feel the storyline of the game is about whereby it leads to a climax and therefore is an inspiration towards the opening of my film.

The Last of Us - "Home" Song

I think this is similar to the Far Cry soundtrack whereby the crescendo builds up to a point, but makes me feel a lot sadder and like something of a massive disaster has just happened. This is perfect in recreating the mood I need to emphasize towards the audience that it is supposed to be scary and create tension but at the same time quite realistic in the same sense that what is going on in the film is aimed to be rational as the intended genre is a Thriller. There is still an atmosphere that is created which seems more unsettling and uncomfortable which I think is perfect for an opening hence it being an inspiration.

Borderlands 2 - "Short Change Hero"

This song compared to the previous 2, feels like its telling more of a story, rather than creating tension and a unnerving atmosphere. Despite this there is also a sense sadness and despair through similar events and like The Last of Us builds up, as by the end you feel a message is almost bought out. Again through the orchestral music it seems like a horror convention is put in place in order to discomfort the audience. I feel with this song, we are left up in the air by the end, on purpose which I feel is a great aspect when wanting to recreate a similar piece of music. Finally the sound of lightening at the beginning could foreshadow that of a key component later on, similarly used in contrast to Far Cry.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Key Terminology - The 4 Main Components

Within the 2 minute introduction of my film, there must be four concepts which should be incorporated into the film into order to achieve a minimum grade of a C or above. The terminology below explains what they are and examples of how it can be used properly:

Friday, 6 December 2013

Key Terminology - Basic Shot Types

The list of shot types and terminology below can help to establish a base plan of the components that should be incorporated into my 2 minute introduction. The following can help to understand what each shot means and how it can be used effectively:

The above are a variety of basic shots which help to establish a different perspective towards the audience. Whilst close ups are used to illustrate a facial expression and more detail, wide shots can be seen as a way of showing off the scenery and look of the location

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Ideas on how to make a good introduction to a film

There are a variety of ways in which introductions of films are effective and engage the audience, through storyline and special effects, these are not the only conventions established. Other ideas include:
  • A good script/storyboard (or as previously mentioned, narrative)
  • Decent/Satisfactory acting
  • Avoiding repetition of specific words or phrases
  • Concepts which make the film different and more unique to others e.g. aspects that aren't similar to current movies
  • The 3 key components: the 180 degree rule, rule of thirds and match on action shots
  • A range of different types of shots e.g. Close Ups, Long Shots, Establishing Shots etc.
For the 2 minute introduction of my film, I will be focusing on the Horror/Thriller genre therefore, I will need to use similar conventions, which are used in every day movies today such as: isolation, tension and red/white (scary) text. However, in doing this, there should be a precaution taken and care not to recreate or re-invent past films within the genre.


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Target Audience

Within the 2 minute introduction of my film, I will try and aim for the Thriller genre, however during planning there needs to be a specific remit for the target audience. The intended type of viewer I will aim for is those who are older, preferably from the age of 16 and over due to the content and style of narration. Through the survey I have found out ideas as to the types of films people enjoy and watch the most. In my opinion, currently I think that the most popular genre of film, and that an audience would enjoy the most, is Horror, Thriller and Action, which is something I will also try and establish when creating my film. Some of the most popular films within this genre, from the past 10 years include titles such as I am Legend, Hannibal and The Blair Witch Project which all use similar conventions which both develop the storyline and create atmosphere. I intend also to incorporate the majority of these features in order to engage the audience and make it fit the proposed genre.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Inspirations for my Film Introduction: Part 3

The opening credits from Drag Me To Hell incorporate key horror conventions, which are similar to the 2 previously analysed films, create atmosphere and immediate tension; grabbing the audience straight away and enabling you to fully experience the fright, fear and scares of "horror." Although this is less of a thriller film, which is the genre I intend to aim for, it still uses a variety of climatic scenes and a sense of realism. However, despite this, it is a very atmospheric film, which aims to make you feel un nerved and uncomfortable. For me the best part of the movie is its twisted plot and general structure of how the main character's life seems to get worse and worse as the film progresses, which is why it has inspired me towards the creation of a 2 minute introduction. There are high pitched squeaks from violins and reference to the films narrative from the very beginning, which is something I will try and embody upon the establishment and planning of the intro. All of this helps to entice the viewer and make it more intriguing, but also watchable. Again the titles themselves are bold and easy to read, another component that should be considered when developing a horror/thriller film.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Inspirations for my Film Introduction: Part 2

The film Shutter Island has inspired me towards the planning and creation of a 2 minute film introduction because it uses key similar horror conventions to that of World War Z and is identical to the sort of intro I would like to produce. With Red text which creates an eerie feel, the  beginning seems to almost summarise the plot of the film, developing the story immediately at the start, which not only helps the viewer establish specific aspects towards the movie, but also set the general mood towards the majority of the film. It is likewise much the same as Se7en, due to the music and text on background therefore helpful when approaching certain ways in which I can recreate a Thriller movie. All of this contributes en route to the start of my planning thus making it a priority and relevant to the pre production of my introduction scene.