Saturday, 29 October 2011

Filming Plan

Here is a brief filming plan we created in order to better organise which shots we would aim to create on which days.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Sound Research

Here are a few tracks that we've found on YouTube that will hopefully give us inspiration for our own trailer soundtrack. We need two different tracks for the trailers: A 'club anthem' for the beginning to transition between school and home, and to connote the idea of parties, dancing and having fun and a more industrial sounding track to highlight the danger that is about to befall the characters.

Club Music 2011 - Dj Kantik Ferhat KANTIK Arranged (IWSY) New Best Top List Hits Clubbing House

Cyber, Dark, and Industrial

Summer 2011 Club Music

- Rhiannon

Monday, 10 October 2011


Research of other films has shown the importance of supporting the title and main theme through the tagline. It can also be used to hint at the events of the film, although a sense of mystery is created by not giving too much away. Some taglines that we considered in terms of the title and theme of the film are shown below:

These film taglines were viewed on the film posters, which were accessed on

Our tagline refers to our title decision of 'Penance', as was shown in a previous post. Our tagline is 'We Must All Pay A Price', tying into the theme of religion and paying penance. The use of the word 'We' acts to include the audience in the events of the film, implying some form of threat to their safety and therefore inciting more interest in the events of the narrative. The 'price' that must be paid is not revealed, creating the question of what must be sacrificed in order to be forgiven and continuing to build intrigue.


Shot Inspirations

Drag Me To Hell - Seance Scene

Use of candles to create mysterious atmosphere and reflect supernatural element.

Those that have been possessed change their appearance, often given strange eyes and perhaps skin colour. Close ups emphasise this change.

Midshots of people around table as they look at  the possessed person – also showing background to show room that they are in. Often decorative and old fashioned to show the old magic being used.

Over the shoulder shots to emphasise reactions of people to the possessed person, showing vulnerability and fear.

Strange events occur while possessed and other people panic. Cause dismay and confusion.

Haunting In Conneticut - Seance Scene 

Two shot over the shoulder of other people at séance, showing people around table and possibly creating a sense of paranoia or tension. Very low level lighting creates ominous tone and uncertainty.

Midshot of person as they become possessed, focussed on them showing their vulnerability and how they were singled out by spirit.

Midshot of other man intensely watching, ominous and worried for boy’s character.

Close up of possessed boy as he writhes and drools, showing harsh possession – showing him to no longer be human while making audience uncomfortable with such a close shot.

Shot from other side of table between other people as he collapses onto table. Fear for him in case he is dead, although no one at table moves.  He is the main thing lit showing importance.

Dark lighting or candle lighting would be useful in trailer during Ouija board use, as it would create tension and reflect the dark magic that they are playing with. Panning shots from behind the girls looking at the girls on the other side of the table would be useful to see all of their expressions and reactions while also seeming quite confined. Close ups of the girl that gets possessed would be effective as they would show the effect of the spirit and make audiences uncomfortable.
Grey's Anatomy - Choking Scene (0:32 - 1:05)

Calm atmosphere as character lies in bed. No non-diegetic sound and only diegetic sound is the ceiling fan as it slowly revolves. Everything winds down slowly to a stop, reflected by slow fade to black as he falls asleep.

Sudden cut to juddery handheld camera on close up of woman choking and gasping – sudden cut and sudden close up are shocking and create fear for her character. No non-diegetic noises and only diegetic noise is her choking and struggling. Other mid shots show her struggling and flailing. Shot of the sideboard pans to show her on bed with man on top of her choking her.
Would be useful to create sudden tension in audience for trailer. Have a slow scene where everything seems fine, then fade to black and suddenly cut back to close up of girl being possessed while others panic. The silence except for diegetic choking and screaming would also be very effective.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Ring Webpage Deconstruction

The loading screen for the website of 'The Ring' shows pulsing circles around the title of the film. This immediately shows the importance of the rings within the film and draws in the audience as it may conjure curiousities about its significance. The production information is at the bottom of the page, showing the audience which companies were involved in the making of the film so that the audience might be broadened by viewers that liked other productions by the companies.This institutional information and the title are both coloured white, as are the loading rings, making the bright red text encouraging the audience to buy the DVD even more pronounced. This text is also bold and capitalised to catch the viewers' eye so that as many copies of the movie are sold as possible. It also suggests an importance in the purchase of the DVD, with a link to the information site about the video and DVD on sale. The background is black, so that there is little to look at except the loading animation.

The simplistic loading screen is followed by a photo of a girl in a mirror, which gets larger and seems to comes closer to the screen in a predatory way. This foreshadows a key concept within the movie, of the idea of something coming out of a screen. The photo uses low level lighting and black and white hues to create an ominous and threatening tone. The girl has long black hair which obscures most of her face, creating a sense of mystery about her identity and perhaps more fear. She is in a white dress, but the other colouring of the image and the girl's unnatural position undoes any usual connotations of innocence or purity that might usually accompany the colour white. The background remains black, as it does throughout the website. This could reflect the eerie nature of the movie, while also alluding to the genre as horror.

Contrasting with the previously slow animations, the intro to the webpage shows lots of quick shots from the movie, coupled with flickering that is often linked with old or corrupt videotapes. The contrast with the previous rhythm of the webpage creates more shock and fear from the audience. The shots are mainly black and white with a high contrast to add to their eerie scenes, such as something coming out of a mouth and some writing that repeats "mirror". As well as the contrast, editing such as flashes of negative and juddering have been added to make the shots all appear uncomfortable and unnatural. A shot is also briefly seen of a blonde woman screaming, suggesting that she may be the main character as she is one of the only shots that contains colour. The tagline of the film also flashes up, stating that "before you die, you see", before another animation of a ring with the title "The Ring" inside it comes up. The font of the tagline is capitalised and blunt, reflecting the harsh deaths that occur in the film. An echoing effect is also used on the writing that makes the same words repeat slightly larger behind the originals, creating more unease.

After the introduction, the main page of the website comes up. This is crowded with animations and text, perhaps aiming to slightly disorientate and confuse the audience in order to incite more curiousity and thus make them more likely to see the movie. The institutional information and red text encouraging purchase are both still at the bottom. There is also an option to watch the trailer for the film, in front of an image of a ring to keep a consistent theme. Most of the page is taken up by the animations and images, including a scrawled circle, a well and a tree silhouette. Most of the images seem to be in the style of doodles or childrens' drawings, as they are untidy. The images are also animated, and they often flash or glow red before seeming to shrink away or grow. There are some scrawled words, which are also animated. These notes could suggest someone trying to figure out the events of the film, inciting interest from the audience as they want to discover the truth together with the characters, linking to the Uses and Gratifications Theory of audiences consuming media products.

The background is somewhat covered by typed text, referring to therapy. This all suggests some of the content of the film, such as the idea of madness or the involvement of children, but leaves most of the narrative a complete mystery in order to make the audience want to watch it. The image of the well is the sharpest image, suggesting its significance to the narrative.The text hyperlinks are in capital letters, underlined in red in order to show their importance while also creating connotations of fear or danger. There are options to see 'Downloads', 'Behind The Scenes', 'Notes' and 'Image Gallery', aiming to interest audiences with other pieces of information about the making of the film or the ease of access in order to get them to watch it. Strange eerie noises play in the background of the main webpage, with odd shrill noises that all act to make the audience feel discomfort and foreboding.

As well as the main hyperlinks, most of the animations on the front page can be clicked and pop-ups with appear with clips or images linked to the movie. These pop-ups follow the theme of the narrative, as they have titles such as 'don't watch this' or '...'. These seem to break somewhat from the expected internet browser so can suggest the power of whatever is involved in the narrative, while also creating more uncertainty. The pop-up images are slightly animated and when hovered over, one part of the image becomes brighter than the others, and when clicked another image will appear. This trail can be followed, allowing the audience to discover more things and feel more involved in the story, therefore becoming more likely to want to watch the film. Their involvement also suggests the journey that the protagonist may set out on throughout the movie. The use of mirrors and childrens' drawings are repeated, reflecting their importance. The same eerie soundtrack is played during these pop-ups.

When the main hyperlinks are pressed, the information appears in the main window. As the information appears, more animation hyperlinks appear, allowing more to be seen. This encourages the viewer to continue looking throughout the entire website, making them more likely to become interested in watching the actual movie. The entire website uses a sense of uneasiness coupled with mystery to interest audiences, revealing key concepts from the movie but keeping most elements hidden. The site is also heavily based on the main theme of the movie, videotapes, to create an identity for the movie.

This webpage has shown us the importance of incorporating animations, even if only small, and a welcoming page in our official film website.


The Last Exorcism Poster Deconstruction

The background of the posteras accessed here,  shows the location to be a building, although the blank walls and flooring could suggest that the building is abandoned or in disrepair, already creating a slightly tense tone and hinting at isolation from the normal world. The blank location contrasts with the stark figure in the center of the image, showing her significance to the plot and also suggesting the power of her character. The figure is in an unnatural position which immediately suggests some kind of supernatural element to the movie. Her dress is also covered in blood, hinting at some form of violence and clearly showing the movie to be of the horror genre. Due to the lack of other colour on the poster, the red stands out on the dress and in the title text, showing the colour of blood or danger to be an important theme within the movie narrative. The figure's positioning makes the audience unsure whether to feel pity or fear for her, as her isolation on the image suggests that she is integral to the narrative but it is not revealed in which way. She could be either a protagonist or an antagonist.

The figure is in a similar costume to 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' of a pale dress with dark hair, clearly showing that this is a theme linked with the genre of possessive horrors. This costuming could suggest a loss or corruption of innocence. The figure's face is pale and seems distorted and unnatural, reflecting her possible possession and the evil that is suggested to be involved. The shadow behind the girl is large and very dark, perhaps suggesting a predatory force or hinting at the possessive spirit. It also acts to make her seem darker and create an ominous tone, emphasising fear.

The tagline 'Believe in him' is shown, although it is unclear to whom it is referring. It could be referring to the Devil, due to the unnatural and blunt image below, but could equally be referring to God due to the crucifix that is on the wall above the girl. This tagline, and therefore the theme of the entire movie, is playing on the fear of religious punishment that many people have, bringing in audiences as they want to see what happens and which entity is being referred to. The blunt sentence suggests that there will be proof in the movie, or it is in the audience's best interests to do as they say.

Above the title, the producer of the film and the main production company are mentioned. Below the title, the writers and director are also mentioned. These pull in audiences that enjoy their previous work. The title and names are in dark red, standing out with the blood on the dress against the background to suggest that it is prominant within the movie. The text is also capitalised, as the text often is on other movie posters, suggesting the harsh and serious content of the movie. There is also other information such as the website address and the other production teams involved in the movie, in small font at the bottom of the poster. The font is slightly decorative, and appears a little smudged as though by spots of blood, continuing the suggested theme of violence and pain. The words 'Last' and 'Exorcism' are large, showing their importance.


Also see... The Last Exorcism Trailer Deconstruction

The Exorcism of Emily Rose Poster Deconstruction

The poster for 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose', as accessed here, is quite simple, mainly using the element of mystery in order to create interest from the audience. The main element of the poster is the misty background, hiding most information in the image and dulling most of the colours. With most information about the image obscured, the viewer's imagination may create more from it, involving them in the poster and creating more interest in seeing the film in order to see whether their theories or ideas were correct. The mist can also create an ominous or threatening tone, as it stops the viewer from seeing very much and therefore seems to leave them quite vulnerable to what may be in the image. This could play into a fear of the dark or being unable to see that is often used in possessive horrors. The dull colouring of the image contrasts with the text at the bottom of the image, which uses the colour of dark red. This colour is common within horror films, such as 'The Last Exorcism', due to the connotations of blood or danger that it can evoke in viewers. Therefore its use in this poster supports the horror genre while also making the title stand out against the background in order to show its importance.

The word 'Exorcism' is the largest word in the text, making it stand out and showing that it is significant to the story. Its large size, coupled with the positioning in the centre at the base of the page, suggest that it is the event that the entire movie is based on, and therefore shows the possessive genre is hugely involved. The large size of the eye-catching text compared to the slightly smaller image of the girl shows again that the possessive nature of the film is key to the narrative. This could also suggest the power of the supernatural element, as 'Exorcism' overpowers the personal touch of the name 'Emily Rose' by being much larger and above it, with the E and M on either side as if trapping it. This could suggest themes of imprisonment or paranoia. The name makes the title more personal, involving the audience in the girl's story so that they are more likely to watch the movie in order to find out what happens to her. The name is normal and the flower name as a surname would usually suggest purity or happiness, but due to the large 'Exorcism', the supernatural is seen to be taking over even a normal life. This could hint that the events of the movie could happen to anyone, creating more tension and fear from audiences.

The image only shows one girl, suggesting that she is significant to the plot although due to her positioning of walking away, it is not possible to tell whether she is the protagonist or antagonist, if either. Therefore questions are created about her character. Due to the shapeless pale dress and dark hair, which are costume elements that have become common in possessive horrors such as 'The Last Exorcism', it might be suggested that the girl is Emily Rose, and has been possessed by some form of supernatural spirit. She is shown to be walking away from camera, making the audience unsure as to what she is doing or what is happening to her. The awkward positioning of her hands could suggest the idea of distortion that can accompany haunting, which is often linked with the supernatural and spirits and would therefore support the genre. Her positioning could equally suggest that she is trying to escape from something, again suggesting that she is Emily Rose and showing her to be a character to be pitied or sympathised with, making her appear vulnerable. The tree in the image is in the distance, suggesting along with the mist that the girl is outside. She seems separated from civilisation or any urban areas, suggesting an isolation that is also emphasised by the lack of anything else in shot. The suggested isolation could support the idea that she is vulnerable.

The text above the title shows that the movie is 'based on a true story', making it more appealing as it encourages the audience to become interested in what is really possible. This could create a degree of fear, as it suggests that the events could happen to anyone, and therefore the audience may need to know something from the movie in order to avoid anything supernatural. The production information is underneath the image for those in possible audiences that would be interested in who was involved in the creation of the movie. This acts to broaden audiences, as a certain directing or soundtrack style may sway possible viewers to watch the movie.


Evaluation questions

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

2. How effective is the combination of your main product and ancilliary texts?

3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?

4. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research planning and evaluation stages?

Features of the Final Girl theory

This is one of the main mind maps we needed when trying to create our narrative. We wanted to follow a traditional theory of the horror genre, especially in terms of teen horrors, of the Final Girl theory, a concept created by Carol J Clover. This concept suggests that in every film there is one girl who develops masculine characteristics to help her defeat the demon. Our mind map also shows other main points of the theory which we hope to use when developing our own final girl character.

- Rhiannon

Iconograpy of the supernatural genre

This is research on what sort of features should appear in our trailer or in our narrative. It is especially important to follow these traits as they are specifically for the supernatural genre, and we intend to follow them - so far we have met the location type (it is being filmed in the main girl's house), although we are trying to go against the stereotype in terms of costume and make up; usually the girls are meant to be natural, with quite pale, ordinary clothing, but we want our characters to wear bright, promiscuous outfits and wear a lot of makeup, as this will justify their deaths later in the film.

- Rhiannon

Title ideas (Penance is circled in black)

This mind map shows all our ideas for titles for our film. We started off by thinking of themes that related to our narrative, ie schoolreligion and the main feature of ouija boards. Then we decided that we wanted a religious word, as many supernatural films do relate to religion and sins. The first words suggested were sins, redemption and revenge, although none of these seemed to fit our film, so we started looking more deeply into the background story of our film. Previously we'd decided that we wanted the demon that haunts the main characters to be a girl who had lived in the house before, but had committed suicide after being bullied by girls similiar to those in our story. This led us to ideas surrounding punishment and payback, and eventually we got penance, which is a religious term for repenting your sins in order to seek forgiveness from God. We felt this would be a perfect title as the girl who haunts the others wants them to see what they've done wrong in life and how they will be punished for it.

- Rhiannon

Saturday, 1 October 2011

First Storyboard Ideas

These are some rough shot ideas we came up with for our teaser trailer, focussing mainly on the party and action shots.