Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Fake Cut Experimentation

We have started to experiment with creating fake cuts. Some of the techniques we experimented with were less effective as we have not yet experimented with fake blood, so they could not be completely finished.

To experiment with Method Two, we bought some Special Effect Wax from This product is designed specifically for make up and special effect injuries. We had difficulty working with the wax because it was too cold to mould, and once applied took a long time to dry. When we tried to speed the drying process with the use of hand-dryers, the wax lost its shape and therefore became less effective. We will soon try again with hair-dryers so that a cold setting can be used in an attempt to dry the wax. The original shape of the wax once moulded looked believable however, so if we can solve the drying problem this technique may prove successful.

To experiment with Method Three, we used simple make up products. These were a black eye liner pencil, a red lipstick and some red nail varnish. We used some purple eye shadow as well, but found that it did not improve the cut experiments. The original method called only for the lipstick and eye liner, but we tried the use of red nail varnish for fake blood and found that it looked quite effective.

On camera the cuts looked dramatic due to the dark red, although they could have looked more like scars than fresh cuts so could not be the correct appearance for our teaser trailer. The colouring around the cuts looked quite effective, and the different shades of red in the congealed red nail varnish also looks pleasing. Nail varnish has become a possibility for fake blood if no other fake blood experiments are successful. Below are examples of the cut experiments.


As we have not yet finished experimenting with fake cuts, we have not yet decided on the technique we will use. However, it is likely that we will use the professional moulding wax so that there is a physical break in the 'skin', instead of colouring on top of it.

This is a further experiment with the Special Effect Wax, which again proved difficult to work with. We used a hair-dryer to dry the wax, although it still rubbed off easily which would prove impractical during long filming days. However, once we added bruising around the cut and some red bruising in the middle, it looked quite effective on camera. This has led us to the decision to definitely use the wax for fake cuts.
Below are arms with comparisons of cuts and bruises.

- Emily (post and makeup)
- Rhiannon (makeup)

Fake Bruise Experimentation

We experimented with the different techniques of creating bruises in order to choose the most realistic effect that could be achieved. 

To try Method One of creating bruises, we purchased a Bruise Wheel and Stipple Sponge from These are designed to be used to create realistic bruises and are professional products. We found that the bruises we created looked quite good, and as we got more experienced with working with the colours and shading the effects became much better. The bruise wheel was easy to work with and the bruises did not rub off very easily, which would be useful when filming repeatedly. In order to please our audience, we checked a number of people's reactions to the bruises and many said that they looked realistic or even believed that they actually were real. Below are examples of the bruises that we created.

These are the first bruises we attempted. They were very dark which looks dramatic on camera but they looked less realistic. They do however look fresh, while some of the other bruises looked older due to their faded quality. If the characters had just received their wounds, the bruises would need to be quite red
and vivid.


To experiment with Method Two, we used some normal marker pens from a stationary shop. These are obviously not specifically for make up, so the results are less realistic. They were quite easy to work with, albeit messy, but the end results were not as successful as with Method One. The bruises look dramatic due to the vibrant colour of the pens, so they would show up quite well on camera, but less detail could be achieved and they did not look like bruises as much as burns or stains. Below are some examples of the bruise experiments we achieved.


These experiments have led us to the decision that we will use the professional bruise wheel, or Method One, in order to create the bruises for our teaser trailer.


Fake Injury Research

We have researched how to create fake injuries for the majority of our teaser trailer which will show the girls in danger and injured. The use of injury shots in teaser trailers is typical of horror films, so this will act to emphasise what the audience should expect of the narrative. Although there are a wide range of possible injuries that we could use, we have decided to just use bruises and cuts. We have decided this so that it is obvious that the girls are threatened and vulnerable, but their injuries are not supposed to be the main theme so they should not be hugely dramatic. We also do not want the characters to have any black eyes as this is typically represented as a more masculine injury, and females in horrors often do not obtain them. We have found a different techniques for each injury so that we can experiment before choosing the final technique we will use.
A useful website when deciding the injuries that we wanted the characters to suffer was, with this List Of Suggestions .

How to create fake bruises
Method One:
We found this method on, using this Video .

Step 1:
- Base colour of dark red using sponge
- Irregular pattern, al over area
- Darker in middle and lighter around edges

Step 2
- Use black stipple sponge and dark colour to add broken blood vessels around area

Method Two:
We found this method on, with this Step By Step .
Start with the red marker and make a few strokes in the desired area. Take your finger and smudge it until it's completely dry. Repeat in this color until entire area is a light red/dark pink color and you can't see your skin tone anymore.
Take the purple marker and draw a little line in the middle of your red area. Smudge that in. Instead of making one dark dot before smudging, make many light stripes to make it blend more and give it a realistic feeling. You may also do this step with blue or gray or any mixture of the colors. Just don't get too carried away. Remember, we're not making an art project out of your arm/leg/what ever. We're trying to make it look like a real bruise.
Take your green marker and trace the outer line of the the red area with dashes all the way around. Smudge with your finger so you start in the middle and smudge towards the outside of the red area. This makes it so it blends better. Don't actually make a lot of green. We just want a light shadow to be there.
Do the same thing with the yellow marker. This gives the bruise an older look like it started to heal. The absolute worst thing you could do is overdo the yellow. Or not have it blend. Then it really looks like your colored on yourself.
If you want it to look realistic, go to a sink and run it under some water. This will blend the colors further. Don't try to smudge with your fingers while its wet. This might ruin it depending on what kind of markers you used. Take a towel or toilet paper and dab it - don't rub it - to dry your "bruise".

How to create fake cuts
Method One:
We found this method on, with this Video .

Step 1:
- Use brush to make a red line down area where cut will be

Step 2:
- Use fake blood to go over the red line thickly

Method Two
We found this method on, with this Video .

Step 1:
- Make moulding wax sausage shaped
- Smooth edges on place where cut will be, more in middle and going to flat at sides - try to make it look less obvious.

Step 2:
- Use moisturiser to go over wax
- Use foundation to match skin tone
- Add red around edges to show inflamed area

Step 3:
- Use edge of something to make line across thicker part of wax
- Pull open very slightly if necessary, make jaggedy
- Smooth down inside to appear deep

Step 4:
- Use red eye shadow or bruise kit to go inside cut
- Run off sides slightly to look smudged
- Go over repeatedly to make dark

Step 5:
- (put fake glass in wound but not useful to us)
- Use fake blood to go over cut and around edges to create slight drips
- Can do more bruising around area if necessary

Method Three
-Wet the end of a black eyeliner pencil, and draw a line across the desired area of the skin
- Trace over the black eyeliner line wih red lipstick. A true red or brick red will work best. Using the tips of your index fingers, spread the lipstick out from the centre to the outer edges
- Blot one layer of purple eyeshadow over the red lipstick with a foundation sponge. This will create an "infected" look
- Place fake blood from a costume store down the centre of the cut, if a fresh cut look is desired

- Emily

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Institutional Idents

We have examined some well known institutional idents for our teaser trailer. Some, such as Paramount and Universal, have been known to release successful horror films (such as Hannibal and The Unborn respectively), but they are more commonly linked with either family films, dramas or romantic comedies. Their images reflect this as they are positive instead of threatening images. Therefore, we have decided not to include these idents as we would like the audience of our teaser trailer to instantly associate the idents shown with the horror genre. This has led us to research production companies more commonly linked with the horror genre, as well as those that created some of the films we have deconstructed in our research.

Dark Castle
The design of this logo reflects that the production company is well known for horror films, with the silhouette of an ominous castle and red stains that are reminiscent of blood. The ident itself also reflects this with a zooming out shot of a gargoyle on the front of a castle in a lightning storm, referring to gothic stereotypes such as that of isolated large buildings, night and shadows, and this acts to firmly place the idea of horror in the viewer's mind. This production company have released many successful and well known films of the horror or psychological thriller genres. Examples of this are  'Thir13en Ghosts' ,  'House of Wax'  and  'The Reaping' .

Screen Gems
The ident of Screen Gems is quite plain and does not reveal very much in terms of what the genre of the film will be, unlike Dark Castle above. However the image has been tinted in the past to suggest something of what will occur. The production company have been involved in films such as  'Prom Night'  and  'When A Stranger Calls' , both of which are based around teenagers. This would therefore suit our teaser trailer as our narrative focuses on a group of teenage girls. The production company were also involved in the creation of  'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' , a film that we have examined for research and inspiration. It would suit our teaser trailer for this reason also therefore, as the company has previously created films of a similar possessive genre.

Lions Gate Entertainment
Lions Gate Entertainment uses a variety of different idents for their films, changing the image shown to reflect the genre of the film. The ident can suggest a horror genre when the clouds are tainted red, as is shown. The company is well known, but is not specifically a horror production company due to the multitude of genres that it deals with. Some successful horror franchises produced by it are the  'Saw'  and  'Hostel'  films. Although these are focused more on the slasher sub-genre of horror, Lions Gate has also produced  'The Last Exorcism' , a film that we considered for inspiration. This could therefore be an effective ident for us as they have previously created films of a similar genre to us.

Twisted Pictures
The Twisted Pictures ident supports its common involvement in the horror genre, as it uses a knife or dagger, and barbed wire that wraps around the text. This immediately links to violence, which is a key component in the horror genre. Twisted Pictures is an independent production company, and is therefore not as well known as some others. It is usually coupled with other production companies such as Lions Gate (when creating the Saw franchise), but has nevertheless been successful. This ident could be used in our teaser trailer when paired with another more well known company, but it has not created many films of the possessive genre and therefore may not be as appropriate as others.

Gold Circle
Gold Circle Films has a basic ident of a golden ring. This is probably due to the fact that it is an independent production company that has not created a huge number of films. However, it does specialise in the horror and romance genres so could be relevant to our teaser trailer. It was also involved in the production of  'The Fourth Kind' , a film that we have looked at for inspiration due to its genre of the supernatural, closely linked to our possessive genre.  They also produced  'The Haunting in Connecticut' , another successful film that is linked to our genre. Therefore this could suit our teaser trailer.

After finishing this research,we decided to use Twisted Pictures and Dark Castle idents in our teaser trailer.


Friday, 18 November 2011

School Girl Costume Experimentation

With one of our characters, we experimented with different ways of wearing her shirt to best show her personality. This is in relation to the private school uniforms post previously published, inspired by our research into private school costumes.

Experiment 1: 

We tied this shirt at the bottom, but thought that it looked much too 'pirate-y' and not at all like school uniform. It also did not seem stylish enough for the character to wear when they are supposed to be quite trendy.

Experiment 2:
We tucked the blouse into the skirt for this experiment, but we thought that it looked too simple and was not as flattering to our actor as it could be. The proportions of the skirt and blouse also look slightly wrong.

Experiment 3: CHOSEN SHIRT
We kept the shirt tucked into the skirt, but coupled it with a large belt. We thought that this looked good because it makes the uniform look interesting and stylish. It also shows the character to be confident.

- Emily

Private Schoolgirl Costumes

The main ideas for the costumes of the characters in the beginning were white shirts, short black skirts, ties and long socks or black tights. We let the actors customise their outfits according to the personalities of their characters, and to what we felt looked best on each girl as they are all different heights and sizes. The characters' outfits do seem to fit in well with the stereotypes of a private school girl, or even just a uniform, so that it is clear to the audience that the girls are leaving school, and they do go to a posh/private school.

This is a group shot of our characters. They are all wearing their hair down and styled, showing their materialistic traits. They are all styled slightly differently to show their personalities and also give a sense of disregard for the school dress code. Their make up is natural with some eye-liner, so that they appear somewhat respectable. This will be completely changed when they leave the school and put on heavier make up (and carry out other corrupt actions), shocking the audience and revealing their characters. The architecture behind them shows large old fashioned school, setting against their characters.

This is the girl that we have made the leader of the friendship group. To show this we have made her uniform more obviously customised, and made her personal style more noticeably gothic. This is seen in her rosary beads, festival band and dark hair. The gothic styling will link to her character introducing a ouija board later in the narrative. Her shirt is tight to show her figure and the outline of her bra, suggesting a promiscuous and feminine nature. When her shirt is later unbuttoned, it naturally opens to reveal a black bra, linking to the idea of promiscuity and also her gothic style. She is wearing a tight pencil skirt, inspired by  'St Trinians'  style clothing, portraying her as stylish and attractive.

This character's costume consists of a loose fitting shirt that is slightly transparent so that a bright red bra is visible. The red colour is linked with sexual confidence, portraying her character as confident. This is also shown by her short skirt and large belt, making her uniform customisation obvious. We wanted this look for her because she is the louder and more assured personality in the friendship group. Her shirt is loosely tucked into the skirt and the sleeves are roughly rolled back, showing her to be secure and not care about how other people see her.

This character has a small quite loose blouse tucked into a tight skirt that shows her figure. The black thigh high socks are often linked with school girls and sexuality, and thus represent her as flirtatious. The black high heeled shoes accentuate her legs and show her to be stylish. Her small frame and thigh high socks could imply that she is child-like and vulnerable, which will be important later in the narrative.

This character is the one that we have chosen to survive the events of the narrative, and therefore we have made her more conservative in order to follow the Final Girl Theory. In accordance with this, we have also made her costume slightly more masculine to suggest that she could pick up some male traits later in the narrative in order to survive. Her shirt is loose and hanging out of her skirt so that her figure is not really shown. This reflects her more moral and modest character, and coupled with the shirt sleeves rolled up portrays an element of masculinity. Her skirt is short and black to still relate to the other girls in the friendship group and the idea of school uniform. Her hair is also less styled than the other girls, showing her to be less materialistic.

This character has a short black skirt that shows her legs, and a fitted blouse to reveals her figure. However, she also has a white vest underneath her blouse and her bra is not visible, suggesting that she is a more modest character than some of the others. She is wearing a dark coloured tie that reflects the private school uniform, although it is loosely done up with some shirt buttons undone to show a more laid back attitude. The white vest and tie could suggest that she is more willing to follow the school dress code than the others, who have all taken off their ties to emphasise that they are leaving the school and also do not respect it.

- Rhiannon and Emily 

Shots of the School

The girls in our media trailer are meant to be members of a private school, as we wanted them to have the appearence of being quite arrogant and rich, which, even though it is purely stereotypical, will make them unrelatable to the majority of our audience, and therefore justify their deaths later in the film/trailer. For our media piece we decided to choose a local boarding school, which is elegant and large and fits in with the characters' statuses. Difficulties we faced filming here was the fact that being a school (and a boys' one, so no girls in uniform in sight) there were people walking/driving in and out, so we decided to use one of the side entrances, which fortunately looked just as effective.



- Rhiannon

Also see... Boarding School Location

Demonic Makeup testers

Getting effective makeup in order to fully represent the demonic possession featured in our trailer was high on our list of priorities. Meg began this task by using expertise from Art and Design and utilising these skills and practical knowledge to start to create a striking and memorable image.

With inspiration such as tutorials on home FX effects...

We became the long task to experimentation in order to achieve our desired effect. This process is explained in great detail later on in a post outlining the creation of our poster.

- Meg

Also see... Poster Test Shots

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Fourth Kind Poster Deconstruction 1

      We decided to analyse the posters for 'The Fourth Kind', as although it is linked more with aliens than possession, there are elements that could apply to our narrative.

      The background image is consistent through the platforms, as it is the same image that is used on the  website . The image shows a bedroom that appears normal with a man in average pyjamas, but the expected mise en scene is contrasted by the fact that the man is floating above his bed. This clearly shows the genre to be unnatural. There is light shining through the window supporting the idea of alien abduction. The positioning of the poster puts the man in the centre of the image, so that he is the focus. The audience is therefore forced to accept the event, as the characters in the film will probably have to. The positioning also puts the man's head out of shot, creating a sense of anonymity and suggesting that the events could happen to anyone. The colour scheme of blue and black is continued on the website, casting an ominous tone and following the colours that are often linked with alien themed films.
      The title couples with the tagline to give information about the basis of the narrative, starting to create expectations about what will happen. This is likely to make the viewers of the poster want to see the film to see whether their expectations are correct. The tagline gives background information about the theme of the film, putting the title in context so that the audience are more informed. This makes them more likely to invest interest in the narrative. The text is coloured to stand out against the dark background. The tagline is blue while the title and information underneath are glowing white, both supporting the supernatural theme. Underneath the title, it is stated that the film is 'based on the actual case studies'. This links to the film's likelihood to become more interesting if events really happened because the audience will want to know what is really possible. The production information and rating of the film are at the base of the poster, with an internet site that applies to current demographics to broaden the audience as much as possible.

Through examining the posters of 'The Fourth Kind', we have decided that we need to include a character in our poster to personalise it more for the audience. Although 'The Fourth Kind' shows the entire body, we have decided that our poster will most likely focus on the face to make it more intense and involve the audience more directly. This poster emphasises the importance of colour schemes within posters also, due to the clear alien theme being put across by the blue and black employed. We will therefore make sure that the colour scheme properly reflects our genre of film. 


Also see... The Fourth Kind Webpage Deconstruction