Monday, 20 February 2012

Shooting Styles - Found Footage

We considered the idea of shooting our trailer in the style of a 'home movie' film, as is seen in 'Paranormal Activity' or 'Cloverfield'.

Home movie style films, such as 'Paranormal Activity', are successful because they make the film appear more realistic because they are being shown through the eyes of the protagonists, so the audience is mostly denied any knowledge that the protagonist does not possess. This also makes the film more like a journey that the protagonist and the audience share, discovering and experiences things together. It can be especially effective because the protagonist can speak to the camera and make it feel as if they are speaking to the audience, revealing their thoughts and feelings that may not have otherwise been shared with the audience in normal filming style. This can also make the protagonist seem more relate-able to the audience so that they feel more invested in the survival of the character.

If not in the style of home movie, some films use the idea of 'found footage', such as from a news camera. The recent film 'Chronicle' has very successfully created a mixture of home movie style footage and other forms of found footage such as security cameras and news footage. This grants the audience more of an overview of events as opposed to just the protagonist's views, while also granting an insight into the protagonist's mind. This can let the audience know information that the protagonist is unaware of, and therefore gives the audience a sense of authority over events.

Found footage is common in horror films, being used in a variety of genres and ways. However, we have decided not to use this style of filming as we preferred the more conventional style of the camera showing events from an omnipotent bystander position, as is shown on the left in 'Night of the Demons'. This allows us to create effects with the camera that might otherwise be difficult, such as watching the girls become possessed or show them hiding. It also lets us use visual effects that would not have shown on a video and instead of realistically showing what happened just add tension to the trailer. This also allows us to introduce the characters through their scene outside thir school, which might have otherwise needed dialogue which is not common to that extent in teaser trailers. Although it could be likely that girls would include a camera in their ouija board game, we did not think that it was as realistic that they would use the camera in the other situations. Conventional filming styles allow the audience to follow different characters and, while they can experience events along with the characters, can also be mystified as to what a character is thinking, adding to tension.


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