Friday, 26 March 2010

Evaluation- The Opening Two Minutes of 'Judgement'

When creating the first two minutes of our film we took inspiration from existing media related to the genre of horror, whilst still trying to produce something interesting, original and true to our initial idea. Our use of camera work at times is intentionally shaky; we did this to create a sense of chaos and confusion for the viewer, much like in films such as Cloverfield(2008) and The Blair Witch Project(1999).

This is a screen shot of Judgement to show the use of shaky camerawork.

The opening of the film uses parallel editing, this enables you see both the shots of Tammy running through the woods and Alex sat at her graveside. This technique also shows a non-chronological ordering of events, with the objective of revealing to the viewer the outcome of one of the events shown before it has happened. The flash-forward used plays with their mind as they tensely await the inevitable. This is different compared to typical films of this genre, which use the fact that the audience is unaware of the protagonist’s fate to create suspense. This also clashes with Aristotle's Unities where all events happen in linear storyline.

However in order to keep the audience interested we use a different tactic. Instead of keeping them intrigued by leaving them unaware of the girl's fate, we entice them by not revealing the identity of the killer. And only using Point Of View shots to see the situation through the murderer's eyes. This links to Barthe's Enigma Code where there has to be some kind of mystery to be solved in order to keep the viewer involved, entertained and on the edge of their seat.

Camera shots used that are typical of the horror genre include the close-up of Alex's eye. The non-deigetic sound of a pulse and the timing of the jump cut to this image add to the creepy atmosphere we intended to create.

The mise-en-scene and setting we chose is rather commonly used in horror movies. The filming location of the woods has no clear identity; it could be in the middle of nowhere or half a mile away from a town, this causes the audience to worry for the girl’s safety, when they can see she is distressed from the mid-shots of her facial expression. Another location we shot in was a graveyard, a destination that is commonly linked to 'scary' connotations such as Death, a theme which is appropriate for this genre and the subject of murder being explored in this film.

This is a picture of Portland Park Woods where some scenes the opening two minutes were shot.

An aspect of our film that deviates from the norm of horror however is that it is set in daylight opposed to during the darkness of night, we did this because we thought it gave the impression that 'the killer’ could attack you at anytime, anyplace. A tactic intended to add to the fearful atmosphere we attempted to create.

The non-diegetic sound used in our opening two minutes, played when the girl is running, is quite a simple beat that resembles the sound of a heartbeat. This is a common sound convention of horror as it connotes a rise in adrenaline, hence fear. This also gives a feeling that time is slowed down as this terrifying event unfolds, a sensation which can happen in real life when people are put into horrifying situations . This enables the audience to be able relate to the situation of the protagonist, something that is very important in the genre of horror. This is because if the audience do not connect with the character, then they do not care about what happens to them, which is the whole point of creating a sense of fear within the viewer, because they can then empathize with the girl.

Other non-diegetic sound consists of the instrumental tune from the song Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley, this is played during the radio broadcast, this is supposed cause the listener to feel sorrow for the girl’s death. Again relating to the attempt to get the audience to empathize with the character's dilemmas, essential for the horror genre. Diegetic sound includes Alex’s scream; we raised the volume of this so that the piercing noise would create a fuller affect of fright for the audience.

The characters in our film do not predominantly fit into any particular ‘stereotype’, which are often portrayed in films of this kind. Even though you can only see the first opening minutes of the film, we tried to make our characters seem like ‘normal’ people instead of categorizing them. Throughout the rest of film the character's personalities will reveal them to be much more than two-dimensional and generic, but have depth and originality. The mise-en-scene of the costumes they wear are everyday clothes, such as jeans and t-shirts; they do not belong to any obvious social group.

The sort of media institution that would distribute our film would be something like Fox Searchlight Pictures, a film division of the infamous 20th Century Fox. This particular establishment specialises mainly in ‘indie’ and British films, it has released many movies in the horror genre such as 28 Days Later(2002) and The Hills Have Eyes(2006). Both of which were successful at the box office and are generally well known amongst film watchers.

Advertisement for 28 Days Later.

The movie poster for The Hills Have Eyes.

We plan to give our film a viewing certificate of 18; this is due to the violence and language that will take place throughout. This means that our target audience will be mainly young adults. Ways in which we would attract this audience would be through a marketing campaign consisting of: eye-catching posters and billboards, memorable trailers on television and in the cinema, websites and advertisements on the Internet and promotion from televideon or magazine interviews with those involved with the making of the film (i.e.- the actors); hereby mixing more traditional advertising techniques with more modern ones.

This is the certificated age rating we intend to give our film.

I have personally learnt much about media technologies throughout the process of constructing this product. My group and I used Adobe Premiere Elements to edit our clips we had shot together, I was rather new to video editing when we first began the project but I found this software package easy to use and understandable. We all shared the responsibility of editing and each had individual tasks outside the editing room, i.e. collecting the suitable background music to be used and each researching our own chosen media. Special effects we used include flashes, fading, slow motion etc., all of which were available on this programme.

I also learnt a lot more about using filming equipment such as how to work the video cameras themselves and the tripods, that helped to keep the shots steady when appropriate. Due to filming restrictions we were unable to use shots such as Bird’s Eye View shots and Fast Tracking shots, which we most likely would have used under the circumstances of if this were a large budget project.
Compared to the preliminary task, I have progressed far more in my understanding of film making. Instead of being stuck in one limited location with a simple and dull plot, we were given the opportunity to be creative and produce something more personally rewarding. My group and I had the freedom to write our own plot and script, and to choose our own settings. By having more passion for what you are creating can only be beneficial for the end product.

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