Monday, 30 January 2012

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

My opening develops the conventions of a horror openings in the following ways. It goes against a traditional horror location in the Gothic sense where films were located in haunted houses (The Haunting, castles (Frankenstein) or graveyard (Dracula). Instead I have moved it to present day Britain and in a 'normal' suburban estate. You can see this from the above shot of the garden which has a lawn, washing drying and fences - this is an ordinary garden.
This plays on the conventions seen in many modern day horrors that chose locations that are deemed normal or safe, such as Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween which both use surbaban areas. Here this is a very British set up.

My opening both used and develops conventions in terms of props. The props used are very typical witchcraft props such as voodoo dolls, pentagrams and crystals, the difference in my opening is that they seem very child like and home made. The idea is to inform the view that this isn't a typical witchcraft story of cauldrons and dungeons as you would see in a Disney fairytale, but all domestic and homemade. The use of materials is suppose to add a took a comedy to the opening as well. All the costumes used are 'everyday' again to create ideas of this being any neighbourhood, however, this is changed slightly with the use of the very black make-up, this is give the idea of something not being quite right.

We are introduced to three characters two boys and one girl. The way they are dressed is very ordinary and they are located in a typical British backyard. While not too much information is given away there is a suggestion of confrontation and violence in the above close up, the fact that the second character is carrying a plank of wood over his shoulder (see location shot) and the distorted close ups on the female character. The idea is that these are on the surface ordinary people but perhaps lying underneath there is violence.

Camerawork and editing
The whole idea of the opening is to create an intense and disorientating opening that is uneasy to watch for the viewer. The idea came from the True Blood opening which is full of quick moving shots, close up and effects. I have tried to do the same by using extreme close-up for most of the shots (see the above shot of the spider key ring), especially on the props and then using effects for the wider shots. The editing process - I tried to keep the cuts short and sharp so the audience didn't have time to fully work out what was being presented. This was similar to the opening credits for Seven.

The font I used for the credits is Algerian Mesa. I created these in Photoshop and then included a drop shadow so they would stand out against the footage. The choice of the font is quite conventional for a horror film as it is quite old fashioned, quite formal and gothic looking. It reminded slightly of the Buffy the Vampire credits as it is full of modern day imagery but the writing is quite old looking. Looking back, the writing is occasionally hard to make out so a brighter colour might have made more sense.

My opening is fairly unconventional as it does not establish a clear storyline. What I believe it does it set up atmosphere and gives bits of information. For a start there is the suburban setting which is normal, yet everything else is creeping and abnormal. The plan was to create the idea that there could be evil and witch craft in the average everyday places.

The genre required in the brief was horror so I tried to put the viewers on edge with disturbing and distorted images. I also tried to make a link between the human and animal images with the use of the close up with the eye in of the dog and character following each other. This was based on the True Blood opening which makes the link between animal behaviour and human through its imagery. This is a theme used in horror a lot such as monster films like the wolf man and as the idea of humans being predators.

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