Critical Reflection Preliminary Task 1 Schloss

Critical Reflection Brandon Schloss AICE Media Studies P7

Transcript of Critical Reflection Preliminary Task 1 Schloss

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Critical Reflection

Brandon SchlossAICE Media Studies


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Horror Movie Conventions

How our scene used and challenged horror film conventions.

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Conventions that are Followed

Our scene involves a doll that haunts the protagonist. The evil creepy doll character is an effective scare tactic in horror movies. Dolls can appear to be creepy because of the expectation that they are supposed to be playmates and best friends when we are young and vulnerable. We also have the ability to control their actions completely. For them to come to life will terrify and shock the audience. The idea of the evil creepy doll coming to life has been used in horror films such as the 1945 film, Dead of Night, the1988 film, Child’s Play, the 2007 film, Dead Silence, and more recently in the 2014 film, Annabelle.

Our horror/thriller scene incorporated many of the conventions used in the horror film genre.The scene was set at night. As isolation is a key theme in

horror films, we used an establishment shot so the house appears to be isolated.

Horror films tend to use nondiegetic score that include rapid frequencies and tones that get increasingly lower or higher. In our scene, we incorporated a nondiagetic score when the doll crawled out of the garbage can and which continued through the rest of the scene. The music was used to build up suspense and fear to contrast with the silence in the scene. As the scene progressed the music would get louder, heightening the suspense, and then receded at the end of the scene. This type of score was commonly utilized in films such as Halloween, Paranormal Activity, Psycho, and Scream.

We also used a nondiagetic banging noise representing movement of the lifelike doll while the main character was in the kitchen. This created suspense and fear as the doll was in close proximity to the main character.

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Conventions That Are ChallengedWhile our scene incorporated many of the traditional conventions in horror films, our group also challeged these conventions is both plot and editing technique.

Plot ChallengesUnlike the horror films that utilized dolls, the doll in our horror scene transforms into a human. Additionally, the villain doll is a little girl as opposed to the male villain/doll. When little girls are depicted as monsters, it's effective because they are expected to be harmless, and it upsets and shocks people when they are not.

Editing Technique ChallengesOur group incorporated jump cuts when the male protagonist sees the female villain at the end of the scene. A jump cut is a cut in film editing in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that vary only slightly. This type of edit gives the effect of jumping forwards in time. For the scene to work effectively, the jump cuts needed to be performed with great precision.

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Representation of Social Groups and Issues

The social group represented in our scene is that of a teenager. The protagonist in the scene is a male teen who appears to be upper middle class based on the portrayal of his house. Based on the interaction between the protagonist and his mother, the protagonist appears to have a close familial relationship and is well behaved.

The issue of Pediophedia, which is the fear of dolls, is represented in our scene. It is a branch of phobia linked to the fear of humanoid figures. This phobia is very common in horror films. There is something creepy and scary about dolls. They are similar in form to humans but they are not human. We cannot read or guess what is going on inside something that appears like us, but does not feel. In our scene, the protagonist’s mother refers to the doll as “creepy” when she tells the protagonist to get rid of the doll.

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Audience EngagementThe typical age for someone watching a horror movie is between 15 and 25. Horror movies give thrill and can excite a young audience easier than an older one. The young audiences are also less susceptible to being put off by unnatural images which may make older audience feel negative towards the film. The fact that the protagonist and antagonist in this film are teenagers, the audience is more likely to be in the 14 to 20 year range. Additionally, this films lacks extensive violence and profanity that would require a “R” rating. The audience of our horror film should be able to relate to the main character in the film as he is a typical teenager. This relation of the protagonist to the audience will lead to the audience seeing themselves in the shoes of the protagonist which will then lead to a stronger horror effect.

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Distribution as a Real Media TextHorror movies have remained popular over the years, and there’s a steady demand for low-budget films to satisfy this genre. Although we will attempt to have a traditional distributor such as Warner Brothers or Universal distribute this film, the odds are against these larger studios backing a small budget, independent film which lacks a known actor or director attached to it. A low-budget film with no famous actors attached to it can be sold if it has a strong plot and connects with the target audience. Since we are confident in our plot, we will enter our film in film festivals such as Sundance, Palm Beach and Tribeca. We will aslo enter our film in horror film festivals to target our audience such as the Screamfest Horror Film Festival, NYC Horror Film Festival or Atlanta Horor Film Festival. There is the possibility that we can attract a distributor at one of these festivals.

With the prevalent emergence of digital technology and connected communication, we will utilize social media for marketing our film and reaching our target audience. We will post video clips and trailers featuring scenes from our film on social media platfoms such as youtube, twitter and facebook. We will use Twitter to create blogs alongside users. Tweets that will be posted will include video clips and dialogue snippets. We will attempt to create viral awareness. We will create promotional material with cast photos and behind the scenes videos to create buzz and build a relationship with a target audience. If we create enough buzz , we may be able to attract large traditional distributors.

If we are not successful in aquiring theatrical distribution, we will seek distribution through DVDs, Blue-Ray, VOD (Video on Demand), or other digital distribution platforms.

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Production Skills DevelopmentThroughout the phases of creating this horror scene, I devloped and enhanced my production skills. I learned the importance of researching other films in order to incorporate the techniques to create the message we want to convey to our target audience. As we were creating a horror film, I wanted to develop skills that will create suspense and fear in the audience. I researched films that included Halloween, Scream, Jaws, Psycho, Friday the 13th, and Child’s Play. Through our research we corroborated on a script that could invoke fear and suspense and keep the audience engaged. Once we had an idea for the plot, I developed skills regarding the creation of a script and story board.

Prior to this project, my filming was limited to an I-phone with no specific type of camera shot. For this film, I learned to use a Canon Vixia HF R600 and Sony VCT-R640 tripod. Through my research of the horror films, I developed skills in various camera shots and angles, including establishing shots, close-up shots, zoom shots, P.O.V. shots, over-the shoulder shots, and high angle shots. All of these shots were utilized through the use of the Canon Vixia HF R600 camera and enhanced the message of our scene.

My experience with editing programs had previously been limited to I-Movie. The video software application that was used in the editing process of our film was Adobe Premiere Pro. While the programs are different, I was able to learn Adobe Premiere Pro and effectively edit the film clips. The software contained simple editing tools for us to use such as transitions, adding sounds, and trimming of footages. Our group successfully incorporated jump cuts at the end of the scene. A jump cut is a cut in film editing in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that vary only slightly. This type of edit gives the effect of jumping forwards in time. The jump cuts were performed with great precision and enhanced the message of the scene.I was also able to successfully import sound from the internet through the editing software that enhanced the suspense and fear of the film clip.

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Integration of TechnologiesMy group used the following technological tools in creating our horror scene. During my research and planning, I used YouTube as a source for my primary research on various films and trailers in the horror genre. I also used YouTube to research what my target audience looks for in a horror film.

To film our scene, we used a Canon Vixia HF R600, as well as, a Canon Rebel EOS T3i. The advantage of using these camers is that they were easy to carry around and everything was recorded on a SD card which transfers film footage across different devices due to its size. The cameras are Full 1080P HD, which meant that we recorded all our footages in full HD not missing out any detail. To make sure that the cameras were steady, we also used a Sony VCT-R640 tripod.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC was the software used to edit our film footage. This software allowed us to add more dramatic elements to our film, including sound effects and music. The sound effects and musical score were downloaded from the internet. The sound that was downloaded from the internet was converted to a mp3 format by a YouTube to mp3 converter.

For posting our blogs on the internet we used We used for posting our film scene.