Our Film Opening

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Evaluation Post 1: In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our film is called 'Disturbances' and is of the horror, thriller genre. We tried to conform to these genre conventions as best as we could though we slightly challenged some aspects of the genre.

Our Film Plot:
Our film opening uses, develops and challenges forms and conventions of real media products through the genre, narrative, character roles and editing techniques. We used various real life films as reference such as 'The Blair Witch Project', 'Quarantine' and 'Contagion'.

Our film entails a story of a group of teenagers investigating the mysterious disappearances occurring in a local forest in a North London suburb, and how as the film progresses the group gets smaller and smaller until one girl survives thus also enforcing the 'final girl' theme.

Our opening sequence definitely followed the typical format that similar opening sequences conformed to, and this was done well as having talked to peers and members of our target audience they felt our characters were well portrayed and they all wanted to see more.

Our two main inspirations for titles were The Shining and Se7en - both films of a similar genre. Sinister influenced our title order, The Shining gave us the idea of super-imposing the titles over the shot in order to build up a suspenseful atmosphere and Se7en inspired our contrast of white titles against a dark shot. 

Comparison of title order

Comparison of super-imposed titles

Comparison of the title contrast

We included dialogue but only from the middle of our sequence onwards, this was so we could effectively build up tension and a sense of mystery from the very start. We never had more than one character in a single shot so shot/reverse/shot was not a viable option, however we did this to show the danger in each shot and this was done to good effect. The main dialogue was our news reporter introducing the crime in the forest, an idea that was inspired from a similar style news broadcast in Quarantine and similar setting in The Blair Witch.

Genre Conventions for Horror/Thriller Films:

The following is a prezi which not only details the genre conventions for horror/thriller films but also shows where and how we followed and challenged these conventions.

Narrative Structure:

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We styled our film opening with genre conventions in mind as we wanted the final product to be as connoting of our intended genre as possible.

1) Grading
Grading in Disturbances (our film opening)

Grading in Se7en ( reference film)

Our grading is similar to that of Se7en. It is very low-lit with high contrast and low saturation to connote a dark, mysterious atmosphere as is conventional of our genre.

2) Sound
We took inspiration for our soundtrack from The Shining which uses a similar, spooky, classical soundtrack, and edited it so that it would build up in volume and tempo at points of action or at key moments in the film opening such as when the camera falls and breaks or when the antagonist says "it's done".

The Shining inspired our film soundtrack

We took inspiration for our dialogue in the news report from Quarantine as it also featured a news report and was of a similar genre.

The Quarantine inspired the dialogue for our news reporter

In conclusion, our film opening follows many conventions of the genre and challenges very few. This is good as the audience will easily identify it as a horror/thriller and therefore engage much more effectively with our film. With all this in mind it is safe to conclude our film opening is very similar to real media film products.

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