Links To My Co-Producers' Blogs

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

TW - Changes That I Believe Would Have Improved The Production

I believe there are a few changes to the production, 'Oblivious' that can be addressed here, as although I believe the final cut was a success largely, there were some aspects such as scene selection that I believe could have improved.

Firstly, the scene selection was wrong in some places, mainly towards the end of the flm opening. This can be seen at 2:03, where originally we had a scene where the blonde female would walk into the living room, and look out the window, at which point a close up of a mask would be seen which would scare both her and the audience. This was cut and in hindsight I believe it would have had more of the desired effect we were seeking, instead of the same scene but in the kichen, beginning at 1:31. This is because the sound that makes the female jump, a computerized sound, does not add realism and if paid attention to, can be heard to be a fake noise. If we had more time towards the end of the course it would have been wise to re-shoot this and add a real noise, to increase verisimilitude as this small detail is key to the suspense of the opening scene.

Another point about our production is the lack of panning or tracking shots. We reverted to using quick cuts to follow the character's movement, and although this works well an occasional pan or tracking shot would have increased shot variety and possibly if we had incorporated the right angle, could have signified someone watching, which I believe would have been a key feature as the lead would have been 'oblivious' to this fact.

One final change I would have addressed is the repetitiveness of the soundtrack, because although it starts well and provides sufficient tension, we clearly over-used is and it becomes tedious towards the end of the opening, almost ruining the spectacle as the audience become bored with it. To improve this I would remove the soundtrack in some areas, and preferably only use it at the beginning and start of the film opening as this appears common in horro films, as they let the opening scene run it's course due to it usually being heavily significant.

Monday, 21 March 2011

TW - Evaluation Question 7

Looking Back At Your Preliminary Task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

As you can see, our preliminary is of a very poor quality, with jerky camera movement, background noise, and even an unintentionally added character due to poor camera movent! This was before we began shooting our actual production and as you can see we lack real experience here. However we believe we have rectified all the problems from this task and we have vastly improved our finalised production because of it.

One important point to begin with, is that in our preliminary task, we did not use real actors, just the people in our group. However in our film we used real 'actors' so that we could meet plot objectives and also common conventions, for example casting a character to match the 'Scream Queen' character profile. Although due to busy schedules the cast were unable to film on many occasions, we did finally get the job done, in which you can see the more advanced acting skills displayed in our final production.

Another point to make is that we have rectified all jerky camera movement from the preliminary, so our final cut only includes still shots without any unintentional movement, which adds quality to the production. The editing is carefully completed in the final production as you can see, and there is no background noise or unintentional characters being caught inside frames. The reason for this is both hard work and determination to get every shot to a standard we believe to be perfect, and also due to large quantities of editing. This came from teamwork within the group that we believe came from doing the preliminary, and realising how much work there would be to make a good production. If one member was not completing the soundtrack, then they would be pod-casting, or designing the call sheet, or editing the production, etc. There were so many jobs to do that this definitely helped add value to our final cut, whereas in the preliminary task we probably shot and edited the whole thing in a combined total of around 30minutes, so it lacked real quality.

Finally, our final production actually has a real base of story, whereas due to the rushed pace of producing the preliminary task, we created a very basic interrogation sequence in which the suspect would not confess, enabling us to incorporate the shot reverse shot sequence which we found difficult to use beforehand.

TW - Evaluation Question 6

What Have You Learnt About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing The Product?

We have used many technologies in constructing our product, whether it be social networking sites for feedback, or audio recorders for voiceovers and podcasts.

The technologies we used are as follows: IMDB (film search site), Facebook (social networking site), digital video camcorder, digital audio recorder, livetype, keyboard, imovie, scanner, audio converters, email, mobile phones and USB sticks.

The first technology we used was IMDB, a movie database website. We used this for statistics and production information about films we deconstructed in our research and planning. This helped us give evidence that the slasher films we chose to deconstruct were in fact successful, with the website giving us valuable statistics about how much each film grossed, in more than one country, and also it's box office totals, again from more than one country. In response to what I have learnt about this particular technology, I have learnt where to access up-to-date information about just about any film made, and also about upcoming productions. I have also learnt how to access the website, and find the required information, such as profits produced. This website also gave synopsis' of the films, so we could compare these and gain knowledge on common character usage and what slasher plots consisted of ( common conventions used in slashers) to gain a better understanding of the genre we were working in.

Screenshot of

A scanner was required so we could put our completed storyboards and call sheet on our blogs, so I have learnt how to use the scanner and then how to get the scanned info from the computer onto the blog, a process I have never had to perform until now. Ifthe scanner was not available for

use, I would have had to take a picture on my phone, and upload to Facebook, before copying the image into a blog post,  which would have taken much longer than simply scanning the document then inserting the image into the blog post.
Scanned Image Of Our Storyboard

Screen-shot of audience feedback obtained from
Another technology we used is the social networking site, Facebook. This allowed us to post our rough cuts and company idents, in order for our friends to give feedback. Without this site it would have made it a lot more difficult for us to gain feedback as significantly less people would have viewed our video and therefore we wouldn't have obtained as much feedback.

The digital audio recorder and video recorders we used helped us significantly because they enabled us to record pod casts and our whole production respectively. Without these we wouldn't have been able to make our media product, or analysed it because there would have been almost no other way to create the production the high quality we did. I have learnt how to operate both these products, and also how to plug them into a computer safely so the work we had done could be imported and edited before becoming our production. The video recorder also came with a tripod, which whilst filming I learnt how to operate in order to get the desired camera shots for our film.

E-mail was used so we could contact our group members, and give relevant information and documents, whilst we used USB sticks so we could keep important files and upload them from home. Mobile phones were used to communicate with group members and also we needed to use one as a prop in the film, meaning it was key to our production. Without all these we would have not been able to communicate with our group, and most importantly, we would have not been able to transport and keep files from the school environment to home so we could upload files such as our rough cuts onto youtube and then to the blog. This would have caused problems such as the fact we would not have been able to obtain audience feedback as facebook is restricted in school for use.

We learnt how to use livetype and imovie to enable us to produce our company identification and our finished cut, and without these the quality of both products would have been a lot worse. livetype enabled us to complete an ident from scratch with a background, soundtrack and the company name on it, with the possibility of a logo if needed. Imovie enabled us to cut each clip to the desired length, piece them together to make the film, add soundtrack and also sound effects if needed. Without these our film would basically not exist therefore they were the most significant pieces of technology we used.

Finally, we used a keyboard to produce our soundtrack, as we wanted to recreate a soundtrack similar to John Carpenter's 'Halloween' so using the keyboard was necessary ton get the same eerie feel to the scene that the 'Halloween' soundtrack creates. Without the keyboard we would have had to rely on the soundtracks already created on imovie, and we believed this would take away the originality of the soundtrack to make our film seem completely different to others.

TW - Evaluation Question 5

How Did You Attract/Address Your Audience?

Initially, our audience was addressed in our media class when we premiered our 1st rough cut to the group 

To attract audiences, we also used social media sites, such as Facebook. On these sites we posted our Company Identification videos and our 2nd rough cut, so our friends (aged 17-19) could comment on them and tell us what we could do to improve, and what they enjoyed about them.

This is feedback we received for our 2nd Rough Cut for our production entitled 'Oblivious'

This is feedback we received for our Company Identification

As you can see, there is significantly more feedback on our 2nd rough cut. This was extremely helpful to us as we felt that there was not much we could do to imporve our Company Idents, and also we felt that they worked brilliantly with our production. The rough cut feedback we recieved was useful and we have made changes in response to that. The feedback was useful because the people who gave us the comments, were in the correct age range for our production's rating (15) so we felt that not only would the changes we made prove to be successful, we also knew that our target audience will benefit from them as well whilst watching the production. Other audience feedback we have taken into consideration is from a vodcast we recorded in which we had a member of our target audience actually talk to us about changes we could do to improve, and also what they enjoyed about the rough cut.

Untitled from Jem Whitehead on Vimeo.

We have also recorded various podcasts to engage our audience, so they can listen to our ongoing schedule and how we were progressing in producing our film opening. This meant that because they can listen to our schedule, they know what to expect and when, so they are more likely to access it.

Finally, one of my group members, Jem interviewed a teenager who we would target as possible audience for our production in his spare time to discover if the age range we targeted would be interested in a new release.
He found that the teenager would be interested and also gave us an insight into what he would like to see in the production we are creating.

TW - Evaluation Question 4

Who Would Be The Audience For Your Media Product?

The target audience four our media production was initially a broad range of Horror/ Slasher fans in the teenage population, without specifying age ranges and gender aims for our target audience. This can be seen in my post about target audience.
Blog Post On Target Audience
Added Info On Target Audience After Increased Consideration To Our Film's Age Range and Target Gender
Stereotypical Group of Teenagers
As you can see above,  we then change our post and minimised our target audience to specifically 15-24 year olds, in either gender. We did this because it has been increasingly common for Slasher films to incorporate teenagers as main characters, and we have tried to replicate that, so it makes sense for our target audience to be in that very same age range, so they can heavily relate to the characters.

The first annotation shows how although we found it difficult to incorporate a group of teenagers, we managed to show a teenage relationship in order to meet the middle of our target audience of ages 15-24. This makes the film more accessible for our age range as they are more likely to view our production if the characters are in their age range, because again, it easier to relate too and is accessible.

TW - Evaluation Question 3

What Kind Of Media Institution Might Distribute Your Media Project And Why?

Due to the fact our production company is very low budget, and also that we are an Indie company, we cannot aim for huge production companies such as Universal Studios or Walt Disney Studios, so we have decided to target a more independent company such as Caravan Films. This is a small budget production company, and also inside the UK, which would be ideal for our project as it is in the same country, therefore easily accessible and is also in our budget range. These lower budget productions usually incorporate up and coming or debuting  actors to save salary costs. Lower quality and less adventurous locations would be use to also cut costs, as well as keeping mise en scene and props to a minimum in order to meet their low budgets.

If we were really being hopeful, or had evidence of success with a previous production, we could aim for a larger British Production Company, such as Working Title which is one of the most successful british companies. They have most recently produced the film Paul which is hugely successful and stars big name actors such as Seth Rogen and Simon Pegg, who have many defining lead roles to their name already.

TW - Evaluation Question 2

How Does Your Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups?

Megan Claydon portrays our 'Scream Queen'
In our media production we included very few characters due to the fact that we were only making a short film opening sequence, and there is usually a lot of narrative enigma and quite a few unrevealed characters in regards to the rest of the film in the opening sequence in many films, however we did manage to incorporate several stereotypical character types into the film opening.

The first stereotype we have used is that of the 'Scream Queen'. The 'Scream Queen' is most commonly portrayed as blonde, busty, very sexually active, and someone who usually meets an untimely fate somewhere in the film. Our 'Scream Queen' is killed off very early as this is only our opening to what would be a full, feature length production. In our production, this character, named 'Amelia' in the production, is played by 'Megan Claydon', as we believed she best fit the criteria.
As you can see from the pictures, both characters do bare a resemblance and this works to our advantage in our film.

Drew Barrymore is the 'Scream Queen' In 'Scream'
Another stereotype we used is the typical 'jock' boyfriend, in which we cast 'James Crowther'. The jock type character tends to be quite big and seen as strong on camera. He is also sexually active, although he does not show it off like a 'Scream Queen', however he is still killed at some point in the film due to his sins. In our opening, our 'jock' named 'Carl' leaves the house after engaging in sexual activity with 'Amelia' therefore his storyline does not progress, so we did not have to decide whether it was necessary to kill him off or not. The only real thing known about the 'jock' is that he is sexually active, and usually is quite unintelligent.
Typical Jock
James Crowther
In our film, gender and sexuality do not really play a part, as there are no majority genders in the opening, and because this is only a film opening we cannot use other conventions such as the 'Final Girl' or the 'Survivor', the one who defeats the killer. Also, both characters in the opening are made apparent to be heterosexual, because it is signified that they are in a relationship, and the kiss before 'Carl' leaves anchors that perspective. If the film were to progress it is undecided if we would incorporate other sexuality types. It would also be quite difficult if we did use other sexuality types as many people may feel uncomfortable having to showcase that in a publicly viewed product.

Both characters are also of the same ethnicity, and again, if the film were to progress then it is undecided whether characters of other ethnicities would be introduced, although both choices on different sexualities and ethnicities are plainly because we did not need to think past the film opening, aside from a plot that could possibly be continued.
Both characters class and status is unrevealed although due to the house and its size, accessories and furniture it is suggested that the characters are seemingly well off. This however is not too important to the overall opening, as our film would not progress past that. It is also revealed through watching that both characters are in normal physical state, as they can walk to the door from upstairs freely. A character who goes against this is the seemingly bitter 'Frank' (see above) from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, who has a disability which forces him into a wheelchair. The use of a disability is a good way to portay a sense of vulnerablility to the killer, however it would be quite uncommon to find someone who would be willing to portray their disability on screen with a low budget such as ours.

Finally, we used actors in the same age range as our target audience(15-24) as we felt this would best represent a relation between audience and characters, which is likely to increase attraction to our film. It also means the audience can better relate to the characters, which can provide a greater 'fear factor' which will both compliment and benefit our production.

TW - Evaluation Question 1

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

Our media product has used and also challenged many forms and conventions of real life media, mainly from it's genre, the horror genre.

To begin with, our film opening's title is 'Oblivious', purely because of the film opening. This is because the plot sequence revolves around a girl, who also demonstrates the 'Scream Queen' convention, being tormented by a mysterious phone call, whilst being totally oblivious that this is actually a killer playing a mind game with her before he decides to finally kill her, ending our film opening. The title 'Oblivious' gives an initial image of the victims being completely unaware of what is going on, and that is the exact image we wanted the title to portray. The use of this horror title has been backed up by IMDB's Best/Worst 'Horror' Titles, with a similar title 'The Unknown' ranking number 27 in the Top Rated Horror section.

Our company identification does not really resemble the typical eeriness and usually dark type identification you usually see before ht film begins. This is purely because we do not know what genre our company would like to primarily produce, therefore we have not constructed our identification in any particular way, just to meet our expectations.

We tried to incorporate a very rural and secluded setting, with an aim of a house away from today's urban culture and located nearer the countryside (see setting and location blog post). A quote from that post best sums up our aims for location planning;
'The house will be modern and we will be aiming to represent a middle class style of living. It would also help if the house we use is in a rural area as this will hopefully add to the tension and immediately give the characters a sense of isolation.
Still of house - eerie setting is apparent
We will be filming inside the house, so we will be aiming to recreate a typical modern middle class environment with aspects of mise-en-scene including; Electrical appliances, classy looking furniture and a sizeable amount of space in each room.
Finally, we will need to film at a time of day where it is dark out, because this will add suspense and also will not affect our filming as we will be filming inside with light. The reason we need the darkness is to add to the sense of lack of security the woman in our film will try to present which should combine with the rural landscape'
We aimed to pay homage to an environment similar to that of the film 'Scream's or 'Halloween's, in which both locations use a lonely environment to anchor the fact the victim cannot escape the killer.
The Amityville Horror's film location
is urban yet rural at the same time - this is a good replica
of what our film's setting ended up looking like
We were however unable to meet some of these goals,primarily the ones we set for the outer house environment, resulting in us having to change our location to a house in a urban environment. However in the shots we used, there is still a range of semiotics that help signify the lack of security and isolated environment we need, such as the foliage around the house, and also due to shooting in the dark, it is hard to specifically point out housing near the house. Although the original denotation would be to suggest the location is not isolated, we still believe that there is an element of withdrawal and lack of security for the victim as a secondary connotation at the least. 

The characters are seen here wearing typical teenage clothing,
they are not wearing anything that would make them look odd in the scene,
 after the implied sexual activity
In regards to our costumes, we did not really need to use to many eccentric pieces of clothing. For our 'jock' and 'scream queen' we used plain, typical clothes that we believed would fit their description in order to get a typical teenager look across to the audience. 

Mobile Phone used in our Production
Mask used in the production
We did however use some very important props, which were key to the film. To begin with, there is a close up shot of our 'scream queen' named 'Amelia' locking the door with a set of keys. Although this could be connoting safety, we wanted to differ from the typical preferred reading and use it to signify that she now has no way out and is trapped with the killer. The second prop we use is the mobile phone, which is important in regards to communication. Without the mobile phone the killer would not have been able to speak to Amelia in our production, although the conversation is unheard, meaning we would lose all tension the phone call provides before the actual killing. We then move to a close up of Amelia pouring a glass of wine, which shows she is committing a sin in horror terms as she is drinking alcohol, therefore she must be punished, which comes in the form of death commonly. The final prop we use is the mask for the killer, this is extremely important as it is required to hide his identity from both the victim and the audience, this is an extremely commonly used prop and as become a convention in typical Horror films due to it's excessive use. The mask helps progress the story as with the victim remaining both nameless and faceless, it provides narrative enigma for the audience as they want to find out who the killer it, whose identity is usually revealed at the end of the film, as a culmination of the films prior events.

Phone calls increased the pace of our editing
Our camerawork and editing is to a great standard we believe, as we believe we have added voiceover to desired locations where needed and in perfect position to replicate a conversation. This adds to the realism and verisimilitude of a phone call as they are usually fast paced with a medium amount of dialogue, however if one of the participants is under threat, like in our film, then the dialogue would be more past paced, which we believed to have achieved. We also believe that the very limited use of transitions seen in our film signify more positively that time has passed, because if we had added transitions after every scene, the audience would assume that we had not intended for time to pass and this was just for visual effect. 
Close-ups on action were just
some of thecamera shots we used
We have cut scenes to what we believe to be a perfect length, with the film meeting the 2:30min time limit almost perfectly, showing we have used maximum allocation to ensure our production is as good as it can be. Our range of shots can also be seen, with a range spanning form a close up on keys when locking a door or when Amelia washes her face, to an almost extreme long shot of the rear window of the house when Amelia and 'Carl' (male 'jock' character') walk past, to signify someone is watching. Our soundtrack is also to a inch perfect length we believe, and whilst it does play in a slightly noticeable continuous loop, we believe we met our expectation of recreating a Halloween type soundtrack, although we are careful not to make it to similar to avoid copyright infringement. 
Lack of track and pan shots meant
we had to use a wide range of angles
One negative point I would make however, is the fact that we did not use a lot of dolly, pan or track type shots, in which we tended to revert to different angles instead of following the character, which proved to be a huge success in the Scream film opening. This meant that we had to edit in many different angles instead of using one tracking shot to show what the character is doing, however this did mean that our camerawork remained steady throughout, which is a positive. 

Titles used in our production
We decided to use a very basic white coloured font, in a large scale, in order to immediately attract audience attention to our title against the dark, shot of the house/location we used at night. The drifting effect we used in our opening credits shows silent movement, which is what an oblivious killer would need, although after the killer has performed his act, he can move more freely so we have added a typewriter sound effect as the letters come onto screen, to add a sense of triumph and almost as if the sound is his reward for performing a perfect, silent kill. We did obtain a font from the internet because the ones available were not deemed acceptable to the needs of our production by the group, the font we have now used is slightly jagged, whilst being neat, to give a sort of scary form of intelligence to the titles, which would represent a killer, as they are also neat, careful, intelligent and crazy, hence the borderline jaggedness. 

Carl. Amelia's boyfriend, escapes
punishment for his acts of sin
Our films story in very basic terms is as follows; a boy and a girl engage in sexual activity, the boy leave, the girl is tormented and finally killed as punishment for her acts of sin. The story after the opening would revolve around the boyfriend of the victim and his group of friends dealing with the death of a loved one, whilst they also have to try and stop the killer from striking again as he begins to pick them off one by one. The story can be set up by the 'Carl' leaving the house, therefore he cannot be punished for his actions, so the killer can target him after 'Amelia' meets her untimely death. Because he is with a group of friends the killer may also have to dispatch of them as well. We would also like to incorporate a 'Final Girl' into our film to include another common slasher convention, although it is unsure at this point how we would slot her into the films plot, one idea we have in mind is that the final girl could be one of Carl's less sexually active friends who is considered as a 'Good Girl' so that the killer has no reason to punish her.
The scene does not appear urban even
though it is in fact very much so

Our target genre was the Horror genre, with a target sub-genre of slasher. Our film suggests this with a very eerie setting in a dark environment. I have already stated that the setting did not fully meet the rural setting we aimed for, however the type of shots we have used do not make this apparent in the slightest. This in fact worked to our advantage as it does in fact suggest horror due to the dark against the house lights, to signify that the opening will take place inside or around this environment. Another suggestion of horror is the soundtrack. The eerie continuous keyboard sounds make the audience feel the tension and show the loneliness of Amelia when she is alone in the house, as if something could occur at any moment. One more obvious point is the fact that the boy and the girl are committing sins, which is a common way to begin a horror film, and then the killer comes and punishes them. This is replicated in our film almost perfectly so as soon as it becomes apparent that the characters have performed a sin, it becomes obvious that it is unlikely that these actions will go unpunished.

The killer's entrance point is left
unclear as a form of narrative enigma
The two main characters of the opening are introduced by coming out of the bedroom, and are seen straightening out clothing to connote sexual activity, which is regarded as a sin. This was the sole reason for them being first shown leaving the bedroom, aside from the fact that the audience gets a brief view of what the surroundings of the house look like. The outside shot of the window also looks like someone is watching the proceedings, which in a way introduces the killer. The killer is introduced in the bathroom, almost stalking the victim, in a sort of jumpy manner, as he appears out of nowhere in a view of the mirror. It is implied through a zoom of the door that he entered through this entrance, but the view of the back window means he could have also through there.
A loud bang provided a scare for Amelia

We did not use many special effects, as this would have been unfitting to the horror genre. The only thing we did use was minimal transitions and a makeshift loud noise to scare Amelia. The bang was important as it provided a scare to our audience, the transitions were key to show time had elapsed.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

TW - 3rd Rough Cut

Here is our latest cut of our production entitled 'Oblivious'. We have added soundtrack and edited to accommodate for the 2:30 time limit.

TW - 1st Rough Cut

Our group had presumed we had already uploaded this particular rough cut to the the blog, however when looking through previous posts we found that it had not actually been uploaded.
So, here is our 1st rough cut of 'Oblivious':

Monday, 14 March 2011

TW - Vodcast Number 1

This vodcast includes news on how far we have progressed in creating our production, and we also have a member of target audience giving feedback.

Untitled from Jem Whitehead on Vimeo.

Monday, 28 February 2011

WS - Changes made in reaction to Feedback

Whilst most of the feedback we recieved on our second rough cut was very positive, as expected there were little areas that people thought could be improved. We have listened to, and discussed all feedback. Some of the feedback has directly effected our final Production, whilst other bits of feedback have been discussed and we have decided to not act upon it.
The most obvious effect of feedback is that we have eliminated a short passage of the production. This is where Amelia goes to the window and sees the Killer's mask on the window. The reason we have eliminated this is because many people who have viewed our second film believe that this is the killer. This was not the intention. It was meant to simply be a mask hanging on the window to scare the Amelia, and wasn't meant to look like the person was actually there. It has also caused confusion amongst the audience. We are not too disappointed about this because this was a gamble we took when filming because an idea for a false scare with a cat didn't work. Eliminating this scene also means the time of our film, including Company Idents fits into two minutes and thirty seconds.

We have also deleted another shot on the advic of one of our teachers. The shot is just before Carl leaves the house and makes that short scene flow much better.

Our final scene, from when Amelia enters the bathroom until the end, took a lot of consideration and thought. During editing we sought a lot of advic on how our audience thought it worked best. The people we recieved advice from were in our Media Studies group and are, therefore, in our Core Target Audience. From them we recieved advice such as whether or not to use transitions (which in the end, we didn't), whether the scene flowed at a good pace for them, whether the camera shots worked effectively or not, and most importantly, did they feel that the scene overall was scary and an effective ending to our film opening. Views on this can also be seen on the below link.

Feedback that we considered, but decided against acting upon included views that we could show more of the killer. The main reason wedecided against that is because we wanted to keep the killers idetity as an enigma. Very little is seen of the killer, deliberately, because we believe that the more time the killer spends on screen, the less scary they become. This view was backed up when we asked people in our target audience. For these reasons, we didn't change our production to accomodate this feedback advice.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

TW - What I have Learned From My Research And Planning

I have learnt many things from my R+P, such as an ideal setting, common props and conventions, amongst other strategies.

To begin with, I have learnt through reading about Gothic Cinema in the book entitled; 'A New Heritage Of Horror' I have learnt that using establishing type shots that give the audience a real feel for the surroundings, as if they are in the setting themselves, helps to set the tone of the film and fully offer an eerie feeling as the film reaches it's climax, in order to fully engage the audience.

I have also learnt through deconstructing film openings, that props, in the form of a knife commonly, is key to a horror/slasher film. It is the most used prop to use as a murder weapon as it shows the killer having more power and sets them apart from their victims, for example; if they used a gun then all they would have to do is pull the trigger whereas with a knife, the killers have to plan their murders, showing they are skilled in that area. Although this prop and the mask (see below) are the most important props, further info on mise-en-scene we will be using can be found on the linked post.

Further evidence of this can be seen in the films; Scream and Halloween (both films hugely successful, with many sequels/ homages) where a knife is used by the killer, not another weapon.

Another key convention that can also be seen in the film Scream is the use of the 'Final Girl' concept, where said girl prevails over the killer at the end of the film. This has become increasingly common in modern slashers as it opens up a whole new audience of that of teen girls/young female adults who may not be familiarised with this genre until this new concept. Although in our film opening there is a definitive victim, known as the 'Scream Queen' we would have planned for a final girl to have prevailed at the end of our production. Further character info can be found in this link where we highlight each character we need and the characteristics they must have.

Another key convention is the use of a mask. This can again be seen in the films Scream and Halloween, as well as extremely modern slashers such as The Strangers. This hides the killer's identity, although it is usually revealed at the end of the film to provide a climax. We have used a mask in our film to hide our killer's identity, to incorporate yet another common convention to our film.

We have found that 'false scares' are also commonly used, and prove to be quite popular when further suspense is needed to keep the audience guessing. Many of these can be seen in the Paranormal Activity films . We have not used a false scare in our Rough Cut although this may change and there may yet be one in our finalised production.

Thanks to key horror films such as A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween, we have discovered that the ideal location would be a very isolated, rural scene. This was hard to achieve due to where our houses were situated, although as seen in the rough cut we have tried to use significant camera shots at the beginning of our film to give the best impression possible of a lonely location.

We have also chosen our target audience to be in the age range of 15-24 in order to have a wider group of possible viewers. We also hope that if this was a full production, the use of a final girl would help bring female viewers to our production. 
Another key part of a horror film is a very eerie soundtrack to provide suspense and act as tension in the eyes of the viewer. Iconic soundtracks have been known from Halloween and Saw (See Podcast for Details).

These points are regarded as the most important parts of a successful horror film in our opinion, and the majority are incorporated into our film opening, entitled 'Oblivious' - see below for second rough cut.

Or, go to:

TW - Audience Feedback For Our Second Rough Cut Of 'Oblivious'

TW - Audience Feedback For Our Company Idents

TW - Finalised Company Identifications

Company Idents

These are two company idents for
  • Hawk Eye Distributions
  • Jagged Edge Productions
We are awaiting some audience feedback towards them.

TW - Second Rough Cut

This is our second rough cut, we are now awaiting audience feedback.

BBFC Rating - Our Decision - JW


Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.


The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.


Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.


Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.


There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest  terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.


Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context.


Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely  to be acceptable unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.


No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.


Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.