Friday, 2 May 2014

Finished Opening Sequence

Below is the complete opening sequence, the soundtrack has been added and some audio tweaks were made:

Monday, 31 March 2014

Question 5: How did you attract/ address your target audience?

We tried to attract the people in our target audience through a number of different ways.
Our target audience was mainly horror fans, of an age 16+. More specifically thriller-horror fans. We came to this conclusion that this would be our target audience by researching on IMDB and conducting a survey. We chose this target audience because we felt that we could make our film appeal to this audience more than others, through different ways.

First of all we created a film poster that would be used to appeal to people, this poster would be placed in all sorts of places that people are likely to see them for example bus stops. The image that we used on the poster was one from the opening sequence, we used this because it gives the peson viewing the poster something to think about, and also make them wonder what the film was about and why it was called 'hazmat'.

We also used younger actors, as we felt this would best appeal to the target audience, because they may be able to relate to the film a lot more. In addition to this, we felt that as it was a younger target audience, we could advertise and promote our film a lot easier and in many more different ways to the other groups. We created a Facebook page for our film, where we will upload the opening sequence, and the posters etc. This is also a place for people to ask questions about the film, we felt that this would address the target audience well because it would give them more of a personal feel towards the film. Similarly we also created a Twitter account to target people, this way we could search for different hashtags, such as (hashtag horror), this would make our advertising more direct than Facebook because you can see who the horror fans are. Both Twitter and Facebook were both good ways of addressing and attracting our target audience because first of all, our target audience is 16+, and most 16 year olds use Twitter and Facebook so it was very effective, they are both also free, so it did not cost us anything to advertise our product and try to attract our target audience through social media.
In addition to this we uploaded our opening sequence to Youtube, this was once again a free way of advertising our film, we could also interlink these Social media sites, by uploading links to the Twitter and Facebook accounts, this way we could see how many people were watching the video. Our video was also posted on Google+, so this was the main way that we addressed our target audience was through social media. 

Another way in which we attracted our audience is through mise-en-scene. The props which we used (gun,hazmat suit and gas mask) are mostly going to attract people within our target audience, particularly teenage boys.

Film on the IPhone

I have downloaded our film to my phone, enabling me to easily upload it to Facebook and Twitter this can be done through apps that are downloaded and then the video can be uploaded via these, quicker than doing it through the internet. Also we can show it to the public to advertise it. We can also text the film to show our friends and email it quickly.

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

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Question 6: Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

Evaluation question 4: Who is the main target audience for your product?

Text on the newspaper:

Our opening sequence is going to appeal to horror fans particularly. To be specific it would generally be appealing to thriller-horror fans. The age group that we would like our film to appeal to is 16 and above. Our main target audience are horror fans as our opening sequence is a horror. Our main aim was to film the opening sequence with as much suspense as possible so it will appeal to fans of suspenseful horrors. We wanted the film to have a sense of unknown and mystery about it, so the film is mainly directed at people that are interested by this also.

In addition to this, our film may be appealing to thriller fans, that are not necessarily horror films biggest fans. The hazmat suit and gasmask of the unknown character may be what intrigues people into watching film, which is exactly what our aim was. 

In the bigger picture, our film could generally appeal to everyone, as we wanted to make it to a high quality and well written film.  

We spent a lot of time researching into our target audience; We used websites such as IMDB and we looked at the viewership of horror films. In general we found horror films to be very popular between all ages and genders. This means that the viewership for horrors is very broad, giving us a large target audience. We took these figures into account whilst creating our film. We also did our own research by asking fellow classmates and students and conducting a survey which would be answered by these people to. This is how we came to the conclusion that we would aim to target people of the ages 16+.  We used the website Survey Monkey to create our survey, we sent the survey through email to these people through out the school.

Another reason why we chose to target people of the age 16+ is because the film would be a 15 rated, we wanted to exclude as least amount of people as possible, but we felt as our film is a horror, that it would have violence etc. that it may not be suitable for anyone younger than this bracket. Furthermore, we felt that the film may be too confusing for younger viewers as they may not understand some of the themes involved. Also they would need to make links to different parts in the film, which we felt that younger viewers may not be able to do.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Question 3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Warp Films, who work closely with Film 4, have produced some great british horror films, such as The Kill List and Dead Man's Shoes. This, combined with the multiple horror seasons Film 4 has featured on it's channel and promoted, shows Film 4 have a keen interest in horror films. The fact our film would be a british independent horror film means Film 4 would likely take interest in distributing it.

Final Film

Below is the opening sequence, mainly finished, however some editing still needs to be done:

Inspiration for Movie Poster

We are creating a movie poster to help promote our opening sequence, below are some movie posters that have been evaluated to get ideas for our own poster.

Halloween 2:

The second film of the new Halloween series features a creepy and effective poster to help advertise it. The center image is strong and features an iconic character, so can hold the poster on its own. A strong image can be used to grab peoples attention. The poster is effective as it tells you all you need to know through a strong image. The masked figure, Michael Myers, and the black and white show it will be a horror film featuring the character on the poster. Information, such as the name and director of the film is found on the bottom left of the poster, allowing viewers to attain the important information about the film without the information detracting from the power of the image in the centre of the poster.
Drawing from this a strong image would allow us to create a simple and effective poster.

30 Days of Night:

Just like the Halloween 2 poster, this poster for the film 30 Days of Night features a strong central image. The central image is heavily stylised and is very effective in catching the attention of viewers. The poster is simple but effective, and the stylisation allows it to appeal to funs of the graphic novel the film is based on. Not much information is displayed on the poster as it is a teaser poster, however it is still useful for inspiration for our own poster. The colours used are also effective. The use of two solid colours such as red and black strikes viewers and helps to grab attention. Red and black also help indicate the film is a horror, with red being the colour of blood and black representing darkness. Drawing from this strong use colour will help us to make a strong poster.

Working Title

We were initially putting Film 4 as our distributer, however, we have changed to Working Title. Working Title formed in 1983, but didn't distribute until 1990 with Chicago Joe and the Show Girl. Working Title are based in the UK, Ireland and the US, distributing films from all three areas. Working Title distribute higher budget films, and their British films include Shaun of the Dead, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Love Actually.

We decided to move to Working Title due to the quality of the films they distribute, and we wanted to make our film seem more professional and high budget. The fact Working Title associate with big names such as the Coen Brothers, distributing most of their films, as well as the likes of Edgar Wright, a
high profile british director, show they are well embedded in the film industry. We have added the working title opening credits to our opening sequence also.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Below are bloopers and shots we didn't end up using, as well as shots we did use before being edited:

Risk Assessment

Below is a powerpoint detailing the risks of filming our sequence in a woodland area:

Monday, 17 March 2014

Movie Poster First Draft

To help promote our sequence we are making film posters, below is a draft of a poster:

There are some notable problems with the poster. Firstly there are no credits at the bottom of the poster, these will need to be added to make the poster look realistic. Secondly, the poster lacks depth. There is nothing going on around the edges of the poster, and the centre image isn't strong enough to hold the poster on it's own. The plain effect doesn't work here. Some colour around the edges would add the needed depth, and credits at the bottom would make the poster look realistic.

Opening Sequence Unedited

Below is an unedited version of the opening sequence:

Friday, 14 March 2014

Video Diary 4: Concluding Filming

Below is the final video diary from when we concluded filming at the end of the saturday we filmed:

Video Diary 3: Saturday

Below is the third video diary from the saturday we filmed:

Video Diary 2: Wednesday

Below is the second video diary from the wednesday we filmed:

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Budget

Below is is a spreadsheet detailing the what has been spent on props and equipment:

The gas mask hazmat suit have been bought exclusively for the film. We estimate to spend around £5 on food, bringing food and drink from home to minimise cost. The gun cost a lot, however it was not bought for the film, despite featuring in it. So we have shown the cost of the prop but are not including it in the final cost. The filming equipment was supplied free of charge by the media department. Overall,  we have spent £40 exclusively on the film.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Shooting Schedule

Below is the schedule we are using to make filming our sequence organised and quick as possible:


We will hope to finish the sequence in a total of 6 and a half hours.

Target Audience: Horror Fans

The main target audience of our film are horror fans, as our sequence is in the horror genre.
The results of the survey I carried out show horror is a popular genre. This can also be seen due to the fact the horror film World War Z was the third most viewed movie on IMDB in 2013. Our sequence will attract horror fans in a number of ways.

One reason lots of people watch horror films is due to the fact they can be very tense. Our sequence involves a lot of tension due to the shots and props used, as well as the mystery of the character and the story. The fact viewers don't know where and who they are watching, as well as the fact they don't know what's happen, makes the sequence tense and mysterious.

The aesthetic of the sequence is similar to horror films such as 28 Days Later, due to the props, and The Evil Dead, due to the location. These factors could be used to appeal the sequence to fans of these films.

Survey Results

The results show that horror is a very popular genre, with over 50 percent of the people taking it voting it as their favourite genre of film. This shows moving into the horror genre was a good idea as it is popular, so if our sequence was feature film it would be easier to market.


Below is the script for the sequence:


Here is another version of the storyboard:


Below is a hand drawn storyboard of the sequence:


Below are pictures of Lego men being used to demonstrate the script and story of the opening sequence, as well as the shots that will be used:
The first shots will be shots of the location, accompanied by titles. The titles will take centre stage, however the location will be clearly visible. This well help to elaborate on the mysterious setting without going into too much detail.

These close up shots show different parts of the main character. Starting from the feet, and ending on his gas mask covered face. Slowly revealing the character helps add to the mystery, and the close ups of the gun and gas mask help to show danger is present.
Follow shots will be used to follow the main character as he explores the desolate woodland, his goal and identity are a mystery helping to add to the tension of the sequence.

When the main character finds the body a shot reverse shot is used. The first shot shows the character has seen something, creating tension. It is then revealed what the character is looking at, the dead body, and then we see how he reacts through his body language as his face is masked. The shot reverse shot helps advance the sequence as the character is now aware of a potential threat.

The character investigates the body and the makeshift shack housing it. A mid shot is used so that the body the shack and the main character are all visible.

The final shot is a pov shot of a threat that is not revealed. The threat hurtles toward the main character until collision, and then the sequence cuts to black.


Friday, 14 February 2014

Distribution: Film 4

Film 4 started as Film 4 productions in 1982, owned by Channel Four Television Productions. In 1998 it was rebranded as Film 4, along with the launch of the Film 4 channel we know today.

Film 4 handles distribution for many British films, and collaborates frequently with British production companies such as Warp Films. If we were making an actual film we would contact Film 4 to distribute our film. Due to their support of British Independent film, Film 4 would make a great distributer for a British Independent horror film like ours would be. Film 4 would allow our movie to be screened across the UK as well as abroad, due to their experience. Furthermore, they would easily be able to promote our film via their channel, through special programmes in between the other movies on their channel, and also by showing it. We will be putting the Film 4 titles at the beginning of our sequence, to help make our titles and sequence more credible. In addition we will also create a production company with it's own titles to go along with the Film 4 titles.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


For our sequence we will probably avoid a traditional score, instead opting for something more subtle involving real sounds. The music will play along with the titles, but will end afterwards. The rest of the film will not use music, and will instead rely on natural sounds to make the film more unsettling. A synth or percussion is usually in horror films, playing quietly in the background. I believe this would ruin the atmosphere of the sequence. Our main inspiration for the soundtrack is the Se7en opening, seen below.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Casting Choices

Below is the casting of the opening sequence:

Aaron Cody: Aaron is the camera man and director of the sequence, thus will be behind the camera.

Shay Devese: Shay is the main character in the sequence, sporting a gun gas mask and hazmat suit. The sequence will follow this mysterious character as he explores a desolate woodland.

Elliot Day: Elliot plays the dead body, which he plays excellently. His presence creates tension and fear  in the audience, deeply unsettling them. This oscar worthy performance will land the sequence critical acclaim. Also he does the editing.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Pitch and Final Location

Our opening sequence will be a horror scene involving a single character, a dead body and the possible presence of a monster, murderer or something more supernatural, which is left to the audience to interpret. This allows us to create horror through mystery and easily create tension as the character explores the area around the body. The sequence will be around 2 minutes long, so we must fit all our ideas into a short space.

The final location for our sequence is Roundabout and Sparrows Wood in Petts Wood. The woodland location allows for tension and mystery, and will provoke a sense of isolation around the main character, helping to promote the horror. Furthermore, the makeshift shack in the wood will also create mystery, and multiple shots can be centered around the shack to create further horror and tension.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Camera Work: Evil Dead Shaky Camera

The Evil Dead films use a cheap to do and effective camera shot that represents a demonic force hurtling toward an abandoned cabin. The shot is creepy and effective, and something I may wish to utilize in my own sequence.

The video explains how to use the shot and shows some footage of them doing the shot themselves. The shot would allow us to show the audience there is a presence in the sequence, without actually revealing what the presence is. This leaves the audience to interpret what the presence is, if it's a monster, a murderer or something more supernatural.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

More Openings

Below is a link to an article detailing more horror openings and offering a short analysis.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 Opening Sequence

The video below is the last of the three horror openings I will be analysing, and is the opening to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, considered one of the best horrors ever made.

This is a great opening sequence, simple yet creepy, and great at building tension. The sequence doesn't show much, avoiding the murderous rampages or tedious jump scares that plague so many modern horror openings. Instead we are treated to a quick background of the true story, some flashes of a body, and a close up of corpse, from which the camera slowly zooms out. This allows the opening to creep out the audience with the opening, while at the same time keeping the source of the horror a mystery. This is something I wish to replicate in my own opening, creating tension whilst also maintaining mystery. The quick flashes of the body are effective, showing bits of the corpse and then hitting you with it at the end, creating a great moment of horror. This is something I mentioned in the Dexter opening sequence, where bits of Dexter are shown through out, and then we seem him fully at the end. On that post I mentioned that if this was done in a horror film it could be done to great effect, as seen here. This is an idea I could use to great effect within my own opening to create tension and horror.

Sound also plays an important part. The voice over at the beginning is deadly serious and very creepy, helping to emphasise the fact it is a true story that is being portrayed. The radio at the end also has a menacing effect also helping to sell the fact it's based on a true story. Furthermore, the percussion on the zoom out adds to the atmosphere and the creepiness. However, as I have stated I will be avoiding music and instead relying on natural sounds.

Monday, 3 February 2014


The following list is of the props that we will be using for the opening sequence. A major theme within the props is danger, they highlight the possibility of danger and add to the tense atmosphere.

Gun: The first prop is a gun. The gun shows that the character needs to protect themselves, provoking a sense of danger.

Gas Mask: The prop gas mask also adds to the sense of danger, showing the area is hazardous. Furthermore, it adds mystery to the main character by covering their face.

Hazmat Suit: This prop has the same effect as the gas mask. It shows the area is hazardous, adding to the sense of danger, and makes the character more mysterious by covering them up.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Target Audience: Teenagers

Audience research is important to show who you can appeal your film to, allowing you to make and advertise your film accordingly.

A large portion of horror film audiences are teenagers, as they are the main target audience of a large amount of modern horror films. Many modern horror films feature a group of dim witted teens falling victim to a murdering maniac, or the kid they bullied at school posing as a monster, so he can scare and then butcher them for revenge. This kind of horror is referred to as teen horror, or slasher horror. The young cast means teenagers can relate to the characters, and the plot of a person or creature killing them off is easy to follow, making slashers and teen horror films perfect for teenagers looking for an easy film to watch in the cinema or at a movie night with friends. Examples of these films include: Friday the 13th, Sorority Row, the more recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre films. Evidence these films are aimed at teenagers and young adults can be found on IMDB, where 29240 of the 57952 of the people who voted, are aged 18-29.

However, I will be avoiding this type of horror, opting for something more tense and suspenseful. I will be taking elements from this genre though, as it is popular with young audience, and so the borrowed elements may attract viewers from that audience. The main element I will be borrowing is the presence of a killer. However, the killer will be unseen throughout, leaving it's appearance and motives to the audience to interpret.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Halloween Opening

The following video is the opening sequence to John Carpenters horror classic Halloween, released in 1978. 

The fact it is filmed in point of view (pov), makes it more suspenseful, as you cannot see the killer, but you can see what he sees. This is tense, as you can witness the killers progress through the dark house as he slowly moves in for the kill. The tense pov is effective, and pov is something I wish to utilize in my own opening sequence, keeping the killing force a mystery, whilst also letting the audience know the killer is present. The constant synth in the background further adds to the suspense of the sequence, however, i believe silence or relying on natural sounds will be far scarier, creating an unsettling mood of silence with the occasional snap of a twig.

What makes the pov further effective, is it allows for the big reveal at the end of the sequence, whilst also allowing you to see the brutal murder. Pov helps to further add to the brutality, as seen in the recent film Maniac, which is completely filmed in pov. All in all I will draw from Carpenters effective use of pov to create tense shots from the view of the killer.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Preliminary Task

This is my groups preliminary task, in which we had to display three different filming techniques.

The first technique is shot reverse shot. This is seen at the end of the clip during the conversation, in which the camera switches between the two people speaking. This is a useful technique to use in conversation as it allows the speaker to be tracked, it is also useful for building suspense, showing a character in horror, then showing the viewer what they are looking at, and then returning to the character for the final reaction.

The next rule is match on action. This can be seen when the first person walks through the door. The camera shows the person opening the door  from one side, and then coming through on the other. This rule is good for keeping a film consistent, and avoiding mistakes.

The final rule is the 180 degree rule, which is seen most clearly at the end during the conversation. The 180 degree rule keeps the action within a 180 degree view of the camera, and the view is only changed with pan or follow shots, and not quick cuts. This also helps to keep a film consistent, maintaing a natural view for the audience, and avoiding confusing them.