Pre-production research Georgia Firth

A script can be defined as the written text of a play, movie, or broadcast. Scripts are
important in the film and tv industry because it gives the actors a chance to get into the
character’s shoes and know how they really would feel. It is very easy to understand the
configuration of the script as it involves the date, time of day and the location, they also
include props and camera angles. This would benefit the reader because they’re not
unexpected. Scripts are also important in tv and film as they're used to gauge the length of a
movie, as 1 page equals one minute of screen time. Therefore this helps the audience know
how long the film is roughly going to be.

Quentin Tarantino won the Oscar award for best script in 2013 with the film ‘Django
Unchained’. Quentin wrote the script and also directed the movie. Chris Terrio also won an
Oscar for best adapted screenplay with the film ‘Argo’.

The first five pages of a script are crucial. The first five pages must include the location, time
of day and the genre. In script writing, 5 minutes is quite a lot of time, therefore the genre
must be made clear straight away. This could be done by setting the film in a graveyard at
night, as it instantly has a creepy feel to it and the audience would be able to identify that the
film is most likely horror. The essence of the protagonist should come through in their first
line of dialogue.

In class, we studied three scripts. These were: Life on Mars, Final destination, written by
James Wong and Glen Morgan. We also looked at Terminator by James Cameron.
After analysing the script for Life On Mars I found that an example of how we understand
attitudes from the words spoken would be the attitudes they have towards women. It shows
that they don’t think very much of them, as the men have a much higher status compared to
the women. In the script they are referred to as “birds” whereas the males in the script are
called by their professional police names. This portrays the women as being inferior to the
men in the workplace, which would link to dominant ideology as women wouldn’t usually be
expected to take on such a manly job role.
The description of Gene Hunt’s room comes across to be very messy. It seems to be
designed as a pub. “Clock, shelf, dartboard, darts trophies and notice board.” This connotes
that work in the 80’s wasn’t taken very seriously. As Gene Hunt is high up in the police force,
you would expect his office to be organised and have filing cabinets with documents packed
in them. In the script, he refers to his office as his “kingdom” and states that he’s the “king of
the jungle”. This connotes that he is much more powerful than everyone else, as he
dominates others in the workplace. It makes him come across as very vain and self
centered.
The script for Final Destination used the codes and conventions for the horror genre well.
They used pathetic fallacy in describing the weather. “A flash of lightening! A crack of
thunder!” immediately tell us what the genre the film is. The certain camera angles used
were effective. For example, from using close up and extreme close up shots it helps
support the film because we are able to notice the emotion a person is feeling, particularly
from the eyes as that’s what the camera is mainly focused on. They included many
intertextuality references of bad events which had actually happened in real life. An example
of this would be where it mentions how the time appears to read “1:80” and this was the
flight number of a plane crash in real life. Therefore, it foreshadows the danger of getting on
the plane, as it positions the audience to think something bad is going to happen. The script
was playful by using the names of famous horror directors. The character “Tod” was the
name of the man who directed Dracula in 1931.
The layout and formatting of the script Terminator doesn’t introduce a character until one
and a half pages in. James Cameron described the layout and location in much greater
detail, which is different to Final Destination and Life On Mars.
This script is much more cinematic than the others studied because only a tiny amount of it
is dialogue; the rest is just describing the setting and the surroundings.
I have chosen to look at the script Scream, as it a similar genre to the script I created. The
genre is clearly communicated through the script. The script states that it’s ‘Pitch black’
outside, so the audience are aware of the time of day. In the script it also describes a large
oak tree, and says “It sits alone with no neighbours in sight.” This could foreshadow the fact
that Casey is alone and no one will be around to save her, if she’s in danger. The killer also
asks Casey what her favourite ‘scary movie’ is. Halloween is mentioned along with A
Nightmare on Elm Street, which are classic cult slasher movies
I think that the title “Scream” conveys the genre well, as you relate screaming with being
scared. Therefore you would immediately think it was a horror film. Although the title doesn’t
convey mystery, it would intrigue the audience because it makes them wonder why a person
is going to be screaming.
The first characters that are introduced in the first 5 pages are Casey and the man on the
phone. Casey is described in very short sentences. Nothing is really mentioned about
Casey’s appearance, however I can easily see that from the script she is a much weaker
character as everything that is written about her describes her as being frightened one way
or another. An example would be “Casey’s jaw drops as total fear storms her face”. The fact
that Casey is terrified would support dominant ideology, because you would expect women
to be the ones that are scared compared to the men.
The location in which Casey lives in is described as a “big country home with a huge
sprawling lawn full of big oak trees.” This gives the audience the impression that she’s
wealthy; however it makes you see her as being vulnerable as she lives their alone.

The first 5 pages of this script are mainly dialogue and don’t mention much about the
location. It is mainly the character Casey, having a phone conversation with the Killer on the
other end. It only includes a few small camera angles.

In the first 5 pages the location is clearly identified as it is a “big country home with a huge
sprawling lawn full of big oak trees.” We know that it is night time due to it being “pitch black”
outside. The audience would be aware of the genre because the killer on the phone always
asks “what’s your favourite scary movie?” We know that Casey is getting ready to have a
film night with her boyfriend Steve, but at the minute, she is alone in the house.

This script makes the audience want to read on because by the end of the five pages, the
character Casey, who most of the audience would assume is the main character, is killed.
Therefore this intrigues the audience to watch on to find out if there is another main
character, or whether it looks back on her life before she got killed.

EVALUATION
My film is called ‘Who’s next’ and it is a horror film with a primary audience of people
between the ages of 15-25. My film is aimed at both male and female, however I would
expect it to attract more of a male audience as it is very violent and gory. My secondary
audience would be people aged 25-35 and have an interest in the horror genre, particularly
paranormal horror. The Tertiary audience would be people who are fans of the director
James Wan who has directed many of the top horror films such as the Saw films, The
Conjuring and Insidious 1&2.
The main image I used on my DVD cover and poster is the main protagonist. The image of
her on my DVD cover shows her sat up with her back straight, hanging her head down,
which connotes an element of sadness, or as if she’s lost something important to her. She’s
looking towards a locket which she is holding out in her hands. The locket is present in both
the DVD cover and the poster, so this indicates to the audience that it is going to be
important in the movie. My images contrast each other quite well but still portray a similar
message. In my DVD cover the background colours appeared to be quite warm, from my
using a yellow glow. However, on my poster the background colour was hinted with blue.
This connotes fear as blue is quite a cold colour.
Other films the audience might take interest in would be The Devil Inside (2012) and The
Exorcist (1973) as both these films are from the horror genre, with the sub-genre being
paranormal.
I have chosen to certify my film as a fifteen as I feel like this will help reach its target
audience of teenagers who can maybe emphasise with the protagonist. The film company
would also earn a lot more money this way because the audience ranges from a younger
age therefore more people will be able to watch it. Even though if the film was rated an
eighteen, people under the age of eighteen would probably watch it illegally anyway, so I
feel by certifying it as a fifteen this will mean more people are able to watch it legally.
I used Adobe Photoshop CS5 to produce both my DVD cover and poster. I found that it was
very effective and easy to work with. It allowed me to use different effects on my photos. I
used certain effects to darken areas of my photos so it gave the DVD and poster a much
more gritty and raw feel to it. I felt that this made it look better than using the original image
as it makes it appear to be more realistic and matches the horror genre well. The audience
would be aware that the film has a good amount of money invested in it because of the
Paramount logo and Blumhouse logo which is present on both pieces. My tagline “it’s always
the quiet ones” this makes the audience wonder who the quiet one could be, and who would
be the one to die next.
I chose to use the Calibri font on both my DVD cover and Poster as I felt it was a very bold
font and would catch people’s attention if the poster was seen from a distance. The USP for
my DVD cover was that I chose to have deleted scenes and never before seen parts. I feel
like this would make my film more successful as people will be intrigued to know what the
uncut scenes are as they are too gritty to be shown in cinemas. Therefore this would mean
people would be interested in buying the DVD to find out more about it.
I feel like I chose the correct director for my film, as I picked James Wan and I know that he
also directed many horror films which are similar to the one I wrote about. He directed the
Saw films, The Conjuring and Insidious 1 and 2. The actors I chose were also all from the
horror genre. Erik Knudsen was in Saw 2 (2005) I also used Emily Browning as she was in
the film The Uninvited (2009) and Chloe Csengery was in Paranormal activity 3 (2011) I
chose my actors very carefully as I wanted them to match the genre, I feel like I made the
right choices for this.
Overall, I feel like my DVD cover and poster both went very well in communicating my genre.
As both pictures are very effective however they don’t give too much away, therefore the
audience would be more intrigued to watch it to find out the story of it. If I had to do this
again there would be nothing I’d want to change as I am completely happy with my end
result. I feel that both pieces of my work include all the genre conventions of a poster or DVD
cover. I had a checklist and made sure I completed everything that I was asked to do to a
standard in which I was happy with. I gave a website so that people can find out more about
“Who’s next” and I also included a soundtrack. I believe that overall, my productions were
successful and I am overly happy with what I have produced.