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Evaluation Activity 1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real

media products? (i.e. of film openings) The title of my opening sequence is called ‘Breathless’. The opening sequence contains many forms and conventions of real media products. We chose to do this so that we could make sure it was as good as possible and also represent a typical horror film. We used the narrative pattern of Tzvetan Todorov, in which we showed the main character, set the scene and then end the opening sequence with a cliff hanger. Setting/Location

Throughout our opening sequence we had one location which was a house. This location did fit the conventions of a horror film which we realised when we watched other horror films to get ideas such as ‘The Ring’ and ‘Paranormal Activity’. As a group we decided to use this location as we felt our target audience which was males and females of ages 15 – 35 with a socio economic group of C1, C2, D and E would be able to relate to it as they spend a lot of time at home; therefore, causing them to enjoy it more. However, there were a few aspects of a horror film that we did not follow, such as even though we used a house, the exterior did not look unbelievably haunted. Also, our location did not include features such as a dark alleyway, somewhere isolated or somewhere enclosed which are typically used in horror films. Overall, choosing our location was difficult, but we decided that by using a house it would create tension and fear within our audience as many people will be watching the opening sequence whilst at home which may cause them to become weary of their surroundings which is uncommon as a home is meant to be somewhere where you feel safe and have very few worries about what could happen. Title of the film The title of my opening sequence is called ‘Breathless’. The storyline is about a teenage girl who is home alone and begins to experience terrifying events around her home after receiving a mysterious call. We chose to use this name as we thought our viewers may have a variety of different ideas of what the film is about. Majority of horror film titles give a clear indication of what the film is about, unlike ours as the viewers could possibly think it is about someone who gets strangled or someone who drowns. This therefore causes the title of the film to go against the typical conventions of a horror film title. We chose to use this title as the multiple interpreted meanings cause the viewer to become intrigued and anxious to find out what it is about. ]

Title Font and Style The title of my opening sequence is displayed at the end of the opening sequence. We used the font BlairMdITC TT in the colour white which goes against the stereotypical red colour used in many horror films, such as ‘Saw’ as we did not want to follow the typical stereotype, as well as we wanted to make it look unique. Our inspiration on how we wanted to design the title came from the opening credits in ‘Scream’. Similarly to the ‘Scream’ opening title, w e used a large font size so that it was clear and readable, we placed the text over a black background as this symbolised darkness and fear and we also used a fade in effect so that the title slowly faded in rather than being displayed instantly on the screen as it added to the suspense. On the other hand, compared to the ‘Scream’ title, we decided to add a glowing effect to our title as we wanted it to stand out to the viewer and catch their attention. Costumes and Props

The costume of our protagonist, Zoe follows the stereotypical conventions of a horror film. We can see this as she is wearing normal clothing which causes her to look innocent and like a typical teenage female. We chose to do this as we wanted Zoe to look as if she was following through with her every day events and unaware that something was going to happen in the own comfort of her home. As for our antagonist which was played by myself, we decided we would have my hair covering my face as this would add to the horror and suspense. Our inspiration for this came from the ghost girl in ‘The Ring’. This also conforms to the conventions of a horror film as it creates an enigma causing the audience wondering ‘who was under there?’ and ‘what do they look like?’. As a group we decided to use myself as the antagonist as we wanted to use someone with long, black coloured hair so that it could connote darkness and fear within the audience. In the opening sequence, the main prop used was Zoe’s phone. Phones are a typical convention of a horror film as they are usually what many films are based around or play a key importance in them such as in ‘The Ring’, ‘When a Stranger Calls’, ‘Scream’ and ‘One Missed Call’ which are mainly where we got our inspiration from. Phones are typically used as they can create anxiety within the audience as they wonder who is on the other end or whether what is being said is positive or negative.

Camerawork and Editing Throughout our opening sequence we wanted to make sure we included as many shots and angles as we could so that it was interesting to the audience. We used a range of medium close ups, medium shots, point of views and the typical close ups and extreme close ups which are conventions used in almost every horror film. We used close ups and extreme close ups as we wanted to show specific things in details such as Zoes reaction and emotions when

the reflection in the mirror appeared. This caused us to follow the conventions of other horror films. However, at the beginning of the opening sequence we used a medium long shot so that we could challenge forms and conventions of a horror film. We had done this by using the shot to show Zoe revising which will make the audience think that nothing will happen to her. As the camera person, with the help from the other two members of my group, we decided to use a variety of panning and hand held shots to add a sense of realism to the opening sequence.

The story and how the opening sets it up

The first shot used in the opening sequence is an establishing shot which sets the scene and allows the audience to know the location that is used is a house. The shot also allows the audience to determine the time of day in which they are able to tell it is night time as it is dark and gloomy outside. After this shot, the audience can see Zoe revising which portrays Zoe as being a committed and hard working individual. Zoe begins to fall asleep which causes the audience to sympathise for her as they start to think she is tired from all of her hard work. Zoe falling asleep automatically makes the audience feel worried that something is going to happen which is a convention of horror films as the audience clearly know that when someone is home alone and becomes unaware of their surroundings, something terrible always happens. Genre and how the opening suggests it Our opening sequence consists of many unexpected events causing the audience to become anxious. The establishing shot used at the beginning of the opening sequence shows the exterior of the house that Zoe is in. As mentioned before, the house does not look haunted; however, it does look slightly scary which allows the audience to know it is a horror film. Also, the scene where Zoe goes to open the bathroom door after hearing the shower and taps have been turned on creates an enigma as the audience begin to question themselves about whether someone is behind the door which is typically used in horror films. The fast paced editing and faced paced panning used in the final scene startle the audience and cause them to feel uneasy which is also a convention of horror films. Another convention of a horror film which we followed is the audience become aware that Zoe is home alone due to the text messages that appear on screen from her mother who says that she will be home late. This then indicated to the audience that Zoe is home alone which is typical when something is going to happen to the protagonist. On the other hand, when Zoe enters the bathroom, the neon lighting adds to the horror and worry that the audience feel. This challenges the forms and conventions of other horror films as they tend to use dark lighting when something bad has happened, whereas, we have used bright lighting.

How the characters are introduced

The antagonist is first introduced to the audience at the very beginning of the opening sequence when she is standing outside the house where the establishing shot was filmed which makes the viewer instantly weary. The antagonist is presented wearing very dark clothing and their face is not visible. This immediately causes the viewer to worry about who it is standing outside the house. However, the antagonist is only briefly shown at the beginning and is shown in a larger amount of detail towards the end of the opening sequence when Zoe can see their reflection in the bathroom mirror. The protagonist, Zoe is first shown revising in her bedroom. This suggests that she is an aspiring student. This does not show much about Zoe, but as the sequence continues, the audience begin to see how vulnerable and innocent she is.