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Angel Bird

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

At first we weren’t sure what name would be suitable for our production. We knew
that a short title would be good as it would catch the audience’s imagination and be
memorable. Eventually, we decided on ‘Obsession’. The word ‘Obsession’ is
mysterious and thought provoking as the audience wonder: ‘Who is being
obsessive? Why? And, How does the story play out?’ We thought the title was
appropriate as it gives some information about the theme of the production and
possibly hints at the sub-genre.
Title Font and Style:

The title, as shown above, is white with a red glow effect. This doesn’t conform to the
usual convention of the horror genre, as the title is usually mainly red, which is
associated with blood and danger. We decided to make the main colour white as it
represents the innocence of young people. The character of Jessica would usually
be seen as innocent and harmless, however in our production she is a psychotic
killer. The glow after effect is red which connotates death and danger which does
conform to the codes and conventions of the genre. We wanted to make sure out
title was easily related to the genre and contrasted to the innocence of the main
colour (white). The red glow represents the dangerous side of Jessica which lurks
beneath the surface. The typewriter font make it more personal and allows the
audience to feel closer to Jessica’s character.

Angel Bird
Setting / Location of the Production:

We decided to set our production in a garage. In some ways this challenges the
forms and conventions of the horror genre as a lot of horror films are set in houses or
familiar locations to make it more relatable. However, we wanted our production to
be set in a garage as it played on the audiences’ fears that this could happen to
them and added a mysterious feel as the audience weren’t told very much about the
location in our opening sequence. The garage partly conformed to the codes and
conventions as it was fairly secluded, which would have made it difficult for the victim
to escape. The garage added to the verisimilitude as the tools Jessica used were
normal items to have stored in a garage.

Camerawork and Editing:

Angel Bird

As director and camerawoman It was
faily simple to achieve what I had
envisaged as director. However, these
ideas were talked through with the
other members of my group.

At the beginnning of the project, we decided as a group that we wanted to put the
audience in thew antagonist’s position. To do this, we used the increasingly popular
handheld method. This method isn’t conventional, yet is getting used more and more
in the horror genre to help make the audience feel they are in amongst the action.
This method has been used in horror films such as Paranormal Activity. Throughout
the editing process, I worked closely with the editor to make sure our footage created
a realistic narrative and was believable. Through our POV handheld method, we had
more room to possibly break the 180 degree rule, for effect, as the audience followed
the action as it happened. We also used static amongst our shots to make our
narrative more believable.

Costume and Props:

The costume of our antagonist (as shown above) was essential to our narrative. We
had to make sure it covered our killers identity until the end of our sequence. To do
this, we followed the codes and conventions of the genre closely and had our
antagonist dressed in a black hoodie, jeans and boots. This efficiently covered her
identity and clearly communicated her role as villain to the audience through the
colour black. The costume of our victim (also shown above), was a white t shirt and
jeans. The white t shirt helped us to represent her as the innocent character who the
audience felt sympthy for. The jeans helped to highlight her age, which then made
the audience feel more sympathy and shock towards the events as clearly she is
only young.

Angel Bird

The main props that we used can be seen in the photo on the left. The cutting tool
was our main prop and helped us to highlight the horror genre to the audience as it
connotates violence. It also helped to add to the realism of our sequence as it is a
conventional item to have stored in a garage. This plays on the audiences’ fear that
this could actually happen to them. Mud and dirst can also be seen on our victim.
Again, this highlights the genre and adds to the realism of the sequence. We put a
boot print on our victim’s leg to make it look like she had been tortured before the
camera was switched on. The other main props we used, which can be seen on the
right, are the fake finger and board with the women’s pictures on. The finger added a
shock element to the sequence and the photos helped to tell the story.

How the characters are introduced:

Our victim, Sarah is the first character to be seen by the audience. This is
stereotypical of the horror genre as a victim is usually shown being killed to establish
the horror genre – such as in Scream. However, the fact that the audience follow her
struggle before she is killed makes them sympathise and connect with her character
more. The fact that the identity of the killer is concealed until the end of the opening
sequence is used sometimes in the horror genre to play on the audiences’ fear of the
unknown. We also wanted to conceal the antagonists gender to leave the audience
on a cliffhanger at the end of the sequence, which keeps them in suspense.

Angel Bird

Genre and how the opening sequence suggest it:
To make the genre clear to our audience, we included many codes and conventions
such as:
- Violence (suggested by the cutting tool and shown when our victim is
strangled on camera)
- Gore (shown by the severed finger prop and blood that surrounded it)
We also used a current and creative POV of camera theme throughout the
sequence, used by films such as ‘Paranormal Activity’. The non-diegetic sound of
dripping was suspenseful so the audience could infer the genre. We also used a
garage which conforms to the codes and conventions of the horror genre as it is
secluded and unknown.
Story and how the opening sequence sets it up:

Through the micro elements we emphasised the genre to the audience and set up
the rest of the 90 minute film. I think that we managed to set up the story well as we
showed a board with crossed through photos near the end of our sequence (as
shown above on the left). This leaves our audience wondering who the people in the
photographs are and why the antagonist wants to kill them, which I think sets up the
story nicely. Also, so as not to give much information away, we only revealed part of
our antagonist’s identity at the end of the sequence, which left the audience
wondering what a woman’s motive for murder would be, and what would lead her to
be so brutal. In addition, our title ‘Obsession’ reveals the sub-genre of our film.