In what ways does your media product use

,
develop, or challenge forms and conventions of
real media products?

My trailer – ‘The Haunted’
The genre of my trailer is a horror, with a sub-genre of paranormal. After
thorough research of the genre conventions of horror movies and trailers (past
and present), I felt confident in bringing aspects of genre conventions from
horror films into my own and even challenging them. For the overall mise-en-
scene of the trailer I created, I wanted to follow conventions seen in real media
products so I kept the lighting dark and the shots saturated. However, to
challenge conventions of horror films, I dressed the female main character in a
bright yellow top for a pop of colour to create contrast within the shots. I also
tried to position the audience to sympathise with the main character, so they
would grow attached and support her. To challenge forms of conventions of
horror films, I wanted to include a twist that would not be expected. To do this I
made ‘Jordan’, the supporting role, turn on Bella to keep the trailer interesting.
I named my trailer ‘The Haunted’, as it leaves an intrigue for the audience to find
out who’s being haunted? And by what? I also feel as this name shows the
audience what the genre of this film will be, so it sticks with the genre
conventions of real media products. Before choosing ‘The Haunted’ I researched
many other horror trailer and found that they always hinted the storyline of film,
so I felt as though this described the paranormal activity of my trailer. Such as
‘Jaws’ (1975, Spielberg) hints the storyline will be a shark and ‘The Exorcist’
(1973, Friedkin) hints the storyline will be situated around the devil and religion.

SHOT 1
The opening shot of my trailer shows a mid-shot of a hand reaching out to turn
on a light switch, the audience does not know who’s hand this yet so there is a
sense of mystery. It is also a dimly lit shot, with darker saturation to set the tone
of the rest of the trailer and conform with genre conventions of horror films. The
colours are cold and industrialised such as brown, black and white.
I was inspired by this shot from another horror film ‘Lights Out’ (2016, Sandberg).
I was inspired by the colours that were also darker and more saturated, but
wanted to keep the central characters face a mystery in the opening shot.

The infamous shower scene from ‘Psycho’ (1960, Hitchcock) was also an
inspiration for my opening shot. The mid shot of her hand sliding down the tile
wall is an effortless way to show the audience what has happened without
needings words.

Shot 2

This shot shows a high angle, or birds eye view of the main character opening
the attic door. I chose to incorparte this high angle as it makes the audience look
as though they are looking down onto her, and as though she is being watched
from above. This will put the audience on edge and they can connote that the
film may be about being watched or ‘haunted’. This angle conforms with genre
conventions of horror films as we are looking down onto her, suggesting she is
inferior to the paranormal character who is above her, which is seen frequently in
the horror genre. The shot is also saturated and dark which fits with genre
conventions of horrors along with the setting being an attic, another frequent
choice such as ‘The Attic’ (2007, Lambert). However, the characters yellow tops
diverts from conventions of the horror genre as the yellow colour stands out to
challenge th idea of only dark colour schemes being used.

I was inspired again from Psycho (1960, Hitchcock), which was a film known for
its ‘wacky’ and unique camera angles that had not been seen in horror films as of
yet. Another scene showed a high angle shot of a male and the killer walking
towards him. I think this shot works well as it shows the audience what the man
cannot yet see, meaning they will feel included within the film and would be
drawn into finding out what happens.

Another shot I took inspiation from in a real life media product was ‘The Shining’
(1980, Kubrick). This is another high angle shot that looks down onto ‘Danny’,
allowing the audience to see the space around him. I like how this shot works
with symmetry and colour in the carpet and in the way the toys are laid out to
divert against normal genre convetions of horror films.

Shot 3
This next shot is a close up of the central character flipping through pages of an
old book. I used a close up shot so there was a constrasting amount of different
shot types in my trailer in order to keep it interesting. A vast array of different
camera angles and shot divert from normal genre convetions of horror films as
they tend to stick to similar shots, so I made sure to include a variety. Old books
can be found as part of a storyline or involved within many films, especially
horror such as ‘The Evil Dead’ (1981, Raimi) where the central characters finds a
book and releases a spirit which also inspired the plot to my horror trailer. The
dark colouring and saturation of this shot also fits with the genre convention of
horror.

This close up from ‘The Evil Dead (1981, Raimi) was a big inspiration for this
shot. As the book is a huge part of the films storyline it included a close-up shot
of it, which made me want to include it within my trailer too.

Shot 4
This angle shows a mid-shot from behind Bella’s back, which again suggests that
something is watching her without knowing and puts the audience on edge. This
is common of horror film so conforms with genre conventions. However, the
setting of Bella in a ‘normal’ family home is unusual for the genre so it is
diverting from it. Frequent settings for horror films include isolated areas such as
an abandoned farm or factory as no one is around to help, but in a family home
there are people around and it is comforting. I chose to use this as a setting to
create contrasts and interest within my trailer, I also used it as it makes the
trailer more realistic and relatable to the audience, which makes them feel as
though this could happen to them creating a scarier trailer. The mise-en-scene of
this shot also diverts from horror films as it incorporates bright lighting and a
computer desk, which are not often seen within these genre conventions.
I took inspiration from this shot of Laurie Strode in ‘Halloween’ (1978, Carpenter).
In this mid-shot, she is also shown in her home which is not a scary setting. The
lighting is also not dark which I liked as it created a difference compared to
normal horror trailers.

Shot 5
This close-up and point of view shot showed the computer screen as Bella is
searching something and also makes the audience feel as though they are
watching too.I think this shot diverts against genre conventions of horror films
because technology is not included frequently, as it is a type of ‘security’
because it can be used to help characters who may be isolated. As technology
such as phones and computers are relatively new, they also divert from genre
conventions as many classic and infamous horror films were created before the
invention of them such as ‘Psycho’. However, more recent film have incorporated
technology as part of the storyline for the film and used it to create fear among
the audience because of the importance of it in our everyday lives now.

I took inspiration from this close up shot from a computer in ‘Friend Request
(2016, Verhoeven). This shot also challenges horror conventions because the
audience is not usually placed as though they are part of the computer screen,
the lighting is also bright which goes against the usual dark colour scheme.
Shot 6
This extreme close-up shot shows Bella’ eyes as she is looking onto the computer
screen. This shot works as a narrative for the audience, as they can infer from
the worried and scared expression that what she has found is not good. I also
think this shot emphasises the facial expression which is the most important part
of it but in a simplistic way, helping the audience foreshadow the reset of the
trailer. I think this shot conforms with genre conventions of horror films as
extreme close up shots can be found in many, because it is a great way to add
uneasiness to a shot as the audience can see nothing but the character’s face.
The colour scheme is however quite light compared to usual horror films in this
shot so diverts from them.

I was inspired from this shot in ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ (2012, Joost). This shot
looks as though it has been filmed from the computer, making it even scarier as
it suggests she is being watched. I also think that the semi-lit background
creates a spooky atmosphere as the audience can see behind her but not fully
giving a sense of uneasiness. This shot conforms with genre conventions of
horror.

I also liked this angle of an extreme close up of a woman’ eyes. I think this
enables the audience to read her facial expression well due to how close the shot
is to her face. The blood dripping down her face also adds a sense of mystery to
how they got there and makes the overall shot look scarier.
Shot 7
This shot shows an over-the shoulder angle of the two characters and it is also
the first time the audience is meeting Jordan so they will be judging him on what
they see. The clothing choices are much darker, inferring to the audience
something bad is happening as darker colours have negative connotations. The
mise-en-scene of this shot is also dark, and even though it shows the ‘normal’
and comforting home setting the audience will still feel on edge due to their
sombre expressions and colour scheme. This shot also conforms with the genre
conventions of horror films because of these reasons.

Another horror film that also uses the over the shoulder shot is ‘The Silence Of
The Lambs’ (1991, Demme). This angle shows the audience Hannibal Lector
attacking a police officer, and makes them feel as though they are watching it
happen in the moment because they can see both characters up close. This shot
also challenges the conventions of horror, as usually the audience expects white
to infer and connote innocence while black has negative connotations such as
death. However, here the two character have switched colours to create a
contrasting and interesting shot.
Shot 8
This long shot in my trailer is filmed by a hand-held camera and looks as though
they are hiding behind a tree. This will make the audience feel like the two
characters are being watched and put them on edge. A hand-held camera shot is
frequent within horror films so conforms to the conventions of them, the colour
scheme and setting of a wood also adds to conventions. I chose a wooded area
because they are seen by many as a scary setting due to them being usually
isolated and far from civilization.

I was inspired to use a hand-held camera effect from ‘The Blair Witch Project’
(1999, Myrick and Sanchez). This horror movie is filmed completely using a hand-
held camera to make it feel like a real documentary that the characters were
filming themselves, to make it seem scarier and more realistic. It is also mostly
set within a wooded area, that they then get lost in which adds to the fear of the
isolated setting. This fits with genre conventions of horror films.

I also took inspiration from Paranormal Activity (2007, Peli), to use a hand-held
camera. The natural shakiness of the camera makes the film feel more realistic
as it has been filmed by someone just like the audience, making it feel scarier.
Shot 9
Another extreme close up shot again shows the fear and worry within Bella’s
eyes and facial expresssion. I like this angle because it is different to usual shots
in my trailer such as mid-shots, and brings a more personal and realistic touch to
the film. I think it fits with genre convetions of horror films because we can see
the fear in her eyes and the overall colour scheme and mis-en-scene is dark and
mysterious.

I was heavily inspired by this famous extreme close-up from ‘The Blair Witch
Project’. I like this shot because although it was not made to be so zoomed in, it
allows the audience to see the emotion in her eyes and lets them become
attached to the character.
Shot 10
This is a low angle shot looking up to Jordan. The audience can infer from this
shot that Jordan may feel as though he is superior as he is at a higher angle, so
he may not be trustworthy. I also like this obscure angle because I feel as though
it does not fit with genre conventions of horror films as we do not see many shots
like this within them. However, the wooded setting does fit with horror film
forms.

I took inspiration for this shot from this odd angle in ‘Psycho’ (1960, Hitchcock).
This shot intrigued me as I had not seen any like this before and put emphasis
onto the character’s face. ‘Psycho’ is known for its unique angles so I wanted to
take some ideas from it and include them within my own trailer.