A huge part of this final major project is the research part, before making the production, research is critical. I will be researching key practitioners that I have chosen because they are relevant to my idea and are people who have inspired my idea, I will be looking at other horror films that have inspired me. Also looking at competitions, the horror target audience which is my target audience, looking into the legal side, looking at concepts, technical requirements and lastly the costs and budgets of the production. First I will be starting by looking at my practitioners.
Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director and producer who has become on of the most well known names cinema history. Hitchcock originated from Essex in England in a town called Leytonstone. He was born in 1899 on August 13th and later died in on April 29th in the year 1980, he died at the age of 80 in Los Angeles, America.
In the 1920s, Hitchcock first went into the film industry where he started by drawing set pieces as he was skilled in Art. He landed his first role as a director after the original director of the film “Always tell your wife” a film made in 1923 became ill which meant Hitchcock had to fill the role for the film. After this was the birth of his career as a director because after he was hired for his first film as a full director in 1922 on the film “Number 13” which then wasn’t completed due to studio closure.
1940, Hitchcock and his family moved from Essex to Hollywood where he later went onto working on a title called “Daphne du Maurier”s” which was a film he was hired for from a guy called David O. Selznick. Hitchcock also then went onto another film called “Saboteur” in 1942. After this his name became bigger and studios named his films ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s’ this is where his name became large in cinema and he was always successful in the box office.
A famous example of a horror film made by Hitchcock was “Psycho” The reason I wanted to look at Alfred Hitchcock in the first place was because of this film that he directed. This film is a famous classic of what makes a horror and how tension is built using sound. The film came out in 1960 and is a take on the slasher horror genre. I will be looking at the iconic shower scene from this film which uses music and cutting really.
I am analysing this scene because of the way he uses the violent music to create tension without actually showing much. This scene is full of mainly close up shot, this is to keep the audience closer to the action that is happening. The editing picks up and is has a lot of cuts to hide the less violent nature making it look more violent. In terms of lighting, the main actor, the victim is lit and the killer is in a very low key lighting, lit in the shadows. Making it so the killer is in the shadows makes it more tension based because the audience don’t see him. I think this scene is good because the way the sound is used, the soundtrack is very chilling which is what makes this scene actually violent.
I watched this video above because of the theory he has about tension. I found this video really interesting because he goes through the concept of tension and how it effects the audience. Hitchcock goes through a scene where a bomb goes off after a boring normal conversation. He explains that because the bomb is never talked about or shown and that it goes off after the conversation, because the audience don’t expect it, tension isn’t made. He then goes on to say “take the same scene and tell the audience that there is a bomb under the table and will go off in five minutes” he says that this changes the whole emotion from the audience, they are told about a present danger.
He then goes on to say that after the information is given that “the bomb must never go off” as this creates a state that the audience get into because they know that something is going to happen that the character don’t know, it is known as dramatic irony because the audience know something that the characters don’t however it is done to create more tension not in the scene but as an emotion. He says for the bomb to “never go off” because in doing so it keeps the tension as the audience are now expecting the danger so after the audience have got gripped with the fact that it will go off and that in five minutes it will be over, they expect relief, they expect it to happen. If it doesn’t go off then he says that they get angry due to the lack of relief, which will keep them on edge.
This is such a clever technique of creating tension in a film for the audience and is something that I am now inspired by for my horror because this idea is now common in the horror genre where the audience see the killer or being before the characters do making the tension build because the audience know something that the characters don’t know. Also his bomb “never goes off” works really well in horror as well because these are really successful false jump scares, where the audience have been given some information and then the character realises and goes over to that information, making the audience more nervous as the character is getting closer to the information and then nothing jumps them, nothing happens. I will be using false scares in my horror idea in areas to creates more tension then a scare.
Oren Peli is an American Israeli Film director, producer and screenwriter. The reason I am looking into Peli is because he is the director of “Paranormal Activity” (a key inspiration to my short film)
Peli was born on the 21st of January in 1970, he is aged 49. Oren Peli grew up in Israel until he was 19 when he decided to move to America and pursue his career in Film. At the start, he studied animation as well as, graphic design, working as a developer of Photon Paint which was a bitmap program for graphic design. He then went into video game production while his main ambition was to direct film and edit full feature film.
In 2009, Peli, made his first major film and what he is most known for today, “Paranormal Activity“. He came up with the idea of this film due to him moving into his first house alone in America and hearing creaks and bangs in the house, this is what drove him to create what we know today. He only had a budget of $15,000 to make the film but he used his film making and editing skills that he had developed and the drive to make it as his first film, that he made a successful feature length horror film which had been inspired by other films like “The Blair Witch Project“.
Peli has since worked on newer titles due to the success of “Paranormal activity” like he worked with James Wan to develop “Insidious” and then moving onto writing and producing another horror film in 2012 called “Chernobyl Diaries”. He makes horror films, however, did also make something slightly different to what he normally produces, a science fiction horror called “Area 51″.
The Paranormal Franchise is Peli’s most famous work that was a huge success after the low budget of $15,000 as said earlier. It has been rated a 6.3 out of 10 on IMDb which is good for a horror film and of this budget. It also got a meta score of 68 out of 100. On Rotten Tomatoes, another critics reviewing site, the film got a rating of 83%. This film to the present day has made 193.4 million USD in the box office which is astonishing considering the budget of the film.
“Paranormal activity” then became a franchise of 6 films due to the success of this different take on the horror genre.
I have also included some reviews on the second film to see what the audience liked about the film because of its success and also what people didn’t like about the film, I would say that the audience prefer the second film to the first. I have taken these reviews from users, so not critics and have taken them from the “Paranormal Activity 2” IMDb page.
From looking at the reviews of the second film, I can see that it is actually more mixed than I thought considering the ratings of the film being over all high and positive.
There are more negative reviews than positive and below I have put the reviews that I found most useful on the film.
The positives are high in stars given with both of my examples being over 7 stars. However there are also too many bad reviews but this is because people didn’t like the first film as much and the film is different to other horror films that the audience are used to. Someone added the review below:
Giving a 3 out of 10 and basically saying to not watch the film in the first place.
THE KITCHEN SCENE:
The scene I want to look at is from the second film, “Paranormal activity 2″ (2010) and I am looking at it to see how tension is done in this scene. The Paranormal films are different in terms of what is expected from a normal horror.
In terms of the shots, because of the way the films are shot, it is very simple with camera angles that are in fixed positions which are at high angles using a wide lens, this is done to imitate the effect that they are supposed to be CCTV cameras. This already is interesting because it is different and makes the film feel more realistic because of the lack of cinematic shots. Making it feel more real due to the camera being normal is what creates tension because it makes the audience feel like they are just watching a normal family and that this could actually be real footage.
The acting is also what creates a tone because at the start of the scene everything is normal and the acting makes it as though she isn’t on edge and just going about a normal reading. Then what becomes unnerving is when she has a realization of something and pauses to think, then turns around. This creates tension because it makes the audience aware that something is wrong and that she doesn’t feel safe.
The lighting is also strange for a horror film as this scene is set in the day, mostly all horror films are shot in the night because for an audience of horror, they are usually associating fear with the dark. Also dark is usually connotes a negative atmosphere and is where the audience would expect to see something bad happen. This scene is argued to be the scariest scene in the film, this being shot in the day is what makes it worst because it gives the element of normality, the audience are not expecting anything. I think this creates more tension because the audience now don’t know what time things will happen, any time of day could be a scare, keeping tension at all times.
Also the setting in this scene is what causes the viewer to be tense because the setting is a normal American house, not a creepy old house that looks or feel haunted, this makes it feel more realistic again. The scene is very cluttered with props and there is a lot in shot, this is to make the audience look at everything, whenever a sound occurs, you are looking to see what moved. In this scene having a lot of props in the setting is done very much on purpose because all of it moves at once which is what makes it unexpected and builds a big jump scare.
The sound in this scene is also what causes tension in this scene and the film as a whole because of the lack of sound with no score or soundtrack, and very minimal atmospheres almost silent keeping the audience tense because it allows for the viewer to listen to the background so like the doors slamming. When the kitchen goes into a mess, a loud sound happens which is a really good way of doing the jump. Also in this scene once the jump has happened and after she runs off to go upstairs, we do not follow her and are left to hear what is happening upstairs.
Finally something that could go unnoticed and something I really liked about this scene and found interesting is the colour grade, actually the lack of in this case. From looking at this scene in particular, it doesn’t really look graded, only corrected. It is probably a very subtle grade. However, what is good about doing this is because as said, the grade is subtle, the audience then don’t actually realises it as much as a really cinematic vibrant and colourful grade. Again this is selling the effect of a normal really life setting and is also done because the cameras themselves are almost a character and we see through their perspective as they are meant to be CCTV footage recordings.
After analysing this scene, the reason why I liked this scene is because I think it is a particularly successful jump scare with an interesting build up because of the lack of soundtrack. That is what stood out to me about this scene.
This is a scene from the first film “Paranormal activity” and I wanted to look at this scene because I am inspired by this scene for idea as well. A lot of things are similar to the the scene that I have just looked at because they are the same style. For example the camera style is the same as before as it is the first film and the setting is similar.
The differences in this scene is that like it is expected, the scene is set at night with low key lighting creating a lot of dark areas in the shot and shadows. Doing this is also tension creating because it makes the viewer try to look for things in the dark.
The framing of this shot is interesting, it is a wide lens which allows us to see the full room, what is interesting about this shot is that the door is fully in frame and the lighting is bouncing from the door, making your eye draw to the door. The hallway isn’t lit well and is basically all a shadow which gives off a sinister look to the scene.
With this scene you are expecting it to be bad because it has the tension just by looking at it. A clever part of this scene is the shadow on the door, it is easily missed but really adds to the atmosphere and the tension.
Again sound is what is really important to this scene like the other scene that I looked at because this is what makes up the most tension. In this scene, there isn’t much sound present, it is almost silent which adds to the feel because it makes the scene seem normal because nothing is going on so there isn’t sound. The lack of sound again makes the audience want to lock onto something, making each sound really important. When the woman started being dragged out of her bed, the sound of cloth is present and then the door slams while her scream continues down the hallway, what makes this good is that it breaks the silence of the scene making it more amplified in tension because now the audience are like what has happened.
It creates more tension not having much sound as well because the sound acts like a jump scare and the normality is broken by the sound which is what makes the audience unnerved. Again the audience is left with the camera and isn’t taken with the action leaving them to just listen and work out what is happening. The man runs after the woman and she then shouts his name and only she returns back to the camera, this suggests from this scene that he has just been killed, I think it is clever that because the camera doesn’t follow, it is left up for our interpretation at this point.
The reason as to why I have looked at both ALFRED HITCHCOCK and OREN PELI is because I wanted to look at two good examples of people who can create suspense and tension with an audience. Alfred Hitchcock does it in a different way and although isn’t really a horror genre specialist, I think he does a good job in the “Psycho” film as it is a normal shower scene which becomes suspenseful due to the soundtrack and then not seeing what you know should be seen. I also got great inspiration from researching into Hitchcock’s interview about the bomb because this showed me how to create tension in a different way and my main goal for my own production will be to create tension from the audience and to do so successfully.
I also looked at Oren because his film alone is what inspired the making of my idea, I just really like the idea of clever practical effects used meaning that the character is never shown, cementing that realism and making more scary because the people can’t actually see making it happen out of nowhere. I prefer this compared to something like “Annabelle” or “Hereditary” where the characters see the doll or demons and so do the audience because I think that the only parts scary about these are the jumps right as you see the demon and the fact that the audience are putting an image to the scare but what I found clever about Oren’s work is because nothing was actually there, the scare stays for the entire film and not just at the jumps because the audience don’t know when something is going to happen, it is less predictable.
My competition will not be a full feature film or studio because I don’t have the budget to compete with them as they would have a far higher budget than me who has vertically no budget at all. My competition are short film award entries, films that are more independent and student horror films because I am a student as well so will be doing the same thing.
I wanted to look at for research, a couple of short horror films that have got awards and also student horror films, some that I think are good and some that I think are bad. The reason why I am doing this for research is so that I can gather more inspiration for my own idea from aspect of what I liked and also to see what I should avoid which others haven’t done so well. It is also to see where I can better my production and make it more unique as an idea.
What I liked:
The first thing that I really liked about this short film example is the location, I liked how remote it is as this gives the audience a confused feel because of the isolation. I also really like the sound design to this short, it is really eerie and adds to the suspense
What I didn’t like:
I think the start is a little slow in pacing and didn’t need the cinematic drive showing the location in establishing shots as I think it breaks the horror side of it. I think the whole piece is slow and actually boring in story, it doesn’t have the typical jump scares that a horror normally is expected to have. It is more disturbing then scary and I want for mine to be scary.
How this helped me:
As I’ve said, I really liked the sound design it is good how it comes in and out at parts and the short has it’s score which I liked. I also thinks this helped me because it has shown me not to use much dialogue for my piece as it can make it over complicated and not scary, in a short, the story doesn’t need to be strong whereas with too much dialogue, the story is being told not shown.
This in particular is actually very similar to my original idea that I have pitched in my proposal “A horror film where a girl suffers from nightmares and when she wakes the demon comes out of the dream to haunt the family”.
What I liked about this example:
I think this is a good solid example of a short film horror, it is quality and actually manages to scare and keep the audience captured. I also really like the lighting in this short because it is shot at night but well done using practicals to add to the scene. I like how the film starts in a normal way showing the child being put to bed and then the parents getting ready for bed with tasks like brushing there teeth. This is good because it allows some normality before the tension. What I also like about this piece is the acting and actor choice, I think they were believable with strong acting performance. The atmosphere is done well here with the woman thinking she can hear things. I think that the dialogue in this short is really strong and the girl makes the tension rise because of who she is talking about, the girl makes this scene creepy because of her using repetition of the character “Billy”. With this short, I think the sound design really works and I think the best part is the bit where the mum looks under the bed and it goes silent, a false scare. I really liked the sound for when the mum gets taken it is loud so makes for a scare and also interesting in terms of the sound used, it does sound like a creature took her.
What I didn’t like about this example:
I think the ending wasn’t as interesting as it could have been and it leaves too many questions unanswered. I also personally didn’t like the logo title sequence and I didn’t think the male role was really needed until the end.
How this has helped me:
This is a really good inspiration for me because I feel as though this is very similar to my idea. I really liked two aspects about this short the most and it is the Foley of the footsteps running up the stairs which was something I already had in mind. I really liked the main jump scare in this short also, it really catches the audience off guard and I think is a successful jump. I think I will be using this in my piece because before seeing this I wanted the under bed to be a part of it anyways but I like how in this the girl is then gone after being pulled under.
I didn’t like the first short film because I thought it was too slow and wasn’t the type of horror I was going for. Although on the other hand it did have some features that made it strong and that I did like. The second short film, “GOODNIGHT” was a solid award winning short film which I actually really enjoyed watching and thought it was really high in quality. I will be looking at this example as more inspiration to my final piece.
THE MOONLIGHT MAN:
What I liked about this student example:
The first thing that I really liked about this piece is the title screen, I think it looks really professional and the soundtrack behind makes it so that you are instantly brought into the atmosphere and tone of the piece. I think that considering that it is a student piece of work, the shots are really high quality and the production value is great feel more like a short film entry with a small budget than a student film. The costume in this piece is amazing for a student piece of work with the CGI animated mask adding to make that extra layer of realism. I think that this is successful in creating tension because the sound used was good at making the audience on edge.
What I didn’t like about this student example:
I think that the acting could be better. Also the piece is a little short and could have been more developed in story.
How this will help me:
This will help me from watching this because I think this is a good example of a student film because of the quality that it delivers. What I want to take from this is that I too can make something to the same standard if not better, I liked how every shot was well lit which is going to be one of my challenges, lighting, and also no really grainy footage. Two main issues with a student production is bad footage because of the equipment used and bad audio. As this piece is successful in not being bad in either, I want to try and compete with this quality.
What I liked about this student example:
The intro was interesting with the establishing shot of the house and the screaming of the girl. This is interesting because it instantly makes the audience question what is happening because it has cut straight to the action or the event. There are multiple shot types and the camera angles are well done for dialogue.
What I didn’t like about this student example:
I don’t like the title first of all, just not a really good title, sounds cringe which is what you want to avoid with a horror film. Dark scene are grainy which doesn’t say that it has a high quality to it. I think the acting is bad and the script writing is poor, boring. There are some highly exposed shots and scenes that don’t make sense and aren’t needed. The piece feels too dragged out and could have been faster. After the first scene where you are drawn it seems to pace down and get boring.
How this will help me:
I don’t think this is a successful horror student film. The reason this has helped me is because I needed to see an example of a not so strong piece of work so that I can see what is bad.
From looking at these two examples of student films, I can see what is strong and what isn’t. I can see that “THE MOONLIGHT MAN” was a good example of what a student horror film should be and “PARASOMNIA” was what is expected in a student horror film as horror is the hardest to pull off and at the budget of a student. From watching these I can see that I really need to look out for grain in my shots when filming as this can be easily avoided with good lighting and look out for my acting being bad or poor dialogue, it needs to be better than the second example so that it is believable and not boring.
I feel like my main competition out of these and what has inspired me the most is “GOODNIGHT”, the reason I wanted to look into this one is because I had seen it before and it was along with “Paranormal Activity”, what inspired the original idea and why I wanted to produce a horror film.
GENERAL HORROR TARGET AUDIENCE:
Before doing my own target audience using primary research, I wanted to first of all do some research on the horror audience as a whole.
Horror films are aimed at both genders in terms of audience with a more male percentage, but what I found interesting is that the female side of the audience is very close to the male side this interesting because as it is expected for woman to be more scared then men (stereo typically) and this is also portrayed in horror films themselves, it is strange to find that nearly the same amount of woman enjoy horror as much as men do. I have found that horror is 42% female based and 58% male based.
Something else I found interesting about the horror genre is that the most popular horror film sub genre in terms of what the audience like is the “Slasher” sub genre which is the violent killer based genre for example films like “Halloween”, “Scream”, “Friday the 13th” and “A nightmare on Elm street”. The second most popular type of horror today is psychological horror or thriller which are films like “Get Out”, “Psycho”, “Split” and “IT”.
This graph shows examples of film titles from each horror sub genre and shows what sub genres there are, I have found this graph from a post at “POPCORN HORROR.COM”:
At the moment from writing this blog and conducting my research (2019), the most talked about horror film that has caught the interest of the audience is a film called “US” this is a psychological thriller horror film which is made by another really popular horror film called “GET OUT”.
From looking at this research I have found out the main gender audience, the age range which is a mainly young audience with most popular horror instalments being aged 15 meaning the genre is accessible at this age and I also found what genres the general audience are interested in the most.
MY TARGET AUDIENCE:
I produced a survey on a website called SURVEY MONKEY, this is because to further understand my own target audience, I needed to conduct a survey to gather responses. I sent the survey to follow students in my class so there are some limitations on the answers in terms of fields like ages and yearly wage.
The screenshots below are my answers from 7 participants. Ideally I would have liked to gather more answers as 7 isn’t many people, because of this I will send the same survey out again to more people not just my class which will allow for more varied answers and allow me to compare the results. (below I will be analysing the survey of the 7 people)
The first question I asked was about the gender of the person taking part in my survey. This is a good question to start off with because then I can see what gender my production will mainly be aimed at.
As said above, this was taken from the class that I work in and a limiting factor is the gender as there is an uneven ratio of girls to boys, with boys being more in the class. That said, of course the number of male answers are higher as 5 people answered this question as a male and only 2 people answered this question saying that they are female. Due to this unbalance in the first place I have asked a later question that is “Who do you think horror is mainly aimed at”.
The second question asked was the age of the person, this is so I can judge my age range.
7 out of 7 people answered that they are under 18, this is good because if this is my target audience that I am aiming for as I think that horror is mainly aimed at a young adults based audience then I can consider what age rating my production needs to meet later on for example.
If I had sent this to a range of age groups and not focused on a set age group then I would have got more varied responses as I also would say that my target audience would be higher than under 18 and would more be maxing out at around the 25 -34 mark as older young adults watch and enjoy horror.
This next question asked was about the yearly income of my participants. I included this so that I could get some more base information about my target audience and asking the yearly income on an average is a good way of finding out the class that I am aiming my production at.
(NOTE answers are in $ but this is because SURVEY MONKEY is American so automatically put this as the currency, it was meant to £ as the people who answered are UK based)
This is a different looking set of answers because it is more varied. Most at 5 people answered under £15.000 what is typical of the age range that was answered above which was under 18 as under 18 year olds won’t be in full time work meaning cannot have a high salary. However 1 person responded with “Between $15,000 and $29.000” this may be because they have multiple part time jobs, work more hours, higher pay etc. This means that my bracket is people below $29.000 due to the age so this is in terms of class who I should aim my production at and focus on for my target audience. There is an anomaly in my results and that is a person who answered that they got over $150,000 but I think that this isn’t a seriously answered question because of the age range that are answering the questionnaire. I will be ignoring this answer in my results.
The next question I added was a question asking the person if they actually like the genre of film that I will be making. I wanted to know out of the 7 people who actually likes the genre as it such a popular genre at the moment and wanted to test this.
Unexpectedly however, I didn’t every person would answer “yes” to the question because there are reasons for people to not like the genre. 100% saying that they enjoy horror films is good because this doesn’t complicate my research and also proves that this is the right age range for the genre as if I were to send this survey to elderly people I think the responses would all be 100% “No” as it really does depend on the age if the person enjoys the content of the genre.
The next stage to my survey was to ask question where the person answering can write freely. I did this because the question can then be not as linear like a yes or no question and I get varied responses.
For this question I wanted to see what my target audience likes from the genre. Most of the titles that are responded to be the people’s favourites are mostly recent/ modern titles. This is interesting because it shows how the generation enjoys the newer horror films than the older horror films. It say about the quality of the modern films in comparison. Someone did also make an answer about the “The Shinning” being their favourite horror title, this film is an example of an older horror as this film released in the year 1980. What I particularly like about this answer however is the fact that the person adds “how the ending makes it less clear” this is good that a percentage of my audience like an unclear or confusing ending because I didn’t really want to go for the clear route necessarily. A key factor that I want to succeed in for my production is to create a good sense of tension with the audience to keep them gripped, as I’ve said before. I like how the word “tension” is mentioned in the answers.
Another thing to note is my target audience want jump scares by looking at these because when asked what their favourite horror film is, the response is mainly “jump scares” this is good because typically a horror follows the trope of jump scares and so it is widely common now and something that I will also be following and including into my piece of final work.
To add to the last question, I wanted to ask “What makes a good horror?” this is so I can get a rough idea on what my audience expects and what they think are the successful aspects from the genre.
Again jump scares is a common answer which is good that this is what the audience sees in a horror and want in a successful horror. Also something that was added is “Foley”, this is great that someone has answered that this is a key factor to them in “What makes a good horror?” as one of the things I wanted to include in my piece of work is Foley to add to the sound design for one so that it layers, also giving more creative freedom and also because as the ghost will not be seen, Foley is critical at successfully bringing it to life. Interestingly another person in their answer put “psychology, a plot and not just jump scares” this is interesting because my audience are saying that jump scares aren’t the only thing that they think about when they go to watch a horror film, they like a deep plot with psychology to mess with the mind. However saying that, my plot will be more simple and I wasn’t going to include tons of jump scares, my idea is that the whole piece builds using tension to a jump scare. I also like how someone has put “make it unexpected” this is because some horror films become too predictable for the audience making the scare factor fade.
This question alone has helped me massively as it has let me understand in what my audience are expecting from the final outcome and allows to consider what I shouldn’t include as that isn’t what the audience would want from my production.
This question below was put in to see if the audience thinks that woman are the main aim of the horror genre, my reasoning behind this is due to the recent fact that horror is mainly viewed and enjoyed by the female audience.
In the answers, I got “females” as one answer which is as I said due to the raise in percentage of viewers and also mainly got the answer “young adults” this is also interesting because my main audience answering this survey as said are under 18 so classed as young adults. The people saying that this is the age range that they think the genre of film is aimed at anyway is good because it means I am aiming at the correct target audience.
This question is similar to the question I asked earlier “What makes a good horror?” but I wanted to understand from the audience what they actually enjoy from a horror not what they think is good about them.
Looking at the responses the most occurring answer seems to be along the lines of that it scares them. The audience likes horror because it makes them scared. What this tells me is that if my horror doesn’t meet their scare factor, then it hasn’t really done the job in their mind.
The final questions was important in terms of the answers I received because I wanted to ask a question that would directly link to my idea to see if they would be interesting in my idea or not like the idea.
These are mostly positive answers in favour of my idea, because the people mainly answered back with “yes”. This is good because I thought due to recent films where the audience is seeing the demons like in “The Conjuring” and other titles, this seeing the monster being scary is what I feared is what made people want to watch. What I like about these answers are that my target audience like the style that I’m going for and they are saying things which is why I am doing it in the first place like “ghost/demon usually looks really fake and can ruin the whole feel of the film.” I didn’t want to go for something you can see because then the audience isn’t has tense as they can see what is attacking. I think not seeing has a larger overall fear factor and I’m glad to see my audience agrees. There are some answers that disagree but that is also good because it shows how not everyone will like the paranormal theme but that is the reason as to why I asked the question, to find out people’s opinion on the idea. A person has commented with “No they are boring and obviously fake” this is good to see for me because it then will now make me try harder to no make it look fake because there is a conflict of opinions, people saying real things that we can see look fake and bad and then people saying not seeing it like in “Paranormal Activity” as the example looks fake.
SECOND SET OF RESULTS (14 PEOPLE):
From sending out my survey to others, I have now received 14 responses. Below I wanted to include the differences from the survey that I looked at above with only the 7 people who answered.
The first main difference that I got was there was now a larger percentage of females who answered my survey which balances it out better for me to see what the predominate gender that my target audience are.
Previously with the seven people, there were 5 people who answered as male and only 2 who said they were female, as said before. Now with the 14 answers what is interesting is the percentage stay the same, everything has doubled meaning that the my target audience are mainly male based. Now 10 people answered as male and only 4 are female.
Another thing that I wanted to raise from seeing my new set of results is that previously the question about if the person like horror has now changed. It used to be at 100% of the answers being yes but with the extra 7 people adding their opinions, it has now become more diverse with 4 new people saying that they don’t enjoy horror, they answered “No” which is interesting and more expected than my original answer because I didn’t think that 100% would like horror even though it is a very popular genre there is a percentage of people that don’t like them due to being scared or other reasons.
SOCIO ECONOMICS (ABC1’s):
A = Upper middle class (high managers)
B = Middle class (Middle managers)
C1 = Lower Middle class (Supervisors/ Clerical)
C2 = Skilled working class (Skilled manual work)
D = Working class (semi/ Unskilled manual work)
E = Subsistence (pensioners, unemployed etc…)
A group of people who look for a challenge and discovery in life, they are people who always like to try out new ideas and also look for new experiences. The “Explorer” also wants to stand out, be different from other people and coming back to the “core motivation”, their core motivation is discovery.
A group of people who are materialistic, people who focus on other peoples opinions and perceptions rather than their own morals and values. This group of people basically copy other people’s traits as they respond to other people’s ideas of superficial for example how people look i.e appearance or their personality or fashion. This group’s “core motivation” is status.
A group of people who are grouped because they usually have self confidence. This group of people are also very organised and have a strong orientation of success in life, their goal is to succeed. Most of these people are described to be aggressive in their attitude to life. The “core motivation” in this group of people is being controlling.
A group who value their own judgement, they are people who do what they want to do. This group is the most anti-materialistic group and are considered as intellects. The “Reformer” are people who acquire a lot of tolerance and consider their “core motivation” as enlightenment.
A group of people which are the largest group out of the seven and the reason it is called mainstream. This group are people who follow a fundamental daily routine for them. They are people who are just normal in society and are the mainstream of society. A trait of this group is that they usually tend to follow what others like in interests and beliefs and copy that and like that. Their “core motivation” is security because they want to accepted.
A group of people who live day to day or “life for the day” as it is also said, the other groups see them as victim and the losers in society. This group rely on luck in their life and are heavy consumers of alcohol and bad/ junk foods. The “core motivation” is escape.
A group of prominently older ages and negative values. They don’t like change and live a very traditional lifestyle with traditional roles in life. This is a group of people who like to be known rather than be new to people. Their “core motivation” is to survive.
I think due to my age group and the fact that horror as a genre is so popular, my target audience fit into the mainstream bracket the best as because they are young adults with little pay, they are normal in society and want to follow the latest trends as due to the mainstreaming wanting to be accepted, and horror being very mainstream then they are going to want to see the film to be accepted. This is why I think that the people that horror appeals to is the mainstream.
Below I have created a audience profile which basically sums up what a person in my audience is. This helps me to understand exactly the audience I am aiming at for my final production. I included some horror film titles which my target audience have mentioned from the survey and also that fit the most popular sub genres.
LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES:
When making a short film or full feature film, the BBFC will need to be taken into account because the content will need to be suitable for certain ages, mostly all video content being film or TV are rated under this system to show what age the content is aimed at legally. The exception is Amazon Prime Video and NETFLIX, as these are streaming services, so are online based meaning don’t have to follow same regulations.
The BBFC is the British Board of Film Classification, it is a company who give film and other content an age restriction based on the content shown. The reason why the BBFC gives these rating are to protect content from children and make films “family friendly” it is so that parents have guidelines and so that the audience know what to expect within the film because of its age. The BBFC says on it’s website it is to make sure “what’s right for them and avoid what’s not.”
The BBFC also cover online services like YouTube content, trying to make these more friendly by applying the guidelines listed above so it isn’t just film and TV that is rated now, I found this interesting because this is a more recent update that the BBFC have done but this is also because more and more people are using the online services. They are so popular that normal TV like satellite is becoming less viewed and NETFLIX is taking over. The BBFC is now looking into these online services to also stay up to date.
The ratings of the BBFC are done by Compliance Officers using the BBFC guidelines which are frequently updated due to new content.
How a film is rated by the BBFC is, the film is seen by at least two compliance officers and then given an age rating due to the guidelines, then it is sent off to a head member who approves the age recommendation. If the film borders the criteria and is in between two age certificates, the film is passed onto other members of BBFC to make the decision.
What determines the age of the film is usually down to “bad language, dangerous behaviour, discrimination, drugs, horror, nudity, sex, violence and sexual violence” I have taken this from the BBFC website as it stats exactly what they are looking for. The difference in age is down to the severity of the problems found and also if those problems are there in the first place.
“U” means that it is “Suitable for all” so it has no issues meaning any age over the age of four years old can view this content.
The Guidelines to a “U” is that a “U” will only contain small reference to dangerous behaviour. They are unlikely to include discrimination, will have infrequent references to drugs but should have none at all or have an educational purpose to them. It should have very little use of bad language “mild”. In terms of Nudity, a “U” can show this however very occasional and without sexual context. Kissing is what is termed as sexual behaviour in a “U” with nothing else other than the reference allowing to be added. Violence in a “U” can be mild but only mild and horror which can upset the audience should be mild as well.
A “PG” literally stands for “Parental guidance” meaning that the film or content needs guidance for younger audiences to view.
The guidelines to a “PG” are that dangerous behaviour shouldn’t include anything that young children will replicate so again mild danger. Also for discrimination, it is unlikely to be accepted into a “PG”. A “PG” also may have drug references but minor references and with an anti drug purpose. A mild bad language use only with mild words not higher words in severity. Again with a “U”, a “PG” can include nudity but with no sexual context. Also sexual activity may be applied is stated on there website but needs to be discreet. Violence needs to also be mild.
“12A” is used for when the film is in cinema, it means that the person needs to be age 12 or over unless accompanied by an adult usually. “Cinema release suitable for 12 years and over”
A “12” is a “video release suitable for 12 years and over” this is because they usually have mild language and so are not suitable to any ages younger.
The guideline used for a “12A” is similar but the first jump into a more serious and not child friendly experience. For dangerous behaviour, it is similar to those of “PG” and “U” but can show more violence like an action scene for example. Discrimination hasn’t changed. There may however be moderate bad language with strong language permitted depending on the situation and who is using the language. For a “12A” and “12” nudity can be shown but not in full and with sexual context at a minimal. Sexual activity can be shown briefly however, moderate sex references can be used infrequently. A “12” and “12A” can be more moderate in violence but without showing too much detail and showing gore.
A “15” BBFC rating is “suitable only for 15 years and over”
The guidelines to a “15” are that dangerous content can be more sensitive like suicide and self harming can be shown however shouldn’t be detailed. With this age, weapons are allowed but this should be down to setting, realism and context. In terms of discrimination, like all it shouldn’t really be necessary although there may be racism and homophobic themes. Drug taking may be shown. Strong language can be shown in this age gap with very strong language being permitted. With nudity, it can be shown in a non sexual context or educational manner and sexual context can be shown but without strong detail. Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. In a “15” there can also be sexual violence and sexual threat. There may be a strong horror and violence can be strong but with the strongest gore imagery being not shown.
An “18” BBFC rating is usually the worst in Britain as this content contains most of the problems, it means “Suitable only for adults”.
The guidelines for an “18” are different because as the audience are now the age of an adult all of the above can be shown which were talked about previously and in a harsh and graphic manner. The “15” is a tone down version of the “18” with this being the most serious and detailed.
There is also a “R18” which isn’t as common in the UK but means “Adults works for licensed premises only” this the very top end of the BBFC which means that the content is the worst it can be to view and is why it has such a strict rating.
Content that usually get an “R18” rating are those strong in sex and full nudity. There is also content termed under “SEX WORKS” is rated under this certificate. This certificate includes strong consenting sex or strong fetish material involving adults and is a special legally restricted classification which cannot be accessed by mail, only sex shops or private cinema screenings (specially licensed).
MY CERTIFICATE FROM LOOKING AT BBFC:
From doing the research on the BBFC and the guidelines for each, I think that for my short film, if I were to give this to the BBFC to view, it would be rated a 15 certification. My reasoning for this is because a horror film in general tend to be at least a 15 due to the horror themes and the fact that they are considered too scary for younger audiences. I also think my film will show some mild violence but still with a strong theme of horror. Also because of the tone I may include moderate strong language. I mainly think my short film will be aimed at a higher audience due to the horror.
Another reason for my certificate being a 15 is because if an my certificate was an 18 then it wouldn’t make as much money, this is an interesting thing about the age ratings as because the 18 is the top is very narrow in audience. Films being a 15 makes it more assessable but with freedom as well. I have found some research on this because to back this up:
This is taken from the American ratings which isn’t the BBFC but the MPAA board (Motion Picture Association of America) in this graph an “R” is 80% in box office top films in the horror genre the “R” is the equivalent of a 15 certificate in the UK and the 18 rating equivalent is NC-17 for the American board. The NC-17 isn’t even shown in this pie chart, showing that NC-17 rated horror titles are not successful or popular and don’t make a lot of money. 15 is the most successful in the box office at 80%.
If I where to have this entered to be shown on TV I would also need to follow the OFCOM guidelines.
OFCOM is a company who regulate media. This media includes TV, radio and video broadcasting. They also regulate airlines and other networks like postal so they deal with the Royal Mail as well.
YOUTUBE UPLOAD REGULATIONS:
I am thinking that my short film will be published to YouTube as this is an easily accessible platform which is where people go just to watch content that wouldn’t be on the TV for example. This is the reason why I think a short film would be good on YouTube and because it is more popular, it is more likely to be seen and become more popular. Due to the fact that my finished product is likely to go on YouTube, I will use YouTube’s age restriction function when publishing so that the age will be no on under the age of 15. This means that no matter the platform, my content will be aged the same meaning that it shouldn’t be accessible to younger audiences.
YouTube says for age restriction:
This is similar to what is asked of the BBFC guidelines.
Youtube also talk about “Copyright” when you upload your content they say that you should only include what is been created by you as this is your own original content that cannot be at risk of strikes. “You should only upload content (including music, videos and artwork) that you’ve created or that you’re authorised to use” However they do include that if the content has been approved like a piece of music by the original owner, this is acceptable.
If someone else’s content is used on your own production then that person will be sent a notification about the content and they can then take matters through YoutTube. The result of the “Copyright strike” is the video that you have published is then removed off of the channel and YouTube. However in most cases the video, will be demonetised meaning that it cannot make an profit from ads or views that is if the video includes someone else’s music for example or other copyrighted substance. YouTube has these regulations because they want to protect creators creative rights. YouTube is a platform for creators of all kind and YouTube is helping keeping it original.
Another thing I wanted to look into was the YouTube monetization policies because if my final product was be successful, money can be earned from uploading to YouTube as YouTube is a profitable platform.
The regulation that you need to meet that allows an income to start is that you need to have a subscriber count of at least 1000 subscribers to the time this was written and have at least 4000 YouTube watch time on you channel in the last 12 months, this is to show YouTube that you are a successful channel that is worth being monetized.
I now can understand what YouTube are looking at when I upload my final production. The most useful piece of information was their copyright policy. From this I know what is expected and what isn’t and how the process works. I will not be using any other content in my final because I don’t need soundtracks etc for my final, I don’t think copyright will be an issue in my case.
My only ethical issues that I can see for my production is that I am using a female role as my lead I am also using a younger female. This is an ethical stereotype because the girls are always seen as the vulnerable characters and I am using a younger female role because the intention is for a vulnerability factor, If I had a male role they wouldn’t be as scared or nervous about what is happening. Having a female, they are usually seen as the gender in cinema who get scared easily and are innocent.
“FINAL GIRL” THEORY:
This theory is the theory that the woman is always the last to live, it is the trope mainly in the slasher genre. How this starts is the characters begin as a group of people having a good time together in a retreat or somewhere remote, a good example being “Friday the 13th” after which a slasher comes and kills everyone but the “final girl” The reason behind this is so that a small, vulnerable character is left making it more suspenseful because someone who is seen to not be able to able to protect is more interesting than a strong male who can defend, this makes the audience feel more fear because the killer has the advantage. The “final girl” is usually innocent making it more tension based. In the “Final girl” theory the girl is supposed to change during the end of the film becoming more confident and by being clever, defeats the killer. This makes the audience back the “final girl” because she is the only person left to stand up against the killer.
JUMP SCARE TROPE:
The jump scare trope is the most common trope and is expected in the horror genre today. The point of the jump scare in horror is to be a quick jump that releases dopamine and adrenaline. This gives off a buzz for the audience, which because of the adrenaline, keeps them watching.
THE VENGEFUL SPIRIT TROPE:
In ghost films, other than jump scares, this is one of the most common horror tropes. This tropes is where it is that all ghosts in horror have a vengeance against the living, all ghosts are evil. The ghost’s role in horror is to spend eternity enacting revenge on the living characters. The ghost’s gain a backstory because of this so the audience sees that the reason for why the ghosts are making the characters suffer.
There are 5 main characters for the horror genre generally:
- THE VIRGIN
- THE SCHOLAR
- THE WHORE
- THE FOOL
- THE ATHLETE or JOCK
These each have ways that they usually die and who dies in what order. I found an interesting graphic of the 5 characters that I have put below for this.
This graphic is made for the film “Cabin in the woods” this is good example because “Cabin in the Woods” has all the character tropes included.
Out of these tropes, I will be applying for my production, the VENGEFUL SPIRIT trope because in my idea, the brother dies and returns to kill the family who try to forget about him. I will also be applying the common JUMP SCARE trope as this is so common that it is what makes a good horror if done successfully. My idea is based around a good jump scare that I want to pull off successfully.
Lighting is a huge factor to my production as the lighting will create that horror tone and give atmosphere also I will using lighting for subtle shadow effects to add to that “creepy” factor.
However due to the fact that I am not experienced in the lighting side of production, I have taken the time to do some research on lighting that I found useful and helpful to me. Below are the videos that I have looked into and wanted to mention in my research.
The reason why I watched this video above and have found it helpful is because I will be filming in the dark for my whole shoot, this gives a tutorial on how to go about filming successfully in the night with lighting.
I have also looked at this video above because I want my final product to look cinematic and in order to do this successfully, lighting the subject correctly is needed to be taken into account. This video is really good at telling how to shoot in a cinematic way and talks about what not to do when lighting a subject because it won’t look cinematic. The video goes through a multitude of lighting techniques used.
As my main goal for my horror will be to have an invisible ghost who reacts with the environment, I wanted to do a test shot of a shadow on a wall and make it look like a ghost shadow. The reason I thought about doing this for a test shot towards the research is because to pull off the effect that I’m going for and making a successful invisible ghost, I needed to shoot a plain and then mask the shadow part so that it is on it’s own, I didn’t want to leave this till production because it is a simple in the editing part for me just I wanted to see how it would work in filming it. Due to this, I thought it would be a good test to complete.
The plain shot was needed to just have a shot with nothing going on in it. However this still importantly needs to be recorded and cannot be a photo because all cameras produce grain and noise in the image which wouldn’t look correct if a photo as this noise wouldn’t be moving.
Above is the plain shot on it own, this was recorded for about 5 seconds however in this example I have skipped in the video so the shadow masked is in this shot. This is just to represent the plain shot.
This is then the clip that I recorded to get the shadow. It is just a simple shot of my actor for this test shot walking up and down the corridor giving enough space away from the wall for the mask for the shadow. This was something that I was worried about, how far that my actor would need to be away from the wall to not become more complicated rotoscoping which is where I might as well just roto the shadow. Again reason for my testing.
To complete the effect I need to duplicate the video layer so that there 2 clips of my actor walking down the corridor. All that was needed after that is to name the bottom layer “plain shot” and then mask the other layer which I called “shadow masked”. The reason why there are four clips here in the screenshot and not 2 is because I was making a before and after so needed to complete it twice.
This is the mask that I made to complete the effect making the shadow be isolated on the wall. This mask is a rough shape which makes it more simple. The mask only includes the shadow through the whole duration of the test and cuts out the other side of the frame which is where my actor was walking. Due to the plain video layer under, it now replaces where the mask has cut away with the original plain corridor.
From doing this test I am more confident in continuing these types of effects in my final production because they are actually very simple to pull off and effective in creating a subtle creepy look for my horror. What I have learnt from doing my test is I have to plan exactly where my actor is in frame otherwise the mask can be more difficult to complete and also take into account for my final where the light source will be so that my actor doesn’t need to get as close to the wall meaning further from the mask.
COSTS/ BUDGETS/ PRODUCTION ISSUES:
LIST OF EQUIPMENT I NEED:
For my production, I will need firstly: A camera, I want this camera to shoot in 1920 x 1080p which is full HD so that I can get clear video with a good quality image. Also with 4K media becoming more and more popular to the average consumer today, no longer has standard 720p become the normal. The expected is at least 1080p.
Secondly, the next piece of kit that I will be needing for production is a tripod to go along with the camera as most of my planned shots will be done with a tripod so that the image isn’t moving as I will be doing visual effects like masking and wire removal, for this you need to have a plain shot (a plain shot of the scene) to go under.
Next audio, for this I want to have a separate camera mounted microphone so that the camera can be recording higher and more precise audio. I will also be needing a Zoom recorder or another dedicated portable audio recorder with XLR input as I will be using a shotgun microphone for my Foley work which will need to be connected to this audio recorder and the audio recorder itself will have a stereo recording set of microphones which I will be using to record the ambience tracks like room tone. These would be better in stereo as would be sent to both speakers making the sound stage more immersive.
For this project I will also be heavily relying on lighting because I am shooting a horror short in the dark and horror is done well usually with good lighting being one of the aspects. For this I will need a 3 point set up which will be LED for better brightness control and they are also smaller.
COSTS OF THE EQUIPMENT:
Using AMAZON.CO.UK, I have found the equipment that I would like to use that I don’t think is unreasonable for budget in terms of the fact that I am not a full studio and only a student. If I were an independent I would probably invest in all this gear as it would be a full kit of everything that I need.
The camera is the Canon XF100, this is a slightly dated camera today but I liked because it a camcorder which has large storage, shoots in 1080p, has a focus puller which can be customised to different buttons on the camera like the usual zoom in and out little dial. I also liked the added XLR and integrated stereo microphone mounted on top with the additional option of a microphone with the side mount. The downside to this camera in the real world is that the camera is too expensive at £1,499.00
The reason why I have looked at the ZOOM H4n pro is because I have used this before and it is very simple and easy to use. I also like the feature where it has an SD slot not a micro SD and the stereo microphones. Another feature which is good about this and why it would fit for my production is the fact that it is really compact. In terms of budget I don’t think this is too expensive at £179.00 and is reasonable considering the importance of it for my recording. It also would be a really useful piece of kit to own due to the fact that it can be used on all sets and projects in the future.
The reason I opted for this microphone when thinking about shotgun microphones is because of the reputation of these microphones, these are mostly used in professional work because of the sound fidelity that they deliver. RODE is a solid company that make solid microphones and for £159.00 I don’t think this is expensive considering the make and the quality.
The Aputure Amaran 3 point is the lighting pack that I would want to go for in my production because it is everything that I wanted in terms of lighting. The pack includes 3 led lights which are small so easy to put up in the scene, these are also remote control meaning you don’t have to go and correct them manually getting in the way etc, making easier use. However because these are made by Aputure which is one of the top of the line companies in lighting and more professional and studio standard, these are £799.00 which are expensive.
For this kit list my total cost would come to:
If I were to do this in a business or professionally for later out of college work, I would probably invest in this equipment or maybe something different however because I am a student the better option would be to hire the equipment out for the time needed. In-dependant and professional studio rent cameras due to multi camera setups for example and simply don’t need to spend the money on for example 5 IMAX cameras. Renting equipment is probably more common in the ways of film making with only aspiring filmmakers who are freelance mainly buying the gear.
I have done some research on places who allow gear to be hired and I have searched for companies based in Exeter and Devon.
Places that I have found will allow video production equipment to hire are places like Exeter Phoenix, Camera rental Devon and Hireacamera.com.
What is good about the Exeter Phoenix is that they have a large variation of camera, lighting and audio. This is good because they have everything that I need to shoot my production and would be the ideal place to hire because it is local as based in Exeter and I can visit the place to get the equipment.
Another alternative for hiring equipment is a company based in Plymouth called Camera rental Devon. However from looking into this company by looking at their website I can only see that they allow hiring of select camera gear and some lighting options. I still would be left with no audio and have to maybe buy the audio equipment or look elsewhere for hiring which isn’t ideal.
Finally I have looked at a place called Hireacamera.com. What I like about this is the cameras that they other are similar to the ones I want to buy if not better, the cameras meet all my requirements from what I need to shoot my production. They also have a range of 4K cameras which would shoot 1080p in higher quality because you can shoot in 4k and then downsize it to 1920×1080. This is a website which isn’t ideal because it is internet based unlike the Exeter Phoenix. However this website is a brilliant service for camera hire, they also supply lens and accessories. It is like Exeter Phoenix as it too has all 3 categories that I am looking at hiring, camera, lighting and sound.
I have looked on the website and they have the exact camera that I wanted when doing the buying research, the Canon XF100.
To hire this camera like expected is far cheaper than buying the camera, even at the full 2 weeks that they allow. I would probably be hiring this camera out for around a week so it would cost me £241.56 to hire out then the £1499.00 that it costs to buy outright.
OTHER THINGS THAT I NEED TO CONSIDER:
An extra aspect to the cost would be props, the only product that I would need is some fishing wire that is thin and transparent. I need this for my production to pull off some the effects using invisible wire. This will go into the budget of making this production.
For my editing software, I will be using two free software. These are Blackmagic design’s DAVINCI RESOLVE which is what I use at home. It is a brilliant editing software for free, has a dedicated audio editing software, colourist panels, editing is separate and is a powerful piece of editing software that I have used to edit all previous work on. I will also be using FXHOME’s HITFILM EXPRESS, this is a free alternative to HITFILM PRO. HITFILM is a compositing software that is FXHOME’s alternative to Abobe’s AFTER EFFECTS. The software has everything that I need from it to do my masking etc which is why I will be using this software in post.
An issue for my production if I needed to have a higher budget to make a high production value is I would need funding.
Funding is an easy way of gaining an audience and making money at the same time. If I were to make this production in the real world on my own, I would need to get funding for my production however as I am a student and don’t have a budget at all, I will not need to be funded. Funding is where a business pays for your production in which to make you successful and help out. However in most cases they will get a percentage back in larger productions.
BFI stands for the British Film Institute. They are a company who present and fund films. They have a scheme called the “BFI FILM FUND” which uses the national lottery fund to develop and support UK filmmakers.
Another alternative is KICKSTARTER, this is a funding website that allows patrons to back you for your product. How it works is also really simple, you put your idea across on the site and then people can back your account and pay money.
This above is an example of how it works, in this case it is “2dollars” but I could do this for my idea, this idea has pledged £6.076 with 99 backers. This is an easier way of funding and I would probably go for this approach.
EVALUATION OF MY RESEARCH:
I would say that I have been evaluating and explaining the reasons why I have done the research throughout the duration of the entire research however, just to conclude this is what I think that I have gained:
From doing the research part of my FMP, I have found out some valuable information which I am going to use toward my final production. Something I found really useful was researching on Hitchcock for his interview about the bomb, this was something that I found really clever as he talks about the tension in cinema and how it should be done. Also as tension is what I am looking to create, looking into Peli was really useful as said earlier on the blog.
Another piece of research that I found really useful toward my idea was the horror tropes. I have found this a vital part of research although brief because it gave me more background on horror and actually what goes into making a horror. I will be using this knowledge when writing my script and doing my pre-production.
Probably the two most important parts of research that I feel that I have completed is the research on my target audience and the competition. My reasoning for this is because I need to understand who I am aiming my short film at to make it successful and also I can know apply what I know my target audience wants to my final to make it more enjoyable and appealing. If I were to do anything in my horror but what my target audience have asked for then it would be very unsuccessful and not enjoyable but it isn’t what is normally expected or wanted. Also the competition was really good at showing me what is a bad example of a horror and a good example. It showed me what I needed to do because they are successful and what I shouldn’t do which again I talked about earlier when doing the research. The competition gave me inspiration as well which I have found most important because I can apply it to my final production.
I also found doing the research on the BBFC really interesting and it is important to know my target audience, something I found out is that the films above 15 are actually not very successful which I didn’t really think about before and makes sense why 15 are so mainstream and common today rather than an 18.
I now know what I should be doing for my visual effect shots as well from doing the research because of the test shot that I conducted which showed me that it was more simple than I thought and I also watched tutorials on it in the first place because I wouldn’t have known about the plain shot that is needed for example and would have then gotten it incorrect. I think doing the test shot now is also better than making the idea in the production phase, knowing the shots that will need visual effects and then doing it all in the end with half the shots not actually working and then resulting in an unsuccessful final video.
Something that I wasn’t happy with in the research is the amount of responses that I got originally for my survey because it made it very bare which made it hard to truly know my target audience which as I said is so important. I did send out another survey to a wider group of people however I think what would have been better to further my research would be to do a focus group so that I could have more information on what both genders like about horror and what they don’t like, I just think that with this addition I would have an even clearer idea however didn’t have time to do the focus group and I would say this is because at the start I spent a good amount of time on my practitioners and competition making me personally behind for the target audience part of my research.
I would say that mainly from doing this research I have gained knowledge on how to do tension better and also gathered inspiration which is good for when I go into production.