Group Roles

Published by George Gamble

Throughout the filming progress we will all take on these roles:

Cinematography - Harry Knight
Director - George Gamble
Company Blog -

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Evaluation Question One

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

They key features to the opening scenes of a film:
  • Idents.
  • Titles.
  • Establishing shot. Mise-en_scene and setting. 
  • Introduction of main characters.
  • A key event. (Todorov's structure)

I believe my production establishes many codes and conventions that are used in slasher films today. Firstly we use a male 'killer' who creates narrative enigma with his hidden identity. We got this idea from the film 'Halloween (1978)' from the character Michael Myers. Other ways in which my film uses forms and conventions is the weapon choice. In such films as "Halloween' and 'Sream' the weapon used by the killer is a kitchen knife. This is a very commonly used weapon in slasher films because it has a very symbolic meaning. 

Most psychologists consider the knife or dagger to be a symbol of male sexuality. It can represent the penis in its ability to penetrate. It is also representative of masculinity and its associations with violence and aggression. You may be harbouring a deep-seated destructive wish and have repressed your feelings of anger.
                                       Source: (

We have a 'Scream queen' in our production. She is meant to signify a blonde, busty and sexually active female. A lot of Slasher films tend to use a 'scream queen' as she is usually the one who gets 'killed' for her sins. In our production we create a dis-equilibrium when our female leaves her boyfriends house. We make the audience believe that the male/boyfriend has something to do with what is about to happen to her. This is our preferred reading. In a lot of Slasher films they create a dis-equilibrium's to make the viewer create a preferred reading. We also use shot-reverse-shot when our characters are having a conversation. This was achieved through using point of view shots from either person. 

A way in which my product challenges forms and conventions of a typical slashers is through not using a final girl. In our production we chose not to have a character to play the role of a final girl. This would limit our target audience, although it is only an opening scene and the film has chance to progress. Another way in which we challenged the forms and conventions was through hiding all information about the 'killer.' You usually get some sort of story of the killers past, a reason for why he is doing all of this, but in our film we don't give any information about him. This adds to the mysterious feeling to the opening and lets the viewer create their own preferred reading. 

Our company idents can be related to the horror genre. This is because of the names 'Flatline Films' and 'Maroaders.' They both have eerie sound effects to them. 

We tried to make our mise-en-scene be the typical setting for a slasher film. We wanted our film to have an element of loneliness signifying something bad is about to happen. This was well achieved through the use of a detached house and a lonely farming land. This helps us create the preferred reading that they are alone and that know one is there to help them. 

We use a large range of Point of view shots in our opening. For example when the 'killer' is approaching the car we use a POV shot to show he is approaching whist also hiding his identity. We also use one when the girl wakes up from being in the car crash. This gives the viewer an un-safe feeling because you cannot see all of her surroundings. 

We faced many challenges and limitations when filming our production. We found that you can never take enough shots, also the amount of time needed to be focused on shot variation. We also learnt how many times you have to re-shoot and how key audience feedback is. Without research into the genre we would have had no understanding of what to make or were to start when planning our film. 

Evaluation Question two

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

       In our production our character names were 'Casey' and 'Sam.' We are providing intertextuality by choosing these names, with 'Casey' being the name of the 'Scream Queen' in 'Scream' and 'Sam' being the first name of 'Dr. Sam Loomis' in 'Halloween'. ' Sam is meant to be a typical teenage character who has just had his girlfriend (Casey) round for the evening. He is meant to be representing the 'average' teenage male or the stereotype. Although as Casey leaves we see a slight change in character, which changes the audiences preferred reading of the production. This creates a possible oppositional reading. Casey is meant to be a typical 'scream queen.' "A scream queen is an actress who has become associated with horror films, either through an appearance in a notable entry in the genre as a frequent victim or through constant appearances as the female protagonist." - Source (Wikipedia.) She is Blonde, busty and sexually active. We chose 'Megan Claydon' for this role because we believed that she fitted this role perfectly with her being blonde. We try to symbolise the idea that they have just had 'sex' by having the male dressed in a dressing gown as they both leave the bedroom. This is meant to be the reason for her being the 'victim.' She has sinned and therefore needs to be punished. We tried to portray what is seen to be the 'typical teenager' in our production with our two main characters. 

We got our idea for the character 'Casey' from the film 'Halloween. (1978)' Jamie Lee Curtis played Laurie Strode in this thrilling horror. She was seen to have revived the scream queen title for her role in this film. After watching this film and researching into 'scream queens' we took notes and decided on the actress Megan Claydon. 

Jamie Lee Curtis staring in Halloween
Our 'scream queen' Megan Claydon

"The Victims—The victims tend to be young, attractive, high school or college-aged adolescents. Much has been made about the choice of victims. Some theorists claim that they young people are punished for indulging in vices such as pre-marital sex or illegal drugs. Other theorists claim that is simply a matter of the activities making the victims unaware of their surroundings, making them easy prey for the killer." 
                                           Source: ( )

In the opening we also see the introduction of our the 'killer.' He is a masked man armed with a knife. We got our idea from the Character Michael Myers in the film Halloween (1978) played by Nick Castle. We believe this character signified evil very well through his clothing and costume. 

Our Killer played by Tom Pickersgill
Halloweens Michael Myers

"The Killer—With notable exceptions, the killer in the slasher film is usually male. His identity is often, but not always, unknown and/or concealed either by a mask or by creative lighting and camera work. He is often mute and seemingly unstoppable, able to withstand stabbings, falls and shootings by his victims. His background sometimes includes a childhood trauma that explains his choice of victim, weapon and location (the killer can be made out to be pitiable or understood). Slasher villains tend to prefer hand held weapons such as knives, axes and chainsaws as opposed to bombs or guns. As the sub-genre developed, some argue that the real star of a slasher is the killer, not the victims or Final Girl. Throughout most of the franchises, the killer is constant. Freddy KruegerJason Voorhees and Michael Myers are notable examples of this phenomenon."
                                               Source: ( )

Seen as we were only producing the opening two minutes of a horror/slasher movie we did not have chance to look at over character types.  'Final girl' is one that is not portrayed in our opening. This is because the whole idea of our production was to kill the 'scream queen' for sinning. This would then lead onto the murderer progressing on to doing more violent and brutal murdering, they all link to one and other. 

After looking at the BBFC ratings list we believe our film would fall into the 15 years and over ratings category for age. We set out to target our production towards people aged between 15-24. This is because the actors and actress in our production are within this age category, so we believe our production would be attractive to them. Also slasher films tend to be popular with people within this age group.
I believe our film would appeal to both genders, but we are aiming our films at males rather than females because males tend to be more attracted to the slasher genre whilst females conventionally tend to prefer the Rom-Com genre. We have a 'scream queen' which some girls my see her as a 'stereotypical' female or a 'male gaze' for the male gender. But in our opening scene she is the main character appealing to the  female audience as well as the male. Slasher films mainly have both gender stereotypes in them. Whether it be the 'final girl' or the 'killer.'
The ethnicity in our production is mainly Caucasian. This is because we had a limited choice of actors in our local area. With it only being an opening sequence there is a chance for the film to progress and become more of a multi-ethnic cast. I do not believe our film would suffer from it being a mainly Caucasian cast. We may be limiting our target audience, but films like 'Halloween' have still achieved with a predominant 'white cast.'
The sexuality heterosexual. This was because we believed it would be hard to film a homosexual relationship. Because we were working with a non professional cast we would of found that very hard to achieve. Most slasher films consist of a heterosexual couple. 
Class and status in our production is achieved through props and setting. We believe both of our characters are put into the socio-economic group upper class by the audience, this was our preferred reading. You see this through the detached house that 'Sam' lives in. Also through clothing wore by 'Casey' and the fact she has her own car even though she is a teenager. If we apply the commutation test and change the car to a £50 000 Mercedes then suddenly the text means something completely different. Apart from these small aspects not much else is seen through class and status, it would be mainly explored in the rest of the film. 
Neither of our characters have any mental or physical disabilities in our opening. This was because we did not have the available cast to incorporate it into our film. Also we did not feel that people with physical disabilities appeared much in slasher films. Although Franklin Hardesty played a disabled character in the slasher film Texas Chainsaw MassacreThe use of a disability is a good way to portray a sense of vulnerability and fear to the victim or killer. 
Regional identity is portrayed in our production. Although I felt that our production had very little evidence of our characters being from Yorkshire. Neither of them had a particular strong accent. Although the setting of the 'killing' scene was surrounded by farming land. People represent farming with Yorkshire and the Northern region. 

Evaluation Question three

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

The genre of our film is Slasher/Horror. In researching and planning, I looked at many other films in this genre and looked at their distributors. This helped me understand what sort of companies we could aim our production at.  A link to a list of new realised films

Evaluation research                                                                                            

Our film is a low budget production/indie film, which means we would aim to target companies such as Warp X and Warp films. These are both low budget production companies that have produced films such as Donkey Punch and Dead Mans Shoes. This means we would avoid companies such as Working Title, who create high budget films. A link to Warp Films

"We make digital films with budgets between £400,000 and 800,000 for theatrical distribution in the UK and internationally. Our films are genre based but with acutely original interpretations that will ensure they stand out in the market place. We do not make character based drama or ultra-cheap versions of mainstream Hollywood studio films."
                                                                        (...Warp films Website

The distribution company for Warp films is Optimum Realising. They have distributed films such as Dead Mans Shoes, This is England, Donkey Punch and Cry Wolf. These are all low budget films in the region of £400 000 - £800 000. 
  • Dead mans Shoes (2004)  - Budget £727 000 - US Box Office - $6 013   
  • Cry Wolf (2005)  - Budget - $1 000 000 - US Box office - $10 047 674 
  • Donkey Punch (2008)  - Budget - £500 000 US Box office - $18 378 
This shows that Warp films have had some success in the USA after making a film with a low budget. Donkey Punch ended up making £144, 953 in its opening weekend. This shows there is also big success available for low budget films in the UK. 

Most films within this genre nowadays don't use big named actors/actresses. This is because the main characters and usually killed off, which would create issues for the actor and the viewers attracted to the film by the star name. Scream was one of the first films to follow this idea. This meant they avoided playing high wages to the actors. 

After looking at these figures, I have found that people are still making money off the Slasher/horror genre productions. However they tend to make their money from DVD realises. Not many low budget British films make it to the major cinemas, and when they do they don't get lots of screen time. I could find extra funding for my production from or similar bodies following recent withdrawal of funding. funding changes

Therefore I believe my production would be distributed by a company like Optimum Realising and make money through DVD sales. Most low budget slasher/horror films find themselves making their money through this means. This is because it is such a competitive market at the moment for this genre of films. I have also find that companies such as Optimum Realising mainly attract a British audience, this limiting my target audience. They have found it hard to make sales abroad. 

Evaluation Question four

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Here i discuss the 7 areas of representation and our primary and secondary audience. 

One of the best ways in which we found to gather audience feedback was through our peers. This was because they were all the same age as us (our target audience). We found that the best advice was given through people in our class. This was because they were going through the same process as us and could give us good advice. 

Evaluation Question Five

How did you attract/address your audience?

Our target audience is people between the ages of 15-24. This was decided after looking at the BBFC website. 

We attracted our audience in many different ways. Firstly we used narrative enigma because the identity of our killer is hidden. This causes the audience to question what is going on, and leave them thinking. We have hidden his identity through trying to keep him off screen for as long as possible. He is also wearing a mask so you cannot see his face. The preferred reading that we want the audience to follow is that the reason she gets 'killed' is because she has sinned. We also want to signify that her boyfriend has something to do with it. We see this when he reaches for his phone after she has left, and says the line 'Yeah, if you are lucky.' 

We have a predominantly Yorkshire cast and yorkshire setting of the country side. This may limit our target audience, but we have tried to include commonly used aspects of slasher films. For example we have used a 'scream queen.' We got the idea of our scream queen from 'Scream' with actress 'Drew Barrymore.' In most slasher films the 'scream queen' is usually killed, so we followed this idea when making our film. 

A way in which we gathered audience feedback wads through using the internet site Facebook. This allowed us to get audience feedback from people of our own age (our target audience). Also after uploading it onto youtube it gave us the chance to receive feedback from our secondary audience too. 

Evaluation Question Six

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

     Throughout this process my knowledge of 'technology' has been vastly improved. We used an array of different software programmes using Apple Mac computers. For example we used imovie, LiveType and Garageband. 

     The main program we used was imovie.  This was because we edited our footage on this piece of software. Having already had basic knowledge on how to use imovie I felt I had a good head start.  Throughout the process though I learnt more advanced skills, getting use to the program more.  I gained understanding of how to change the Non diegetic and dietetic volume levels, how to speed up shots and slow them down for the car crash scene and why and how to use transitions. The main use of a transition in our production was to show an ellipsis, a change in time. We used the fade in and out for this.  

      I had also used Garageband before so was use to the format of the software. Originally I was going to compose a soundtrack for our film using this, but Roam managed to find a professional musician/composer. I learnt how hard it actually is to compose a piece of music that fits to your selection of shot's. This was because I struggled to get the sounds to fit the movement of what was going happening on the screen. I also found that there is a big variety of sounds and instruments you can use. 

     When creating our Idents we used a Software called LiveType. It was down to my fellow group member Harry to complete these, so I didn't get involved with this program as much as I would have liked. When I watched him making the idents though, I tried to have a go and learn a bit more about Live Type. I found it was quite an easy piece of software to use once you knew what you were doing on it. I also learnt how much you can achieve when creating the idents. Overall we were very happy with them. 


          All of our work we did I posted onto, mainly for research and my coursework. I had never used this website before and have really found it interesting to use.  I learnt how to make blog posts, insert images and videos, use hyper links... I tried to make my blog as colourful and as interesting as possible.

     Another website I used was called This was where we uploaded our podcasts and audio files that we had completed. This was a good way to demonstrate group discussion. We tried to keep them under a minute. We used a voice recorder to recorded our podcasts. We then uploaded them onto DivShare and then embedded them onto our blog. 

    We also used which allowed us to upload written documents onto our blog. For example our Storyboards and Call sheets. This helped us when we were on set to work efficiently, because we were working at night we had limited time. 

     I uploaded all my footage onto then embedded it onto my blog. This allowed me to do vodcasts (Video podcasts), upload rough cuts, soundtracks and videos of my research. 

     The main piece of equipment that we used was the Camera and Tripod. We learnt how to keep steady shots, how to zoom in and out and how to film in different lights (including day light, dusk and night time). The tripod was used to keep our shot still, we were told that when a still shot was needed the camera had to be very still.