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:
- 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: ( dreamsleep.net)
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.