Thursday, 25 February 2010

Ancillary texts: Poster & Film magazine cover

How did you use new media technologies in the construction andresearch,planning and evaluation stages?

This montage shows the equipment and software I have used for this unit. Click it to read my comments.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

I feel that my trailer and my poster work very well as part of a promotional package. The marketing campaign objective is to raise awareness of the film and to create a 'buzz' about amongst the target audience. Then the most effective way off advertising can be kickstarted, 'word of mouth'. Advertising media is costly but effective, broadcasting it over tv channels, internet, the press and outdoor sites.

Poster - The poster has to be completely original and stand out from any competition. The poster also has to catch the attention of the target audience, either by stars, genre or tag-line. In this case, it is down to the genre and the tag-line. The genre is evidently a horror, which make it clear who the target audience should be. The tag-line used 'when the moon comes out ... so does she ...' emphasises the uncanny connection between the monster's name 'Luna' and the moon coming out at night. It represents that the horror is supernatural and evidently links with the dark. This is part of the promotional package as a form of advertising outdoors mainly. Likely to be seen across busses, billboards and telephone boxes in towns.

Trailer - Before the main film trailer a teaser traler is usually released, which is 30-90 seconds long. This gives a small taste to current cinemagoers of what the film has to offer them. Within a teaser trailer there are small glimpses to the best scenes in the film. The 'Torment of Luna' teaser trailer is 82 seconds long, which just fits into the time frames that are usually used for teaser trailers. It has been attempted to include many shots of interest and horror, which would hopefully result in influencing the target audience to want to go and see the film at hand. This is part of the promotional package as advertsing across tv and websites.

Magazine Cover - A film magazine featuring and advertising the film helps with promotion. The magazine would also have some kind of article about it, such as an interveiw. An image linked to the film being positioned as the main image on the front cover would assist with promoting the film. This product would be generated by the publicity as a component of a campaign. An editorial coverage of a film would be very persuasive, through interviews with casts.

Together - My poster, trailer and magazine cover all hang together as a consistent marketing and promotional package for the 'Torment of Luna'. Each ancillary task has an original image, but they are linked together well through colour and texture. Both of these ancillary tasks also relate well to the teaser trailer as the same lighting and make-up techniques are used. These all work well as part of a promotional package by using advertising, promotion and publicity.

What have you learnt from your audience feedback?

My target audience for this horror was mainly teenage students so the feedback I recieved from my horror teaser trailer was through a class session. I, personally, was very pleased with the audience feedback recieved about the horror teaser trailer. It is very rewarding to hear all of the aspects of the trailer that they enjoyed and were impressed with, but every trailer has it's flaws, and I can only learn from them. The majority enjoyed the effects and filters that were put into the trailer as they created a spooky and eerie atmosphere. They also liked the lighting and the angles we shot from, especailly close-up shots. The lighting was mainly edited on Final Cut Pro, as we originally shot in daylight, we changed it to look like night time. The angles we shot from were well thought out, to try and show unusual angles that wouldn't be expected to create a myterious vibe. The audience feedback also told me that they thought the audio was well timed with the edited filming, which was difficalt to do. The main negative feedback receieved was that the narrative wasn't clear enough and the story couldn't be understood. There was appropriate footage to illustrate the narrative previously, but my group and I felt that it dragged on a little too much so it was cut out. Next time I believe that we should rethink this for our audience's beneift. Also the intertitles are too small and difficalt to read which I definately agree with. My group was dismissent to changing the intertitles, so I created my own version of the horror teaser trailer, which now has clearer intertitles.

Original Images I used

These are the photographs that I used for my teaser poster and film magazine cover. I edited them appropriately for my ancillary tasks. I used Adobe Photoshop to edit them.


Magazine cover


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

Here is a set of 9 stills from my own horror teaser trailer compared to 9 other stills from existing horror trailers. The teaser horror trailer uses classic forms and conventions linked to the horror genre. The lighting of our scenes are dark which creates mystery and distorts vision. We put is some gore scenes to show pain and blood for immediate horror. The camera movements and angles portray P.O.V.'s and unusual veiws. The audio used creates a supernatual atmosphere, I think it goes well with the shots.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Research for Poster and Film Magazine Cover

These 3 film magazine covers have inspired my own. On the Empire cover I really like the main header, because it is large, bold and very noticable. On the Fangoria cover, I like the left margin that has been used for information that is within the magazine. The SFX magazine has the main image positioned on the right hand side of the cover, which I think is better than a central image.

My own poster is very my like 'The Eye' poster, as it is an E.C.U of the 'monster's' eye. I think that E.C.U's are very effective as the detail is very clear. I like the contrast and lighting on 'The Descent' Poster, this inspired my own for lighting. The 'Saw' poster shows an image with no border, with a blurred outline. This also had an influence of my poster and the image within it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Horror film mood board

I have created a mood board with images from various horror films. These images are what I personally find scary or good ideas for horror films. I like settings that are dark, which exaggerates shadows and shapes. I also like strange happenings that can't be expalained or that are almost unbelieveable, i have tried to show this with the images I have chosen.

Horror film idea

There is a teenage girl called Summer, she lives with her Mum, Susan and her Dad, Phil. They attend an anniversary party one evening of Susan’s friend’s. Summer gets board and asks to go home early. She arrives to an empty house and goes to bed. Her alarm wakes her up at 7am, as she stirs; she hears her Dad’s voice from downstairs. It sounded different though. Phil is on the home phone reporting a missing person, Summer realises it’s her Mum that is missing. Her Dad told her that she disappeared at the party last night and was nowhere to be seen. Summer goes to school to keep her daily routine as normal as possible, and for her Dad not to worry about her. Phil drives her outside the gates of the school and tells her not to worry. Summer sits at her desk and stares at the clock wanting time to pass by quickly, when, suddenly, her mobile phone rings, reading “Dad calling”. She goes to answer it but before she could say anything, her teacher confiscates it and locks it in her desk droor, telling her that she should know better and to collect it from her at the end of the day. Finally it is 3:30pm and Summer goes to get her phone back. As she heads outside for her Dad to pick her up she checks her phone and it says that she has missed 86 calls from her Dad’s mobile number. She gets into Phil’s car and asks why he rang her, he replies that he’s lost his phone and to answer it because anybody could have it. Later that evening, Summer watches TV in the living room while her dad cooks dinner in the kitchen. Summer’s mobile vibrates, lighting up “Dad calling”. She decides to answer it as she is curios who it could be. She hears her Mum whispering on the other end of the phone asking for help. Summer shouts “Mum?” and Phil comes storming into the room snatching the mobile phone from her fingers, he throws it at the front door causing the battery to fall out of it. Summer asks her Dad what he has done. With no reply, Summer runs out of the house, grabbing her mobile phone and battery from the floor as she escapes. The next morning, Summer is sitting on a tyre swing in a wooded area away from the city, with bare trees and autumn leaves along the floor. She suddenly she notices something reflecting the sun into her eyes, she walks up to it hanging on a twig of a bush and sees that it is her Mum’s locket, Summer picks it up and opens it, displaying a photograph of her and her mother. She gets out her mobile phone and tries to ring her Dad’s phone, but there is no signal, so Summer searches her Bluetooth devices and finds one named “Phil’s phone”. She investigates beyond the bush and sees a mound of dirt, she digs up a long wooden box that is bolted up. She releases the bolt and opens the lid of the box, she finds her Mum inside, lifeless, and she was too late. Summer notices her Dad’s phone in her Mum’s hand, she picks it up and looks at it, the battery dies and the phone switches off. All of a sudden her Dad shoves Summer into the box on top of her Mum’s dead body from behind her, on the way down she drops her Dad’s phone onto the floor. Summer pretends to be unconscious after hitting her head on the edge of the wooden box, Phil goes to pick up his phone and Summer quickly hits him around the head with a large branch from a nearby tree. He is knocked unconscious and Summer drags him into the wooden box with her dead mother, she shuts the box and buries it back up. A week passes and Summer is happy in a foster home with new friends and people to look after her. Summer’s phone rings and lights up “Dad calling”.

Target audience research

1. Are you male or female?
    Male = 16
    Female = 14

2. Do you like horror films?
    Yes = 24
    No = 6

3. What kind of horror films do you like? (2 each)
    Supernatural = 8
    Blood and gore = 7
    Slasher = 11
    Psychological = 12
    Sci-fi = 13
    Zombie/undead = 7
    Other/none = 2

4. What scares you the most within a horror film?
    Sounds/noise/music = 10
    Jump/shock = 7
    Dead people = 8
    Everything = 5

5. What would make you want to go and see a horror film at the   cinema?
    Word of mouth = 9
    Trailers = 12
    Film reviews = 7
    Posters = 2

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Role of distribution company

The role of a distribution company is to get hold of a film and identify the largest possible audience for each film they acquire and to market that film to its target audience. The distribution company also has to work out a budget for each specific film for goals of budgets and profits.

There is a 6 step plan that the distribution companies work by:

Focus on the audience

The target audience has to be specific by age group and gender, also lifestyles and social networks are useful. This information is needed to promote a film to appeal to the target audience. It’s important to keep the target audience in mind, but also to try and appeal the film to a wider audience for a better chance of success in the cinemas. The cinema is a popular social activity for young adults between the ages of 15-24 in the UK.

Rolling the distribution dice

Nobody can predict how an audience will react to a film, therefore it is very difficalt to create a 'hit' film. The only way to get close to a 'hit' film is to conduct market research with the public and to pre-release test screenings. If a movie is a 'hit' and another film is released that is very similar to it, it's still not a garuntee that it will be as successful.

The competative jungle

There is always going to be competition within distributuion companies, competeing for certain films, targeting certain audiences and similar release dates. Alot of the competition depends on a specailised or event film, star power, with well-known actors/actresses. Also the expectations for a particular film on achieveing such goals as being nominated for an award or a sequel possibility or good reviews from film critics.

Satisfying anticipated demand

All film releases are dealt with in different ways. For example, a film can be released simultaneously at many different cinemas, this is usually used for large-scale sequels to accomodate a larger audience.

Digital regeneration

Digital was released and made a good impact on distribution companies, this is mainly because the disks which the films are copied on are less expensive and also can be sent across the internet by email, which saves money on postage and packaging. Also it decreases the chance of a film becoming damaged.

Budgeting the release

When the film is completed the distributers confirms the release preparations. Also the budget is calculated. Distributors in the UK pay the costs for the releasing of the film, they include marketing, print duplications and advertising this also covers the launch of the film before it is released.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

How women are represented in the horror genre.

Women can be represented in four different ways, domestic, sexual, consumer and marital. Typical roles for women include the common housewife or a daughter as a student at a school. Not often do we see woman with good jobs bringing home the money for the family. Domestic activities usually consist of cooking, cleaning and looking after the children, which is stereotypically what most common housewives do. Sexual activities mean that women are seen as sex objects by men, this is linked to the ‘male gaze’ of how men look at women on screen as objects. Consumer activities include providing the family with food and other needs by shopping. Women are also corresponded to their marital status to men and family. The horror genre places women in typical roles, but it also challenges that by the idea of female protagonists and/or 'final girls'.

In the film ‘Halloween’, made in 1978, I noticed that there is the same amount of male and female characters, which suggests that the research done on 1992 stands incorrect for this film in particular, which informs us that men outnumber women by two to one. So visibility can be an issue in media representation of females. A lot of different types of women are not shown in many parts of the media, such as: black women, older women and lesbian women. This links well to the horror genre such as in ‘Halloween’ the female characters are all young, white and straight. I also noticed that more male characters are older and the females younger. This, in my opinion is mainly because younger women on screen are used as sex objects, also being a younger female makes them more vulnerable, physically and mentally, whereas older woman that are wiser would be less vulnerable in similar situations due to experience and age. This in a whole determines the ‘male gaze’ on younger females. We witness the ‘first kill’ of Michael’s sister Judith. Michael watches her sexual behaviour with her boyfriend, which instantaneously makes her a sex object and objectified by the audience as we see her in the ‘monster’s eyes, also the camerawork uses close-up shots, point of view shots and reaction shot to emphasise Judith sexually more than her boyfriend. When Michael is about to kill her,
her breasts are fully exposed, which creates a sexual and seductive look, just before she instantly tries to cover herself up when she realises that it is her six year old brother. The obvious view of the character of Judith is a ‘sex object’. The audience looks at her sexually due to her sexual acts and sexual displays. But we are unsure of how Michael Myers sees his sister (through the monster’s eyes), as Michael is only a six year old child, he shouldn’t see her sexually, but we can only assume and wonder. This mystery of how he sees her make that particular scene rather uncomfortable as the audience looks upon her though the ‘male gaze’ when the ‘monster’s eyes’ don’t. The audience first discovers that the character of Annie has a boyfriend and that she used her babysitting locations for sex. So the audience immediately sees her as a young female teenager that is going to get herself into an awkward situation. The rule about female characters seen as sexual objects, is that they are killed off quite early in the story-line, as if it were a punishment for enjoying sexual activities as they are too distracted to realise what is happening to them and other people around them. Another female character called Lynda is a ‘popular and beautiful
cheerleader’, who also has a boyfriend and plans to have sex with him that night at the place where Annie is supposed to be baby-sitting, which automatically creates a position where the young female is doing something that she shouldn’t be doing, this indicates that she will also be punished. The main female character in ‘Halloween’, in fact a protagonist, is Laurie, she is shy and virginal, she doesn’t have a boyfriend like her friends do and doesn’t seem as feminine as them either. The first character to be killed, once Michael had come back, is Annie. She ends up half naked initially as she is forced to clean her clothes which she had spilt butter on. Consequently she comes to wear only a shirt and underwear, so like Judith, she is half naked and her breasts are completely exposed when she is being slaughtered in her car. The next character Lynda resulted to be in bed with her boyfriend, Bob, not knowing that they’re being watched by Michael, just like when he killed his sister Judith. Lynda is killed by Michael whilst she is on the phone to Laurie after having sex with her boyfriend, and also after her boyfriend, Bob, was killed downstairs. As mentioned earlier, Lynda had been distracted by her sexual activities which blinded her from what was about to happen. She, again, had her breasts exposed which captures the male gaze and forces her to
become the third female sex object. These three killings portray that female sex objects in the horror genre are killed off easily and don’t seem to put up much of a fight. Finally Michael sets out to kill Laurie, but she is able to defend herself as she is not distracted by boyfriends or sex, therefore she is completely dressed and is not seen as a sex object. Michael fails to kill her because she is the virginal ‘final girl’ that is slightly more masculine than her friends which are seen as sexually by the audience. Laurie is also represented through her domestic activities by baby-sitting two children and keeping them safe. This also results in her being the hero.


I studied a second horror film called ‘The Shining’ made in 1980. The male and female characters in this film match the ratio of two to one from the research in 1992 of more male characters on screen than female characters. In one scene of this film, Jack goes to check out room 237, where there was a presumed ‘crazy woman’ that tried to hurt and strangle Danny. Jack comes across a beautiful young woman in the bath tub, who gets out and starts walking over towards him slowly and seductively, flaunting her naked body. This woman is definitely referred to sexually, and also is a perfect example of the ‘male gaze’, with close-ups and point of view shots of Jack and long shots of the woman, to emphasise her separate body parts, such as her legs. The point of view shots encourages the audience to look at her as Jack does. To the audience this woman is looked at very sexually, but the idea of the sex symbol females being killed off is slightly twisted. It turns out that this woman is already dead, which reinforces this idea. Wendy is looked
upon in many different ways, but not sexually. She is recognised and identified with by the audience through her domestic, consumer and marital activities. Wendy cooks, cleans, looks after Danny and is the wife of Jack. She seems rather weak, afraid and feminine, but turns out to the hero of this story. The audience identifies with her by the camera using lots of close-ups and point of view shots. The twin girls are the only other female characters in the film ‘The Shining’. They were shown as the daughters of the former caretaker, Grady. They were also represented through their family and their state of death. The two female children were not represented in any of the ways that females are usually shown in horrors, domestic, sexual, consumer or marital activities. This is mainly because they are not in the danger of being killed as they are already dead. Wendy becomes the female protagonist and the final girl of this film, very similar to Laurie in ‘Halloween’, the only females that can fight for themselves and survive are virginal and slightly masculine.

Women are mainly represented sexually in horror genres, but there is usually at least one female character that is not represented in this way. Instead they are virginal, slightly masculine and quite domestic, as shown in the two horror films that I have analysed. I have found that the horror genre and sex seem to go well together, as the sexual activities shown, results to the punishment that they receive for their behaviour and is this can be used in most horrors. The characters that are shown as sex objects seem to be killed off quite easily to show that their sexual statuses and activities result to an early death, what’s more, the female sex objects seem to be weak and blind to what is going on due to their distractions . The ‘final girl’ is never usually looked at sexually, like Wendy and Laurie. The horror genre mainly represents women sexually, but not the final girl, in past horror films, present horror films and, in my opinion, even in future horror films.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Saw VI teaser trailer

The saw 6 teaser trailer includes most of the key conventions for move trailers. The genre of the movie is easily recognised mainly because the 'saw films' have many devoted fans that keep watching each sequel. The music for the 'saw films' is also very well known. The only dialogue used are the sounds of the victims screaming and shouting. There are recurring grammatical structures using the number '6'. As it's the 6th sequel it it very appropriate. they also shown as inter-titles. The name of the movie is revealed at the end of the trailer in large writing and the website and the release date is defined as 'Halloween', which is also appropriate for a horror film.

The mise-en-scene of this teaser trailer is like a ride. We are taken backwards shown through corridoors and various rooms, one with lots of televisions that are carelessly stacked that make us feel uneasy, they show actual footage from the film. The other two rooms just show two televisions attatched to the walls. Each of the corridoors have flickering lights creating unavoidable darkness and strange shadows.

Dawn of the Dead teaser trailer

This teaser trailer for 'Dawn of the Dead' seems to contain most of the key conventions of movie trailers. But the music starts with a happy and surprisingly calming song, whilst there are shots of characters playing basketball, drinking coffee and having fun. It then cuts to the news about what is happening, the sound then suddenly changes to screaming and shouting. There is only one kind of dialogue or voice over where the man on the news talks about the happenings and chaos. We then see footage from the film of the 'zombie's' and the chaos envolved, the pace gets faster to maximise tension. The name of the film is revealed at the end of the trailer in big bold writing, and other details in smaller writing, such as director, actors and website.

We are shown that these characters are in some kind of department store, possibly a Mall that is deserted apart from the characters, also a multi-storey car park that is also competely emtpy, apart from the "zombie's". We are shown the streets filled with frightening creatures and that our characters are completely outnumbered.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

28 Days Later teaser trailer

This is a teaser trailer that I thought has a good effect without giving too much away. The genre is obvious from the very beginning, mainly because of the music used, with sounds of drums, sirens and screaming. It uses repitition of grammatical structures, such as: "On the first day", and then counting up the days to "28 days later" with what happened upto that point for emphasis. There is no voice over, but there is actual footage from the film to show characters and a story-line used.
The mise-en-scene showed is shown from the film, one is a hospital cubile or ward where a character wakes up to find nobody around. Then we're shown famous main streets of London that are completely deserted which creates a very eerie effect. The rest of the footage from the film is just mysterious figures in darkness.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

The Shining Props

Villain - Jack Torrence & Delbert Grady
Donor - Dick Hallorann
Helper - Dick Hallorann & Tony
Princess - Wendy Torrence
Princess's father - Danny Torrence
Dispatcher - Stuart Ullman
Hero/Victim - Danny & Wendy Torrence
False Hero - Jack Torrence

Jack leaves home for an interview for a job as the winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel. He also done this to write a novel/story. Dick Hallorann (cook) warns Danny not to enter room 237.

Jack starts to feel the pressure about writing his book, in a lonely place and starts to become mentally ill.

Danny is hurt and Dick Hallorann comes to help

Wendy is confronted by Jack and she is forced to use protection agaisnt him.

Wendy and Danny excape from Jack and drives the snow mobile to a safer place.

Jack is left in the maze and freezes to death

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Return of the Repressed.

This phrase is used to describe when bad memories and/or feelings of negativity are repressed in your unconscious mind for a while, they are bottled up and can come to the surface when triggered by something traumatic, frightening or similar to the bad memory.

Example: If you were attacked as a child and because it was traumatic you pushed it to the back of your mind and blanked it and forgot about it, then say someone close to you is attacked that can make the repressed memory return with unpleasant effects.

Mirrors Trailor

Clear Hero and immediate father/son figures. Family.
Based on reflections- 'mirrors', water.
Female screams and roars, indicating pain and fear.
His problems from his work effect his family at home.
Fast cuts towards end to create a fast pace.
Clearly a supernatural horror, shown my mysterious and unexplained happenings.
I think this trailer is an immediate attention grabber, it shows an outline of the story telling you that it's somebody else looking back at you in the mirror, and not your reflection. A superstition that has been questioned for years, thata mirror or reflection is a gateway to another dimension or world.

This trailer uses key conventions. It clearly shows the Genre of the movie by using music. The name of the movie is mentioned alot throughout the trailer, even in the dialogue from the film footage. The director is also named twice in this and shown boldly in text. This trailer shows aspects of the start of a horrific scene, but does not show the outcome, which targets the audience that want to know what happens next. There is a build up in music where it becomes more high pitched and faster to create a tense and exciting atmosphere. There is no voice-over, only the main character's dialogue that carries on over other footage.