Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Final shooting

Lastnight we reshot our film opening for the last time, it went really well and we got plenty of coverage so we should be able to edit it to a really high standard. Unfortunatly, Colette or victim could not be filmed so i had to fill in for her which wasnt a problem in the end because we only needed a point of view shot and some shots of her legs. The weather wasn't great but we managed to keep the camera dry by putting it under an umberella. We got around 80 shots so we have so much to edit and decide on what we want to do with it.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Editing decissions

- We wanted a very high angle shot to make the male customer look vulnerable and make the audience think that he's the victim.
- When we re-shoot we will get all the church bells to give anchorage of the time and edit it into the first shots
- We have made a variation of shots in the opening without it looking too much although variation shots is good for our target audience (15-20) that get bored easily.
- We had to think about re-shooting in the day due to blurriness.

- We need to think about what sound affects we want throughout because we realized when editing we need to record screams and other sound to make it more action packed.

Re- shoot Colette getting into the sunbed.
- Speak to Colette about the outfit for the sun bed because it doesnt work filming her legs getting into the sunbed.
- Re-shoot outside shot George going into the salon.
- Psycho did extreme long shot shoot one of these as our establishing shot.
- Take as little tracking/ panning shots as possible we have cut down our tracking shots so our target audience dont get bored.
- Psycho Norman Bates/ Katie playing this role is sat behind the desk which we have edited so her face isnt seen (narrative enigma) to hide the killer (more narrative shots needed)
- Re shoot george speaking to katie to make it flow more easily
- Get a magazine or newspaper with some sort of murder story or weapon been found to mirror what will later happen.
- We could get a shot of katie filing her nails or using scissors to signify that shes the killer 
- Edited a few shots to cutaway shots to vary the variety of shots.
- The shot of the candle flickering edited to quite short and then theres a shot of a single candle after.
- We will need to re shoot our film more to vary shots and make the transitions from shot to shot smoother.

Monday, 14 February 2011

BBFC Information


Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.


The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.


Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.


Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.


There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest  terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.


Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context.


Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely  to be acceptable unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.


No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.


Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.

Audience types

Core audience: We are certifying out film as a fifteen due to violent conduct although there are no sexual references in the opening. So the audience viewers will be 15-24.
Secondary audience: People who may still be potential audience even though they do not fit within the 15-24 age gap they may just be general horror film fans or have an inertextual reason for viewing (Links to other films being for an older audience) or crosses between texts/two or more other films such as someone filing their nails like Freddie Cruger in A Nightmare on Elm street or have an actor/actress prefernence as their reason to view. Finally character names that relate intertexually to other films such as Laurie in Psycho which has been recycled in other horrors.

New treatment


EM: Ideas and plans.


- Find out if actress can film during the evening.
- Get images for casting
- Describe ideal characters
- Think about characters form existing movies e.g Psycho 
- Describe scream queen and others
- Create scripts for actors/actresses 
- Research on male gaze theory

Psycho meets Halloween

- Establishing shot of the house
- Potentially do a shot of them being stalked from outside.
- Trees near the house, stalking, point of view shot from behind the tree
- Male enters the salon
- Close up of the beauticians hand while she's writing down his appointment (we never see her face until the very end
- Medium shot of male character walking up the stairs
- Comes into the waiting room where we see customer 2

- Close up of beautician stabbing putting scissors into a scissor holder
- Medium shot of her coming up the stairs
- Over the shoulder shot of her on the side looking at the mirror with th reflection of the two customers
- Beautician offers tea/cake to male customer which is used as an excuse to use a knife to stab the victim
- She asks for first customer
- Takes her into the massage/waxing room
- She accidentaly hurts the customer and then offers 6 minutes in the tanning bed
- In the mean time, male customer goes outside to take a phone call
- Beautician sets the timer on the tanning bed for the customer
- While the customer is in the tanning bed we hear an axe scraping on the floor contrasted with the non-digetic music, e.g organ
- Beautician then slowly enters the room  and opens the tanning bed door 
- Point of view shot from the victim and killer says "Times up!" This is the first time we see her face
- There is then a black out, and then we see a leg hanging out of the tanning bed with blood dripping down
- The male customer hears the scream and pauses in shock

Sunday, 13 February 2011

EM- Film Opening Research - General Codes and Conventions of Film Openings

In looking at a range of various film openings, there are various elements which are applied. 

Firstly, the camera shots/angles which are used play a big part in setting the tone of the film. I have noticed that in horror films the camera angles are either high angles, panning shots or point of view shots. For instance in Halloween, a point of view shot is used which is focused on a sub-urban house. To give a dramatic effect the camera is not still but it is shaking in order to build up tension and suspense but also to show the vulnerability of the victims inside the house. Shots like these are used to create narrative enigma for the audience as they do not see the killers face straight away. Also, another example of a point of view shot is in Jennifer's Body. Like Halloween, there is a point of view shot of the supposed "killer" which shows the house in the opening scene. Due to this trend, point of view shots are used to set the scene and to provide details on the background, social status and the overall feel of the neighborhood.

Secondly, sound also contributes to the film openings as it not only provides anchorage for the genre, but it sets the mood for the first opening minutes. For instance, in 5ive Girls, there is a diagetic sound of an organ which sets the tone of film as it provides a haunting and oppressive tone. However, sound can also portray the time period as we see in Hell Night. Diagetic sound is being played from a radio and it is typical rock music sung by a woman, and this therefore signifies the time period. In the opening sequence for Halloween, the non-diagetic music is fast paced with a combination of slow string notes which brings an eeriness. 

Thirdly, I have seen throughout various slasher films that they each have a tint to the lens. This blue tint is used to signify that it is night time in most of the films. Most of these have blue tints such as  Bride of Chucky, Peeping Tom and Halloween. However, some use red or orange tints to signify danger such as A Nightmare  On Elm Street. 

EM- Film Opening Conventions

We normally expect film openings to set the entire tone of the film. However, there are dynamic choices which we normally see and expect and there are factors which we do not expect.

In the opening sequence there is normally an establishing shot to signify the time period and location. In some cases, the opening sequence is just of the location and we are not introduced to any characters. However, in most cases the audience sees the victim but the identity of the killer is hidden. This identity is kept hidden by use of tracking shots and point of view shots. In the film opening, there is not immediate action which takes place, but there is a build up and a tension that rises to keep the audience in suspense.

In film openings, we are normally given exposition which sometimes provides the time period/date and the place. On the other hand, this exposition does not always have to be the place or time, but through the dialogue. In the opening, through this dialogue we are introduced to the characters  and therefore we can pre-judge. Exposition can also be used to provide anchorage such as in Halloween the words 'Hall

SD&MA - Sound track.

Although we have been concentrarting on our idents recently to get them the best we can we are starting to think about soundtrack now we have previously decided that we're going to use Garage Band and we hope to create something along the lines of what is in Paranormal Activity on the shot when we realise the customer is missing aswell as the owner (Narrative enigma) as to who is the killer at 0:54 in this clip:
at this point the date and time could appear on screen as often in serious films and horrors this is the case such as in halloween, paranormal m activities one and two and peeping tom etc which we will be discussing in a Vodcast on Tuesday.
We have decided we dont want a song playing all the way through like in some openings. We want to have some diagetic sounds but have them more exaggerated. For example we want to shot the muder weapon (axe) scraping along the floor and we want to have the sound of the salon door slamming.
By looking at horror opening we have noted that many opening do not have a song playing all the way through but rather short noises that create suspense. In Hell Night there was diagetic music playing as it was set at a party but this obviously doesnt fit with the context of our opening.
Many films such as Halloween and The Ring have a sound track thatas starts off rather slowly and then picks up. Its clear that a lot of high pitch notes and strings are used such as a piano and violins.


As we previously said in our treatment we are aiming for a 15 rating on our opening.  After looking at the BBFC website we still think that our film fits with their 15 criteria.
The reason we have gone for a 15 rating rather than a 12 is because the BBFC states that classification is stricter on video works and we feel that the violence we imply is quite strong. The BBFC have this view on horror;

The use of frightening elements which might scare or unsettle an audience is part of a long tradition of story telling and film making. Many children enjoy the excitement of scary sequences, but, where films are targeted at a younger audience, classification decisions will take into account such factors as the frequency, length and detail of scary scenes as well as horror effects, including music and sound, and whether there is a swift and reassuring outcome.
Older audiences often pay to see horror films because they like being frightened or shocked and such works are classified at an appropriate category to ensure that the young and vulnerable are protected from too intense an experience.
We feel that our film although we are trying to build up tension throughout we dont show any violence till the end which is a very short sequence and we do not show any gore but let the audience use their imagination.
The BBFC's criteria of violence only changes slightly between 12 and 15 ratings.
Violence- 12 RATING
Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context. Sexual violence may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated, and must have a strong contextual justification.
Violence- 15 RATING
Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable.
There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.

Codes and Conventions of horror

One of the books i used for research is Horror Films( James Marriott) which looks at some of the most iconic films in the genre.
From looking at horror films it is clear that they will always have a audience because this genre acts as a place for directors and film makers to test out their idea which will later filter out into the main stream but in more subtle ways. Horror is one of the only genres were having a low budget can create a big profit, for example Saw had a budget of $1.2 million and a total gross of $55 million. This is evidence that there is a market for horror films.

One of the most popular figures in horror has to be the vampire. Although we are not using any vampires in our opening it is still useful to have a brief look at the basic conventions. The main convention of vampires are;

  • Having fangs
  • Drinking blood
  • Not being able to have contact with sunlight
  • Casting no shadow
These conventions are used less in modern vampire films such as Daybreakers where the vampires are trying to find a way of creating artificial blood for the vampires. Things such as using syringes and razors instead of fangs are becoming more common. Nosferatu (1992) was one of the first films to have a  vampire.

Sound: Fluctuating tempos are used to build suspense (periodically) Many old horror films using instruments such as organs to create loud eerie sounds. Psycho used 'screaming violins' to keep the audience constantly on edge. Many of the low budget films started being more creative in ways to find sound as they didn't have a huge budget. A melon was used to create the sounds in the iconic 'shower scene'.

Change to distribtion company

We decided to change our distribution name for the only reason that when we were coming up with our idea for our ident design we thought that stoneage would look better. Then we got the idea of Bricolage, a new take on the stoneage idea as it sounds more professional and up market.We thought of it because it means something along the lines of production and distibution in French so it relates to our poduction similarly to how Warner brothers change their idents to fit the specific film


We are supposed to be filming this weekend but problems with the location have let us down, we are going to have to reshoot our outdoor footage today and then do the inside filming either monday or tuesday as the woman that owns the salon is away at the moment therefore we cant get the key to get access to the salon. If this affects our cast on the day of filming we will have to re cast which will be stressful as the due ate for our work is friday.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Horror Genre

[Information used in this post was gathered from 'A new heritage of Horror' by David Pirie.]
The new and upcoming factor nowadays to horror is 'realism' what scares the viewer the most is if what is on screen could be seen as reality or even margianlly close to this. 'I assumed that the loathing that a certain part of Britain's offical culture has historically exhibited towards horror and the fantastic was simply a form of moral panic.

Preshooting Adjustments to the storyboard

We will be re-shooting on either saturday or sunday afternoon this weekend and be getting plenty of coverage and shot variation that we can edit successfully. We have made some minor changes to our storyboard recetnly so we will be adding a new one on soon.

The changes we have made are to the ending of the opening as we had problems shooting the violent scenes as it is based in a salon we wanted the murder to happen when the victim got out of the sunbed and would be brutally murdered with an axe although we had to think about how we would do this due to clothing of the victim as normally when using a sunbed you dont wear anything or wear paper knickers. After thinking about it we decided that Colette (victim) will get into the sunbed as it is an upright one she will be wearing a towel and the towel will be placed over the door of the sunbed and Katie (the killer) will take it from her then when colette comes out of the sunbed we will have a point of view shot of Colette and we will hear her scream then the screen will go black. Finally we will have a low angle shot of Colettes leg sticking out of the sunbed cubicle with blood dripping down it and onto the floor. Before the killing we are going to have a high angle shot looking down at the seat in the waiting room where George (other customer) was earlier seating providing narrative enigma as to who is the killer in the opening.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


We are currently creating our ideas we obviously need two one being for production and one for distribution. We had to think on the spot and came up with two names, one being Cliffhanger productions but we found that it has already been used so we decided to play around with it and change it slightly to 'Cliffanger' productions. For our distribution company we decided to go with 'Boredshore' because we hadn't heard it before and it was kind of out last resort if we couldnt think of any other ideas. We have now started to produce the 'Boredshore' ident which will appear in red on screen in quite playful round text, it bounces up and down in the line of the letters.

Genre Summary.

'Horror films are unsettling movies that strive to elicit the emotions of feardisgust and horror from viewers. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural
The most popular ranging from 'The Rite' to 'Zomieland' all rated highly amongst the public for example on imdb
By viewing all the films we have and deconstructing each there are a number 'of characteristics we have noticed, for example Blue tints are often used to create an eary feeling in openings and sometimes throughout films in specific scenes for example in Halloween the establishing shot of the house (extreme long shot) has a blue tint. It also uses framing in the shot eg. the tree in the corner of the shot coming slightly over the screen on the camera and then cutting to the tree and doing a point of view shot from behind the tree giving us a stalker effect and somebody is watching. False scares are used to create tension for the audience for example in A Nightmare on Elm Street the idea of a false scare is connoted by the girl having a nightmare when the audience portray it as what is actually happening in the film and then she wakes up although the prefered reading that it was a nightmare (used signified by an orange tint) was picked up but the audience (our group) view on it was the orange tint was used to signify the heat of the room as the temperature would be high in a factory.

When thinking about idents an example being Warner Brothers, change there idents to suit the genre nd film that they are representing for example to the left the idents was origionally gold and blue but presented it in grey and black when Harry Potter and the deathly hallows was released (right) also when The Matrix was released they changed the ident to green (left) representing horror.
We found that weather representations (Pathetic fallacy) is used to
                                                      signify the mood of the setting in openings for example in Sweeney Todd (set in London) it is raining at the beginning which could also be portrayed the mood and feelings of what is to come with also the darkness of the tunnel and one significant figure of a man. Often near a detched house with open windows often american country looking, like in Jennifers Body which also uses a false scare when the stalker is staring at the victim and she jumps creating tension in the audience.
Accidents at the beginning of films such as somebody cutting themselves with a razor are often used also another example of Sweeney Todd when it happens in the barbers shop which is our first connection with blood and foreshadows what is to come. Sometimes directors and producers play with your emotions offering false security at the scariest points in films creating your vulnerability but this is of course the whole point.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Preparations for filming and filming ideas.

For our film we are going to have to make blood we have tried out a few ways such as using ketchup and a number of different liquids to do so but all seemed to fail. In the end we looked on the internet and researched different ways of how we could make it and found the ideal way which wasn't too messy because obviously we cant create to much mess in the salon.
We tried it out for ourselves and decided to go with it because it looked realistic.
We also have been thinking about if the idea of the axe would would because we want it to be believable.
We want the mise-en-scene to be realistic so we are having things like tweezers, wax strips which is obviously a reference to the title and if we can we think it would be a good idea to have things like magazines and newspapers in the waiting room that refer to a story of some mass murderer or serial killing and happening like that in the local area to us but this is obviously specific and we dont want anchorage to look to forced on set.