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2. Research.pptx

  1. FMP 2 Research By Ben Brown
  2. Audience My production is aimed at people who enjoy watching traditional horror/slasher films and have a familiarity with the typical troupes and familiar themes of these films. This demographic is particularly young with 66% of people in Generation Z saying that they looked at a horror/slasher film in the last 6 to 12 months with 45% of older age groups saying they watched a horror/slasher film in the previous 6 to 12 months. (Statista: TV, Films and Video: October 2022) Also, Horror/Slasher films are the third most popular film category after comedy and action (Halloween horror: Feeding audiences' appetites for cheap and bloody thrills, Chris Arkenberg Deloitte Insights, 2022) and much cheaper to produce with the typical action film costing $100 million to produce and market (Nashville Film Institute, "How much does it cost to make a movie 2022") compared to $20 million or less for a typical horror or slasher film. (Alex Huntsberger "Horror films cost very little to make, and they make a lot of money" OppU March 18, 2021) From 2010 to 2020, thrillers, crime and horror earned an estimated $120 billion at the box office (Demeter "Which movie genres earned the most at the box office between 1980 and 2020?") and with the rise of streaming services and release of films in theatres at the same time as service such as Netflix, producers need to retain and engage audiences at a cheaper cost. In terms of return on investment, horror films top the list with 13 of the top 30 most profitable films since 2010 with the top five films in horror having a ROI of 2000% (every $10 put into the move would get a $200 profit) compared to 1200% for comedy. (NPR: Planet Money: Horror is the Best Deal in Hollywood 2015). Horror films and in particular slashers appeal to a younger audience, usually under 25 as this group seeks to feel scared or a sense of panic set in a familiar place like a suburb, but in-reality remain safe more so than older audiences ( research.png).
  3. Audience This Generation Z group identify with the difficult situation, fears, and desire to combat social conformity that is included in typical slasher films and the characters in these films are also often younger people. (Prevalence of Individuality and Conformity as Behavioral Traits Among Generation Z: by Jane Castillo ISSUU Ioer International Multidisciplinary Research Journal 2021) This under 25 demographic spend most of their spare time online using the internet 25 hours a week, reading books and watching films and TV shows online. This group also use social media as their main past time with 91% of the group using social media daily (The Modern British Teenagers Life []). More than 65% of Generation Z use platforms to communicate, build relationships shop and get information and check on friends and family and 50% of Generation Z see social media as the only place that they can be themselves and make their lives appear more exciting than they are (A magazine: the Impact of Social Media on Generation Z's mental health by Fernanda Pasetti Bordin October 2022). However social media can lead to feelings of isolation, cyberbullying, loss of privacy and the creation of unrealistic expectations or unachievable standards in terms of beauty, achievement and appearance (Ibid: October 2022) Generation Z aspire to be socially accepted and to find their social place increasingly seek escapism and identify with the characters and themes of the typical Slasher genre. (Generation Z is Extremely Online by Ellyn Briggs: December 12, 2022) My production will tap into this group's love and knowledge of the genre and display it as a typical public service announcement of how to avoid death in a typical Slasher film.
  4. Market and existing products Parodies of slasher movie troupes are common in today's films with movies such as Scary Movie and Freaky all representing a trend of slasher films presenting the genre as comedy and making light of the typical conventions. For example, the Scary Movie franchise parodies Scream with characters killing people while wearing a Ghostface mask and a reference to I Know What You Did Last Summer in a scene where Cindy and her crew hit a man with their car on an isolated road and then throw him from a pier although he is still alive. (Vulture: Every Movie Spoofed in the Scary Movie Franchise by Adam K. Raymond 2013). In social media there are many parodies of the Slasher movie genre such as the Sensible Horror Film by "Pixelspersecond" which depicts what happens in a traditional horror movie if smart characters who make good decisions and have critical thinking are depicted in these troupes. (Trend Hunter: The Sensible Horror Film is Realistic by Laura McQuarrie October 2013). It depicts a cheerleader asking a friend if he wants to join in a trip to an abandoned mental asylum with a Ouija board and he simply declines. These parodies are made by film production companies and independent YouTube content creators and typically portray gruesome situations in a believable lighthearted way.
  5. Market and existing products I plan to present my idea as a mock public service announcement. This fits well with the theme because, in the UK, public service announcements were produced by the Central Office of Information (COI) starting in the early 1970s (the same period as the early Slasher films). These public service films were influenced by horror films and were made by people who were aspiring horror filmmakers. (Sight and Sound: The Lost Art of the British Public Information Film by Robert Hanks 2020). For example, Apache in 1977 a series of school children met gory ends as victims of accidents on a farm such as being crushed by a tractor or drowning in pits. (BFI National Film Archive: Apache). The public service announcements share the characteristics of the horror films such as gruesome violence, jump scares, lonely settings, and internal voice monologues. I plan to appeal to todays under 25 age group with the gory troupes of today's slasher film parodies and to an older demographic who were under 25 in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's with the nostalgic public service announcements of this period.
  6. Production I plan to make a short slasher film, but in the style of a Public Service Announcement film (as made by the Central Office of Information). Both slasher films and COI public information films began in the 1970s and many of the people who worked on the COI films were influenced by slasher films and aspired to make them- there for, putting the two together will hopefully make for a good combination. The style of the film will be a spoof "How to Survive a Homicidal Slasher" Information Film. The film will start as if it's a real slasher film with the victim being hunted by the murderer. This section of the film will include the recognisable slasher tropes like; twilight or night-time setting, isolated house/building, masked assailant, gory kill. I will then use voice over and screen text in the style of a Public Information Film to tell the audience not to fall into the traps of a slasher and to instead follow some simple rules to survive, then presenting a series of scenarios (for example; NOT splitting up with your friends, NOT going towards a creepy lonely location where something horrible is happening etc).
  7. Production I need to scout a good location in which to set the action. I plan to perhaps use a holiday lodge as many slasher films have been set in "lonely cabins". This will enable me to get good exterior shots and believable interiors. I aim to film at dusk as I want the atmosphere of night-time, but I don’t have a lot of lighting so real night-time filming may not work. I plan to practice filming in different lighting scenarios and see which works best. I plan to use a lot of point of view camera shots as this is a common trope in the slasher where victims are often observed, seemingly by the murderer, through windows etc. I will also use zoom shots to revile terror and moving shots during tense chase scenes. Of course, no slasher is complete without gory physical effects. I plan to investigate how best to achieve these in my film by getting advice from college theatre make up tutors also internet tutorials. One of my major problems is casting. In order to make use of the very limited cast I have available to me I will carefully construct the script so that the fewest actors are needed and make use of strategies like reverse shots, filming from behind using offscreen sound effects etc. I have taken inspiration from the 1949 film Kind Hearts and Coronets, directed by Robert Hammer. In this film Alec Guinness plays notable members of the D'Ascoyne family. I plan to use the same actor in multiple scenarios with a small supporting cast. I think this will create the tone of the spoof and add to the humour. To give the film the feeling of a PSA Public Service Announcement, I will use an authoritative voice over and on-screen instructive text, I will also use the slogan "Stay Alert- Don't get Hurt".
  8. Topic I have three questions to research the answers to - which will help me in my project and develop my idea; what are the horror/slasher stereotypes?, how to make horror visual effects (lighting, make up etc)?, how will I make my project in the style of COI public safety announcements? What are the horror/slasher stereotypes? The Harbinger: Usually an old person who warns the protagonist about a dangerous slasher. The Pawn: A soon to be victim who accidently starts the night of blood shed. High School Jock: Always one of the first to die. The Sceptic: A victim who tries to find rational explanations for the scary things going on and only accept the reality of the slasher when they are about to die. The Token: Usually a person of colour or ethnic minority who usually dies first (horror/slasher films have long been seen as racist for this trope). Smart Kid: Always getting picked by the group and also one of the first to die. Bad Girl: Rebellious and sexually active, often the killer's number one victim. The Authority Figure: Characters range from the Hunter who spent a long time wanting to kill the slasher because they wronged them in the past or the Cop who usually dies shortly after they arrive at the slaughter site or shows up too late. The Final Girl: The most iconic of the victims is the well behaved virgin of the group who gains masculine traits after going through a traumatic experience and fights the killer, surviving to the end. The Slasher: Usually wears a scary mask and wields a melee weapon where they spend the majority of the movie stalking the sexually active teens, killing them off one by one.
  9. Topic How to make horror visual effects (lighting, make up etc) Darker lighting will help with creating an atmosphere of terror and suspense. The antagonist, in particular, must be presented in dark lighting to show their menace. The victims and final girl etc, can be presented in brighter light to show they are the "good" characters. Costume can also help with this – the antagonist should be presented in dark clothes, with a mask so the audience sees the killer as emotionless and allows them to use their imagination and project their worst fears onto his potential appearance. The "good characters" can be presented in lighter coloured, more everyday clothes to make the audience identify with them. There are several ideas for the making of gory effects – you can make fake blood with corn syrup, make fake wounds with glue and toilet paper, make severed limbs by putting a silicone cast over one of your limbs and painting it red and you can make exploding heads by using a green screen and a balloon filled with lots of fake blood. I plan to ask the Stage Make Up course tutors at York College for help with this. What is then style of COI Public Service Announcements The Central Office of Information started making a range of public service films to be shown in schools in the 1970s. They were very well funded, but did not have to adhere to film classification restrictions. The film makers at the COI were very influenced by horror films and many aspired to be horror film makers. As a result of this, the films were very gruesome, featuring many injuries and deaths. The films usually feature a voice over narration, often by the film's protagonists, telling their story and pointing out where they have gone wrong and how the audience can avoid their mistakes. The films often feature slow, monotonous keyboard music and they use on screen text, giving statistics and also a slogan (as a take away for the audience).
  10. Friday the 13th Cinematograph y The film used the novel killer point of view shot to create tension. The audience never knows if it’s the killers' point of view or someone else's. The feeling of safety is gone as the killer could be anywhere. Lighting The film uses the contrast between the inside and the outside, opening with a shot of the moon. The inside is brightly lit and the outside is dark with prominent and projected shadows. The terror is increased by using uplighting, underexposure and shooting through objects to create a sense of being watched. Editing The film uses sudden transition between shots from the killer to the terrified victim to create tension and a sense of panic. Costume, Props and Makeup The use of the mask disguises the facial expression of Jason which makes him seem cold and emotionless which increases the terror. Also the use of a machete and chainsaw displays extreme violence. Music and Sound Henry Manfredini used the sound ki ki ki ma ma ma repeated by Jason in the film which stands for kill her mama by speaking the words into a microphone harshly and rhythmically using an echo reverberation machine. This creates a feeling of terror and apprehension before horrific murders. Also, the use of disturbing music with harsh sounds creates a feeling of dread. Setting The film is set in an isolated campground called Camp Crystal Lake. Jason was to have drowned in the lake as a boy while camp staff did not pay attention. The isolated setting and drive for revenge by Jason adds to the sense of menace and horror. Case Studies
  11. SCREA M Cinematograph y The Scream movie uses extreme close-up shots to show the terror of the victim on the phone. The movie uses a technique called the Dutch angle which is a 360-degree shot to create unease and disorient the viewer such as when Sydney escapes the cop car and runs to the house. Also tracking shots showing the victim walking in terror around the house. These techniques create extreme apprehension of Lighting The film uses lighting in the opening scene where Casey is phoned by the killer contrasting the dark outside of the house with bright light inside the house as danger and safety. The use of the colour blue associated with calmness is used with Casey safe near the TV and at the pool outside contrasted with low key red lighting when the killer is moving in the house. Editing The film is very fast paced with multiple quick cuts and many jump scares such as when the killer sees Casey through the window hiding in the bushes. The use of this technique creates a feeling of chaos, panic and unease. Costume, Props and Makeup The ghost face mask in the film creates a sense of dread by concealing all the killer's emotion. The depiction of the curved knife creates a sense of impending violence and pain. The film also uses the phone and fear of the phone ringing to create suspense and the popping of popcorn to scare the audience. Music and Sound The Scream film has an entire score written by Marco Beltrami including Trouble in Woodsboro and Sidney's Lament which create intense terror and emotion. Also, the use of the menacing phone voice of the killer and famous line "What's your favourite scary movie?" Is a parody of the typical horror film but equally menacing. Setting The film is set in fictional Woodsboro, California which is a typical American suburb. The setting of a middle-class home at night with the person isolated and alone, the terror of being stalked by an angry and unknown caller creates feelings of terror. Case Studies
  12. Apaches Cinematography Long shots, both in distance and duration where children run into shot and out of it allowing the audience to observe their innocent games, making their sudden deaths very shocking. Use of POV shots places the audience within the children's game, making us identify with them, adding to the horror of their deaths. The close-ups of the screaming faces, contrasts with the long shots of the group adding to the shock and emphasising the horror. The extremely gory deaths of young children shown would have been terrifying for the young audience of the time. Lighting The action takes place in bright daylight, which adds to the shock then the horrifying deaths occur and shows the audience that terrible things can happen on the most normal of days. Editing The film cuts between the play-to-death sequences and adults getting ready for what the voice over calls a "party". At the end of the film, we realise the "party" is a funeral for one of the boys. This twist helps to drive the message of the film home as realising we are watching a funeral is horrible. The film cuts to scenes of each newly dead child's school desk being cleaned out or their name being taken off their school coat peg- showing the finality of death for the school child audience. In place of any credits is a list of all the children who have died in farm accidents rolling up the screen while the mostly silent funeral takes place. Costume, Props and Makeup Innocent children's toys- cowboy and Indian costumes, guns, etc. Contrast with the use of very gory props like dripping blood etc. Music and Sound The film opens with menacing wind sounds, ominously signalling the bad things about to happen. There is also a drum beat that adds to this ominous feeling. The drum beat always returns when a death is about to occur creating tension and a sense of dread in the audience. One death occurs off-screen but we hear a poisoned child screaming “mummy” hysterically- over and over again, this is terrifyingly horrific. A child's voiceover narrates the action, which is the style of a PSA. This child is also an unreliable narrator- telling us "mum and dad" are getting ready for a "party" making the twist (that it is actually his funeral) very shocking. Setting A working farm Case Studies
  13. Lonely Water Cinematography Long panning shots of quite a swampy, misty body of water with hand-held camera coming to rest with a medium shot of the cloaked-like figure. This gives a sense of foreboding and is very frightening, especially for the children the PSA is aimed at. The long shots of the water contrast with the close-up sequences of children playing in dangerous areas- showing the everyday nature of the dangers and making us identify with the children. There is a very fast zoom in on the cloaked, death-like figure, which is very shocking and scary. Lighting The opening panning shot of the water is darkly lit, suggesting mistiness. This emphasises the nightmarish, horror theme. When the film transitions to the children playing, the light is very bright and natural, showing it to be an 'ordinary' situation that we are all in and that can quickly turn bad. Editing The long panning shots of water, transition to quick cuts of children playing. The length of the shots of water makes it feel dreamlike and other worldly, whereas the quick cuts of the children playing reflects the rough and tumble of games and emphasizes how quickly tragedy can strike. Costume, Props and Makeup The hooded death-like figure is present whenever death occurs. The audience sees no face and the character represents the grim reader. When 'sensible' children use a big stick to rescue a boy, the death figure evaporates leaving only a cloak. This is all very frightening and give a sense of the paranormal. Music and Sound There is a voice-over throughout of the 'death' character by Donald Pleasance who was an actor associated with the horror films of the 70s (Hammer House of Horror). The voice is calm but menacing. At the end of the voice goes into echo saying "I'll be back, back, back..." which would have been very scary for the children of the time. Setting Rivers, lakes and quarries Case Studies