The Group

Working Title- Waxed

Group Photo

Group Photo
Sophie Dixon, Emily Moore and Melodie Abraham

Friday, 18 February 2011

SD- Audience Types

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.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

General Conventions of i am legend

I am legend (Francis Lawrence,2007) is a post-apocalypic science fiction film
Warner Brother Pictures- Distrubtion
Overbrook Entertainment- Producing

-The film starts with non-diagetic sound during the titles which is the voice from the television in the next shot.
-Narrative Enigma
-Exposition is provided by a flash-back of a news report.
-Flash-back used to give the audience the preferred reading.
-Black out with non-diagetic signifies times lapse.
-Establishing shot shows the location(New York City). With writing layed on top to signify a time lapse.
-Panning shots also show the location
-Over exaggerated diagetic sound.
-Close up of weapon- an important object as it shows that action is in this film.
-Close up of main character (protagonist) and then follows this character.
-Exposition is provided by the clothes and mannerisms of the protagonist as he is there only person in most of the film.
-Narrative- Such as in Todrovs theory with the 3 stages;
•As there is a flash back at the start there is 2 two sets of equilibrium. The first is the old EQ is before the cure for cancer is found, the dis-EQ is when the cure is found and the new EQ is when everyone turns into zombie-like creature. The second set of equilibriums starts with the new-old EQ where will smith is the last survivor, the new-dis EQ is when he meets another survivor and has to sacrifice himself to save her and the cure and the new-new equilibrium is when the new survior leaves with the cure and everyone is saved.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

SD- Titles and Credits

Titles and credits mainly appear in white text on a black background to signify seriousness of Horror genre although their are many others that dont and tend to use Bold red text to signify blood also many horrors have the titles intergrated into the opening scenes with the shopts in the background and titles obviously in the foreground. Jennifers body is a counterpart of the majority of preferred reading having the title in a pink swirly font more like a chick flick or romantic comedy although the pink font could signify a final girl (polysemic.) Although usually the characteristics are endlessly recycled although this doesnt seem to be entirly the case for titles and credits. Halloween uses a bold orange font which could provide a reading of a comical genre although the shots in the background provide anchorage that is is a horror such as a pumpkin carved into a wierd/scary face.

MA- Shooting Problems

Due to the very bad weather we were unable to shoot the outside parts of our opening because we want to croos cut with some of our previous footage which we already have shot when the weather was clear.
We will have to shoot the outside parts on tuesday also.

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

Film Openings

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 'Halloween Night'.

Storyboard 2- 'Waxed'

IMG_0002_NEW 2nd storyboard part 2 2nd Storyboard part 3 2nd storyboard part 4
2nd storyboard part 5

MA & SD- Soundtrack.

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 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.

SD- Preshooting Adjustments to the storyboard

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.

SD- Idents


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. We changed our distribution company  from 'Boredshore' because when we were desinging our idents we thought bricolage made more sense.
For our distribution company we decided to go with 'Bricolage' 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 'Bricolage' ident which will appear in brick on screen with white text,with harsh font.

ALL- Update on problems with shooting

Update to Casting

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.

Friday, 11 February 2011

MA- Classification

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.

When looking at the criteria for 18 they say: In the case of video works (including video games), which may be more accessible to younger viewers, intervention may be more frequent than for cinema films.

SD- BBFC Information

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.

MA- Codes and Conventions- 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'.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

MA- Change to distribution

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.

Monday, 7 February 2011

EM- Treatment- 1st Draft

Working Title - WAXED.

Distributor - Boardshore

Production - Cliffanger

Group Members - Melodie AbrahamSophie Dixon and Emily Moore.

Brief - Our task is to create the opening 2 minutesof a new feature film including an original soundtrack, producer and distributor and the company idents. 

Synopsis - The basic idea is that a beautician runs her own salon in the center of Ilkley. She is apsychopath in the fact that she has become bitter towards the media of how humans should be perfect and have the perfect body skin etc. When she sees that the two customers have not made any effort with their image, like she has, they become a prime target. She kills off one with an axe and the audience is left wondering through narrative enigma what happens to the other customer. 

Target Audience - Our target audience ranges from15 to 25. We have applied a 15 certificate because we did not want to narrow down the audience to 18 viewers and not allow a wide age range. Our film is also for both female and male viewers as it contains a lead female role which will attract female viewers but also has actionviolence and sex appeal for the male viewers.

Genre - We have chosen to apply the ‘slasher’genre to our film as it attracts a large audience. We have noticed that there is an audience for our film as films like Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This film has been a main focus for ours as it has influenced the mise-en-scene and gore effects in our film. 

Mise-en-scene - Our location is in the center of Ilkey in a small semi-detached salon calledAngels Retreat. There is also an alley running by the side of the salon which provides aneeriness to the setting. Our killer is wearing ablack beautician uniform with a plunging neckline and her face will be heavily made up. The two customers will be wearingmodest/day to day clothing. There will be various props that will be used such astweesers, nail files, wax, candles and an axewhich will be used by the killer. One of the previous A2’s coursework influenced our decision to use candles because it is key contributor for the lighting in our film and it also gives a sinister effect.

Cast and Crew  - 

Killer: Katie Mallows

We wanted to break the stereotype of the killer always being a male and therefore we were looking for a female with brown short hair and of average height. We want the killer to be heavily made up and originally the killer will be in her early 30’s.

Customer 1: Colette Howarth

To break the stereotype of the victim normally being a blonde and busty character we wanted the scream queen to take up a more modest and reserved role. We feel that having Colette as the actress will support our decision.

Customer 2: George Clayton

We chose to have a male victim for our film because we feel that it would contribute to the fact of breaking the tradition of always having female victims. George has the main features we were looking for e.g brown hair, brown eyes and average height. 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

SD & MA- Genre Research

'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.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Revised initial idea.

From our research we have used this to adapt our idea to make it fit with the genre. Instead of having an all female cast we changed to have one male character to appeal to both sexes because we have seen in some openings that the majority feature male and female characters- linking from this, we have decided to stick with our female killer even though traditionally there is usually male killer and a female 'scream queen' we did this to add a feminist spin on your usual horror and to genrally be abit different. We have used narrative enigma with the female salon owner so you dont see her face until later on in the opening. By applying Todorovs theory:
  1. Equilibrium - The first few shots in the salon follwed by the customer walking in.
  2. Diseqilibrium - Customer being killed.
  3. The disequilibrium would be the rest of the film but in out case we only are producing the film opening.
There is going to be a question of who has killed colette (narrative) to make it abit more interesting and to make the audience have to think about and have their own opinion of who has killed the customer.

SD- Preparations for Filming and Filming ideas

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.