How do your productions use standard media codes and conventions?
The standard codes and conventions that my production used was the strong narrative of the trailer. It gave the film some tense moments based around the central character, and also the sense of being watched and threatened mentally. I tried using very short clips in parts of the trailer with the added effect of static sound. This was my way of keeping the viewer watching but not totally making them jump, just enough to make them watch to see what happens next. The use of longer clips also worked to giving the film some suspense, for example the lift scene; where the camera is looking up at the character for a long period of time while the music builds up.
I had the advantage of using the old historic building of the college, of which was a great setting for a horror genre film. My trailer was filmed entirely at night, to give the sense of spookiness within the ground. I had the very lucky chance of rain, which was very convenient seeing as most horrors include rain. The car-park scene was one of my favourites, as it had the advantage of the rain and also the towering trees in which the car-park is located. The corridors within the building helped give the sense of being watched and getting lost, as there of a lot of corridors which I used in the film. Low light was a good but natural effect which was used in my film, it was dark anyway but I wanted to go one step further and give the college a dark side, which relates back to the plot of being a perfectly normal college in the day and horrific at night where people go missing.
How well do the main production and the supporting pieces work together?
The main production and the supporting pieces I think work very well together. I have a film trailer, and I also have what would be a website to advertise that if it was real, but in this case I only produced a web page to actually advertise it. These two pieces are also accompanied by a poster which also advertises the film and the release date. One thing which they all have is some sort of dark dull designs; this was done deliberately to keep the horror theme going throughout the whole project. I also try and keep to the same text is I feel this is just as good as anything else, it just adds to the feel of the genre.
What have you learned from your audience feedback?
As far as audience feedback goes I have had lots of positive outcomes from in and around college. I posted my video on YouTube hoping to get feedback off of people around the world, but have so far only had one comment, which is good. I was also hoping for some criticism on what I did well and what I could’ve done better. However, I have had a lot of views on YouTube; I currently have 144 views which suggest people have been watching it.
How have you used new media technologies in research, planning and production?
For my research, I began to watch various trailers of different genres initially to find out which genre would be best for my film. I originally wanted to choose action as my genre but I couldn’t find any ways round of creating a trailer that was exciting enough to be an action trailer. For example: I couldn’t have rocket launchers blowing up helicopters or wild police chases down the M5, not that I would anyway but I’m just looking at it realistically and looking at how I can use local resources. Then horror came into mind, so I watched horror trailers and realised that some horror films were based around old buildings and being chased around various corridors depending on the film. ‘Rose Red’ is a good example of a horror film; it’s based in a big old creaky house where university students go on a weekend trip to do a paranormal investigation inside one of the students disused home which was called ‘Rose Red’. It was at this point I realised I could do a trailer using what I have around me, such is the college, which is huge and old, the various corridors and the grounds that lay around it; and so this was when the idea of ‘College Road’ came along.
For the planning stages I went around the college campus to see which locations I could use, which perhaps looked old and maybe even derelict. This was done for a week. I then started seeing who I could use as actors, who turned out to be Paul Green, David Knowles and Jack Blackmore. I had originally started writing a script for the main actor to follow (Dave Knowles) but I scrapped this and relied more on backing tracks and the real sounds that came from certain areas around the college, taking for instance the lift that creaks allot, plus Dave is investigating by himself so it wouldn’t look right if he was talking to himself.
The production of the film was simple. All it required was a camera, tripod, actors and imovie. My first scene required a car driven by Dave into a car-park. However, due to us students being in a blind college this weren’t possible, so I went about trying to make it look like Dave was driving where in actual fact Paul was driving. This was done by using clips which didn’t have Pauls face in it, and then filming Dave in the driving seat once the car was stationary. I thought this was a good way of applying special effects without using any specialist editing software. I also took a great oppinunity to film this in the rain. While the soggy ground and rain drops were real, I added an audio file which played heavy rain, as the real rain wasn’t quite loud enough. I then filmed the moon which is the clip you see on my trailer, it is a real moon and I was also lucky to get that as well. I filmed Dave around various parts of the college, running, walking and creeping around. Climbing up and down stairs and riding old creaky lifts. I filmed these in no particular order as I could put them in order in imovie. I filmed Paul and jack who are the living dead, who eventually find Dave. I used masks for both of them to make them look scarier for the film. I left the film on a cliff-hanger with Dave running down the corridor, which then cuts out. You don’t know if he then makes it out alive of the maze of corridors, or if he ended up like the rest of them.
I uploaded the videos I had taken onto imovie, which is basic video editing software for Apple computers, where you can add sound tracks and rearrange and add films with limited special effects. I began by rearranging all the videos into the order that I wanted them to play in. I then started looking into adding audio files like rumbles of thunder and the actual backing track, whilst also removing audio from certain clips which were no use. Like me filming the moon whilst I was talking, I was able to extract the audio and get rid of it. Once I had the basic outline for my trailer I had began looking into applying text and special effects. These were good for clips which were possibly less interesting than the others, like a clip of Dave in the lift. I added heart beat sounds and placed the backing track so that it was getting tenser while Dave was in the lift. I also put in a faded red circle around Dave, which to me suggests that there is danger around the corner. I added a shaky camera movement right on the last clip of the trailer, which is supposed to resemble what the character is feeling when it’s a matter of life and death.