Evaluation Part 1: For our horror trailer we chose to do the sub-genre of a psychological trailer. We wanted to make it look as real as possible and thought psychological fitted in well. Different genre of films appeal to different audiences which could make films specifically appeal to a certain genre of audience as suggested by Thomas Schatz, the main critic behind the ‘Genre Theory’. Schatz suggests that all films need to have a specific genre and can be made up of more than one for example RomCom (Romance and Comedy). It also helps producer with appealing to a specific audience. One of the generic conventions we used in our horror trailer was close ups; this makes the audience feel uncomfortable as well as being able to show the characters emotions which is a good technique for horror films.
Another generic convention used was creepy locations. A lot of psychological films such as
‘Paranormal Activity’ are filmed in young girl’s bedrooms. Because this has become so common; what we would have seen as an innocent child’s bedroom is now perceived as a demons lair to a vulnerable female. The sense of vulnerability is also featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, Psycho (1960) which is one of the features we tried to portray. Another stereotypical creepy location we used was a graveyard, to add to the creepiness we filmed it in the dark to add low key lighting which is very important in horror films. Just by adding low key lighting to a location makes it automatically scarier. We chose to shoot out film in a lot of dark ambient lighting at night to add to the realism of the trailer and the vulnerability of our main character.
One of the other generic conventions we used was parallel music. To give the soundtrack a lot of depth we overlapped scary surrounding noises over one long eerie track. When the mood changed in out trailer, so did the music, this is a way of letting the audience know something is going to happen without telling them and creates a restricted narration. To make sounds stand out more such as the water running, we turned the volume up to add to the realism while the soundtrack played in the background. We didnâ€™t want our trailer to include any blood and gore but we added just a little bit so that it would appeal to a larger audience. These are subtle and are not too gruesome. Blood and gore can either appear in the majority of a film for example any of the Saw series or can be taken to a lighter extent such as the hybrid genre film Evil Dead (1981).
Another generic convention we used was point of view shots. These make the audience bond with the character as you are seeing what they are. It also makes the audience feel more involved and relate to the character which is what we found our psychographic and demographic groups most enjoyed.
For our horror trailer we decided to do a highlight trailer which usually starts off with a slow montage of the story to set the narrative before the jumps and scares are initiated, as opposed to a scene trailer which is simply a short scene from the movie, usually building up to a certain event and cutting before we get to see any more of the film (leaving us wanting more). To see that narrative for a highlights trailer, people tend to use either a voice over or intertitles; we chose to use intertitles as sometimes voiceovers can come across as cheesy and somewhat humorous. Thomas Schatz saw genre as the most powerful force films. He believed that keeping enough variety throughout a film/trailer is what maintained the audienceâ€™s interest. I think we included enough variety throughout out trailer; creepy locations, low key lighting, parallel music and a slight element of blood and gore. As we
were appealing to the ‘mainstreamers’ we needed as much variety as possible. For my chosen trailer reviews I tried to choose a good selection to compare and maybe take at least one idea from all of them. The trailer that our one could relate to most would be The Possession (2012). This was about a small girl with an older sister and involved paranormal activities throughout. There were certain elements and storyline features that I didn’t want to include in my trailer so we tweaked the story line and included elements from other horror trailers as well as our own idea to create a hybrid film (more than one genre). To appeal to my target audience I included the blood and gore element from ‘The Wicked’ the clear narrative and start up story from ‘Mama’ and a some jumpy scenes like in ’30 Days of Night’. These were all trailers I enjoyed so hopefully the audience will like the combination of them all. Some trailers are thought up by people who want to include a piece of their soul into their film. This is called an auteur. An example of an auteur is George Romero. He liked the gore element of horror so he included it in most of his films. In our trailer, I’d like to think we included elements of both auteurs; George Romero and Alfred Hitchcock in to our trailer. There were a few editing tricks we used such as collision cutting used in Hitchcock’s movie, Pyscho, with Marian getting stabbed in the bathroom and in our film, when Libby is running though the grave yard and then back to Libby heaving and stop motion which consists of pictures taken one after the other in order then put together to create a jerky sequence. I think the use of many elements of horror is what makes our trailer distinctive. Although people may say it is too mainstream, that was our chosen target audience. Not many paranormal horrors include any blood and gore in them as they are two specific tastes, so to appeal to the larger audience and make ours more distinctive we included paranormal activities, such as the disappearing photograph, and a little bit of blood and gore; when Libby is coughing up blood and stirring the coco pops.