Welcome, this is our AS media Coursework blog.

In our group there is Becky Wholley and Hannah Ferreira. Our media coursework is a two minute opening to a horror film, our production is called Sleep Tight.
Our Youtube accounts are
My YouTube account is:

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Location, Cast & Props


For our media opening we set in family home where the babysitter is looking after a young child for the night. We wanted the house to look quite secluded, to make it look more vulnerable and isolated. This technique is used in most films, for instance in Halloween the opening shots of the deattached house make it look isolated, making the audience fear for the characters more. This is emphasized quite a lot in the modern version of When A Stranger Calls, where we see a very big house in the middle of nowhere, a long way from help. 
                                           House used in When  A Stranger Calls, 2006.

So the house we chose was my house, although it isn't in real fact a secluded house in fact on a road next to plenty of other houses we knew we could get quite a few shots where none of these other houses were visible to make it look secluded. My house was also the most appropiate as it's reasonably close to school so we could easily film in lunch times and after school if neccessary. Also it being one of the group members houses we had easy access to it and we were easily able to adapt my room to fit the context of our film.

 We use a shot similar to this is our film of the house, so you can see the light being switched on and off in the girls room.

This is a shot of the lounge in which Emily, the babysitter is watching tv when she starts hearing noises above her from the little girls room. We see her leave the room to go investigate.


 This is a shot of the hallway and stairs that you see in the film. Emily, the babysitter walks from the doors at the bottom to the bottom of the stairs, shouting Rachel...waits for a response, receives none and contiunes up the stairs.


In our opening we have 4 main characters and 5 actors. 
There is...
  • The child being babysat for, Rachel, around the age of 10.
  • The older version of Rachel, around the age of 17.
  • The babysitter, around the age of 16.
  • The older version of Rachels' boyfriend, Chase, age 16.
  • The fifth actor is an extra who walks past Rachel and Chase in a corridor, around the same age as them.
For this actors we finally chose...
  • For the young version of Rachel -- Rachel Conlon. ( Picture yet to be uploaded.) Who is 11 years old. Using a young child in a horror opening can be quite a difficulty as many parents wouldn't want their child involved in such. However after a discussion with the parent the young girl wouldn't be around when we filmed or photographed any of the 'horror' and as she only is on screen for around 10 seconds she has little issue in being involved in any gore. We were very lucky in finding a child of the age we were looking for who was able to act to the standards we wanted.
  • For the older version of Rachel -- Mary Newton. Who is age 16, but playing the role of 17. We wanted someone who looked as similar to the younger version of Rachel as possible, therefore we need someone with blonde curly hair. We also wanted her to be pretty and have a good figure. If the rest of the film was to be created the film would revolve around this girl's life, we wanted her to be blonde, to create the effect similar to Prom Night. Where the final girl is a pretty blonde who you expect to be a scream queen but her luck saves her through the film. Sterotypically we wanted to place her in the more 'popular' group of teens. Where they attend parties and drink alcohol etc. So that she would be surrounded by mis-behaving teens which would what the film would obtain.

  • The babysitter -- Emily Moore. Who is age 16, acting that age also. We wanted to challenge the code and conventions when it came to our babysitter, we wanted to portrary her in the opening two minutes as a final girl, so that when the audience realise she's dead its more of a shock to the audience because they expect the film to be about her. As the opening is only 2 minutes and we want to include a storyline to the begining we didn't have much time for any dialogue of sorts to portray her as a final girl so we based this idea on costume, hair and make up. We wanted a brunette which are stereotypically more likely to survive in horros, and we also wanted to her to be quite plain and simple so little makeup was used and her outfit is quite bland with blue and denim. We also covered a large amount of her body so that she doesn't appear as revealing anything. As this is meant to be when Rachel is younger we based the babysitter around the late 1990's/ early 2000's. So the clothes she's seen in place her in a later time period so the transition of older Rachel and her costume is more noticable. We based her more on When A Stranger Calls, 2006, main actress.

                                  Emily, Are Babysitter.

                                  When A Stranger Calls, 2006, babysitter.

  • The boyfriend, Chase -- Tom Bearpark. Age 16 acting age 17. We wanted quite a 'hench' good looking boy for this role. To create the good looking people together idea that you come across in most horror films like Prom Night.

                                  Prom Night,2008, Couple.

                                                        Chase, the Boyfriend.
  • And finally the extra-- Holly Rowe. We needed someone to walk past the couple on the corridor to make it look more like a school, you only see the back of their head.


In our film we used a range of props such as...

  • Toys
  • Childrens books - Hansel & Gretel - a known scary children's tale.
  • General childish things to make the room look like a 10 year olds.
  • Fake Blood - this was something necessary for the photos of the dead babysitter... we did two attempts of this using recipies found on the internet one resource we used was.... http://www.halloween-website.com/fake_blood.htm  from this we created our own fake blood and used it to show the babysitter as dead. We made several mixes and then chose the most realistic. We found our final version was realistic however if looked closely at it looked quite blotchy, and lumpy however we were going for the colour as these photos will only be shown as quick flashes so the audience wont get much of a close look at them. 

Friday, 28 January 2011

ALL - Vodcast no.1 Of research from books.

We did a lot of research into the genre, and these are some of the selected views we wanted to discuss and show.

Its continued in the video below...

ALL - Podcast no.3 Review of filming

This is a podcast of us two discussing our current filming, successes and failures, when and what we have filmed.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

HF - Jennifer's Body Deconstruction.

Release Date: 2009
Director: Ridley Scott
Budget: $87,000,000
Opening weekend, 
USA: $58,003,121
UK: £6,402,540

  1. Establishing shot of location; big house surrounded by countryside. Tyre swing anchors it as a family home.
  2. POV shot zooming in to the house. Sans serif, child-like font titles in a light green colour, as if it was written with wax crayons. It is at night and lights are on inside signifying people/someone is home.
  3. Close up of a scab on skin and someone picking it. Nothing to connote which gender the person is. Pans slightly to show a yearbook under the arm. Diegetic sound of the TV and non-diegetic low music playing to sound like a soft humming noise. Signifying the person is inside.
  4. POV shot from outside pans around the tree to view the back of the house. It is a long shot which then zooms into the house. Diegetic sound of a wind chime which in the garden. In the garden/ land surrounding the house there is a horse. This signifies that owners of the house are wealthy.
  5. Extreme close up of a teenage girl's mouth eating/sucking her dark brown hair.
  6. POV shot, mid angle approaching the window the shakiness suggests that a steadi-cam is used to connote that someone is walking to the window. The noise of the TV, wind chime and soundtrack music increases in volume.
  7. Zooms through the window to show a glimpse of the room- the TV is shown as well as a bed and a leg on it. 
  8. Close up of a large storage basket. The movie title appears in pink, cursive script. It looks like it could be an extract from a teenage girl's diary. The camera pans upwards to show that the basket was at the foot of a bed in a bedroom. There is a girl laid on the bed wearing casual clothes and watching TV. Even without the girl on the bed, it is easy to denote that it is a teenage girl's bedroom from the interior decor, such as the pink walls and posters of bands. The non-diegetic music is now quiet piano playing.
  9. The shopping channel is being watched on the TV. The presenter is trying to sell gym equipment. The program being watched suggests that the girl is bored and has nothing better to do/or physically cannot do anything more.
  10. There is a loud non-diegetic 'bang' sound as the shot changes to a side view, mid angle. In the shot is the side of the girl lying on the bed and the window in the background. In the window there is another girl wearing a black hood looking into the room at her.
  11. Shot reverse shot of the girl looking through the window and the girl laid down responding, turning around to see what is there. A mid shot of her face not showing any reaction as the girl in the window is no longer there.
  12. Close up of empty window.
  13. Close up of the girl lying on the bed. This time, more of her face is visible and she looks ill due to discolouration in skin tone and eye bags. Non-diegetic sound of a girl's voice over.
  14. The scene changes to day and the soundtrack music becomes more upbeat. Mid angle mid shot of a window with bars on it. The camera pans down to show the back of girl sat down facing the window. It is the same girl that made an appearance in the window in the last scene. There are a lot of teddies on the floor, this could signify she has a child-like mid or state of maturity. She is wearing a patients gown. Camera pans down to show more toys, clutter and a crucifix. This could imply she is interested in Christianity or Catholicism. There are also presents on the floor, showing she is thought about a lot and visited often.
Becky and I liked the POV shots and used them in our 2 minute opening in a similar way. We recorded some shots from outside looking through the window to portray the killer observing the surroundings. We also tried to zoom in through the window or move closer to it; however, because we did not have a steadi-cam we did not achieve the desired effect, instead it looked more like a handheld home video.

HF - Prom Night Deconstruction.

Year of release: 2008
Director: Nelson McCormick
Budget: $20,000,000
Opening weekend,
USA: $20,804,941
UK: £507,85

Deconstruction of the opening two minutes.

Non-diegetic music- drum beat. White titles in a serif, cursive font on black background. The music/soundtrack then changes to a 'poppy' style music with lyrics. This stereotypes the target audience.
The scene opens with a high angle view of a stormy sea with choppy waves. It is twilight and there is a blue tint to emphasize this. The camera is at a flying birds eye view angle. It pans from the sea to the land, showing a well populated lake side city. The numerous yachts and prestigious, lit up buildings connotes that it is a wealthy town. The camera follows the car through the city using a range of shots and angles. 
There is a high angle close up of a girl through a car window. The girl looks in her teenage years, she is blonde and pretty (typical scream queen appearance). Side view shot showing she has a sad/worried expression on her face.  
The car pulls up outside of a house, the girl gets out and speaks to the driver. There is a two shot of the driver and a person in the passenger seat. The driver looks like the mother of the girl sat next to her.
The blonde girl converses with the driver and there is a shot reverse shot. The conversation implies something distressful has occurred and there is a mention of the girls going to cheerleading practice. This stereotypes the girls as popular American teenagers.
The two minutes ends with an establishing shot of the house she is stood outside of. It is quite big and tastefully done. This connotes that the owners of the house have well paid jobs.

Plot synopsis: Donna is preparing for her upcoming prom just like any normal girl except she lives with mental scarring and has frequent flashbacks to the night her family were brutally murdered by her teacher. Her obsessed teacher was locked up in prison but escapes on her prom night and hunts Donna down at the hotel, killing anyone who gets in his way. Her friends are discovered dead in the hotel and the police get word that he has escaped. Donna is told to go home; however, she is followed by the psychotic ex-teacher. She discovers her boyfriend dead in her bed and comes face to face with the killer. A policeman appears just in time and shoots the killer multiple times. Donna survives. 

Prom Night has influenced the story line of our coursework as our alternate ending includes a flash forward to Rachel (the little girl who was baby-sat) when she is a teenager. The story line is that she is still being stalked/hunted down by the babysitter killer. 


ALL - Psycho- research of the slasher genre

Psycho is and always will be one of the most influential horror films in history. 
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Budget: $806,947 (estimated)
Box Office Takings: 
US –$32,000,000

The credits themselves last 1.52 seconds. So that would be are hole entire coursework if we did the same idea. The credits are shown on a black background with use of grey lines. And white sans serif font. Non diegetic dramatic music is played.
 'Suprisingly Hitchcock originally intended it to play without music but the film would have lost much of it power to frighten without it. The strings stab like the frenetic movement of the knife on screen. The discordant high-pitched repetition of one note is quick succession jars the audience and makes it immediately aware that something horrible is about to happen. It is probablly one of the most influential pieces of music in horror movie history' J.A. Kerswell - Teenage Wasteland The Slasher Movie Uncut.
The first shot is an establishing shot of a city, it continues to pan the city and the following appear on screen
This exposition sets the time and place of the film and gives the audience expectations for what the rest of the film might entail.
The panning of the city progresses to a zoom in on a specific window. Inside we see a woman lying on a bed looking up a t man, dressing, this can denote about men's heirhachy in society to women. The woman is wearing her undergarments and the man dressing signifies sexually activity has just occured. The shot chosen gives an angle so that the man's head is not included in the shot but we see the woman at the level of the bed height.
We watch the couple talk and kiss, and there is reference to their relationship being a 'secret', as the conversation continues they continue to talk of marriage. The music now heard is romantic slow music, which adds to the atmosphere of the couple.
Very basic shots are used in the 2 minute opening. And the opening scene ends with little action having occurred other than the couple discussing their future and the woman leaving to return to work.
The film has a rather slow start compared to many horror films, its not till around 40 minutes into the film is their any gore and violence. 

Story Line:  A young woman steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother. 
Ending: Norman's mother had been long dead, her corpse was found sitting in a rocking chair. Norman (the motel proprietor) had dressed up as his mother and commit the murders.

Psycho has been described as  the mother of all modern horror suspense films. It pioneered the 'wet-death' which is showing a murder graphically by including blood etc. Psycho broke film conventions by showing the leading lady having an affair in her white underwear in the first scene. Another first for an American film of that time was photographing a toilet and the flush. It was also unusual for the leading lady to be killed off halfway through.


On reflection unfortunatly I have not completly met my deadline of research and planning there are some deconstructions I would like to go into more in depth research but due to time restrictions have been unable.
There are also deconstruction of my partners that I need to copy over onto my blog however as I have a job  that works till 10 at night starting at half  12. I am restricted to what I am able to add to my blog at this very moment I intend on copying up some last bits early tomorow morning. If possible.

Last House On The Left, 1972

Director: Wes Craven
Budget: $90,000 (estimated)
Box Office Takings:
US – $3,100,000 (USA)

The film opens with the scary concept of reality...
Events you are about to witness are true. Names and locations have been changed to protect those individuals still living.
It opens with a pan of a lake, the audience hear diegtic noises such as birds. The camera concentrates on the wildlife on the lake. This could be related to the animal like behaviour of the bad people in the film. 

We are next shown a close up of a someone's post box, exposition gives an idea of where the action is taking place by the address on the post box it also has...
'MARI' and a heart with an arrow through it.
A car pulls up to the house and honks. We see a range of shots of the man in the vechile, side shot, mid shot, close up. We see the man open the door and let a dog in, he then proceeds to talk to the dog...
Hello Chessie
As he talks to the dog, the music begins, the man mentions the character 'Mari' who we assume is the house he has pulled up to, and who will be the main character in the film. This then leads to interpose shots of a girl getting into a shower,  side view extreme close ups, and close ups are used to show the females face. We then see the man getting out of the car. Then back to the girl who we assume to be 'Mari', the camera continues with extreme close ups of the eyes, rings. The man then puts some anchorage into the film and tells the audience she is 17. And we begin to grasp the idea that 'Mari' is very pretty.
The music begins to increase in tempo as the titles appear on screen as the camera zooms in on the house.

The audience are then shown a shot of the girl in the shower but through fogged glass. This could be the director deciding to excite the male audience with the prospect of nudeity.

The girl then gets out of the shower and walks to the mirror, minor nudeity is present. She cleans the steamed window to reveal her whole face. A range of shots are used here, for example a over shoulder shot shows her reflection of her in the mirror.
The final shot is another side close up of her face, she then walks backwards out of the frame. 2 minute end.

Story Line:On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Mari Collingwood tells her parents that she is going to the concert of underground band Bloodlust in New York with her friend Phyllis Stone. She borrows the family's car and heads with her friend to a dangerous neighborhood in the city. Meanwhile, the sadistic and cruel escapees Krug Stillo and Fred 'Weasel' Podowski are hidden in a hideout with their partners Sadie (Jeramie Rain) and Krug's addicted son Junior Stillo (Marc Sheffler) after killing two guards and one shepherd in their runaway. The two girls seek marijuana near the theater and meet Junior that offers some Colombian grass to them. They go to his apartment and are subdued by the criminals that rape Phyllis. On the next morning, they hide the girls in the trunk of their convertible and head to Canada.


HF - Eden Lake, 2008.

Deconstruction of the two minute opening.

Director: James Watkins 2008
Budget: not shown
Opening weekend;
USA: $5,824
UK: £192, 027

 The film begins with titles in red across a black background. The titles are in a sans serif font and there are flickers and shadows across them. The screen turns black. here is then a flash of an insert/picture. The flash is of a woman lying down in the woods; however, the flash is very fast so the content of the image is not viewed. The photo is also edited with high exposure levels which make the photo look very bright, thus making it even harder for the viewer to denote the image.

  • There is high pitched non-diegetic music playing which create a tense atmosphere. Another flash image insert appears of rippling water.
  • The screen goes black until another flash shot appears on screen. This image is also very bright. It is a close up of a woman screaming and covered in blood. The black screen then shows more titles .
  • The next flash photo insert is of the woman hand cuffed with barbed wire, her facial expression shows she is crying out and she is covered in blood.
  • The next flash does not show an image immediately but starts changing colour to red then a picture begins to show of some reeds, but it is not very clear due to the bright over exposure editing.
  • The film then flashes-back to the screaming bloody woman.
  • The next flashing image is a close up of a boys hand. There is non-diegetic sound of a fuzzy signal on an electronic device.
  • It then flashes back to a red background with half an image of numbers which could signify a code. 
There are then flashing lights on a long shot of a lake. The screen turns back to black as the music builds to a crescendo or thunderous end.

1. Establishing shot, mid angle; contrasting environment of a nursery. There are lots of small pre-school aged children. Soft sunshine yellow lighting and bright, happy coloured displays and toys. The children and the teacher are singing peekaboo. 
2. A close up of the teacher shows she is young, pretty and dainty-looking, and she has blonde, short, curly hair. 

3. Long shot of class responding positively to the teacher and by the words of the teacher, the viewers denote that it is the end of the week. 
4. Close up of teacher gazing into classroom after the children have left. There is a nostalgic look to her expression.
5. Long shot/establishing shot of roads and school. Diegetic noise of children playing and non-diegetic soothing classical music. 
6. Close up of a young-middle aged man, wealthy looking waiting in a car, opens an engagement ring box and smiles.
7. Long shot, mid angle. The teacher skips out of school. Non-diegetic romantic music playing. She runs to the car as the man hides the ring- shot reverse shot. She gets in the car, kisses him and the car drives away. 
8. Long shot of the car driving away.



Vodcast, Research...

Here we talk about aspects of film and film theory we have researched and how it may relate to our two minute opening.

Current issue with uploading vodcast, website uploaded it to appears to be having problems.
shall be uploaded at later date....

Filming Schedule

1. 5th January we did some preliminary filming of key scenes at the required location.
2. We started our proper filming on Sunday 8th January.
3. We didn't get through it all and so we scheduled another date to film the rest which was Tuesday 11th January.

However in retrospect, we feel we should have waited longer before we started filming as after we looked at our clips we thought our movie flowed more like a trailer rather than a two minute opening. We then made a change to the story board and created an alternate ending.

4. We will film the alternate ending on Tuesday 25th January. This will require a different location, which will be a school.
5. We will film the establishing shot/opening shot on Wednesday 26th January. We need another time to film where the house will be more visible than how it was shown in our previous attempt.

A Nightmare On Elm Street, 1985

Director: Jack Sholder
Year of Release: 1985
Budget: $2,200,000 (estimated)
Box Office Takings:
UK- £1,107,123

The film opens with a street with cars parked on the sides and trees hanging over. It creates a homelike feeling. A American yellow school bus turns down the road. We hear non diegetic music and diegetic noises such as dog barking.

The titles appear on screen, white sans serif soft capitals creating a ‘bubble’ writing effect.
The next title appears, special effects create a red rips slice through the shot with a rip sound effect. The rips spell out ‘A Nightmare’ in glowing red creating a gothic font. And ‘On Elm Street part 2’ in white relating back to the previous sans serif, bubble font.

 Emphasis on the music makes the audience jump as ‘Friday Revenge’ appears, this time in a range of blue colours, creating a 3D bubble effect again. Music clashes together to make one note as the bus pulls up at a house.

People get off the bus and we hear voices of the teenagers as they say good bye to their friends. The bus then drives off and we see a mid shot of inside the bus. This is where the film concentrates on mise-en-scene, the audience see a range of teenagers around the 80’s. The fashion and hair styles inform of us this. We see kids talking and we can already stereotype the characters shown in this film and which audience its aiming at.

The camera shows a close up of one kid sat on his own. His hair is combed over and he looks out of place, commonly referred to as a 'misfit'. 
 He looks to two girls beside him, their stereotypicaly seen as the 'popular' ones, pretty, blonde hair. The boys body language shouts he is uncomfortable, with his hunched shoulders. As the film contiunes the bus pulls up again and we see more people get off the bus. We see an over shoulder shot of the bus driver, looking normal. This shot refers back to later in the film when the bus driver appears to have changed physically but when is the mystery. The film continues to relate the boy and the two girls talking, signifying to the audience that these will be the main characters. The bus pulls up again and it leaves the boy and the two girls on it.
Thats the two minute opening of their film, their opening does continue however as our coursework only allows us two minutes, we felt it is more resourceful to research into what they include in their two minute opening so we can gather a knowledge of whats visible to include in our opening.

Story Line:On Elm Street, Nancy Thompson and a group of her friends including Tina Gray, Rod Lane and Glen Lantz are being tormented by a clawed killer in their dreams named Freddy Krueger. Nancy must think quickly, as Freddy tries to pick off his victims one by one. When he has you in your sleep, who is there to save you?


Friday, 21 January 2011

Podcast no. 2. Sample Scene

This is a podcast on our sample scene...

Re-draft of Story Board ending, Final Scenes.

We decided that we didn't like the flow of the opening, and it appeared more like a trailer than an opening. So we edited the ending of the 2 minutes to achieve so.
This is our new idea...

Re-draft Story Board, final scenes, 30 - 34

Re-draft of Call Sheet

The new opening now ends with Rachael grown up which means we need to re-audition for the role of an older Rachael and a male, who will be her boyfriend.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Deconstruction of Treak or Treat, 1986

Director: Charles Martin Smith
Box Office Takings:
US – $2,912,687

It opens with a black screen with white serif font, non diegtic music is played, creating a ringing effect. And a voice over begins in a sinister tone, but with a story telling style.
The title 'Trick or Treat' appears on the screen, mixture of orange, yellow, blue, red and yellow which ultimatley creates a 3D gothic image. A ripple effect runs over the title before it fades out. This denotes something supernatural might take place in this film.
The voice over continues to get more agressive and louder as the music builds up.

The first visual shot is a low angle shot of a rockstar, and rock music begins. The image of the rockstar zooms out and pans down to pan around a teenage boys room. The font now seen is white to stand out against the dark room.

Props seen are such as, 'ROCK ON' books, Rockstar calenda, baseball cap and other such things. This informs the audience of a stereotypical teenage rock music loving boy. This emphasized to us how important the props are to a scene to signify the the main character involved and their personailty. This is a key aspect we had to consider in our coursework, as the room shown is a young girl, we had to involve teddies, games, fairytale books and a girly atmosphere, in contrast this film creates a dark stereotypical teenage boy image.

As the camera pans the room it ends on the bed where the music begins to fade out as we see a boy lying on the bed. If we had the equipment to get a smooth pan of the girls room, we would have considered using this technique however to attempt this we wouldn't create as smooth pan and the shot would be a waste of our given 2 minutes.

 Story Line: Hard rock idol Sammi Curr burns to death in a hotel fire. His biggest fan, Lakeridge High School student and resident metal head Eddie Weinbauer is devastated by the news and turns to local radio DJ "Nuke" for emotional support. After a heated discussion about the deceased rock star, Nuke presents Eddie with a rare demo record, the last ever recorded by Sammi and the only copy in existence. Overwhelmed by Nuke's generosity, Eddie accepts the gift without hesitation, unaware of it's dark role in things to come. After constant humiliation and a near drowning at the hands of school bully Tim Hainy and his sports jock friends, Eddie becomes enraged and vows revenge on all those who have wronged him, much to the dismay of love interest, Leslie and best friend, Roger.