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Question1:Inwhatwaysdoesyourmediaproductuse,developorchallengeforms

andconventionsofrealmediaproducts?(MUSTREFERTOFILM,POSTERAND
RADIOTRAILER)

ThemainmediaproductthatIhavecreatedisashorthorrorfilmwiththesubgenreofmysteryentitled
TheLivingPast.Theconceptofmystoryissetintwotimeperiods,the1950sand2016.The
narrativeintertwinesbothperiodsthroughnonlinearflashforwardsandtimeskipsandfollowsthelife
ofa1950scolumnistRichardandamodernbloggerAlan.Itleavesoneofthecharacters,Alantosolve
themysteryoftheroomthatRichardcouldnotbutAlantoo,fails.Fromthis,itiscleartoseethatthis
filmisanonlinearnarrative.Ihavealsoproduced2ancillaryproducts,aradiotrailerandafilm
poster,whichIwasthenabletouse,developandchallengethevariousconventionsthatmakeupthese
products.

Thegenreofmyshortfilmishorror,whichmeantthatIhadtoadheretothecodesandconventions
thatexistinthehorrorgenre.Typicallyinthehorrorgenre,Todorov'snarrativetheoryisfollowed,
wherebythemoviestartswithnormalsetting,fortheprotagonistandslowlythenormalityisdisrupted.
Byhavinganequilibriumstructureitwouldnaturallytargetayoungeraudience,asequilibriumisa
simplelinearnarrativethatflowseasilyenoughfortheyoungeraudiencetounderstandthuscreatingan
activeaudience.However,Ihavechallengedthisasmynarrativefollowsadisequilibriumwhereby
thenarrativebeginsinanormalsettingwithajournalistmovinginfollowedbyadisruptionwiththe
disappearanceofthejournalistandhiswife.Idecidedtofollowadisequilibriumconsideringmy
targetaudienceareexploresinthepsychographictable,thereforemyaudienceareactiveenoughto
abletocriticallyinterpretthenarrativeofmyfilm.

Furthermore,whatmakesmyfilmunconventional,isthatthesubgenreismysterywhichoften
instructsthecharacterstosolvethemystery,whereasitisconventionaltoseethatthehorrorfilms,
tendstohavephysiologicalthemeasthesubgenre.Evidently,inmyradiotrailer,thelastwordsthe
narratorvoicesareTherewerenotracesofthecouplefoundwhichinstantlyintroducesamysterious
themeinradiotrailerandthefilm.Furthermore,withinthemysterysubgenre,theprotagonistbecomes
thedetectiveandthisisevidentinmyfilm,wherebytheprotagonistsbeginstopiecetogetherideas
ofwherethemysteriousabandonedofficeislocated.ThisisfurthersupportedbytheoristChris
Newboldarguingthattherewasadesiretofindoutmore,todiscoverwhathappenednext
Newboldsissuggestingthatinordertoadheretothedesiretofindoutmoreanenigmacodeisused
tocreateacomplexnarrative.IhavethereforeadheredtoBarthestheoryofenigmacodes,wherebythe
narrativeproducesacliffhangerattheendorraisesquestionsthroughout.Thishasfurthersupported
theconventionalhorror/mysterythemesasitistypicaltofindthathorror/mysterygenresdonotoffer
theaudienceasolution.

Additionally,tofurtherdevelopmynarrative,Iaddedsomehistoricalelementsinmy
film.Itisnotcommontofindhistoricalcomponentsinahorrorfilm,especiallytotargeta
youngaudience,aproducermaywanttoincludeelementsthatwouldtypicallyappealtoa
youngeraudiencesuchastheuseoftechnologyfoundintheradiotrailerofHush(2016)
wherebythehorrorelementwasappliedthroughaninstantmessagingsoftware.This
elementwouldtargetayoungeraudiencemoreastheyarethesocialgroupwhoaremore
likelytousetechnologythusthishorrorelementwouldappealtothemmore.However,I
havetakeninspirationfromthemovieWomaninBlack(2012)wherebytheactorDaniel
Randcliffischosentoplaythemaincharacter,whichcouldcapturethefansoftheHarry
potterserieswhoarepredominantlyayoungeraudience.ThereforeIwasconfidentthat
theyoungeraudiencewouldalsoenjoythehistoricalelementsofmyfilmwherebythe
representationofthewhiteandblackcharactersbeingportrayedisvastlydifferentasto
howtheseracesareportrayedinmoviesnowadays,thusitwouldintriguemyyoung
audiencemore..ThisreenforcesJohnFiskeideaoftheroleofgenrewhereby,[genre]
attemptstostructuresomeorderintowiderangeoftextsandmeaningsthatcirculatein
ourcultureandconvenienceofbothproducersandaudience.Thissuggeststhatin
followingthenatureofhorrorandmysteryfilms,itprovidesastructureformetofollow
andmyaudiencewouldthenknowwhattoexpect.Thissupportstheusesand
gratificationtheorywherebyaudienceswouldusevariousmediatextstogratifytheir
needs,assumingthatmembersoftheaudiencearenotpassive,butrathertakeanactive
roleininterpretingandintegratingmediaintotheirownlives.AconventionalthatIhad
followedduringtheproductionofmyfilmposterisbyincludingarating.Onmyfilm
poster,IhaveincludedaratingfromTheGuardiancommentingthatmyfilmisa
spinechillinghorror.Thiswouldthenleadtheaudiencetodecidewhethertowatch
myfilmornotthusreinforcingtheusesandgratificationtheory.

Moreover,IhavesupportedSteveNealstatementinusinggenreasaninstanceof
differencesasmyproductdeviatesfromtheconventionallinearnarrativetoanon
linearnarrative.Evidentlyseeninmyproduct,thefilmbeginswithflashbacksthathad
alreadymadetheaudiencequestionthenarrative.Itisconventionaltoseeinmystery
genreshowtheplotbeginswithaninsightfulaction.Forexample,intheshortmystery
filmcalledTheSuspectthemurdersceneoccurredfirstalongwiththebodyofthe
narrativebeingaboutthetwodetectivestryingtosolvethecase.Evidentlyinmyfilm,the
flashbacksoccurfirstthatintroducesthemysterythatleadstothebodyofnarrativebeing
aboutAlanSmithwhothenurgeshimselftofindoutmore.Ithinkthatbyincorporating
mysteryandhorrorgenresinmyfilmworkswellasthisalsoreinforcesAlred
Hitchcocksviewonhorrorashestatedthatthereisnoterrorinbang,onlythe
anticipationofit,suggestingthatthebuildupswhicharethemysteriouselementscanbe
consideredmoreappealingandterrifyingthantheactionhorrorimpact.Thisisalso
showninmyradiotrailer,thesoundlevelsvarytocreateacrescendothatgivesajump
scareeffecttowhentheaudiencelistenstothesoundtrackoftheradiotrailer

Additionally,tofurtherdevelopmynarrative,IhaveadheredtoLeviStrausstheoryof
BinaryOpposition.Mynarrativeintertwineswithbotha1950sand2016settingwhich
meantthatthemiseensceneofmyproductwerevastlydifferentsuchaslocation,props
andcostumesappearedtolookverycontrasting.Forexample,weused2locationsto
supporta1950sofficethemeanda2016officethemewithverydifferentfurnitureand
stationary.Evidentlyakeypropwasaiconicpenboxinthe1950swhichwasacommon
stationarystorageitemthususingiconographysothattheaudiencecanidentifythetime
setting.Whereasin2016acommonstationaryitemwassimplyajarofpensandpostit
notes,whichwasevidentlyshownintheoffice.Infollowingthebinaryoppositiontheory,
ithashelpedmedevelopmynarrativethereforereinforcinganonlinearnarrativeasfrom
bothperiodsoftimewithnosolutionsatall.

Finally,mynarrativesupportedPropp8stockcharacterstheorywherebythereisavillain
whichisaspiritofthestoreroom,2protagonistswhichwereRichardWilliamsandAlan
Smithwhoseektosolveandfightagainsttheevilspiritofthestoreroom.Thereisalso
theprincesswhichisthewifeofRichardWilliams,SofiaWilliams.ByfollowingPropps
8stockcharactersitgivesanaudienceanideaofwhattoexpect.Althoughhaving2
protagoniststheyareultimatelydefeatedbythevillainthusIhavechallengedPropps
theory.

Inmyshorthorrorfilm,Iwasabletoexploretheconventionalcamerashotstyles,moves
andangels.ForexampletherewereextensiveuseofcloseupsofRichardWilliamsface
andAlanSmithsfaceinordertocapturetheemotionstheyshowedwhenhearing
whispersorthedoorslamming.ExtremecloseupswasusedwhenAlanwasreadingthe
articlewhichgaveanunnaturalviewtotheaudience.Handheldcameraisusedwhen
Alanwasrunningoutoftheofficedroppinghispaperandthenecklacehefound,aswell
ashimrunningoutoftheabandonedoffice.Thiswasusefulasitalmostseemedlikehe
wasbeingwatchedhoweverithelptoaudiencebeaccompaniedwiththenervousnessof
AlanSmith.Similarly,inInsidious(2010)handheldcameratechniquewasusedwhen
thefatherwassearchingforthedemoninhisdaughtersroom.Thishelpedtoelevatethe
tensionofthescenethusIaimedtoachieveasimilareffect.Lowangleshotswereused
whentheprotagonist(AlanSmith)kneelsdowntolookatthenecklaceandhe
instinctivelygetsupwhenthedoorslamwasheard.Lowanglesareconventionalin
horrorfilmtoportraythevulnerabilityofcharacters.Ihavetakeninspirationofthe
paranormalactivitymoviesastherehasbeenavarietyuseofcamerashotsand
movementswhichhelptoelevatethelevelofhorrorwhichinturncaptivatesthe
audience.Throughmanyshotsofthisseries,low,high,canted,pansshotswereusedto
givemoredimensionstothenarrativeandhelpstheaudiencefeelliketheyareinthe
roomthemselves.AcantedanglewasusedinmymoviewherebybothSofiaWilliams
andAlanSmithwalkupthestairs,thisachievesanawkwardanduncomfortableeffectto
theaudience.Idecidedtousethesameshottwiceasthiswhenthecantedshotisshown
onAlanSmithithelpstoforeshadowhisfatelikewisetoSofiaWilliamsfate.

Duringcreationofmymainproduct,Ihavecometorealisethattherearemany
differencesoftheconventionsofashorthorrorfilmandahorrorfilm.Anobvious
differenceisthatashorthorrorfilmisalotshorterwhichcanrangefrom3minutes30
minutes,whichmeansvariouselementssuchasthenarrative,characters,budget,
audienceanddistributioniseffectedthenifIweretocreateanaverage90minutehorror
film.

ThechallengesthatIfacedincreatingashorthorrorfilmwastocreateashort,simple
storylinethatiseasytofollowbutincludesthehorrorandmysteryelementsappropriately
andeffectively.MostshorthorrorfilmsisleadthroughactionshoweverIwasableto
challengethisproductconventionbyaddingafairlylengthydialoguesceneduringthe
beginningofmyfilm.Thiswassimplybecausebyaddingthedialoguescenesallowed
moreinformationformyaudiencestopickup,giventhatmysteryisthesubgenreofmy
film,aconventionthatIhaveadheredtowithinthisgenreisallowingtheprotagonist
otherwiseknownastheinspectorandmyaudiencewhoaretheexplorestoexamine
throughvariousalibisandmotivesthatcouldleadtotheseveralconclusionsforexample,
anaudiencememberassumedthatthecoworker,JaneAngelomayberesponsibleforthe
deathoftheofficeworkerRichardWilliamsandhiswifeSofiaWilliamsassheistheone
whoduringtheirconversationintroducedtheabandonedofficethathasbecomeastore
roominwhichthecouplehaddiedin.Theaudiencemaynothavedrawntothis
conclusionifadialoguescenewasnotincludedthereforeIbelievebyincludingafairly
lengthydialoguescene,ithadbecomeusefulformyaudienceasvariousnegotiated
readinghadoccurredwhichisafundamentalconventionofthemysterygenre.

OtherproductconventionsthatIhaveadheredtoishowIhavedistributedmyproducts.I
havechosentodistributemyproductonlineonvarioussocialmediaplatformsasthisis
largelyaccessibleformyyoungaudienceages1525.Ihavechosentodistributemyfilm
onthepopularvideostreamingwebsitecalledYouTube,andIhavechosentodistribute
myradiotraileronsoundcloudandmyposterwasdistributedonInstagramandTumblr.
ThesesitesareusedactivelybymyyoungaudiencethereforeitwasappropriatethatIhad
usedtheseplatformstodistributemyproductstoreachmyaudienceeffective.Thisform
ofdistributionandmarketingcanbeconsideredasabovethelineadvertisingasIhavenot
usedthetraditionalmethodssuchasadvertisingonTVasmyaudienceareunlikelyto
watchTV.

Duringtheproductionofcreatingmyposter,IhaveusedthefontConversionasthe
creditsfoundinthebottomhalfoftheposter.Thisisveryconventionalfontusedin
moviepostersthusIhaveconformedtothis.Moreover,itistypicallyseeninhorror
movieposterstohaveablackbackgroundwhichIhavealsoadheredtooasusingablack
backgroundrevealsinformationandtheeffectsaremoreprominentforexampleisitmore
clearlytoseetheshadowsandlighthittingonvariouspartsofthetwocharactersface.
AnotherposterconventionthatIhavedevelopedishowonahorrorfilmposter,only
eithertheantagonistortheprotagonistispicturedhowevernotboth.InmyposterIhave
shownapictureoftheantagonistandtheprotagonistasIthinktheaudiencewouldbe
abletoestablishthecharacterseasiersimplythroughlookingattheposter.

Ihaveusedthe4technicalsoundcodesinmyradiotrailer.Ihaveinsertedvarious
extractsofthedialoguefromthefilmontoourradiotrailerasthisallowstheaudienceto
haveagreaterunderstandingonthepartsofthenarrativetheycanbemoreattentiveto.
Forexample,thedialogueThisshouldvebeendonelastweek!andIllgetrighttoit
areusedintheradiotrailerasthishelpsestablishthemainreasonwhyAlanattemptsto
solveamystery,inordertowriteagoodstoryforhisemployer.Thesoundtrackfromthe
filmwasusedintheradiotrailersuchasthebuildupmusicasthiswillcaptivatethe
audiencemoreaboutnarrative.Soundeffectswasusedsuchastypingandclockticking
soundsasthesearesignificantsoundeffectsforthefilm,andtheaudiencewouldthenbe
attentivetothoseparticularsoundeffectswhenwatchingtheactualmovie.Silencewas
usedduringthetaglinebeingmentioned,Ifyouseeyourselfrun.Thisistoincludea
smalljumpscaretotheaudienceastheyheartheradiotrailer,whichisaconventional
methodofhorrortrailers,simplybylisteningtovariousmovietrailersuchasLightsout
(2014)tensionisusedwiththeswitchtickingonandoffwiththenalouddrumtofurther
accentuatethehorrorelement.Adheringtothe4soundcodeswasimportantasthis
particularproductsolelyreliesonaudio,thusfollowingthesesoundcodescreatesa
pictureofwhatthefilmisabout.

Toconclude,Ibelievethatthroughadheringtothecodesandconventionsofthehorror
genre,ithascontributedtotheoverallidentityofmyproductbeingashorthorrorfilm,
andbyfollowingthestructureofthehorrorgenre,myproductscaneasilyberecognised
bythemainstreamsocietyasashorthorrorfilm.Moreover,myproductdoesdeviate
fromthenormofcodesandconventionsbyincludingmysteryandhistoricalgenrestonot
onlymakemyproductunique,buttoengagewithmyaudience.Ibelieveoverallby
creatingashorthorrorfilm,radiotrailerandfilmposterandadheringtotheconventions
ofthesemediatextshasallowedmetohaveroomformycreativityandabstractionasI
wasabletoexplorevariouscreativeshots,graphicsandsoundtracksandhasthusallowed
theabilitytousemyowncreativeflaironallproducts.Ibelieveasmytargetaudienceare
explorerstheywouldseekadifferentoutletofanarrativeinashorthorrorfilmrather
thanamainstreamfilm,andtheyareabletoenjoymediatextsthatIhavecreatedasthey
arenotboundedbythepressuretomakeaprofitablefilmforalargeaudiencesuchasthe
mainstreamfilms.EstablisheddirectorssuchasSpikeJonesandTimBurtonmakeshort
filmsfortheseveryreasonsandIbelievemyproductscanthusberecognisedbymy
targetaudiencethroughadheringandchallengingthecodesandconventionsofthe
productsandgenre.