Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9


This essay will be evaluating how the pre-production process added to the success of my short film
and how my film is conventional to the horror genre.

My short film is a horror film, which fits in the sub-genre of Slasher Horror. The story of the film is
about a group of friends who are chilling at school just talking and relaxing, and then comes along
one of their other friends (Lewis). Lewis has a YouTube channel and likes to blog. He recently found
out about an abandoned house in their area. He tells his friends that he wants to go and explore it
and film inside it for his YouTube channel. Lewis and his friends end up going to the abandoned
house whilst at the house they end up splitting up and going separate ways. In the house they
discover that someone was killed, when they discover this, they immediately want to leave. Once
they find this out, they instantly look for Lewis. They eventually find Lewis and tell them that they
want to leave this is when trouble strikes. As they are speaking to Lewis a mysterious person comes
around the corner with an Axe and ends up killing Lewis. The others decide to run and leave the
scene, scared for their lives.


Before I started the Pre-Production, I had to do research on Financing a Major, Mini Major and Small
– Scale film. I did this because it helped to understand how a budget is spent and how it has a
massive influence on a film. For example, how a piece of equipment can be used to make a film
successful. This benefitted my production because it meant I didn’t spend more money than what
was required and showed me what kind of aspects I had to consider for my film. For example, a DJ
OSMO 2 Gimbal was used as it helped with the shots we needed to shoot when there was
movement within the scene. By using this it allowed the shots to be smooth and look professional.
By using a Gimbal it was very good to use because it did not cost me any money to use as I rented it
from the Media department at school, this was useful for my budget because it helped to keep it
low, which is conventional for a small-scale film.

Before filming my short film, I made a budget to work out all of the costs of equipment, costumes
and props; this was extremely useful because it helped me to have a better understanding on how
much money I would need to make my short film. By making a budget it showed me that the overall
cost of production of my film would not be too expensive. For my short film I needed to buy fake
blood, which cost £6.99, and I also bought a Torch, which was £5.00. Buying these two props was
good because they helped me fit the conventions of a horror genre and did not cost too much
money. We used the torch because for most of the film the characters were exploring an abandoned
house which is dark so they needed light to be able to see; we also used fake blood because
someone in our film gets stabbed and dies, therefore we used to fake blood to show this.

For A.3 I researched trade unions, advertising standards and regulations. I did this so during the
production of my film I did not break the law through copyright infringement or any exploitation.
This is massively important for any film company and me because they can get into serious legal
trouble, this could lead to my film getting taken off YouTube. In the film my killer used a ‘Chucky’
mask. By using this mask, I would have needed permission from the producers of ‘Chucky’ if I
wanted to use it. If my horror movie was a real film then I probably would have been unable to use
the mask as it would be copyright, therefore if my film was published etc. I would have needed to
my own mask or pay the rights to use the mask. The reason that I used the ‘Chucky’ mask is because
it fits the conventions of the horror genre. This is because ‘Chucky’ is a horror film so when people
see it, they instantly recognise that it is meant to be scary. However, the main reason why I used
that mask is because when you look at it you feel scared, this is the emotion that I was trying to
create whilst you look at it.

The final research that I needed to do was on other films that were in either in the horror genre or a
short film. I did this because it gave me a better understanding on what conventions I needed to
meet and how to make the story engaging and thrilling within a short amount of time. I learnt that
horror films are massively successful due to micro aspects such as props, mise en scene and lighting.
Therefore, whilst planning my short horror film I will need to include conventional micro aspects, I
will include things such as creepy music and low-key lighting. Additionally, researching other films
helped when I got to the part of writing a script for my film and doing a storyboard. I believe that the
structure of my film is quite good this is because quite a vast majority of my target audience can find
it relatable and it seems like it takes place within real life. Within the script I have got the cast
members to say things which is conventional to people of their age, for example my characters are
all young adults, so they mention things such as going out for drinks with their friends. The final run
time of my short film is 6 minutes and 7 seconds in my opinion I think that this is a good run time
because it isn't too long so that it doesn’t get boring and it is long enough so that a strong and
interesting story can happen. The part I would change is most likely the start of the movie; this is
because there isn’t enough dialogue which explains what the characters want to do and what time
they're going to meet etc. In my film the characters are talking about going to the abandoned house
at the weekend after this scene is completed it cuts to them going to the house. If I was to do the
film again, I would have made this clearer, however the reason that I did this was to keep the run
time of the movie shorter.

Before I started production of my short film, I had to do pre-production to understand how my film
will be shot and edited. The first thing that I did was that I created a mind map with different genres
+ sub genres. I did this because I needed to know what genre and sub-genre my short film was going
to be. This benefitted my production, as before I started writing a script and drawing a storyboard, I
already knew what genre my film was going to be. I decided to choose the horror genre because that
genre I found that it was easier to come up with good storylines and develop them. Originally, I
decided to go with a paranormal horror however after careful consideration I decided that the idea
was too complex to do on my very small budget and the resources that were available to me. After
reviewing that idea, I decided to stick with a horror but changing it to a Slasher horror instead. The
storyline of the two were quite similar however I changed a key few aspects such as the characters
clothing, props and lighting effects.

The next step in pre-production was to create a developed mind map based around my final idea.
This benefitted my production as it gave me a better understanding of the style, I was going to make
the film and what the overall plot of the film was going to end up like. This mind map massively
helped me with the planning of my idea and what costumes my actors should wear and what props
would be needed for the film. When I started filming, I used most of the things that I had planned
out in my mind map; the only thing that majorly changed is that my killer wore a mask instead of a
balaclava. The reason that I did this is because a balaclava did not create the desired scary effect
that I wanted, and I thought that the mask was much better at portraying this emotion.

The next piece of pre-production that I did was to make a production schedule. Making a production
schedule benefitted me as it helped me set deadlines for when everything must be done as well as
given me a rough idea of when I would have completed all the things I needed to do such as editing
the film and when I needed to stop filming so that I had enough time to edit. When making the
production schedule I planned to have finished everything within 2 months after I had started
planning, I did however leave a leeway of 2 weeks before my deadline encase, I needed to go out
again and re-film any scenes which wasn’t up to a good quality standard. Creating these deadlines
helped me because it meant that I had to be fast, efficient and make sure that everything was up to
a high-quality standard.

Next, I had to make a script; this benefitted my production, as I knew exactly how the film would
play out as well as what the character's dialogue was going to be. Once I showed the final draft of
the script I had created, and they influenced me by changing a few of their lines. This ultimately
improved my film because getting other people's point of views and implementing them within my
film would overall improve the quality of the film. When they gave me their improvements, I decided
to rewrite the script including their suggestions and overall, I feel that this was a better quality than
the one I had done previously. Whilst filming my horror film the script helped me to know the
correct camera movement that were needed. Whilst filming I made sure that I did multiple takes; I
did this because sometimes the cast forgot their lines which is inevitable, so I was ready for this
when filming. When writing out my script two films had a massive impact on me, these two films
were ‘Saw’ and ‘Friday the 13th' the reason that these two films influenced me is because they both
fit in the sub-genre of Slasher horror and are both hugely successful. When writing the script for my
film I planned to make my film a bit different to them.

I made a location recce because this allowed me to understand what was needed at the production
stage and what kind of costumes the characters would need and what camera angles and lighting, I
needed for each scene. The media department at school as high quality Camera’s as well as good
quality phone gimbals. Before I started filming, I knew that I had quite a few moving shots as well as
scenes, which were situated outside. Having a location recce helped me plan out that I was going to
use an Osmo phone gimbal because using it would allow me to have smooth shots for the moving
scenes and when filming outdoors and I phone doesn’t pick up the wind as much as the cameras.

The equipment list was done because it benefitted my production by helping me understand what I
needed before the production stage as well as what costumes were required. Additionally, making
an equipment list helped me plan out how the film was going to look like.

Another task that I had to do was assign crew roles, this benefitted my production because it
allowed me to know what roles are taken and what roles still need to be filled. By doing this task I
decided to have a small sized cast & crew as the film wasn’t too complex, so I did not need loads of
crew roles. I only had 2 crew members and 4 cast members; this is because I took most of the
control over the film, as I wanted it to be very similar to how I had planned it. The only role I didn’t
take was cinematographer because I was the director and couldn’t direct and film at the same time.

I then completed a budget of all the costs of equipment as well as costumes and props; this
benefited my production, as I understood the minimum price of production. This reinforced my
decision as it showed me the overall cost wouldn’t be that expensive. I used most of my equipment
from school however I had to book the equipment in advance because of this I had to make sure
that everything required for production was set up before the filming equipment was bought to set.
I had to book the equipment in advance because other people also needed the equipment. The total
budget of the film would have been £3136 however because the filming and editing equipment were
rented out from the school, the total budget was reduced to £405. This due to; the camera, gimbal,
tripod, mac, premiere pro and after effects. All of these pieces of equipment I rented out from
school which cost £0.
Furthermore I needed to make a risk assessment, this benefitted my production as it helped me plan
out safety precautions before the production. Some of the risks that I had to consider were cast and
crew tripping over wires and injuring themselves as well as dropping and breaking the camera
therefore I made sure that I tapped down the wires so that people would not trip on them. This
helped the production as it reduced the chance of injury greatly as well as made the possibility of
destroying or the damaging the equipment a smaller percentage.

The next step was to create a storyboard; this benefitted my production as it helped me understand
exactly what would happen in my short and how it would look visually. This helped my production
massively as I got an understanding of what scenes would work in my short film and which ones
wouldn’t. Additionally, I made an animated storyboard as well this helped me further visualise what
the scenes were going to look like once filmed. When I went out to film my short film, I made sure
that I brought all the storyboard work that I had done, this is because it would help me decide where
the camera should be placed and how much I needed to pan the camera etc. whilst filming certain

The last piece of pre- production that I had to make was a call sheet. Overall, I feel that the call sheet
benefitted my production massively because it allowed the cast and I to have a good understanding
of when we would start filming and how long it will last for. When filming my film, I decided that all
the scenes that were filmed at the abandoned house were going to be set at dusk. This was ideal
because it gave the scenes an eerie and spooky feel to them which was intended however it there
was enough light which enabled me to still have high quality footage. Whilst we filmed, we only
filmed for around 2 hours at a time, the reason that I had done this is because the lighting was
getting quite poor later on and meant that the footage wasn’t as of high quality and additionally it
meant that I didn’t need to give my actors break as we were only filming for a short period of time. I
filmed all the scenes at the house at dusk; the reason that I did this was because it meant that I kept
continuity within my film.

Once I had done all the pre-production, I created a proposal of my short film. The purpose of the
proposal was to show the clients was to show the clients my idea in further detail so they can give
feedback on my idea and how it can be improved. The clients I ended up using was Miss Wellings
and Mr Morgan, in their notes for their feedback they said that my film needed more things which
were conventional to the horror genre. They said we should add things in to make the house to look
more abandoned such as no lights and broken curtains etc. This helped me as it made me change
some of the final costumes and props etc.

Genre Conventions

Todorov’s theory applies to my film, as each narrative beat is present. The equilibrium of my film is
when they're all chilling at school just socialising. The disruption is when Lewis suggests that they
should explore the abandoned house and the friends agree to it. The disequilibrium is when they go
to the house and Lewis goes missing. The resolution in my film is when all the friends find Lewis and
find out he is ok however after they find him there is another disruption and Lewis is killed. The story
ends on a cliff-hanger and this is quite conventional to the horror genre. A lot of horror movies often
end with cliff-hangers such as Friday the 13th and Saw and I included one of these into my film to
keep it conventional to the horror genre.
The mise-en-scene of my film features a lot of things that is conventional to the horror genre for
example the props, costumes and makeup that I used helped to portray this. When the character
Lewis dies, I needed to portray that he died, the reason that I needed to do this is because it wasn’t
within in my budget to create a realistic death scene where you can see how he died. Therefore, I
needed to include good costumes and props to show that he died. In the picture above you can see
that Lewis is lying on the floor dead with blood on his face. The blood on his face is fake blood
however I think that I have used it well because it looks quite realistic like he has just been stabbed
which is what I was trying to portray to the audience.

Another example of mise-en–scene in my film is the prop that my character Sky uses. The prop that
he uses throughout most of the film is a Torch. The reason that I got him to use this prop is to
indicate what the characters were doing. A torch is normally used when people are either exploring
something or are struggling to see; within my short film I used this prop to indicate both of those
things. I used the torch to show that they were going around the abandoned house exploring it and I
used the torch to show that the hose was dark and hard to see.
The final example of mise-en-scene is the use of lighting throughout my film. In the start of the
movie I used high key lighting to show that my characters were in a good mood and in a safe
environment at school. However as soon as I changed the location, to when we were filming at the
abandoned house, I decided to change the lighting. At the abandoned house scene, I decided to use
low-key lighting. I used low-key lighting because it helped make the house seem spooky and
abandoned like no one was living there. Another reason that I used low key lighting is because it is
very conventional to the horror movie genre and by including this within my film helped the
audience to identify what was happening in the scene and what genre the film was.

Low Key Lighting

High Key Lighting

Furthermore my film has sound which is conventional to the horror genre, for example non-diegetic
sound is used throughout the film when they go to the abandoned house. The non-diegetic sound
that I used is a quiet piece of music which is scary / creepy and builds up the tension up until the
scene of where Lewis dies. The reason that I have done this is because it makes my film conventional
to the horror genre because it creates scary tension, which is a connotation of the horror genre.

Another example of non-diegetic sound I used within my film is the sound of a young boy calling for
his mum. The reason I included this in my film is for 2 reasons. The 1st reason is because 3 of the
characters read a newspaper within the house that says that a boy has gone missing within the
house; that it is why I included this sound in my film to indicate that the boy is still in the house or is
has haunted it that is why it might be abandoned. Additionally the other reason that I included this
within my film is because it is creepy and makes the audience feel scared for the characters which
was the effect I was trying to create.

The final example of sound that I included is diegetic sound. The example I am talking about is
dialogue. The reason that I have included dialogue within my film is to help develop the story. For
example I have all my main characters discussing about going to the abandoned house at the start of
the film. The reason that I have included this particular dialogue within my film is to indicate to the
audience what the characters will be doing later on within the film. Another example of dialogue
within my film is when the friends are looking for Lewis at the abandoned house. Lewis’ friends are
calling out for asking for him to come out; the reason that I included this was to develop the story
and let the audience know that Lewis is missing.

The editing that I have decided to use within my short film is conventional to the horror genre. For
example I have included a filter over the scenes that come from the point of view (Pov) of the killer.
The colour of the filter is red and it closes the lens of the camera; the reason that I did this is because
it let the audience know that it was from the point of view of the killer and that to make the scene
scarier. I made the lens closed because then it looks like it is coming through a mask which is what I
was trying to create. Additionally I used the colour red because the connotations of red are blood,
death and anger all of these emotions were what I wanted to show my audience. The effect that it
would have on the audience is the fact that it makes the scene feel scarier which is what I wanted as
it is a convention of a horror film.

The software in which we used to edit our video was Adobe Premier Pro. We decided to use this due
to the availability of using at during school times and out of school times. Also the accessibility to a
variety of editing techniques such as transitions, special effects and sound effects that easily usable
for beginners such as ourselves. Software in which we used was a website called YTMPE.EU the
reason we used this was due to the fact that we were able to use copy right music and sound effects
off of YouTube. This software allowed us to copy the links and change them into forms that are
usable in premier pro. We filmed on an IPhone 8 Plus. We used this phone as it had the latest
camera of anyone’s phone and was able to fit into the gimbal which we weren’t able to use in the
end. All the footage that we got is in 1080p 60fps. The reason in which we went for this setting is for
the best quality viewing and editing footage. We could have used a camera with a higher frames but
it would have meant transferring it onto an SD card. With the footage we were able to back it up
onto the iCloud and share them to each other easier.

Another example of editing that I included within in my film is jump cuts and shot reverse shots
which are used at the ending of my film. The reason I used these editing techniques was because I
wanted to create and intense feeling. The scene that I’m talking about is when the friends are
looking for Lewis at the end of the movie. They find Lewis and the scenes quickly cut from one to the
other; the reason that I have done this because they help build tension and this happens directly
before Lewis dies so I was trying to build up tension for that moment.

I used cinematography in my film, to make the film flow naturally. For example I used a low angle
shot when the villain came into the picture to make him look powerful and the main actor
vulnerable. Also I used pans around the house; I had the actors walking around the house looking for
a different character. These showed their surroundings and what they were doing. The use of wide
angles showed the surroundings and characters together. Also I used long shots down the corridors
to show the villain and good characters at each end. The reason that I did this is to show the good
and the bad. Our most used shot is the POV, which is used by both of the sides of the characters. We
did this to show the perspective of both the good characters and bad character.
The challenges that we had as a group during the production process was not being punctual and
our organisational skills. This was down to the outside working hours and the location choice of our
film. As a group we decided to film at the chosen house due to the effect that it gives which is a
convention of a horror due to how run down it is. We had other choices that were closer to film at
but didn’t give the same eerie factor that the chosen house did. This caused us trouble due to the
location being far away and needing to travel at the right time. The other factor was our working
hours, during school we couldn’t go out as our time would be spent travelling and wouldn’t be able
to get back for other lessons. This was the reason in which we had to go out on Sundays which
weren’t accessible for everyone meaning that we had to go later in the evening. This had an effect
on our footage as we had to rush to get to the location and get shots before the sun went down
otherwise we find shadows in our shots. Due to us having six working members in our group it was
difficult for us to agree on dates to film. This was one of the downfalls during production; however
we did make the deadline and managed to get all the footage needed for the editing process.

The processes that went well for our group were all the pre-production was done to a high standard
meaning that we could use it during production. The pre-production helped us whilst we were in the
production stage as for the majority of our group hadn’t filmed before. However the pre-production
helped us to acknowledge what to do in situations such as a background check around the location
and do a risk assessment check around the location also. Another process that went well was the
third filming session. The reason the third one went well was the planning behind the day and the
extra effort everyone put in for it. We knew this session was going to be our last so we planned what
shots we needed, what we needed to re-film and what time and date we were going to film on. This
helped us prepare, so that when we got there we weren’t wasting time and could get straight down
to filming. This session went really well as we got all the footage needed, to due the professionalism
of the actors and film crew. The last process in which we needed to do went really well. This process
was editing. The reason this went so well was because of all the work we put in beforehand of
sorting out the clips that we were actually going to use, this meant that we could get straight to
editing the first draft. After that we reviewed and critiqued the first edit which allowed one of the
members to work on the edit whilst other members used this time to find music, and sound effects.
As a team this worked well as everyone was involved and moving the editing forward was working
due to this. This is the reason in which our edit is smooth, effective and entertaining for viewing.

The most successful element of our short film must have to be the editing process and the final
product. This is due to the struggles that we had at the start of production, not knowing where to
start. To finally finishing on time with a professional edit. The reasoning behind this being successful
was due to the team work and effort that everyone put in, knowing our deadline was closing short.
For this reason we stayed after school numerous amounts of times with others notably staying
during the Easter half term. The final outcome from this is a demonstration of what team work and
the help of others can do. I think that picking the final clips before editing and splitting up helped
make the final edit the best possible. Splitting up into individuals allowed us to work by ourselves
with our own jobs meaning that we weren’t just sitting there watching one another. Also the fact
that this was going towards the final video meant that everyone wanted to put their maximum effort
into the edit to make it as entertaining as possible.

If I was to change any part of the film it would have to be the ending; as it needs reshooting and
redeveloping due to the gap in between the house and the car. Maybe this would mean that filming
the beginning would also have to take place as we still don’t understand how everyone got to the
location or where the car was parked. I think that the scene from the killer looking at the camera and
them running down the road doesn’t make sense to the viewer as we don’t see them running out of
the front door or the house itself. Also due to time and weather restrictions the footage is grainy and
shaky. This gives the ending an unprofessional look compared to the rest of the edit. However we
can change the ending by cutting that scene out as the film will still make sense. The ending needed
to be redeveloped as it was only looked over once and didn’t fit the narrative of the film. I should
also add the location that we choose was excellent for convention but difficult to get to due to the
distance it was away from everyone. Instead we could have filmed at someone’s house and made
the house look abandoned by having up curtains and turned over furniture. However, I do believe
that this wouldn’t have had the same effect as the house did. The last that I would change is the
planning before going to the house itself as we decided last minute every time and the distance to
the house was too far for quick decisions to be made. I have to hold my hand up to this, as it was my
decision to film at this location fully knowing that it would be difficult to get to due to the fact that
everyone works at different times.