In our film we will use a mix of both diegetic and non-diegetic sound. Diegetic sound are sounds that are a part of the narrative such as speech, music that is coming from an instrument in the scene such as an orchestra or a radio. Sounds made by objects like doors creaking, rain etc. are also forms of diegetic sound. On the other hand non diegetic sound are sounds that are added in post production. This would be music thats not present in the scene. Furthermore voice overs or any other form of sound that isn’t coming from the scene is classed as non-diegetic sound. As our film is a horror we will need to be careful in the soundtracks and sound effects that we choose for our production. This is because we could choose a soundtrack or sound effects that conveys the wrong idea/message to the audience. If this were to happen the audience could become confused and then get bored of watching our production. On the other hand if we were to choose a soundtrack that conveys the correct message to the audience they will become more involved and invested in the film and will want to carry on watching the film, which we of course would want them to do.
For the soundtrack we, as a group, decided that we would use music that is similar to music that is already used in horror films. To do this we will listen to the soundtrack of multiple horror films, take a note of the similarities and then either use Garage Band to create our own soundtrack or search via the many websites for copyright free music to find the right soundtrack for our film. We will need to spend a long time to search and eventually get the right soundtrack as sound is one of the key factors that decide how good a film will be. It will be the main thing the audience hears so we need them to be in the right mood for the film. The music we will have will most likely be a single instrument or maybe more that creates a low tone that has a slow pace to it. This is a common theme among horror movies soundtrack and therefore will be good for our production. To a certain extent the soundtrack can help portray a character in someway. For example playing happy music when a character is on screen can portray them as a good, happy character whereas playing a slow paced, low tone soundtrack can portray them as a mysterious and dodgy character. Therefore we have to be careful in the music that we use so we don’t portray the character to the audience in the wrong light. If this were to happen it would confuse the audience and make our work obsolete.
As I have previously said the soundtrack for the film has to be a particular theme to convey the right theme and mood to the audience. The soundtrack for every film is different and is particular and iconic to the film. Even in franchises the soundtrack for each different film is most likely going to be different. This can be seen in the James bond franchise. The James bond films began in 1962 with Dr. No and are still being released with Spectre being released in October 2015. With the total number of James Bond films now totaling 24, anyone that has watched all of them will know that, as of yet, the soundtrack for each bond film is different. Whether it be a different composer, different pace or instruments or it be sung by a different singer, although Shirley Bassey holds the record for singing the most Bond songs, those being Goldfinger(1964), Diamonds are forever(1971) and Moonraker(1979).
Sound effects are a form of diegetic sound we hear in a TV show or film. An example of this is the audio clip below of a thunder storm. The audience, and the characters in the media program would hear the thunder storm as it is coming from the characters world. As opposed to a voice over that the majority of the time only the audience would be able to hear. As our film will be a horror we will most likely use sounds effects like the one below. The sound effect fits in with the horror genre as it connotes a dark, unhappy setting. This is the connotation we want throughout our film as the world that we will have created in our film is not a happy one, therefore the audience should not feel happy at any point. The sound effects can also affect how the audience feels during scenes in the film. Sound effects like thunderstorms and rain make the audience feel down and sad whereas sound effects from a theme park would make the audience feel excited and happy. The sound effects we use therefore have to be picked carefully as we don’t want to convey the wrong message to the audience.
There are an infinite number of sound effects and therefore different sound effects connote different things. This mainly depends on what genre the sound effects are being used in. For example in the horror sub genre of paranormal films sounds such as faint voices, creaking doors and laughing children are common. On the other hand in war films the majority of sound effects would be guns firing, grenades, bombs falling etc. This shows that the sound effects used in film mostly depend on the genre of the film so we would need to take this into consideration when we choose sound effects to use. Taking this into consideration we need to constantly remember the genre of our film and keep asking ourselves whether a particular sound effect fits in with the genre of our film, that genre of course being horror. As i have previously said we need to make sure that the sound effects we choose do not, in any way, make the audience feel overly happy and excited about what they are seeing and hearing. If this were to happen it would break the simple conventions of horror as well as break the feel and atmosphere we will have been trying to create all throughout the opening scenes.
Owls, church bells, the sound of crickets and bats are all commonly used sound effects in horror films. As these sound effects have been used in horror films for decades they are obviously the perfect sort of sound effects that should be used in horror films. Although we know that some sound effects commonly used in horror films would not work in a horror film like ours. For example doors creaking and faint, ghostly voices just wouldn’t work in our horror film although they are used in massively successful franchises such as the Paranormal Activity series. These sound effects are used a lot in this film franchise and the films have almost become based on the use, and sometimes overuse of these certain sound effects. Although so far there have been 6 films in the franchise since the first films release in 2007. Across the 6 films in the series so far the total budget for them is just over $18 Million with a total worldwide box office revenue of $878 Million. As well as that the films have on average garnered mixed reviews with the ratings from critics sliding with each new film in the series.
As a group we have decided that the costumes used in our film must be very realistic and well suited to the themes in the film. We believe that costumes are very important as they are one of the first things that the audience will judge the characters on; without costumes that portray the characters we are trying to create, the audience will not get the same ideas about the characters that we did. This means dressing the characters in a way which explains their character, and goes towards giving the audience an understanding of the characters personality. We decided within our group that buying clothes or using old clothes that we can rip up would be a good idea for the film, we have also decided that we would use make-up to make the zombies look more aesthetically accurate.
Firstly, my group have decided that we are going to use a suit for the main character, as he is going to be a salesman within the film. This means that, to portray his character in the most accurate sense, we will ensure he wears very formal clothing, a suit, shoes, a tie and so on. This is very important to the film as the audience may get the feeling that the salesman is unprofessional, or maybe even a con man given that he isn’t wearing clothing suitable for working for a big pharmaceuticals company. The final idea of costume for the main character is formal shoes, formal trousers, a shirt, tie and blazer; we also have decided that he will ensure that his hair looks tidy at all times, in general, we would like this character to look presentable. This type of formal outfit ail portray his job, personality and emotions. A film which shows off suits very often is the James Bond franchise, where the main character, Bond, will always be seen wearing a suit. This adds a sense of respect and seriousness to the character which is exactly what the producers would want. The iconic suited man is very successful, the last film, Spectre by Sam Mendez in 2015 brought in over $850,000,000.
We then had to decide on the appearance of the zombies, which will be a much more difficult and expensive process. We started to think about clothes first, describing what type of zombie we saw when thinking about shooting the film. Our thoughts were unanimous, the zombies would be wearing casual everyday clothes that have been torn up and worn out. From this thought up image, we decided that we were either going to find old clothes and rip them up, or buy new clothes, wear them out and then rip them up. Given that we have just a £25 budget, we decided the best place to go for these clothes would either be charity shop or a cheap online website. The appearance of the zombies will have a huge impact on our film, as zombies will definitely be the defining factor of how scary the film is. As we have agreed that the zombies in our film will be conscious people, who are basically living and sentient, we decided that their clothes would be clothes that everyday people would wear, however as they are being oppressed in the film, we have decided that it would be a good idea for them to have clothes that are quite worn.
The zombies will also have to have makeup applied to their face in order to give a realistic aesthetic look. We have decided that well get one of our friends to do this makeup as they have done things like this before in their media course at GCSE. This is perfect as we will not need to spend anymore money on someone to come and do any make up, or spend a lot of money on makeup as our friend still has some left over from her last movie project. Our group feel that the importance of the zombies looking aesthetically correct is very important, as the costumes and make up used in films has made films feel really unrealistic and unprofessional in the past. Looking back on work done at AS level in previous years, the costumes seem to have been neglected which has led to the film looking a lot worse than it actually should have considering the work put into it.
We feel that along with the location, the lighting can play a major part in making a film feel engaging and professional. For this reason my group put a lot of thought into the lighting we would use in the film, which we chose to be dusk. We felt like using this time of day would be very beneficial to the film opening as it adds an element of tension in the film. Darkness is a motif of gothic which is where the horror franchise was derived from, so it only seems right that we go back to this. However, we want to ensure that we make the lighting perfect as to not have the shot too dark or too light in areas where the sun is setting. We want to ensure this as there is nothing worse that watching a horror film to find out that you cannot see anything in the shot, this is something that many horror fans dislike about the genre with very good reason. We decided that we will be filming in the hours just as the sun is setting as this lighting will prove to be the ideal time of day, the shots will be dark enough for the film to look like a horror film, but also the shot won’t be that dark that we cannot see what is going on in the shot.
In the scenes where we are indoors, we have decided that we will use lamps instead of the main room lighting. This is once again to stick to the conventions of horror which show that darker scenes add a lot more tension and also make the audience feel more engaged with the film and the characters within the scene. Considering that our film will be in a place in time where a zombie outbreak has occurred yet the foundations of society have remained, we need to ensure that the locations in the film look run down. We will do this by ensuring that we use low light conditions when filming the shots, we will only be using lamps and small lights to light areas of importance as we would like to communicate the fact that electricity is now more scarce and a lot harder to obtain in poorer parts of the city we film in. This means ensuring houses are dark and only focussing light on characters and props to ensure the audience feels the tension we are trying to create, but also can see exactly what is going on in the film so they do not miss anything important. I took inspiration for the type of indoor lighting from Fallout 4 by Bethesda in 2015, the game centres around a post-apocalyptic radioactive wasteland where electricity is sparse, so i feel that images shown in the indoor areas of the game are perfect for the type of film we would like to create.
In our group we have decided that props are an important part of the film as they give the characters in the film objects to interact with while also filling the scene with objects that can tell the audience about the type of life the character is living. This would help to make the characters and scenes in the movie more believable due to the characters being able to interact with something. Props that are used to help fill the scene can also be used to convey a message to the audience, for example, having empty bottles of alcohol scattered around the scene can suggest to the audience that the character could be an alcoholic. We found this to be very important during the filming of our opening as the objective we were tasked with was to create a film opening which conveyed the most information about our film within around 150 seconds whilst also making the audience ask questions. Although subtle, props played a huge part in the success of our film.
One of the props we are going to use is a cure for the zombie virus which has ravaged the cities in our dystopian setting. This will have to be used by the protagonist as a way for them to keep from allowing the virus to take over their body thus causing them to turn. Something we can use as the zombie cure is a syringe or needle type object; this is a good object to use for the antidote because it’s similar to how a cure produced by a real company would look. The integrity of the needle is very important as a unrealistic looking prop would make the audience wonder what exactly the man is using, this is not a question we want to be asked. We would rather that the audience know that this needle is the cure simply due to its appearance. It shows the audience that this cure is produced in mass production which fits in well with our theme of capitalism.
Another prop we would need to use in our film is a car. This car would be used at the beginning of the film as the protagonist is driving through or past a crowd of zombies. A shot from inside the car showing the zombies will be used and could have the credits of the movie playing at the same time. In order to get the car we would have to borrow one for the scene, which Callum’s parents have volunteered to do. This makes the scene a lot easier to film as we can now have shots of the car moving, adding to the realism within the shots. This allows us to capture a very crucial shot in our film of the zombies from inside the car as it drives down the street. A big part of the orientation of the audience is based on them seeing zombies roaming the streets in small groups; not having this shot would greatly deplete the quality of the film.
A prop we will be using in the final scene of our film is matches. We will be using these to create a specific type of lighting which will add huge amounts of tension to the scene. The protagonist will be slowly bringing the lit match up to the face of the zombie, where the zombies face will first be revealed. This tension is created by the fact that the audience cannot see exactly what is lying there or exactly who is lying there due to the lack of lighting. This prop is very easy to come by as most people have a spare box of matches lying around in there house. Failing this a lighter could be used although we would much prefer matches as it adds to our post-apocalyptic societal theme.
We would also need a phone to use as a prop in the film opening. This would be used during a scene where the protagonist is attempting to order another prescription of a zombie cure over the phone but isn’t able too. This would make the scene believable as it’s easy to recognise when a character isn’t using a phone during a phone call scene so if we didn’t use it the audience wouldn’t believe that there’s a phone call going on. However, a phone is easy to get as most people own a phone and carry it around with them. This will work as a prop for the film opening because it’s more believable than anything else we use and it will probably relate to the audience. We will ensure that the audience see the phone is on and that they can see what phone is used; this will be an iPhone 5s. We have decided to use a phone common to this era, even though the film is set in the near future. This will add to our theme greatly as people will see that some big companies such as apple fell during the apocalypse.
1962 – Dr. No (Terence Young)
1964 – Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton)
1971 – Diamonds are forever (Guy Hamilton)
1979 – Moonraker (Lewis Gilbert)
2012 – Skyfall (Sam Mendes)
2015 – Spectre (Sam Mendes)
2007 – Paranormal Activity (Oren Pelli)
2010 – Paranormal Activity 2 (Tod Williams)
2011 – Paranormal Activity 3 (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulmen)
2012 – Paranormal Activity 4 (Henry Joost, Ariel Schulmen)
2014 – Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Christopher Landon)
2015 – Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (Gregory Plotkin)
2015 – Spectre (Sam Mendes)
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