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My Infuences and inspirations.. May 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelmariebreheny @ 8:48 am

Although I wanted my film to be unique, being an 18 year old media student meant that I didn’t have much experience planning and producing a film opening, let alone a full film. So, I took some of myfavourite films, novels and TV programmes and used them to create my opening.


The ‘casual’ murders of scream, as well as the Drew Barrymore unknown character were of interest to me. I loved the ambiguity of the character and her death, Why was it happening? Why her? Why that night? All these questions were what I wanted my audience to ask about my film.

An American Haunting

The twists and turns of this film were extremely appealing to me for my opening. Believing you are watching a film about a posessed young girl but it’s actually her punishing her father for rap*ing her throughout her childhood. This form of mindplay with the audience was something I wanted to achieve with m opening, tricking the audience into believing one thing when actually the complete opposite is happening.

The Lovely Bones

After reading this book well over 10 times now I can quite happily say it’s my favourite book of all time. The use of the narrative plotting out Susies r*pe and murder as well as her time in the inbetween and watching her family cope with her grief leads you through a journey of remorse and great alignment with the character Susie. Although I Wanted my character to be an ‘unknown’ I also wanted the audience to feel comfortable delving into her private world of her bedroom.


How did you attract/address your audience? May 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelmariebreheny @ 10:38 pm

All horror films need to keep the suspense high and climaxes to a minimal. The longer something builds in suspense the more engaged the audience becomes with the plotline and an engaged audience is an entertained audience!

My two minute opening consists of the audience questioning whether the main actress is alive or dead and whether this alludes to more deaths throughout the film. Keeping the film a mystery from beginning to end seems like an impossible task when there’s so many hurdles to trip up on and reveal any twists. Each inch of the plot must be calculated and scripted so well that the finale isn’t given away at any point. Small details should be revealed every so often throughout the film to allude to the ending but never give away it’s true form – and its for this reason that I’m thankful I was only doing the opening!

I used a shot of a dripping red nail varnish to connote death through the colour and consistency of blood – represented in the nail varnish. The slow drip of it adds goriness without the fakeness and alludes to the characters death once again.


The slow burning candles flickering in their dark pots also added suspense, with candles connoting religion, death and a sign of peace – once again implying death.

My Music

Music within any genre of film is important. Firstly it should fit the pace of the film, ie an action film would have a fast paced, loud soundtrack.. whereas a rom-com would have some kind of cheesy lovesong as well as an upbeat love song. Horror films however are alot more versatile in their music options – most like due to the amount of sub-genres horror has! A slow dramatic soundtrack could be used, such as the iconic soundtrack of Jaws which echoes the sharks slow yet calculated movements or a faster tempo’s soundtrack for murder scenes/fight scenes etc etc.

The music I chose fits conventions of horror films in some ways but opposes them in others. Its up beat tempo and fast melody generally dont belong in horror films, but the low drone and questionable crescendo’s throughout increase pace and add a sense of risque to the final piece, all building up to the conclusion that the character is dead.

My Colour conventions

The stereotypical colours for any horror films are black and red. Black to signify the darkness, emptiness and sense of feeling alone and Red to connote death, blood, gore and murder.

Because I wanted my opening to make the audience question the life of my character I decided to go against conventions and use high key lighting and bright areas in my small room. I also used bright colours such as purples and pinks with pieces of red such as the nail varnish, teddy bears and the titles to keep the genre of horror alive in my oening. This appeared effective when it came to the questioning of the character. Simple colours were used for the characters costumes in order to emphasise the brighter colours in the inanimate objects – yet again emphasising the immobility of the dead character.

My Shots

I chose to use sensual close-up shots of the actress in order to create a sexual notion in my opening. With a young female character being murdered, in many horror films, their sexual nature is exploited and they’re normally not shown in the most virginal light. This is due to stereotypes about young women, particular blonde young women – hence the wig!


With my film being questionable is so many ways, the ambiguous narrative of looking into a dead womans world without realising she’s dead means that the audience is left feeling guilty and confused at the end. In many horror films once a character’s dead they’re considered as a part of plot that’s gone by and is too late too change – whereas my film focuses on a character after this has happened. The audience is unaware that they are unable to change what has already occured before the film even started, before the audience were even aware of the films narrative at all.


Looking back on your preliminary task (continuity editing task) what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? April 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelmariebreheny @ 5:59 pm

My preliminary task involved the necessary shots required such as shot reverse shot, 180 degree pan and walking in through the door in two directions. In my film I’ ashamed to say I used none of these shots! My preliminary task shows that I can preset continuity effectively, yet in my opening contiuity was not an issue as it was still image shots. This wasn’t because I didnt want the task of worrying about continuity but rather because I wanted a unique film that used modern filmography to create horror. The film Momentum uses straight cuts rather than continuity editing in order to fulfill the desired effect of jumpiness to match the plot of memory loss.

I wanted my film to echo this with objects and body parts. If i were to create the full film, it would most certainly have shot-reverse-shot between the killer and his/her/its victims as well as any police conversations ect. I’d also use panning to look over a crime scene as if viewing from a detective itself.

Although I didn’t really have to worry about continuity editing for my opening I still shot all of my footage at least three times each, with either the same angle or completely different so I had a variety of shots and a variety of ways to change my final piece if necessary.


What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? April 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelmariebreheny @ 10:15 am

From making my film, to editing to blogging, a number of techologies have been used..

The Video Camera

Using one of the schools video cameras to shoot my opening I have learned a variety of shots and ways to use the camera to my best capabilities. Extreme close ups, mid shots and over the shoulder shots have all become something I can set up and film with ease now.

Extreme close-ups would be used to emphasise a small movement or a reaction shot, such as a twitch of the eye or a shocked expression

I would use a mid-shot if I was trying to convey a reaction that needed both facial and body language to express the emotion. 

An Over the shoulder shot is more complex, it requires three or move movements as well as a pan to make more realistic. A tip is to use a tripod, it creates a swifter movement as well as a steady camera.

I used different angles of shots in my opening, with a low tilt creating power on the subject I was filming such as my ‘sweet dreams’ plaque.

Although I did not use this shot in my film I also filmed a birds eye view from the corner of the room as a blunt option to end my film with the character dead on the floor. Being higher up meant that my character looked small and vulnerable compared to the position the audience is viewing her in.

Overall I have adapted myself to the use of the camera borrowed, knowing what it can and cannot do stood free or on a tripod. This has benefited me because I knew the range of shots I could accomplish.


This was also a school rental. I used a tripod in a number of shots to keep the camera steady in order to get maximum quality out of my shots. Although I did run into a few problems with it. I found that it only had a small range of height that it could reach. Such as it couldn’t do the shots of the character on the floor because it wouldn’t go that low, or my birds eye view as it wouldn’t go that high. Also, I couldnt make any interesting and out of the ordinary angles with it. So at these points I had to become creative and create solid structures on which to place my camera on while holding it in the correct angles.


Saves trees! Rather than handing in my work on pieces of paper that I would more than likely lose, all my work has been blogged on this handy little website!   

The website helped me keep on top of my research for my film, keeping all topics together and focusing on various directors and films meaning that my film has many aspects of other films encorporated into it.

Finding the time to do a blog isn’t difficult, half an hour to an hour every few days isn’t a difficult amount of time to find, but I found that being on the internet had many things that could help me procrastinate. I’ve began blogging on word processor, as a sort of Diary. To be honest I prefer this because it means I can do it in areas without internet as well as not being interrupted by facebook notifications!

Adobe Premiere Elements

Probably the most confusing piece of technology I’ve ever come across. This is due to all the buttons and ways to edit, cut, crop, transfer and everything else you can do to all clips and pictures!

Putting clips into chronological order and making the continuity perfect wasn’t difficult for my piece but getting the transactions from one clip to the other was certainly one of the most vital things. I needed each clips lighting to reflect the transaction so that each clip flowed well into the next. This meant using ‘fade to white’ on some and ‘fade to black’ on others with a few having a ‘metallic foil’ transaction to add depth and variation.

I also used alot of effects in my piece. Mainly the same ones for each shot in order to create the same visual throughout the opening. Air brushing, shadow highlighting, colour consistency and sharpening were my favourites. It added texture yet perfection to the shots – implying beauty and perfection within death.

www.bbfc.co.uk helped me think realistically about my film and its content. My audience would need to be aware of the contents of my film in order to decide whether its the film for them, their age group, their kids age group and so on and so forth!


Although it takes some time scrawling through the large amounts of dramatic music, I managed to find my music quite quickly and absolutely fell in love with it! Its uncopyrighted and an original piece creating an excitement and ‘buzz’ about my opening.


Most certainly a media students best friends! pictures, videos and references were found via google as well as finding other useful websites to help me with my coursework.


What type of audience would my media product attract? March 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelmariebreheny @ 9:09 pm

Audiences are obviously necessary for anything in the media to do well – particularly film. In the recent economic climate surprisingly cinemas and new releases havent seen that much of a decline in audience numbers, indicating that film is an important part of social aspects for many people.

In the interest of whom i think my audience would be I will create a character who will love my film…

Camron Nagle is a 22 year old young man who particularly enjoys new releases at the cinema. Being a media fanatic in all areas Camron loves reading, watching TV and attending the cinema as often as possible!

His three favourite films are;

  1. The Blair Witch Project – ‘this film reflects my teenage years, everything was exciting and the danger of things never entered anyones head. I love films that make you think “wow. this could really happen!” and that’s exactly what this film does to me.’
  2. An American Haunting –‘ a great film with a hidden agenda always scores high in my books. The whole way through the audience thinks that it’s watching a film about posession, whereas all it is is a young girl acting out because her father rapes her. Gripping and undescribable – an all time favourite! ‘
  3. The silence of the lambs – ‘ a classic when it comes to horror films. Probably the only part of religion that fascinates everyone – the fight between the ultimate good and evil.’


His top 3 favourite TV programmes are;

  1. Diagnosis Murder – ‘I know it seems like a show for old people, but I love the storylines and how overdramatic the music makes the whole storyline. Also, I love the way the doctor is more of a detective than the detectives are! any crime thriller is good for me..’
  2. Waking the dead – ‘I love how this drama is set in England and uses storylines that you probably wouldn’t even question if you lived in certain parts of major cities. The gritty realism and relationships between the characters make it an enjoyable watch.’
  3. The murder game – ‘This one off series was on BBC1 7 or 8 years ago now and was actually a gameshow. Its contestants were part of a murder investigative team trying to solve brutal murders of previous contestants with the winner ultimately ending up as the murder anyway! Kept me glued to my seat for two months, it was a shame only the one series was made!’


Camrons top 3 favourite books are;

  1. The lovely Bones – ‘a chilling tale of how a young, vulnerable girl views her death and how its affected all of her friends and family. The brutality of the rape and murder of young Susie brings me to tears almost every time – a heart tugger!’
  2. The killing kind – ‘An amazing book that comes at you from a completely different angle to most crime books with a touch of horror thrown in this book leaves your mind realing if trying to solve the crime before the end’
  3. Flashpoint – ‘Lynn Hightower is not as well known as some crime authors but she deserves to be. Her Sonora Blair series are a can’t put down read and this book for a change has a female serial killer’

What kind of media instituion might distribute your media product and why? March 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelmariebreheny @ 6:10 pm

Distribution – The distribution of films or movies is controlled by distributors who distribute according to supply and demand.

Brain damage films

Brain Damage Films is a full service film label and production company dedicated to selling and creating the best indie horror films in the industry. We distribute films world-wide and domestically via all formats which includes, but not limited to: DVD/Broadcast/VOD/Internet/Retail/Rental.


After alot of independant research I found BraindamageFilms. They simply produce horror films by UK residents and like to discover fresh, new talent. I would prefer to go for an English production company because although Hollywood produce great films and have more money to produce films, I’d prefer my film to keep it’s English appeal, with English actors and actresses, English costumes and settings and more ways for audiences to connect visually and emotionally to the film.

Here are just three posters from BraindamageFilm’s archives of films. All three show gore and mutilation. Although in my opening my film doesn’t appear to show these, throughout the full film there would be scenes of violence and death and I believe that BraindamageFilm would have the budget and the expertee’s to know how to pull this off tastefully, without looking fake or over the top.

New Line Cinemas.

New Line Cinema is the oldest and most successful fully integrated independent film company in the world. In addition to the production and distribution of theatrical motion pictures, it has divisions devoted to home entertainment, television, music, theater, licensing, merchandising and international marketing and distribution. New Line has been a pioneer in franchise filmmaking and its Lord of the Rings trilogy is the most successful film franchise in history.

The success of New Line film is certainly appealing to a film maker, what with it also being an independant production company meaning that up and coming directors are given chances in the film industry, but unlike Braindamagefilms, they do not specialise in the horror genre. This needn’t be a hindrance though. Perhaps with the success of New line films an up and coming director could prove their worth to the film world and then become more hands on with their next project. As I want my film to be considered tasteful rather than boisterous, this company may also be the way to go. Their distribution techniques around the world, as well as marketing and P&A, will mean that my film may be given a better chance at producing a profit as well as creating buzz in media circles. This is appealing to any film director.


How does your media product represent particular social groups? March 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rachaelmariebreheny @ 9:52 am

With only one character in my film I decided to focus on this character within the social attitudes of the present as well as the past. I wanted my character to be a young female due to stereotypes of this social group being that of a sexual nature as well as unruley. I also decided that I wanted my character to be blonde. I’ve done alot of research into the Hitchcock Blondes and how they were used to be visually beautiful, the victim and unable to look after herself. Also, connotations of not being intellectual as well as sexually orientated surround blondes even in the present.

My main actress is actually a dark haired young teenager, so I needed to change her look in order to fit the stereotype I was trying to fulfill. I bought a blonde wig (Marilyn Monroe style because it’s so iconic) and did thick make-up on the face, as well as nail varnish and fake tan to fulfill the modern day criteria of an image obsessed woman. Due to the actress’s age, I needed to make her look older rather than young and trying to be older. I needed full breasts, so padding and thick bra’s were used, as well as moisturisers and oils to create a ‘model’ effect on her body.

The setting also had alot to do with creating my stereotype and social group. I used a purple, large girly room with sweet messages on teddy bears, stereotypical ‘love’ books, jewellery, make-up and flowers to create the right setting for the young woman I was trying to create.

Unfortunately, my actress didn’t have ‘perfect’ skin. I used concealer and foundations to try and create the perfect skin texture and tone but unfortunately the camera picked up every little lump, bump and untweezed hair! So whilst editing I used the airbrush tool in order to create two effects. The first being a beautiful skin texture and all over colouring and the second being the old style film with poor quality to create the slow sense of eeriness. Both of these effects enabled my perfect young woman to be created.