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GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

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Page 1: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9


Page 2: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9





• The props we used were very

conventional in psychological

horror films. This mask for example,

is very similar to those worn in

‘The Strangers’ (Bertino, 2008).

Also, our choice of weaponry consisted of

the usual blunt metal objects making them


• Our choice of location being an old

abandoned caravan was iconic of horror,

as it displayed the same worn, overgrown

location found in many horrors.


• The backing track, ‘When I Paint My

Masterpiece’, is generally unconventional of

horror in that it’s cheerful and vibrant. We did

this to contrast the horror and gore of the

sequence with a sense of cheerfulness to

create irony.

• The non-diegetic sound effects and drones

we used were conventional. For example the

sharp screech heard in the flashbacks offers a

very unsettling, visceral feeling, similar to those

found in the ‘American Horror Story’ opening.


• Many of our shots were similar to those found

in various other horror films. A good example

would be the tracking shot along the

objects, which adds to the old context and

overall atmosphere, as well as the canted

angle shot of the cupboards which appears

disjointed and uncomfortable.

• The majority of our shots were straight

forward with film productions in general,

including a variety of stills, low angled and

high angled shots and a POV.


• Our editing consisted of varying transition

frequencies that make it conventional of

horror. For example, at the beginning where

there lacks any true form of horror, the pace Is

slow, and as the horror is introduced the shot

transitions become more frequent building up

tension and hysteria.

• The use of our shot reverse shot is also vital in

showing the reaction shot, as in every horror

movie the reaction shot provides a basis for

the way in which the audience follow the


Page 3: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

The way in which we presented our characters was

conventional of horror films. For example, Harry being

portrayed as a lost hitchhiker finding refuge in the

caravan. This is iconic as the victim is oblivious to the

danger of his life. This is comparable to ‘Friday The 13th’

where a group of young adults camp in a lake

inhabited by a crazed killer, similar to Harry finding

refuge in the caravan, only to be murdered. The

antagonist is also presented in a conventional fashion,

despite only possessing minimal screen time. For

example, when the antagonist appears in various

shots, for a small only a few seconds (the shots shown

below, where the antagonist swiftly walks past the

translucent window).

All of these features mentioned previously, conform to both conventional methods of horror film production as well as the occasional aspect unique to our sequence such as the plot. The effect

of this is a professional sequence that possesses both techniques used conventionally as well as personal aspects, unmatchable in any other production.

The way we established enigma in the film sequence

was primarily through the use of the flashbacks

revealing the events that took place in the caravan in

the previous years. We accomplished this with the use

of post production special effects, such as the sharp

sound prompted at the start of each flashback,

individualizing them to the audience, as well as the

green filter we used. All of this as well as the fake blood

and tools we used contributed to setting the scene

and the mysterious atmosphere.

Page 4: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9




• We chose psychological horror as a result of its unique style, and often thought provoking plots that require thought and understanding, such as the film mentioned before: Se7en, which follows a series of murders linked with the 7 deadly sins of Christianity.

• Other psychological horrors that follow this method of representation for the antagonist is ‘Scream’ (left image).

• The victim is presented in a casual way, possessing nothing unique about him. This could also be seen as a conventional representation as it makes the character more relatable, and therefore an emotional attachment can be made with the victim.

• The character of the antagonist for example, is presented conventionally for psychological horror. He is shown with an expressionless mask and dark clothing. This appearance signifies mystery and makes it challenging for the audience to relate to him, creating a sense of distance.

Page 5: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9


The editing side of the film sequence is fairly basic. The sequence possesses a consistent pattern throughout, often to

show the victim walking up to an object, then the flashback, then the reaction shot of the victim. This style repeats

with every object the victim picks up in the caravan or the rooms he walks into. This style of editing creates tension

leading up to the victim’s death. The sequences screenshots below is an example of the pattern we followed.

This combined with the increased number of camera transactions increases tension at the various points of horror

throughout. This is also notable at times where there is no horror on screen, where the shot transactions become less

frequent. This style of editing conforms to psychological horror, as it always refers back to the character and also

works parallel in creating tension through speed and on screen action.


In our sequence, we included a large variety of shots. For example, canted angle shot, POV shot and pan and

tracking shots. The tracking shots were vital in setting the scene in just one shot, revealing the setting in one camera

motion. These shots followed the same manor as seen in other psychologically based horror films. It proved

challenging to gather shots that set our sequence apart from the majority of other horror films as they all follow the

same style of filming.

Some of our shots were very professional despite being

improvised on the day of filming, such as the pull focus shot

and the track along the small objects. These shots were ideal

for integrating titles in with them. This shot on the right for

example, allows the audience to identify the significance of

this object.

Page 6: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9


REPRESENT PARTICULAR SOCIAL GROUPS? Our antagonist could be interpreted

as being mentally ill through his

mannerisms and the fact he’s killing

and torturing for no apparent reason.

This could be reinforcing the

dominant stereotype of people with

a disability being capable of

displaying the same amount of

strength and power. However, this

also could be interpreted as the

antagonist killing as a result of a

mental disability, so is therefore an

example of binary opposition.

The fact that the antagonist in our

sequence is male, reinforces the

residual stereotype of a man always

being the inflictor of harm or the

murderer. This may be because men

are seen as more powerful figures

physically. This is further emphasized

through the fact we see a male

character hiking through the woods,

which is also dominant of the residual

stereotype that men are generally

more capable of certain physical


Page 7: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

The characters that are

shown in the sequence include

Harry (hiker) and myself

(masked man). Harry was

represented as a young male,

and little else is given away

through what we filmed. The

antagonist is wearing a mask so

again, little is given away in

regards to both characters

social status, sexual orientation

or whether they possess any

form of disability. However

there are aspects of the

characters actions that point to

certain stereotypical


• Our sequence is an

all-male cast. this

therefore reinforces

the residual

stereotype of men

being seen as more

powerful and

intimidating than


• For example, the

body language of the

antagonist is

reminiscent of the

antagonist from ‘The

Strangers’ through the

way he tilts his head

as though innocent

and confused.

Page 8: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

Our film may attract the attention of an

independent distributor, such as Vertigo

Films. In the past Vertigo Films has

distributed films such as ‘Monsters’,

which, similarly with our film sequence,

had an extremely low budget, but

nevertheless proved successful.

Furthermore, likewise with our films

production Vertigo Films is based in the

UK, which could potentially save cost in

transportation, which would prove vital

for a film production running on such a

small budget.

Furthermore, Vertigo Films in the past,

has distributed lower budget film

productions in new innovative ways,

for example ‘Street Dance 3D’ where

they synergised with the Britain’s Got

Talent app in a successful attempt to

appeal to their key psychographic, in

which a 30 second advertisement was

played to each viewer at a when the

app was no. 1 on the app store. This

method appealed to a large scale

concentrated audience.

Vertigo Films could adopt this

method of distribution, as it is

effective yet the expense will be

far lower, rather than an

advertising slot on a prime time

television network, yet potentially

result in a similar or perhaps even

greater outcome in terms of the

distributing the film to a large

audience successfully.

Page 9: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9



Our production is more reflective

of the independent style of film

making, as opposed to industrial.

In comparison to other

independent films such as

‘Monsters’ (Edwards, 2010), ‘The

Premonition’ is similar in terms of

production. ‘Monsters’ was shot

in a guerrilla style of filming,

where the scripts were mostly

improvised and the extras were

just hired pedestrians on the

street. Likewise with our

production, many of the shots

included were conjured on the

day of filming.

• Independent films also tend to

have much smaller budgets.

For example, ‘A Field In

England’ (Wheatley, 2013) was

shot entirely on a £300,000

budget, making it miniscule

compared to an industrial

production, for example,

‘Prometheus’ (Scott, 2012)

which shot on a budget of $140

million. Our film production was

shot on a minute budget, so an

independent distribution

company is far more likely to

show interest in it rather than

an industrial conglomerate.

Page 10: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

Q4/Q5. Who would be the audience for your media product? How did you

attract/address your audience?

Throughout the process, we tested

our concept on our audience. This

featured our initial research in

which we tested our audience using

a questionnaire which featured a

series of closed and open questions.

From this initial research, we

discovered that an abandoned

location would be very effective, as

the majority of our audience stated

that it would be the most

conventional of horror.

We also used a 1-10 scale styled

question, in which the audience

circle the number they feel most

appropriate. For example:

This particular question was very useful as it gave us an idea as to the most conventional stock

character for our clip. From this question, we discovered that the character would definitely have to

be young and vulnerable, though the sex was a less important matter. Therefore, we came up with

Darren, a young, vulnerable male, conventional of horror. We also tested possible names in a fixed

question format.

Initial Audience Questionnaire

Initial Audience Questionnaire II

Page 11: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

Our core audience is the 15-24 demographic, this

is because the horror genre is intrinsically aimed

at a younger audience as this age group enjoy the

gore and scares which are evident throughout.

The characters appeal to this target audience as

Darren fits in with the age demographic due to

being a young male around the age of 16/17.

This creates verisimilitude for the audience as

they feel that this could happen to them which

creates an enigma and a social currency.

Despite this, after choosing hysteria, we thought

that the name ‘the premonition’ was much more

suited to our piece. This is because the word

premonition means to see something before your

eyes. Below you can see the question we originally

asked, however, nearer the time, we realized

hysteria didn’t really fit with our piece, and

premonition is far more suitable.

Target Audience Initial Audience Questionnaire III

Page 12: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

Additionally, people thought our

location was perfect, saying the

caravans dingy, dull and abandoned

look created a more visceral

experience for most people and

believed that its small, confined

space actually contributed to build


A few people thought the

continuity of our sequence could

be improved, saying that

providing more shots with

movement of our protagonist

should be added to make our

sequence just that little bit


Another strength included the high

quality resolution of the picture and

audiences believed that this made

the sequence seem like an actual


Also, some of our audience

stated that they were unsure as

to whether Darren should been

killed or whether we should have

left it as a mystery to build up a

further suspense.

Page 13: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

From our audience testing many

people liked the use of our soundtrack,

saying it fits well with the visuals and

the high pitched, discordant sounds of

the flashbacks were very effective in

creating a sinister, scary feeling about

the piece which shocked audiences

(this was the effect we wanted to


Some people thought that a couple

of the shots looked a little bit shaky,

which did not fit as well with the

piece as it should. As soon as we

received this feedback, we tried very

hard to alter the graininess of the

image and change the colour to

create a contrasting look to the

normal shots.

Audiences also thought our camera

work was excellent, especially the

frequent short and long tracking shots

which revealed various props as well as

our protagonist in the sequence. They

also liked the use of pull focus shots and

canted angle shots, saying it made the

piece more professional and more fitting

to our thriller/horror genre.

One person thought that the

edited effects and composition

of the flashbacks did not look

very effective, that our group

should improve the look of

these flashbacks to make it

more clear and sinister.

Page 14: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

Q4/Q5. Audience Final Cut Questionnaire Results

1. Did you understand

what was going on in the


In terms of our results for this first

question, we are very happy. I say this

because out of our 10 respondents, 6 said

they understood the plot completely and 4

said they understood the plot mostly. This

shows that our plot is very coherent.

2. What genre would you class this film as?

Again, we are very pleased with

these results. This is because 70%

of our respondents thought that it

was clearly a horror genre, which

shows that on the whole we have

succeeded creating a horror


Page 15: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

4. Do you think that in the opening the protagonist

should’ve died?

6. On a scale of 1-10 how tense did you

find the opening? (1- being not tense

10- being very tense)

This chart shows that the majority of our

respondents thought that the protagonist

should’ve been killed, this is good for us as

we were unsure whether to not kill the

protagonist and leave a cliff-hanger.

We are pleased with the results from this

question as 60% felt that our clip was an 8+

out of 10 in terms of tension which shows

that our clip was effective in terms of

building up suspense.

Page 16: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

They both felt that our flashbacks were extremely effective yet felt that we may have done more with

the sound in terms of a sound mix to build tension and create a sense of eeriness which is typical of

horror films. Overall, we were pleased with this response, though, as a group we were pleased with the

soundtrack we used. This is because we deliberately used the soundtrack to pose a contrast to the

general mood of the clip.

In this short video,

features two people

inside our age

demographic (15-24)

whom are

commenting on the

strengths and

weaknesses of our

clip after seeing our

final cut at the

advanced screening.

Vox-pop clip

Summary of Clip

Page 17: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

9. How many flashbacks were there?

This question was more to see if our

audience were paying attention. As

there were indeed 5 flashbacks, it

shows that on the most-part, our

audience were paying attention

meaning the other answers will be


11. Do you think our use of font was


This another encouraging result. I say this

because 80% of our respondents felt that

our font was suitable. Considering we

changed our font rather close to the

deadline, it was very pleasing to see this.

Page 18: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

3. Which part of the opening could’ve been


For this question, we had a varied response.

Some stated that the sound could’ve been

improved in terms of a sound mix and others

stated that the build-up of tension could’ve been

enhanced. In our own opinion, we thought the

soundtrack was very effective as it created a

contrast to the general mood of the clip.

5. Was the opening generally entertaining? If

so, why?

Again, for this question, there were a wide

array of answers, some stated the soundtrack

made it entertaining, some said it was so

because of the diegetic sound. On the whole,

the most popular answer for this question

was the flashbacks.

Page 19: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

7. Would you recommend

the film to others?

For this question, we was

looking for a fixed answer of

yes or no. Encouragingly,

100% of our respondents

stated that they would

recommend the film.

8. Did you understand the

use of flashbacks?

This was also a very

promising result, 90% of our

respondents understood the

use of flashbacks in our clip,

which was to evidently show

the caravan to have a past in

terms of murder and torture,

therefore this was a very

heartening result for us.

Page 20: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9



Vertigo Films could replicate the same methods of distribution used for Street Dance 3D with our film opening. This could be done through social media or through mobile applications, allowing us to direct advertising at our key demographic. For example, through various applications that follow the same theme of horror as our production, appealing to the audience most likely to be interested in our film.

Vertigo Films could also utilise a multi platform

release. This technique was used by Film4

Productions for ‘A Field in England’ (Wheatley,

2013). Film4 Productions launched a first ever

platform release of ‘A Field in England’ in

2013, simultaneously on DVD, Blu-ray and in

cinemas as well as available to stream on the

channel 4 website. This blanket release

created mass publicity for a low budget film.

An extremely successful distribution technique

used was by 20th Century Fox for ‘Prometheus’

(Scott, 2012). This utilised Web 2.0 in the form

of social media and web pages to raise

publicity for Prometheus. Another aspect of

Web 2.0 was the TED Talk featuring Peter

Weyland, giving subtle context to the film.

Another potential method could be through

synergistic promotional activity.

Page 21: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9



Through constructing our film sequence, we had to make use of both software and

hardware alike, as well as technical equipment used to actually film our sequence and

upload it. This included the following:

We used a group

members DSLR Cannon

EOS 600D camera, which

offered excellent

resolution and easy

controllable zoom. It also

proved easy to review

footage and mount.

We used a track and

dolly on 2 shots. It

required assembly on

sight, and stabilizing to

make sure the camera

dolly rolled smoothly

over the track. The tripod

rests on the dolly.

This is the tripod used to

stabilize and produce still

shots. The legs are

adjustable, and the

mount has 360 degree

rotation so we could

create smooth panning


This is an SD card reader

which is vital for

uploading footage onto

the computer for editing.

This was simple to use,

and connected directly

to the editing computer

via USB port.

Page 22: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

Through the process of completing our film sequence, we were required to make use of a variety of software. For example, Blogger. We learned how to create a blog in a group effectively through Blogger, where most of our research into aspects of the media, and analysis of film sequences can be found. This proved extremely useful for our final opening sequence.

Another online tool we used was YouTube. YouTube enabled us to upload videos and then transfer them to our blog. This was also useful for receiving feedback on all of our filming tasks that were carried out. For this we used the Google account previously used for our blog, where, from Adobe Premiere, we could upload films onto YouTube.

Adobe Premiere Elements was used for the editing of all our videos, and perhaps required the most amount of skill and thought to do so. Every single video required editing, and this included image filters that can be seen on each of the flashbacks in the final piece, cropping clips, typographyand non-diegetic sound effects, to name a few. All these elements can be controlled as well.

Page 23: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9


The main steps to installing our

sounds is first of all downloading

the sound. Then saving it to the

Data Disk, clicking Get Media in

premiere and inserting the

sound that had been previously

downloaded and saved into our

files from Freesound.org. Once

this has been imported, you can

drag the sound into the timeline

in the soundtrack section. Here

are a few of the sounds we liked:

Lighting Limitations

We had very few problems in

terms of lighting restrictions. This

is because in our shoots, we

were very lucky that the

weather was no different to the

shoots before. Also, inside the

caravan, it is very dim anyway

and therefore, lighting was not a

difficulty. The bigger problem

was the size of the caravan as it

tiny and therefore it was a test to

move the camera around


Page 24: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9

Filming process

• Our film process began with the

camera, owned by a group

member- Tom. We used a Canon

DSLR camera. This camera was

more advanced than the standard

Panasonic HDC 10 distributed to

students by the school. As a result,

our footage looked much better

than the other cameras available

to us. Also, we could apply the pull-

focus to increase the quality of our

shots, this is evident in the shot

where the focus is on the nail and

then switches focus to Darren as he

walks closer. This was made easier

through the easily adjustable lense

that we attached to the camera; a

feature not available to us on the

Panasonic HDC 10


• In previous shoots, we had trouble

with the track and dolly in terms of

the stability of the shot. This time

around, it was a superior challenge

as for multiple camera shots, the

track was located on uneven grass.

Therefore, prior to taking the shots,

we removed anything that would

cause a jolt in the shot and

managed to shoot successfully. We

overcame this issue through

stabilising the shot in post-

production using Adobe Elements

Premiere. Also, the pull focus

previously mentioned proved

challenging to do while at the

same time keeping the camera

steady as to not ruin the effect of

the shot.

Page 25: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9


At first, we used a font named

‘Cold Night For Alligators’.

However, we felt that this

particular font was more

conventional of a slasher horror

film as opposed to a

psychological horror film. As a

result, we then decided against

this font, and used a more

ordinary yet effective font

which is associated more with

a psychological horror genre.

The comparison also proved to

satisfy our audience, through

our research.


As a group we are very pleased with the footage we captured on the Canon DSLR

camera, our clip features an array of tracking shots, POV shots and high/low angle

shots. The POV shots are conventional of horror as the audience view the action

through the eyes of the protagonist. In terms of our titles, we took positioning into

consideration as it is vital to have the titles at the forefront of the frame. Evidence of

effective positioning is evident in the tracking shot alongside the caravan.






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Page 27: GT- AS Level Media Studies Coursework Evaluation- Group 9


Our plot is both unique in many aspects, and in others very conventional. For example,

the general idea is that a lost hiker, Darren, stumbles across an abandoned caravan to

take refuge and ends up being killed by a crazed, lurking killer. This is very conventional

of horror, for example Friday the 13th where the teens camp at a lake inhabited by a

Jason who later kills every single person. Despite this, the way in which we delivered the

plot was unique and unseen before in any major film sequence. This was achieved

through concentrating primarily on the objects around the caravan and how each one

possesses a past linked with brutal murders. This immediately sets the scene for Darren's

future, of imminent death.