img_1867In today’s workshop I learned how to set the lighting up, using the gel to change the colour of the light to create different atmospheres. The different lighting includes: Back light which is directly behind which is used to eliminate shadows, Fill light which is off to the side and the key light which is the main lighting which is placed at the front.

Iconic director

Wes Craven (The Master of Horror)

Wes Craven was an famous American film director, writer, producer and actor. He was best known for his pioneering work in the horror genre, especially slasher films which he had a huge impact on this genre. He was named “The Master of Horror” due to his success and cultural impact in the horror genre. His impact on the horror genre was considered prolific and influential.

His most famous and popular work he produced was, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, all four “Scream”, “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Wes Cravens New Nightmare”.


Certificate Ratings

The age ratings are: U, PG, 12A, 15 and 18. They are there so that the audience can see if the film is suitable for them. Although even if they think thye can cope with the film it will be illegal for them to view it.

Films that are given a U are suitable for kids aged 4 years and over. For a film to be a U it must be set within a positive framework and a reassuring response to any violence, threat or horror. There will be no descrimination, no illegal substances and no anti social behaviour.

For PG films anyone can view it although if you are under 8 years ol then you must be accompanied by an adult. Again with PG films discriminatory language is vcery unlikely, there must be no refernces to illegal drugs unless it is carrying an anti-drug message. Mild bad language is approved but it can’t be frequently used.

12A/12 are suitable for 12 year olds and over. People under 12 must not waqtch these films unless they are accompanied by an adult. The adult must make a decision if their child is suitable to watch a 12 rated film. If there is any drug use in a 12 it will only be used maybe once or twice.

A 15 rated film are only suited for 15 year olds and over. The film must not have discriminatory language or behaveiour however in 15 rated films there may be racist and homophobic language. Drug taking can be shown although the film must not support/promote drug taking. Dangerous behaveiour can be allowed but it depends on the realism, context and setting. Strong language is permitted and so is very strong language but that depends on who is saying it.

Lastly, the 18 rated films are suitable for adults only (!8 year olds and over). In these films a lot is permitted for example, sex scenes, nudity, very strong language, violence and dangerous behaveiour.

When i do my opening sequence i will have to decide what age rating i will give it. But before i even start my opening seqeunce to see what age rating it should be i must take into account what my target audience is (15). Therefore my age rating will be a 15 which means it can contain dark scenes, drinking alcohol and dangerous behaviour but i can’t go into detail of the behaviour.

Audience expectations of genre

Research aims and hypothesis:

From my survey I expected to find out what is the most popular genre at this time ad I expected to discover that the majority of people liked comedy’s the best. Also I expected to discover that the most frequent age rating of film would of been 18 rated. Also one of the main aims that I wanted to achieve with the help of my survey was to discover what people though would make a good opening scene to a horror film.


I got 19 respondents from my survey because  shard it on my Facebook so some of y friends of there took part. I didn’t personally chose the respondents on Facebook but I can trust all of my Facebook friends. Although  did also give my survey o some of my close friends and a par of my family therefore I was sure to get responsible responses. I designed my questionnaire through survey monkey because it was quick and easy, the type of questions I included required to give opinions so that I can truly know what the respondents wanted to say. I did encounter some problems which was getting invalid responses which came from people who didn’t really care. Next time I do a survey I will make it more public in order to get more responses.

My findings:

The respondents age?

  • 12 or under: 1
  • 13 to 15: 2
  • 16 to 18: 15
  • Over 18: 1

From the ages of the people I can tell that the responses I get will mature and I should be able to get their opinions on the horror genre has the majority of respondents are at a age where they’re able to watch them.


  • Male: 12
  • Female: 4
  • Other: 3

From the gender you cant tell much however I do expect to get more films that have a male target audience.

The amount of times they go to the cinema in a month:

  • 0 times: 5
  • 1 to 5 times: 13
  • 6 or more times: 1

The majority of people go to the cinema at least once a month therefore I will be getting information of people who have seen a lot of movies which means they’re knowledge of films should big. Which means the data I get from my survey will be very valid as they’ve seen many films so they will tell me what I should include in an opening sequence to a horror film.

Their favourite genre:

  • Comedy: 7
  • Horror: 5
  • Action: 5
  • Crime: 0
  • Other: 2

From this data I can tell that the three main genres is horror, comedy and action. Which means that I have chosen well as I had the chose to go for crime but instead I wen for horror thinking it was more popular and this survey has confirmed that.

Most popular age rating:

  • U: 1
  • PG: 3
  • 12: 1
  • 15:8
  • 18:6

From this data it is clear that people enjoy films that are age rated higher which could mea that they wont more adult humour and they wont horror films to be as gory and terrifying as possible.

How they watch films:

  • Cinema: 2
  • Netflix: 7
  • Other: 10

Most of the people these days prefer to watch films at home on their TV or on their laptop through either Netflix or an illegal website.

When I asked the people to give their opinion on what two things wold make a opening scene to a horror effective I got a range of ideas although I did see many people say “Tension”, “A death” and “gore/blood”. This data is very useful for me when I begin creating my own opening scene because through the survey the respondents have outlines key features to a opening scene to a horror film.




My opening sequence

Location: Me and my group will be filming by goring gap because it is usually quite there and there aren’t any houses by the road therefore it seems like we are driving down a road in the middle of nowhere giving it a scary look to it. It also seems like we are far from any help if we were put in danger, it also makes our story even creepier as it would be unlikely to come across a car driving down the road. Furthermore the road we are filming on is surrounded by the woods which is a very iconic location for a horror film.

Risk assessment: The main risk of filming in a car is that we might drop the camera however if we are wearing the strap then even if we do drop it hopefully wont hit the floor.


  • Myself (George Milton)
  • Ella Bourne
  • Charlotte Barber
  • Cameron Munson
  • Jessica Milton


  • A knife
  • A plain mask
  • A car
  • Bottles
  • Glass


  • Camera
  • LED lights

Conventions of a horror film

The Location: Generally in most horror films the characters are in a location where there is no on around that could possibly help them. For example, the woods, ghost town, summer camp. So when the dangers occurs it will be very unlikely that the characters will survive.

Camera shots: Usually in horror films they tend to use close ups quite frequently because it is very useful to identify the emotion of the characters. However in horror films they usually don’t show the monster until nearer the end and when the monster appears the camera angle is adjusted so that the audience cant see the actual monster making the film more mysterious.

Iconography: The lighting in horror films is usually quite dark because it makes it even more scarier as the audience cant clearly see what is happening therefore it build tension. For example if you see a shadowy figure it intrigues the audience because they aren’t sure if its a normal character or the monster. The colours that are most frequently used in horror films is back an red because these colours symbolise evil, blood and danger. Also low key lighting is often used which is effective for mystery as the lo key lighting produces unfamiliar shadows in the darkness.

The common objects in a horror film include, knifes, masks, items of supernatural or religious.

The main character types that occur in most horror films include

  • A main character who defeats the monster.
  • The villain, which is usually a monster, alien, evil spirit or serial killer.
  • The stupid teenagers that always get killed.
  • Creepy children.

Also the audience is usually warned before anything bad happens or anything that jumps out at you, horror films warn their audiences by the use of music or the lack of music. For example some horror films speed the music up so that it is obvious something is going to happen whereas other start playing music at a regular pace and suddenly the music stops.