Sample Reflective Analysis For Extended Step Outline

Throughout my step outline I wanted to use the micro elements of the film noir genre to represent aspects of my key characters. I wanted use to use the cinematography to create visual symbolism as a way to express this, for example in ‘scene one’ I used overhead lighting and positioning of Detective Jones to suggest deceit by concealing half of his face in shadow. I did this to show the audience that this Detective - who is in a position of responsibility and justice - has a darker immoral side to his persona. This scene is the catalyst in the film; it begins the story and sets up the protagonist and his narrative development.

Scene two propels the story further by focusing upon sound. It begins with a ‘soundscape’ of city noise from an urban environment (a key convention of the noir genre), it also symbolises normality and everyday life. Later in the scene Mr S kills a hired gun, this juxtaposition from everyday life to murder and death is a stark realisation that under the veil of everyday life there are criminals that hide in plain sight. In this scene I also use a non-diegetic accentuated heartbeat as the hired man faces death, this is a stereotypical technique used in films such as ‘Crank’ when he is on the pavement in the face of an imminent death. However, upon reflection I wouldn’t have used this technique as it is too clichéd. Although it adds tension to the scene I think it makes the death too drawn out for a character of which the audience have no emotional connection with, I also don’t want to follow this stereotypical overly used technique as it has been used and copied many times. In this scene I also wanted to make the mechanisms such as the lighter, cigar cutter and gun louder and clearer than in reality. This cold, calculating and callus metallic sound is reflective of Mr S’s personality and almost detaches him from human emotions.

In scene three I focussed upon the mise en-scene. The main purpose of this scene was to represent the historical and social context of the film as well as showing the film noir genre conventions. Also another key aspect I wanted to explore was props and performance, using the conversation between Veronica and Jones to show a suggestive flirty side (as a femme-fatale would be represented) to them both and then the impact of his realization as he gets shot at. This gives a good contrast between emotions and I think this small scene works well showing the conventions whilst intertwining it with action and performance.

Scene four explores the use of editing, I wanted to use montage editing to show a distorted representation of time and space, this not only adds interest and pace to a scene but is also used to show the audience detective Jones feeling and memories. I wanted to show an insight into the detective and allow the audience to be able to comprehend and establish empathy with his character. I used white fade in and outs because I thought it worked well with the clinical and pure environments, perhaps not for the bar scene but both the wedding and hospital scene as it gives them an eerie dream like feeling. I like how the white pure memories clash with the dark entrance to his house which is the setting for death and the beginnings of insanity. Straight away the audience know this scene is not happy and pure by the juxtapositions preceding it. This also builds tension and dramatic impact for when the realization does come. Another visual representation I wanted to add in here is how his life is still dark and that in his dingy hotel room it still has the feel of his house from his memories, and that he can’t shake off the dark shadow of that event and his past.

In my final scene I wanted to show performance. I used parallel editing because I felt it gave me the chance to show the performance of two characters as they journey through their emotions and then eventually come together on a split screen, therefore visually symbolising the end to their emotional journey. I think this scene works well, showing both the transformation of detective Jones and the mercy shown by Mr S. This would hopefully give the audience a dilemma and make them question their opinions and stereotypical views based upon the opening scene. The performance here is key and the actors would need to be able to express themselves convincingly for the viewer to feel the gravity of the transformation that is taking place. Jones in an exaggerated and violent, physical performance would contrast with the subtle, but markedly different, manner of Mr S.

This Step Outline is Not Related To The Reflective Analysis (above)

Sample Reflective Analysis & Film Sequence


My intention was to produce and capture a short section of a film of around 3 minutes long, my film is a hybrid as it is to be categorised into both the horror and thriller genre as it contains conventions of both. I hoped to capture a film that will frighten and panic the audience by choosing a realistic setting, characters and storyline.

My target audience is teenagers ranging from 12 years onwards. I chose my film to be certified a 12A as the film would be to upsetting for children under this age as some violent themes are explored and also if it was certified higher such as a 15, then this would rule out too much audience

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and effect box office income.

Conventions of horror I included in my film were; death as my victim dies, night time as the dark is a common fear, isolation as although I chose the actual killing to be in the victim’s house the fact that she is isolated in the room with the killer with no one to help would scare the audience, screams as I hoped this would unsettle the audience, I also included into my film stalking and irregular behaviour as this is a common convention of the thriller genre. By including all of these different conventions my film was successfully described as a thriller/horror genre film by various audience members, this I take as positive feedback and shows that I included the correct conventions.

I used all handheld, Point of View (POV) shots throughout my film, this made the film personal to the killer as it was all from his perspective, I believe this had a successful effect on my film as if categorised I would place it in Psychological horror and by my killer videoing his victims this shows extreme irregular behaviour present in films of this category. The killing section of the sequence where the victim is strangled is very effective due to this angle. However when actually watching my film after production I realised that by shooting the film in this way, it limited shots and many shots such as; establishing, tracking, and low angle shots were not used in my film. If I filmed the rest of the film, I would differentiate the shots by showing angles from the victims POV, use establishing shots to frame the stalker and the victim and also use tracking shots to build tension and add more sympathy for the victim.

I chose realistic settings as I believe my audience would feel more ‘at risk’ that the situation could actually happen to them this creating fear within my audience. Settings I chose included victim’s bedroom, outside her house, town centre, a pub, McDonalds and a shop. To improve on my film I would range the different settings and include more conventions present in horror films like an isolated room or a wood; this in effect adding more tension and fear amongst my target audience.

I chose realistic characters as I believe it would make my film more believable and would scare the audience as they believe it could happen to anyone, including themselves. However I do believe that by only introducing the two main characters in my sequence, I gave my sequence a limited storyline. To improve on this when filming the entire film I would introduce more characters I could create a deeper plot and storyline. I also used stereotypical characterisation in the fact that the girl was the victim and the man the killer, by doing this I believe it made my plot too predictable, and by adding a twist I could infact keep the audience’s attention by switching the roles of the characters around.

I chose all non-diegetic music which was two soundtracks mixed into one; I chose these unfamiliar tracks to create a gloomy, freaky, unnatural effect which is common in these types of horror films. I chose not to have any dialogue in my sequence as I believe this kept mystery in my film and left the audience on a cliff hanger as they did not know the connection between the two characters, such as why she was murdered and also what the murderer’s motive was. However I found that after showing my sequence to some 12 year olds that they did not quite understand the sequence because of lack of dialogue and this made me question whether the certificate should stay as a 12. To improve I am going to leave all the non-diegetic music in however, I am going to include a voice over during the black and white ‘flash back’ sequence to add detail to the storyline and give a detailed account of the murderer’s motive. The same non-diegetic music is used throughout my film as it builds up to the point of the murder this in effect builds tension and creates a ‘spine tingling’ sensation for the thrill seeking audience.

I chose to have low key lighting throughout my sequence as this is a regular convention used in horror films and to a point it was successful as this created fear and tension amongst some audience members however as the camcorder was not of brilliant quality some shots were hard to see as the lighting was so low key, and this would be a major factor that could cause disinterest amongst the audience. To improve I shall make use of low key lighting and use it to create shadows which are a regular convention in both thriller and horror genres.

My sequence has a linear storyline with the events happening in chronological order with a small set of flashbacks which are shown in black and white; this may lead some audience members to become disinterested as they may find the storyline to predictable. I chose the flashbacks to be filmed in black and white as this would help my audience to distinguish between the past and present. To improve my film when filming the full version I would vary the unravelling of the plot and use digression and foreshadowing to keep the audience ‘hooked in’ Inspiration to do this came from films such as Shutter Island and The Butterfly Effect. I believe my film meets my audience’s needs as my audience go to watch horrors to receive a sense of thrill and terror and my films strives to elicit these emotions.

Category: Coursework

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