The Team

We are Flatline Films and we are currently in the process of producing our debut film 'Roadside'.

Director - George Gamble

Producer - Roam Hamilton

Cinematographer - Harry Knight

Here is our FlatLine Fims blog.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Eval Q1

In what way does your media product use, delvelop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

This is a vodcast of me talking about key conventions in film openings. 

In my production straight away have 2 company idents. We have the distribution company 'Maroaders' and the production company 'Flatline Films'.

Here are links to these to idents; 'Maroaders' and 'Flatline Films'

The first shot we have is an establishing shot of a house. We then see titles on screen. The titles we see are ones of the production company and the filmmakers. We then see another establishing shot of the same house just from a different angle. So far this has matched up with the general conventions you seem to see in film openings. We chose to use these conventions because there are many examples of it being applied as well as linking into our preferred reading. Non-diagetic music comes in over the titles. This once again is a common convention used and we have applied it hear. However we have developed the convention of tracking one character or cross cutting between two. We have followed both character on screen at one time.

We have challenged the convention of not using dialog in a film opening by having our two characters talking. In film openings you usually hear non-diegetic music on it's own or have a voice over entwined with that. We have no voice over and include dialog. We then begin to use the convention of cross cutting between the two characters after the girl leaves. Now there is no dialog and just non-diegetic music and diegetic sounds on screen, e.g The car engine is a diegetic sound. That is how I have used, developed and challenged forms of convention in my opening.

Slasher genre conventions:
  • Psychopathic killer. (Freddy Krueger)
  • The use a weapon which could be used as a cutting tool such as; chainsaw, knife, axe etc. (Norman Bates uses a knife in the famous shower scene in Psycho)
  • The weapon can often be seen as a sexual object. (This connotes that when a person is killed there sexuality is being taken)
  • The killer targets teenagers. (Cherry Falls)
  • You have your stereotypical people who get slashed; Scream Queen (often a cheerleader) and a her boyfriend (stereotypically a Jock).
  • A final girl, typically a geeky character NOT sexually active which is why she usually doesn't die.
  • The father of the final girl who is often some higher force e.g a policeman or a sheriff.
  • The killer's identity is usually kept incognito.
In our short 2 minute opening we feel we have included some of these conventions. Such as; the psychopathic killer. We don't get any dialog from him however his character will develop throughout the film. We have also used a key convention of a knife, possibly the most commonly used weapon in the slasher genre. The main characters are teens. This links into our target audience. In our opening both our 'Scream Queen' and 'Jock' get killed. And the identity of the killer is kept hidden.

I gathered audience feedback of our 4th rough cut. I'm going to see if this matches up to my preferred reading the concept that was thought up by Stuart Hall. 4 different people gave me feedback. They all understood the narrative however they all said that the killing didn't quite work. This obviously isn't my preferred reading. They said it doesn't look like the girl is getting stabbed. This is a opposition reading.

To summarise I feel that I have used many of the key conventions within the slasher genre. However I do feel that we have challenge some conventions of film openings.

The challenges and limitations as a student filmmaker working within a small group for me were the fact we had to acquire actors services and then when we needed to re-shoot but they couldn't. Also conflicting ideas within a group, sometimes when I've realised that we need to re-shoot or change something and then the other group members have disagreed. Finally organisation. I feel I have had to organise my group and it can be frustrating at times. Especially when you have to rely on people to do certain things and then not complete it. If I had more time I would definitely take more sample footage and plan for my ideas more clearly as well as storyboarding different plots.

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