1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
In a horror film , there are various forms and conventions which are applied in order to frighten the audience. In a horror film, you will most likely hear a soundtrack which plays with the audiences emotions. For example, the there will be a combination of non-diagetic low slow pace sounds which is physiologically used to lower the audiences heart rate. A series of fast pace high notes are used to then slowly build of the pace of the heart heart and also to build up tension. One of the main conventions of a horror film, is the male killer. The male killer is used in order to signify power, masculinity and dominance. This could be shown by the mise-en-scene through masculine clothing choices, short hair, and also facial hair. However, in our film WAXED, we chose to provide a counter type and have a female killer. We specifically made this choice in order to put a feminist spin on the genre and create a character that would challenge the stereotypes of women and men today and how people see them or want to see them. We saw that in Judith Butler's theory she looks at how women and men choose to portray their gender through how the world sees then and how they should act, dress and talk. She comes to the conclusion that gender does not exist but it is something that we are taught as a child from a very young age and we grow up with these ideologies.
In the opening, we decided to use white text to signify to signify seriousness but then broke the original convention of using a Seriff font to show that altering a font choice does not affect or change the production. We also went against the idea of using Seriff font because we didn't want to give away the plot or what it was about. On the other hand, we also did not want to have oppositional reading from the viewers. In order to fix this problem we provide anchorage that it is a horror by using non-diagetic high string notes, like Psycho, which connote tension and violence. We also make use of these high string notes combined with low string notes at the beginning to signify the binary opposition between the customer and the woman. One thing that we would have changed in this though is to provide a shot reverse shot so the binary opposition would be made clearer.
We used a slightly lowered angle shot of the countertype female killer to signify power, whereas in most horror films the woman is seen as a vulnerable and weak character. We see a feminist spin due to the anchorage which is provided by the dialogue of "Time's up b*tch" which shows a sense of power and dominance.
We wanted to provide narrative enigma throughout because it is the usual convention of a horror. However, originally we wanted the audience not to know who the killer is,but due to the close up shots from George it was hard to preserve his identity. To fix this problem, we used high string notes when he approaches the salon to give a sense of mystery.
We decided to have a blonde scream queen and for her to be represented as dumb and ditzy. Due to the fact that she didn't have a large chest , her legs were on screen a large majority of the time and when she removes the towel this is used to signify that she is sexually active and this is the reason why Katie (the killer) kills her. Also, having he legs on screen and the removal of the towel, we wanted to bring in the male gaze that would attract our audience of males and females between 15-24. We made this decision so that it would attract both females, due to the feminist spin, and also males due to the women being featured in it. With the female killer, we wanted to portray that she is aggressive and violent. In order to provide anchorage, we did a close up of her slamming scissors into a circular scissor pot on the desk. This is used as a symbolic form of rape and connotes violence.