For our fourth quarter benchmark we decided to convert the hit musical Singin’ in the Rain into a terrifying horror film that will scare you right out of your socks. In order to accomplish this goal, we had to first learn from the best. Starting from all your favorite halloween specials and fright night films, we looked for all the cinematic elements that really made us jump. All the different types of coloring, dark lighting, camera angles, underexposure, distorted music, etc. really pull the film together and keeps the audience interested. While still using the original clips from the film we tried to highlight the below eye level angles, creepy facial expressions, and scenes where the movements played well into the storyline we’re trying to create.
Just like how Alfred Hitchcock's used the technique of knowledge for the audience during Psycho. You need to give the audience information to create great suspense throughout your film. This is something we are trying to incorporate during our trailer but in a different way. We put in clips that would tell the story but not give away what exactly is happening. You seem to understand who the main focus is on and can begin to put your own storyline together.
Along with worrying about what makes a great horror film, we had to find what elements would make a great trailer. Should we focus more on the pop up aspects like The Conjuring , follow a normal life of the people that just suddenly turns bad like in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or walk the audience through every important location like in the Psycho trailer? After looking at each and deciding whether or not we would actually watch the films. We decided to do a happy energetic scene to start off and allow the trailer to get more and more horrifying over time. This way you aren’t just bombarded with scary things popping out but more so a story that just doesn’t end so well.
One of the main things we focused on in this converted trailer is the music. We wanted to continue to use music from the actual soundtrack and just flip it to more distorted scary sounds that will play throughout the film. This way we aren’t pulling too far away from the theme of the movie but still adding that creepy aspect. Also, we included many dissolving edits between the scenes that will allow the images to play through quickly, allowing the audience to be exposed to little parts of the shot.
Most of the shots are either eye level or below eye level. Even through these were scenes from the actual movie, we actually did try to focus on the scenes where the camera was leveled or lower because it creates this thought that the audience is little and the actor is more powerful making it seem scarier. It also plays into the theme that you do not have the power which is usually a common theme in horror films.
Overall, adding all these little changes and touches to this film, I feel we did a great job not only converting it into a horror film but creating a trailer the audience would love to watch.
By: Jessica Guarino and Tia Roberts