The basic idea here is to explore the various elements that compose a horror film and how these ideas may have evolved into current film making practices. The current project starts out with a clear opening image that has been extracted as a long shot except that the image has been processed to provide a certain gloom. The image has been darkened on purpose to portray a large building that is surrounded by empty trees. The camera has been kept at a low angle to look into the building’s top to provide an overwhelming sensation. The contention here was to exaggerate the size of the building and to make it appear as dark as possible. The lower right hand corner of this image is particularly dark and portrays a sense of fear of the unknown. This can be compared with ease to the manner in which typical Hollywood horror films tend to open up – an overwhelming scene of darkness is portrayed that provides the viewer with an automated response that the current film is based on horror (Carroll, 2010;; Bennett & Beirne, 2011). In addition, the title of the project “Roommate” has been displayed in the lower reaches of the screen using a contrasting colour and capital letter only. This is intended to provide a stark contrast to the dark and gloomy background to make the inscription prominent (Carroll, 2010; Davis, 2010). The project has been provided with a sinister audio track from the very beginning which is interrupted at 0:02 for a thunder sound effect. This is followed by an inversion of the screen’s colours at 0:06 and 0:07 to portray lightning. The inverted colour screen has a shadowy figure portrayed in all white at the lower right hand side of the screen depicting a ghost. This was meant to provide the audience with a clear idea that this project is a horror film woven around ghosts. However, there is a technical error in the manner in which the lightning and thunder have been portrayed. Typically, lightning is seen first and thunder is heard later while in the current project this has been reversed. However, it could be argued that the use of lightning and thunder is a common technique used in films to introduce sinister objectives (Landau & White, 2000; Glick, 2011; Landau & White, 2000). Thunder and lightning have been used as early as Frankenstein (1937) right down to modern day classics such as Edward Scissorhands (1990) to portray sinister elements. Most horror films are woven around the concept of thunder and lightning that is also utilised to indicate accentuation as well as climaxes in these films (Mackendrick, 2005; Rosenthal, 1980). The current film is essentially a composition of images taken from the previous term that have been placed together sequentially. As the film opens up, the protagonist is shown walking into a dorm room with clear lightning that tends to reveal the mise en scene very clearly. The dorm room has been portrayed as realistically as possible keeping the element of scattered belongings and student clutter in place. The protagonist’s makeup has been kept minimal and the costume in use is a simple pyjama with a sweater to portray an average student lurking around in a dorm. The protagonist approaches a laptop placed on the table and the camera’s focus changes over to the laptop’s screen. The transition from the protagonist’s face to the laptop screen is a straight cut so that it resembles contemporary practice (Rosenthal, 1972). The other option was to
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