Jump to content


Photo

establish mood in a thriller/horror


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Zamir Merali

Zamir Merali
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 185 posts
  • Director

Posted 01 June 2006 - 09:45 PM

Hey guys my name is Zamir and I am going to be making a horror short in the near future. Right now I am in the planning storyboarding stage but since this is one of my first shorts I wanted to know what kind of tecniques are used to scare people. I was especially impressed while watching the remake of "when a stranger calls". No real threat actually happened until the last 20 minutes but the entire movie was scary. Is it lighting, camera angles, colours, acting or a combination of all that make the movie so scary? Can you please give me some tips on ligting and other tricks for scaring the audience.
  • 0

#2 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 01 June 2006 - 10:41 PM

The thing to ask is what scares you! Do you want to make horror films like everyone else does or do you want to make your own statement? You should look at other films, but only for inspiration, not to try to do what they did. Originality is what makes a great filmmaker, great. When Hitchcock made North By Northwest, he intentionally put the scene of Cary Grant in a field where a plane was the monster to break the convention that being trapped required being locked into a clostriphobic environment. He said he could build suspence in a wide open area, and he did in spades. Make your own movie. Chances are, if it scares you, it will scare other people. As Shakespeare once said, "This above all else, to thine own self be true" B)

Edited by Capt.Video, 01 June 2006 - 10:44 PM.

  • 0

#3 David Sweetman

David Sweetman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Student

Posted 02 June 2006 - 12:00 AM

"Less is more."
That phrase makes no logical sense so it requires explanation. Obviously it doesn't mean "less A is more A," because that is impossible. Therefore it must mean "less A is more B." Well, we know what we want more of -- we want more fright. So "less A is more fright." So when you watch a horror movie that scares you, figure out how other people solve for A -- pay attention to what they don't show, and how they "show" what they don't show. Fear happens in our imaginations.

-Dave

Edited by David Sweetman, 02 June 2006 - 12:03 AM.

  • 0

#4 Chad Stockfleth

Chad Stockfleth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 622 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Louisville, KY

Posted 02 June 2006 - 01:26 PM

IMO the threat of violence is always far scarier then actual violence in movies. It is that tension leading up to the act that makes my skin crawl. A trick that Hitchcock used a lot is to show the audience the danger, but not the character. Of course, you have to make us identify with the character first before we really care if any harm comes to them. That is the failing of most modern horror movies to me is that they don't make you care for a character. What do I mind if some bikini blonde gets hacked up?

Edited by Chad Patio, 02 June 2006 - 01:28 PM.

  • 0

#5 Tom Bays

Tom Bays
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer
  • Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted 02 June 2006 - 03:12 PM

Have a scene where someone gets killed early in the dramatic build up. We are conditioned to wait for some beats before something happens. Give us a good holy crap where did that come from in the beginning and you are set. At the very least each time you build up to the big scare...People won't know when it is coming. It allows them to build fear on their own.

TRUST ME PLEASE!

Edited by Kemper, 02 June 2006 - 03:12 PM.

  • 0

#6 Zamir Merali

Zamir Merali
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 185 posts
  • Director

Posted 03 June 2006 - 08:45 AM

Thanks your your help guys. I really liked the tip of making sure my movie is original. There is nothing interesting about just another horror film. So i really am going to try and make it fresh and original. All your tips were appreciated though.
  • 0

#7 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 03 June 2006 - 05:24 PM

Hitchcock said: "the disarming of a bomb is suspenseful - the blowing up of it isn't". He also said that "Action is the enemy of suspense".

He was, of course, absolutely right.
  • 0

#8 Landis Tanaka

Landis Tanaka
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Student

Posted 03 June 2006 - 07:11 PM

I have never shot a horror but this is what I would do if I shot one:

give the shots a greenish tint, so it looks more grimy

high contrast

add flash frames of grotesque images, and add a disturbing sound effect every time one is flashed, like a quick, raspy sigh or something.

make people's skin color more pale. more desceased.

shoot with over exposed items in foreground (ie. doll sitting on bookshelf in foreground, actor in backround.

Im probably way off target, as I am but a 14 year kid who has only been doing this for a year, but thats what I imagine would give a horror flick a creepy cinematic theme.
  • 0

#9 Zamir Merali

Zamir Merali
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 185 posts
  • Director

Posted 03 June 2006 - 09:22 PM

I have never shot a horror but this is what I would do if I shot one:

give the shots a greenish tint, so it looks more grimy

high contrast

add flash frames of grotesque images, and add a disturbing sound effect every time one is flashed, like a quick, raspy sigh or something.

make people's skin color more pale. more desceased.

shoot with over exposed items in foreground (ie. doll sitting on bookshelf in foreground, actor in backround.

Im probably way off target, as I am but a 14 year kid who has only been doing this for a year, but thats what I imagine would give a horror flick a creepy cinematic theme.


Thanks for replying to my post but I thought that I should tell you that what you said in your reply was not considering the most important thing in film making...... the story. If the story benefits from a greenish tint and high contrast then use it. Also if the story involves a creepy doll then its great to have it in the foregroud and if the movie has lots of grotesque scenes in it, flashing gross pictures helps but otherwise it seems redundant and amaturish. Im not criticizing you and I think its great that you are getting into filmmaking at the age of 14. Just remember THE STORY.

P.S. I always like to see other people work, do you have anything that you would want to show me.
my email is: zamir@onlink.net
  • 0

#10 Tom Bays

Tom Bays
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer
  • Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted 05 June 2006 - 06:52 AM

Depending on your story you can do a small montage at the beginning that kind of shows us where some poop is going to go down?...Later people will wonder when the room is in use and it can add that little bit of tension you need.
  • 0

#11 Kirk Productions

Kirk Productions
  • Guests

Posted 05 June 2006 - 07:20 AM

For the young guy that is even newer to this than me. :)

I am also new to film making, however I am currently producing my first horror right now. You definitely must have a storyline, which is what has kept me from doing a film for a couple years. Filming itself can be done rather easily, along with great effects but until you get a story in your head you are chasing your tail.

Having said that, I think one of the comments above about doing something right off the bat, quick, ruthless, can definitely set the tone. But in my opinion, what will capture the audience are those strategically placed sound bites, along with the continuing background music. It's that build up and then BAM, a sound, a loud train busting down the tracks. If you pull off a clip that looks good even before mixing the sound, you are probably going to have a good one.

FYI - I've done numerous small "bits" and plenty of experience there and editing, mostly for "roasts". I've plenty of experience in screwing up lighting and those things - definitely heed the lighting and do not attempt to film in complete darkness. Throw on some light and darken in post.

And the gentleman on this post is also correct. There is only so much slashing you can do before it becomes boring.

Eric



Thanks for replying to my post but I thought that I should tell you that what you said in your reply was not considering the most important thing in film making...... the story. If the story benefits from a greenish tint and high contrast then use it. Also if the story involves a creepy doll then its great to have it in the foregroud and if the movie has lots of grotesque scenes in it, flashing gross pictures helps but otherwise it seems redundant and amaturish. Im not criticizing you and I think its great that you are getting into filmmaking at the age of 14. Just remember THE STORY.

P.S. I always like to see other people work, do you have anything that you would want to show me.
my email is: zamir@onlink.net


  • 0

#12 Landis Tanaka

Landis Tanaka
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Student

Posted 07 June 2006 - 02:32 AM

yes you guys are right. I was just putting it out there, as in, IF it matches the story line, these could help. And just randomly flashing things isn't what I was really talking about. I was getting more at The Ring style, cause that's the only movie that's actually scared me, like when they find that dead chick in the closet.

anyway the story DOES matter most, I totally agree with you dudes.
  • 0

#13 Landis Tanaka

Landis Tanaka
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Student

Posted 07 June 2006 - 02:43 AM

And as for showing you my stuff, I only have a few short edits I threw together for practice, nothing serious.

This summer I will be finishing production of my first movie, State of Transition. It will be played at a film festival and hopefully out the door by fall. I could show you some of that when the time comes if you wish.

But next season is going to be crazy. I will start production on a movie called The Anatomy of an Inpired Mind (working title). Its about the way life is seen through the eyes of a cinematographer and other skiers who have a tru passion for the sport.

Its gonna be tough filming it though because I just got a call from a film production company and they want me to be in their movie, so I have to balance being in a movie and shooting my own. Sorry for the run on explanation. I do that sometimes

Thank you for your time.
  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Opal

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

The Slider

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS