Are you ready to be cancelled?
Hey everyone and welcome to my blog! The past few weeks PLP 12 has been working on an amazing and scary project!
Our project, Monster in the Mirror challenged us to create a horror film that reflected and commented on themes within society. Utilizing elements of our everyday lives and experiences to create a scary movie.
Going into this project I was really, really excited. Horror is my favourite film genre and I love the classic tropes, jokes and characters present in many horror classics. While I was psyched to be able to create another PLP film (especially a horror movie) I did know that this project would be incredibly difficult. After attempting to create a horror short film over the summer, I knew how scary this project would be. Horror is a really hard genre to master, it combines so many complex emotions, effects and incredibly calculated story building. Horror additionally has so much more depth than it’s given credit for. Many films even slasher classics like “Halloween” or “Friday the 13th” have themes that connect to past current events or issues within society.
Despite my worries, I knew that our class had the potential to dig deep and create a meaningful horror film, but we did have a lot to learn…
After drawing inspiration from our own fears, being screeched at by a zombie in Seattle and Zettlecastening at MoPOP. Our class began to establish an understanding of what truly makes horror, horror.
Throughout the beginning of our learning and trip to Seattle, I found that I learned the most from our visit to MoPOP, particularly the video displays in the Horror exhibit. The videos, depicted Horror Filmmakers discussing groundbreaking horror films, explaining the aspects that made them successful and relevant.
While the videos were just one stepping stone amongst a lot of valuable information, I found myself revisiting my video notes throughout our project. For me, the information provided truly clarified exactly how horror created fear in such a universal way. Outlining devices used to create attachment to characters or build that sense of awe and suspense.
Very soon after building up our knowledge, it was time to start our filmmaking process. This year I applied for multiple roles within our movie, but was particularly interested in being cinematographer. Throughout the past few years I’ve been trying to build up my technical skills, and have particularly been trying to focus on becoming a better photographer and videographer. I additionally thought that taking on a riskier role would be a great challenge and method of learning more about horror through practice.
Creating our own film “Cancelled” was a very complicated process. We had limited time to prepare prior to shooting, as Cinematographer I created some story boards under our Director Ciara’s guidance, to ensure that we had some of our scenes planned out prior to arriving at our filming location.
To plan ahead I additionally created a Pinterest board compiled of some lighting and angle ideas. I especially wanted to ensure that through my filming, the power and control of our killer was conveyed.
Once we began filming everything became incredibly hectic. While we were making good time and working around challenges that arose, it was really difficult to constantly keep working. Due to my job as cinematographer and also being chosen to play one of our characters Heather, I had some difficulty keeping the quality of each scene consistent. Taking care of all our equipment and working with newer lighting set ups was a huge challenge and at moments effected the quality of my work. Despite some regrets and issues, I’m very proud of the shots I captured and of course the overall film my class created.
Even though I struggled as Cinematographer, I know that I truly challenged myself to try my hardest in this project. Through my work, I learned so much more about horror and what it represents.