Our horror movie project is probably the biggest and most challenging undertaking we have done as a class. In the past I have made many short films, and even last year we made a full movie of similar length. This film was a step up from the rest for a few reasons. The entire idea behind the film was our own (I guess the core of the idea was actually mr. Hughes) which meant we didn’t have a blueprint to follow like we did during our Macbeth film. On top of writing our own scripts and screenplays we only had 3 days to film at loon lake, our chosen location. Luckily challenges are what let us learn and learn I did.

The project started by introducing us to horror. We begun by analyzing a couple famous movies from the past. The biggest takeaway I had from the films were how their were common themes. I especially was interested by the idea of the “final girl”. The innocent girl who escapes at the end of the movie. This is a trope that can be seen in many older films. Next we went on our first out of country field study since Alberta in grade 9. Seattle had a horror exhibit which was perfect for our group. We got to here from a huge variety of experts about their favourite, and the most popular, horror films. The most interesting idea I learned about from this exhibit was the law of dismissing returns. It states that something becomes less and less scary to people the more they see it. That’s why some of our favourite horror films are the ones with new ideas.

With lots of new information in my brain it was finally time to brainstorm what film we would make. The film had to both be scary, different and also importantly reflect a fear in modern society. I originally felt like it would be easy to come up with an idea that met the criteria because in my head it was easy to imagine so many scary ideas. I learned that it was much harder to bring these ideas to paper in a convincing way. I wrote a whole separate blog post about why it’s so hard to make a scary movie you can read here. After many revisions and arguments in class Mr. Hughes was inspired by some of our chaotic ideas. With time running out he wrote us a rough outline for a movie about being canceled and we decided to run with it.


Planning is the most important step in any project. The class was assigning roles, creating lists and writing. My role in this movie was essentially to do whatever was needed. During the planning phase Noah and I worked together to get everything we needed surrounding sound and grip. The hardest part of our job wasn’t deciding what was needed for the movie. Communicating with a class of 20 ish people was much harder. Even when I was within 25 feet of the whole group me and the director both made the same to-do list and published it in the calendar. Effectively it was a complete waste of time for one of us. This might have been foreshadowing for the rest of the project.

I arrived at loon lake excited to see what we could do in such a short time. At loon lake I was helping with everything. I was a camera man, sound recorder, script revisor and equipment runner. Anders and I decided to bring a drone to loon lake as well. We thought that having drone shots would add to the credibility of our movie by making it seem more professional. Unfortunately the lack of service meant that I ended up doing a lot more problem solving than I did drone flying. The end product of our drone shots added to the movie so it was worth it. Our short time limit for filming at loon lake was really stressful and brought out a lot of anger and frustration from the group. Despite that we finished almost everything we thought we needed and returned home.

The editing phase begun and our short comings and crucial mistakes were revealed. The biggest problem with the film was its continuity. Things didn’t seem to follow and make sense. I think that because of how scary a horror movie can be I forgot how much set up and tension building has to be done to make it flow right. I already had learned this from the haunted house in Seattle. I mentioned in the blog post linked above that the Scariest part of the haunted house was the tension built up before I went around the corner. My biggest takeaway from our process of film making was that I needed to spend more time writing the less memorable parts of the movie so that the scary parts made sense. Planning things like exactly what angles of shots was also something left out which could have helped speed up the filming giving us time to get more shots for our editors.

So after all this work, learning and challenges what was the purpose of the project and how have I answered the driving question? Why is horror an effective way to reflect and comment on our society? I think my answer is even in this blog post. Horror is such an effective median for two reasons. One is how universal horror is. Like I mentioned above their are many common tropes and themes in every horror movie and this is because all humans have similar fears. This makes horror a easy way to connect lots of very different people. The second reason horror is an effective canvas is because of how it’s easy to fit modern ideas from society into films. We did just that by using being canceled as the origin story for our killer. These two things let’s horror movies effectively comment and reflect on society’s. Outside of answering the driving question this project has taught me a lot. Regarding making a film I have a much better understanding of the challenges that communicating and planning bring. My better understanding of how powerful fear can be has given me more insight into how some leaders can use fear to control almost anyone. Overall this project was one of my favourites despite how frustrated or challenged I was at times. I am excited for what will come next.