Where did you get your idea?
I initially got this idea when I was making my Vox Pop earlier in the year, my Vox Pop was based around the Horror B-Movie genre. As I researched these films for the project I began to get more and more interested in the films. And gradually the idea began to form in my mind, of creating my own send up of the genre.
What did you want to explore?
When looking at the trailers for these movies and watching reviews of the films online, I found that many of them resorted to similar tropes. While some of this can be considered Scene a Faire, there were many cases where films especially the trailers, were literal carbon copies of one another, barring a few outliers such as ‘The Monolith Monsters’
Seeing the blatant plagiarism that these movies got away with, along with the cheap practical and special effects they used on the low budget that they often had. I wanted to explore these traits, however I knew that making a full length movie would be too time consuming and not practical in the amount of time we had until the deadline. That’s why I decided making a trailer would be a better option as it would be easier with the time constraints but would also allow me to explore the themes and styles that the 50’s monster genre was known for.
What is your personal point of view?
In my point of view I think this is an interesting project, however I am worried that it may be quite difficult to complete. I’ll have to learn how to use a lot of different programs and skills in order to complete this and I worry that I won’t have enough time. Luckily the script is quite short, so the actual filming portion of the project shouldn’t take very long.
What is your creative point of view?
I think it’s going to be a very fun project to work on. I look forward to learning how to use After Effects and the Green Screen and I think the editing process is going to be a great learning experience for me. I think that 50’s B movies have a certain charm to them and I look forward to attempt to recreate them in my project.
What’s your professional point of view?
From a professional point of view I think this will be a very challenging project. I’ll have to manage my time efficiently if I want to be sure that I’ll get it finished on time. It’s going to be risky, using techniques that I am unfamiliar with for my FMP, as there is a god chance that something could go wrong and I’ll have to start from scratch. However, if the risk pays off, I’ll have created perhaps my best video yet.
Is there a topic?
Not particularly, as it’s a parody there isn’t a serious message that the movie is trying to get across. I suppose you could say that it’s a parody of the Nuclear Fear that captured the American Film Industry during the Cold War, where often the moral of the story boiled down to ‘Don’t mess with Nuclear energy’
Is there an issue you wanted to address?
There isn’t really any particular issue I wanted to address when making the film. I just wanted to make a fun parody without trying to hide some kind of political agenda in it. At most you could say that there is a message about the dangers of Nuclear Waste in the film, however this is going off of a single line in the trailer and is really just grasping at straws.
What research did you carry out?
For my project, I looked at several different B-Movie trailers, these included trailers for: ‘Attack of the Crab Monsters’
‘The Monster that Challenged the World’
‘The Creeping Terror’
I also looked at an online review group known as ‘Dark Corner Reviews’ who specialize in reviewing old B-Movie horror flicks
Did you look at certain films? And what were they?
Aside from the films I mentioned above, one of the big influences of my film was ‘The Monster that Challenged the World’ It was the inspiration behind the title of my film, and was a large part of what inspired me to make it, as I had watched its trailer while researching my Vox Pop.
The Creeping Terror was another film I looked heavily at. Mainly because of the cheap effects it used. This was due to the the fact that The Creeping Terror may be an insurance scam, where the director spent as little money as possible and ensured the movie bombed so that he could run away with the insurance money. This meant that the film looked very cheap, with poor effects all round. I wanted to emulate this style in my trailer
Did you look at the work of certain film director? Or maybe painters, photographers?
As I was making a B-movie parody, I looked into the work of the actors who starred in them a lot, such as Bela Lugosi or Peter Cushing. These two are some of the biggest stars in the B-movie scene, or were before their passing. Looking at their movies gave me an idea of how films of the time were marketed, shot and edited. Which helped when it came to making my own film.
What are your influences?
For this project, a lot of my influences came from B Movies, the monsters they starred and the actors that played rolls in them.
Monster like Godzilla and Gorgo played a part in helping me come up with my idea, though the reptilian monsters didn’t match the monster I chose for my film, they did inspire me when it came to the idea of a giant monster destroying a city
The Film ‘The Monster that Challenged the World’ also played a part in inspiring me, mainly the title, as my film is called ‘The Creature that Changed the World’ as a small homage to the movie
Actors who inspired me, and who regularly appeared in such films were people like Peter Cushing and Bela Lugosi, who have become famous in the film industry. Cushing for his performance as Grand Moff Tarkin in the Star Wars series and Lugosi for his performance as Count Dracula in the 1931 Dracula film
Are there particular approaches to editing, filming, narrative, sets, props, sound, music you feel you’re attracted to?
Before I began filming I had been looking a lot into the Thunderbirds series as well as the Prequel Star Wars trilogy. One thing that I was very interested in was their use of miniatures for a lot of the scenes. Thunderbirds was almost entirely made up out of miniature sets as it was a puppet show, while the Prequels used them in a very clever way, the small sets were constructed to keep cost down and then a blue screen was used to super-impose the actors into the scene. The technique was used to great effect and a lot of the time people didn’t realize that the actors weren’t actually standing in places like the Geonosian Arena.
Where there any financial constraints on your film-making?
The main financial constraint came from me not wanting to part with any money, in the end, I didn’t spend any money for my film, which means all of the effects that I used, such as the cardboard city in which some of the action takes place looks very shoddy. Partly because of the uneven ground the base was placed on, partly to give room for the Cat to move around inside of it with ease and mostly because a lot of the cardboard remains undecorated. So while I saved money on the production of the film, the overall quality of it may have ended up falling.
What genre is your film?
As it is a parody trailer for a 50’s monster movie type of film it falls squarely into the Comedy genre, although you could make a case for the monster element putting the film partially in the Horror genre, I don’t think that is a legitimate argument however, as it is clearly a parody, the effects and over acting of the cast show this and I doubt very many people will find it scary.
Who’s your audience?
The target audience for this film would be people who are a fan of the comedy genre, as this film is meant to be a parody of monster movies from the 50’s and 60’s. Secondary Audiences would be people who enjoy those kinds of monster films and other niche markets like that, as, while films from the era often tended to be cheap cashgrabs, the films themselves have earned somewhat of a cult following over the years.
Is there any narrative theory associated with your film?
If my FMP were a full length film, then it would follow a basic narrative theory like Todorov’s theory of Equilibrium. However due to the fact that I am simply making a trailer for a film, it will not properly follow a narrative theory, as a trailers goal is to make people interested in the picture and so they tend to showcase scenes from the film in no particular order, generally the more action heavy ones, in order to draw in a crowd.
What methods and tools that you’re using?
When it comes to the editing I am using Adobe Premiere Pro CC, using tools inside the program such as the razor, to make cuts in the footage where I deem necessary, as well as Keying to get rid of the green-screen in the background of a lot of the shots. I also use a lock tool when I want to keep an audio/video segment, but don’t want the attached video/audio. I hope to use Adobe After Effects CC later on for one or two shots, but haven’t got around to it yet.
When it comes to the technical side of things, I used a Panasonic Camcorder for filming at college, and a Canon 6D DSLR for filming at home. I used a Green-screen at college while recording some of the footage for the film as well as a Zoom for recording the audio for the Narrator.
And – importantly – what are your aims and ambitions in the project?
To learn how to better use editing programs such as After Effects, more complex editing techniques that I haven’t had the chance to try yet, such as using a Green-screen. Improve my capture of audio so that I don’t have to worry about having to capture it again and so that I can prevent anything from going wrong while capturing it.
And …what skills have you challenged?
This project has challenged me in various ways. I’ve had to learn how to use Adobe After Effects CC in order to create some of the effects in my film. I’ve also had to learn how to use a green screen to add a background in where there otherwise wouldn’t be one. This is something I’ve never done before, so it was very challenging. I ran into a lot of issues, such as difficulty balancing the audio so that everything could be heard, getting the green-screen to erase the entire background and just getting the effects in Adobe After Effects to work properly.
“Dracula (1931) Official Trailer #1 – Bela Lugosi Movie”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.
“Gorgo Trailer”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.
“Godzilla 1954 Trailer”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.
“The Monster That Challenged World Trailer”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.
“Attack Of The Crab Monsters Trailer”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.
“The Monolith Monsters | Trailer | 1957”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.
“The Creeping Terror (1964) Trailer”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.