Scream Horror Magazine

Guide for Studying Directors: 5 Tips and Tricks for Filming a Horror Movie

Posted on: September 12th, 2021

Being a student can be tough. But, at the same time, it is one of the most exciting points in every person’s life, especially if we are talking about students who major in such creative fields as directing.

When you are a future director still studying at college, you are going to face lots of challenging but interesting filming projects.

A rather common task for student directors is filming a horror movie. Though such projects can be rather time-consuming, not leaving you any free time for other, less exciting tasks like essay writing, they teach you better than any lectures, providing hands-on experience in your field and challenging you to unleash your creative potential. Thus, it is well worth it to get help at write my essay for me by EssayService and dedicate all your time to filming. And, in this article, we are going to tell you about some tips and tricks that will help you handle the project right. Let’s dive in!

Hook Your Audience Right Away
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when shooting a horror movie is to make the intro part too long. This genre requires a very solid dynamic and lots of action in order to keep the audience thrilled and engaged throughout the entire film. So, the first tip we’d like to give you is to hook the audience as early as possible.

To do this, make sure you don’t make the introductory scenes too long and actionless. Quickly introduce the main characters and ideas. Then take your audience straight to the action in order to make your film dynamic and set the right tone right away.

Enhance the Frightening Effect Using Haze
This is probably one of the most widely-used tricks in cinematography when there is a need to create a thrilling and scary atmosphere in a film. It is generally believed that adding a fair amount of haze or fog helps to add more texture to the movie scenes, and it especially comes in handy in horror movies.

Ideally, you should use a fog machine or a hazer. However, in case you don’t have it (which is not very surprising), you could rely on the right weather.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Coloured Gels
These days collared gels may not be a big trend in cinematography. However, when it comes to dark genres, they are still effective.

If you look at some of the most known scary movies of the past and present, you can notice how directors used colour to create the needed mood in many of them. And you can do the same.

In horror movies, coloured gels, especially red ones, can help you add style and make your audience feel even more thrilled when they are watching the movie. The only thing to remember if you use this trick is that you should find the right way to use gels so that they don’t bleed over actors’ faces. Otherwise, the image will be unclear. But don’t be afraid to experiment.

Try Shooting Through Different Objects
If you are familiar with the genre well, you should’ve already noticed that it is in horror movies where directors love relying on extreme close-ups. What is more, in this genre, you can always find these close-ups to be shot through various objects such as mirrors, windows, etc. And this is one more trick you can use for your projects.

This trick is so effective because it helps directors indicate a fuller spectrum of the authors’ emotions by showing their faces really closely. Also, the same trick is used to demonstrate that there is someone apart from the character watching them. This helps make scenes even more intense and terrifying.

Shoot in Familiar Locations but Make Them Look Scary
Often, the creators of horror movies use time-beaten, cliche locations like cemeteries, old castles, and abandoned houses. Of course, such locations do set the right tone for this genre. But, the real mastery is when you can shoot scenes in absolutely normal, everyday locations and make them look spooky.

So, here is one more trick – try adapting regular locations like schools, backyards, malls, and others to make them look scary. First of all, this will be a challenge for you, which will help you boost your professional skills. And, secondly, this trick will help your audience picture themselves in the middle of the action easier, which is extremely important in horror movies.

The Bottom Line
When shooting a horror movie, you should keep in mind several main keys to success. First of all, such films have to have the right mood and tone to give the audience shivers and fully immerse them into the atmosphere of the film. Secondly, a good movie should rely heavily on such vital elements as plot points, twists and turns, and dialogue. However, since you are a future director, your role is to wrap up everything in a good picture that delivers the right experience to the audience.

Now, after reading this article, you already know about the main tricks used in horror cinematography. With the help of our tips, you should be able to shoot awesome movies that can’t help but thrill the viewers. Use these tricks for your college projects to gain a solid grounding for your future career!

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