Hi, I'm an AS Media student, and this blog contains research into the different aspects of film and media, specializing in the Slasher genre. The research has all been put towards the development of my coursework production 'Camp Ivy', which I co-produced with Poppy and Millie. Our coursework has been influenced by the rural locations and mise-en-scene in Friday the 13th and Eden Lake.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Slasher EG7: Psycho

Psycho Poster
Psycho poster
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
PRODUCED BY: Shamley Productions.
DISTRIBUTED BY: Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Pioneer Entertainment (click here to see the full list).
BUDGET: $807k.
RATINGS: 8.6 (IMDb).

'Psycho' title
The film was made in black and white, which was unusual for films created in the 60's. This was because the black and white acted as a censorship from the graphics of the blood. If the film had been in colour, it may not have got a cinema release due to the gore. The film was rated X, which, in those days, would have been worse than an 18. The ident of Panorama appears, and this is the only
one. The first credit that appears is 'Alfred Hitchcock's' then 'Psycho' , but the directors name appears before the movie title. The font in which the credits are run is a serif font, which is slashed to signify a split personality. Janet Leigh, starring as Marion Crane'. This tells the audience that this actor is a major star and is the most important character in the film. Credits to the backstage crew begin, and Bernard Herrmann's name appears. Herrmann was a very famous Hollywood film musician, and notoriously known for his Psycho soundtrack. He used long notes which, unconsciously, makes you hold your breath. On top of these notes, he used high pitched fast notes, which, unconsciously  speeds up your heart beat. These effects make you feel tense, and therefore scared. After all the credits appeared, 'Directed by Alfred Hitchcock' appears once more, reflecting the auteur theory. The credits stop at 1:50.
The major characters credits appear singularly and the minor characters credits appear grouped. The last actor credit that appears is 'And
Media Language:
  • The first shot is an establishing extreme long shot of a city. It is also a birds eye shot, and a denotation.
  • Text then appears, providing exposition. The location (Pheonix, Arizona), date (Friday 11th December) and time (2:43pm) appear.
  • The camera acts as a 'hand of fate'. This is done by the panning shot, and how it focuses on a window, picking one person out of an entire city. This signifies how real the setting is, and how what eventually happens could happen to anyone. 
  • The transitions used are smooth cross dissolves.
  • The first character we see is a woman laying down on a bed, with a man standing over her, with use of narrative enigma here as we do not see his face. Because we can only fully see the woman, this signifies she is more important than the man. This interpretation anchored by the use of a high angled long shot.
  • The way she is laying down and the fact that the man is putting on a shirt signifies she is sexually active and that the pair have just had sex. She is blonde and busty, which also signifies she is the scream queen of the film.
  • The mise-en-scene is dark, except the woman who is in a bright white night slip, which again signifies she is important.

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