Research into editing a professional Horror text by sean welsh


There are a plethora of aspects of editing and techniques, that if used effectively, create a suspenseful, engaging and thrilling atmosphere horror text. Out of all of these aspects and techniques sound is the most important and effective. A mix of diegetic and non-diegetic sound, if used effectively, will create a conventional horror atmosphere and is the key factor to creating tension. While a shot that is filled with violence will engage the audience, it is more engaging to the audience if detailed sound is used as they are using more senses and as a result it immerses them more into the film. An example of where sound can be edited to create an effective atmosphere is when during post production sound can be made to be played in one ear. This is an effective way in making a sound seem faint and far away. This can be done in software such as Premiere Pro with the audio mixer, as shown in the photo above, where you can set the sound to play in the left stereo or right stereo.


There are two main pieces of editing for changing the colour of a film: Colour grading and colour correction. Colour Grading – this is where the colours of a film are enhanced so the colours black, red and green can be made darker or lighter. Colour grading typically used horror movies as it is more effective in creating an atmosphere than just the use of colour correction. Colour Correction – this example of editing is used when only a specific colour in a film is changed to make it look more clean and appealing. Colour correction is done by using curves which change the colour spectrum of the film. These curves can be changed in size in order to make a colour look brighter or darker and change the saturation of the piece.


Given the nature of perspective it is really more of a element of cinematography, meaning that it is typically by the director of photography and the director themselves, however, it can also be done in post production. Camera movement and movement of camera angles, such as rotations and zooms, can change the atmosphere and inflict different emotions onto the audience. An example of an effective change in perspective can be found in the title sequence of Insidious where the perspective is changed as the image twists 180 degrees to reveal that the circular light is actually a hanging light in a child’s bedroom. This twisting motion of the camera suggests that the world is out of kilter and all is not that good within the house, connoting the supernatural presence in the film demonstrating that it is a horror film and leaves the audience with a sense of foreboding from very early on.

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