Shooting a Movie Genre: Horror

Horror films, as a movie genre, are challenging to make. There is a thin line of what makes a film scary as compared to being gory. It allows filmmakers to unleash their creativity and gain experience. There is no solid or steadfast set of rules or tips with making horror films, but the following are a few steps in making the experience less distressing.

Step 1: Write the Script

Filmmakers can choose to write their own or buy ready made scripts. It is important to choose what to include in the script. The script is considered the backbone of any good movie. Horror films are normally filled with blood and gore, but without a plot to base the story on and credible characters, the audience will easily lose interest. Another important consideration is the dialogue in the film. The dialogue or lack of it can also help set or break the mood. In comparison to other genres, scenes with no dialogue are beneficial in horror films as the silence leaves much to the audience's imagination.

Step 2: Consider the Budget

Determine the budget that can to be used while making the film. It is possible to make low-budget horror films that become successful. It is all about making the audience jump off their seats. Doing an estimate on the resources available for the film can determine the amount of time and effects that can be done.

Step 3: Create a Detailed Shot List

Horror films are comparable to action films in terms of the stunts, effects and blood involved. When working with blood, filmmakers will need to consider the physics of how this type of liquid works and falls. It requires some practice and skill to successfully determine how to control the spray and movement of blood. Working with blood is also a messy business. Making multiple takes of a single scene can be a time consuming process, as the crew will need to clean up the blood off the costume and the scene for each take. Do test shots to determine where the camera should be placed to effectively take the shot.
 
Step 4: Create the Mood

Select a location that is credible as being scary yet easily accessible. Setting up the shot in a dark part of the woods, a creepy looking house or a basement can help set the mood of a horror film. There are a variety of shots that are effective in horror films. One involves shooting the scenes from the killer or monster's point of view. Horror films also rely on the idea of seeing something unexpected. Having a hand shoot out of the cabinet to strangle the subject is one example. It helps create the effect that no place is safe.

Step 5: Edit the Movie

How the film is edited is important in horror films. It requires precise editing to surprise or scare the audience. The allocated amount of time for each shot can help determine the pace. Quick shots of stabs and other violent acts add to the realism of the story. Adding background noise and music can effectively heighten the sense of fear in certain scenes.