Undergraduate Honors Thesis
The Unseen Threat Public Deposited
My thesis centers around horror productions and the concept of fear, highlighting the role it plays in the relationship between filmmakers and their audience. Through my research, I hope to explore the ways that horror productions strategically restrict an audience's sense of sight and sound to control the perception of a story, and invoke a physical sensation of fear within the viewer. Throughout this film and essay, I will explore why fear is an effective sensation to exploit for engaging an audience, and how to successfully achieve this exploitation.
The film will be a fictional horror short that will utilize the production techniques and horror tropes discussed in the essay. Additionally, elements of the narrative will be used to emphasize and reflect on themes of fear. The goal of the film will be to recreate and demonstrate the production techniques found in the research, while telling a story that explores fear from a contemporary philosophical standpoint.
The film’s narrative will center around a young woman with a secret, but severe phobia, who is forced to come face to face with the very thing that haunts her, in order to escape her own delusions. The woman’s environment will invoke a similar sense of fear in her, that the film should invoke in the audience, by having the protagonist’s own perception of sight and sound become more distorted and disorienting as the film progresses. The protagonist’s relationship to the production is similar to that of the audience, where perception and emotions are at the mercy of the filmmaker in both cases. Because of this, certain elements of the protagonist’s experience in the film will be a reflection of the people’s experience in the audience themselves. This will provide a chance to draw strong connections between the audience and the protagonist, while utilizing the production techniques found in my research.
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