The horror film has been traditionally defined by shocking slasher films like Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s made a killing (pardon the pun) on edge-of-your-seat supernatural terrors such as Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring.
Believe it or not, corporate videos can learn a lot from these spooky, gruesome cinematic tales.
Here are just a few lessons.
Source a good director
We love a good horror film as much as the next guy, but let’s face it, many had some seriously questionable directing. Some of the worst films of all time, despite their best efforts, are from this genre: for every John Carpenter or William Friedkin, there’s a Tom Six or a Uwe Boll.
Being a good director is all about taking responsibility and accountability. A good director will make the stylistic decisions that make your video aesthetically beautiful and balance every aspect of the production process along the way. In other words, you need a distinct vision, and for that, you need a distinctive director.
Lighting is Key
Haven’t we all shouted, “turn the lights on!” at the young girl on the movie screen wandering down to the basement in the dead of night?
If you’re on your way to making a Corporate Video, dark and obscuring atmospheric lighting is not favourable. Our eyes tend to fill the gaps of what’s missing: the power of lighting is that what your imagination comes up with is much scarier than the reality.
Of course, the opposite is also sometimes true: in Mulholland Drive, David Lynch used extremely bright daytime lighting as an ironic contrast to his ‘living nightmare’ – which, for those too scared to click, can only be described as an extremely grotesque, charred trash monster that comes out of nowhere.
We know that horror is NOTHING without great sound design.
A good soundtrack and an awesome sound design and you’re on your way to Terrortown.
Well, corporate filmmakers can learn a trick or two from this. Whilst we generally don’t want the audience thinking ‘Who will survive and what will be left of them’, music and a great soundscape can help drive a piece towards its destination and influence the viewer’s perception. Overall, great audio can really bring an idea to life.
Location is very important
An abandoned (and obviously haunted) house would be a great location for a horror film, but not if you’re filming an interview with the CEO of your company.
You’re probably going to want to choose something warm and professional – the devil, after all, is in the detail.