After six weeks of intense shooting, Johnson called on Orthwein regarding the editorial, colorist project. Orthwein has performed editorial duties on a number of independent films and co-directed Bokeh , a well-received indie film. After seeing the initial cut, I knew it was a project I wanted to be a part of. One which added scenes that resemble a play combined with joltingly intense and emotional scenes that would slowly take the audience to heightened level of sadness when the final credits rolled.
Since Johnson and Crosignani had used Arri Alexa cameras to capture the content, Orthwein carefully followed best DI practices so the filmmakers had the flexibility of distributing Savage Youth in high-quality digital or film formats. The conform from Final Cut Pro X was nearly seamless, with only a few scaling adjustments to be made on a handful of shots.
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This included color correction and the generation of artistic color effects to carefully tweak the content to optimize what had been captured by the camera. The sticky, grime of a humid midwestern summer, the cold isolation of the morning after, or the all-too-real consequences of jealousy, anger and misunderstanding become palpable in the color grade. We were able to convey the color meaning, how it affects the mood of the work and how the audience interprets the film.
Throughout the DI process there was a regular backup process. With all the primary media on the high-performance ThunderBay Mini, there were hourly backups of project files copied to two external sources … just in case. There's never a bottleneck during the grading or for any of my projects. These elements have been edited, sifted, ordered and embellished to tell you a story. Ghost stories, such as the accounts of paranormal story collector, Mark Nesbitt of Gettysburg, tell a shorter story of witnessed events that happen randomly and without a plot climax.
Footsteps are heard. Plates are moved. Voices whisper over amplifiers. Sometimes ghosts are seen. It never climaxes or turns malevolent. Then you have the long story of the demonic haunting, which takes place as I described above. Most stories of demonic hauntings are exaggerated or completely fictional. I find many of the details sensational, usually not backed up by the account of events and without verification.
We just share them, whether true or not. Their stories were edited, changed to make good television. No rising climax.
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No great battle of good and evil. Stuff happens. Then it does.
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Many sincere paranormal investigators lament this. The stories start out with lighter paranormal events and just exaggerate. As Bill Reap of Reap Investigation said on a recent episode:.
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He was a bad-ass in life. Always causing trouble. Bill is the founder of the Pennsylvania paranormal investigation group, R. In a recent interview for the show website, Bill shares his insight into how the ghost story has changed. There is more of a scare at their core or foundational scare. When I approach someone who worked with one of these television shows, I am often treated with suspicion and apprehension.
Many victims of hauntings see their involvement as financial windfalls, and they go off to write a book about their story, cashing in on a growing market. Their dreams come true when a cable channel asks them to tell their story, and they recklessly trust the producers with their reputations. Producers take liberties to dramatize their stories. They create events on the visual version that follow up the testimony of the authors, and the audience infers that these events are being told by the author.
For example, the author can talk about a cleansing ritual being done—another common element in the pattern of story. Doors slam.
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People are thrown about. Demonic faces gnash at the family. We assume the narrator confirms that these things happened. The authors have no idea this was added, and their credibility is wounded as skeptics rip into the exaggerated narrative. For the authors reading this article, these elements should form the basis of your narrative, though you should know where to vary in order to create a unique story.
It always starts with a family of unsuspecting people moving in to some old house in a small town, either starting out a life or recovering from some destabilizing event such as divorce or flood. The family is usually innocent, casually religious and neither believes or disbelieves in the supernatural; though, by the end of the story, their emotional journey makes them into believers and opens their minds to a greater universe.
A series of small and unexplainable events begin to occur such as phantom footsteps, doors closing, strange voices that is shrugged off by the family. These then begin to escalate to reveal an evil presence seeking to harm the family.
They present classic demonic elements such as shadow figures, claw marks, foul smells, threats of death, strange creatures, usually focusing on some young and vulnerable member of the family. At some point, a curious family member seeks answers and somehow finds specific evidence of tragedy about the property. Tragedy always gets the blame for haunted sites.
Finally, driven by desperation, the family seeks the help of a paranormal investigation group that then comes in with their gadgets, gathers evidence and then announces the presence of a demon. The family is then referred to some religious group or element that comes in, does some sort of blessing or exorcism triggering a violent war.
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At the end of this cleansing, either the house is free of its possessing elements or the family is driven out. These stories thrive on discovery a clandestine logic that drives the haunting. Why is the spirit doing these things? Nearly every dramatized ghost story follows this pattern. I keep hearing from serious ghost hunters how it has changed what they do, even endangering people who believe they are the subjects of a haunting. I talked to Bill about how cable television has changed the nature of paranormal investigation.
Life interprets art and influences the way that investigation is done. I believe the media influences families responses because they have main-streamed the events and made it more acceptable. Does it make the situation more dangerous? The family itself can make things worse or an inexperienced team can make things worse and the family itself can also worsen the situation. As professional authors, we must be tuned into changes in the market.
The genre has changed as the cinema and cable popularize the concept of the true ghost story, though often the final versions of these stories have been dramatized near to the point of fiction. If authors hope to contribute successful narratives to this field, they must be aware of the current trend of story elements audiences expect in the modern ghost story.
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Only stories based on narratives that possess specific elements and a verisimilitude will prove successful. They want to believe it too. Fox Dunham lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Allison.
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