Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Ring Webpage Deconstruction

The loading screen for the website of 'The Ring' shows pulsing circles around the title of the film. This immediately shows the importance of the rings within the film and draws in the audience as it may conjure curiousities about its significance. The production information is at the bottom of the page, showing the audience which companies were involved in the making of the film so that the audience might be broadened by viewers that liked other productions by the companies.This institutional information and the title are both coloured white, as are the loading rings, making the bright red text encouraging the audience to buy the DVD even more pronounced. This text is also bold and capitalised to catch the viewers' eye so that as many copies of the movie are sold as possible. It also suggests an importance in the purchase of the DVD, with a link to the information site about the video and DVD on sale. The background is black, so that there is little to look at except the loading animation.

The simplistic loading screen is followed by a photo of a girl in a mirror, which gets larger and seems to comes closer to the screen in a predatory way. This foreshadows a key concept within the movie, of the idea of something coming out of a screen. The photo uses low level lighting and black and white hues to create an ominous and threatening tone. The girl has long black hair which obscures most of her face, creating a sense of mystery about her identity and perhaps more fear. She is in a white dress, but the other colouring of the image and the girl's unnatural position undoes any usual connotations of innocence or purity that might usually accompany the colour white. The background remains black, as it does throughout the website. This could reflect the eerie nature of the movie, while also alluding to the genre as horror.

Contrasting with the previously slow animations, the intro to the webpage shows lots of quick shots from the movie, coupled with flickering that is often linked with old or corrupt videotapes. The contrast with the previous rhythm of the webpage creates more shock and fear from the audience. The shots are mainly black and white with a high contrast to add to their eerie scenes, such as something coming out of a mouth and some writing that repeats "mirror". As well as the contrast, editing such as flashes of negative and juddering have been added to make the shots all appear uncomfortable and unnatural. A shot is also briefly seen of a blonde woman screaming, suggesting that she may be the main character as she is one of the only shots that contains colour. The tagline of the film also flashes up, stating that "before you die, you see", before another animation of a ring with the title "The Ring" inside it comes up. The font of the tagline is capitalised and blunt, reflecting the harsh deaths that occur in the film. An echoing effect is also used on the writing that makes the same words repeat slightly larger behind the originals, creating more unease.

After the introduction, the main page of the website comes up. This is crowded with animations and text, perhaps aiming to slightly disorientate and confuse the audience in order to incite more curiousity and thus make them more likely to see the movie. The institutional information and red text encouraging purchase are both still at the bottom. There is also an option to watch the trailer for the film, in front of an image of a ring to keep a consistent theme. Most of the page is taken up by the animations and images, including a scrawled circle, a well and a tree silhouette. Most of the images seem to be in the style of doodles or childrens' drawings, as they are untidy. The images are also animated, and they often flash or glow red before seeming to shrink away or grow. There are some scrawled words, which are also animated. These notes could suggest someone trying to figure out the events of the film, inciting interest from the audience as they want to discover the truth together with the characters, linking to the Uses and Gratifications Theory of audiences consuming media products.

The background is somewhat covered by typed text, referring to therapy. This all suggests some of the content of the film, such as the idea of madness or the involvement of children, but leaves most of the narrative a complete mystery in order to make the audience want to watch it. The image of the well is the sharpest image, suggesting its significance to the narrative.The text hyperlinks are in capital letters, underlined in red in order to show their importance while also creating connotations of fear or danger. There are options to see 'Downloads', 'Behind The Scenes', 'Notes' and 'Image Gallery', aiming to interest audiences with other pieces of information about the making of the film or the ease of access in order to get them to watch it. Strange eerie noises play in the background of the main webpage, with odd shrill noises that all act to make the audience feel discomfort and foreboding.

As well as the main hyperlinks, most of the animations on the front page can be clicked and pop-ups with appear with clips or images linked to the movie. These pop-ups follow the theme of the narrative, as they have titles such as 'don't watch this' or '...'. These seem to break somewhat from the expected internet browser so can suggest the power of whatever is involved in the narrative, while also creating more uncertainty. The pop-up images are slightly animated and when hovered over, one part of the image becomes brighter than the others, and when clicked another image will appear. This trail can be followed, allowing the audience to discover more things and feel more involved in the story, therefore becoming more likely to want to watch the film. Their involvement also suggests the journey that the protagonist may set out on throughout the movie. The use of mirrors and childrens' drawings are repeated, reflecting their importance. The same eerie soundtrack is played during these pop-ups.

When the main hyperlinks are pressed, the information appears in the main window. As the information appears, more animation hyperlinks appear, allowing more to be seen. This encourages the viewer to continue looking throughout the entire website, making them more likely to become interested in watching the actual movie. The entire website uses a sense of uneasiness coupled with mystery to interest audiences, revealing key concepts from the movie but keeping most elements hidden. The site is also heavily based on the main theme of the movie, videotapes, to create an identity for the movie.

This webpage has shown us the importance of incorporating animations, even if only small, and a welcoming page in our official film website.


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