Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2020

Faculty Advisor(s)

Sam Risak


The purpose of the short film “Boo” is to utilize cinematic techniques and psychological fears to create an effective jump scare. The goal is to create suspense through the use of sound, a dark setting, numerous camera angles, and video editing. Christian Gillion, a psychophysiologist points out that “when I make subjects anxious and then I startle them, the startle reflex can be increased by 100 to 300 percent.” By building the scene and focusing on the small details of the film, whether you are expecting the scare or not, it will be effective. Incorporating jump scares shines light into real life fears that occur today when we least expect it. Startling events pop up, like the Coronavirus, and distract us from our daily activities. My film provokes an emotional response as I capture an average day and then a jump scare appears shaking up the character in the film and the audience as they are not expecting it. I am using inspiration from the movie Lights Out as the director David Sandberg uses darkness and silence to create multiple effective jump scares. My film is intended for a wide audience of students and adults, in hopes they all walk away unknowing what fearful real life event could pop up at any point in their own lives.


Presented at the Spring 2020 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.