Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Feedback from S1-22 on final cut

We thought that S1-23's rough cut was of a good standard already and we thought not many improvements needed to be made. The ident at the beginning we thought looked more professional and set the scene well. The credits font colour looked better as they can be easily read and they appeared on the scene for a good amount of time. I think that they successfully fulfilled the task.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Final Version of Anonymous

The changes we made from the first were only the credits and the ident as it was perceived as too cheerful for the thriller conventions.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Reactions to feedback

We agreed with the praise to our film however there were a few point that we had already realised and have changed in our final cut such as the titles being green and hard to see as now we have changed them to red making it much easier to read them.
We disagree strongly with the group that said it looked more like a trailer as it looks nothing like one as most trailers have some sort of narrative and review comments etc. which we didn't have any of and it was in a linear sequence which is never done in a trailer.
The criticisms of the soundtrack not going with the clips is confusing, the beat and pace of the music went well with the film sequence and the mood of the music was not "cheerful", as said by one group, it was neutral. It only provided suspense and additional pace to the film sequence.

S1-24 feedback

There was a good selection of camera angles and they are used effectively. One of the best shots was filming the reflection in the car.

It would of been better with some dialogue. The music worked well, it fitted the conventions of the thriller genre.

There was a clear protagonist and antagonist. The mise-en scene was used well to build tension through the clip. The tiles were good by making them blend in with the locations.

However the clip felt more like a trailer then a proper film opening.

s1 19 feedback

Overall your thriller opening was a very good and clear production. We thought your credits were very well edited. The chase scene was very well filmed as it used a good variety of camera shots and it was also clear fluent. It was also clear who the protagonist and antagonist were. Your ident was very good. The music you used effective and it helped build up suspense before and during the chase. Well done !!
first thing you notice about this opening is the really good use of credits. The credits are built in to the surroundings e.g. the main title is written across the gun. However, the credits were quite difficult to read as they were put across quickly and were in quite a hard font to read.

I felt the non-diegetic music did not relate to the theme as it was a bit up beat and happy for the thriller theme however the diegetic sounds of breathing and footsteps and the gun were used effectively.
the camera angles and editing are good as the film flows and is not jumpy as well as a variety of shots and angles creating an overall good opening

feebaack from s1-21

We found your thriller opening very exciting, including lots of action. This is good as it would leave the audience wanting moaaar. The way the credits appeared was extremely well as they fit into the type of thriller well, not making them centre of attention. However we think the music could have started earlier on and build up alot more at the end. Camera angles were thorght out well, especially the reflection of chris in the car. We also liked the use of the mask on philly, as it left him quite a mysterious charcter and use of the gun just added to the tention. *licky ass* Overall it has been well editing and constructed.

Feedback on Roughcut from S1-22

The use of sound was conventional to a thriller as the choice of music created tension and added suspense. The diegetic sound of Chris breathing was really effective as the range of sound types was creative.

The credits were really creative and worked well with the edits of the footage. However some of the font colours that were green were fairly difficult to read. We also thought some of the vertical angles made it hard to read quickly.

We thought the ending was really effective as the non-diegetic sound worked with the close-up of the gun. We like the 'Anonymous' title on the gun as it didn't look cheap. The POV shots were effective and they suited the type of sub-genre it was.

Monday, 8 March 2010

The film thriller trailer i watched was 'The interpreter', the music in this clip seems quite fast paced for most of it and at the end it slows down a bit like its waiting for more action or something important to happen, this creates suspense like the viewer is waiting for something bad to happen.

This is the poster for the film avatar, it is an action thriller, the poster first suggests the thriller genre to the audience with the darkness of the poster, most of the poster has quite a dark look to it. Also, it shows two different races and a different planet which shows mystery. Also, at the bottom of the picture there is fire, making the viewer wonder why it is on fire and it adds to the thriller genre idea. The facial expressions of the people are quite serious and his face is slightly dirty, showing that action has happened and this shows that it isn't a comedy or romantic film and gives off the impression that the film is thrilling. The action side of the thriller can be shown by the human like creature looking forwards like they have just been moving or are ready to move.
Im blogging about the filming which my group did before half term as i have been absent for 2 weeks. The footage that we took before i left looked good and we captured all the footage that we needed to. We also had a small bit of time to start editing. I am happy with the shots that we took as i think that we had a wide range of shots and we kept inside the thriller conventions. It shows Jamie's character to be unidentified and the shots all seem to work together, without any gaps between what is happening. Now i have seen the footage with all the editing done and the soundtrack added i think that it looks really good, the soundtrack goes well with the footage as well, for example when a shot is fired by the antagonist. The footage has been given a slight black and white look which i think adds effect to the opening and makes the opening seem more dark and thrilling.

Our thriller opening 'Anonymous'

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Evaluation Questions

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

5. How did you attract/address your audience?

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?

7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Monday, 1 March 2010

Target audience for our Thriller opening

Our target audience will be from young teenagers like 15 to adults 30ish, this is because it will appeal to different ages on different levels. For example teenagers will like it because it is quite jumpy and eerie and adults will also like it for this reason but also because it has clever filming and is a slightly different mix of genres than other films, making this film also quite appealing to movie buffs from that perspective. I think that the majority of people interested in this film will be male however there will still be large interest from females as well because the film is more jumpy then gory so it appeals to a wider range of people.
Films that the people who like our film would be like Friday the 13th and Halloween because the protagonist is wearing a mask with the intention to kill so in this aspect these films are similar, other films similar are something like Die hard or films like that were there is more chasing then fighting and everything is more tense.
The certificate for our thriller film will be a 15 because there is no extreme violence and it's not really scary, the only content that makes this film rate a 15 is because it is quite jumpy and contains elements that would be unsuitable for under 15's.

Analysis of Thriller trailers

Sorority Row - Trailer
Uploaded by dreadcentral. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

The clip I looked at was from Sorority row, the soundtrack used with the clip fits very well and adds a lot of tension. At the start the music is upbeat because everybody is happy while the narrator is setting the scene of the movie however as events take a turn for the worst when the girl gets killed, the music becomes quite dark and foreboding but still slow as the other girls think that they are in the clear. When someone starts killing all the other girls involved in the prank gone wrong and the shots become quite quick the music gets much quicker and bolder as the trailer comes to a climax, then its cuts out as a final bit of dialogue is heard, this emphasizes the dialogue if there is no music, making the audience pay more attention to it.

Friday, 26 February 2010

blog of the week response

They have loads of post which contain a lot of detail with relevant pictures which makes their blog look appealing. They have include a lot of detail, so all their ideas were clear.
All we can basically learn from these blogs is that the more detail the better and more pictures to illustrate the point.
We could improve our blogs by adding more pictures.

Monday, 22 February 2010

We have taken all these comments on board and these will help us refine our ideas to make our movie sequence better. There was a lot of comment that we would have problems with weather. This is irrelevant to us because we have already filmed and the weather was consistent.

some of the comments said we had to much detail but this is essential to be able to understand the shot types and all other elements of the planning the film sequence, not to keep the reader interested like a novel.

Feedback S1 24

Each 10 second interval was very descriptive, describing the action very well.
The mise on scene is not explained in great detail and this aspect could be improved.

They have met the conventions by making the film dark and thrilling.

On problem could be the weather and they should try and film all there opening sequence in one day so the weather will be the same in all clips.
This was extremely specific and detailed, however it was so long and became boring.
you included severe detail about what was hapening in the scene and you explained the shot types breifly.
You could improve by changing some of the detail about what was happening each second to talking abut the shot types and sound.

Feedback S1 20

One problem they might have during this, would be filming outside, as they will have to chose the right day as the weather may be bad on that particular day which can ruin the filming.
Also, they may struggle with the birds eye view shot as its shot from a very high view.
They seem to have a very strong idea about what they are going to achieve in the end and using the correct camera shots and music to fit the scene such as the point of view shot they are going to use for the killer, so the audience feel like they are seeing it from the killers eyes.


Feedback from s1-21;
The ten second breakdown was very descriptive, describing each second well. Their opening sequence flows well. Although filming outside for so much of the film may be difficult, as weather conditions might effect what they've planned. To solve this they should begin filming early to ensure if weather is bad then they have plenty of time to capture their footage. They have explored a variation of shot types well. When editing their footage it will be essential to put the heavy breathing, soundtrack and the right time of clip all at the same time may be difficult, but taking time of this part it could boost their grade. Straight away i could tell the theme of their thriller was action, i believe they have gone about this genre well, it is simple but effective.


Friday, 5 February 2010

Finalised Ideas

The first 10 second section is mainly just the ident but half way through we here heavy breathing which cuts in to an establishing shot of Chris running through the forest, this helps the audience know where the film is set. Chris will be wearing quite casual clothing but they will probably be dirty and ripped. The establishing shot will be a pan of the the location and character. It will be about dusk when will film to create an eerie atmosphere and because we cant get any filming done when it is completely dark.

In the second 10 second section Chris's foot steps down on the ground the scene slows down for a second and we start seeing the credits on his shoe, the credits continue throughout the next few scenes showing up on the print left in the mud by his shoe and other things like his arm and trees. After Chris' shoe leaves the shot the anatagonist Jamie's feet step up this shows the audience that Chris is being followed or chased. The next shot is of Chris running to a nearby tree and stopping shorty, more credits show up on his arm before he starts running again, this will be filmed as a medium shot probably so we can see all of Chris and were he is going off to.

In the third 10 second section we see Chris running off into the distance through trees over the shoulder of Jamie who is standing still just infront of the camera, this lets the audience know more about what is happening in the film as they can see that Chris is being chased by the mysterious hooded man played by Jamie. More titles will appear on Jamie's back before cutting to the next scene.

The fourth 10 second section starts with a long shot of Chris running then tripping over then a small pan shot to where he has fallen, the next scene we see Jamie appear from behind a tree and starts walking toward Chris. We have filmed this with a low angle sho to make Jamie seem more powerful and dominant. The camera then cuts to Chris on the floor from Jamie's point of view using a high angle handheld shot, the high angle is to show that Chris is the weaker character and has little control of what is happening and the handheld shot is to give a frenzied atmosphere when the killer is closest to the victim. At the last moment Chris manages to get up and run away, this builds up tension and suspense for the audience as they will want to know even more what happens to Chris.

The fifth 10 second section begins with a close up of a crisp packet which has the last bit of titles on it then Chris' foot quickly stamps on it, leaves are also thrown about by his footstep the audience now knows that Chris is really running now which adds to the suspense as the scene has sped up the pace. The next shot is another point of view handheld shot from Chris running then turning around to see the killer appear from a tree, this again gives a very fantic and frenzied feel, also the point of view shot involves the audience more which makes them feel more tense. There is then a long shot of Chris running across a quiet road, this again shows that the pace of the film is getting quicker and the tension is still building.

The sixth 10 second section we see Chris leaving the woods and running into the back of a car park dissappearing from sight as he goes past a skip, the camera then pans back to where Chris has just run from to see Jamie walking slowly in Chris' tracks with the gun held straight at arms length. This shows the audience that the chase could soon be over as the killer is getting ready to open fire on the protagonist.

In the seventh 10 second section we used a first person shooter shot from the point of view of the killer, so you can see down his arm and the gun. Chris runs past, diving between two cars and the killer just follows him with the gun this gives a feel that Chris is being hunted rather then chased as the killer is taking his time waiting for the perfect shot. In the next shot we see Chris' face in the reflection of a car, this reaction shot shows how scared he is, he then looks between the cars and sees Jamie walking past, this adds to the tension as Chris seems to be running out of places to hide.

The eighth 10 second section goes back to a long shot of Jamie walking past the cars, he then hears a twig snap and turns quickly round and the camera cuts to Chris running from the cars back to the skips. We then have a over the shoulder close up of Chris trying to dial 999 but there is no signal, this gives a feel that Chris is completely alone and helpless.

The final 10 second section has Chris cornered round the side of the metal containers and Jamie slowly walking up to him, we used a mixture of shots birds eye view and and medium shot, both include both the characters at the same time. This shows us that the hunt is coming to an end as they are so close to each other and Chris has no where else to hide, this is the most tense part of the opening as the audience knows that Chris could be killed now. Jamie sees Chris and swings his gun round to point at his head, we then give a close up of the side of the gun with the title of the film "Anonymous".

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Why ''Thrillers'' Thrive article

The article itself is a summary of why people go to see films. It points out that people enjoy films that have action, suspense and the way that it puts the audience in the position of the main character. The writer then went on to say that people do not enjoy the prospect of being taken away from their comforts of safety and used an example of people complaining about a thrills stall that had pillars falling above the person but stopping before causing any damage to the person. Whereas, in a cinema, the viewer knows subconsciously that they are safe, that their imagination can play tricks on them.

The article makes note of how the use of film enables the actual story feel more real for the audience, comparing the same scene done on a live stage to one that is done by film; the stage requires telling the audience everything that is not actually there on the stage is meant to be their, in this case it was crocodiles and the film just showed the crocodiles to the audience with more detail being used to create more reality to the audience yet the storyline is still fairly surreal.

There is then a comparison between thrillers and horror films. The writer states that he believes the producers of horror films have gone too far and that, because the producers realized about this they 'tone down' the product. This writer clearly believes that horror films are pointless and that thrillers are the way forward due to the reasons above.

Analysis on Why thrillers thrive

The article is about the contrast between horror films and thriller films and how thriller will outdo horror films. In the article the writer explains about how the thriller genre is much more substantial in quality with a deeper plot and less easy thrills that are more commonly used in the horror genre. The writer also explains about how the authenticity of thrillers is very important and because of this they will last longer than horrors. The writer complains about the excess in gore in the horror films backing up his point claiming that the general public don't like this over-the-top way of filming, these types of 'horrible' films that cause an 'unnatural thrill' are unoriginal and are usually toned down to become acceptable for the public.

The writer establishes between horrific and horrible in the horror genre, saying that a film may contain perversion, bestiality and to exploit sadism. In thrillers the rule is the more exciting the better but with horrors the aim is to scare horrify and freak out the audience this creates an unnatural liking for pain against others and inhuman acts against mankind.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Mise-en-Scene in The Thiller Opening

As our opening sequence of high pace and ultimately a chase scene, we had to choose locations with great thought. We discussed for a while where this would be best done for the film, and concluded that the area of the college where there is woodland and then large rubbish skips/ other large containers close by. This gives the opportunity for us to have a tense chase in a woodland that can disorientate and cause confusion, and the large 'abandoned' objects provide a good location for a sequence of cat and mouse scenes; in which the protagonist is hiding from the antagonist, and eventually the protagonist only just gets away.

This fits in quite well with the action/thriller conventions of setting, as it provides good area for a lot of action to take place, and is not in a crowded place. The lack of people in the area would provide, if we were able, availability to cause blockbuster explosions or other special effects. As the shooting will be done in winter, the scenery will lack bright colours, adding to the convention that thrillers are not widely colourful in presentation, as it would ruin the atmosphere of the film. It will also add to some of the feelings the audience will have when watching, as the location gives off a lonely vibe, with no one nearby to come and help if someone was to call out.

A shot of the woodland the protagonist will be chased through.

A shot of the woodland meeting urban areas, specifically, a rubbish site.

These shots are similar to several action/ thriller films, such as the scene in the James Bond film Casino Royal in the construction site. Although it's a longer chase then ours, and is more colourful (in order to go with the overall location where the chase scene is, Madegascar), the locations are similar in the fact that they are slightly different of everyday places, and our location and the Bond location is able to provide areas for action stunts and special effects.

Another similar chase scene, which however turns into conflict, is near the beginning of the film Stormbreaker in the junk car yard. This is also similar in the idea of junk being used to the effect of stunts and special effects with little care for the damage caused in the immediate area, which, if we had more time, could be done in our opening sequence.

For the clothing in our opening sequence, our protagonist will be wearing fairly normal clothing which is seen in films like 'James Bond' when he is undercover. The Antagonist will be wearing darker clothes and a mask, this gives mystery to the character because you cant see who it is. It also makes it more scary because the viewer will have their own opinion of what the antagonist looks like. The antagonists look is also seen in films such as 'The Interpreter'.

We are going to use camera angles such as hand held camera, this builds tension because it creates confusion so the viewer doesn't completely know what is going on. This will be used quite frequently as a lot of the opening is a chase scene, this type of camera angle is used in films like 'Blair Witch Project' and 'Cloverfield'. Other camera angles that we will use are angles like low angle and high angle shots. This will mean we can put our antagonist in a position of power and our protagonist in a position of weakness. This is very common in thrillers such as 'Avatar' and 'Se7en'

Title sequence analysis/comparison

We watched the opening sequence to 'Se7en'. In this the titles are hand written and this is the type of titles we were thinking to do for out project, however the names are written quite small, our group are thinking of having the credits larger and easier to read. The clips shown during the credits are of unclear sequences of events involving things being manipulated by hands, with no images of faces or other body parts. This is most probably clips of the antagonist's hands as they were first being shown having their fingertips removed so it was easier to get away with the crimes he later commits.

The music in Se7en is very mechanic in sound and gave an added eerie sense to the opening credits. For our opening, we are thinking about using faster paced music but hopefully still making it eerie.

The camera in this jumps and goes blurry slightly at points and this adds effect to the thriller feel of the film. In ours though, we're aiming to do the credits during an actual chase scene and have the credits just appear on everyday things and a gun bullet. This is to just keep the film going, and not have a pause for the credits. We feel this will add more suspense and curiosity to the 2 minutes.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Pitch Feedback

We presented our pitch for our opening sequence idea and afterwards we got asked questions. One of these questions was, 'how will you put the title onto the barrel of the gun?' which was one of our ideas, this helped because we had to think into it more and we came up with the solution of photoshop. This shows that presenting the pitch was a good idea because it helps our group improve our work to make it a better finished product.
Another question was 'what time will it be set' and our reply was whilst it is getting dark. This was one of the thoughts we had during making our pitch and that idea still might change. This was our answer as it is our initial idea, showing that there is still work to be done in the planning so we can come to a final decision about things like time and location etc. Showing another good point about the feedback from the pitch as some people might see bad points that our group didn't.
Our group now needs to move on to finishing the plan and then finally putting into a storyboard format so that we can put our ideas and plan onto paper. Once this is done we can move onto the filming.

Here is a picture of our mood board:

Monday, 25 January 2010

Protagonist and Antagonist Analysis

In the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there is one protagonist which is identified immediately as Wolverine. The Antagonist is at first thought to be Wolverine's half brother, Sabertooth, but it is later revealed to be a man who is responsible for all the events, Stryker.

Wolverine in the film goes through a series of personality changes. These personalities are of strong feelings, such as anger, despair and sincerity. These can be thought as his weakness in the film, a convention of thriller protagonists, as it is constantly used against him when the antagonists want to use him for his powers.

The first antagonist, Sabertooth, holds a very strong grudge against Wolverine, as he walked away from their friendship. Sabertooth is very similar to Wolverine but is
overall stronger than him, leaving Wolverine in very close-to-death situations.

The second antagonist, Stryker, has no such deep feelings towards Wolverine and his only motive is to make him the "perfect weapon" and then later use other mutants captured during the film, by sabertooth, to create his dream. He uses a more psychological approach to getting what he wanted, keeping away from using actual violence. This can be thought as a merging of a psychological thriller with the main fundamentals of an action thriller which this film is.

In comparison to our opening clip, the antagonist has the advantage over the protagonist until the very end of the film, which is not seen as we are only doing two minutes and therefore we only see the protagonist in a position of weakness. The protagonist also has a weakness that the antagonist can use to his advantage, in the form of a would that was inflicted and never fully heals in the remainder of the plot, that will never be seen.

Thriller Pitch

For our initial idea, we are thinking to make our thriller an action thriller. Action thrillers contain more violence than the other sub-genres, it also has an obvious protagonist (Chris) and antagonist (Jamie). There are generally quit a few locations in action thrillers, our opening includes a number of different locations as it is a chase scene. Our actors will be Chris and Jamie and they will be playing characters who's names aren't mentioned which gives a bit of mystery to the plot. Jamie's character will be chasing Chris' character through the woods and then into a car park where they will be hiding between cars. This will be filmed mainly with hand held camera making the scene more tense.

The Genre will be mainly represented a race against time, Chris' character (the protagonist) will be racing to get to the car whilst Jamie's character (the antagonist) will be chasing Chris. Another way the genre will be represented is that there is an obvious antagonist (Jamie) and an obvious protagonist and this also shows binary opposites.

One suggested location is the Long road car park. This helps because it is on site so we wont waste any of our filming time going to an off site location. There is also a shipping container and trees that can also be used in our opening.

Shots and sounds will be used to keep the tension and pace of the opening clip at a thriller standard, these sounds will be fast paced at times to shot the tension. Shots that show characters in positions of power and weakness will be used during the progress of the clip, showing any changes, if any, during the chase scene. Hand held camera shots will be used frequently during the chase, to provide a more point of view perspective and increase the confusion of the thriller that will give the audience an increasing number of questions being made.

The opening sequence will include, to start with, the ident of the group. Then, just before the ident has faded, heavy breathing will come on. the chase scene will then start and, towards the end, the protagonist will get away just in time, then catching his breath. Narrative will be over the top of the protagonist catching his breath. This leads on to the titles where it will then fade out.

The titles and credits will be handwritten and at a fast past to go with the rest of the opening and then near the climax of the credits, the music and writing slows down. The title for our product will be Anonymous.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Thriller Ident analysis

For the ident analysis we chose to analyse the ident for 20th century fox. This ident is good as...
The sound is quite loud which brings it to the attention of the audience, the music also starts as a drum role, suggesting that something good will follow. After the drum role, a brass orchestra starts to play, which can be interpreted as something with importance and of good quality is about to be shown, it can also be seen as something royal.

The visual side of the ident is quite straight forward, with the logo 3D giving it an edge to other idents as it was made during a time of great change of graphic improvements. The clip zooms out and pans across showing the whole logo, which is large and golden; this goes with the music with great effect as it looks important and is good quality. It stands out in the location as a huge statue or wide plynth, towering over a city. There are also search lights going over the statue making the whole atmosphere that the ident should be respected.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Trial Garage Band Opening Theme

Today we looked at how music is a major influence in films in general and then saw how much was lacking in a mute thriller opening, Identity.

In garage band we made our own opening theme for the film opening and added non-diegetic sounds that matched the mood of the film and tension, and then had diegetic sounds of the outside world which was raining. We managed to make 1: 50 seconds of music for the opening.

The aim of the soundtrack is to build tension and suspense within the scene whilst fitting in with the diegetic sounds. The any dialogue in the soundtrack helps tell the audience about the plot of the film.

We had to make our own soundtrack in garage band to go to the opening scene of Identity, we used mostly non-diegetic sounds this is the actual music that supports the scene by creating tension or suspense. Our soundtrack was simple but effective in creating an erie and tense atmosphere.
Unfortunately we didn't get to add any diegetic sounds in like the thunder or rain as we couldn't find the right noises, in the time given.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Thriller appropriate certificates

As thrillers are focused on a more mature and adult audience, the certificating of them is usually set in either 15 or 18 certificate. These are only suggestions from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), however, and parents can allow their children, if younger than the guidance, to watch these films in their homes. For both though, people under the age of the certificate cannot see them at cinemas or purchase them from shops.

The 15 certificate means that it must not endorse discriminatory language or behavior. Drugs can be shown being taken but they cant be encouraged to be misused. A strong threat can be shown but only if it is not sexualised or sadistic. Strong language such as 'f**k' is also permitted and may be frequent however the strongest terms such as 'c**t' may not be used frequently and only used in context of the film.

Movies rated at 18 are classified in many areas such as:
where the material is in breach of any laws, or has been created through the commission of a
criminal offense. Where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to
risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society – for example, any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts, or of illegal drug use, which may cause harm to public health or morals. This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault. In the case of video works (including video games), which may be more accessible to younger viewers, intervention may be more frequent than for cinema films.

analysis of previous thriller openings

This thriller opening scene is called "Dark Temptation" and was made in 2007.
This clip meets most of the marking criteria allowing this group to get a good mark. The group uses sound and music to build up tension right from the start as the first character is introduced when he enters the set, it is clear as it is shot in an empty set. As the first character moves through the set (his house) the camera man uses several shot angles mostly high angle to show he characters dominance as he walks up the stairs. It also uses many distances in this sequence of shots all of which are steady. the shot material is just right for the thriller genre as it includes a fight between both characters both of which are introduced well. The editing is good as they have used several different types of transition. titles are used well to introduce the character as well as the title of the movie. the characters are introduced clearly as the man is the antagonist beating/or killing a woman, the protagonist is not introduced as yet but probably will be later on in the movie.

Marking Criteria For The Thriller Project

Level 4 high grade 48/60

A high standard in:
  • recording voices clearly, in a studio or on location.
  • holding shot steady.
  • framing a shots.
  • using a variety of shot distances and types.
  • shot material appropriate for the task set.
  • selecting appropriate mise-en-scene.
  • editing so that the meaning of the movie is apparent to the viewer.
  • using varied shot transitions and effects.
  • using sound with images.

Analysis of previous Thriller openings by Long Road students

The first opening we watched was by group T1-28 and its title is Crack.

The opening managed to achieve many of the required necessities to get a top grade, however lacked dialogue and didn't give much meaning to the viewer when watched. The titles also had the problem of not being able to be read because it didn't stand out from the clips that was also being shown on screen.

The opening itself though did correspond to the thriller criteria, with it having quite dark images that goes with a thriller without question. The titles were also of a style that can make an audience feel that it is going to be in a genre like or similar to a thriller. The props used also add to the thriller aspect, with example the gun and images of a bathtub that seems to be splattered with blood; this gives an idea to the audience that there will be violence, which is found quite often in thrillers. The music, although not as sinister in comparison to stereotypical thriller soundtracks, is quite fast paced and aggressive that goes with some of the thriller aspects, especially the hybrid thrillers, such as action/thriller and crime/thriller.

The second clip we watched was by Q1-07 and was called 'Captured'

The opening sequence did not seem very believable as the antagonist wasn't shown to be hiding or mysterious. Also, the sets were quite similar resulting in similar activity from the character being stalked which left little to the imagination. The music in this opening sequence was slow and monotonous which meant that it got a little taxing and made it easier to lose interest. The shots were also very similar which would have given the group lower marks as they hadn't used a wide variety of shots. It did have some aspects of a thriller, like having an antagonist and protagonist, however it lacked other aspects such as a dark atmosphere and sinister music.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Action thriller analysis

The Action/ Thriller we chose to evaluate was Terminator. The film has a complicated plot that involves a cyborg being sent back to the past from an apocalyptic future to kill Sarah Conner who is the leader of the resistance against the machines, this is a common convention of a thriller as it keeps the audience guessing the whole film.

Terminator contains a lot of strong violence, much more than other thriller sub-genres, this is because there is less mystery to the plot as we already know the protagonist and antagonist. The antagonist is obvious, it is the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) this is another common convention of action/ thrillers.

Throughout Terminator there is always the sense of time running out, the characters are constantly against the clock trying to complete their mission. This is very conventional of the action/ thriller genre as it keeps the audience in suspense.

The protagonist Sarah Connor has the equilibrium of her life disrupted when the terminator starts following her, this starts the dangerous 'cat and mouse' game off which continues through the film. She has to survive at any means to save the future.

Crime Thriller Analysis

Conventions of a Crime Thriller: Suspenseful account of successful or failed crimes, it features murders/robberies/shoot outs/double-crosses. Can glorify the rise and fall of the criminal mastermind and sometimes focuses on real life criminals. They are usually set in large crowded cities and characters seek recognition and success. There is a strong rivalry between the binary opposites.

For our crime thriller analysis we chose the film 'the untouchables'. In this film, there is a fight between the government and a corrupt businessman turned gangster who has control over most of Chicago. The Antagonist in this film is Al Capone, the gangster, and the protagonist is the treasury department agent Elliot Ness. Al Capone is looking for success which links in with the crime conventions and there is a strong rivalry between him and Ness who are the binary opposites. Also, Al Capone was a real life criminal, which links in with the conventions.

The city of Chicago is in real life a very large city of the United States. This links in with the crime thriller convention of the film set in large crowded cities. This gives the audience a chance to have an insight into a secret world.

The Untouchables features all of the conventions of robberies, murders, shoot outs and double crosses; especially the latter, as it is focused on how corrupt the city of Chicago has got. The protagonist is very stereotypical of the thriller genre, being set on several occasions in the film in peril situations. He also has a weakness in the form of his family, which get focused on in attempts to get to the protagonist Ness.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Psychlogical thriller conventions

The conventions of a psychological thriller are Drama/ mystery and contains a certain amount of danger mostly on a mental level but can sometimes evolve to physical level, usually it has two characters preying on each others minds or one solitary character struggles with his/her mental state. The characters will have a fear or even a fascination with death and will be trying throughout the film to discover their purpose. The narrative is usually confused in the film to what is real and what is not.

The film that i have chosen is Fight Club, this film complies with nearly all the psychological/thriller conventions written in my list. The Narrator meets a soap salesman, together they start a underground fight club, the two characters are constantly testing each other mentally, which slowly pushes the narrator over the edge of sanity.

Both the characters have a fascination of death and pain, as they beat each other and members of the fight club up

political thriller conventions

The conventions of 0f political films are quite basic. There is a threat set immediately against a political power and the film is focusing on the struggles of this fight for power. Plots are designed to give political power to someone whilst opponents try to prevent this. It includes 2 sets of characters, often those set in offices whilst others set in action.

The conventions of this political thriller include the struggle for power, as in this film, there is an attempt to assassinate a President of a country visiting the US. Nicole Kidman, the central character, is quite controversial, as the lead role of a thriller is usually a man. She also seems to be alone without a partner in the film, although it can be argued that the guy that she has employed to protect her in the film is her partner, despite the seemingly neutral dislike for each other.

Also, the film goes quite well with the idea that someone is trying to get political power for someone (the assassin, going for the President visiting the US) whilst the "opponents" are trying to prevent this (Nicole Kidman and her debatable partner).

Analysis of "Seven" opening

The sound of Seven in the opening is very important. It sets up the rest of the film and can make the audience want to watch on, or turn the film off.

The first sound heard in the film is the low rumbles and a siren of traffic outside. This is used to give the audience an idea of where the film is located. Also, the siren of a police car represents the nature of the film and how it is about Crime/ policemen.

You can also hear mumbling of other people who are clearly not in the same building as what is being seen, giving the impression that the walls are thin and therefore the area is quite poor in comparison to some other estates.

Morgan Freeman's character makes very little sound in the opening clip, the occasional noise of using an object, but not much else. This can give the audience the idea that his character is quite withdrawn and thoughtful, as at the crime scene he lets the other detective do the talking.

When Brad Pitt's character arrives on scene, he is heard before he is seen. This probably gives the idea that he is an outgoing character who will later get into difficult situations.

Their dialect is also very different between Pitt and Freeman. Morgan's speech is better pronounced and softer in comparison to Pitt's. He also has a more common vocabulary on comparison to Freeman.

The metronome, the regular tick noise, is clearly there to represent something in the film, and will become more important later in the film.

The opening credits is loud, low pitched music, giving a sinister sense to it. The sounds are synthetic, with disregard to classical instruments. The pace of the song picks up as the credits progress and at the climax, there is spoken words and then a loud rumble finish, which goes with the thriller genre style.

Within the micro elements, I chose camera angles, looking at the opening sequence, there are a lot of low angle shots on the main characters. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are shown in positions of power as they are the main characters and they are the characters who are on the 'good side'. There is also high angle shots, one of which is on a victim who is laying dead on the floor, this shows him in a position of weakness because he is dead.
Another shot that is used quite frequently is a long shot, this is so that the audience get to see the surroundings of the characters and so they know the setting of the scene. this helps the viewer to understand about where the characters are and helps them get an idea of the period of time it is set in.
shot reverse shots are used between Morgan Freeman and another character to show the conversation and this is good because it shows not only the person talking but also the reaction shot of the person listening.
At the end of the opening, there is lots of jumpy shots and this gives effect because it makes the viewer a little confused about the situation but it also gives a slight insight into what will happen at the end of the movie.

Within the micro elements I chose special effects. In movies special effects are used for an almost real effect of something that cannot be acted out in the scene such as a corpse, blood spatter or explosions. In "seven" they use some special effects such as in the opening scene it begins with a corpse in a pool of blood and a realistic blood spatter on the wall, this emphasizes that its a thriller and the plot is based around death and the drama involving it. in the opening credits there is also a person who is see behind the credits cutting their finger prints off with a razor blade this tell the audience that this is the killer because he may be trying to cover his tracks. this also tells the audience that they are messed up in the head this is the stereotypical serial killer seen in most thriller and horror movies.

Se7en is a action/ thriller film starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, they are both detectives solving a murder committed by a serial killer. I focused on the mise-en-scene in Se7en, this includes the costumes, sets and locations.

Morgan Freeman is wearing a stereotypical detective costume smarty dressed with a trench coat and hat, this shows us pretty quickly that this film will be based around solving murder mysteries and other crimes.

Brad Pitt has a typical maverick detective costume this is a leather jacket and more casual clothes. These two characters are quite miss-matched, pairing them together creates conflict between the two characters adding an element of drama to the film.

The costumes and sets don't give us a clear sense of the time period that this film is based but taking a guess it would be between 2000 and today. One thing we can learn about the film from the sets is that it is based around poorer areas of a city in America.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Classic thriller analysis

This clip complies to many common thriller conventions such as the tense soundtrack this is used to make the audience feel in suspense which keeps them interested in the film. The film goes very dark around the sides of the screen this focuses us to the center of the screen where the characters are, this adds a certain feel of mystery to the film which is generally required in a thriller. The action in the film, where the protagonist is jumping from rooftop to rooftop chasing the antagonist is also very tense making the audience on edge wanting to know what will happen to him, especially when the protagonist is hanging from the gutter. This leaves us wondering whether he will survive, having these two characters in this scene also is a convention of the thriller genre as there is a good guy and a bad guy.

Classic Thriller Analysis

Thrillers of modern times are able to depend on incredible stunts and high budget special effects. 20 years ago they had to depend on the more technical side of what makes a genre, in this case a thriller.

The protagonist of this film, Vertigo, is a stereotypical thriller protagonist, he has a weakness and is placed in a life or death situation. This is typical of thrillers as it creates suspense for the audience who will have warmed to the character.

There is suspense music, that helps promote the thriller genre. It is also the style of the time the film was made, with string instruments and high pitched melodies in comparison to the modern day style of loud drums and whatever else.

There is also a socially unaccepted character, whom the protagonist is interested in. This for a thriller is common, because it can make the audience relate to that character in some ways and single them out as more surreal than the rest of the cast.

There is also the common use of enigmas in the film, as explained in the trailer, the protagonist and the girl are drawn together for reasons unexplained and so they are out there to find out why.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Analysis of the thriller Avatar

We chose to analyse the trailer for Avatar. In this, it shows that it is a hybrid; it has adventure, action and thriller. This is represented with the fight scenes showing that it is exiting and full of action. The adventure is shown when a new land new creatures are seen by the audience. the thriller aspect is shown during all the fighting and this would draw the audience in because it is scary but exiting. It makes the audience want to see more and it still leaves a lot for the audience to think about. At points the music is quite eerie and this gives effect to the thriller genre. Furthermore, there is lots of fast and quite dark shots, that also give effect to the thriller genre.

Analysis of the thriller 'The Dark Knight'

The clip shows the location of a large crime scene, a bank robbery. It, for the audience, makes it feel that although the rest of the film is quite unbelievable, there are still aspects that can happen in everyday life of major cities in the USA. Gotham city, the broad location of 'The Dark Knight', is based on New York city for example. After the robbery, the scene changes to a police office, where the characters are speculating on the appearance of Batman. This just gives a quick insight for the audience of where quite a lot of the film will take place. Soon after the clip changes to another crime location, an empty car park, which helps emphasize to the audience that a lot of action taking place will be of criminal intentions.

The characters, at the robbery, are depicted to the audience in a way that they will not be picked out as main characters and therefore when they are killed off one by one, it does not create conflict in the audience's opinion. The aggressive attitudes of the robbers and their tendency to kill each other is reflective of the thriller genre in how ruthless they are. The fight scene that introduces the protagonist, Batman, again emphasizes the ruthless violence that will continue in the film and how it is a thriller.

The non diegetic music of the film has been chosen to good effect to go with the style of the film, a thriller. It for the audience keeps the tension and the pace of the film going. It also works with the bank robbery; the criminals have to act fast and it keeps the audience guessing which "clown" is going to be killed next. The diegetic sounds of the clip are all rather violent sounding and very short lasting. This all goes with the violent aspect of the film and the genre.

The camera shots are of great variety. Before the action starts, they are establishing shots and slowly zoom in on where some action is about to take place. When the action is in the very thick of it, the camera shots are very quick to jump cut and there is more close up shots and reaction shots to keep the pace and style of the film as a thriller.

The film also gives off a thriller mise en scene, in the view that it isn't as colourful as maybe a children's film or a comedy, and the addition of weapons and prolonged fight scenes keeps the tension and speed of a thriller going.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Preliminary Task Video

In a last minute decision, we used lift doors rather than a classroom door because of the convenience and it gave us a greater chance to practice the skills we have been learning. Below is the finished product.

Preliminary Task Plan

For the preliminary task we are having Phil filming, Jaimie as the first actor, Chris as the second actor and Angus is going to edit the film to a final product. There are no specific props needed, as it is more a task testing editing and filming skills, and the location is going to be in the G block building, in an empty classroom. Below is a storyboard plan of what shot we will be doing.

Preliminary Task shots.

This clip shows several shots needed in the preliminary task. At the very start of the clip, it gives an establishing shot, which gives audiences the idea that there is going to be a change in location. There was also a couple of reaction shots in the clip, when Chandler says he wants to quit the gym. This is just to show the audience the simple opinion the character has on the statement Chandler has.

This second clip shows a conversation using the 180 degree rule, this gives the audience the impression that they are having a real conversation and puts the two people in an over the shoulder perspective. There is later a match on action shot of Joey using a power drill that goes through the wall and into Chandler's room, nearly getting Chandler. This is to keep the story of the show going with as little stalling as possible. There is later a long shot to show all of the friend characters in the same room and are all working together. At the very end there is a close up shot of the cupboard Joey is in in. This works with the dialogue of Joey as he is talking and it makes sure the audience understands that he is inside that cupboard.