Thursday, 24 March 2011

Feedback from R2-46


'Love the use of sound, particularly up to 0:49. Really effective within the location.
Perhaps more of an explanation of the narrative, didn't understand the 'X'in her diary at 1:43.'

'Titles look professionl and looks like an opening not a trailer.
The letter she looks at is unclear 1:16'

Our opinion:
The 'X' on the diary is to show the day something important to her is, this gets the audience thinking. The letter is not particularly important, we tried to show the protagonist acting like a normal adult getting ready for work, most adults behavious would be to check letters and get lunch ready etc.
Thank you for the comments.

Feedback from Group R2-47

Feedback from Group R2-47

Good -

Good variety of shots.
The use of lighting was very good, its made the clip mysterious.
Good use of costumes

Improvements -

Didn't really understand what was happening.
There may have been more dialogue in the house scene.
Not sure whats going on.

Feedback from Group R2-48

Feedback from Group R2-48:

Good -

Effective use of ambient sounds in contrast to the upbeat music.
Good use of panning shot for titles.
I like the contrast in location and lighting.
Nice sound at the start.
The use of loads of close-ups is effective.
The makeup on the eye looks really good and realistic.
I really like the opening shot when it is moving down the wall, it creates a really good effect.
The music in the background is just the right volume, so that it is not too loud.
Really bold font for titles is used
Light music contrasts well.
Interesting opening scene with cellar walls.
Dramatic title effects.

Improvements -

Zoom on tap is a little unsteady.
Jumps a bit from when she leaves for the X.
Some of the shots are not very still.
You could use some still shots instead of zooms and tracking to make a variety.
To make it better you should find a way to make the relevant information on the letter readable.
Could use a tripod to make a few of the shots steadier.

Feedback from R2-45

 'The camerawork is really good, especially with the slow zoom on the girl. Also, i got the ideaof your sequence straight away- well done.
I would criticize the amount of light used at the start as it is dark and fuzzy, but it does give a good effect.'

'Need to spread the subtitles out. Great use of camera angles.'

'Sound is very effective throughout the clip.
Camerawork to be less hand help, a tripod could have been used more.'

Our opinion:
We appreciate the feedback given from this group and think the opinions were reasonable and constructive.
We agreed that the lighting would need to be altered as an improvement as we all agree it is really dark at the beginning.
In reply to the comment of the hand held camera being too much, we thought the hand held camera was necessary in the cellar as it created tension and helped with continuity editing. However we agree a tripod would of been good for the kitchen scene.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Rough cut analysis - R2-48

The opening introduces a smoothly zoomed canted angle shot of the location to the viewer to confuse, but also draw them in effectively. Another smoothly panned shot introduces the barn/cellar location. After this we are shown a series of smooth shots in which a variety of different camera angles are demonstrated. We first see 3 close-up shots of injured/frail body parts of the protagonist. These shots are successful in creating tension for the audience and are also framed well. We then see a long shot of the protagonist lying on the floor in the barn/cellar location which is again framed well showing the character and giving the audience a sense of location in which the character is in. Next an extreme close-up shot of the protagonists eye is used to build up the tension further and create anticipation for the audience. The kitchen scene is introduced with a smoothly zoomed shot of the location from outside of the house showing a middle aged female inside. The camera then moves inside of the kitchen and uses a medium shot to show the kitchen location and also the character washing up inside of it. A close-up shot is then shown of the radio as it is turned up by the character in the kitchen, and back to the previous mid-shot of the character washing up. Both of these shots are smoothly captured and framed well due to the object of focus being in the middle of the shot and easily identifiable and relatable too. We are then taken back to the barn/cellar scene where the protagonist is shown from a bird’s eye view shot which is effective in showing her relationship to the mobile phone she is using. The kitchen scene is again shown, using another mid-shot of the character still washing up, and we are then shown a shot of a telephone ringing in the house, which is cleverly framed in which the dog is watching the phone. The zoom performed which zooms into the phone however is filmed shakily, and this ruins the shot especially seeing as all of the other shots are filmed really well. A low angle close-up shot showing the protagonist in the barn effectively shows the protagonist and her interacting with the phone. We are then shown a long shot of the protagonist as she sits up, a low-angle mid-shot of a wall with a mysterious shadow on it, and the last shot which is a point of view shot from the protagonist in which a foot walks in front of her and crushes the mobile phone she is using to call for help. This point of view shot is effective as it puts the viewer in the shoes of the protagonist and being the last shot is powerful as the viewer is left with it in their mind. These 3 shots are also steadily shot, and well framed.

Rough Cut Analysis

The sequence starts of with non-diegetic music to set the scene, the music uses a range of lower and higher tones.This creates a creepy and mysterious effect which makes the viewer intrigued as to what the sequence is about. This music then quickly cuts into silence and the first shot of the sequence, this causes all of the viewers attention to what's happening in the shots. In the Kitchen scene we hear diegetic music which the character in the scene is listening to herself, there is also diegetic sounds of the tap and the plated hitting eachother, this is a contrast to the music which introduced the scene. We then hear speech from another character which straight away cuts to the kitchen where the telephone is ringing which again is diegetic sound, we also hear speech through the answer phone which cuts from both locations to hear the speech from two different places. When it switches back to the barn we hear heavy footsteps walking towards the protagonist. The scene ends using non-diegetic music which links back to the music used in the kitchen scene.

Thriller Conventions:
Often in thrillers there is one character who is a 'helpless, innocent female' and occasionally is in need of rescue, this has been used effectively as the female in need of help appears young and vulnerable which instantly makes the viewers sympathise with her and wonder why she has been taken away. Another convention used is that many thrillers are set in isloated places, this has been done effectively in this opening as the kidnapped protagonist appears to be tied up and not knowing where she is.

Rough Cut Analysis Of Sound

Sound- not much sound is used within the opening sequence, lots of non diegetic sound is used, like mood music which is eerie and adds to the sense of the unknown adding to the atmosphere. When diegetic sound is used it is used well but there’s not much but again this adds to the feeling of the unknown as we only see the girl she doesn’t make any sounds of fear only facial expressions to show emotion. The playing of the radio when it goes back to the woman in the house works well as its shows her normal home life.

Rough Cut camerawork analysis

Camerawork- camerawork is done effectively but I do think a tripod should have been used more as some clips are rather shaky but this also does add to the realism of the scene. Close ups have been used effectively to show the actresses fear and emotion. The way panning shots are used allows us to see the location and the environment the girl in is. The camera techniques which are used from cutting to the girl being held as a hostage to her in her own home shows us a sense of reality and the normal life she leads. The zoom in on the diary and focussing on Monday where there’s a big cross emphasises that something bad may be happening on this day and it’s very effective.
I think the camera work has been done well and uses different techniques effectively.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Group 43's Thriller conventions

I would say that Group 43's thriller convention would be a mystery thriller and this was expressed very well because throughout the sequence you had to keep guessing as to what was going on and it left the audience very confussed but in a good, mystical way. In a few scenes it even felt quite disorientated because you couldn't tell what was whatbut this definatly played a big part for their conventions.

I have to say that when the group gave the brief in class about what they were going to do I was worried that it wasn't going to work but i'm happy it has worked for them and the end result is excellent.

Group 43 Editing Review

Group 43's editing was in most places unnecesary because the camera work ment that cuts were not needed. However editing cuts were still used to change scenes which was done very well and the pace of the cuts were just right. The pace of the editing cuts in the last scence picked up in pase but this was to show different angles of the character and this fufilled the 180 degree rule. Overall the continuity of the cuts were good and the transitions were well used too.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Rough Cut

Our rough cut includes a rough of the scenes and the music, we didn't manage to get the credits in as we lost tract of time.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Analysis Of Thriller Opening - Inception

The thriller that I chose to analyse was the 2010 hit, Inception. The film is about new technology which allows people to enter the mind through dreams. The film starts with dramatic, strong bassed music which builds tension and confusion for the viewers. The film the immediately cuts to the protagonist lying face down on the shore but before hand having a strong establishing shots of the rough and noisy sea. The first close up of the protagonists face is shown and is a canted angle shot. In the distance there are small children playing in the sand, this creates confusion for the viewer as the two things don’t go together, they are then shown running off in the distance. The Protagonist then blacks out and the scene then continues to show a random unknown character finding him on the beach. The Protagonist is shown in dull and trampy looking clothes in contrast to the high class soldier looking character. A low angle shot is evident to show to the viewers that the soldier has a higher status.

The scene is then cut showing the protagonist being dragged into the room, this creates stress for the viewers as they still don’t actually know who or what the protagonist is trying to do or his aim. The location is also a mystery so this allows the viewers to ask questions and slowly feel further and further dragged into the storyline. The dramatic low level non diegetic bassy music is still being played while the close up of the protagonist eating supper. The character is hunched over the bowl as though he has not had food for awhile, which also leads to more unanswered questions. The room in which the protagonist and the new and another unknown character is released, is dull but beautiful at the same time. Low lighting with a huge table in the middle, this shows that who ever owns the house is a much higher class than the protagonist. There is then a close up of the spinning top, which builds tension as the viewers are waiting for the moment in which it topples over, but never does so.

The next scene takes place, and it shows the protagonist in another scene but the same location. He is with two new completely different characters, and all the characters in this scene are wearing smart suits all showing they are they same status. The protagonist then starts to talk, and the cuts and speed of the cuts quicken. Over the shoulder and conversation shots are used effectively to make the viewers feel more comfortable which also makes it more natural to watch, A high angle shot is also used in this scene to show that the protagonist is more in control than any other character in the scene. The room then starts shaking which builds tension for the viewers, the two main characters look as though they are involved. There is then a close up of the protagonists ticking watch, where time is slowed down, also creating tension. The scene then changes dramatically again into a different location but with all the same characters as before. The Location is in a random hotel room or flat where another random character is released. There are diegetic sound effects used to create the bombing and shot gun noises. The music then becomes more dramatic as the unknown characters seek the main characters around the room.

The first part of the film is so confusing that it makes the viewer ask so many questions and are then glued to want to carry on watching the film. The Microelements are used to create this interesting and tension building confusion.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Mark Scheme

Level 1                                                                                                                  0-23 marks

The work for the main task is possibly incomplete. There is miminal evidence in the work of the creative use of any relevent technical skills such as:

  • holding  a shot steady, where appropriate;
  • framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate;
  • using a variety of shot distances as appropriate;
  • shooting material appropriate to the task set;
  • selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objects, and setting;
  • editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer;
  • using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set;
  • using sound with image and editing appropriately for the task set;
  • using titles appropriately.

Level 2                                                                                                                24-35 marks

There is evidence of a basic level of ability in the creative use of some of the following technical skills:

  •  holding a shot steady, where appropriate;
  • framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate;
  • using a variety of shot distances as appropriate;
  • shooting material appropriate to the task set;
  • selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting;
  • editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer;
  • using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set;
  • using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
  • using titles appropriately.

Level 3                                                                                                             36-47 marks

There is evidence of proficiency in the creative use of many of the following technical skills:

  • Holding a shot steady where appropriate.
  • Framing a shot including and excluding elements as appropriate
  • Using a variety of shot distances as appropriate.
  • Shooting material appropriate to the task set.
  • Selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, props and setting.
  • Editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer.
  • Using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set.
  • Using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set.
  • Using titles appropriately.

Level 4                                                                                                            48-60 marks

There is evidence of excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills:

  • Holding a shot steady where appropriate. 
  • Framing a shot including and excluding elements as appropriate
  • Using a variety of shot distances as appropriate.
  • Shooting material appropriate to the task set.
  • Selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, props and setting.
  • Editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer.
  • Using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set.
  • Using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set.
  • Using titles appropriately. 


    We faced potential problems when trying to deciding on what type of character (e.g. gender, age etc.) to introduce as our second character in our Thriller opening as we were unsure of what type of character we wanted as we felt that different ages and genders can portray different feels/effects.

    Firstly we thought of having a character which is a similar age to the protagonist as we wanted the the protagonist to appear in their twenties, a problem arise with this as we thought it could just look like to teenagers who could be brother and sister, this would not work with our thriller as it would make the protagonist look younger which would cause a problem for our thriller.

    We then decided to have an older friend in the scene as this would make the protagonist look older, around twenty which we wanted them to look. The problem with this is that we found we we're not able to find a twenty year old in which would be willing to take part in the thriller.

    Our last decision was to have a young child as the second character in the scene, this would work well as it would make the young child look like the protagonists son. This would make the protagonist look in their twenties which is the perfect age we wanted her to be. We also have access to a young child which we could use for the scene. 

    Target Audience

    Our target audience would be teenagers aged 15 and above and young adults because our thriller is a psychological thriler which means young children may not understand the film, and wouldn't have an interst in the story it tells. We've desided the film's certificate would be a 15 as the film will include scary scenes which young children may feel threated by and become disturbed by the footage whereas more mature age groups have more understanding of the fact it's not real and can watch it whilst subconciously knowing they're safe.The film is not a horror, however it will contain thrills. Within the opening scene you are shown clips of a celler which is dark and gloomy, the view of the girl tied up with blood and bruises on her body could cause disturbance for a younger audience which is another reason we have made the film a 15. The switch over from the scene in the celler to the scene in the kitchen, with the protagonist all of a suddern dressed in smart clothes compared to the scene where the protagonist is tied up shows an example of the psychological effect as it makes you think, the idea of the protagonist shown in a smart uniform getting ready for work shows adult behaviour, she's not a child nor a teenager which can simbolise the fact the film is created for ages 15 and above as a child cannot relate to the protagonist which may mean a child would loose interst easier.
    We got the idea of switching the protagonists life from being tied in a celler, to switching back in time to when the protagonist is getting ready for work from the film Memento which shows scenes of the protagonist being disturbed with blood on his body and accompanied but a man who has been shot dead, it switches back in time in order to tell the story to how the protagonist got in that situation by a scene of him in the office and the man who was shot dead is alive and is shown walking into the office too. We liked this idea as it makes the beginning more interesting, you are able to draw the audiences attention into the film as they want to know what happens and how the protagonist got the the situation shown at the beggining, it shows a mystery which psychological thrillers have, you are able to create subtle 'thrills' for the audience.

    Wednesday, 2 March 2011

    Analysis of the thriller opening, The Beach.

    The Beach is an adventurous and seductive thriller featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as the main protagonist called Richard.


    Throughout the scenes during the opening, the scenes fade between opening credits and the opening scene, at one point the scene dissolves to show the title of the film, The Beach, and then fades into the scene which creates a good effect for a thriller opening.
    In the opening sequence of the thriller, the location is based in a foreign country, the idea of the film being based in a foreign country sets the tension automatically for the audience as it is not a location, country that most people have common knowledge about or know very well, this creates an uncertain atmosphere due to a combination of continuity editing, which makes the audience feel like they're taking part and are uncertain where they are being lead at the beginning of the thriller. This meets one of the thriller conventions which is that thrillers give you this sense of uncertainty in order to build up that 'thrill' the audience is waiting to happen.
    We're introduced to the protagonist by him standing outside a building, wondering where to go, it's night time however there are luminous colours flashing past the screen which are the car lights on the cars going by. The ambiant sound of the cars, along with the non diegetic sound of the protagonist narrating, makes the audience question themselves what is happening or what is going to happen as the combination of the sound of the cars rushing past, and the sound of the protagonist's voice and body language being relaxed, makes the audience eager to know what is going to happen further in the story as the protagonist's narrating whilst the camera tracks him, is like a subtle trail the audience has to follow in order to find out what happens, the image of the cars also sets the location as you can see city lights around the town the protagonist walks along which gives a very obvious hint to the location being a city at the beginning of the thriller.
    When the camera tracks the protagonist down the street, the non diegetic sound is electric and upbeat, the music isn't in tune with how the character strolls through the street, it gives a sense of loss of control, for both the character and the audience due to the continuity editing drawing the audiences attention making them feel part of the scene. The sound mellows whilst the protagonist talks to another character, yet proceeds in a fast chasing soundtrack, it makes the audiene unease, yet subconsiously, they know they're safe.
    Within the opening the sequence, the lighting is very dull, the colours are drained, and even the beach wear the characters wear are dull, colours which stand out the most is red, red gives the sense of urgency and blood which relates to death, this can help make the audience anxious to what they will see. It helps set a bad atmosphere, like something isn't right.
    The camera shots which have been edited to create a sense of continuity editing used in the film were, shot reverse shot, which is used in conversation with the protagonist and another character, the audience feel like they're part of the scene which helps create the tension. There are reaction shots used at various times which helps the audience read the mood the character is in, how they're feeling.
    The smooth cuts throughout the film, help with continuity editing, they help patch up the pieces together for it to make sense over all through out the different scenes.
    The tracking of the protagonist walking down the corridor with a close up of his face, makes the audience on edge, as the non diegetic sound turns mysterious and tense. The fact his body language gives off a sense that he is on edge, helps create that tension for the audience, as his behaviour bounces off onto the audience due to the continuity editing. When the protagonist enters the room the camera pans around where you see blood splattered across the walls and all over the bed. The non diegetic sound increases it's intensity whilst the protagonist narrates through the scene which leaves the audience on edge as they don't know what they'll find. When the camera finally pans round to find the dead body laying on the floor, the camera shows a mid shot of the protagonists face, and then back to the body, the non diegetic sound builds this uncertainty, he narrates talking about people's actions whilst you sit nervously thinking the man will wake up and that will be your 'thrill', but you're just not sure. The build makes you uneased, the protagonist even mentions when he is narrating that he himself thought the man was going to jump at him, this makes it become more of a reality for the audience as you feel that connection with the protagonist, like you've followed him along this journey. There is still that tension, you still grab hold of your seat thinking your 'thrill' may come, however the scene changes into the protagonist in an office. In a way the build up was enough to be a 'thrill' for the audience, as if their predictions were right, it might had been too much and could be on edge of a horror.

    Monday, 28 February 2011

    Analysis of thriller opening - The Prestige.

    The camerawork in this opening sequence is used to create a confusion for the viewer although some shots are shown as a sense of normality which contrasts with one another. We are shown a mid shot of an older man who appears to be telling the story, this is for the viewer to become familiar with who this old man is and why he is telling a story. Throughout the scene we are shown mid shots/ close ups of the main characters in the sequence, this is done to show the viewer a clearer image of the protagonists. We are also shown an extreme long shot of the hall and stage in which the magic tricks are being peformed, this just widens the view of the location and who is involved in this particular scene. Many shots are quick and they tend to switch from one another often, this is typical of a thriller as it creates confusion and mystery for the viewers, it draws them in and makes them want to watch more.

    The editing in this sequence is continuity editing as it mainly uses cuts to switch from one scene into another, however it doesnt seem to use any fades or dissolves. This is done so it feels as though the sequence is quite quick and the transitions move from one to another quickly. As the sequence swithes from one location to another without any transition it feels as though it's going back in time and showing a flashback of the past. By doing this the viewer feels disorientated, they feel as though the sequence is being rushed, or even missing out parts of the story, this intregues the viewer which is sterotypical of a thriller as they now want to watch the rest of the sequence to find out what's happening. Tracking is used in this sequence to follow movements made by a man who appears to be suspicious, this is done to feel as though they need to be followed to whereever they are planning on going. This makes the reader feel as though they are invading the privacy of whoever the camera is following as they do not know they are being followed. Zooms are often used in this sequence, usually to show something from a larger view and then zoom in to see it in more detail.

    Mise-en-scene is used in this sequence also. The first shot we see in the opening sequence is a shot of many identical top hats, these are shown in a forest. Top hats are usually connected with magicians, so straight away we think that a magic trick may have been taken place to duplicate all of these top hats. There is a slight bit of mystery as to why the hats are in the middle of a dull forest though, this could link to the mystery part of the sequence.

    The scene then swaps to an indoor location, the first character we are shown is a man who appears to be a sterotypical granddad. He has very little grey hair, a grey beard and is wearing a shirt and a waistcoat. The clothes he is wearing appears to be very old fashioned which suggest it is set in an earlier time peirod rather than the present day. We are then shown a young girl who could be the granddaughter of the old man, she is wearing and old fashioned dress which is a light pink with ruffles and lace on the neck. After this the scene swaps again to a hall and a stage with a man on who appears to be an entertainer, i say this because he is wearing a suit and bow tie so he appears to be professional and know what he is doing. In his left hand he appears to be holding a walking stick, this could suggest that he needs it for part of his trick.

    The lighting in the sequence is very dull and dim, this is done to create atmosphere for the trick on stage and most likely it would have been set to take place in the evening time. But the lighting could also suggest the mood, it could make the audience feel uneasy and think that something bad is going to take place. There is one spotlight on the stage which is pointed at the magician, this shows that he is of higher authority than everyone else but it could also suggest that when the audience all have their eyes on him, something could be taking place elsewhere.

    Sound is the last micro element in which uses and explores the thriller conventions. At the start of the sequence there is non-diegetic speech in a low tone which appears to be a mans voice, this makes the audience wonder who's voice it is and why it is done in this way. Throughout the sequence there is speech, the old man speaks the whole way through the sequence, this again is non diegetic speech. This makes the viewer think that the old man is telling a story, maybe to his granddaughter. We also hear diegetic sound which sounds like electric supply and occasionally sounds like thunder, this is done when the helper switches on the big machine in the middle of the stage, the sound is added to make the machine appear scarey and dangerous to the audience which it certianly does. At this point the audience wonder what trick the magician will be carrying out and wether it is safe or not. There is some ambient sound in the sequence, which is a light sound of a machine.

    Wednesday, 23 February 2011

    Analysis of Thriller Opening - PREMONITION

    In Premonition the camerawork is used to create a sense of both confusion and mystery, but also normality. We are introduced into the opening sequence with a high-angle/bird’s eye view shot of the protagonist sat in a stationary car and this is challenging to the viewer seeing as this is not a stereotypical shot in which a scene would be introduced. This is therefore powerful and leaves the viewer unaware of the location and what will happen next. Shots such as over the shoulder shots, medium shots and long shots are used to create a sense of normality in the scene, and are individually used to create different effects. Over the shoulder shots shows the conversation and intimacy between the two characters, medium/close-up shots show the two characters in detail and some location also. Long shots are used to show the location in detail, set the scene and also involve the audience in the scene more. The mix of these shots allows the viewer to engage more fully in the opening sequence. Camerawork uses the conventions of a thriller effectively due to the shots being used to present mystery but also normality to the viewer confusing them and leaving them wondering what will happen next.

    Sound is another micro-element which uses and explores thriller conventions. In the opening credits a non-diegetic sinister, orchestral sounding piece of music is played to introduce the titles in a particular way. This use of sound creates tension for the audience and also stereotypically leaves them thinking that something bad/mysterious will happen due to the conventions of thrillers. The use of orchestral sounds and instruments which are played (including strings) emphasise this mysterious and sinister feel due to the tone and effect that they have on an audience. Sound is also used in the opening sequence to create an everyday feel, and sense of normality. This sense of normality and everyday life is portrayed to the audience by using diegetic ambient sounds and also dialogue. Ambient sounds such as the sound of a car, the car door slamming, car keys, birds in trees, the wind are all ambient sounds which are used stereotypically to portray that sense of normality in a film and create atmosphere. Also, when no image is shown and only ambient sounds are played it can give clues to the audience about the setting, location etc. Dialogue (diegetic) is also used to portray normality due to it showing interaction between two characters.

    The editing used in the opening sequence of Premonition is particularly significant to the way in which the micro-element explores and uses the conventions of a thriller, especially a psychological one. Firstly fades in and out of the scene are used along with a lighter more dull/washed out coloured effect are used on the clip to create the sense of a flashback, dream or memory that are commencing in the protagonists mind. We are clear that this is a different time in the scene that is trying to be portrayed due to the scene fading out to a bad in which the protagonist wakes up in. The effect is not used in this bed scene. This flashback/memory style of editing is particularly effective as it is a theme that is explored deeply in psychological thrillers and this is a clear example of it being used effectively. It is effective as it makes the viewer wonder which scene is reality and also wonder why it has been shown to them. Other questions can also be drawn up from this leaving the viewer wanting to know more. It is also suggestive that when a memory/flashback is shown at the start of a film that it is significant/important to the story and can also be suggestive of what may happen further in the film. Other editing effects which are used are things such as panning and tracking shots which are both used to portray normality, but can be used to achieve certain effects. Tracking is mainly used to follow the characters movements, which is useful for the audience in being able to pay attention to detail, and follow their movements etc. Panning is mainly used to show a view of some sort, and is slower/more relaxed in order to give the audience more time to take in the surroundings and get a better feel for the story. Continuity style editing is used in the opening sequence to create a sense of normality in which events in the scene happen in the typical way in which they are supposed to. This continuity editing is used in order to not overly confuse the viewer seeing as they are already being challenged to interpret the flashback/memory effect that is shown and how this is used/is significant to the story. This therefore allows the film to be stimulating, yet enjoyable still. The use of the continuity editing does however challenge the thriller conventions. Also, as there is a flashback we assume that some parallel editing would have been used.

    Mise-en-scene is also another micro element which uses and explores the conventions of a thriller. In the opening sequence the costumes of the two characters are styled to portray normality. We see these two characters in casual, relaxed styled clothing such as t-shirts, jeans and hoodies. This helps to create a normal, calm sense in which the audience can relate to and understand. It is also particularly effective when other things are going on (strange, bad, mysterious) as the audience then become involved in these things in the scene as they can relate to it. It is therefore more personal on many levels. Makeup is used sparingly to create an everyday look in order to seem as if none is worn. The location used is also typical of a thriller convention as it is a very normal, stereotypical, realistic setting – a typical family neighbourhood. In the scene/shots used we see a middle sized house in an average/fairly wealthy neighbourhood and this along with the two middle aged characters, which are a couple stereotypically suggests family life and in some ways wealth. This is effective as it is something that most viewers can relate to or familiarise with, again creating that sense of normality. Also by the couple making contact and being ‘intimate’ to some extent in the opening sequence when kissing, hugging etc. this could be seen as stereotypical and within all of the normality suggested through the mise-en-scene and other micro elements it could be suggestive that something bad may happen to/in this relationship due to this being a focus in the opening clips shown. Lighting used in the scene is daylight which is used to create an everyday feel which the audience can relate to on a personal level. It can also be overseen by the audience due to the normality of it and this being something that the audience would not pick up on. Lastly, props are used in the opening sequence to set the scene and further portray that sense of normality in everyday life. Props such as a car, house keys, a watch, a hanging basket are all effective in emphasising that sense of normality and everyday life within the scene. They are also effective in making it easier for the audience to relate to and understand. Due to details such as lighting and props being used in the opening sequence to emphasise the normality and everyday feel, it also has a further effect as it emphasises the in-normality of the other corresponding effects/micro-elements used in the scene.

    Thursday, 17 February 2011


    The location we are using is a cellar which we need to be almost pitch black. We had decided on using a flickering light bulb as it would be effective for the illusion we wanted to create. We originally wanted a close up of the light bulb, but after discussing it we found that it would be extremely hard and would cause danger to make a light bulb flicker. When carrying out our test shots we found that using a camera torch and swaying it vigerously it gives off a great effect. Also instead of showing a close-up shot of a light bulb we had a idea of using a candle in a lantern which could be flickering by a gush of wind and would eventually blow it.

    Tuesday, 15 February 2011


    This is our moodboard, we have used two very different sounds and images to give an idea of the two different settings in which we are going to use in the opening sequence. The first set of images are things you would see in a normal family kitchen on a morning before work/school for example; a kitchen table and a kitchen sink. The music is used as we want to create a happy atmosphere to contrast with the dull cellar. The second set of images and sound are complete opposites to the first set as the cellar will be almost pitch black with dull ambient sound and echos. The images used are ideas of shots that we will use for the opening, shot of the eye and tied up hands.

    Writing for the thriller opening sequence

    Picture 3

    I quite like this font to be used in the opening sequence of the thriller as it is bold yet mysterious, it has a slight curl to it which could suggests that everything isn't as it seems and there is something 'hidden' behind the corner.

    Picture 7

    This font looks slightly like blood splattered which i like a lot as is gives a clue as to what the opening sequence is about. It is a little cliche for a thriller but i think it would fit into our story very well but without giving too much away.

    Picture 5 

    This font is similar to the first font but slightly more sophisticated, this text is quite sharp and pointed which gives off an impression that the sequence will be slightly gory.

    Picture 7 

    I found this font from an opening sequence on YouTube, this font looks very creepy. I like the way the writing is very square and the white blobs almost make the writing hard to read which makes the viewer pay more attention to the screen. On the video it blurs in and out which I had already imagined our group doing with some writing in the sequence as it would fit in well in the lead up to the cellar scene, this would link to the candle/lantern we are going to use which will be flickering. The stripe down the side looks similar to what the police use to identify finger prints which hints that something suspicious is going to happen which would also fit in with our sequence. This writing is my favourite so far.

     Picture 8

    Friday, 11 February 2011

    Test Footage

    We carried out some test shots before filming our thriller. Part of the opening sequence is going to be set in a dark cellar which is why we chose to do our test shots in a dark room to get the feel of how the shots will look with only a very small amount of lighthing.
    In order to create the tension and uncertainty for the audience, we've set the scene in a dark area. The dark room enables the audience to question themselves what is going on and helps set the scene of the girl being vulnerable by not being able to see where she is and being tied up.
    The limited light enables the audience to view the protagonist and the main features like the tied hands and feet along with the blood which shows she has been physically harmed and locked up, this creates the effect of the audience being causious of the girls condition making them eel tense, however the audience know sub-consiously that they are safe themselves in reality which is a key feature that thrillers need to include.
    The flickering light creates the effect of the light either faiding or about to faid into darkness which helps build the tension for the over all scene. Along with the close up of her face and eye, the flickering light helps create an anxious tension for the audience and helps piece p the scene over all for a thriller as it is subtle.

    The ambient sound helps blend in the continuity editing which enables the audience to feel like they're participating in the scene. The dripping water echoing in the background helps set the location of a dark lonely spaced cellar as it echos which makes the location seem very open, this enhances the girl's vulnerability because she is tied in a little space but is kept in a large area. The ambient sound will make the audience feel the echoing is near them like they're there, this effect of continuity editing will help make the "thrill" the audience is hoping to get out of the scene.
    Hearing nothing but her breathing and the echoing of the water dripping causes an awkward tension, this blends in with the genre of the sequence because thrillers create and uncertainty to what is and is going to happen, you're never quite sure compared to a horror.

    The zoom into a close up of the girl's hands and feet helps show all the main aspects towards the point of the scene which is that she is being held in a cellar tied up.
    The mid shot of the girl's face zooming into a close up of just her eye creates tension for the audience as the effect of only seeing one feature of the girl's face, not being able to see her facial expression or where she is creates that uncertainty and curiosity for the audience to build up the effect of the "thrill" that may or not happen at that precise moment. The flickering light and echoing sound effect of dripping water helps to build that effect for the audience as it all fits the scene together.
     The scene shows a shadow over the girl's face which looks at first, like an over the shoulder shot, however the shadow is over the girl's face and you don't see anyone's shoulder, this creates the "thrill" for the audience as it's unexpected, to see a shadow of another person appear on the wall and across the girl's face. The audience will because anxious and unsure of what's happening but still sub-consiously know they're not in danger in reality, however the way the camera is shot close to the girl and then shown a shadow of another person makes the audience feel like the shadow is behind them with the effect of continuity editing which enables the audiences to feel they're part of the action.


    Our opening sequence only involves only one main character, but this character is shown in two different locations. For each of these locations the character will need two different costumes.

    The main character Lola - For the first location which will be the cellar. Lola will be dressed in old and worn clothes which will be dirty and have holes/ rips in them. The clothes she will be wearing will be a pair of black leggings and a t-shirt. She will have bruises on her face and body and will be dirty all over as well. She will be bare foot in the cellar to show the dirtiness of the environment. Her hair will be down and messy to show she has been neglected for a while.

    For the kitchen location Lola will look very smart and sophisticated, she will be wearing a black pencil skirt, a shirt, tights and a pair of heels. She will be carrying a large handbag which shows she is off to work. Her make up will be natural and her hair will be down and straight. This will contrast completely to Lola's cellar look and confuse the audience, and leave them unsure whether it is the same character.


    Character no2: This character will have a casual everyday look to contrast with the smartness and sophistication of Lola's look. This will also make the character appear more laid back, and casual compared to the protagonist who appears more in a hurry to show her busy lifestyle. The character could also possibly be a younger child around the age of 1, and in this instance this child will be used to again portray the busy everyday lifestyle of a working mother and wife and give across a sense of normality to the audience.



    Thursday, 10 February 2011

    Test shot pictures


    This photo is an example of the shot we will show of the protagonist when we switch back to the cellar scene, it will show the protagonists face which will have a worried expression on it. We tested out lighting to find out what effect looked better with this shot and we found that the lighting used in the picture above would be appropriate.


    This shot was tested as we wanted to show close up shots of the eye at the very start of the opening of the sequence. This shot ended up blurry but we liked the effect of this photo so it may be used in the opening. The one below shows a similar shot but it is not blurry, this gives off a mysterious effect which is the effect we want to give off in the opening of the sequence .


    This is a high angle shot shown of the protagonist which we tested as we wanted the setting to be pitch black but we wanted to show part of the protagonists face. We liked the darkness of this as only parts of the protagonists face are shown.

     This is a shot of the protagonists hands which will be tied up by rope in the shooting of the opening. This is going to be shown in a flash with the close up of the eye to show a disorientated effect.

    Friday, 4 February 2011


    Here is a rough shot list that we will use in our Thriller.

    SHOT 1: INT. Close-up shot of a flickering light bulb (this will be in the cellar - the audience will be unaware of this) - diegetic music of a light bulb flickering.
    SHOT 2: Switch to a close-up shot of a wall with blood and dirt splattered all over it, not a focused shot so the viewers are not sure what to think. Here will be a non-diegetic ambient humming sound which the viewers are unsure of what it is/where its from
    SHOT 3: diegetic music of a tap dripping in the background of the scene. Here to accompany this sound will be a close-up of a drip, and it hitting the floor.
    SHOT 4: Another close-up but this time it would also be a canted angle. It will be of some tied up rope around the protagonists wrists but the shot will not show anything else. The diegetic music of the dripping tap will be carried on throughout this scene.
    SHOT 5: The last shot will be an extreme close-up of the protagonists eye, battered and bruised, and with blood running from a cut underneath. The extreme close up will show the detail of the eye, and it twitching and staring blankly into the camera. This will scare the audience and leave them feeling uneasy. The sound here will either be a diegetic ambient sound, or dripping sound.

    SHOT 6: The next shot will change the location to the kitchen where we will do an close-up shot of a dripping tap into a sink, this will cause distortion for the viewer so they think that maybe it is the same location as before but in a different time period.
    SHOT 7: A close up shot of the radio will be shown so the viewers know where the music is coming from.
    SHOT 8: The next shot will change to the kitchen table where there will be a medium shot of the protagonist sat at eating breakfast and talking to a family member/ friend. The music will be diegetic music of a radio which is also sat at the table. This shot will create a sense of normality for the viewer.
    SHOT 9: This will show an over the shoulder shot as a conversation between the two characters sat at the kitchen table will be taking place.
    SHOT 10: There will then be a tracking shot of the protagonist walking to the sink to put her bowls into the sink and then makes her way out of the house on her way to work.
    SHOT 11: When the protagonist has walked out of the house the shot will move to a close up of the calender on the wall with the date monday 9th of March circled and all the days leading up to it crossed out, which shows today is a significant day.

    SHOT 12: The location then switches back to the cellar with the protagonist tied up and a medium/close up shot of the protagonists face is shown with dirt over it and looking like a gorm. The protagonist stares into the camera lifelessly.
    SHOT 13: A medium high angle shot of the protagonist sitting/lying on the floor is used to show her surroundings in more detail.
    SHOT 14: We then hear a non-diegetic sound of footsteps upon the floorboards above, and the the camera switches to point of view shot, showing the protagonists viewpoint and how her vision darts around the room following the movement of the footsteps etc.
    SHOT 15: A Close-up shot of the bottom of the door and the light that peaks through from underneath it is shown. We see some of this light blocked, which is presumed to be somebody who lurks behind the door.
    SHOT 16: The shot then switches back onto the protagonist with a medium/close-up shot showing her with her head covered by her hands/knees/hair. There will be a diegetic sound of the door open and somebody walking into the room slowly. From the light reflected on the wall behind the protagonist we see the figure of a shadow.

    Wednesday, 2 February 2011

    Why "Thrillers" Thrive...

    Thrillers are used to create situations for the audience that they don't actually experience in their own lives. These experiences can create situations which consist of emotional disturbances which can be know as 'thrills'. Thrillers are often seen as unpredictable compared to 'thills' for the audiences everyday life, this is why thrillers are made. To make a fake or artifical experiences by creating thrillers.

    Using the stage or the cinema can make it feel less personal, know that it is just a play or film and that you're safe knowing that nothing will actually physically effect you, but then making it so powerful to feel realistic. Thrillers make the audience feel involoved in the film, making them less of a spectator and almost their own character. Making the audience go through the different emotions that are involoved in the film or play is a good thriller. But then if you make the audience actually go through a physical thrill, this does not work as effectively. Meaning that the cinema is somewhere safe and secure for the audience and they know subconsiously that they are safe.

    The audience thrives for thrills, the cinema thrives on the audience, the director thrives on the cinema and everybody is happy.

    Tuesday, 1 February 2011


    Throughout the opening sequence of memento all of the psychological thriller conventions are explored in one way or another. The central theme of identity is explored to some extent. In the opening sequence the characters identity is exploited through inking on his skin which  is shown. This inking signifies the characters flaw of having a bad memory and also the mystery surrounding why the character has these inkings. The point of view shots which are used at the beginning of the opening sequence when the character is in the hotel room build suspense and draw the viewer in. It also makes them question what is happening and the reasons behind it. It also portrays the main character to be confused having a loss of memory, and also makes the viewer wonder if the central character even knows his own identity.

    Memory is portrayed in Memento in an interesting way. The main character is shown having pieces of information written on his hands. Although the viewer can't actually read what is written it makes them question what is written and draws them in. It also signifies that he does have a memory problem and therefore uses his body as a canvas for these tattoos in order to remember things that he would not remember. Also in the opening sequence close-up shots are used of the main characters face and these show cuts and bruises which he has on it. These cuts and bruises suggest that the character is vulnerable and suggests his weakness of having no memories, as he would not be able to remember why he got these cuts and bruises or what happened to him for them to appear.

    A stream of consciousness is shown in Memento as a voice over, this is shown when the protagonist is in the hotel room alone and the voice over is shown as his internal thoughts. This makes us as the viewer feel as though we are getting an insight into things we shouldn't be, so we feel very privileged.

    In memento music is a key convention as it sets the atmosphere, the music is very dramatic and mysterious which makes the viewer feel unsure of what is going to happen. It is also used to build up suspense which most thrillers do, the music will start off quiet and slow and gradually build it up until it is at a point in which makes the viewer feel tense and wanting to watch more of the film. String instruments are often used in the music.

    In memento mise en scene is giving the audience hints as to what the protagonist is like, the portagonist is shown with writing all over his hand which suggests that he is forgetful and has to make a note on an obvious place to remember important things. Not just does he write things on himself but also he has them tattoed, this is a big clue which makes the audience think that the protagonist has some kind of memory loss an feels the need to tattoo important dates onto his body which is very odd characteristic.

    Memento sets up something which is called a 'set of intrigues' this means clues which eventually lead to a bigger puzzle, examples of this is the tattoos he has on himself and the cuts and bruises on his face which suggests he has been fighting. The cuts could either mean that he is a vulnerable character or a strong, tough character; these are made obvious with the other things in which he does and how he is portrayed.

    In memento there are many 'point of view' shots used, the reason for this is so the viewer can see through the protagonist's eyes and make themselves feel as though they are in that situation. When the protagonist is shown in the hotel room we are made to think that the protagonist is confused of where he is and maybe even who he is.
    Later in the sequence we are shown a close up of a photograph which is in the protagonists hand, this gives the viewer a voyeuristic feel and makes us feel privilaged to be seeing this photograph.

    In memento the sense of time is disrupted which makes the viewer feel confused as to what's happening at what time. It even makes the viewer question whether the protagonist is aware of what the time is and where he's going.

    In the opening sequence it signals to the viewer what the rest of the film will be about and what to expect, in memento these are:
    - distortion of reality
    - disruption of time
    - repitition
    - loss of memory

    The fact that the protagonist corrects his name in the opening sequence makes us think that maybe he has a dual identity as people know him as two different names. We also question wether the narrator is reliable as they are asking alot of questions which confuse the viewer. 


    This is an image of our risk assessment sheet.

    key points of 'why thrillers thrive'

    We have to experience thrills artificially and the screen is the best medium for us to do this. For us to appreciate what a character on stage is going through we have to receive thrills vicariously, which is not the best method. The cinema can leave the spectator with a subconscious assurance of safety and yet surprise his/her imagination into playing tricks on them. Scenes in which set the blood pounding through the veins are highly beneficial for indigestion, gout, rheumatism, sciatica and premature middle age. But the 'horror' film has been loosely applied to films which exploit sadism, perversion, bestiality and deformity. This is wrong, being vicious and dangerous. A film can fully well be horrific, but not horrible. Producers of horrible films realize that there is a growing body of opinion inside and outside the film industry so they 'tone down' their product to make it acceptable. A 'thriller' must be whole hearted, the more exciting the better. That is why the authentic 'thriller' will live and thrive and the 'horror' film will die.

    Monday, 31 January 2011

    Summary of the key points in the article.

    Why "Thrillers" Thrive: Originally published in Picturegoer, January 18, 1936.

    The key points to a thriller is to create the thrill the audience want, whilst consciously having the security of knowing they are quite safe sitting in their chairs watching the scene. Thrillers create a kind of life we don't experience ourselves, or the same life but with a difference, a difference which embarks on emotional disturbances which we call "thrills". Although it may not be practicable to experience sufficient thrills at firsthand, it is in our nature to want those "shake ups" whilst watching a tense scene. Within filming thrillers, directors and editors have abled us to experience firsthand thrills artificially. When thinking of creating a thriller you have to consider making the audience project themselves into the character's consciousness. However in order the produce a good thriller which is most effective on our target audience, we have to make the audience feel like they are participating rather than spectators for them to experience the firsthand thrill.
    Thrillers let the audience use their imagination, they don't always make it obvious and as graphic as a horror would, thrillers create the intensity but don't horrify the audience and make them uncomfortable. Thrillers often leave the answer to the audience, for example close ups of the character's face to absorb their emotions, in a murdering scene, you may see something bad going to happen but before you see them fall to their death, it's a blackout. This causes the audience to make their own personal questions to what has happened in their mind which helps build the intensity. However, the audience's subconscious is aware that they are safe, sitting in a comfortable armchair, watching a screen.
    If the audience's security is undermined, the thrill created is not the kind to please the public. This can occur in many horrors as the graphical scenes show too much detail towards the horrific scene which makes the audience unease, it doesn't appeal to all audience's, a thriller is more subtle.
    A thriller may still leave you subconsciously assured on your safety, yet they create that surprise to influence the audience's imagination to play tricks on their mind, this can be done by continuity editing, making you feel part of the scene, the tone in the music can make you build up in your mind this thrilling tail. A thriller can influence the audience to gain sympathy for the protagonist who then gets involved with danger, this helps with making the "thrill" towards the scene as the audience has bonded with the charatcer whilst watching the film.
    "The audience thrives on thrills, the cinema thrives on the audience, the director thrives on the cinema, and everybody is happy". Scenes which set the blood pounding through the veins are highly beneficial as audiences like the idea of feeling tense and shocked for that split second within a scene.
    In comparison to a horror film, horrors create an entirely different matter, meaning they create an "extreme aversion". To create a distorted view of a tense scene which makes the audience come to an emotional jolt. The scenes are more vicious and dangerous. This is permissible in a horror film. Aspects of horrors only attract certain group of audience as it creates an unnatural excitement for certain people.
    Over all a thriller must be wholehearted, the more exciting the better. A thriller creates this suspense as a thriller is leading to various answers, the uncertainty builds the thrill and tension for the audience.

    "Let 'Em Play God": originally published in Hollywood Reporter 100, no.47, October 11, 1948.

    Within the article it explains the purpose of the mystery to the thriller is to get the audience on the edge of their seats in order to create the suspense. In a thriller it is important to leave the audience unsure of what's happening so they feel like they are part of the scene as the characters don't let on they know what's happening either, the suspense is created by the various possible answers, but no one is sure including the audience. Another way to create suspense for the audience, is for them to know what is going on, yet the characters don't. This make the characters inferior to the audience making the audience "feel like God" as they know what fate the actors face, this creates suspense.
    For years thrillers have been refered to as dark mysteries, and chillers as they are brilliant for making "thrills" for the audience by creating a puzzle they have to solve throughout the film.

    Why "Thrillers" Thrive

    We all go to the cinema to experience life that we wouldn’t ourselves, things that would scare us half to death! Thrillers provide ‘thrills’ for us by displaying events that in our extremely sheltered and protected society would vary rarely, in everyday life, be unlikely to happen. These thrills are created to allow us to break the mold from our normal, boring lives, and experience something really intense and thought provoking to challenge our aspect on life. The best place to experience this is the cinema, which in a good film uses mind-blowing technology to allow us as an audience to participate in the film personally. In the cinema they like to launch the viewer into the ‘danger zone’ using camerawork allowing them to experience a really intense event at first hand. Another technique common with cinema is for them to create a danger for a character the audience have won sympathy for. Seeing these techniques used on stage is a lot less effective seeing as the viewer can only experience these events from a spectators view, and receive thrills vicariously.
    Horror films are completely different to Thrillers however as they portray brutal, horrific events and create unnatural excitement which most viewers find uneasy. Horror, originally meaning ‘extreme aversion’ was made to provide emotional jolt, exploit sadism, perversion, bestiality and deformity. Most logical viewers see the dividing line between thrillers and horrors, and are generally healthy-minded. Viewers want a film that will create great excitement, set their pulses racing (but without causing them extreme trauma!) and leave them wanting more. This is why the Thriller will continue to live on and thrive, and the Horror film will fade out.

    Friday, 28 January 2011

    What we learnt from Amar

    Today from Amar we learnt how to prepare for a film shoot through several steps. His presentation taught us how to prepare for shooting our film, and how to be organised and prepared in order to make it as successful as possible. Amar talked us through several points such as Script Writing, Storyboarding and setting the scene, Location Recce's, Shot List, Test Shots, Final Shooting, Editing and more. in order to be really prepared and organised to create a really successful film when we go to shoot.

    We found the point about location recces really useful as we felt that by doing this it will enable us to get a feel for our possible locations through photographs and also being there in person, helping us to decide which location(s) to use.
    We have decided to set the location in a cellar, this location is practical and reliable as it is one of the group members who has a cellar in her house. We will think of safety precautions to make sure it is safe, we also have adult supervision who will be on hand to help with any problems we may need help with.

    Thursday, 27 January 2011

    Feedback of final idea

    During our presentation of our final idea we were asked questions about the filming of our idea and the concerns the class had about our idea.
    The questions asked included:
    • Do you have a cellar to film the thriller in and is it safe? ANSWER: Yes, one of our group members has a cellar and it is safe and stable to film inside it.
    • Is the protagonist going to be the same person in the cellar as well as in the kitchen? ANSWER: The protagonist will be the same person, it'll become clear to the viewer when it flashes back to the cellar after the kitchen scene as the protagonist will be revealed more in the second scene of the cellar. 
    • The idea seems confusing because you're flashing backwards and forwards how are you going to make it all fit? ANSWER: In order to fit it all in so the thriller opening flows smoothly we are going to do smooth cuts and fades to change the scene, the lighting will be different as the scene in the kitchen will be in daylight with the protagonist in the kitchen, this shows the scenes are at different times as the protagonist has moved location. The dripping of the tap in the cellar scene will help create the psychological thriller theme as the diegetic sound of the tap will continue to the tap in the kitchen dripping as well, this creates a good effect to make the viewer uneasy and tense, the flash back of the different scenes will run smoothly which makes the viewer think of different questions to ask themselves which is what a psychological thriller should do.
    • Will the kitchen and the cellar be filmed in the same location? ANSWER: Yes to save time and traveling, however it'll not be made obvious in the thriller opening.

    Tuesday, 25 January 2011

    Final idea for thriller

    Shots are shown, close up's, extreme close up's, canted angles of the rope, the ground, the wall with blood on. To show a distorted view of the cellar and what appears to be in there. There will be a diegetic sound of a tap dripping constantly all through out the scene which seems quite significant in this point.

    The scene will then cut to a kitchen location, where we see a the protagonist eating breakfast and talking to a family member/friend. There would also be diegetic music of a radio here to set the scene and create a sense of normality for the viewer. There will also be a closeup shot of a dripping tap in the kitchen linking back to the sound in the previous scene. The shots in this scene will be typical mid-shots, close-ups, and also over the shoulder shots (if conversation), and also the charaters wearing normal, everyday clothes which together both create a sense of normality.

    We then cut back to the cellar setting in which we are made more aware of the protagonist and their situation and by this shown a mid shot of the protagonist locked up against the wall with torn clothing, dirt and blood all over them, she will be shown with a high shot to make her seen vulnerable. The ripped and dirty clothes show that she has been tortured. The sound in this section will be a similar diegetic sound from inside the room, and footsteps of another human being.

    Friday, 21 January 2011

    Brainstorm Of Ideas For Opening Sequence

    Idea number one:

    The protagonist will be a teenager who is attending college but is an undercover agent and is trying to track down someone else at their college. We do not find out who the protagonist really is until right at the end of the film so it will not be shown in the opening.

    It would start by the protagonist waking up in the morning ready for her first day of college, she seems extremely worried and tries to act as casual as possible when entering college for the first time. She then attends lesson and see's the girl in which she is trying to find out about. She makes friends with her and asks some unusual questions.

    Idea number two:

    The protagonist is shown at the train station with a mysterious briefcase, they leave the case at a spot in the station waiting for someone to arrive on a different train and pick it up. When the suitcase is unattended a young child discovers it and picks it up wondering what it is, and then takes it with them leaving the station. The person collecting the briefcase arrives on their train to collect it and when discovering that it is missing is very anxious and worried to where the briefcase has gone and if it has got into the wrong hands. Also, the audience is worried for the young child and what will happen surrounding the briefcase.

    Idea number three:

    The protagonist will be a teenager living a normal, fun life that any normal teenager would. One night she goes to a gig with her friend to see one of their favorite bands and is having a really enjoyable night before the crowd starts getting out of control, and her and her friend get separated and she is knocked out with everybody else around her oblivious. She then wakes up to what is years in the past, and not only has a new identity but a new body of an elderly woman. Will she ever get out of the body and return to herself or will she be trapped forever?

    Idea number four:

    The protagonist of this story will be a highly qualified surgeon, but during very important surgery he forgets all that he has learnt which leads to his patients not being fully recovered, and tragedies with the patients occurring because of this.

    Idea number five:

    A new baby is born into a family which is amazing news as not long ago a relative, the baby's grandmother, had passed away. When months go by the family realise something odd about their new born baby girl, she is identical to her grandmother. She looks the same, and everything she learns to do is the same as her grandmother. The whole family start to get a little freaked out by it and don't know what to do. They take her to the doctors in the end to find out a very strange thing has occurred which had never happened, even the doctors are stunned.

    Idea number six:

    Shots are shown (which are not made apparent) of the protagonist in an old dirty cellar, locked up against the wall with torn clothing, dirt and blood all over them.  The protagonist is then taken out of the trance and a shot is shown of her at the table eating breakfast in everyday life, and having a conversation with a friend/family member. The shot then cuts back to the cellar, and the scene is made more apparent due to the shots of which portray the protagonist more fully to the audience. You then hear footsteps going down the stairs of the cellar, and a shadow is shown of the criminal on the wall the protagonist is tied up against. There will be no sepecific past/present time separation between the two scenes in order to create this sense of disorientation, and confusion for the audience as they would wonder which is past/present and what is going on.

    Thursday, 20 January 2011

    Crime Thrillers

    Below are the typical conventions of Crime Thrillers:

    • Main character is a criminal - you see the majority of the story from their viewpoint.
    • Murder is normal.
    • Feuds occur.
    • Main criminal is insecure and uncomfortable vs. Ordinary criminal who hides a deeper extraordinary life.
    • Music is not as mysterious as as classical cinema as more tension is created. It also tends to last longer.
    • The criminal usually had a dopey, inadequate sidekick.
    • Mise-en-scene - this contains a darker colour palette.
    • Flaws are apparent in the plan.
    • Characters are characterised by a crime or series of crime.

    Tuesday, 18 January 2011

    Opening Sequence Analysis of Number Seventeen

    Number Seventeen was written and direct by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1932. The film is a classical thriller which involves a detective who tracks a group of criminals to a deserted house above a rail depot which they are using to escape to the continent.

    In the opening sequence for number seventeen, it introduces the title credits along with non-diegetic music which helps to set the scene by creating tension and giving a mysterious feel towards the film.

    After the credits are shown, the scene fades into a dark street which zooms into a tree, as the leaves blow off the tree the camera uses a tracking shot to follow the leaves along with a hat down the street, accompanied by the intense non-diegetic soundtrack, this draws the audiences attention to the hat and what and who the hat is going to lead to, this helps with the genre of a thriller as this genre plays with your imagination, the audience does't know what's going to happen.
    The hat leads to an old gloomy house where the owner of the hat picks it up, this introduces the first character, suggesting that this is the main character within the sequence.

    After this the tracking shot used for the main character continues showing him entering the building, and along with the mid-shot used creates a realistic sense. The lighting inside the building is very dull, and dim, and this creates a creepy and mysterious atmosphere and also creates tension for the viewer and leaves them wondering what will happen next. The music is very low toned, it makes the audience very tense as they are suggested towards something mysterious happening. The music speeds up when the man enters the house which suggests an extremely tense moment. It then fades out once he has been in the house for a while. The sound is non- diagetic so the man cannot hear the music. The music sounds as though a violin is being played and maybe even a piano. The house is very bare and empty which is another way in which makes the audience feel as though something mysterious is about to happen. There is shown a point of view low shot on the stairs which makes us as the audience think that there is something up there, the point of view makes us feel as though we are looking through the characters eyes at what they see or what they are worried about.
    When the man enters the house we immediately think it looks odd/ suspicious as it is a stereotype of a 'haunted house' the reason for this is that the house is covered in leaves and it looks as though it has been overgrown, this suggests that no one has lived in this house for a while which is odd when the character finds the door to be wide open, the bareness of the house creates the mystery


    LEVEL 3  - 36-47 marks

    There is evidence of proficiency in the creative use of many of the following technical skills:
    • holding a shot steady, where appropriate;
    • framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate;
    • using a variety if shot distances as appropriate;
    • shooting material appropriate to the task set;
    • selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objects, and setting;
    • editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer;
    • using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set;
    • using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
    • using titles appropriately.
    LEVEL 4 - 48-60 marks

    There is evidence of excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills:
    • holding a shot steady, where appropriate;
    • framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate;
    • using a variety of shot distances as appropriate;
    • shooting material appropriate to the task set;
    • selecting mise-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting;
    • editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer;
    • using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set;
    • using sounds with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
    • using titles appropriately.

    Friday, 14 January 2011

    Action Thrillers

    Key conventions in action thrillers:

    Sound track is very key in action thrillers, the music is usually very deep and it progressively gets faster when a tense moment is about to occur. This makes the viewer eager to watch the rest of the film. This is usually used when the characters have a specific amount of time to race to do a specific task. Crime thrillers have more use of drums in thier soundtracks compared to psychological thriller that use for strings insruments.

    Only brief amount of identity - most main characters in action thrillers, their idenity is only shown breifly and leave the most important traits of their personality/ identity to the end. This is done as most characters have a secret or something out of the ordinary about them and would ruin the story if it was discovered at the beginning of the film. Not knowing alot about a character draws the audience's attention towards the plot of the sequence and that specific character.

    The film Leon shoes the hit man in his everyday life. He is perceived as a normal man and lives in a flat building.  It also shows the hit man showing emotion to a young girl who has a bruise on her face. This could scare the viewers as he is such a normal character away from his job.

    At the beginning theirs a point of view shot of someone going into a building. It seems as he is floating, this could me a Mcguffin, as the hit man is a killer that cannot be heard or seen.

    Thursday, 13 January 2011

    Psychological Thrillers

    A psychological thriller- 'characters are no longer reliant on physical strength to overcome their brutish enemies (which is often the case in typical action-thrillers), but rather are reliant on their mental resources, whether it be by battling wits with a formidable opponent or by battling for equilibrium in the character's own mind. The suspense created by psychological thrillers often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another's minds, either by playing deceptive games with the other or by merely trying to demolish the other's mental state'.

    Psychological thrillers have the main conventions which can be included in various thrillers, these include:

    Central theme of identity- example of how this theme is explored including mistaken identities, amnesia, stolen identities, dual identities.This usually happens to the protagonist in the movie as the storyline is always based around the main character.

    Memory is another key theme - The torture of an individual of bad or traumatic memories. The trauma of a lost memory. This could be caused from an accident happened to the character or they could have been born with the condition.

    Reality of perception - A person's perceptions of what is and what isn't real is also explored. Events are shown from the viewpoint of multiple characters.

    Mind -  The human consciousness; the location for personality, thought, reason, memory, intelligence and emotion. The mind is often used as a location for narrative conflict.

    Purpose - The reason for which something exists; an aim or a goal humans move towards to understand their reason for existence.

    Stream of consciousness - A literary technique which seeks to describe an individual's point of view by giving the written view of the character's thought processes. In psychological thrillers, the narrative tries to show the character's psyche through word usage, descriptions, or visuals.

    Thursday, 6 January 2011


    LESSON 1: Tuesday 4th January - In this lesson we completed our filming successfully.
    LESSON 2: Thursday 6th January - In this lesson we completed the editing of our filming and completed our preliminary task.

    In our preliminary task we needed to include specific shots, these were as follows:

    • Establishing Shot
    • Close-up Shot
    • Match on Action
    • Reaction Shot
    • Long Shot
    • Filming a conversation
    Below is our preliminary task in which all of these shots were included.