Monday, 7 February 2011

Psychological/Documentary Thriller.

I watched a strange film, 'The Fourth Kind' which i would describe as a suspense/supernatural/psychological thriller: Rather than 'Horror' where i found it in blockbusters.
I think this type of film is successful, as they made it very real, and it had 'factual' interludes by a commentator, at certain points in the film, but most notably at the start you are assured that the events are all true life accounts of alien abduction. And after the movie, they even have the audacity to say on the credits about how people's lives went on: "Abigail never did find her daughter, and her son still blames her for her disappearance'.
The film was in fact, a 20million dollar hoax, nonetheless successful and thrilling viewing.
I chose to do a blog about it because i took some influence from the occasional shaky filming, and distorted sound. In moderation, i think is effective. Rather than 'paranormal activity', another huge hoax, or 'The Blair Witch Project', both of which i thought to be largely unentertaining films.
This is the fictitious video supposedly recorded in 2000, where the main character is under hypnosis. The Camera does however make it seem in a way, realistic, and it wasn't until i searched online that i was convinced of it's falseness.


This is the trailer for 'Das Experiment', a German film which i watched with English subtitles (there are none in this trailer).
I thought i would get an understanding of more types of thriller, and i would not be able to label this one, it crossed over in to both suspense/psychological/action thriller sub genres. It involved the offer of money for the involvement in an experiment, where everyday normal men, or 'meerschweinschen' (guinea pigs)  were put in to a prisoner/officer environment, and locked away for only 2 weeks, to see how they would cope. The men who posed as guards became too assertive, and the prisoners too rebellious, ending in disaster, it contained a psychological message as well as one of action and entertainment.
        The misc-en-scene of the underground faux-prison was what created much of the atmosphere. The trapped feeling added a lot to the suspense and discomfort an edge-of-your-seat thriller should offer.
I took some photos while i was out, as i thought it might influence me in my group's thriller opener.

All shots taken around London Bridge (both north and south sides).

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

There were 31 suspense films realsed in 2009 and there were 503 films realsed in 2009.

Action, animation and comedy account for 52% of the box office in the uk this is because they have a bigger appeal to audiences and generally have a larger target audience.

Thrillers only take in 4% of the box office due to not many people are keen on watching them and also  they don't have a great appeal unlike other genres. A major factor is age restrictions so this automatically creates a smaller target audience it will appeal to.

Looking at the genre by gender diagram it shows how females tend to watch romance and period films which are soft and humble, where as the males tend to watch crime,action and sci fi which involve a lot of violence and distress.

Thrillers tend to be targeted at an older audience and do not take into the account the younger audiences.

The Bag Swap (Filming and Editing)

After we had learned the functions of the camera, we had the task of doing some practice filming, in preparation for our actual thriller opening. We drew influence out of other movies, typically action and espionage, a genre which incorporates conventions similar to the common thriller.
we had to film two characters swapping a bag in such a way that it seemed planned, and conntoes some sort of action.

The lesson after we filmed, we had a quick re-cap on using final cut pro, as well as soundtrack pro and livetype. This allowed us to insert our memory cards, use our video drive and begin an edit.
The editing requried patience and detailed analysis we managed to do a rough cut within an hour and then after our 15 minute break we had done the final cut. The next step was inserting a soundtrack, made via loops in soundtrack pro.
I decided to use a 'drone' for the first part of the movie, until the pace increased nearer the bag swap where i added some bassy drums and an electronic melody.
The drone is typical of horror and thriller movies and is very effective in creating a sinister atmosphere.

Adding and selecting sounds in soundtrack pro.

Arranging the sound sn the 'arrange' screen

Notice the film in sync with the music in a small display at the side.

Trying out backgrounds and fonts in livetype.

Arranging the whole thing together back in final cut.

Camera Work, An Introduction

This is a very similar camera we will be using to shoot our thriller movies with the time comes.
Insert the battery in the battery slot which is located in the back of the camera. If you want to take out the battery, push the eject button which can be found on top of the battery slot.

 Insert the battery in the battery slot which is located in the back of the camera. If you want to take out the battery, push the eject button which can be found on top of the battery slot.

  Insert the memory card into the memory slot to save your clips so you can send it to the computer. The memory card slot can be found at the left hand side of the camera, bottom of the mini screen.
Slot the camera on top of the tripod until you hear a click, when you hear the click, that's when the camera is locked in. If you want to release the camera from the tripod, push the eject button then slide it out. Tripod would be useful for panning and still filming.

 The lesson today was based on how to use and function the camera. we were taught all the functions and different switches within the camera itself, and also we were taught how to hold and use the camera, also we were taught how to focus the camera and how to postion our shots while using the camera. i had used a camera similar to this when i was doing gcse media but it wasn't as advance and expensive as this camera. We breifly went over lighting and learnt about camera saftey due to it was for our benefit because the camera's are really expensive.


The term 'intertextuality' is used for when thriller movies borrow and use parts from eachothers idea's. This will occur to happen in our own productions. A great example is the 'Step Father' the shower scene when he falls upon the shower curtain this was also used within the 'Pysco'. Mant thriller and horror movies base their scence within basements were it is discrete and dark just like the step father, were he hides all his tools and a dead body.

Detailed Analysis of 'Memento'

The opening of 'Memento' is intresting due to the clip is reversed which links it back to the title of the film. The opening contains no forms of speechs which already makes the audience think but the titles says it all which causes a source of tension this shows the forms of a psychological thriller well.
When the viewer sees the gun it becomes clear what has happened but very mysteriously we do not know why and it gives away very little about the film.

The Production and Distribution company of Memento is Newmarket. The name of the production company's is introduced with a bright flash effect, it just appears for a short while. The purpose of this is to show people that the film was produced by this company.

Timeline Of the opening title sequence.

  • 0:01 - Production Company: Newmarket
  • 0:08 - Production company's name appears again. "NEWMARKET PRESENTS"
  • 0:12 - Summit Entertainment
  • 0:16 - Team Todd Production
  • 0:21 - Director's name - Christoper Nolan
  • 0:25-0:37 - Actors names appear
----------TITLE APPEARS AT 0:38--------------
  • 0:41 - A man holding a photograph
  • 0:45-0:58 - Co-starring actors
  • 1:00 - Casting
  • 1:04 - Music Producer
  • 1:08 - Costume designer
  • 1:12 - Editor
  • 1:15 - Production designer
  • 1:19 - Director of photography
  • 1:24 - Co-producer
  • 1:27 - Co-executive producers
  • 1:32 - Executive producer
  • 1:42 - Screen play by Christoper Nolan, based on the short story by Jonathan Nolan
  • 1:47 - Directed by Christoper Nolan
-----------TITLE SEQUENCE ENDS AT 1:53-------------

Thriller Sub Genres

Thriller is a genre of literature, film, and television that uses suspense, tension, and excitement as the main elements. A thriller can cover many sub genres and is arguable that is may fall into specific groups.

Action Thriller - This type of thriller involves heavy action and that would be quick and fast paced film. (The Expendables)

Psychological Thriller - 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. (Donnie Darko 2001)

Supernatural Thriller - In which the film brings in an otherworldly element mixed with tension, suspense and plot twists. Sometimes the hero and/or villain has some psychic ability.(The Skeleton Key)

Political thriller - In which the hero/heroine must ensure the stability of the government that employs him/her.(The Interpreter)

Mystery thriller -  Suspense films where characters attempt solving, or involved in, a mystery.(Unforgettable)

Erotic Thriller - Consists of sexual activity and attraction between two people. (E.g. Fatal Attraction)

Conspiracy thriller - In which the hero/heroine confronts a large, powerful group of enemies whose true extent only he/she recognizes.(Marathon Man)

Suspense Thriller - Thriller is set on tension, excitement and suspense, but suspense thriller takes a step further and really gets the audience's heart going. (E.g. Phonebooth)
I have to say in my opinion i believe that action thrillers are my best due to all the heavy actions going on within the movie which is really exciting,which keeps you on your feet plus the tension and suspense within it aslo makes everything so dramatic so as audience you'd want to watch more and stay enaged with the movie.
I literally love 'The Expendables' due to it's such an action thriller which has been directed really well with a great stroy line and fits perfectly well within it's genre.

Definition of Suspense

Suspense is a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety about the outcome of certain actions, most often referring to an audience's perceptions in a dramatic work. Suspense is not exclusive to fiction, though. Suspense may operate in any situation where there is a lead up to a big event or dramatic moment, with tension being a primary emotion felt as part of the situation. Suspense could also create a physical change like an increase in heart rate, suspense is usually built up with clues that lead an audience on and cause's tension within the audience keeping them on their toes.

For example in this picture you can see the blood on the floor which automatically signals alarms bells someone or something is in danger so it shows a creation of suspense and tension.Suspense can be shown through a 'false Plateu' such as in jaws. We see shark fins that lead the audience to believe it is Jaws the killer, but then it is revealed that is only children with a fake shark.But then just after that, the real jaws appears, which doubles the suspense and also makes things tense within the scene.