Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Evaluation: Stereotypes Question 2


I feel that although my movie, 'Anxiety' does conform to some stereotypes, it subverts some as well. for example, rather than our victim being a young, possibly defenseless female, we chose a seemingly capable male. 
I think it is often more creative to challenge stereotypes, as it adds intrigue for the viewer.
This is similar to the way that there are ominous connotations with the female character, as she leaves the scene without saying anything, after our victim collapses after drinking only a small amount of wine- this suggests she has done something to his drink as she does not seem phased by the events. See below.

One stereotype we did keep was that the 'bad guy' or villain, should be shown in an intimidating way, shown by the misc-en-scene of the outfit, and the camera angles the villain is presented in. Typically low angle shots to make someone appear bigger.

The bars behind, previously shown to represent entrapment, play part again in the misc en scene and develop a spacial awareness so that we know our villain is already closer to the victim without even seeing the distance. The dark coat is stereotypical of the killer who wants to remain inconspicuous.
Although leaning towards the horror/slasher genre, the black coat is prevalent throughout many villains, as it's connotations are well known when seen on screen.

The camera angle being low; also shows strength and dominance in a situation, as it makes the character seem controlling, taller and larger.
The high angle shot makes a character seem much more helpless and small, in contrast with low angle shot.


The location i found was gritty and urban, i thought it was perfect for the trapped feeling as the locked gates behind it looked like prison bars and the stone walls gave it an industrial and isolated feeling- similar to that of a run down riverside warehouse.
You would expect a location like this from the way it is presented, but the location was in fact normal underpasses and riverside walkways, which happened to be empty enough to shoot there.

The first picture shows the industrial nature of the setting, the warning signs on the doors are like that of a warehouse, especially the 'danger of death' sign shown in the movie. This also creates ominousness. 
The bars and water suggest the victim is trapped on all sides. Although i cannot recall which thrillers are set in a similar setting, i would say that the closest representation of complete entrapment is shown in the 'saw' horror series. In the way that the location is effective in creating suspense and discomfort, i think it does incorporate many of the features of a typical thriller setting.
(finish off)

Evaluation Q1 conventions of thriller opening.

Film openings usually establishes the theme of the film and also establishes the mood and tone for the rest of the film.
The convention of the title of our thriller opening was inspired by MEMENTO, this makes the title look more noticeable, as the title appears on a black screen.
Soon after we introduce the names of the that worked in the production of the opening (credits)
At the very start we added are own production company ident this could suggest what type of film it is, whether its a good hollywood blockbuster film or a not so very known company.
This is a production company ident "Screen Gems" from "The Step Father"
We decided to make our own production company ident to make it look more independent and safisticated.

The opening also could establish the main character/s as in "The stepfather" it mainly starts off with main character first, before any other characters.
This is where we see the main character with a low angle shot to show that he is important in in the film but also not a victim.
We have used this convention of the low angle shot in our opening.
This is a low angle shot on one of the main character.

Evaluation: Audience Feedback Question 6

Feedback from fellow class members showed that many were fond of the music and thought it created the right mood.

I sampled the piano and other sounds from a song i had made prior to the project, and after re-listening to it i thought it would suit the thriller opener.
 Sounds from 'soundtrack pro' were also used, in order to create the drones prevalent in many thrillers.
Friends also praised the camera-work and editing.
Some feedback from facebook.
Many people in class and also friends outside of college who i asked liked the shot of the lock.
 and the shot that followed where the foreground was in focus and the background (where our victim is) is out of focus.

People said that they thought this added to the feeling of entrapment (see wordle word cloud at top of post)

The only thing people said they would change or improve is that they would have less of the shots of the kitchen scene as they were not as strong. Although they were needed to create a contrast between the mood of the trapped scenes, i agree that the shots and camera angles, and also lighting were not as effective, this became more apparent after feedback. We were dealing with a relatively small space- in the kitchen there was little room to maneuver the camera and it's tripod. 

Q6 revisited:

The experience of watching our thrillers in the cinema allowed us to see reactions we would get from a crowd and also the quality of our footage, and the depth of our sound.
Our thriller received good comments after the show with some saying the idea was quite original and that the location (depicted in the film and other blog posts at an earlier date) was very good. The audience cheered for all the films, but it was the exclamations made at certain points that indicated a direct reaction to the intended effect of a good camera shot.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Camera Work

We had a lesson on how to use the camera appropriately so that we do not damage the camera's. Our teacher showed us that there different types of function in the camera, such as the focus buttons and how to zoom in and out.
                            This is a very similar camera that we are going to use for our filming.
In using the camera equipment we have to insert the memory card in to the camera (were you can find the slot at the left hand side of the camera) first so that your shots can be stored in.
 you also have to make sure the memory card is unlocked.

Instead of hand holding the camera we use a tripod, so that the shots aren't shaky and so that we can take fine shots. You can also extend the tripod higher (however you want) by opening the nob at the bottom then closing it again.
you have to make sure you slide the camera in carefully, and you hear a click and check that the camera is secure, you that its in ready to use. Our teacher demonstrated how to do all of these things and we all had a go at it.

Font Analysis (own Research)

One of my favourite film cover that stands out a lot with its font is "The MuMmy (Tomb of the dragon empire)"

The font is in a "Palatino" styled font which suits the image as well as the font colour also stands out the effect of the "M" in MuMmy being bigger than the rest of the font, makes it look more interesting. I feel that this Serif font goes well with the image as its more traditional and serious, which also promotes its film to be filled with ACTION! =)

The Structure Of Thriller Openings

There are 3 basic structures followed for film openings. These are:

  • A narrative opening with the titles running throughout
  • A discrete title sequence
  • Titles over a blank screen, followed by the narrative opening

A narrative opening
A good example of this is 'The Shining' as the credits run through the whole opening

A discrete title sequence
A title sequence which contains shots/images of things that probably don't exactly have anything to do with the film, but more to set the atmosphere and mood for the audience. The title sequence doesn't reveal anything.
A good example of this is 'SE7EN'

Titles over a blank screen
This is a simple opening with titles and then the opening. This is simple but can still be effective, as it is a classic way of opening a film.

Font Analysis

Serif font - such as Times and Courier
traditional font which has lines at the end of each letter.

Sans Serif fonts - such as Arial and Comic Sans
Sans Serif are generally more relaxed and more informal and more friendly.

The film "PEARL HARBOUR" is in a "Palatino" styled font which is a serif font. The letters are all in capitals, the  title is also is placed at the bottom and the width and the height suggests that it promotes to an older audience as there is an RAF styled plain in the poster which shows that it is a film from the past history, which makes it seem like a war time film.

The film "ROCKY" is in a Frank Gothic Heavy styled font which more of a Sans Serif styled font. The letters are in capitals, but yet Big and Bold! which makes it stand out more, and with relation to friendliness the font is more curvy and smooth portraying with the image which shows friendly relation with two people.

It is important that the right font suits the right film cover, so that the viewers don't get muddled up with wrong idea of the film.

Suspense analaysis "The Happening"

I was flicking through the channels and I found myself watching a film called "The Happening" this is a thriller movie that creates suspense, as in one part of the clip the man (one of the main character) is looking for the old women in the house and goes into the room and finds a doll placed on the bed and at first he is mistaken to think that it was the old women. "The Happening" is about a certain wind or plant that is massively effecting the human population, that's what makes the film more suspenseful as everyone would ask themselves "what is happening", this also flows very well with the title.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Thriller Sub-genres

There are many types of thriller films such as,

Psychological thriller - The suspense is created based on psychotic behaviour and usually involves blood.

Supernatural thriller - This is were tension is created with some sort of supernatural elements

Political thriller - This could be with different plots associated with the government or even power struggles.
(Fair game)

Erotic thriller - Consists sexual attraction or activity between two people
(Fatal Attraction)

Action thriller - This is were there is a lot of fast motion, and a lot of actions.
(Resident Evil)

Conspiracy thriller - Are often to do with journalists or amateur investigators dealing with something that is found to unusual which then leads on to something much bigger than expected.
(Vantage point)

One of my favourite thriller movie is "Resident Evil" because it has a lot of action even with the female characters, and I like the use of weapons as it creates more tension and motivation into destroying the creatures in the film.

Title Sequence Analysis

  • The purpose of an opening is that it introduces you to the key characters it also sets the scene (location) and it also reveals the sub genre of the film. The opening can also reflect on the title and it also lays out the foundation for the whole film.
  • The purpose of an opening also shows us the tone and mood of the movie.
  • Title sequence TIMELINE:  MEMENTO - Psychological  genre
  • 0.01 - NEWMARKET (production company)
  • 0.07 - NEWMARKET presents...
  • 0.16 - A Team Todd Production
  • 0.22 - A Film by Christopher Nolan (director)
  • 0.25 - Names of actors appear
  • 0.38 - Title appears... (MEMENTO)
  • 0.46 - Key actors
  • 1min - Casting
  • 1.04 - Music
  • 1.08 - Costume
  • 1.11 - Editor
  • 1.20 - Production Designer
  • 1.25 - Director of photography
  • 1.28 - Co-Producers 
  • 1.32 - Co-Executive Producer 
  • 1.36 - Executive Producer
  • 1.46Screen play by Christopher Nolan, based on the short story by Jonathan Nolan
  • 1.52Directed by Christopher Nolan
  • 1.50 - Title Sequence ends.
This opening of "MEMENTO" inspires as it gives a mysterious mood and the audiences could tell that it is an psychological thriller.


Intertextuality  are scenes in which parts of some the conventions are borrowed from different films, such as in "what lies beneath" we hear the same water shower as of "Psycho". also in "Fatal attraction" we see the stair case and then in the bathroom we see a knife, which we also see the stair case in "The Stepfather" and we also see the mirror shattering on the floor, and just like in "Psycho" we see the curtains falling in the bathroom.
Intertextuality usually appear in thriller movies.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

the final curtain

After analysing the rough cut, i realised we should change some things to make the final cut more suspenseful, making some shots shorter to generate more of  feeling of pace.This eventually cut around 20 seconds off the film here and there, nd made it seem more professional, as well as concise. We also decided to add some effects in the 'flashback' drinking scenes, such as changing the saturation to black and white, and adding a lens blur, as the characters became annebriated. I think this contributed greatly to the overall feel of the film.

We still have the titles and soundtrack to do. both of which we will keep simple. The titles will be a simple black background, with an ordinary white font, with effects added to it such as blur and earthquake to give it a flickering effect. I feel that in this case the titles should come before the movie rather than overlaying the footage, as it could go two ways
1. overlay titles may distract from any action shown
2. overlay titles will not be acknowledged because the focus will be on the action.

The location plays a key role in our thriller opener and it is the first thing we see, to signify it's importance, it would be wrong to cover it with text.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Rough cut evaluation

while editing for our rough i found that we had to do a lot of cuts and have decided to make some of the shots quick and sharp for the final video as it would engage the audiences more as they would want to find out what is going on. We had various successful shots that we added in following are animatic story board,  however with inspiration we added a few extra shots that popped up in mind while we were filming.

As we were going through the shots and cutting out the unnecessary parts, i found it very amusing looking at them footages i realised it takes a lot of hard work and effort into making a video.

for our rough cut we have added the main bits to our video so it can then be more easy for us to do some more editing for the final video however we have decided to add the credits in later for our final video.
The title of our video is "Anxiety".

Our location was london bridge so we added shots of the thames in the opening to set the scene, we also had a shot of a locked chain and a danger of death sign so that the audience can sense the fear in the video.

At the moment in the rough cut, we have left it to be silent, but for our final video we are going to add music to make it sound more tense.

Rough Cut Evaluation

Firstly, the filming went well, the group were more than satisfied with the shots we got.
We stuck to the story board (see animatic) but also added in a few more shots that came with inspiration.

To start we set the scene with the train tracks, and then by the river setting, getting closer to the location of our victim, we then see a sign that says 'danger of death' which indicates something bad is going to happen.
We are then shown a shot of the bleeding victim which should intrigue the audience and make them wonder what happened, which remains largely unexplained throughout the opening.

as the character passes out it sets to a different scene at an earlier daylight time where he is drinking with a friend; the contrast in scenes was supposed to create the sense of a flashback to what had been done previously the day before the incident. I think this causes intrigue for the viewer.

we made sure to use a good amount of close ups for detail. Especially when trying to show how our victim is trapped, see the shot of the lock and the bars on the 'prison' location by London bridge, as well as close ups of his arms and legs tied to the chair.

Various hints such as the danger of death sign and the close up on the lock add to the ominous feeling, which will be added to also by the music which will be in the final version.

We decided to end the opener movie on a cliff hanger, leaving the audience to decide what would happen next so as not to give too much if it were to continue in to a feature length movie. Thus fulfilling it's task of being a thriller 'opener', rather than a short standalone self contained piece.
In the final piece, i would make the shots shorter to create more of a sense of pace, and also think strongly about the music, and build a soundtrack around the atmospheres and events that are given from the video.

rough cut: Anxiety

The rough cut of our final thriller opener production

Monday, 14 March 2011

Introduction To Cameras.

We had a lesson on how to take care of the cameras, so as not to break them, and how to use them properly and appropriately. Our teacher demonstrated how to connect the camera to the tripod and take it out again, and how to use the camera whilst on the tripod.
We were also taught how to manually and automatically focus the camera, as well as the different functions to zooming in and out. The teacher touched lightly on the lighting and sound on the camera too.
I am familiar to using a camera as I have had to use one previously at school for GCSE Media.

A camera very similar to the one we're using

Intertextuality In Film

Intertextuality means of the shaping of the meaning of a text by other texts or the relationship between different texts. Also, it includes the author burrowing and transforming a prior text.

Intertextuality now has many different meanings as it has been changed around a lot. What interests me about intertextuality in film is the contrast of parts or texts one took from another and changed it around to suit theirs.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Animatic story board.

We storyboarded our ideas for the movie, shot for shot so we knew exactly what to film, when, where and which shots and camera angles we would use. Right down to the details in the scene.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Research on sound

I was browsing the internet and i came across sounds which were copyright free i was interested due to i could use some elements from these sound tracks or even use them within my thriller opening. I have a screen shot above showing the website i visited and the soundtracks which i listened to.
this is a link to a soundtrack i had in mind to use for my thriller opening.