This shot challenges the conventions of an opening sequence. This is because all of the main characters of the film are identified and you see their faces at least once. We decided to do this as more curiosity is generated into the identity of the characters. As a result of presenting the characters in this way, the audience then begins to build their own stories in their minds as to what they believe each person is significant for and what the story itself is going to present. This means that the characters act somewhat as an enigma code to the audience; they are constantly asking themselves who is this person and what is their purpose. A normal opening sequence would not do this as they would normally base their scenes around the protagonist as an individual. We preferred to use a group of people as we believe it is more suspicious and helps the audience join in with the mental story building of the film.
The use of low lighting in scenes fits the conventions of a thriller film. The darkness creates an eerie atmosphere which indicates to the audience that something bad is going to happen or that a threatening situation is going to occur. We decided to shoot our film at around 4pm (during the winter) when the sun was at a low point and it began to turn into night. This way, the genre can be predicted through the lighting. Using dark lighting is also more effective than using high key lighting for a thriller genre as it not very representative. Also, it would seem silly to have a kidnap in broad daylight. We had to think of the scene realistically and think how it would represent real life effectively and appropriately.
The use of weaponry and violence definitely conforms to the conventions of a thriller. We decided to use violence as this is a key feature for thrillers. This is because thrillers are usually based upon the harm of one person in order to get a reaction from another. This is what we tried to do here. However, the weapon itself may not necessarily be representative of thrillers. In our sequence, we decided to use a golf club as our weapon. This is because we felt it would be more threatening then using a knife or a gun and this is because with these types of weapons, people generally immediately assume death. We did not want the audience to believe that the character had died, only that he had be badly injured.
In both thrillers and opening sequences, enigma codes are used to help generate suspense. This shot shows a note that is seen at the beginning of the sequence when the character becomes conscious again. We decided to use this as an enigma code as it would make the audience think what is the note for and what does it say. It also helps to set the scene for the plot by indicating that someone has an issue with the character and they have told them in a non verbal way. We decided to conform to this convention because we believe that creating questions in the heads of the audience is important in trying to keep them drawn into the movie. Enigma codes are often used to keep the audience involved in the movie and make them want to watch on. We hoped that the use of this particular enigma code will encourage the audience to watch on so they can find out just what the note is about and why it had to be written in the first place.
In our final piece, we decided to have the name of our film as the last frame. This does not conform to the conventions of a title sequence as the title is usually the first thing (or one of) to be seen. We decided to do this because it draws the audience into the narrative more without actually having the ‘giveaway’ of the title. If the audience saw the title in the beginning, they would have guessed what would happen from the start of the clip and the rest of the film would not be worth watching. Having it at the end means the audience gets to make their own assumptions on what they think will happen throughout the clip and then their guesses can be confirmed or denied at the end via the title. The title is also written in red. This conforms to the conventions of a thriller as red has many connotations linking to thrillers. The red of the text connotes futuristic danger and also the fact that there could be death or blood shed. We decided to use red so that all of these connotations could be addressed subliminally and helps the audience to understand what the rest of the film could be like.
In our opening sequence, we decided to use white as our credit colour. This does not conform to the thriller genre as white is not associated with thrillers. However, we used it as a deceptive feature. White connotes purity ad innocence and we have used in in the sense that it represents how the gang members approached an ‘innocent’ couple. To the audience, the couple would seem innocent however they reality is that they aren’t. The use of white is a good way to make the audience believe that they aren’t bad people and that they have been targeted. The use of the white doesn’t indicate to the audience what the genre of the film is however this is not important as there are other features in the duration of the clip, including the title, that give away the genre of the film.
This image introduces the gang members. The use of gang members within the sequence could be seen as a convention of a thriller. The gang members are the ‘bad guys’ and thrillers generally have good people and bad people. These people are effective as they make the audience think about who they are and what they want. There are many thrillers that are based upon the use of gang members (or gangsters) and ‘Pulp Fiction’ is one of the films where we gained our inspiration. This image also helps to indicate to the audience that there are two opposing sides and that one side is a gang. It also helps the audience to separate good and evil.
Thrillers aren’t usually happy films and this can be reflected in my clip. This image shows a look of fear on the characters face when he realises that he is being followed by people. The use of the close up also helps the audience to empathise with the character and get a feel for his emotions. This also helps to tell the audience that the character is scared about what is happening and further helps to create the innocence and good guy bad guy effect.
Thrillers are usually based around a problem that needs to be solved. This problem is usually the breaking of the equilibrium and the solving of the problem is the new equilibrium (Todorov’s theory). This shot shows how the problem has been made but doesn’t give any indication of resolution. Thrillers can also be heavily crime based and seeing a thug carrying a person down the road is a clear indicator that a crime has taken place. This shot also helps to tell the audience who the good people and the bad people are and also makes them think what will happen next and how will it be fixed. This shot is an enigma code.