The title of film-annotation In the planning and research section of my blog, I had mentioned that I wasintending to give my piece the name “Childs Play”, as this seemed relevant to the plot (the use of the doll), and hinted at possible plots. However, I came across the factthat there is already a successful mainstream horror film with the name “Childs Play”. This was an issue, as it was the most popular choice with my target audience and it seems to be the title that fitted most successfully with my ideas. I overcame this by choosing the second most successful name on the list, “Disturbance”. Although this title doesn’t have the desired affect of being obviously relevant to the piece, it still hints at some possible plots and suggests the genre of thriller. Another thing that’s successful about “Disturbance” is that it’s just one word, and this is much more typical of thriller titles (e.g. Psycho, Se7en.) Overall, I think that my title is a successful asset to my piece because it’s relevance is obvious from the film that’s played both before and after it.
Setting/location-annotationI had decided from early on that my location would be a very simple, worms eye view shot of a generic, non-carpet floor. This is because I knew that at least one of the main focus’s of my piece would be the blood that runs across the floor- as stated in my research and planning the most successful place to achieve this was on a lightcoloured wooden floor, as the blood would run easily and would show up well. I soon realised that this one shot of the floor wouldn’t be enough to sustain a successful 2minute film opening and this was problematic as I didn’t want to include any dialogue in order to keep my soundtrack, and therefore my overall atmosphere of the piececonsistently ambient. To overcome this, I decided to film the room over two minutes, and chop it up at random interludes with different angled shots of the location in order to make my film slightly more diverse- however still keeping its original suspense by doing all the filming in the same room. Overall, I think this sticks to thegenre of thriller because it isn’t obvious where exactly the location is set, nor is it clear whether the location has any specific meaning to the characters/plot line in general- which was a common feature of thrillers that I found during my research.
Costumes and propsOne of the focal features in this piece was the doll that appeared throughout the film. The doll is dressed in ripped clothing and her hair looks as it it’s been ‘dyed’. I decided that using a doll instead of a person would create make my opening a bit more eerie and mysterious than the typical thriller film. This really challenges the boundaries of when a thriller should be considered a thriller and moves into the horror genre. This is also reflected in the excess use of fake blood throughout the piece. Although blood is very much accepted in the thriller genre, again my piecechallenges this convention when taking into consideration just how much is used and how focal it is to the structure of my piece. Although both the doll and the bloodboth test the boundaries of thriller by relating themselves more closely to horror (Forexample, the doll I use in my film is of a similar style to the one used in “Childs Play” ). I believe that other factors of my film stick more rigidly to the thriller genre, therefore the piece still works as a successful thriller film opening, because it still allows for the rest of the film to follow a strict thriller plot.
Camerawork and editing - annotationsI have mentioned throughout my blog that my piece was influenced quite heavily by the work of Stanley Kubrick, and this impacted specifically on the camerawork and editing of my piece. I decided that my shots would be much longer than the conventional time in a more modern thriller film opening, and the screenshot shows a particular shot of 30 seconds in which nothing happensother than blood slowly runs across the floor (An example of this can be viewed here, where the same shot lasts from 0.50-2.17). Although this challenges the conventions of modern thriller films, it’s very inkeeping with the themes that were used around the 70’s. I believe this develops the conventions of thriller by introducing some older themes to a younger audience who haven’t necessarily come across them but are still as successful as they were in the past. Combining this with a more modern and conventional use of jump cuts that hint at somekind of counterplot means that the audience are still engaged and still have some familiarity with the genre.
Title font and style - Annotation I decided to keep a consistent font style throughout my piece, as this is a normalconvention of any film opening. However, there are some exceptions to this and the way I have styled the font holds potential to challenge the conventions of a thriller opening. I decided to use a very basic, white font to begin with as this similar to the Stanley Kubrick style (example here) that I took influence from in my planning and research. I also took influence from the simple black and white theme of Ghost in the Shell However, I sought to develop this by giving the font a colouredshadow and making the font shake as it appears. This reflects the general atmosphere of the piece, which is simple – yet eerie. There are two exceptions to the main font.The first comes right at the beginning of the piece (first screenshot). I thought it was an important convention of film openings that the production company had its own shot and I wanted to reflect this by changing the colour of the shadow behind thefont. The second exception comes at the end of the piece. I changed the font so that the audience would easily recognize that a plotline was being introduced – and I feel this works successfully alongside the common conventions of a thriller opening.
STORY AND HOW THE OPENING SETS IT UP - ANNOTATIONThere is no dialogue in my opening, and therefore I had to take a differentapproach when dealing with how my plot will be introduced to the audience. I decided that, in order to not interupt the ambient music and therefore the eerie atmosphere of the piece, I would instead introduce a character by showing a name at the bottom of the screen near the end of the opening. I also include an age, and a seperate shot stating that she’s dead- while a hand falls and is dragged away in the background.
Genre and how the opening sets it up - annotationI decided to make my genre clear by using the same kind of cross cutting that is used in films such as Se7en, as this is conventional of the thriller genre. To re- enforce this effect, the shots that are not the worms eye view of the floor have been filmed in a lower quality so that they would look homemade. The use of blood and the obvious murder are both very conventional of thrillers, and I feel my film opening does this very successfully. The way the font disappears of both the main title “Disturbance”, and right at the end of the opening “Dead”, is also a quite conventional technique used specifically in thriller and horror films. An example of this could be taken from Fight Club.
How characters are introduced - ANNOTATIONThe character in my opening is introduced just by showing her hand fall to ground, while her name and age appears in the shot. I think that this challenges the conventions of thriller because there is no dialogue or faces shown at all. Although this isn’t typical of film openings, I still feel this is asuccessful feature as it is intended to make my audience feel uncomfortable. Iachieved this by taking out some of the conventions that they would take forgranted (e.g. the dialogue), and replaced this with a very focused introduction of just one character.
Special effects - annotationsSpecial effects are a very conventional aspect of nearly all thriller films, but I didn’t have the funding for a green screen. However, there were some techniques I used in order to achieve certain ‘looks’ in my piece. For example, the fake blood is watered down tomato ketchup with some soy sauce in to darken the red. This was the only way I would afford to make enough fake blood of the right consistency to run along the floor.