Conventions of an Opening
The purpose of an opening sequence is to establish the mood
and visual character of a film and introduce the viewer to all or
some of these elements: Characters, Locations, Narrative/Plot,
Themes, Visual, Genre.
In an opening sequence we have found our that it is
conventional to include the name of production company, the
director, the producer, the executive producer, the top billing
actors and not forgetting the movie title.
The opening credits are usually shown as text superimposed
on a blank screen or static image but sometimes it is shown on
top of action in the show. It may or may not be accompanied
Conventions of Genre Thriller
The aim of the thriller is to create suspense and
excitement for the audience, it should keep the audience
engaged and on the edge of their seats. The plot
normally builds towards some sort of climax.
Thrillers include numerous, often overlapping subgenres.
Fast pacing, frequent action, and resourceful heroes
characterize thrillers. The heroes must put a stop to the
plans of more powerful and better-equipped villains.
Literary devices such as suspense, red herrings and
cliffhangers are used extensively.
Technical Elements to the Thriller
Genre – Editing & Sound
In Thrillers we would usually see editing/colour correcting that would make the
picture darker and more low key, this would help hide the villain. In addition we
normally see a lot of changes in the camera angle.
Flash backs, in some thrillers you are made to feel sorry for the protagonist with the
use of flashbacks.
Editing shots together, which when juxtaposed creates a single. This would be
When there is a lot of tension building up we usually hear orchestral non-diegetic
sound, on the other hand when the pace is sped up we would hear rhythmic music,
atonal music reflects enigma.
Diegetics sounds, are there to create an enigmatic narrative.
Conventions of a
Due to our opening sequence having the sub genre psychological, we had to consider the conventions that would
portray the genre that we wanted with our film.
Reality – The quality of being real. Characters often try to determine what is true and what is not within the
Perception – A person's own interpretation of the world around him through his senses. Often characters
misperceive the world around them, or their perceptions are altered by outside factors within the narrative (see
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, where characters battle their own minds to reach a new
level of understanding or perception.
Existence/Purpose – The object for which something exists; an aim or a goal humans strive towards to understand
their reason for existence. Characters often try to discover what their purpose is in their lives and the narrative's
conflict often is a way for the characters to discover this purpose.
Identity – The definition of one's self. Characters often are confused about or doubt who they are and try to discover
their true identity.
Death – The cessation of life. Characters either fear or have a fascination with death.
How we applied
Reality – The use of an innocent terrorist created questioning of the truth within our production. The use of modern
stereotypes to represent a terrorist which made the audience question whether he was the villain or the white man
Perception –Our production shows how white people can misjudge those of different races, and from modern
stereotypes that have been created over the years has formulated opinions towards those of Muslim race, that
those of Muslim race are terrorists. The white man Rory assumes Omar is a terrorist from the way he looks and his
Mind – In the opening sequence of our production, you see the interrogation scene which is a location of the
protagonists mind which shows that we have used these psychological conventions.
Existence/Purpose – Rory the protagonist uses conflict to find out his true purpose in life. The conflict from terrorism
shows him what he believes his purpose is.
Identity – We have applied this to our production as Rory, the white man, has doubts of the way he wants to live.
His investigations into terrorism is how he discovers his true identity, which makes him follow the path of terrorism.
Death – When our protagonist turns to terrorism later on in our production, he becomes fascinated in the way in
which terrorists take their lives in such violent ways and we would later find out that our protagonist takes his life
because of the person he becomes.
Conventions of Narrative
These are conventional narratives…Linear, omniscient, non-linear and restricted.
When we were structuring our film, we had to consider our institution. Due to our film being
distributed by an independent distribution company, Focus Features, which is owned by
Universal will have a lot of financial support when marketing the film. However the independence
must still be obvious in how the film is structured, and therefore the conventions must be
considered. Thrillers are usually made up of a complex narrative structure, with false paths, clues
and resolutions. This will have an effect of leaving a strong enigma by keeping the audience
questioning the film and keeping their full attention by having them trying to solve the questions.
A narrative pattern of establishing enigmas are present, which the viewer expects to be resolved.
This keeps the audiences concentration as they will not want to stop watching the film without
finding out what happens. The audience will sometimes enter their own world within the film
whilst watching the film and will tends to put themselves in the characters shoes.
Our films narrative was not typical of a studio production as we didn't’t use a typical and
traditional narrative structure. You would commonly see a narrative which consists of an
Equilibrium, disequilibrium and new equilibrium, where the new equilibrium would resolve the
bad happenings of the disequilibrium. We used an equilibrium and a disequilibrium because of
independent nature of our film. We thought that this would create controversy.
Independent Films typically have a low budget. This
is based on the fact that most independent
distribution company's have sufficient backing in
terms of funding. They will use below the line
marketing and will heavily rely on the use of web 2.0
and social media. However our distribution company
is owned by a conglomerate distributor and therefore
this will increase the marketing budget. Thus making
the marketing of our film better than the marketing of
traditional independently distributed films.