Conventions of thrillers

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Conventions of thrillers

  1. 1. THE WITHDRAWNFor our coursework we created a psychological thriller called ‘The Withdrawn’.
  2. 2. CONVENTIONS OF FILM OPENINGS.In order to find out about the conventions of thriller, we looked into many examples of variousthriller openings such as Arlington Road. This helped us understand what conventions areexpected from film openings.There are various conventions of film openings. For example a few common conventionsinclude:• Film openings should set the location• They should introduce characters• They should also provide credits and show titles• Reveal the storyline
  3. 3. CONVENTIONS OF THRILLER GENRESWe watched various scenes from real media thrillers such as Saw and Arlington Road whichare both psychological thrillers and read up on the conventions of thriller openings. Forexample we learnt that we expect to see certain conventions from thrillers, these include:• Because our thriller was a psychological thriller, we specifically looked at convention of these kind of thrillers. We learnt that• Thrillers are expected to have plenty of tension and suspense• They involve high drama and emphatic scenes• To achieve this usually mysterious openings were used that didn’t give away too much and help create tension and suspense• Also heavy editing such as jump cuts and POV helped create mysterious atmosphereAll these convention are key in order to create a successful thriller film.
  4. 4. CONVENTIONS OF TITLE SEQUENCESWe researched into many thriller openings such as Arlington Road to see what order they put their titles in. After researchin g intomany openings we noticed patterns and then discussed as a class the correct order for titles and we used the sequence byfollowing it on our thriller.The correct order was:• Production icon, Distributor icon, Production in title sequence, Distributor in title sequence, director executive producer , Actor 1, Actor 2, Film title, Actor 3, Actor 4, Actor 5 etc.., Casting, Costume, Music supervisor, Music by, Edited by, Production designer, Director of photography, Executive Producers, Written by, Directed byThe conventions for title sequences included for example a significant order for the titles, certain titles come in a specifi c order, forexample we noticed that usually the title of the film comes 7 th. We also noticed that depending on the sub genre of the thriller, titlesappear in certain ways and certain fonts.We expect to see many credits throughout the opening such as distribution icon, producer icon, the director, writer and cast. It’scommon that each title appears within 3-5 seconds of one another. Titles usually last about 3 seconds each on screen.Here is an example of a title from the thriller Arlington road:
  5. 5. USE OF CONVENTIONS IN OUR PRODUCTThe following grabs are from our own personal thriller and indicate a variety of theconventions we used.Here you can see we have used the convention of titles:Here you can see we have used theconvention of setting the locationin the opening :Here you can see we have used the convention ofIntroducing the main characters in the opening :
  6. 6. OUR THRILLER VS REAL MEDIAAfter finishing of our own thriller opening, we looked back at the thrillers we initiallyresearched. We then compared and contrasted the similarities and differences. For examplewe compared the conventions we used in our thriller to the ones in Arlington Road. We choseto compare it to this thriller as this is also a psychological thriller. The following are examplesof how our thriller opening both followed and challenged the conventions of thrilleropenings/films. This also indicates the use of intertextuality in our thriller as we wereinfluenced by the thrillers we researched.As both thrillers were psychological thrillers a typical opening convention for this sub -genre isthe use of a discrete title sequence, and both Arlington Road and our product used thisopening sequence form. A discrete title sequence involves a combination of various clips andimages not in connection; it provides clue to the audience about what they are watchinghowever does not reveal the story line in an obvious manner. This is an effective method as itengages the audience and leaves them in suspense.
  7. 7. OUR PRODUCT VS REAL MEDIAAs both thrillers were psychological thrillers a typical opening convention for this sub -genre isthe use of a discrete title sequence, and both Arlington Road and our product used this openingsequence form. A discrete title sequence involves a combination of various clips and imagesnot in connection; it provides clue to the audience about what they are watching however doesnot reveal the story line in an obvious manner. This is an effective method as it engages theaudience and leaves them in suspense. The following pictures indicate the use of aArlington Road The Withdrawn discrete title sequence from both Arlington Road and our own thriller. So you can see similar conventions have been used. However one element from our own product that challenged the convention was that usually in discrete title sequences the collection of scenes shown are not in relation just like they aren’t in Arlington Road, however, all mixture of scenes in our thriller opening are in relation with one and another.
  8. 8. Arlington Road As you can see both thrillers also used titles in similar styled fonts that suited the mood and sub-genre of the thriller. This is essential as you don’t want titles that would contradict the action e.g. pink bubbleThe Withdrawn writing in a crime thriller. However one difference in the title sequences is that with our own product we decided to follow the traditional title sequence order e.g. film title comes 7th whereas with Arlington Road, the title came 5th.
  9. 9. Arlington Road Both thrillers also meet the typical convention of thriller openings which is to introduce the characters. As you can characters are introduced in both thrillers. However one difference is that in our thrillerThe Withdrawn (The Withdrawn) you see the same 2 characters continuously indicating their importance whereas in Arlington Road, the characters are rarely seen, which may mean they may not be the most important characters.Overall you can see that our thriller has used many thriller, opening sequence and titleconventions similar to those seen in real media and in some cases there’s aspectswhich also challenge typical convention from real media.

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