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Kate Jaffa Thriller Evaluation 1
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Kate Jaffa Thriller Evaluation 1

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    • 1. Thriller Film Evaluation Kate Jaffa
    • 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Our opening sequence uses lots of conventions used in a real thriller film. Firstly, the editing we did follows the conventions. We used fast paced editing cutting from clip to clip to help create the action thriller genre. It did this as it it created tension, but at the same time set a fast paced atmosphere, making the chase scenes more scary. Although it was fast paced, for lots of the clips we manipulated the speed to slow it down. This was done on final cut, during the clips when the titles came, so that they could be read without being distracted from the film. Also to add emphasis to clips where it is more effective to have it in slow motion. For example when the kidnapper and victim have a fight, putting some of that in slow motion adds tension as you can see exactly who is winning in the fight. Our story line also fits with the action thriller conventions as it is quite a largely used storyline for this genre. This is, two teenage girls getting kidnapped. For example this story line was recently used in a film called taken, which was part of the inspiration for our film. We tried to make it more original with the rest of our storyline but as this is not shown in the opening two minutes, the genre is set up for the rest of the film well, attracting the target audience.
    • 3. There are a lot of the ‘race against the clock’ scenarios which emphasize that it is an action thriller. For example this is used when the victim is being chased up the stairs. We created the ‘race against the clock’ atmosphere by using different angles showing the same clips and cutting between the angles quickly. It was also emphasized by putting it in slow motion as the desperation was more clear. We only used mild violence which also fits with the conventions. As using strong violence and making it gory would have made our film more of a horror film. We made sure there was enough to make it realistic and set the tense atmosphere. I think that showing that the protagonist had a weapon, but not showing him actually use it, would have been appropriate for our genre, but as we were in a public location we could not bring any weapons.
    • 4. Our opening sequence challenges the conventions slightly as there has not been a protagonist yet. Most thriller films have an antagonist and a protagonist, but so far only the antagonist and victims have been introduced to the audience. The victims are the stereotypical characters to be kidnapped in a thriller film as they are teenage girls. On our rough cut of the film our music did not fit well with the conventions of an action thriller as it was too upbeat and didn’t fit well with the sequence. However, the feedback from the class helped us to realize this so we are now in the process of making a soundtrack on garage band that is more appropriate to the genre. Our mise-en-scene is conventional as thriller films are often set in disserted places such as car parks. To make it more conventional we put it in black and white as on the day we took the footage it was very sunny and this ruins the atmosphere which is supposed to be scary.
    • 5. How does your media product represent particular social groups? In our opening sequence two social groups are quite stereotypically represented, middle class and working class. They wear the clothes that would stereotypically be worn and also act how they are expected to within their social class. We included binary opposite characters which are the kidnapper and victims. The two victims represent the middle class. This is shown through their costume, actions and jewelry. The costume of the victim caught first is wearing quite plain clothing, jeans and a colourful cardigan. She is wearing a sophisticated necklace, all representing her social group which is quite middle/ upper class. She represents them as being cowardly as she is barely fighting back and looks frightened. I think the victim makes quite a pathetic attempt of fighting the kidnapper so it makes her seem like she is not strong enough to cope in this situation. This represents her social class as being weak and used to always having someone there to help, when realistically there isn’t.
    • 6. The second victim’s costume represents the middle class . Without the jewelry she looks like she is in a slightly lower social class than the first victim. She is wearing a black hooded leather jacket, black tights with a high wasted skirt, a stripped top and ugg boots. She also represents the middle class as quite weak throughout the opening sequence as for a large part she is running from the kidnapper looking very frightened. However, she then fights the protagonist reflecting that they can defend themselves. Her character comes across as less pathetic than the first as she makes much more effort to get away, and at the same time tries to help her friends. This makes her start to seem quite heroic. The antagonist represents a different social class. I think that he represents the working class. This is because he is wearing what stereotypically is worn by this social class. He is wearing black tracksuit bottoms, a black hooded jumper and white trainers. These are also associated with chavs who are a social group that are stereotyped and judged a lot by those in other social groups and classes for causing lots of trouble. This character is represented as a strong character as he manages to capture two girls by himself. He is represented as the evil character because of his actions.
    • 7. In our opening sequence the two victims represent teenage girls, and makes them seem quite week. This is because throughout most of the film the girls are scared and running away, and when finally fights back she looses. However, in our film gender is not a big aspect as it is not clear what gender the attacker is. Originally the character was supposed to be acted as a boy, and this would have represented boys being strong and girls being week but, in the end I played the attacker and have made myself look like a boy as best possible however, it is still quite obvious I am a girl because of the close up at the beginning. The only age that is clearly represented is teenagers, as it is it is the only age clearly shown. It shows teenagers to be vulnerable as the last clip is of them tied up together looking scared. It also represents them as having bravery as one of the teenagers eventually turns round and stands up for herself. This is something that most teenagers say that they would do, but in reality become to scared to. The age of the antagonist is not clear so that character doesn’t represent an age.
    • 8. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product, why? I think that lots of the major media institutions would be interested in distributing our product. This is because our film is a mixture between a action thriller and a crime thriller. These two sub genres are very popular and the major institutions, such as new line cinema, create films of these genres all the time. For example a film called ‘From Paris with love’ is a recent action film. They are likely to be interested as lots of big actors are willing to be in thriller films as they are often very successful. In ‘From Paris with love’ it stars lots of big actors, such as John Travolta and Jonathon Rhys Meyers. I think that our film could be made into a big Hollywood film, as with a huge budget and A-list actors it could be made into a very successful film. I think that it wouldn’t be a problem that it is similar to a lot of films already made as it has a story line based around revenge which is usually used more in horror, such as saw 2. Another big reason for the film to be popular with big media institutions is because films like this provide the opportunity for huge amounts of merchandise, making them lots of money. For example with a film like this there are usually games made out of it. As there are so many different types of gaming equipment the opportunities are even larger. A very popular one is Wii and I think there could be a very fun, popular game for a mixture of ages, created for Wii.
    • 9. I think that the film should first be released for cinema rather than TV as with thriller films, it is very important to have the best atmosphere and most impact as possible, and these can both be achieved in the cinema. This is because in the cinema the sound and picture quality are much better than what most people have in there houses. Having the better quality will make the film more successful as the audience can experience it at its best. The film could be shown at all the big cinemas, such as vue cinemas and cineworld. The film could be marketed in many ways. The two biggest ways we will promote the film will be through posters and a trailer. Posters are very effective as they can be shown everywhere, attracting as many people as possible. For example it can be put up in schools to attract teenager. Bus stops are also a very good place to have posters promoting the film as such a big variety of people use buses, so will therefore see it. Also, we people just passing bus stops will be attracted to the poster and see. Film trailers are a good way to promote, as the video can be shown in so many places. It can be shown on the internet, in advertisment breaks on the television, and before a film at the cinema. This will mean that lots of people can see the trailer and want to watch 9 the film.
    • 10. Who would be the audience for your media product? The certificate we have chosen for our film is 15. The BBFC permits the following within the bounds of the 15 certificate: Theme: No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate to 15 year olds. Language: There may be frequent use of strong language; the strongest terms are only rarely acceptable. Continued aggressive use of strong language and sexual abuse is unacceptable. Nudity: There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context. Sex: Sexual activity and nudity may be portrayed but without strong detail. The depiction of casual sex should be handled responsibly. There may be occasional strong verbal references to sexual behaviour. Violence: Violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain, and of injuries. Scenes of sexual violence must be discreet and brief. Imitable techniques: Dangerous combat techniques such as ear claps, head-butts and blows to the neck are unlikely to be acceptable. There may be no emphasis on the use of easily accessible lethal weapons (in particular, knives). Horror: Sustained or detailed infliction of pain or injury is unacceptable. Drugs: Drug taking may be shown but clear instructive detail is unacceptable. The film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug use.
    • 11. In our film it will fit the criterea as it has: Language: When the characters start to speak in our film there will be frequent use of bad language. Nudity: There will be no full nudity. Sex: There will be no very explicit sex scenes. Violence: There is only mild violence and although there will be lots of suspense it wont be very scary, as this is not the purpose. The only violence that all of it is shown is a fight with no weapons, and nobody is seriously hurt. Imitable techniques: We will not show what actually happens to the girls when they are taken. Only the after damage will actually be shown on camera and certain actions will be hinted at. There are no serious weapons used on camera. Horror: There will be no detailed or sustained infliction of pain as our film is a thriller not a horror. Drugs: Our film will only imply that drugs have been taken, it will not be 11 made obvious and the actualy taking of the drugs will not be shown.
    • 12. The target audience is older teenagers and young adults, however I think that this genre is good at attracting people from a wide range of age groups and also to both genders. Therefore, we haven’t been really specific on who we are attracting to the film. I think our story line will engage lots of people as it is a serious issue that is often on the news, that affects lots of people on a daily basis. This is because it is quite common for people get attacked, or someone in peoples family to get attacked at some point in there life time. The audience that will watch our film will probably be into a range of different genres. This is because our film has many aspects from different genres. They will like films from the action thriller, crime thriller, horror, drama, suspense and mystery genres. This includes films like: Westbrick Murders, Brooklyn’s Finest, From Paris with Love and Fake Identity. 12
    • 13. How did you attract/address you audience? I think teenage girls will be attracted as there is an emotional story line behind our film. Also because being taken like those girls were is something that teenage girls do worry about, so they will be interested to see how two girls, that lots of teenage girls will be able to relate to, react in this sort of situation. The girls may feel like they can learn from the characters mistakes. I think teenage boys will be attracted to watch our film as they enjoy watching films with fighting and violence in. They will enjoy the opening as it is a fast paced chase scene, but as the film goes on I think the boys will find the actual story line very interesting. This is because the attacker is doing it to fight against the system and higher people in society. This is something that lots of teenage boys will be able to relate to as lots of them are stereotyped and accused wrongly often, just on a smaller scale to the man in the film. I think that adults will also want to watch our film as they will also be interested in the underlying issue which is the unfair treatment to people by the system. Lots of adults will have been effected by it one way or another and may find it interesting to see another point of view, even if it is an extreme way to get revenge. Lots of adults will be able to relate to the
    • 14. When showing our opening sequence to the class, which were a group of teenagers, they were attracted to our film by many different things.These are: -nice use of framing especially the "stairs" shots. -includes slow motion effect which adds nice tension at the beginning -the black and white effect was really effective -good use of Mise-en-scene with the mask -music transitions were really smooth -good editing means it makes sense -nice selection of different shot types and angles ( the birds eye view of the staircase was interesting ) -red, bold title at the beginning makes a really nice contrast from the black and white I think these aspects will not be what attract all teenagers, as this is the opinion of a media student studying it closely. However, all of these will contribute to them enjoying the film. I think that our setting will attract a wide audience as it is a realistic place for an attack to happen, and also somewhere that lots of people will have been to. I think that if it was set in a fantasy world, like avatar, our film would attract less people as they wouldn’t be 14 able to relate to the situation, so therefore all of the fear would be gone.
    • 15. What have you learnt about technologies from the process? I think that the biggest thing we have learnt is not to underestimate the amount of time that is needed to create the final film and so planning is very important. We have realized that although garage band has a huge amount of choice in it, it is often difficult and time consuming to find the exact sounds that you want and sounds that fit together well. We have had to reconstruct our music to improve our film and it has made us realize that making a soundtrack to fit the mood, genre and the actual clips is harder than we had originally thought it would be. However, we have also learnt how much of an improvement it is when you add in the music, as it adds so much more atmosphere to the film, so it is definitely worth making the best we can. Doing the final editing for our opening sequence has made me realise how much you can do on final cut to create the exact atmosphere and clips that you want. I have found the razor tool very useful as often in our filming there was just a flash of something that we didn’t want so it was very easy to quickly remove, without making our film look like it doesn’t flow well, which is very important. I also found being able to manipulate the speed of our footage very useful as it meant that when we were filming we could make it exactly how we wanted as we knew it could be sped up or slowed down. It is useful how precise the speed change can be.
    • 16. In final cut we also manipulated the colour of the background to make it black and white. This was a very helpful tool as on the second time we filmed, which is the one we have used the footage from, it was a very sunny day and it ruined the effect and atmosphere we wanted. Putting it in black and white takes the attention away from what a nice day it was and makes it look more of a grey day. It was also helpful being able to put the film in black and white as it contrasts with our red writing. I think that my knowledge of how to use the cameras is what improved the most. I have realized how important it is to plan very carefully from which angle the shot is going to be taken from. This is because when a shot is taken from a wrong angle the sun can really ruin a shot. We were careful about which angles we took the footage from as we did two filming sessions, and so we learnt from the first one. In one of our clips a door is opened and so the light streams through. I think that this is effective as she has been running up so many stairs to get to this door, so when she goes through and the light streams through it shows that she thinks when she gets through the doors she will be okay, however this is not the case.
    • 17. I have also learnt how useful photoshop is when making a film. Unfortunately, by the time we had realized the different things we could be doing using photoshop it was too late. However, before making the film we used photo shop to create an ident. We made it for thriller films, which is why we called it white knuckle productions. We found photoshop useful as it gave us the opportunity to put a selection of images together but make it look as if they were there all of the time. For example in our ident we took the background of the grey sky with sky scraper buildings. We then added in two helicopters. We could make it look as if they were always there by changing the size and using the tools to remove everything else from the picture. I also realized how useful it is to have a blog that can be accessed from most locations. It was very helpful as it meant that all of our group had access all of the work that we produced, making the planning of the film a group effort as we could all contribute even if we weren’t 17 together.
    • 18. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you think you have learnt in the progression of it to the full product? I think that the main thing I have learnt since doing the preliminary task is that when making the film it is really hard to stick to the plan that you have. Our opening sequence has changed a lot from what the original plan was. The main big change is that we didn’t manage to get a fourth person because we couldn’t all do the same times as him, we managed to work well round this problem using just one attacker. I have also learnt how to make the film more continuous by editing very precisely. Our film for our preliminary task had big gaps between the speech because of bad editing. We learnt how to improve this, but in the end did not need to worry about speech. This is because we decided the film would have much more impact on the audience without speech as it often ruins the atmosphere, and becomes less realistic. We used this skill to make our shots flow into each other well. The main thing I learnt was how effective using different camera angles for the same shot is. In our opening sequence we have included lots of different camera angles, especially of the chase on the stairs. I think this makes the scene much more interesting for the audience to watch as it doesn’t feel like they are watching the same thing over and over again, although they actually are.
    • 19. If I was to carry out this task again there are a few changes that I would make. I would have made sure that we had our planning sheet with the list of shots on order with us when filming and editing. As we did not do this we missed a few shots that would have improved our film. For example at the start of the film, we were going to have an establishing shot of the car park empty and pan around it. This would have set a tense atmosphere right from the beginning and could have set the audience up better to watch the film. Another change that I would make is to add our ident into the film. We created it to fit our genre and narrative of the film. However, when we started to run out of time we decided that making the music more appropriate to our film was more important than adding in an ident. 19