Media Case Study pt1


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Media Case Study pt1

  1. 1. Media Case Study By Richard Harrison Introduction For my research into the different aspects of the thriller genre, I have decided to watch the opening to 4 thriller films. I will watch the first 5-6 minutes of the film (I may watch a bit more if the titles are very long at the start), as this is the part where they set the scene, so you can tell what the film is about i.e. If it is a horror it will show an isolated area, if a crime drama it will have a city or built up area. The films that I have chosen to write about are Hannibal Rising, Lucky Number Slevin, The Number 23 and V for Vendetta With each film I will talk about them in 5 sections Institutions, Audience, Technology, Codes/forms and Conventions of the thriller genre, and Representation. I will go into detail about each sections using PEE (Point, Example, Explain). [1]
  2. 2. Hannibal Rising Institutions The institutions is the information about the Director, Production Company, Release Date, Box Office Returns, Etc. I have gathered all the information I need from the internet, because of it is quicker and easier and I have collected the information below from the website IMDb. Director Peter Webber Webber has had a good career as a director, directing TV shows such as Six Feet Under and Men Only, in 2007 he finally got his first film directing job with Hannibal Rising. Webber would have had a difficult time directing this film as he would have been trying to out do the sequels, that had received countless amount of awards and nominations. Writer Thomas Harris Was the screenwriter and the writer of the novels to the Hannibal story, as well as Webber, Harris too would have been trying to recreate the horror in the story and to get the effect of thrill that was in the book. Harris would have also have been trying to improve on the story by removing the parts that he didnʼt like. Production Company The film had several production companies that helped with the funds of the film, they where: • Young Hannibal Productions • Carthago Films S.a.r.l. • Dino De Laurentiis Company • ETIC Films • Ingenious Film Partners • Quinta Communications • Zephyr Films One thing that I found strange was that the Young Hannibal Productions was created just for that film not spreading into theater productions of Hannibal. The other companies however are all fairly large making such films as Hot Fuzz and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Genre The genre of the film is Crime/Thriller, which I found surprising as the poster gives the impression of it being a horror. Release Date 9th February 2007 Country of Making Due to the film being set during World War 2, and that Hannibal is German the film would be set in Germany, however it is not the film was filmed in the UK, Czech Republic, France and Italy. [2]
  3. 3. Institutions Money I have split the Money section into two sections Budget and Gross, I have done this so that I can see if they have made a profit or a loss. Budget The budget of the film was estimated at $50 million, when Silence of the Lambs was only $22 million, but still managed to get 5 Oscars. The high budget tells me that the film was predicted for high success. Gross The gross for worldwide was $82,169,884, only making a profit of $32,169,884, is this really a profit? I believe from this that the film was expected to do better, this could be to do with less people going to the cinemas, however there is signs of an increase so this is probably not the reason that it didn’t get the expected profit. [3]
  4. 4. Audience In this audience section I will go through the intended audience and the reception that the film received and to help with us I will be using ratings and user comments from IMDb. Intended Audience From the information that I have looked at I believe that the main intended audience would be the people that had watched the sequels and wish to find not how the boy turned itto the beast. Also to find out any unanswered questions that where raised in the films. I believe that the makers of the film probably didnʼt do much audience research as they thought that they had a clear idea of what would happen in the film, as they had the book. The same way that they make the Harry Potter films, straight from the books but changing a few parts. If there was a specific audience that they where going for it would be for people that have an interest in the crime, horror and thriller genre. The age of the audience that they where trying to entice to watch the movie where from the ages of 20-35, as this was the age of when Hannibal Lector was known to all. Audiences Reception From the website IMDb I can assume that this film didnʼt appeal to the targeted audience. I get this impression from the average rating system 1-10, 1 being bad and 10 excellent, the film got a low score of 6, showing its unpopularity with the audience, it has even gone down by 37% in unpopularity. On the IMDb comment section a user by msamet gave the film 1 out of 10 with the subject title “Offensively Bad”, this is a statement at how much the film was a failure from the previous films. My impression of how much a disaster this film is keeps Increasing, with comment like “that's two hours of my life and $6 I'll never get back”, “murder after pointless murder after pointless murder, with no element of suspense or plot tension”. Criticisms like this are thoughout each comment, giving any person that reads these the negative view of the movie. However there are some comments from egodominustuus give the film a 8 out of 10, giving a little hope for the film. As I scrolled though the lines the comment is filled with positive comments, “I felt this movie was made to have people understand how Lecter, "the monster" was created.” This comment didnʼt give a me a positive view, but it gave the view of the film just being made to show the story not to entertain and thriller the audience. From the comments and the rating I can assume that the audience didnʼt respond to the movie, as it left them bored and wanting there money back or feeling that it just did its purpose, to explain why Hannibal turned in to the monster. [4]
  5. 5. Technology In this section I will talk about how the technology has increased the audiences knowledge and access of the film. The audiences knowledge In the old war films the only way that the audiences knew that a character had been shot was if they had either gone limp or heard a gun fire, but due to the massive jump in technology the editors are able to add sound effects or showing little explosions in the ground from overflying planes. In Hannibal Rising when the father is getting shot by a plane overhead they have put in tiny explosions in the grass and flashes of light from the plane. They have also put in some very effective explosions in the back of the father coat, Iʼm not to sure how they have done this but I believe it was by using a CGI software, as putting actual explosive in the characters jacket would be extremely Plane firing at the farther dangerous. With the advances in technology it is easier to add special effects, this done in the opening of the film. There is a shot of the army troops moving along the roads as the camera starts to pan up as it does three plane swoop into the picture. This has improved the audiences knowledge by setting the time plane period by the type of the plane, also that the area is unsafe because of the fighter planes in the air. Audiences Access When it comes to the audiences way of watching the film there are countless ways thanks to technology. The audience could watch the film on DVD, Blu-ray or VHS by easily renting or purchasing the movie. A popular way of renting the movies is by the internet thanks to Lovefilm or Amazon, they have started to let you watch it online, which I believe will get very popular. This is mainly due to the way that internet is everywhere on the phone, MP3 players, etc. With the tiny increase in going to the cinema it has become even harder to entice the audience to go to the cinema, that is why the trailer makers put all the best parts of the film into the trailer this is the best way to entice them to watch it. [5]
  6. 6. Codes/Forms & Conventions of the Thriller Genre For this section I am going to go through a wide range of techniques that give a purpose and an effect to the thriller genre. Pathetic Fallacy During the opening there are scenes of a peaceful forest and of wildlife, then a mist rolls, this could be hinting at the change to come i.e the loving boy is the woods and the mist is the person he is yet to become creeping into his life. I am more sure of this theory when the titles fade into a scene showing the mist. Another pathetic fallacy could be when the two children are playing at the docks showing a peaceful time, there is a loud bang maybe a bomb dropping, this could be the way hinting at the trouble yet to come with the murder of his family and friends. Setting Throughout the first couple of seconds there are scenes of forests, giving the impression that the area is very dense with wildlife, making it seem peaceful and relaxed. You feel more calm when the camera does a reverse birds eye view and starts to move slowly round, making you feel that you are there, if it follows the conventions of the thriller it will soon have something that will make you jump. At 1:08 there is a great use of mise-en-scene, it show the two child characters playing and the reflection in the water of the castle, gives the a peaceful atmosphere to the area and the children playing by the waters edge. After the children have run home there is the noise of a plane overhead as the camera does a quick pan to the left to follow it the palace and the date fades in. The title say Lector Castle, Lithuania, setting the area close to Russia and very close to Germany. The date reads 1944 being set at World War 2, so the area would be a very dangerous place to be for Jewish and non-nazi people However later on there is an even better piece of mise-en- scene with the atmosphere towards the house. When the shot of the house starts you know that something bad will happen there, I get this impression with how itʼs isolated in the forest and how half of the house is in shadow setting it as a place of danger. Even the camera shot gives the impression of danger, because of the camera being at a high angle and the silhouette of the tree and the people, framing it in darkness. [6]
  7. 7. Codes/Forms & Conventions of the Thriller Genre Sound At the opening of the film there are many non-diegetic sounds, one is of peaceful church music, this is played over the wood to give the calm affect. There is a shot of the forest and the title appears, as it does there is a breathing sound as if a person is taking their first breath. This could be hinting at the change coming to Hannibal, I assume this because of the titles saying Hannibal Rising, again indicating the change. The church music continues though the opening, until there is a scene of the army going across the roads, this could be symbolising how peaceful the family is, and how harsh and cruel the military are. There is a change of scene where a local commander shouts some orders “….get the peasant...” when the local man has the person the music goes very into harsh violin noises giving the sense that something bad is going to happen to the peasant. The start of the film there is not so much diegetic sound as much of saying “we have to go.” The army are the first to have a real conversation to show the harshness to Jews and Gypsies, this is shown by the commander towards a Jewish cook “How can I eat your food, your a Jew” showing how unkind they are. The commander passes the prisoners over to the local Nazis to see how they treat them, the local commander tells a couple of the guards to shoot the cook. Thereʼs a bang and a little later the two guards come back looking pleased and high-fiveing each other for killing him, Conventions The opening to the film does follow some of the conventions of a thriller film. The poster for example gives the impression of the film being a horror by having darkness in the picture, however yet a little misleading as it is a crime thriller. Other thrillers do this such as Batman, The Happening, etc. Another convention that you always see in horror is the area of where the trouble will happen seems to be isolated and to have a spooky shade over it i.e the cottage that they stay at. The title scene holds a large amount of convention, with the spooky mist hinting at a change and how the title slowly appear with the breathing noise, all adding to my suspicion of change in the future of the film. When the movie introduce the army characters they use the harsh sound of the violin, giving the impression of the army as being the villains of the film which we later find out is right. The criminals in all the thriller films seem to have the ʻyou cant touch meʼ approach, it is the same with Hannibal Rising with the local army group as they all give out that sense. Giving the criminal the feared approach, that is always needed in a good thriller. [7]
  8. 8. Representation For this section I will talk about how people are stereotyped in the film, going from females to the ethnic minority. The mother in this film is represent as the stereotypical woman of the 1940s, this is shown when she had to collect all of her jewelry before fleeing the castle for the cottage. As Iʼm sure it was the same in Lithuania, women of England thought that their appearance was everything, so a woman without her treasures would be considered as poor. The women is also given the stereotypical, helplessness effect by having to be protected by the old man that was also getting fired at by the plane. Representing the women as weak and unable to protect herself. The representation of the women in this way was probably the best way to achieve realism to the movie as you where less likely to get crime fighting ninja woman in the 40s. The children of the film are shown to be care free and do not really understand that their area is being flooded by Germans. They could have been shown to be care free to give more of a dramatic effect when he turns into the “monster.” The father on the other hand is shown to have the understanding of what is really going to happen if they stay at the castle, shown by how he is hurrying them to get out the house. He is also shown to be a stereotypical hero in the thriller film by running to the children's rescue, even though he didnʼt survive, he is represented as a caring parent. This was done to make the change that is to happen to Hannibal even more thrilling. The army people go against their stereotypical view, as being tidy and smart, as you can see the local army people to the left are shown to be wearing tattered and dirty clothes, however this is not a bad thing as it gives them the impression of being local thugs, and not ones to get on the wrong side of. [8]
  9. 9. The red eye could be symbolising that the character is evil, or that he is in love. However I believe that it is more to do with symbolising the danger of the person, I assume this as the character is staring directly towards the viewer. This sentence give the The mask is audience the used to hide impression that half of his the character is face to seeking revenge create an for something array of but then mystery continues even about the though the character. vendetta has It could also been achieved. be used to hide any scars of the person, like V in V for The darkness Vendetta around the photo could be to symbolise the past of the character, making me assume that the character has a dark past. The rising part in the title suggests that the film is about following a characters life. However the titles have what looks like blood in them, this suggesting that the film is following the life of a killer. [9]