A.S. Media Thriller Opening Evaluation Graham Forward
<ul><li>Our film is significantly similar to most other thriller films because it uses the generic conventions that all thriller films have. The main convention is keeping the audience tense where they are not sure what to expect next. This was particularly effective through the use of camerawork and sound; we used different angles and an eerie piece of sound to add tension and lure the audience into the storyline. An example is our ending death scene were we go from a ms tracking shot to a ls of our character dead. This is slightly similar to the film psycho except our killer isn’t actually in any shot however you see the victim in a separate shot after the murder. </li></ul>1. In What ways Does Your Media Product Use, Develop Or Challenge Forms And Conventions Of Real Life Media Products? Here is the infamous psycho victim. We have tried to challenge and use a similar cu shot to show the death of our main character. Here is our ending scene where we have tried to develop the death from psycho and instead used a cu of our main character (Andrew Johnson) that slowly turns into an els of him dead.
<ul><li>Other thriller films use similar techniques to shock and spook their audience. An example film would be the film se7en We also followed the codes and conventions of other thriller films so that it would be classed as a thriller for example our titles where similar to other thriller films that we looked at. However there are also differences for example we decided to break the 180 degree rule because we wanted to use a special shot where the camera spans around 360 degrees. Our film does have a Sub Genre this is a psychological thriller. This is because it has aspects of both types of films in it and similar codes and conventions. For example our film has a mysterious plot where all of our shots are on one main character however you do not see our main characters face until right at the end. This is similar to the film se7en where you do not see the killers face you only see his body and hear his voice until the end of the film. We also used similar plain titles to se7en and so this shows that our film is like an already existing psychological thriller. Without being to cliché our film can show similar thrillers within it because the plot can have many different endings. </li></ul>This is the film poster for the film se7en. We used a lot of similar types of shots and music and se7en is a psychological thriller therefore since we followed similar codes and conventions we can class our piece from the thriller genre. Here is the Se7en titles, we used a similar effect with a black background with white text with an effect on each title.
2. How Does Your Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups? <ul><li>We looked at a variety of thriller films before actually going out and creating our final piece and we tried to follow similar codes and conventions to the other thriller films. However this was also hard because our character does not really get seen clearly until we get to the end of the piece. However we decided to use a tall white male as our main character to follow the codes and conventions of similar thriller films, the fact that he was tall gave us an advantage because we had to do a lot of tracking shots of his legs and we got better shots from someone who is quite tall rather than quite short. </li></ul>As you can see our tall character worked really well with the tracking shots because it was easier to flip the camera upside down and flip the footage.
<ul><li>The other characters on the other hand can fit into typical social stereotypes; this is because we used younger actors and actresses similar to the codes and conventions in other thriller movies In the film they can be stereotyped as average teenagers, this is because we have not given them any dialogue and made them only stare at the camera in a menacing way. This fits the stereotypical social status of a teenager because we associate them with violence. We mainly looked at the representation of the characters through age, gender and race and found that the lead role antagonist was stereotypically taken by a tall white male. An example is in the psychological thriller Cape Fear where the stalker is a tall white male. </li></ul>Here Is the Stalker from the Cape Fear Trailer as you can see he is tall, white and masculine so we followed similar conventions in our piece using a tall white male. In The trailer the stalker can be seen at around 01:00 minute into the trailer. Here is our character with similar characteristics.
3. What media institution might distribute our film and why would big companies produce this film? <ul><li>The institution that may be interested in producing our film would probably be touchstone pictures. I think touchstone pictures would distribute our film because looking at the other types of films they distribute I can see that they are one of the main companies that distributes thriller genre films. Specifically films such as The Village and The sixth sense because they where made in a similar way to our film with a lack of effects and therefore I believe that touchstone pictures would be the company that wants to distribute our thriller film. </li></ul>Both of these films where made by touchstone pictures.
<ul><li>Also our film opening can be really easy to continue a good plot with so the film has the potential of being a good seller. Big companies would want to produce our film because our film offers a lot of tense and suspension that sometimes some films seem to lack however our film has the potential of having a really good twist at the end and I feel that the movie will not be a high budget movie to create because of the lack of effects. This would benefit the bigger companies because there is not a huge cast list, not a lot of special effects and finally not a lot of costume/ makeup needed. Finally this idea is original and not the type of film that people are likely to have seen before therefore there can be no trouble regarding the copyright laws. </li></ul>Our Thriller does not use any effects, there is a death scene with no blood and the opening minute and a half is consisted mainly of tracking shots (as seen above) and pans. I think that our film is made in a similar way to The Village because of its main use of angles and lack of effects. Similar to our film the characters the director (M.Night Shyamalon) has hidden the antagonists face and the use of camera and sound is important here as in our thriller to keep the audience interested.
4. Who is the audience of our film and how did I decide on the age range? <ul><li>The audience for our thriller film is teenagers to adults (age range from 15 onwards). We decided to cut for this age group because we weren’t allowed to make our opening too graphic or rood. First of all we had to research the BBFC and look at what was acceptable in a 15 film and what would make a film an 18. Our findings told us that a 12 film contained not a lot of swearing or violence or nudity only moderate things, a 15 contained a bit of swearing and violence and nudity and finally an 18 contains a lot of swearing violence nudity etc We then had to look at similar 15 films and what extent of violence language etc that they contained to show us the limit. The reason the film was cut for a 15 age range and not a 12 is because there are scenes from similar films that had received the same age range and our scenes where not suitable to be seen by the younger age groups. </li></ul>Here is The BBFC’s banner from their website, I researched what each category of age rating could contain in order to be classed suitable for that age group. Here is the age rating that our thriller film is going to be.
<ul><li>Overall It was a lot easier to cut for a 15 because we did not really have any dialogue so we did not have to worry about bad language and there were no graphic scenes to bump up the rating. I also created a questionnaire where I got people to answer the questions and give me their feedback, this helped me decide what sub genre we where going to create and what age rating films where most popular and the result was 15. Therefore we knew before we started filming what age range we where shooting for and what sub genre our film was so we knew exactly what to and what to not include. </li></ul>Here is the questionnaire that I created to see what was their favourite type of film genre, what they feel a thriller film should contain and what age rating films where proffered.
5. How did I attract/address our audience <ul><li>To attract and directly address our audience I created a questionnaire. In the questionnaire I asked the audience personal questions about what types of thriller films and thriller conventions. I asked them questions such as what is your favourite thriller sub- genre and gave them options such as psychological thriller, action thriller etc. In the results I found that people’s favourite sub genre was a psychological thriller so we decided to create our own psychological thriller. I used the information I had found out and based the final piece on the target audiences’ responses. </li></ul>As you can see I sent the questionnaire to loads of people online and asked them to fill it out for me, I found that most people proffered psychological thrillers so we decided to create a sub genre to cater for our target audience needs.
<ul><li>Once we had completed the opening to the film I showed it to friends who where in the age range that we were targeting and got them to feedback on their likes and dislikes of the opening. I also asked whether they enjoyed what they saw and whether they would go and pay to watch this film in the cinema. The majority of the audience enjoyed the opening and said that they would pay to go and watch this film in the cinema. This suggests that my questionnaire results are accurate because I am getting the results that I was hoping to get. Here is an example of a few people that I asked. </li></ul>As you can see the feedback from my target audience is mainly positive and extremely useful so I can see whether we have done what we aimed to do which was to follow the codes and conventions of a thriller film to create an opening to one. The positive feedback suggests that we have done this correctly and effectively.
6. What have I learned about technology? <ul><li>I have personally learned a lot over the months that we spent shooting and editing our final piece. The thing that I have most improved on is using the camera. I was able to take many shots without the tripod. Before I couldn’t use the camera that effectively and the shots would have been too shaky but we ended up using some of the footage I shot in our final piece. The second technology I have most improved on is using the editing software. I had never used editing software before doing the continuity task and I was terrible at using it at first but when it came to using the software more regularly I became better at using it. For the final project I actually edited some footage together and created and added in a couple of effects to go with it that was used in the final project. </li></ul>This Is the editing software that we used to edit all of the footage that we shot and added effects with. This is the type of camera that we where using to record our footage with.
<ul><li>Overall I have learned a lot about the technology used to film and edit footage and how to use it to an effective standard I am very pleased with the progress that I have made since the beginning of the year where we were just getting used to using the camera. When completing our continuity task I made all kinds of errors such as being in shot when I was not supposed to and not using the camera correctly doing shots shaky even with the tripod etc. </li></ul>As you can see here is a still from our continuity task and as you can see the very first shot is blurry because we where only getting used to the camera and did not know how to fix it. However as you can see we learned how to correct our mistakes and made sure our final piece had no problems with it.
7. What have I learned since doing the continuity task? <ul><li>When we first did the continuity task I had a go with using the camera however the camerawork was too shaky. Now I have learned how to use the camera without the tripod effectively and how to do effective tracking shots etc. I have also learned a lot about editing software I did not really do much editing when we were doing the continuity task however I did for the final film. I edited together some of the footage and even learned about how to add in an effect and I also ended up making my own title. Before we went out to film our final project I looked at different types of thriller film openings to get an idea of the codes and conventions used. Before the continuity task I had no idea what these codes and conventions included. Things such as camera angles and sound that we had to find and make up for our own project and I did not know much about creating or getting sound so I researched and learned about sound and how to make it effective. I have also learned how to use a new programme called after effects. We used this programme to help create and add effects to our titles. Overall I have come a long way since completing the continuity task and have developed my skills. </li></ul>Here is our work being edited using layers to perfect our piece in premier pro. Here is my rough attempt at a title in after effects. Similar to premier pro After Effects uses layers to add effects/ edit as well.