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Evaluation

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Thriller Evaluation

Thriller Evaluation

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  • 1. MEDIA THRILLER<br />Evaluation <br />By Emma Jasmine Go Somera<br />
  • 2. TITLE<br />
  • 3. 1. In What Ways Does Your Media Product Use, Develop Or Challenge Forms And Conventions Of Existing Thrillers?<br />Our Media Production is aimed to ‘thrill’ our chosen audience by using typical thriller conventions such as close-up shots and cut scene sequences which add enigma and suspense, creating an eerie atmosphere.<br />After great consideration, we as a group decided on using a sub genre, to generate more ideas for our synopsis. I.E. Our opening has been based on ‘Drama- Thriller’ where the production is rather slow paced and needs a large amount of character development as well as plot twists.<br /> Upon saying that, our opening begins inmediasres where the film begins in the middle of the story to add effect to the film. With an extreme close-up of the character’s eyes, where the audience does not know just yet what gender is, as there is little make up worn, and other facial features are not obvious. <br /> Other than using desaturation on many of our clips, we used very low key lighting which emphasises the mood we wanted to accomplish.<br /> Or initial idea was inspired by the film Se7en by David Fincher due to the obscure montage editing that consist mainly of close-ups and medium-close up shots which later relates to the main character’s mind, in addition it lack coherence , similar to the mind of the main character. In some aspects, it seems like the audience is ‘looking’ into the mind of the main character, the character that we don’t realise is the killer until further into the clip. This conforms to the typical conventions of a thriller movie by using cinematography as it helps creates a frightening mood.<br />
  • 4. Due to the close-up shots used on the main character in the first minute of the clip, the audience is unable to look around and into the background, even as the montage shots are literally thrown into your face for no later than 3 seconds before it fades into either another montage shot or a shot of the character’s eyes. This is was purposely done in order to attract attention from our audience and to produce focus only on the concepts that we want the audience to look at.<br /> Until the camera slowly zooms out from the clip of our character’s eyes, is when you see that the character is in fact a woman in her late 30s or 40s, more montage shots of blood and murder weapons continue to be shown until it zoom comes to a stop when the audience will notice a victim sprawled across the table, dead.<br /> A medium-long shot is used towards the end in order to fill up screen-space appropriately and for the audience to note the mise-en-scene. We used a actress in her late 40s to better suit our synopsis, as her facial features are stronger compared to someone younger, it also adds quality to the character. <br /> In some ways, our thriller sequence is rather similar toGoodFellasby Quentin Tarrantino, as our production also contains inmediasres and goes against some conventions of a thriller as commence with what appears to be normal till the montage shots appear and you observe the dead body on the table. The audience then realises that this woman is in fact the antagonist, whilst she still goes about her business as if the body is nothing of her concern, just like Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro.<br />Although we have based this production to be in London, in the opening, there is no establishing shot to set location or even era and time.<br />
  • 5. We wanted to create a mise-en-scene that contradicts many factors. For example, we chose to base our production of a middle-aged woman as you’d expect them to be more reserved and wise, stereotypically you would not suspect a respectable woman to commit a killing rampage. We had our character dress in sophisticated clothes to challenge the usual idea that killers having the ‘scruffy’ satanic look.<br /> No make up, tattoos or any sort of fashion props were used especially as we needed the ‘casual’ and ‘smart’ look in order to obtain the right mise-en-scene. A glass wine was also present in these shots to further emphasise her character as a middle-aged, white woman. <br />As opposed to this look on our antagonist, we chose the young dead female to be the complete opposite. We gave the dead character as a young teen reaching adult years, in doing so, we gave her props to do with fashion such as sweat bands, necklaces and so forth [although it may not be so clear in the shot]. On the other hand, her long hair, which consist of high-lights which adds to the convention of a young female.<br /> However, props were used mainly in the montage shots to give clues to the audience of what the genre of the film is as well as to give clues to the story line of the film itself. For example, there is a shot of rosary beads and a ring, informing the audience that the Christian religion is present and that someone in the production has a relation to marriage.<br /> Another aspects that also challenges thriller conventions and relates to GoodFellas is the non diegetic music that we have decided to use throughout the clip. Although it is not exactly high tempo and up-beat, the piano piece doesn’t seems eerie to an extent until the montage shots begins which then emphasises the music, again adding to the atmosphere.<br />
  • 6. 2. How Does Your Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups?<br />Although it is not shown in our thriller opening, our main character and antagonist is a middle aged, white woman who takes her profession seriously, as she is portrayed to the audience in a smart suit, something that you’d expect an important figure at an office to wear. At first, she gives off a ‘plain-jane’ look to confuse the audience, but as they begin to notice that she is the antagonist, the audience then shifts their impression due to her calm composure.<br />As the audience can tell that she is an intellectual woman, logic clicks in as they now realise that she does indeed have the brains to pull off such a stunt and not get caught, as police would not think to suspect her since it goes against typicality.<br /> The red wine was chosen to firstly add to the composition in the shot, and secondly to inform the audience that drinking a glass of red wine is some what of a hobby or a like of the antagonist. It also shows that she is quite wealthy and upper class to be drinking red wine.<br />
  • 7. On the other hand, the young, white girl that is dead in the table is wearing a no sleeve shirt, whilst the antagonist is not baring any skin, again, showing reservation in her age. Her hair is also long as opposed to the antagonist, like most typical teenagers, who even has high lights in her hair.<br />Seeing as this character is already dead, there is not much that we could really establish about this person unless we’d used more significant props like rings, rosaries or even audio unlike other thrillers.<br /> On the other hand, many could connote many things about this dead person such as; is there any relation between the two characters? How did she die? Why did this happen? Etc <br />Some may also wonder if there is a certain reason as to why the girl is so many years younger than the main character and if the age actually has something to do with the reason.<br /> Furthermore, both characters are middle/upper class white women, which may come across as racist even though it was more or less based on white independent women and what may truly go on behind the scenes. Meaning, what could happen in the ‘White’ society when they have too much time and money on their hands.<br /> Unlike many thrillers, this opening does not involve any men or sexuality, therefore no dominance is questioned between genders or even sexuality.<br />
  • 8. 3. What Kind Of Media Institution Might Distribute Your Media Product And Why?<br />I personally believe that the institute would most likely distribute our production would be Touch Stone Picture who has worked along side director M Knight Shymalan, director of all famous Unbreakable and Signs, ideal in sustaining films in the market place for a great deal of time. Much of the history is due to the genre of thriller where they focused their marketing by inserting various advertisements through internet, billboard posters, newspapers, televisions and other articles forms.<br /> Besides big production companies such as Touch Stone and WarnerBros, there are other institutions of the more subsidiary kind that have also been successful in producing mainly horror thrillers such as Exclusive Media Group who use quality British actors. They are currently in synergy with Spitfire Pictures, another independent film company in America.<br />Our biggest selling point perhaps would be the enigma behind all the montage shots, as it will attract the audience, engulfing them in suspicion, causing them to carry on watching the end till the end. I believe this would allow companies like Touch Stone to obtain a large profit as well, seeing as our Media production is very much like Se7en and GoodFellas, which both generated large amounts of money.<br />
  • 9. 4. Who Would Be The Audience For Your Media Product?<br /> I believe that Thriller Fans will enjoy watching Chalkboard as it consists of many typical thriller conventions such as the plot twisting, enigma and unfortunate events that are soon to develop, creating tension and suspense in the audiences’ mind. <br /> Our Thriller is suitable [as stated by the BBFC] for those of 15 and over due to the murderous weapons and various footages of blood splatter and strong language later in the film, much like Se7en as you do not exactly see the violent bloodshed and killings, but the aftermath [just like the young adults situated next our antagonist.] Although many of those that did our questionnaire were 15 and over, I believe that many would enjoy our production as it looks deeply into a rich and powerful woman’s mind and troubles that women face as they grow, I.E. Love affairs and fraud, which also links into our target audience being women of 21 and over, seeing as it relates to them more.<br /> As I previously mentioned, the thriller contains a cliffhanger and mystery which keeps the audience guessing, this was done not only due to being a thriller convention, but also as some of our audience has mentioned that they enjoy this factor, and as our thriller has the sub-genre of drama as well as psychological tendencies [refer back to audience questionnaires]<br />
  • 10. Daily, we referred back to our questionnaire results in order to make our thriller a success, such as seeing women’s opinion on sub-genres, realistic life consequences and scenarios and even the type of editing and soundtrack that they find effective, for if you do not give the target audience what they want, there is no clear route to pleasing.<br /> What will attract the audience most would be how it goes against and challenges stereotypes of middle-aged white women and also young adults, however some my believe that this could be a very negative representation of women in general and other social groups which may result in bad viewing.<br />
  • 11. 5. How Did You Attract / Address Your Particular Audience?<br /> Unlike most thrillers, we planned the synopsis to not have any protagonists, instead we had all clips to be in the view of the antagonist or the audience’s point of view, so we are seeing everything at how the antagonist would, making the film bias and uniqueness.<br /> Prior to our production, we constructed a questionnaire aimed at mainly those 15 and over to see what thriller conventions would be strongest to attract our target audience [women]. Where we found that puzzles and enigma at the key points to suspense. With this, we also asked the audience what they’re view is on other thrillers such as 300, Blade 2 and so forth, which resulted in no particular pattern or correlation, it seems to be that view depends entirely on the individual and sub genre.<br /> Along side this, we had low lighting used and close-shots, including cut away editing would work sufficiently when working on thrillers. We found that soundtrack can also effect the mood of the scene.<br /> Although it was not asked in the questionnaire, as a group we never over looked the mise-en-scene, as it also plays a big roll when filming. The colour scheme also took on a big roll as there would be a lot of red in the shot and we needed other colours that wouldn’t steal away attention from the blood, even if we used desaturation in our production.<br />
  • 12. 6. What Have You Learnt About Technologies From The Process Of Constructing The Product?<br />With our thriller, I had mainly helped with editing more than anything as we divided and shared out to the group, each being in charge of important tasks. <br /> We had used a software named Finish Cut Pro [used with Mac computers] to capture our footage from the college’s professional camera from a cassette. This program allowed us to trim clips as well as speed up and slow down certain parts to maintain a 2 minute sequence on a timeline. With this timeline, we were also able to add effects to titles as well as clips to further add to conventions to our thriller such as ‘Bad TV’ were we could tamper with the settings, making the chosen clip or title have static and bad reception motions. In addition, we used fade in and out transitions to mimic the thoughts and memories of our antagonist and to flow of our production whilst sustaining the same pace throughout.<br /> Primarily, we had filmed the montage shots using professional camera to get a wider range of shots for instance, at my house we began with shower scenes and dropped knives, whereas someone else had montage shots of crumpled, bloodstained letters and faces of the deceased. In addition, the camera allowed us to create effective shots from different angles with help from a tripod to steady the movement, on the other hand, all montage shots were hand held, causing the movement to be vacillating to imitate the point of view of the antagonist.<br />
  • 13. In the beginning however, we ran into some trouble concerning the film camera as we had misjudged the equipment that we needed, so we had to begin the montage shots with only using a digital camera, however this worked to our advantage, as we had more time to prepare for the actual filming of actresses and we gained more montage shots in the long run, with the bad quality also, it gave us more of an edge when it came to editing as it gave off a tampered effect to our sequence.<br /> As we were all rather new to media and filming with professional cameras, tripods, microphones and especially with the features of the camera itself, we sometimes had problems when zooming and focusing, as we would need extreme close-ups , but there would be a very shallow depth of field, whereas when we did want a shallow depth of field, we’d only get a large depth of field, so to by-pass this, we purposely filmed the object struggling to focus and to unfocus, in order to again, add more of an effect and give more to the audience.<br /> I have also been taught how to use blogspot.com to upload all my research and pre-production work such as photos, preliminary tasks and documents in a professional and presentable way for all to read. I believe this has benefited me as I do not have constantly look after pages and pages of work, and it is accessible to me anytime I want it. Teachers are so able to look at our progress without hassle and allow feedback to our group.<br />
  • 14. 7. Looking Back To Your Preliminary Task, What Do You Feel That You Have Learnt In The Progression From It To The Full Product?<br /> With our preliminary task, we were made to film a short 1 minute sequence of a person walking through a corridor then having a conversation with another person in a room, the way we film, edit and what the conversation consists of was entirely up to our group.<br /> Within our task, we had used various shots, ranging from extreme close-up to establishing shots, in order to set location and to add more effects to the clips. I enjoyed this task to the fullest, as I was able to experiment with different shot sizes, angles and features like zooming and panning, but what I like most about this task was that it gave me a feel of what it was like to actually like to film and edit.<br />We all shared roles in the task, unlike in the real media production where we all spilt tasks to fulfil, starting with the synopsis, scripts and the story boards, then moving on to bird’s-eye-view planning to help construct where the camera would aim and what movements it would make E.G. Panning, POV shots and cut sequences. As we didn’t have much time to truly test our abilities, we were unable to look deep into lightings as well as mise-en-scene. <br /> We all took turns trying out filming, so we could later decide who would then take on the role later, the same was also repeated when editing the sequence as well. <br />
  • 15. When editing, we all tried to familiarise ourselves with all the shortcuts and effects so that we could better ourselves for the final production. These things included cut scene, speeding/slowing down, zoom and lighting. Transaction was also needed to add continuity and also cut away to fit in shots such as shot/reverse shot and insertions, at first this was proving to be quite difficult, but this time round, with the final thriller product, we were able to edit with haste, leaving us more time to concentrate on other forms of editing.<br /> This was mainly sound and effects, like some thrillers, we had decided to use a soundtrack that would go against typical conventions, and we still had a rather hard time picking a suitable soundtrack for our thriller whereas in the preliminary task, we had not used any soundtrack at all.<br /> I sorry to say that I believe that our media product still turns a lot of work in editing and planning as a group, especially when we have to meet together to film outside of college. If we planned properly, we would of been able to create something more professional.<br />

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