How our movie uses, develops and challenges conventions from real thriller films The opening to our thriller film is typically a thriller because of the use of lighting, editing techniques and sound used. To emphasise that our female character, Monika, was in a dream where we used the effect of rippling to show the audience that the next few scenes were in fact dreams. During the dream sequence we also adjusted the saturation in the video clips to make the clip appear less colourful between reality and dreaming, but also because it makes the clip look more sinister and shows the audience thriller aspects. I thought of a Nightmare on Elm Street because of the atmosphere created by the colours used and the storyline, as it was similar to ours.
Every good thriller movie works towards creating a suspenseful atmosphere which really gets the audience’s attention. Four our opening we wanted to create this type of atmosphere as it is important for the rest of the film. Colour was very significant; we toned the colour down so it was dull – straight away this already made our movie appear more dramatic. It emphasised the shadows and created mystery for the audience. Paranormal Activity used a more blue/green colour throughout their film to emphasise the darkness and it created a very tense atmosphere. Whilst editing our movie, I thought of this thriller for its use of colour as a reminder that colour was important.
Using the storyline of a murderer who kills in people’s dreams is viewed as a typical psychological thriller. However, we developed on this idea and made it our own by using younger children as the victims. In many thriller movies it is teenagers playing the victims as they are more mature and are able to eventually figure out a solution to the murders. Using younger children means that we don’t have to make a conclusion to our movie, we were able to leave it as a mystery for the audience – the characters from our thriller are a little too young to understand how to solve such problems that only exist in scary movies. The movie Disturbia uses teenage characters as they are mentally more mature and because it becomes more appealing to teenage audiences or young adults.
Our location was set and filmed in school for the majority of the opening. This setting shows the audience the age of our character, and a summary of what the movie will be about. Location is important as it sets the scene and is used as a base for the rest of the film. The music used also adds to the atmosphere and this type of music is played in many thrillers. The music was important as it adds tension and it also helped a few scenes transition more fluidly into another.
For editing we emphasised the dream sequence by slowing down the first few of these scenes. This makes the audience more aware of the fact it is a dream and it also allows the audience to have time to look at the surroundings and location. As it is slower, it makes the audience want to know why; why is she running? Where is she running to? Who is she running from? Then when Monika opens one of the doors in corridor, the speed of the clip goes back to normal and this creates sudden tension.
How our movie represents different social groups The use of representation for children or the younger generations in the movie is quite thriller-typical. The children are the young, defenceless victims in the film. In our opening it is young Monika who is the latest victim and she is a female which is stereotypical. In many thriller movies it is the females who are being chased or threatened by the dominant male characters, and our opening shows just this. Although we didn’t want to make it too predictable, so I think it helps that the storyline isn’t as common as the male-chasing-female idea. In the Black Swan, a psychological drama/thriller movie, it is the lead women who is being manipulated by her male dance teacher to become more daring and dark. Because she does, this stereotypes the woman’s role as weaker than the man’s.
The murderer is a male and this represents males as being the dominant figure in many thriller movies and how they tend to take advantage of the younger females. Our opening character Monika, is lying in her bed and here she represents the younger generation – she has large stuffed animals in her bed and a girly; this shows how young she is and in movies it is usually the younger girls that become the victims – like in our movie.
The media institution to distribute our film When thinking f which media institution would distribute our film, I would either go with 20 th Century Fox or Lionsgate. If I were t choose 20 th Century Fox, they would be a good distributor to go with as they are very famous, they have produced quite a few blockbuster hits and award-winning films. They also have distributed quite a few well-known thriller movies such as: Taken, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Mirrors, Thr3e, Hide and Seek, Wrong Turn, What Lies Beneath and Phone Booth.
As of 2011, Fox is known as one of the six major American film studios and is well-known amongst anyone. As it has been around since 135, it is also known by the older generation which would mean they would maybe be more interested in seeing a film by this company. The company also distributed TV shows such as Firefly, Futurama, American Dad, Prison Break and Life on Mars. This means our film would also be advertised to the fans of these shows and of the teenager/young adult viewers who watch them.
However, if we were to go with Lionsgate, they have also got an impressive track record for blockbuster movies and thriller movies. Some of their big thriller movies include: Buried, The Last Exorcism, The Haunting in Connecticut, The Descent, Alone in the Dark and American Psycho. Their list of thriller movies are more supernatural than Fox’s thrillers, but they also are more atmospheric and suspenseful in my opinion.
Lionsgate are a Canadian-American entertainment company so our film would, in theory, be advertised well in Canada as well as America and England. It was founded in 1995 so it is not as old as Fox nor as well known but is still popular. There is also Lionsgate UK which would help to distribute the film to England more successfully. Overall, I would say that both Lionsgate and 20 th Century Fox would distribute the film as they are well known, popular companies. They have had big blockbuster hits and successful movies in England and America, so they know their audiences and the best way to sell the product to them. Their history with thriller films is impressive and if they were to distribute our thriller, they would hopefully make it a success.
The audience for our movie Our movie is aimed at teenagers and young adults. We feel it would be most popular amongst this age group and fans of this age are easy to advertise to as well. Originally we did think we would make the movie either a certificate of a 12 or an 18, but we looked into these certificates and they are too extreme on either side. For a 12 the film may include infrequent drug use, infrequent use of strong language, brief nudity, discreet sexual activity, and moderate violence. Our movie would be more violent than a 12, and for many 12 year-olds it could be seen as disturbing. For an 18, the film does not have a limitation on the bad language used, hard drugs are generally allowed, and strong violence/sex references along with sexual activity is allowed. Scenes of strong real sex may be permitted if justified by the context. Our film is not as hardcore as this rating, and would not include this much swearing or violence.
We then decided that a 15 would be the most appropriate to rate our film as. This is because films under this category can contain adult themes, hard drugs, strong words, moderate-strong violence/sex references, and mild, non-detailed sex activity. Although there would be not hard drugs included or sexual activity, the language may be strong in places and the violence could be viewed as unsuitable for younger years. It is not an action/horror movie, but where violence is included, it may be too grim for a 12 year-old to view.
Attracting the audience For attracting the audience and getting publicity, we made a film poster to greater advertise our movie. This is a simple poster which just shows the title of the film and a camera shot of the dream sequence at the beginning of the opening. We used black as the background to emphasise the darkness and thriller genre along with the red writing to represent blood.
We also created a DVD cover for our film which advertises it more by giving the audience a taste of what the movie is about. We included a photo, review, summary, bonus features and some names from the cast and crew.
We wanted to show enough advertising to the audience so they would know of the movie and roughly the storyline; but also not promote it too much because we wanted it to appear a mystery. We wanted to get the audience’s attention and then make them want to find out the rest so they would buy the movie.
What I’ve learnt bout technologies from constructing this project From doing this project I went from knowing almost nothing about editing, sound effects and filming, to now knowing what the equipment is, how to use it and the best way to use it. Some camera techniques I have learnt whilst filming our project were zooming in and our – focusing the audience on something important; close ups – emphasising the character’s facial expression and reactions; using match-cuts – which establish a strong continuity of action; and extreme close ups – strongly emphasising a reaction or a certain object.
Video camera which we used to film and take location shots The Yeti microphone we used to record our news report voice over The Macbook where we saved our work and edited iMovie where we edited our fim
Some editing techniques I learnt whilst doing this project included sound effects, such as where we emphasised the noise of a door shutting, and music that went over the top of our film to add tension. Cutting clips and deleting the parts you don’t want, with the parts you do want, being ale to move them around so they go in the right order of the movie. The changing of the colour in the movie, how to change the saturation, the speed of the clip on iMovie. Being able to add different effects in, such as rippling, which we used at the beginning of the dream sequence.
When using the camera I know that it is more professional and smoother to use a tripod when filming most scenes. It prevents shaking and it allows you to move the camera higher or lower fluidly without any sudden movements. When we weren’t using the tripod for a few scenes, we learnt how to film without it, by moving a lot more slowly and keeping it as steady as possible, or by resting it on a stable surface to film.
Preliminary task to final product When we started our preliminary task it was unprofessional, very basic and barely any editing skills were shown. It was fine for a beginning project but since then we have learnt how to edit using a wider range of tools on iMovie. We have also learnt how to make our work transition more smoothly and use relevant camera angles and shots so they match the scene we were shooting. Some location shots from our preliminary task
After our preliminary task, we went on to our main task. However, our initial idea was different back then and we were going to do a thriller opening of a girl who was attacked by a mystery man, she would bite him, then run off to her friend’s house who had a fresh bite mark on his arm; the movie would have then carried on by saying “24 Hours Earlier” to show how the girl got to know the attacker. We started filming this movie and we had done almost all the scenes, auditions and storyboards before deciding the movie wasn’t going to work as a thriller. It didn’t shows enough skill or emotion and we decided to leave this idea and move on to another one. This is when we came up with the idea we have now. We found this idea has worked well, we were able to develop it well and link it into the thriller genre more easily and clearly than with our last movie.
I feel I have learnt a lot about filming, editing and the thriller genre from when we started our preliminary to when we finished our final opening to a thriller movie. I have not only learnt these things but I also learnt the importance of all of them and that every detail that goes into making a movie, not just a thriller, is all very important and make the movie what it is – in this case sound and colour are important for the use of making a thriller. I know how o plan for filming: by making storyboards doing auditions and making scripts. I know to document everything we do, so location shots, action shots and outtake as well as explaining what is happening in the scenes and how to use the forms of typical thriller movies. Doing the preliminary task has helped to improve on it’ and since our preliminary, I do feel I and my group have improved on our media techniques. blogger.com – the website I used to document all my work.