The white lettering contrasts highly with the black background to immediatelycreate an impact. Usually the colour white would connote peace, innocenceand purity, and black would suggest mystery and the unknown. Because ofthis we as an audience assume that these opposing characteristics will berepresented through the characters in the film. The white letters have beensplit horizontally into three. The jagged, broken appearance could suggest aNegative event that happens within the film that alters the character’spersonality.
After the opening titles, an establishing shot is used to set the scene. It showsa crowded city in the middle of the day. This isn’t what we would usuallyexpect from a thriller setting, as typical characteristics consist of low lighting,Isolated settings and it being set in the evening. This shot pans to the outsideof a window where we expect to be introduced to a main character. The panshot gives time to the audience to anticipate what is going to happen, but toalso make them think that the “psycho” is maybe somewhere within this city.
This shot shows Marion hidden in a bathroom obtaining stolen money fromher purse. A high angle shot shows her vulnerability and weakness in thesituation, and we predict that her criminal actions will detriment hercontinuingly through the film. Alternatively, the high angle shot is placed in aposition where the audience feels like an intruder as we see an actionhappening that no other character is yet aware of. This creates a connectionbetween the audience and character and makes us feel important than therest of the characters as we are informed of Marions actions.
A medium close up shot is used to show the character’s worried expression asthe non-synchronous sound of her boss fitting the pieces together andfiguring out that she has stolen the money is heard. The biting of the lip couldsuggest the characters apprehension and maybe regret of stealing the money.Alternatively, it could suggest her concern about being caught. Her rigidposition again shows the exposed fret that she is feeling, also making theaudience feel tense and uneasy.
This shot is a huge contrast to the first establishing shot showing a crowdedcity with natural lighting. This shot complies to the typical conventions of athriller setting with little lighting, set in the night time and seeming quiet andremote, with the rain also adding to the mood. This is when we realise thatthis location might be where an antagonist reveals themselves. The onlysource of light is coming from one room within the house and this is whereour focus immediately goes to as we want to know who exactly is in thehouse.
An over the shoulder shot reveals Norman uncovering a hole in the wall, thatleads to the cabin Marion is staying in. This action is when we figure out thatthere is more to him than meets the eye. The first impressions we get fromthis character is a shy, timid man who is slightly awkward but innocent. Thisshot unearths a different side to his personality adding a mystifying elementto him. This is the moment when his character becomes more important anddisturbing character. The over the shoulder shot makes the audience againfeel like their intruding adding a tense atmosphere to the scene.
A two shot is used when the bathroom door suddenly swings open to reveal ashadowy character. By using this shot, it makes the audience anticipate what we all believe is going to happen next. The tense and anxious atmosphere isemphasised by the fact that the shower is the only sound we can hear. Theclear shower curtain allows us to foresee the next event however not who iscarrying it out. This still keeps a sense of ambiguity for the audience, makingIt more appealing to watch as we think we are seconds away from finding outwho exactly is behind the curtain.
When the shower curtain is opened the camera zooms quickly, ending up at amid shot of a shadowy figure holding up a knife. As soon as this happens it isaccompanied by dramatic violin incidental music which adds to the audiencesreaction making it more frightening. The use of no lighting on the silhouettekeeps a sense of mystery to the killer, this makes the audience more intriguedto finally find out who the killer could be. The background light is almost usedto blind the audience from seeing the killer as well as Marion. The use of onelight again creates a more dramatic and theatrical shot .