For our AS Media Studies coursework we had to create a two minute opening scene (of any genre we wished). My group and I chose to create a psychological thriller film. We had regular meetings to develop our ideas into a feasible and interesting plot, which we could then create a two minute opening scene for. To enable us to understand the clear conventions for a psychological thriller film (which we were doing) we needed to know the codes and conventions that would be found within a thriller film. We found that a thriller film needs to have; – The main or one of the main character suffering from a mental illness (could be known or unknown, it is usually revealed at some point in the film) – Mind games (could be between the character, but may also involve the audience) – A sense of danger and enigma – Dark settings – Isolation. As expected in a thriller film we decided to use some of the codes and conventions e.g. a mental illness (with Sonia, even though you don’t see that in the first two minutes) and a sense of Isolation (with Sonia being neglected by her mum). We decided to use them because we wanted to let the audience know that it is indeed a thriller film.
Tension is built up throughout the opening scenes in our thriller film, as a typical device used within opening scenes. Typically, an opening scene will begin with some shots that establish the storyline, develop main character and introduce the themes within the film. By the time you have reached the end of the opening scene, you will get an idea of the setting and where the storyline may be mainly based. Also within the opening scenes, you don’t show too much of the movie which will give away the whole story. In our thriller film we went with the fact that you can’t show too much of the storyline in the opening scene. I found that this was a common method in all of the opening scenes, I researched. For example in ‘Orphan’ the movie, (which was a psychological thriller), didn’t give too much information to the audience in the opening scene. Therefore, we conformed to the codes and conventions of a typical opening scene, as we went along with the codes and conventions of a psychological thriller. As a typical thriller film the audience expects there will be scenes that thrill the audience. In this part of the scene we go against the normal conventions as Sonia is seen as a normal girl who isn’t weak like most stereotypical woman are in thrillers. We decided to do this as we thought females needed to be in the scene more and not just seen as the ‘fragile’ character.