In what ways does your media product use, develop orchallenge forms and conventions of real media production?
Title of the film
Title AnnotationAs I have mentioned in previous blog posts, we based the plot of our film on the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ which follows the idea of a captive creating feelings for their capturer over the duration of the time they spend with them in hostage. As thriller film’s are very popular in the media industry we had to be careful when creating a name for our film. We wanted something recognisable To have an understanding of what would be recognisable in the media industry, further research was done on the same genre of film’s and the title’s of that film. From previously watching many films I have realised that most film’s have very short title’s which is shown in the two picture examples. The title’s also are very important to the film as it gives an incentive on what the film may be about. For example the film ‘Trust’ is all about a young girl who is deceived by a cyber friend who is really an old man, grooming her into meeting him and being a victim of sexual abuse. The plot of this story is meant to come across in this one line therefore we wanted too do a similar thing with ours i.e. Stockholm ‘Syndrome’> The ‘Syndrome’. Overall I feel that our final decision of using ‘The Syndrome’ was effective as it has become one of the main asset’s to our final piece.
Title Annotation Continued…In regards to the creation of our film title we also had to carefully follow the genre of thriller through it’s appearance. Through analyzing other thriller film’s we realised that they are include very bold and abrupt font’s to establish the cold atmosphere to the storyline and mood of the film. The colour scheme is very bland and dark, this therefore meant that we would follow a similar type of colour scheme as we wanted to go for the same effect of our film to come across as eerie and tense which these title’s represent in the pictures. The font used for our title is used throughout in our credits. We did this because we didn’t want it to seem noticeable the change in font, as well as underlining the fact the credits supposed to be seen but not focused one. However to show a significant but suitable change from the credit’s to the film’s title we made the title more bold and abrupt, indicating the importance as the title of the film is seen as more important than the credit’s as the title is used as a recognisable icon to the audience.
Setting/Location AnnotationSince our group decided we were going to create a thriller film opening we instantly wanted to do an escape scene. This was because this allows us to experiment with shot types, props, costumes and the most important of them all, the location. Luckily we all live in the countryside therefore we had the opportunity to shoot our opening scene in a local wood’s near one of our villages. Before shooting we firstly went to do some test shoot’s to see whether this location was suitable enough for our requirements. Due to the size of the wood’s this enabled us to experiment with various shot types as well as being able to sustain the maximum 2 minutes time slot which our film had to be. Another benefit of our location was that it looked very abandoned and in poor conditions, for example broken trees etc. This then allowed us to create different way’s of enhancing the suspense throughout the 2 minutes by taking shot’s of the victim character hiding behind a tree whilst the capturer appears in the background out of focus as well as taking running shot’s of both character’s weaving in and out of tree’s as if it was like a maze. Also, previously in one of my blog post’s I mentioned the escape scene which is featured in ‘The Shining’ this shows adaptation’s of various ways you could film with the weather conditions you are given. For instance because of the time period in which we filmed our footage it had recently snowed, this therefore meant that we had snow featured in all our shot’s which we thought would be a problem. However once we started to film and looked back on our footage we realised that it complimented our shot’s and worked very well with what we were looking for. I feel that our location idea became very beneficial for the making of our opening sequence as it became very atmospherical and we were able to conjure up various idea’s and experiment with the camera and directing, increasing our skill’s when using the camera. Also I feel as if it fit well with the genre of thriller as it created a concept of ‘no escape’ and expressed various way’s of fear and pain just through the size and condition of the location and how we adapted with it.
Costume Annotations One of the most focal features in a film is the costume each character is wearing. We spend a long time deciding on what would be the best type of costume decision for each character. ‘The Syndrome’ ‘Last House on the Left’ When deciding what the victim was going to wear, in previous blog point’s I mentioned researching the costume used for the victim in ‘Last House on the Left’. From the two pictures you can see that there are both similarities and differences.In our opening scene, our victim character, as you can see from the pictures is very muddy with matted hairwhich is down. This is similar to the picture next to it as this character also is very muddy with matted hairand broken clothes. By doing this research this determined what we wanted our victim to look like. We tookthe idea’s of being messy looking from ‘The Last House on the Left’ as we thought this would be an effectivelook so that the audience could establish the type of situation the character is in. However, one decision thatwe did make which wasn’t from any research was too include a very bright jumper for the character too wear.The reason why we did this was because we thought it would be a good idea that the character stood out.This is because firstly it would compliment the colour’s of the location, so that it isn’t dull and is clear to seeevery little detail of the set. Secondly we thought it would indicate that she is never going to be able to escape,as she would be able to be seen from a mile away, making the audience empathise with this character as shewill never get back home. This contrast’s with the other picture as this character is in very dull clothes as wellas the location around her, showing that she is able to escape which in the film she does whereas we didn’twant the audience to think that she would be able to escape.
Costume Annotation Continued…‘The Syndrome’ ‘Last House on the Left’ For the capturer’s costume we used the same film (The Last House on the Left) as inspiration to determine what this character was going to wear. From the picture you can see both similarities and differences.In the left picture (our film) you can see that the capturer is in very casual wear. This is because wefelt, to make the character seem more scary and psychotic we thought it would be effective if he woreclothes which also can attract tension however be camouflaged within the environment to maintainhis stealth-like persona. We also wanted him to wear casual clothes to emphasis the fact what hethinks he is doing is normal i.e. he isn’t faced by local’s seeing him however the location is in themiddle of no-where therefore people wouldn’t be walking around, reinforcing the idea she is nowforever lost. The picture on the right from the same film seen in the previous slide again was whatdetermined what we wanted the capturer’s costume to be like. In this picture you can also see that thevillains are wearing casual clothes, this then reinforces that they don’t hide away from what they do,making them an icon of insanity. The reason why our character is wearing a jumper is because ofweather condition’s and risks that we were facing by filming in the snow. If the weather was warmerwe would have gotten him to wear less clothes to emphasis the size and strength of this character.
PropsA essential feature of the making of films in the use of prop’s in a scene. Although we had 2 minute of footage time to play around with (that being the maximum amount of time for our opening scene) we felt that it was necessary for our film to not include any props. This is because we felt the use of any props would look out of place, especially as it is an escape scene. We discussed about including prop’s i.e. weapons belonging to the capturer however we felt it was best to not include prop’s and use the location to the best of our ability to make up for the lack of props. Although this challenges the conventions of modern thriller film’s we felt that it was right to not include prop’s as this would lead to confusion due to the location and fast tempo opening scene.
Camera Work When planning our opening scene, we all agreed that include numerous camera shot’s to ensure that our opening scene had a variety. The reason for this is because we wanted the audience to be constantly engaged within the first 2 minutes, as the opening scene determines whether a someone wants to carry on watching the film. The following list shows an example of the variety of shots we used;> Close up > Wide Angled Shot> Panning > Establishing Shot> Tracking> Medium Long Shot However we didn’t want to include loads of camera angles and shots because wedidn’t want to make the opening scene look to crowded and messy when it came tothe editing process. From other research of various escape scenes that we looked at(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYbkRq6Iw7I) we used similar sort’s of shots as we knew that these were the best because they were featured in some of the mostsuccessful film’s around (Harry Potter). We carefully ran through the various shot’s we wanted to include in our opening scene and identified which ones we knew wouldn’t suit the type of scene we were creating, for example canted angles etc.
Editing Unlike our camera work we have minimal editingtransitions featured in our opening scene. We chose touse quick cut’s to join together the different clips as wewanted it to be a fast escape scene. By having the quick cuts it reinforces the speed the two characters are going, increasing the amount of tension for the audience. We decided not to include other editing transition as we felt this would lower the quality of our scene. However to make sure that our decision was right, we experimented with our transitions to see whether we were right in thinking that it would lower the standard.
Establishment of Story/PlotWe didn’t include dialogue in our opening scene as we felt we could do more experimentingwith camera work and creating a soundtrack when we didn’t have any dialogue to add. Due to there being no dialogue we had to rely on our camera work and positioning of shot’s to indicate the plot of ‘The Syndrome’. We decided that, in order to show the plot of a kidnapper chasing it’s victim we thought we would reinforce the power behind the capturer and the vulnerability of the victim through camera work. An example of this is in the print screen on the right, this shows the beginning of a focus pull we used to show the victim ishiding from the capturer. We also did several shot of both character running, taking medium long shots, close up shot’s of feet, tracking shot’s through the trees etc to show that they are both running in the same direction. In the opening scene we also thought it was essential to introduce the audience to the two main characters which is often found in most film’s opening scenes as the audience like to be aware of who is featured in the film, following the power of the star system used in the media industry.
Establishment of Genre To establish our thriller genre, we did this through cross cutting editing as this is conventional for a typical thriller. The use of the soundtrack also reinforces the genre as we included a booming tick sound in the background, signifying the countdown to being caught. This type of sound is normally used in a thriller as it build suspense and makes the audience feel on edge which is what is wanted when making this type of film. The violenceincluded in our opening scene also reinforces someones mental and physical pain which is always featured in a thriller film. The black out’s used also establish this as it play’s with the audience’s minds as they are unaware of what will appear on the screen next, creating fear. At the end of our opening scene when the title is being introduced, this is very conventional of thriller’s as a black out happens with eerie music playing in the background and the title suddenly appearing in an effect which symbolises this genre.
Introduction to Characters Our group thought carefully when discussing how we were going to introduce the characters. Wefirstly decided with the victim character that we wanted to introduce her first out of the two character’s, right from the beginning. This is because we wanted to establish that she was the main character and the opening scene was based around her and her story. We did this by including her in the first shot which is featured in the opening scene. By using a panning shot coming from top to bottom we then changed to a long shot of the character’s whole body, showing her running from something. This automatically indicates that she is a main character as the proxemics of her positioning is on centre screen as well as her being the only character introduced for the first 15 seconds.To introduce our second main character we wanted to make more subtle hint’s to the appearance ofhim. Unlike the victim where we show all of her appearance from the first few seconds, until 1.19 we don’t see the face of the capture as we wanted to create a sense of mysterious within this character.Therefore to do this we took shot’s of the character’s body parts i.e. feet, body, back of the head etc avoiding any clear shot’s of the face. This was used to show the audience that he is an importantcharacter however he is the supporting role of the female character, reinforcing that she is the main.
Special EffectsSpecial effects are a very conventional aspect of nearly every thriller film produced however due to funding and equipment we were unable to include special effect’s into our opening scene. If we were able to have the opportunity to include special effects in our opening scene we would have included stunts and more ways of creating tension and suspense. However due to the lack of equipment and funding I feel that we all did exceptionally well to address the theme of thriller within the opening scene.