NarrativeWe have stayed very conventional when it comes to the narrative. Our clip started with a dream sequence (Shown through black and white), then the protagonist is brought back to reality, where he finds that he is in an unknown hospital and does not know who he is. Thrillers conventionally start with a crime being committed, this is something used to attract the viewers attention, although we did not show a crime being committed, we do open with a slow scene that builds tension slowly, which leads up to an implication of a crime (Suicide). Although we have not challenged the stereotype we have altered it and so we have stuck to this convention but put our own ‘twist’ on it, which I think that it works extremely well. We have however stayed very close to the conventional narrative aspect of a problem being identified and the protagonist being at a disadvantage. The protagonist is unaware of his identity and his location, this puts him at a disadvantage, meaning he needs double the heroism and skills to overcome it.
The ProtagonistOur piece only had one character throughout it, and this was the protagonist (Played by myself). Stereotypically protagonists are male and we have stayed conventional with this aspect and used a male protagonist, we decided to use this aspect because we think that males are portrayed to be more heroic something that is essential for all protagonists. We decided to stay partly conventional when it came to the protagonists costume. When it comes to costume a number of different thrillers portray their protagonists to be ‘normal’ (This is shown in ‘Taken’), and some portray them to dress extremely well (Such as suits, like in ‘Limitless’), we decided that we would go with a sense of realism in order to make our character ‘down to earth’ and relatable, therefore we chose everyday clothing (Jeans and a t shirt) to show this. We noted in our research that a lot of protagonists are at a disadvantage and so we decided this would be a good thing to build our narrative around, we took inspiration from the film ‘Unknown’ and decided our protagonist would suffer from memory loss, this puts the protagonist at a disadvantage, making him again a lot more relatable and likeable to the viewer.
Fonts and TitlesWe decided to name our thriller ‘Existence’, we chose this name in order to stay conventional, in our research period we found that a lot of existing thrillers had very ‘open ended’ titles (‘Unknown’ and ‘Taken’), and therefore we felt that existence matched this profile and also was very thought provoking. The font that we used in our thriller opening was (********), we used this as we felt that it had a kind of gothic theme to it. We researching into fonts we looked at existing psychological thrillers (E.g. Seven), it was this that inspired us to our current font, the font we chose had uneven edged, which created this gothic feel and the unpredictability of the edges would be a key element in which people could gather the theme and genre of the thriller. We knew from research that the order in which we arranged our credits would be crucial, we found that in all genres of film they had a similar sequence in which they appeared and so therefore decided to follow this and stayed conventional (Stars, sound, music, editing, casting, producers and eventually leading up to the director).
LocationWe used a number of locations throughout our thriller, the thriller opens with a modern city location of top of a building (The dream sequence), It then comes out of the dream sequence and into a hospital location, which then goes to an unknown darkened room. A lot of thrillers conventionally take place in modern places like hospital (For example ‘Awake’), as this location is often associated with life and death (A common theme of thrillers), therefore we have stayed conventional with the location aspect of the thriller. A lot of existing thrillers use the setting and location to portray a sense of mystery, we have also used this technique in the darkened room, by having little of the room visible which combined with the static television, creates an almost gothic and more importantly stereotypically mysterious location that I think works extremely well to build the tension that is essential for thrillers.
Sub-genre The sub-genre that we used in our thriller opening was apsychological thriller, we found that in psychological thrillers it isoften conventional for the protagonist to be well dressed (This is present in Seven), however we wanted to challenge thisconvention and add a sense of realism to our protagonist, this is often done in other sub-genre thrillers, but rarely in psychological ones, we felt that by doing this the protagonist became more relatable. Although this meant wearing ‘normal’ clothing, we did have a few considerations in the costume department, the colour of the t shirt was something we chose because we felt that a white t shirt would show pureness and innocence, and to make him more of a relatable character we decided to have it grey as then it shows that the character is flawed, which adds to the realism of the character.
Techniques usedEditing was the part of the project that we found took the most time, the hardest part of the editing would have been making it clear that the dream sequence was a dream. We first watched and put ourselves in the mind frame of someone who had never seen it before, we concluded it was not clear that it was a dream and so made a number of editorial changes to make it clearer. We turned the scene black and white, in order to give it a timeless quality and make it clear to the viewer that this was separate to the rest of the opening, we then made sure there was a blackout at the end of it, which then acted as a pause for affect and let the viewer digest what they had seen. We then used a close up of the protagonists eye which combined with the Foley heavy breathing sound, ensured it was clear that the first part of the opening was in fact a dream. The camera angles that we used throughout the opening was very important as it is the main building blocks of the thriller, in total we used a variety of shots, however my favourite shot in the opening was the close up of the shoe, in the dream sequence. Having the shoe in focus and the surroundings not, stresses a high importance about the protagonist, and the hesitation and speed of which he walks up to the edge allows tension to be built in this crucial and dramatic scene. I like this shot so much because a juxtaposition is created from the quite modern shoes against the historic buildings around them, this poses the idea of perhaps two worlds colliding.