My name is Sharmila Francis, I am a student fromWymondham College and this is my Media AS levelcoursework.For my coursework, I decided to do an introduction to afilm of the Thriller genre. While working with this subject Ihave built on my editing skills as well as camera work,becoming more efficient as well as informative in terms ofplanning and the audiences understanding of the theme.The reason why I have chosen this field is because I aminterested in visual Media, especially those involvingcamera work and editing. I wish to pursue a career in theMedia Industry, specifically in the BBC.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challengeforms and conventions of real media products?The media products which I analysed were two famous horror and thriller films. The 1973film ‘The Exorcist’ by William Friedley and the 1960 film ‘Psycho’ by Alfred Hitchcock. Thecodes and conventions that these visual media products use have been chosen specificallyto give the directors desired effect on the audience, such as the stereotypical aspects seenin a horror or thriller film. For example, the use of dangerous objects, dark clothing, anddramatic audio. My media product uses similar codes and conventions to the real mediaproducts for the same reasons by using props, clothing etc. which we associate with horrorfilms and danger such as harmful object, darkness, and daunting music.
Main Product Analysis(How Used) (Magazine or Film Opening)
PsychoSetting: A bathroom in a home, where you are mostvulnerable yet it is an enclosed space. This intrudes in theaudiences comfort zone.Props: Knife, shower. We associate a knife with danger. Thewater created an optical illusion making seem like there ismore blood.Colours: Black & white film, does not add any particulareffect, but it tells us when the film was made and when itwas set.
Costume: Naked woman, villain is wearing thick clothing.Woman is portrayed as innocent and helpless, villain isportrayed as evil hiding their identity.Diagetic sound: Woman screaming, showing her fear, beingin the scene makes the emotions more realistic.Non-Diagetic sound: The soundtrack of screeching violinsshowing the harsh actions of the villain.Sound Effects: The sound of the blade piercing the woman’sskin makes the scene seem real. A more frightening andgruesome effect for the audience
Close-ups: Of the woman’s skin and where she is being hurt,we see her being injured so it is more believable and we seewhat is happening. Close-up of the expression on the woman’sface triggers our emotions to feel scared. We zoom in on hermouth giving an effect to the scream.POV: We get the point of the woman, so we feel as if we are inher position.Camera angle: We look up at the villain making him look morepatronising and frightening. We look down on the womanmaking her seem helpless and weak.Editing: The scenes are very short and there are simpletransitions, showing us how fast everything is happening insuch a short amount of time, making it unexpected.
The ExorcistSetting: A home and more specifically a bedroom. This hasbeen done because we find homes and especially our ownbedrooms to provide comfort and safety, as well as privacy.This has been invaded in the film, making the audienceuncomfortable.Props: Furniture and a cross. The furniture is used to showhow much control the girl has and affect the mind and ourimagination. The cross is used as a religious symbol and herbetrayal to ChristColours: High contrast in colours, to emphasise the amount ofblood seen and making it stand out on an ‘innocent’ character
Costume: Child is portrayed as innocent and helpless bywearing white, showing she is truly innocent and the demonisn’t her. The mother also wears some white to an extent toshow that she is innocent and vulnerable.Diagetic sound: Child screaming to show that there is stillsome innocence trapped in the body. Deep angry voice of thedemon to support how dangerous and terrifying he truly is.Smashing furniture to emphasise on the danger the young girlis in and the dramatic event.Non-Diagetic sound: None.Sound Effects: Sound of her stabbing herself with the cross,supports how gruesome and painful her act is.
Close-ups: Of faces to show their reaction such as the motheror if they say something important such as the girl when sheturns her head around.POV: From the mothers eyes as the furniture comes towardsher. This is done to make us feel more uncomfortable seeingfrom the victim’s eyes.Camera angle: We look up at the mother because she isregarded as more important stereotypically, but then we geta high angle shot to look down on her as she is attacked aswell as a low angle show to look up at the daughter becauseshe has the control.Editing: The scenes are very short and there are simpletransitions, showing us how fast everything is happening insuch a short amount of time. This makes the event moredramatic
Thriller OpeningSetting: A home and some scenes take place in a bedroom;I have taken the idea from both of my researched filmextracts and feel this is appropriate in order to affect theaudience by making them feel uncomfortable becausetheir comfort zone has been interfered.Props: Most important props used were weapons such as aknife and a gun. This idea was used from ‘Psycho’ becausewe associate these weapons with danger and fear.Colours: Colour film, did not have an effect on theaudience and wasn’t intended to. Although there is acontrast between the blood and the blade to emphasisethe amount of blood and the seriousness of the event.
Costume: The male character was wearing black to indicatethat he was the villain because stereotypically they weardarker clothing because it is associated withdanger, fright, and hell imagery. The female characters didnot wear any black to show that they were the innocentcharacters. This linked back to the codes and conventionsthat were used in both extracts.Diagetic sound: The screaming of the characters while theywere being murdered and gasps etc. to show their reactionand their fear. Aggressive footing to emphasise how scary thevillain was and how powerful he seemed. Slamming doors toshow the urgency in their actions. Gun shot at the end of theproduct. These were all mostly used from the codes andconventions of ‘Psycho’Non-Diagetic sound: Music played in the background wasmade so seem dramatic and was timed perfectly to theactions on the characters. Certain instruments such as theelectric guitar and violins created a dramatic effect.
Sound Effects: Gunshot used at the end of the product, usedduring a silence to make the sound effect louder and give amore serious ending.Close-ups: Of faces to show their reaction such as thevictims, and close ups of the villains face to make him seempatronising. Close up of weapons the villain used to showclearly the props we associate with danger.POV: From the victim to show how threatening andterrifying the villain’s actions are, such as in ‘Psycho’Editing: The scenes are very short and there are simpletransitions, showing us how fast everything is happening insuch a short amount of time. This makes the event moredramatic.
Walking Through The DoorSetting: A girls boarding school, where they spend excessivetime with each other which shows how sometimesarguments may arise from the stress of being away fromhome.Props: Phone and computer, the development of technologyfor communication and how some peoples profile can proveto be too public affecting their safety.Colours: Colour film.
Costume: Comfortable clothing as if they were in their ownhome, shows how comfortable they usually are around eachother. Feminine clothes, stereotypical girlfriend and girl.Diagetic sound: Shouting and slamming and screaming.Shows how girls are stereotypically known to be dramatic insome cases and supports the idea of girls being ‘bitchy’ insociety.Non-Diagetic sound: NoneSound Effects: Slap, no real slap was used but this was doneto give a dramatic event of how girls react to each otherstereotypically when they are angry.
Close-ups: Of faces to show their reaction or whenever theyare saying anything important. There are also close-ups ofthe information shown such as the photos on a Facebookpage.POV: When the two girls are arguing there are point of viewshots from both of them so as an audience we can supportboth sides of the argument and feel included in the piece.Editing: Simple editing and transitions have not been donein a certain way to create an effect.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challengeforms and conventions of real media products?My film opening uses similar codes and conventions as other films of the same genre. Itcreates the same effect as other thriller films, creating suspense and alarm whilst frighteningthe audience as well as increasing their feeling of vulnerability. The fear experienced feelsmore realistic, because rather than a horror film, a thriller could possibly relate to theaudience.Stereotypical codes and conventions are used in order to give the audience the reactiondesired. Such as sharp objects, dark clothing, frightening music and the disruption ofcomfort. Camera angles and editing can also be used to affect the audience is the desiredway, such as close-ups, hand held shows, point of view shots and fast paced editing.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?My media product specifically represents families and age groups. This has by done in avariety of ways, such as clothing by making the children wear young clothing and theparents wearing adult clothing. Authority is also clearly presented as the older sister is seento have more control over her younger sister, and the father is seen as stronger compared tothe other characters, presenting the stereotypical view of the male being dominant in afamily. Sound is also used to represent family and authority as the younger character nevertalks, presenting her as someone shy and innocent.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media productand why?The type of Media Institutions that would distribute my media products would becompanies such as Ghost House Pictures because they specialise in the Thriller and Horrorgenre, such as movies like “The Messengers”. They also seem to specify in thriller and horrormovies which affect certain types of audiences, this being those part of a family such as amother or child. They also attract the younger generation. Major companies such asColumbia Pictures would consider distributing the media product only if they decide thatthe film has the opportunity to gain popularity. They would decide to converge if they felt itwas a good opportunity.
Who would be the audience for your media product?The types of audience vary depending on the genre of the film. For my thriller genre themost ideal and popular audience would be those of a younger age group such as teenagersand young adults. This is because audiences of this genre stereotypically have an interest invisual media that increases their adrenaline, and as the younger generation are stereotypedto be the ones who take risks and have reckless behaviour as well as the desire forexcitement and danger, they would prefer to have suspense and dramatic films, which is theeffect thriller films aim to achieve. But generally the horror and thriller genre could interestanyone of any age group.
How did you attract/address your audience?I attracted my target audience by using codes and conventions which interested them, suchas the use of dramatic audio and fast paced editing. I also included a character of their agegroup which was the older daughter. By doing so, the audience could relate to the characterand understand the reasons for her actions. When advertising my film on a popular videowebsite called ‘YouTube’ I wrote a brief storyline in the description box that summarisedwhat my media production was about and what it included. I also added ‘tags’ for my video,which are the words and phrases the audience would search for. I used a large quantity oftags so that my film was likely to appear in the results.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process ofconstructing this product?The use of technology in visual media is important because it is relied upon to create thedesired effect on the audience such as the use of camera angles and editing. It alsodetermines the mood of the media extract, in this case, an adrenaline pumping, dramaticand frightening effect. A high quality camera was necessary in order to give a professionallook, and light adjustments were essential to give an effect. The use of editing wasimportant as well as camera work because the skills required to crop and arrange the clipsdesired was necessary because the use of editing effected the suspense by use of speed,transitions, etc.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you havelearnt in the progression from it to the full product?I have learnt new techniques in film making and the reasons for doing so. Having a betteruse of the camera and an increased knowledge in which specific angles and movements touse in order to achieve a heart-pounding effect on the audience. I have learnt new ways toediting my products therefore become more efficient and having a better understanding ofthe technical aspects of editing. I now know how to carefully choose my actors and actressesfor filming, making sure that they are appropriate for the role they need to play.