TitlingMost of the I’ve watched before have seemed to have their titles presented over a black screen like this while having some non diegetic music playing in the background. This also happens in other genre films. It is also common for some films to start with a particular event before titles start to show, my examples include Terminator 2, Kill Bill vol1 and The Departed which all before beginning show you a teaser, this is of probably what the film will be about but doesnt give away too much or the audience wont be engaged. It always pulls something surprising out. Another convention of titles is that usually the most important film companies or actors in the film are shown first in the credits.
Camera movementTracking and Pan shots is what’s commonly used in the beginning of thriller films, particularly a certain person/group of people who we should be interested in as the audience. An example is the bank heist scene in The Dark Knight where the camera tracks the group at certain points. Zooming in and out was a rarity that was only seen in Dark knight during an action scene.
Camera anglesThings that seem to be quite common are the low levels of framing and the low angles at certain points, the low angle is used mainly to show those in a powerful position however they also use high angles to show the difference in characters power and who is the dominant character, but they might also be used such as in Terminator 2 with the first arrival of the terminator shown to be in control and having most of the power. There seems to be a main character(s) in the beginning which seems to have the majority of power and this is shown through the camera angles However when john is being portrayed its more of a high angle as he is human and has no power because the terminator seems to hold all the power.
Conventions of theme• Crime• Murder/Death• Dangerous world• Revenge• Romance triangles (leads to murder)• Mystery
Setting• Usually in a urban setting such as a city• In every day places, engaging audience• Hospital settings• Exotic settings• Unusual setting e.g. Crop field and farm house
Characters• Hero – ordinary citizens unaccustomed to danger• Villain – criminals, stalkers, assassins,• psychotic individuals, menaced women,• Innocent victim – life threatening situation• Victims sometimes know villains, sometimes do not
Most used• Shadows• Street lamps – highlighting villain• Confined spaces• Running water• CCTV cameras• Knives• Something the victim fears (e.g. Clowns)• Finger prints• Photographs• Weapons• Mirrors
Mise-en-SceneCostume - dark clothes for villain, normal everyday clothes and bright colours for innocent victim. Hero in normal every day clothes also. If victim is a woman, revealing clothes to sexualize her thus making her more vulnerable.Lighting – low key lighting helping to make villain more scary as you wont always see him.Camera Work – establishing shot, extreme close ups and close ups, medium/long shots showing villain in relation to victim. eye-level shot and POV shots. High angle shots making victim more vulnerable. Low angle shots making audience more vulnerable/fear.