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Thriller Opening Evaluation


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Thriller Opening Evaluation

  1. 1. „Disturbance Of The Un-Woken‟ AS Media Studies Amber Gamble
  2. 2. The sub-genre in which our group decided to work was the psychological thriller. Research The illusionist into the thriller genre and more incorporates the typical specifically psychological thrillers white on black effect meant that an understanding of common in the the typical codes and conventions psychological which are commonly evident genre, possessing a range could be drawn upon. Ways in of semiotics (mentioned which these conventions were on the following slide) used can be seen throughout the which are effective in opening, some clearly proving creating a mystifying more effective than others. feeling. The chosen font Personally I believed our title again aids to intend sequence to be most successful; meaning. it‟s slow pace, similar to that of other psychological thriller films, for example The Illusionist, Neil Burger, 2006, works well in building suspense and slowly luring the audience into the narrative.
  3. 3. Conscious choice was made during the creation of our titles where colours and fonts are concerned; we incorporated a dark and sinister background against simple white text, also common during Our titles which real media psychological thrillers. Black evidently display being symbolic of mystery and the theme of evil, white symbolic of innocence and font mentioned to the right. insolence, in addition the style of the font was again typical of our chosen sub-genre, rather than using block solid font the smooth and twisted edges incorporated in our font aid in mirroring the protagonist and antagonist in our sequence. The simple titles also allowed the audience to concentrate solely on the non-digetic music which usually accompanies titles, particularly mysterious music fitting in with the sub- genre. The music used helped to set the mood for the film and create an unsettling feeling amongst the audience, which after numerous feedback from our target audience it was Audience feedback from established that the layering of a child the facebook group which singing a nursery rhyme onto the we created. soundtrack was successful in creating this feeling.
  4. 4. Specific camera angles used for the shots inside the house; high and low angle work effectively in the audience‟s identification of the protagonist and antagonist from an inferior and superior point of view created. However we then challenged this convention within the second last shot whereby a high angle shot was used of the protagonist (inferior character). In spite of this I believe this angle helped to portray her vulnerability well. Here is the shot We edited sound effectively whereby for the whereby we introduction of the antagonist, harrowing and challenged real daunting music is introduced at this point media juxtaposing the softer music which the conventions. audience was previously subjected to, thus the audience can easily determine the good character from the bad. Additionally location (woods) proved extremely typical of the psychological sub-genre, or somewhat cliché, yet helpful by the fact that the natural lighting within the woods worked well in creating a mystifying feel, moreover the woods offered a sheltered location which worked well in portraying the protagonists enclosed feeling.
  5. 5. Our media product presents Our intended portrayal of It is apparent; mainly through use of both characters in a the female character was a camera that gender has been stereotypical way. The male disturbed young girl, clearly represented in a stereotypical character portrayed as „The distressed from her father‟s way, male dominance over female. alcoholic father‟ through actions towards her. The For example high and low angles his aggressive mannerisms costume in which we chose show superiority and inferiority. emphasised through was typical “emo” style Editing of sound as mentioned costume choice, white dirty dress, bright red lipstick portray the male character in a vest and light jeans, iconic and red short boyish hair to negative way. The on screen time of of the working class. put across her troubled, the protagonist exceeds that of the Camera angles, mainly low twisted and abused nature antagonist cementing her angles emphasising in the most effective way. importance within the film. The dominance and finally However it was evident from representations and intended props included show a half feedback that our peers and portrayals of each character are empty whisky bottle teacher did not agree that symbolic of a broken working class cementing his alcoholism our portrayal of the young family, the male figure has turned to and iconic of an alcoholic. girl was put across in the alcoholism leaving the child best way, many believed disturbed and troubled. she was supposed to be a little girl, which raises issues of additional aspects of mise-en-scene that should have been included. For example some bruises, in order to show how she has been previously abused.
  6. 6. Limitations with actors/actresses, locations, equipment and professional skills contribute to the lack of professionalism of our final product thus proving unsuccessful should it be used within a major Hollywood studio within the film industry. Although if producers were to take the plot and ideas used in our product, it could prove successful for the use within a smaller film industry, in specific, FILM 4, a company who are responsible for backing a large number of films made in the UK and have produced and distributed films like Better Things, Duane Hopkins, 2008 that follows the same style and ideas as our product. Our product takes into consideration the thriller conventions and in addition, a fairly original idea therefore avoiding copyright. Our product, as well as being suitable for FILM 4, could also be distributed as in internet release again by the producers of channel 4 and broadcast on their website, for it helps emphasise the troubles children face from alcoholic parents and broken relationships, which is good for government awareness in helping to discourage alcoholism and promote citizens to donate to charities such as child line.
  7. 7. After extensive research on the BBFC and feedback from questionnaires we came to the conclusion that our thriller should target 15+, the feedback from our target audience was that the majority preferred the psychological sub genre, hence our decision. (See blog post 16/12/08- results from audience research questionnaire). The older generation would probably find our thriller unrealistic due to the differences in society today in comparison to when they were younger. For example, a rise in alcoholism. Similar openings to ours include The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan, 1999 and The Village, M. Night Shyamalan, 2004 (see direct comparisons on next slide) which as mentioned during a previous question both take the approach of a slow pace in order to build suspense. Both of these films fit into the psychological/horror sub genre, similarly to our media product and again both have a targeted audience of 15+. Due to the feeling of intrigue which our peers commented on after viewing, it suggests our narrative to be one of a complex nature, again likewise to The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan, 1999 and The Village, M. Night Shyamalan, 2004. (See blog post 23/04/09- Final grading/feedback). gradingfreedback.html
  8. 8. The Village, M Night Shyamalan, 2004. The psychological thriller takes the opposite approach to that of an action thriller which jumps straight into the action rather than adding in numerous shots in which add to building suspense. Both my thriller product and real media incorporate the common black on white text effect in which the focus can then solely be on the music accompanied with titles.
  9. 9. Attracting our audience was done Our camera work proved effective during the shots inside the in numerous ways. Firstly our title house, the low angles and two shots used, helped to show the sequence, the slow pace and clever males dominance, perhaps causing discomfort amongst a soundtrack choice lures the young child viewing (reason for 15+ rating) but the age in audience in, the inclusion of one of which we have targeted will most likely feel pity and sympathy our actors singing “twinkle twinkle for the young girl, which was our intended effect, and therefore little star”- a child nursery rhyme beneficial. Furthermore the POV shot of the father with the girl proved particularly successful, yet positioned below again emphasises his dominance, this shot it became apparent it would have also works well as it displays the make-up used under his eye worked better had we held it for creating a bruised tired look portraying him in a terrifying light. longer. Dialogue at the beginning of Through panning and tracking of the main character (young the piece is particularly girl) it allows the audience to engage with her feelings of terror important as it hints at the and be wilderness. The engagement which we have included child being abused “don‟t was a main positive which we received from our peers and worry teddy, no one will ever teacher showing how our camera skills whilst following a hurt us” this line entices the character worked particularly well. By engagement with the audience; they are left character any parents who have a broken relationship with their wanting to know more, who is child can relate to the situation and view the feelings of the hurting her? Or is she just child, perhaps empathising more and consequently leading playing a game? them to take their child‟s view into consideration.
  10. 10. Researching helped to gain knowledge into the typical codes and conventions used within thriller films and how they have been constructed. (See blog posts from 03/11/08 to 04/11/08). Storyboarding aided in the creation of the opening and the realisation that 2 minutes worth of footage requires a lot of shots, the storyboard also helped to break down the variety of camera angles that need to be used to create intended meaning. (See blog post 27/11/08- Ideas for thriller opening) to view parts of the storyboard. Although the storyboard broke down the amount of shots that were needed our group deviated considerably during the editing stages so it could be felt that the story board was a waste of time. However it was helpful during filming as it provided a plan and not just randomly filming anything. Sections of The anamatic was good practice and an insight into different effects and applications within the programme premier. After group viewing the of all of the anamatics ours proved a good way to aid understanding as to how the sequence would flow, (for detailed evaluation see blog storyboard. post 05/01/09- Evaluation of thriller anamatic). I felt it particularly useful as it gave me an understanding as to how lengthy the editing process is. Looking back at the standard of filming and editing from the preliminary task to the final product huge improvements are evident particularly editing. (See blog post 25/11/08 for full evaluation of preliminary task). Our editing was a lot smoother, in specific 5 seconds into our continuity task evidently shows a lack in continuity through our jumpy cuts consequently detracting from any realism within the narrative, this has significantly improved and can be seen when looking at our final product in particularly (56 seconds to when the girls leaves the house) editing here is smooth and aids the flow of the narrative. Also there is a great difference in the variety of shots and positioning of characters in order to display meaning. Use of sound has improved, match on action significantly and it is evident to see that confidence has been gained in the use of software such as premier and Photoshop through transitions which have been incorporated and also when compared the general overall standard. Consequently I now feel confident with easy navigation on the video camera and its settings as well as the upload steps showing that the practice and preliminary tasks proved helpful.
  11. 11. During the creation of our media product, I learnt how to edit film, adding in transitions, editing sound in order to match on screen action with the use of premier pro. This programme also enabled me to create titles in which would attract our target audience, as mentioned throughout previous question the style of font in which I chose took conscious decision and different applications within premier pro allowed me create the perfect titles. Whilst doing so I learnt some very interesting and important skills, all of which contributed to the overall intended effect of the product. I was also able to darken the lighting of each shot allowing a sinister and darkened atmosphere to be portrayed, much like how The Village, M. Night Shyamalan grabbed the essence of horror/psychological by using a lot of dark footage. Whilst editing 'The Disturbance Of The Un-Woken' I also learnt how to edit soundtracks with the footage, in order to create impacting and sinister feeling. Also Photoshop enabled me to create a logo for the hypothetical production company included within the title sequence. Overall I feel that I have learnt a variety of different skills whilst producing this media product for example, planning-costumes, storyboards, props, sets; editing footage, sound and also text, additionally organizational skills and the different processes associated with creating a producing a piece of film and exactly the lengthy progress in which this entails. If I was to do this task again I believe I would benefit greatly in some classes on the more advanced uses of premier in order to finish with a more effective and professional product, as editing proved a huge part of technical aspect which I and we as a group clearly lacked, evident in our final grade.