HOW DOES MY MEDIA PRODUCT
DEVELOP OR CHALLENGE
FORMS OF CONVENTIONS
The main conventions of the genre are shown through the narrative of the films. They are
also shown through the use of the themes. The genre of my film is a Psychological Thriller
and they often have a main character who has a psychological illness. From looking at
many well known films in my research I found that among the themes within the genre
there is a psychological illness, death and mourning, social commentary, suspicion, action
packed, violent and the transition between reality and imagination.
Our plot shows these conventions because the main character has a psychological illness
which is schizophrenia and switches between a state of reality and imagination for
example when he knows he has to find the killer of his son but then can imagine him there
and can still see him.
4. RELEASE DATE
• On all types of trailers the releases date of the
film or ‘Coming soon’ is presented near the end
of the trailer to inform the audience when the
film will be out in cinemas,.
• In ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ trailer at the
very end the last shot that is shown is the one in
the upper picture. This Cleary shows the date in
which the film will be in cinemas.
• In ‘Lunacy’ the release date has been shown at
the end of the trailer also, in a large and bold
font, so it can be easily seen and hopefully
2. A PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER
In all Psychological thriller films there is always one main
character who is suffering with a psychological disorder.
In most films these characters do not realise they have
this disorder until near the end of the film.
For example in ‘A beautiful Mind’ the main character has
schizophrenia but doesn’t realise until most of the events
that he caused has happened. In this part of the film (in
the image) he doesn’t realise that he is having a
hallucination, as the character in the image with him is not
In my trailer ‘Lunacy’ the main character ‘Simon’ also has
schizophrenia, but doesn’t realise until he is diagnosed
later on in the film. This disorder also makes ‘Simon’ see
his dead son and in the image on the right shows when
‘Simon’ is also in a hallucination.
To the right you can see that he is writing on a wall to
work out who killed his son.
3. NARRATIVE OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL
One convention is that the protagonist is mostly unsure
about what is happening in the narrative of the trailer,
and through the disequilibrium we can see that he is
trying to puzzle together information and clues events
that happen throughout the film.
In ‘A beautiful Mind’ this happens when the protagonist
is working out a math calculation which gives clues
towards his delusions.
In ‘The Number 23’ the protagonist is also working in a
particular location and from the image is doing
calculations to work something out on the wall.
In ‘Lunacy’ I have tried to do the same where the
protagonist is working who murdered his daughter. He
does this located in his work shed and is composing
calculations and maps to try to work this out.
6. PROTAGONIST’S CLOTHING
• It is conventional for a psychological thriller for
the protagonist to be wearing dark, messy
clothing when they are in the worst parts of
• For example in ‘The Number 23’ when the
protagonist is at the worst time he seems to be
wearing all black clothing, this seems to
highlight a pale face in contrast and signifies
• In ‘lunacy’ the protagonist is also wearing fully
black clothes when he has the breakdown. This
also shows a more pale face to show a contrast
and the illness.
• In all Psychological Thriller’s the
protagonist normally goes into a mental
state with their condition and murders
• For example in ‘The Number 23’ the main
character is shown to be in a delusion
and wants to kill someone, using props
like a knife.
• I followed this conventional in my trailer
as I used a knife and we see ‘Simon’ go on
a mission to kill someone. We also find
out that he was the one who killed his
8. USE OF PROPS
• It is conventional to reveal some tension
based props in a psychological thriller for
example in ‘Memento’ many props are
used especially a gun, knife, letters and
other weapons. The letters show the
identity as part of another convention to
• I used this convention in my trailer
because I mainly used a knife to be the
main weapon which is seen as dangerous
and that then allowed the protagonist to
have power over other characters and be
seen also as dangerous.
9. SHOWING THE EQUILIBRIUM,
DISEQUILIBRIUM BUT NOT REVEALING THE
• For the form of a trailer it is conventional to show parts
of the equilibrium, the disequilibrium but not the
resolution. The equilibrium is shown to introduce
characters and the narrative of the film. The
disequibrium to show the main action of the trailer
which would draw the audiences attention and allow
the tension to be raised. The resolution is not revealed
because then this makes the audience want to go see
the film at the cinema to find out what happens.
• I followed this convention because I didn’t expose the
resolution which ends the trailer on a cliff hanger
which would make the audience want to see this film.
10. SPECIAL EFFECTS
• It is conventional to add special effects to a
Psychological Thriller. This is normally the way
the producers convey the Psychological thriller
to the audience, for instance in ‘A Beautiful
Mind’ the protagonist has schizophrenia and his
delusion is being shown through the skills of
the special effects as you can see in the picture
to the right, numbers are being put across the
shot to show that the numbers on the board are
jumping out in front of him. Unfortunately we
didn’t have the technology to produce this kind
of special effects and wasn’t able follow this
convention, so we tried to convey the disorder
in other ways.
• It is normally unconventional to have a
tagline within the trailer of a
psychological thriller, I didn’t follow this
convention and added a tagline to my
trailer. I did this because I thought that
the trailer was lacking something to add
tension and more excitement, to add a
tagline it made sense as this made the
trailer more suspicious and would more
likely get the audience to be more
interested with wanting to see the trailer.
1. INSTITUTIONAL INFORMATION
• Any trailer of any genre will always show some form of
• For example this Psychological Thriller trailer ‘The
Number 23’ the ‘Newline Cinema’ logo is presented at
the beginning of the trailer to attract the audience and
to inform them that this film has been produced by a
well known institution which could induce them into
wanting to watch it.
• My trailer ‘Lunacy’ has not followed this convention, this
is because we didn’t have time to create a production
companies logo, in which we didn’t quite need.