Plot Ideas and FilmingPlot Ideas and Filming
Conventions of a Psychological Thriller
• Relies of the psychological aspect (the mind)-with suspense
deriving from the main characters’ inner turmoil/conflict
• (experiences that have affected them)
• Characters are predominantly reliant on mental resources rather
than strength or stealth
• Suspense in psychological thriller derives from the clashing of two
characters minds (games of deception , etc.)
• History behind a situation fuels the entire outcome of the plot
• In quite a few psychological thrillers at least one character
• (either the protagonist or antagonist) fears the succession of death
or is fascinated by some form of death.
ideas for plot /plot summary and Genre
As Alfred Hitchcock used suspense effectively within his film , I
aim to use this technique- also drawing on the elements of
mistaken identity that he uses in a number of his films.
A normal teen girl who loses her best friend (to murder)
becomes so distraught see begins attending therapy lessons.
This leads to her meeting a boy (the killer) while trying to figure
out the who the murderer is. (Murderer has obsession with hair
-all victims has long hair).
Themes within plot
Presenting the objectification of women by men (killing is the
ultimate act of possession for someone-to hold ones life in your
Loses the object of his desire at the very moment of
fulfillment/his desire leads to death (long hair is a by-product of
secondary natural selection)
Freudian commentators believe that longhair represents the
identity and aggression and by cutting hair presents a form of
(killer could have relationships with his victims-main character's
friend had secret boyfriend-mentioned in some kind of diary)-
could be how he's caught? a clue mentioned within trailer
places within London with old Victorian vibe, as the ideals of
hair epitomizing beauty became popular within this period.
Hampstead heath- (the enclosed space of the trees)
Hyde park (the fountain area)
Highgate cemetery (has a lot of gothic orientated tomb
St. James street – the buildings are grand/have an element of
the Victorian era and add emphasis to the dark (thriller) genre.
The character is meant to be distraught and can be shown through use of make up
( using a dark palette- to create a sleepless look with dark circles under the eyes ,
Want her to have long hair as the plot revolves around victims being targeted for their
Dark coloured clothes (black, greys and purples.)
Hair tied in ponytail/long hair which the attacker can easily grab.
Attacker- although never see his face clothes will show intimidation wearing all black
(with black leather gloves)
Main characters’ love interest- very casual clothes (shirt with V-neck jumper and
Candles, dolls(victorian-china), ornate style-medieval houses (gothic style.)
possible shots and angles
close up- to emphasize the main character’s emotions within the specific situations
that happen to her/a decline of her mentality.
Medium close up- in order to present more than one characters emotions and the
interaction between the characters during a heated conversation perhaps.
long shot - of back of killer and his victim (don't see his face).
two shot- of therapist with main character/of main character with antagonist- to show
the dominance of a particular character.
panning- of a location (the surroundings when main character is being
targeted/attacked (P.O.V)- to show a sense of urgency could use a swish pan.
Low angle – to play on the gothic/ sinister vibe
Canted Angle- to suggest the idea of madness
possible lighting techniques or
mute the colour palette similar to Catherine Hardwicke's'
technique in twilight.
ambient light (use light of the location/light emphasis on
character making surrounding look darker or more sinister)
low key lighting- to add emphasis on the character- makes the
shot darker while allowing the audience to still see the
characters facial expressions and body language.
soft light-used to portray the protagonist in a vulnerable light
editing ,transitional or FX ideas
Cutaway- could use to interrupt the continuity of action ,for example = showing the
murder ,cutting to the evidence from the crime scene and cutting back to the final
shots of victim before (she) dies.
fast cutting- speed up specific point of actions nearing the end of the trailer.
L cut (with sound)- conversation between main character and therapist about friends
death cuts to shots of the murder.
smash cut –as the main character is being pursue- when something bad is about to
happen to her.
slow motion- can slow down struggle between the victim and the killer (close up of
victims face and can only see gloved hands and arms of killer).
Create fog/smoke-adds to the thriller element and echoes the technique used by Tim
Burton in Sleepy Hollow
sound ideas and possible sound effects
diagetic sound- the music can start low (maybe use string
instrumentals) , begin to take on a darker sound to correspond
to the shots and at the end could use the cinematic drum
sound, used nearing the end of many Hollywood trailers.
non diagetic sound (voice over, etc.)- Voice over (voices of
characters from part of the film with shots corresponding to the
speech (which is one of the conventions of a trailer)
Sound of breathing (frantic) of main character.