The media product that my group has made features unexpected elements and expected elements
that fits the thriller genre, just as in any other real media product. The product that my group has
created is of the thriller genre and it is expected that the codes and conventions used would be
familiar to the audience, due to populism to satisfy the audience. However it does feature
unexpected elements to make the audience think about what is yet to happen; usually the audience
is wrong in their thoughts about what is yet to happen as there is usually a twist in the storyline which is
not what the audience were expecting. Codes and conventions of thrillers are mainly apart of the
editing and sound. An example of editing is to do with the cuts and the change in camera angles and
the music that creates tension. The film „Phonebooth‟ is a thriller that does not use these conventions
however it is not filmed in darkness like most thrillers. The story is heard and seen from the killers point of
view and the audience is made to feel sorry for the character who is the victim of this abuse from the
killer. The film is more of a psychological thriller for the reason that it plays with your mind.
As this product is not real, we have developed and challenged forms of conventions in real media
products because we have used the ideas around thrillers and what most thrillers have and adopted
ideas and used our ideas and creativity. Through watching thrillers such as The Bourne Identity and
Silence of the Lambs we have used ideas from the openings which has inspired us and helped a lot in
making our thriller. The films The Bourne Identity and Silence of the Lambs are very different
thrillers, they both follow the codes and conventions of thrillers but are different, just as Martin Rubin
said about thrillers being a meta-genre that “gathers several other genres under its umbrella”.
The media product represents a social mix of people from North London. It was filmed in North London which
reflects on the culture and attitudes of people from this particular part of the UK. The regional accents of the
people relates to the audience because their accents and social backgrounds are similar to the audience that the
film is aimed at. This makes the audience relatable to particular characters in the film as they have something in
common with the characters which develops a bond with the character. For example this creates sympathy and
hatred towards characters due to the way that they are portrayed in the film. Nonetheless some of the audience
may find that they favour another character more in the film that someone in the audience may not like. This
makes it more real for the realism that is depicted in this film.
The audience may have also had a similar experience to what particular characters in this film have experienced
which the audience may have an emotive response to. The representation of social groups enables the audience
to confront their fears. During the course of the filming when relating to social class it is what keeps the audience
enticed to the film because it is unlikely for the audience to watch something that is not relevant to them and what
they have no interest in. However the audience can learn new things from films but addressing the audience is
important as they are the ones that film companies make revenue from.
The intended audience for my film, is directed at a broad spectrum of races and social backgrounds that have a
particular interest in thriller films. Having a wide range of races and social backgrounds leaves the audience with
their own interpretations of the film, as each audience member are able to take away with them a different
experience and may have watched it in a different way to someone else. The reason why the audience would
want to watch a film like this is because of new experiences and the marketing of the film raises awareness which
causes audience to have a higher demand for watching the film.
The target audience would want to watch this film because my research shows that from the questionnaire I sent
out the majority of people who completed the questionnaire from a broad range of ages said that they watch
thrillers because of “ the excitement and anticipation, “I like to watch them because of the mystery- the narrative
usually isn't clear cut and predictable”, “I like the way the plot twist and turns. You never know what is going to
happen to the very end so it keeps you in suspense”
Recently there has been a tendency for producers to make particular kinds of thrillers at the moment with new
releases such as „The Uninvited‟, „State of Play‟, „X-Men Origins: Wolverine‟ and „Fast and Furious‟. Films usually
come out at the same time to compete with one another. There is a tendency because thriller films are the films
that are currently being watched and talked about in the media. Films such as „Fast and Furious‟ and „X-Men
Origins: Wolverine‟ are well known films and both films have made other films that have been a success and
favourable amongst audiences.
What kinds of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
As this film features actors and actresses of different social backgrounds, from North London. I think this
film would be more suited for small scale distribution companies such as, Microwave which is based in
London. The reason for this choice of distribution company is that the company offers £100,000 for full
length feature films and in-kind support. Microwave provides film makers with “an intensive approach
to film-making, with an emphasis on tightly focused scripts, short production schedules and
commercial potential.” Microwave also funded „Mum & Dad and „Shifty‟. „Mum & Dad‟ has
distributed the film via pay per view, in cinemas, DVD and Video on Demand. This is an effective way
of distributing because it allows the audience to decide on which way they would like to view the film.
This way also enables distributors to reach out to more people for their desired choice. „Shifty‟‟, has
also been nominated for British Independent Film Award and also Douglas Hickox Award. This shows
that independent films are being recognised and that it recognises talent within the media industry.
Independent films also help new and aspiring filmmakers and directors to use their talents and create
films that are cost-effective and gets out the same message as mainstream Hollywood blockbusters.
Danny Boyle the director of films such as „Trainspotting‟, „Slumdog Millionaire‟ and „Sunshine‟ argues
that the British Film Industry is unable to compete with countries such as America and India because
the British public are not passionate enough about cinema. Boyle also says that the British film industry
only occasionally produces decent films. The film „Slumdog Millionaire‟ has succesfully gained 8 Oscars
as well as other wins and nominations which shows that on a small scale budget of $15 million, small
budget films can compete with Hollywood films and do just as well as them.
The audience for this media product would be, anyone who is interested in thrillers and
in particular psychological thrillers. The audience that this product would be aimed at is
for those who are aged 15 onwards. The reason for this is that the scenes in this product
are quite disturbing and hard for a younger aged child to understand and it also crosses
over the horror and thriller genre together. Looking into research on the BBFC website, I
have had a look at the requirements for a ‟15‟ film and I think my media product fits this
as the BBFC states that: „Violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of
pain or injury.‟ „Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or
encourage drug misuse.‟ The film being at ‟15‟ allows there to be less restrictions of the
content that is put in the film. An older audience of 15 and up is more suitable because
older people are able to understand the film more than a younger audience.
It is aimed at both genres, even though the product has more female actresses it has
elements in it that would appeal to both genres such as the thrill factor. The race and
class does not really appeal to one race and class it appeals to all classes and races
because it reflects upon multicultural North London which is incorporated with many
different classes and races from people with all different walks in life such as working
class and middle class. An example of the film that would appeal to the audience is
the way the character is presented in an uneasy manner which leaves the audience
with narrative enigmas. the narrative is not clear and predictable, so this would also
keep the audience enticed and would want to watch more of the film. It shows how
openings are important in gripping the audience to avoid boredom.
How did you attract/address your audience?
We attracted our audience by using conventions that the audience are able to
understand through the storyline, dialogue and the narrative enigmas that keeps the
audience entertained and gives them questions to answer about what they have just
seen as an example. In real thrillers the audience are attracted through intense
situations that follow the codes and conventions of thrillers and adding twists and by
featuring what the audience would like to normally see in thrillers. The cast of this film are
predominantly female which would encourage both genders to see it and it would
attract more females to watch it. There are associations of women being stereotyped
for watching romantic comedies instead of watching the thriller genre. As part of the
mise-en-scene the location is set in a car park, in a lift and on a graveyard which does
fit the thriller genre as its normal for thrillers to take place in „normal‟ locations which
makes it exciting for the audience as perfectly normal locations makes it an exciting
place for all the action to take place. The music featured in the opening of this film,
speeds up the pace which keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.
As you can see in the film, there are a number of close ups on the character, the props
and the surroundings. The purpose of this is to make the imagery vivid in the audiences‟
minds and to make the audience familiar with the surroundings and gives the audience
an idea that there is going to be a disruption which will break the equilibrium. This is
helped by using a soundtrack that signals that there is something yet to happen and
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
I have learnt much more about technology than ever before. I have learnt that there
are many different types of software that can be used to make films at all different
prices and that it is available to anyone that is interested in making a film. Since the
preliminary task I have been able to develop my camera skills and have been able to
familiarise myself with using a handheld camera and all the functions on the camera
that could be effective to use in the filming process such as the zoom function for close
ups. I have been able to use a wide range of camera shots, framing and particular
movements such as panning. I have also been able to use the rule of thirds and
recognising a jump cut and how to prevent it. For the editing I have been able to
increase my knowledge in editing from the preliminary task. For the preliminary task my
group used windows movie maker but for this actual product we used I movie. Using
both these products has been beneficial because I have been able to learn how to use
both products. In the editing process I have learnt how to add music and use different
transitions for effect such as using this „ghost‟ feature that has added an effect to the
film and has made it more eerie to fit in with thriller genre. Overall in the editing process I
have learnt that there are many ways to edit films and that it is not as difficult as I
thought it would be.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression
from it to the full product?
I have learnt a lot since the preliminary task, such as shooting scenes from different
angles to create a different response from the audience for example and over the
shoulder the shot emphasises what the character is saying as it creates this effect of
being direct. In the preliminary task there was no research done and therefore we did
not have as much knowledge as we have now from filming. The location of the task had
to be done in the school so we were not able to go elsewhere and film. The storyline
was not the best because we had to come up with it quickly and filming it on the school
grounds limited us from what we wanted to do and the lack of props caused problems
as we were not able to demonstrate what we wanted as we needed the right props
and costumes to give the audience some clues about what it was about without giving
away too much information.
Taking a lot of camera shot and angles is something that I have learnt from this whole
process even if it means taking more shots than you actually need because in the
editing process it could be useful and make your film a whole lot better. I have also
learnt that you need to make the shot longer than you want it so that there is time for it
to overlap. When I was filming the preliminary task the shots were not long enough and
they had to be done again which was time consuming but it was worth it as I was able
to learn from this which made filming the opening more quicker because I had more
knowledge in what I was doing. Throughout the filming what worked well was that on a
whole the group improved their technique with filming and did take some really good
shots, re-doing a lot of the shots helped us on improving on the use of the camera and
re-doing some shots from different camera angles changed the meaning of some shots
as we were able to communicate with the audience in a different way to get across
seriousness as an example.