Friday, 12 March 2010

Comments on thriller opening rough cut

This is the feedback given to us from our class mates and by our media teacher.
  • Good Shot angles
  • We need to make the shots darker
  • POV shot of Heidi running was good but to long
  • Tracking shot of Heidi needs to be more fluid
  • Jump cut between two feet was good
  • Speed up hand held cam of Heidi running
  • Speed up when Heidi waits and views the field
  • Villain in black was good
  • Clear difference between protagonist and antagonist
  • Shot in the bush was good
What we thought of the feedback given to us
  • We agree that Heidi's head cam is to long and we can either speed it up or cut some of it out
  • When Heidi stops at the entrance of the field we are going to speed it up to make it look like it was a quick decision to go into the field
  • When Heidi runs and we are tracking her we need to make it flow nicely with a transition to the head cam shot.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Call Sheet

Our group is going to film on the two following dates:

Joe is going to pick up the camera and tripod directly before we want to start filming on the certain dates.

We have decided to use Long Road and a field of Long Road as our location for filming. We will get to the location by walking. The Road and field is a public location and as we are near a road be will take health and safety considerations such as being careful of traffic.

We are filming our opening to a thriller film during the day. The time of day that is going to be portrayed in our opening to a thriller film will be at the end of a college day - so about late afternoon. Therefore no artificial lighting will be needed.

Heidi will be our main character in our film portraying a young girl who is being obsessively stalked and Jamie will act as the stalker. Liberty will play Heidi's college friend and Joe will act as a passer-by in our film. All members of our group will be involved in acting in the opening. A short script will have to be memorised in advance for Heidi and Liberty's characters when they are talking on the way home from college.

All of the group apart from Heidi will be part of the film crew. In the first scene with Heidi and Liberty, Jamie and Joe will be directing and filming the scene. When Jamie comes into the scene as the stalker Joe will continue with the camerawork and directing. When Liberty goes home in the scene she will then become part of the film crew and help Joe film the scene. Liberty will then film the scene where Joe comes into the scene as a passer-by and from then on Liberty and Joe will film and direct the scene where Heidi is running away from her stalker through the field.

In terms of props we will need a black hoody which Joe is in charge of bringing for Jamie to wear during his scenes so he can portray a dark disturbed stalker. Other props that will be used will be Heidi's bag which she will bring in herself and a bracelet that she will already own.

Our back up plan if bad weather disrupts filming is to continue with other work on our thriller film. We can work on the soundtrack and blog work as back up if bad weather disrupts our plans.

We are going to need two filming slots over two days to film our scenes. In our first day of filming we should capture the scenes that will take place on Long Road. In our second and last day of filming we will capture the field scenes where Heidi and Jamie will be involved in a chase scene.

The shots we are going to cover during our opening to a thriller film will include:
- establishing shot of Heidi and Liberty walking down the road introducing the location
- medium shots
- long shots
- over the shoulder shots
- shot-reverse-shots
- close ups

- tracking shots
- extreme close ups
- long shots
- canted angle shot
- low angle shot
- high angle shot

Sound we will need to capture includes diagetic sound such as the traffic, the train and the conversation between Heidi and Liberty.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Evaluation on feedback from other groups

We agree with all the comments and suggestions we have been given, it is all constructive criticism. After reading the comments we will complete our ideas and expand on them using the feedback given. We will focus on adding detail about camera shots, sound, props and location. We need to put in more descriptions for the main and most important shots.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Finalised Idea for Thriller Opening

Our opening sequence to a thriller film will be two minutes long. Our group has decided to call our thriller film "The Prowler". Below is an outline of the two minute opening split up into ten second sections.

0-10 seconds - establishing shot from the stalkers point of view watching Heidi and Liberty walking in front. This is shot in a long shot which slowly zooms in to a medium shot of Heidi and Liberty talking. The camera then zooms into a extreme closeup of Heidi's face.

11-20 seconds - Heidi turns around with a confused expression on her face (close up) she then turns back around. Over the shoulder shot of Liberty saying bye, this reverses to an over the shoulder shot of Heidi saying bye. There is then a tracking shot of Heidi's feet walking along, the music will become heavier and more intense at this moment.

21-30 seconds - There will be an over the shoulder shot of Joe walking past Heidi, he gives Heidi "the eye" and wolf whistles after he walks past her. There is then a long shot showing Joe walking towards the camera, who then bumps in to the stalker, but we only see the back of the stalker dressed all in black. As this happens Joe makes a disgusted and confused face.

31-40 seconds - Heidi becomes suspicious of the man after Liberty has left her and she is by herself. She keeps looking behind her and begins to panic and starts to walk faster. A close up will be used to show the confusion in her face and a medium shot will also be used so that the audience can see her surroundings and her turning around showing her vulnerability. The music will stay intense and eerie.

41-50 seconds - The stalkers feet are tracked on the camera whilst Heidi starts to walk even faster as she panics we will use shot reverse shot of the walking feet. Next there will be a shot of the stalker's point of view then an over the shoulder shot to show Heidi's point of view. The music is building as this happens.

51-60 seconds - Heidi starts running and her bag and bracelet fall to the ground on the side of the road as the action becomes frantic. The scene moves over to the field just off Long Road where tracking shots from behind Heidi will be used and medium shots to show the new location.

61-70 seconds - A shot of the bracelet and the bag which had fallen to the ground is shown. A close up will be used on these objects. There will be a point of view shot from Heidi's point of view - this shot should show how worried and scared she is.

71-80 seconds - In this part of the scene there will be a side on shot (profile shot) of Heidi running through the field. This shot should show the vulnerability of the protagonist as she will be running through an open field. A close up shot on the stalkers feet will be used to emphasise to the audience that he is still involved in the scene and acting as the antagonist to Heidi.

81-90 seconds - There will be a close up of Heidi's face as she is running away from the threat that is the stalker. Here, she turns back to look where the stalker is as her credits will appear here saying HEIDI PORTER where we will use slow motion when she turns back.

91-100 seconds - Heidi continues to run away from the man who she realises is obsessed with her and looks for somewhere to hide as she realises she cannot continue to run away as she will eventually get too tired. A high angle shot will be used on Heidi as she tries to find a a place to hide. A tracking shot will be used of the stalkers feet as we get a feeling he is getting closer to the protagonist.

101-110 seconds - Heidi finds a tree to hide behind to rest after running away from the stalker. She thinks she is safe - but she is not - the stalker is nearby! A close up shot will be used on Heidi's face to show here emotion where she will be feeling scared, vulnerable and cold. A medium panning shot is then used to show where the tree is, in comparison to where the rest of the scene was shot.

111-120 seconds - There is a close up of Heidi's face where a black flash will be used and after this appears the stalkers hand will appear over Heidi's face. The stalker will be wearing black gloves and the bracelet Heidi dropped. The film title, 'The Prowler', will appear out of the stalkers hand and the opening will end with a white fade.

Panic Room Titles Analysis

After viewing the "Panic Room" opening titles, we did not think that the titles were very effective as they merged into the background and did not contrast effectively. The titles did not give a clear indication to what the genre of the film was going to be as the titles were dull. The music however was very eerie which did give an indication that the film is going to be of the thriller genre. On there own, the titles do not give the audience an indication to the genre - music is needed. The backdrop behind the titles are scenes from New York, where the film is set. The scenes are filmed from and aerial view showing the tall buildings and skyscrapers acting as an establishing shot which tracks past buildings. This gives the viewers an indication to where the film is going to be set but does not give an indication to what genre the film is going to be. Therefore we have come to the conclusion that it is not an effective opening sequence.

Evaluation for "six feet under" credits

At the start of six feet under there is a reflection of the thriller genre because of the weird contrasting music to the action you see. At the start the music is very light and has a happy feel to it whilst the picture portrays death. We think that Death is shown by the tag on the mans foot, which indicates death. The credits do two things. One is that the credits appear in the atmosphere and dissolve away. The other is when the credits appear on different objects, for example the executives name is on the head stone and a name on the toe tag of the corpse. We will use the idea of dissolving the credits, but we will not be having our credits appear on different objects in the scene. Our scene will be different because the music to ours will be edgy and tense, but still upbeat to match the scene and not a contrast.

This picture is a clip from the opening scene and this shows the credits appearing on objects

This is another clip from the opening scene, but this shows the credits dissolving out.

Storyboard Continued

This is a continuation of our storyboard. We only put in the key shots in detail because they were the most important ones we need to focus on, we made a storyboard to organize and focus on the pivotal shots and to ensure we used a variety of shots and angles .the storyboard has helped to give a estimate for the length of the thriller.

This is our storyboard for our thriller. This is not the complete storyboard, however this outlines the most important scenes in our thriller. We outline the duration of each scene and the type of shot used.

This is our shot list. The shot list explains the camera shot's we will be using in our two minute opening sequence to a thriller film. It explains the types of shots used and the action of the camera. Also on the shot list we explain the location, props and costumes used in each shot.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Garageband Soundtrack for Thriller Film

This is Jamie and Joe's thriller soundtrack that they have recently made in the lesson. The soundtrack follows conventions of a soundtrack in a thriller film.

Our Ident

This is our own ident that we created using photoshop. We are not very pleased with it as it does not have the desired effect therefore we will not be using it in our Thriller Opening.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Mise-En-Scene in our Thriller Film

In our opening to our thriller film we will be using the following props:
- Bag - used to show that Heidi has just been to college and is walking home.
- Bracelet - this will be a symbolic part of the scene where Heidi loses her bracelet as she is running away from the stalker. Later on in the opening the stalker is seen wearing this on his wrist when he covers Heidi's face with his hands.

Our opening to a thriller film will be located along Long Road and the field off Long Road. Heidi's friend Liberty goes off down her road to where she lives, which is a side road off Long Road.


The lighting in the scene will be natural lighting of that along a road surrounded by tree's.

Make Up
There will be no make-up used in the scene as we are trying to convey the natural look in the

Costume and Colour
The stalker will be wearing black clothes in the scene to show he is the antagonist who is after a innocent girl. Other characters in the scene will be wearing normal everyday clothes.

Antagonist and Protagonist Examples

The protagonist we are going to analyse is Harrison Ford from the film "The Fugitive". Harrison Ford in the film was wrongly accused of murdering his wife. When his bus fell onto a train track he escapes and goes on the run. He is like Heidi because they both are on the run from somebody trying to catch them. Heidi is on the run from an obsessed stalker whilst Harrison Ford is on the run from a sly detective.

The antagonist we are going to analyse is Robin Williams in the film "One Hour Photo". Robin Williams plays a stalker who works in a supermarket, but process' the photos that people bring him. He focus's on one family and follows them around taking photos. He is like our antagonist who follows Heidi wanting to get her. Also our antagonist will look very weird and creepy after makeup like also Robin Williams does in the film.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Pitch for Thriller Film

1) Which sub - genre is it and how is this shown through the conventions.
A) Psychological thriller - Drama / Mystery, Danger is on a mental level rather than a physical level initially, One solitary character is in a mental conflict.

2) Suggested locations and reasons why?
A) Long road and a field near by.

3) Description of narrative
A) A girl and her friend were walking up Long road with bags full of shopping. The girls friend then leaves down to the road to her house. when the girls approaches her corner she encounters the stalker. You can not see the stalkers face because of his hood blocking her view. Heidi is then approached by two passers by who wolf whistle. she turns round and gives a cheeky wink. The two passers by then get approached by the stalker who looks at them straight in the eye, but you do not see his emotion because he is wearing glasses. Heidi then susses out the stalker is still folliwing her and starts to run. She drops her bag leaving her bracelet hanging out. She runs into a field and hides then the stalkers hand comes round the side of her face and grabs her.

4) Actors and characters
A) Heidi = main character - the girl getting chased
Stalker = TBC
Liberty = friend of Heidi
Joe / Jamie = passers-by

5) Intertextuality - will you reference any films

6) Titles and how will your credits appear
A) After asking our class which film title was most appropriate they thought that The Prowler was the best. The credits will appear as Heidi is running. The scene then turns into slow motion whilst the credits come up. they will be in a big bold font and then dissolve out.

7) Music / Shots
A) When the scene starts there is normal to happy music.

8) Certificate
A) 15

Friday, 22 January 2010

Dreamworks Ident

This ident is shown at the beginning of the thriller film Minority Report. The"Dreamworks"ident is imaginative as it has incorporated the moon as the "D" in the word dreamworks.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Certificate 18 Guidelines

Follwing in line with the human rights act 1998 , bbfc guildlines concerns do not usually overrule the principle that adults (over 18's) should have the freedom to chose their own entertainment.

Exceptions are in these areas:

  • detailed scenes of violence, illegal drug use, which might cause detriment to public health or morals. this also includes scenes of extreme sexual or sexualised violence that lack any artistic merit and endorse/glamourize or promote any sadistic assults.

  • more explict and graphic images than is necessary or tasteful and which cannot be justified in the context of the film. explict sexual scenes are reservered for "R18" ratings and would be maintained that category.

  • if the material has failed to comply within the law or created by commissioning one to break the law.

12a Certificate


The 12A category only exists in the cinema. The restriction permits anyone under the age of 12 to watch a 12A film without adult supervision. 12A's are not supposed to viewed by under 12's because of the content of the film, but it is up to the suporvising adult to decide wheather they want their children to watch it. An adult is permitted to bring the child under the age of 12 but, the makers of the film feel that for some children the content may be to much and they could get scared, that is why there is an A.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

15 Certificate Film

A film that is classified by the BBFC as a '15' should not be watched by anybody under that age. Also when the film is released to shops it can only be bought by people aged 15 or above.

In terms of discrimination, the film as a whole should not use any discriminatory language or behavior.

Drugs can be shown to be used in a '15' film but the film as a whole should not promote or encourage drug misuse.

Dangerous behavior in a '15' film such as hanging or suicide should not dwell on detail so that it can be copied. The use of weapons should not be glamorized.

There may be a frequent use of strong language in a '15' film with the strongest language being allowed if justified by the context. Repeated and aggressive use of strong language is unlikely to be acceptable.

Nudity should not be shown in full detail in a '15' rated film if used in a sexual context although if used in a non-sexual and educational way there are no constraints on nudity in a '15' film.

In a '15' film strong violence is allowed but it should not dwell on pain and injury. The strongest scenes of violence are unlikely to be acceptable along with scenes of sexual violence. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be minimal and have a strong contextual justification.

In terms of a theme in a '15' film - no theme is not allowed to not be used provided it is appropriate for 15 year olds. In terms of horror in a '15' film, a strong threat of horror can be used unless it is sexualized or violence which is sadistic.

12/12A Certificates

Suitable for 12 years and over

There are no differences between 12 and 12A films, the criteria is just the same. The "12A" category is only used for cinema films. If a child is below the age of 12 then they must be accompanied by an adult that has allowed them to see it and made that judgement themselves. However 12A films are aimed to entertain those aged 12 and above. The "12" category is used only for video works to make sure that no one below that age is able to rent or buy a "12" rated film. These categories are put in place to ensure that children below the age of 12 are not upset by material that may be unsuitable for their age group.

Aggressive discriminatory language or behaviour is unlikely to be acceptable unless clearly condemned.

There should be minimal footage of drugs being misused and it should not be glamorised or influential.

Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained.

Imitable Behaviour
Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be
copied, or appear pain or harm free. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.

Moderate language is allowed. The use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’) must be infrequent.

Nudity is allowed, but in a sexual context must be brief and discreet.

Sexual activity may be briefly and discreetly portrayed. Sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers. Frequent crude references are unlikely to be acceptable.

Mature themes are acceptable, but their treatment must be suitable for young teenagers.

Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context. Sexual violence may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated, and must have a strong contextual justification.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Action thriller conventions - homework

Iron Man

At the start of the film there is an obvious antagonist being the Afganistan soldiers who capture the main character. The soldiers know who the main character is and the weapons he makes, knowing this they try and make him build the newest weapon, but the main character tricks them and builds his iron ma suite. Also there is a non - obvious antagonist being the main characters business partner, who is selling weapons and information to the Afgani soldiers.

There is a race against the clock scenario all the way through the film. The first scenario is when the Afgani soldiers only give him 7 days to build the weapon. Another is the main character has to get to his business partner who has made a replica of his iron man suite, the race against the clock is trying to stop him in time before he can harm people and the main characters maid who went to arrest him with the police.

In the film there is a lot of violence taking place and more than any other sub - genres. being an iron man there is not much that can hurt him giving him the advantage over the other characters. Before the main character was the iron man he was physically fit, but not trained in combat, this shows that the technology used in the iron man suite did the fighting for him. The films violence included mostly gun fire and not fist brawling.

The iron man also has an achilles heel being that peices of shrapnel need to be kept away from his heart with a magnet. if this magnet was to stop working then he would die, which leaves him with a big disadvantage whilst fighting.

In the film his helper / maid called pepper pots, helps him and knows everything. As the film goes on you can see a definate attraction between the two, but being professional they do not let it affect their relationship until one night. When she gets in trouble he tries to save her even though the power in his suite is running down showing he will give his life for her which shows a female driving the narrative.

Analysis of Past Student Thriller

The Thriller Opening that we watched was called "Stolen". We thought that this clip met most of the marking criteria such as using a variety of shot distances. However we feel that they didn't hold many shots steady and the movement they did was not that effective. Their zooming was a bit jumpy and they used hand held shots a lot which didn't achieve the desired effect. Also the music was too repetitive and tedious as there was no variety in the sounds or tempo which made the opening feel like it dragged on a bit.

This opening met the conventions of a Thriller well. There was a clear protagonist and antagonist apparent in the clip and it also showed the protagonist in peril/a trapped situation. The lighting was dark and mysterious which created a dramatic ambiance and excitement for the audience.

Analysis of Past Student Thriller


This opening sequence to a thriller film was produced by Long Road media students.

Throughout the film we thought they held a steady shot when appropriate and also they used a wide variety of shot distances which keep the audience interested and amused in the clip. They used an appropriate soundtrack in the opening sequence to indicate the action thriller genre. They also introduced the setting of the film and introduced the main characters via the chase scene. They used the titles appropriately and the narrative structure looks to be established as the film goes on. The chase scene reveals that the theme of the film is on a bank robbery.

Acheiving A Top Grade


Demonstrate excellence in the following:
  • holding a shot steady
  • framing a shot including/excluding elements as appropriate
  • using a variety of shot distances
  • shooting material appropriate to the task
  • selecting mise-en-scene
  • editing so that meaning is appropriate to the viewer
  • using varied shot transitions and effects
  • using sound with image
  • using titles appropriately
In an opening sequence:
  • introducing the main characters
  • revealing the themes of the film
  • introducing a setting/location of the film
  • have an idea of the narrative structure
  • the music should indicate the genre of the film
  • indication of the characters personalities

Friday, 15 January 2010

Sound Terminology

  • Diegetic - we can see where the sound is coming from e.g. traffic noise, radio, TV, dialogue
  • Non - Diegetic - sound effects
  • Sound Bridges - it links two scenes
  • Character Themes - music associated with a certain character
  • Asyncronis Sound - contradicting sound
  • Narrator - talks the audience through the storyline
  • Ambient Sound - natural background noise e.g. birds and traffic

Crime Thriller

Conventions of a Crime Thriller:

  • Suspenseful account of successful or failed crimes
  • Features murders/robberies/shoot outs/double cross
  • Can glorify the rise and fall of a criminal- often based on real people
  • Set in large crowded cities to provide the viewer with an insight into a secret world
  • Characters have an ambitious desire for success or recognition
  • Rivalry between binary characters is strong
  • Many locations- seedy interior settings
Examples of Crime Thrillers:

  • The Fugitive
  • Kiss The Girls
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Usual Suspects
  • Double Jeopardy
  • Murder By Numbers

Analysis of No Country For Old Men

  • No Country For Old Men is based on the novel of the same title written be Cormac Mc Carthy in 2005. it was released in 2007 directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, it was met with much critical acclaim and went on to win 4 academy awards, another 94 wins and 45 nominations.
  • There are many locations used most of them look seedy and typical of a mid- western film. the land looks bare, empty, stifling hot, this makes the location seem more dangerous as the connations for heat are that if makes people more on edge,passionate, bad tempered, riled up and dangerous. I think this also makes the film more exciting as you expect something to happen.

  • suspense is built by using jump cut editing , the sound builds up the tension well by the dramatic use of of drums. it think the music makes the audience more alert to the action and more involve with the action because the tempo of the music changes and is exciting.

  • In the trailer its made clear straight away that all the binary characters have a ambitious desire fo sucess, it features the crime being committed and shows the targets all the characters are trying to achieve. there is a clear difference between the main protagonist and antagonist- they are shown by the use of props(compressed air tank,guns etc.) math on match asction shots are used to show two narratives that are simultaneously occuring.

Action Thriller

Action Thriller Conventions
  • Obvious antagonist
  • Race against the clock scenario
  • Features more violence than other sub-genres
  • Disruption to equilibrium requires one protagonist to use action to solve it.
  • Protagonist must be skilled in combat and physically fit.
  • Usually involves characters of the opposite sex to drive the narrative.
  • Their loyalty will be questioned.
  • Double crossed.
Examples of action thrillers include:
Hostage, Equilibrium, Iron Man, Blood Diamond, Taken, I Am Legend, Matrix,
The Fugitive and the Bourne films.

Die Hard 4.0

The obvious antagonist of the film is the man who set the fire sale attack on the computer systems of the USA. The obvious antagonist helped the FBI make the base where all of the stock exchange codes are and now wants to take revenge on the FBI for sacking him over a dispute whether the systems could handle an attack.

The race against the clock scenario is when Bruce Willis is trying to find the man who set the fire sale, before he gets away with all of the money from the USA systems. The fire sale gives control of the USA's computer controlled infrastructure to the man. If Bruce Willis does not capture this man in time the USA may never regain this power.

There is more violence in action thrillers then there are in other sub - genres. Bruce Willis will do anything to get his daughter back from the fire sale makers, and doing so kills a lot of men in very violent ways. At one point he kills a woman by driving a truck into her and down an elevator shaft.

There is disruption to the equilibrium when the fire sale goes off and they turn off the power and gas. They also get rid of the shares at the stock exchange causing inconvenience to the people who own shares in the businesses. Also the disruption hits Bruce Willis as he is trying to escort a well known computer hacker, who may be connected.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Psychological Thriller

Conventions of a Psychological Thriller

  • Drama/Mystery
  • Danger on a mental level rather than physical initially
  • 2 or more characters preying on each others minds to create conflict or 1 solitary character in mental conflict
  • Characters try to discover their purpose- lack of understanding of where they fit in and they will try to solve it in the narrative
  • Characters often have a fear or fascination with death
  • Narrative- confusion over what is real
  • Examples of Psychological Thrillers: Secret Window, Da Vinci Code, American Pyscho, Phonebooth, The Prestige and Fight Club

The Prestige

The Prestige meets the conventions of a Psychological Thriller:
  • It is based around a number of mysteries all to do with magic. The two main characters are magicians that are competing against eachother psychologically.
  • The characters are confused over what is real.

Political Thriller

Political Thriller - conventions
  • Threat is set against a backdrop of political power struggle.
  • Plots are designed to give political power to someone.
  • Opponent characters are set up to try and prevent people receiving power.
  • Two sets of character - 1st set: office/suits 2nd set: out on the scene
Examples of political thriller:
  • Vantage Point
  • Air Force One
  • Mission Impossible
  • JFK
  • Munich
  • The Interpreter
  • Blood Diamond
Film for analysis - Blood Diamond

Blood diamond meets the conventions of a political thriller by a threat which is the diamond. One of the characters found and hid the diamond, which the white diamond smuggler wants to take and sell on. It is a political threat when the government try and stop them and the rebels are also out to stop them.

The plots are designed to give most of the power at the start to the rebel leader and his army. After a while the white smuggler teams up with the African government to try and stop the rebels, which eventually leads to the government with all the power.

The opponent character is the rebel leader who stops the government regaining power of the rebel army. Also an opponent character is the black man who found and hid the diamond. Running away from the rebels to find his family, which shows a lack in power to the rebel leader.

The first set of characters are the diamonds buyers in England, who only stay in England and do not go out to Africa to find out what has happened. Also the higher commander in the government army is seen in a far away house not seeing the action, but the rebel leader is always in the action and he is highest up in the rebel command. The second set of characters are the soldiers who are in the action the whole time. Also the diamond smuggler and the black man are always in the action running from the government and rebels looking for the diamond.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Se7en Analysis

In class we watched a short clip from the thriller film "Se7en" and made notes about the Micro- Elements used.

There is a scene in a house with a dead body lying on the floor, the lighting is very dark and gloomy. When the detectives go outside the house it is raining and the lighting is very grey and dull. This type of lighting is very typical of a Thriller film, even when it may not be night time in the scene, the lighting is still dark.

The clip starts with a man in a very ordinary flat or house getting dressed. The next scene he is in a very dirty and shabby house where there is a dead body lying on the floor. The characters played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are detectives and are looking around this house as it is clear a crime has taken place. Thriller films are known for being set around a crime so again this film meets a convention.

The character played by Morgan Freeman is dressed smartly in a suit with a black tie. The character played by Brad Pitt is also in a shirt and tie however is in a leather jacket which makes him look slightly less important and more


Camera Angles and Movement
In the short clip we watched there were many camera shots used. These shots included the over the shoulder shot which gave the audience a sense of being in the position of the character and therefore can relate to them. This is a convention in a thriller film. There were many close ups in the short clip which shows the characters emotion. A medium shot was used in the scene; this allows the audience to see the character in shot and their surroundings as well. When the detectives are walking down the path in the rain a tracking shot is used which follows the characters. This makes the audience feel part of the conversation when the camera follows them. A low angle shot is also used - this shows that they are important figures in the film as the shot gives them dominance. It also portrays them to be the protagonist characters. When the detective is in the bedroom their is a long shot. This shot shows us the whole bedroom and the character laying in bed. We can see what is going on in the scene. A close up is then used on a ticking metronome which gives the character something to listen to when trying to get to sleep so he can focus his mind. This detail gives the audience an insight into the characters personality.

The editing in the opening titles of the film was very fast paced which indicates to what the film is going to be like - a fast paced thriller film.

Vertigo Analysis

The opening sequence of the film "Vertigo" meets a lot of the conventions of a thriller film. These conventions include an antagonist and a protagonist, music to create suspense, a fast paced scene, the protagonist shown in peril, establishing shot to introduce setting, dark lighting, set around a crime and involves a dramatic death situation.

The antagonist is the man being chased by the policeman and detective, we can assume that he has done something wrong therefore is seen as the baddy. The protagonists are the policeman and detective as they are enforcers of law and the audience believe them to be the goodies.

The music during this scene is very fast, loud and dramatic which creates suspense throughout the chase scene. The audience will then feel involved within the action and will feel sympathy for the protagonists in peril. For instance the detective hanging from the tall building and the police officer that falls to his death.

The scene is set at night time so the lighting is very dark and an establishing shot is used showing the tall buildings of the city they are in. This introduces the time and place that the film is set in.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Wolf Creek Analysis

I have decided to analyse the Micro-Elements of the thriller film called "Wolf Creek".


I watched a short clip from quite near the beginning of the film. At the beginning of this scene a group of 3 British travellers have broken down in the middle of the Australian out backs, when a local Australian man stops to help them. Throughout the clip it is night time so therefore it is pitch black, the only light is from the moon, car headlights or torches, it is all diegetic and realistic light. There is only enough light to see the characters faces and sometimes top halves of their bodies. You would expect a Thriller film to be set in mostly darkness as it is creepy and frightens the audience as they can not see everything that is happening around the characters.

The costumes that the characters are wearing are very ordinary and practical. The 3 travellers are all in wooly hats, jumpers or hoodies to keep warm as they are outdoors at night time. The strange man is in a shirt, jeans and a hat which is not very warm, this shows that he is a local and is more used to the climate they are in.

The film is set in the out backs of Australia. As this scene is set in darkness the audience see very little other than the characters which makes it quite mysterious. Things that they do see are roads, road signs, a full moon a car and a truck. The beginning of the clip shows the 3 travellers standing outside their broken down car and the strange man looking inside the bonnet to see what the problem is. He then offers to tow their car to his place not far from there, so the rest of the clip is of the 3 travellers sitting in their car being towed through the Australian out backs in darkness. During the journey not once do you see a close up of the strange man, the most you see is his truck and the silhouette of the man from the travellers point of view. There is a shot of a road sign with arrows pointing left but the man takes them in the opposite direction so the audience can tell that something isn't right. The characters are all close to eachother inside their car whilst the strange man is in the truck infront towing them. The fact that they are far appart from him shows you that the travellers don't know him very well.
Camera Angles/Shots
During this clip the camera doesn't stay still for long, it jumps between the characters a lot. Over the shoulder shots are used while the characters are talking and there is a mid shot of the strange man as he is playing around with the car. There are close ups of the insides/wires of the car, this suggests to the audience that there may be something dodgy going on and that instead of fixing the car he may be making it worse. There is a long shot of the full moon, again this could be to imply that strange things happen on a night with a full moon. There is a long shot of the vehicles driving into darkness which is creepy as the audience have no idea where the travellers are being taken. When there are shots inside the car the camera is very shakey to convey the bumpiness and movement the travellers are feeling on the journey, also makes you feel nervous like the characters and as if you are moving with them. There are a lot of close ups of the characters whilst inside the car so that the audience can see their worried and curious expressions.
At the beginning of the clip while the characters are outside their car you can hear buzzing insect/cricket noises as you would if you were in Australia at night time. When they are in the car you can hear the realistic sound of the car engine as if you would if you were in the car yourself. Then as the journey gets going the music kicks in, it is quite creepy instrumental music, consisting of violins and string instruments. This music changes slightly as a very low and slow beat comes in which creates tension. This music keeps the audience on the edge of their seats and builds suspense as you can tell something bad is going to happen. This is a typical convention of a Thriller film.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Pulp Fiction Analysis

Pulp Fiction


Analyse the use of micro-elements
The micro-elements you would expect within a film include: mise-en-scene, genre, characters, mood, location/setting and dialogue. In this blog I am going to analyse the use of these micro-elements within the thriller film Pulp Fiction. I watched the opening ten minutes of the film.

In the opening ten minutes of the film we are introduced to the opening two characters at the start of the scene. The scene is set in a cafe in America where there seems to be a laid back atmosphere. The two characters, a young male and older woman are discussing their recent robberies. From the opening scene we work out that the two people work together with each other. The male character is sitting in a laid back position in the cafe seat - from this you can tell a lot about his character. You can also see what the character is like from his costume as well as the dialogue he uses. He is wearing jeans with a t-shirt with a casual shirt which isn't buttoned up. On the casual shirt he is wearing he has the sleeves rolled up to his forearm. From this you can tell he is quite workman like and likes to get on with what he has to do - in this case it is robberies. The woman in this scene is seen as his sidekick. The both of them are wearing casual clothing which doesn't give away the impression that they would do what they do - especially the woman. She looks quite mumsy which makes it quite obvious from the clothes she wears - a purple top for every day wear. In the scene a numbe rof props are used - ones that would be expected to be seen in a cafe but also ones that would be expected to appear in a thriller film. The normal everyday props expected to be seen in a cafe include coffee cups, coffee plates, a sugar jar and ketchup bottles etc. The thriller props that would be expected in a thriller film are seen in this clip. The prop is a gun, both the characters have one when they spontaneously decide to take part in the robbery of the cafe. The lighting in the scene is all diegetic as the audience can tell where the lighting is coming from in the scene. The lighting is what is expected of a cafe in the middle of the day where the light from the sun can get through their big front of shop windows. Finally in the mise-en-scene section I will discuss make-up. The make-up in this clip is used so it portrays a natural look for the characters.

The sound in this scene from Pulp Fiction is all diegetic apart from at the end of the scene when the soundtrack comes in when they start threatening the people in the cafe. The music used at the end makes the scene seem quite funny. The dialogue of the characters is diegetic as we know that the sound is coming from their mouths. This sort of sound is expected in thriller films.

I only analysed one scene from Pulp Fiction as it is hard to analyse the editing techniques between scenes but I can analyse the cuts used in the opening scene. The two characters are in conversation so the shot reverse shots are being used. The characters are having a fast-paced conversation therefore there are jump cuts between shots of the characters speaking and the characters reacting to the dialogue.

Camera Angles/Shots
In the scene there is a conversation taking place in a cafe between a man and a woman. The shot reverse shot is used during their conversation with close ups being used on their faces for reaction shots. There is also a medium shot of the two characters sitting opposite each other over a table. This shows the audience the surroundings of their location. The over the shoulder shot is also used on the man so the audience can see the reaction of the woman to what he is saying.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Preliminary Task

Before beginning our Opening to our Thriller we must complete a Preliminary Task. This involves creating a short sequence that includes a variety of shots; establishing shot, close-up shot, match on action shot, reaction shot, long shot and over the shoulder shot. Jamie and Joe will be acting in this short sequence and Liberty and Heidi will be filming. The location for our preliminary task will be the quad area in college.

YouTube Shot Examples

00:26 -00:35
There is an establishing shot in this scene from The Ring. This shot is very effective as it sets the scene for the whole film showing you the setting where the characters are situated.

There is an over the shoulder shot in this scene from Wrong Turn 2. This shows that the characters are in conversation and interacting with each other. It acts as a reaction shot too where you can see the emotions of the character being spoken too.

This is a close up shot from the film The Grudge 3. This is effective as it shows the emotion of the character.

This is a scene from the film The Exorcist which shows the filming of a conversation where a shot reverse shot. This is effective as it shows the characters are interacting with each other during a conversation and the reactions can be seen of the characters during the conversation.

The 180 degree rule is also used in this scene where the camera is situated on the same side when filming both characters. This is so the audience don't get disorientated when watching.

This is a long shot from a scene in the film Wolf Creek. This is effective as it shows the tension of the scene as she is running away from something - as she runs closer to the camera it turns into a close up shop.

04:27 -04:48
This is a match on action shot from the Chronicles of Narnia. It shows them going into the wardrobe and arriving in Narnia on the other side. This shot is effective as it shows where they arrive after going through the wardrobe.


Jamie Hilsden, Heidi Porter, Liberty Clayton and Joe Sorensen make up our group for producing the opening sequence of a thriller film. As we have worked with each other before we will hopefully make a better project than the last piece of coursework we completed - the children's film opening. Also we will have better knowledge of how to use the equipment such as the camcorder and software on the computer such as garageband.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009