Thursday, 14 April 2016

Evaluation 1

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

I have selected 8 frames from my film opening which I believe best use and challenge the generic conventions of my chosen genre, psychological thrillers


I have chosen to use intrepid pictures for the opening of my thriller. Intrepid has produced and co-financed ten pictures to date distributed worldwide by major and mini-major studios such as Rogue Pictures, Universal Pictures, Summit Entertainment and International distributors. Intrepid produce and finance commercial features in the action, thriller and horror, principally targeting the 12 – 29 year old audience. I believed that opening a film this way helps to build and create suspense and I believed that this would be better as it helped to create a sense of ambiguity from the beginning. Whilst this is being shown I discovered that a lot of psychological thrillers start off slowly and quite ambiguously as the storyline builds up, nothing is revealed till later. Hence why I decided to have the second frame be a shot of the main character running to start feeding questions into my audiences head. Who is she? Why is she running?


The title plays a key role in providing the audience with a taster of the narrative of the film without revealing too much of the plot. I have chosen to put the title at the end of the thriller opening as this is a convention used in thriller openings. For example, in Black Swan the title is shown at the end of the opening scene. I believe that by having the title at the end of the opening scene helps build up tension for the audience members and focus on the title. By having a few shots before the title helps give some context for the audience members and make assumptions as to what might happen. Also the capitalisation of the letters is used to create a sense of urgency from the female victim in the movie.  I believed that this would have created intrigue as the word itself is quite ambiguous, thus becoming an enigma. This fit in well with the psychological genre as the titles are usually quite simple yet strong and powerful. I also used an effect on the title. This effect is like a torch that shines over the whole title, as you can see in the screenshot. This made the title look interesting as the effect literally creates a shadow and is reflection of what might happen in the movie. The font that I have used is very simple and straight forward as I didn't want to take away the meaning of' 'shadow' and I just wanted the audience members to focus on the title.


 These 3 shots are for different settings and location. For this first screenshot, you can see that the female is in a public area using exercise machines. I used my local park as it was very convenient for me, which included the exercise machines. However, I also had to look out for bushes and trees so the voyeuristic shots would look like someone is hiding and watching the female exercise. Luckily, on this day the weather was cloudy which made the shots look more gloomy.

The second screenshot shows the actress running into an alley way. This was an alley way near my friends house, who worked with me on this project. This also was very convenient as the partner knew all the side roads near her house and other alley ways. This made it easier for us to record the chase scene.

 In the last screenshot, we used a flat that was very simple. This was my relative's flat. I added some pillows on the sofa and added some extra dishes for the kitchen side. I wanted to make the flashback look as real as possible by adding to the mise en scene and settings.


These screenshots show the special effects that I have used in my thriller opening scene. The first screenshot shows the actress exercising in the park, but someone is watching her through binoculars. I created this in After effects. Initially, I was not going to use this shot as I was having problems with the camera focusing which didn't look normal for the human eye when watching someone. I decided to put this binocular effect on it which made the thriller look more eerie. I did this by creating a black solid and used a series of overlapping and masking with two circles. I then adjusted the colour and made more masks to create the dust around the spec to make this shot look more authentic and real. I exported this through alpha channel and inserted the original clip.

This is a shot from the flashback scene. I used an effect called 'echo'. This helped create the ghost effect. This helped show that time was passing. For the flashback scene I also adjusted the reds and yellows through colour correction, and over exposed the shots to make the clips look like they are from the past. To highlight the key moments in the flashback I used a white solid for a few frames with the sound of a box camera. This helped with the flow and to make it look more interesting so the audience could feel empathetic towards the female.


The costume in my thriller opening is very simple. This screenshot shows the actress at home. She is wearing very casual clothes. a plain purple top with some tack suits. I wanted to show that the actress is in her home environment which is why she has no make up and has a simple hair style. I wanted to make the flashback look as natural as possible. These clothes do not look expensive and the fact that she is cleaning suggests that she is in her own house.
In the next screenshot, the actress is wearing some jogging bottoms and gym top. This shot makes the actress look very innocent and naïve as she is unaware that someone is watching her through the bushes. The costume suggests that she is vulnerable in her position. 
The last screenshot shows the actor in a shirt and tie holding a briefcase. This shows that he has just come home from work. The fact that his girlfriend is at home cleaning shows that they are not 'well off'. The male actor has to work to provide for both of them. The costume in all of these shots show that the couple is working class and that they cannot afford fancy outfits. For example the female is exercising in the park which may suggest that she cannot afford to get a gym membership, therefore she is using public equipment.



 These screenshots show that my opening is part of the thriller genre. This is because the titles are very simple yet powerful due to the typing effect used. Also the fact that the actress is running away, shows that this must be a psychological thriller and is the victim in the movie. The actress that is running may suggest that she is trying to run away from her problems, or even 'the shadow' which could be her boyfriend. This is a typical convention used in psychological thrillers. In the opening sequence the actress is constantly looking back, which shows that she is paranoid and feels like she is being followed my someone.
Furthermore, the shot of where the light turns off tells the audience members that someone is in the house, therefore we know that something is about to happen when the actress goes to open the door. This makes audience members 'be on the edge' and what to anticipate what will happen next. This is also a typical convention used in thrillers.

I believe that my opening sequence is a hybrid of genres like thriller, horror, mystery and psychological. I noticed this when I was editing my thriller opening.


These shots show how the characters have been introduced. The actress has been shown as innocent, naïve and vulnerable as she doesn't know that she is being watched. Even when she sees her partner in the mirror she is shown as weak and helpless as she doesn't do anything to get away from him apart from running. The audience follow her through her running and doing natural everyday things. This helps to give the audience a connection with her as we're discovering new things at the same time she is. The audience are introduced to her running from something (partner) and it is slowly revealed who she actually is.
The second character we are introduced to is the male. He is first shown in the flashback acting very friendly and lovingly towards her partner. However, this all changed when the female actress is in the bathroom and she sees her ex boyfriend. This shows that he may be scary, violent and very sly. He is sly because he is watching her ex partner when exercising and when walking from the voyeuristic shots. The actress' reaction shows the male character as the audience don't see much about him throughout the opening sequence.


I have used a midshot to show the antagonist in the mirror. This is a typical convention used in psychological thriller. For example, in Black Swan the antagonist was mostly being shown in the mirror who was the 'bad side' and evil. Similarly I have tried to show the dominant and evil antagonist through the mirror. This is because we saw him in the flashback as someone completely different. The second screenshot shows the voyeurism that I used in the thriller opening. These shots were very important to show that someone is watching the actress. This was a very good way to create a sense of ambiguity and create suspense. It really helped to create an intimate intense atmosphere that most thrillers create, it put my audience in the film as it made them feel like it was them, which helped to create anticipation. The last shot shows the use of close ups. This was vital for me to use in my psychological thriller so that the audience could build a sense of relationship. Additionally these shots could also create empathy as the actress looks frightened when she is running and is by herself.

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