Blog Archive

Monday, 22 October 2012

The History Of The Thriller Genre

I have decided to look into the history of the thriller genre so me and my group could have a more advanced understanding on how the genre has changed and adjusted through the years. The main reason why the thriller genre changes is because the audience start to change and become less scared as the story line became almost predictable to them. Below is some facts on the history of thrillers:

Thriller is a genre which is used in several aspects of media such as television, film and literature. Thriller is used in these to create suspense, excitement and tension. The most common use of sub genres to the thriller history are mystery and psychological thrillers. This may be because of the story lines which has been used. Thriller is very similar to the horror genre as both use suspense and atmosphere to cause feelings of dread to their audiences. The genre of thriller developed from well known and popular novels, the novels were then used for ideas which people reproduced into a film. A film is portrayed as a thriller when the story line gives the audience thrillers and keeps them on the 'edge of their seats' as the plot builds up towards the climax. The tension is usually built up by a character being placed in a menacing situation, a mystery or a trap which seems impossible to escape. There is also use of life threatened during a thriller film, as the main character is usually unsuspectingly or unknowingly involved in an extremely dangerous situation.

Here is an example of a 1930's thriller film:

Here is an example of a a Thriller film which was produced in 1963. (Around 30 years later)

Here is the last example - a 2012 Thriller film.

I have looked at each one of these trailers and you can clearly see how the thriller genre has changed. One major change in the thrillers is that when it goes on, it gets more dark and scary as the audience expectations raise higher. The first film which was made in 1930 would arguably not be placed into the thriller genre if it was made today as people would not be on "the edge of their seats" so this arguably goes against the conventions of what a thriller needs to make an audience feel. The second one improves, as you can tell it is very mysterious by the dialogue but still I do not think it would create enough suspense of tension for audiences these days. However, the last example: The Cabin In The Woods, would be in the thriller section as when watching the trailer it built up tension through the use of music, sound camera angles mise-en-scene etc.

Overall, doing this task has helped me as I now have a more advanced insight on how the thriller genre has changed over the years and what the audience expect from a thriller film. I can tell by looking at each of the trailers that by over time thrillers have become more scary. This helps me and my group as we need to make sure we create the tension and suspense so that the audience will be "on the edge of their seat" as we need to create a successful opening. I also feel as if I have a better knowledge on thrillers in general by doing this task. 
How is sexuality represented?

Today in class we went through different types of sound and how it creates a mood/tone within a scene. We looked at an extract which gave many examples of different sounds. We then went onto how sound represents sexuality or how it helps the representation of the sexuality. Below are some key definitions

Ambient - Sound in a background which is played within a scene. E.g birds
Foley - Artificial sound - sound effects which are reproduced and then added in to the scene
Natural - Real sound - sound which has not been added in 

Diagetic sound - On screen: sound which could be the characters voices, doors slamming etc
Non diagetic sound - Off screen: sound which has been added in e.g the music 

Parallel - fits in with the action or mood in a scene
Contrapuntal - doesn't fit in with the scene

After learning the key terms we then watched an extract to see what sounds we could recognise and see what effect they had. We also looked at how the sound represents sexuality.

  • The dialogue - the man asked to marry the women and she replies "I can't" - relates to sexuality as she doesn't feel comfortable marrying him (the antagonist)
  •  The music (non diagetic) sound is very tense resulting in creating an ominous tone reinforcing the dialogue. The music comes in every time he touches her reflecting her sickened feelings - the sound is parallel to her feelings. 
  • The breathing at the beginning is natural sound which was captured in the scene. Reflects that the two women like and want to be close. Sexual tension between the characters - More so from the protagonist.
  • Non diagetic sound coming in with soothing music - when the two women are together reflecting she is more comfortable with her than the man.
Notes on diagetic sound:

Before I did this exercise I struggled to understand all the different types of sound and what effects they have. After this I have a more advanced understanding of sound as I now know some definitions which will help me when watching an extract and doing my coursework and exam. I did not know what ambient, parallel and contrapuntal sound was before I did this and I still do not feel very comfortable using the terminology as I am not confident I know the definitions yet. I will have to practice this by looking at different extracts and trying to see how sound is used. Doing this has also helped me as I could see how the director of this extract wanted to represent sexuality. I have learnt that sound is used in a scene to create a certain type of mood and tone e.g the extract which I previously talked about had an ominous tone and the mood which was created was very unconformable and aggravating. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Evaluation of Callum's final analysis: Se7en

Callum goes into detail on the different camera shots and he has also said what effect they achieve which in this case, it creates an ambiguous tone. This has taught me that the camera shots create certain kinds of tones. Now that we have a better understanding of this, it will help us when making our opening. Callum also provides a detail analysis on the mise-en-scene, he states that there is a dark atmosphere, which from my personal research I have learnt this to be very popular in many thriller film openings. This is generally used to connote some kind of danger. Another part of what I think Callum has completed successfully is the part where he goes into detail and when describing the font. This has taught me font is very important in the title sequence as again, it can help out with the dark atmosphere that the director is trying to create.Overall, I think Callum has done an excellent job on the analysis of se7en and I think we all will benefit from this. If Callum was to improve on this analysis I would say analyse the editing more. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Me and my group are trying to aim at a Level 4 in our coursework. Below is the mark scheme of what we need to complete to achieve a Level 4. We need to think about all of this so that there is a lot of evidence of excellence.


Research and Planning


Final survey result and evaluation

For our survey we made sure we had at least 100 responses so that our results were accurate. Overall we received 103 responses which is good as now we can look at and evaluate them properly. The results that we have gathered will help us when it comes to making our opening. 

This question tells us that the most common age of people viewing our work are at the age between 15-17. This could be because they are unable to watch 18 rated movies. Therefore making a 15 would be more appropriate as it will have a more wider audience. 

The next question we asked people is if they preferred a 15 or 18 and why they prefer it. The majority of the audience said they preferred a 15 and several answers are because it limits the violent language, gory and sexual scenes. Although, around 20% they preferred an 18 because it included this kind of content. This tells us that we should limit the content we include as the majority of the audience does not enjoy viewing them kind of things throughout a film.

This question was very significant in the survey as it told us that we have to take a lot of time and consider the title sequence as the majority of the audience pay attention to it. 

Asking this tells us that the majority of the audience prefer the title sequence to be fast. However, the percentages are reasonably close which is why we still should consider doing a slow one depending on our story line and what atmosphere we are hoping to create.

We found out that Crime is the most popular sub genre. This tells us that by including aspects of crime we will be successful if we do it in the correct way. However, this is not guaranteed Also, by making a Crime thriller it could turn out bad as it could lack originality because the sub genre is very popular. Supernatural then closely followed by achieving second best. This tells us that we should also consider a Supernatural thriller. As Political thriller only gained 5% of the public's choice I think it would be a bad idea to do this as it isn't very popular and we may find it harder to make it. 

The next question we asked was..
This question helped us as we could see what people normally expect to see in an opening of a thriller film. Several answers were repeated by different people. The answers that were repeated were: Some kind of involvement of action, dark atmosphere being created and suspense and tension being built up. All these answers will help us when making our opening of the thriller film as we know that action is very popular to include and will engage the audience more as they would have seen it before in movies and still continue to watch thrillers. Also, we will have to try and create a dark atmosphere with things such as the lighting, mise-scene and potentially the dialogue. We will need to think about how we can build suspense and tension in the opening of our thriller film. 

 From this question I have learnt that gory scenes and homophobic and racial discrimination could potentially ruin a film for someone. If we include any of gore or discrimination we will have to limit it. The third most popular option was sexual scenes. Again, if we decide we need to include any sexual scenes within and throughout the opening of our thriller film we will have to limit it. It is good that we have found out what people do not like to see in a thriller film as now we have a more advanced understanding of what would be okay to include and what we should try not to include unless it is completely necessary.
James Bond came out the most popular. Because James Bond is so popular we will try and not use too many aspects of the title sequence as it is iconic to James Bond. However, because James Bond is the most well known and popular it can influence and inspire us. Women In Black was then the second most popular. This tells us because it is a horror/thriller film we should look into it as it could influence us to do a horror because of its fame. We then included a section B for this question as we wanted to find out why they think the opening was successful. The music was the most popular by far. This tells us we will need to think about and consider the music as it is one of the most important things in a title sequence. I defiantly think the music is something we should prioritise.  Editing and Effects are then second, even though they are far behind Music, we should consider putting in several kind of effects and different types of editing as they are what makes it partly successful. 

Overall, I am happy me and my group made this survey as we now have a more advanced insight on how to make a successful thriller. Each of the questions we asked help us in what we should and shouldn't include and who we should aim the opening of our thriller at. I think me and my group worked well in making this survey as we received a good about of responses which make our survey accurate. I also think making the two pilot surveys helped us achieve the best answers as possible. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of gender using the following: Camera techniques, Mise-en-scene, Editing and Sound

In the primeval extract gender is represented in two different ways. The extract displays two different types of representation of genders, one being a more traditional stereotype of gender and one being the opposite. The director essentially plays on stereotypes. Firstly, the young women called Abbey is significant in this extract as she is an example of the opposite to what a stereotypical women would be. Abbey is portrayed as a strong and powerful young women as when she first enters the scene, she is shot at a low angle demonstrating that she is important and in control. The director has also used a wide shot when we first meet meet her to establish the scene and location which is the woods and forest. Putting Abbey in the woods displays her masculinity as doing work in the woods is a more male job. Also, when entering the scene she is in an operating mechanical machine which is significant because the large machine which she is in is normally associated with men which conveys to the audience she is not a stereotypical women as she has aspects of masculinity. The mise-en-scene reinforces her masculinity as she has a short haircut, which is also associated with men. The next part of the extract reinforces her invincibleness as she then goes onto fighting the sabre-toothed creature, saving the man's life demonstrating her physical strength and braveness which is going against the usual representation of gender as she is the ‘hero’ in the scene. The props in the scene also help the audience have a more advanced understanding of her power as she is running with a heavy gun which displays her courage. This contrasts to the usual stereotype with women. Abbey also is given a lot of screen time and is normally positioned in the middle of the screen which denotes she is valuable in the extract.

However, within and throughout the same scene which Abbey is portrayed dominant the man alongside her is represented as weak which again, is going against the usual stereotype of the male gender. Firstly, he is marginalised as he is positioned to the bottom right hand corner which conveys he has not much importance within the scene as the audience cannot view him properly. He then jumps into a ditch which is significant because the camera then looks down on him but at some points the camera is at a birds eye view which makes him look very weak in the scene. He is also is not given much screen time at the beginning of the scene which connotes he isn’t valuable to the extract and is at a lower and less powerful position than Abbey. Also, the editing helps create tension in the scene as when the sabre tooth enters the scene, there is a lot of shot reverse shot of the man climbing out of the ditch, his positioning looking exhausting as he is finding it hard to climb out whilst she is still in the mechanical machine fighting off the sabre tooth. Although, when it looks as if the women is in danger, the man runs away hoping the tiger will follow him but as he is shot at a long shot it makes him look small reinforcing his weakness and vulnerability. The dialogue does juxtapose with the editing and camera as even though he is made to look weak the dialogue appears very strong and stern which makes a sudden contrast. When running away and distracting the tiger the non diagetic sound adds to the tension and suspense throughout the scene as it is ambiguous to weather he will escape from the sabre tooth as before, he was portrayed as helpless.

The final scene in the extract constructs a very different representation of gender as each of the characters portrayed are more traditional stereotypes. Firstly, the shot opens up at a mid-shot of the women and man inside a barn which was low key lighting. The mid-shots are used throughout so the audience can focus on the body language and dialogue of one character at a time. Both characters are firstly shot at eye level and the camera continuously skips back and forth of over the shoulder. This tells the audience that they are at equal level and status. However, when the women talks her dialogue juxtaposes with the camera as her dominance is conveyed through the dialogue. The women is also dressed in expensive clothing (as she mentions later in the extract) including a business type dress and a long light coloured coat. Whereas, the male character is dressed in filthy farming gear and equipment and is in less bold colours that the women. This adds to her strength in the beginning of the scene as the director has made her a more bold character. However, this balance of power suddenly changes as the props such as the gun the man picks up portrays a more negative stereotype of the man as is currently being violent and using weapons to gain control within the scene. As the man prepares to shoot her the extract, the scene cuts dramatically to a slow-motion to emphasise the fear on her face and the sudden loss of control. The high angle shot of her also conveys to the audience that she is now the weaker one in the scene. Also, by looking down on her, the audience can see her body gestures which are frozen connoting she is very frightened. This implies that the female are the weaker gender.

In addition to this, when the other men come in to save her, the man standing at the back of the scene is wearing a pink t-shirt followed along with a scarf and cowboy hat and is holding a shovel wheres the male at the front is dressed more casually. The colour pink is symbolic as pink is more associated with women as it is a feminine colour. Him holding the shovel is significant as it connotes the more feminine you are, the less control you have in a situation. Whereas, the man positioned at the front is shot at a mid shot so the audience can see his strength as he is holding a gun but also his stern facial expression. Once the gun was taken by the male and was handed over to the male which has just walked in, the women left the scene. The music then began to die down to a silence, connoting a sense of peace within the scene and portraying to the audience that the situation is under control ultimately by the male ‘hero’.

Overall, the director has played on the stereotypes of gender as in the extract there are traditional demonstrations of how gender is usually presented but there are also acts of the characters which go against this. However, the extract does convey that you have to be masculine to have some kind of power within and throughout the scene.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Evaluation on Callum's analysis on: A History Of Violence

First of all, Callum has made his notes very organised and detailed which helps me as I can clearly see what points he is trying to say. He has started off by talking about the camera which helped me as he has mentioned several aspects of what the camera did and said what effect it had which taught me how the camera effected the atmosphere within and throughout the scene. When Callum wrote about the sound it helped me as he went into detail about the binary opposition of the sound. For example, "When one of the characters first gets in the car it plays some upbeat blues. This is an example of binary opposition as it connotes dancing and happiness, not the scenario they are in." This gave me a more advanced insight on how the binary opposition achieved an effect on how the characters felt. Overall, I think Callum has done a very detailed and analytically response to the task as it has helped and added to my knowledge. If Callum was to improve his analysis in anyway I would say he should of spoke about editing more as he hasn't wrote as much as he could of.


Revision on Semiotics

I have decided to go over and revise Semiotics as I still do not feel very comfortable with using them properly. First of all, Semiotics, or seismology  is the study of signs, symbols, and signification. It is the study of how meaning is created, not what it is. Below are some brief definitions of semiotic terms, beginning with the smallest unit of meaning and proceeding towards the larger and more complex:

Signifier: any material thing that signifies, e.g., words on a page, a facial expression, an image.

Signified: the concept that a signifier refers to.
This is an example: the open sign is the signifier, while the signified is that you can go in.

Symbolic signs: signs where the relation between signifier and signified is purely conventional and culturally specific, e.g., most words.

Iconic signs: signs where the signifier resembles the signified, e.g., a picture.

Indexical Signs: signs where the signifier is caused by the signified, e.g., smoke signifies fire.

Overall, I now feel as if I have a more advanced understanding on Semiotics as before I was unsure and got signs mixed up. I still think I am not completely comfortable with the signs as I still feel very new to them but from doing this I have a better understanding. 

 Editing and Representation

Today in class we went into further detail into editing. Before we could do this we had to understand the full meaning of editing which is a chosen material for (a movie or a radio or television program) which is arranged to form a coherent whole. Firstly, I learnt how editing can sometines subtly, influence the audiences reading of a character and lead on to wider questions of representation. Secondly, we looked at different times of editing such as Action Match, Eyeline match, Final shot, Intercutting juxtaposition, Jump cuts, Motivation, Pace of edting, Shot reverse shot. I already knew some of these from my previous learning such as shot reverse shot and eye line match but most of them I have added to my understanding as I did not know them before. 

We looked at an extract in class which was from a TV series, Doctor Who. We had to look at and analyse the extract to see how genre was represented. The question that we were asked is how gender is represented? We focused on the women from the extract. This is a short summary of what I learnt in class: In the extract the women that is shown comes across weak at first. This is because of the camera is shot at a high angle looking down on her, but, her positioning also helps reinforce her weakness as she is kneeling on the floor which conveys she is at the lowest level as possible. However, when she starts having flash backs, her facial expression and dialogue start to juxtapose her positioning and how the camera is shot on her as she now is being portrayed as powerful and strong.

Notes from class:

Overall, I feel as if I have a more advanced understanding on how editing helps represent characters. I learnt that editing plays a big part as it is what creates an atmosphere within and throughout the scene. There is still a lot I need to learn as I am still not comfortable with all the aspects of editing as there is so many. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Binary Opposition Targets

On Tuesday, I reived my essay on Binary Opposition in Titanic back. I acheived a C- and because this is my is my first essay for AS Media Studies I am content with my grade. I found doing this essay hard as binary opposition was new to me. However, after writing this essay I feel as if I have a more adanced knowledge on Binary Opposition. We also recieved targets so next time we could achieve a higher grade. My targets were to avoid too much description as it involves no technical analysis. My second target was to revise iconography and indexical signs. In my next essay I will try and look up and include these more but I am still unsure of what they mean.



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Roles in the group
Rachel - Analysis of three openings of thrillers
Callum - Conventions of a thriller and analysis of three openings of thrillers
Jess - Research into the 15 and 18 classification certificates and analysis of three opening of thrillers

Below, is a handwritten list of what we have and haven't completed. 

Extra questions for our survey

Overall, me and my group have discussed the questions we have included in the survey and we are all content with the information it gave us. However, we thought we would add two more questions so that we could see what we should not include in the opening of our thrillers. The new questions we asked were:

What do you think ruins a thriller film?
  • Gore
  • Sexual scenes
  • Violent language
  • Homeophobic and racial attendancies
  • None
From this question, 50% of the audience said they think gore ruins a thriller film. This helped us ensure we do not include gore, or if we do, we should not include to much of it. 10% of the audience said that they think sexual scenes ruin the a thriller film. From this, we have found out that most people do not mind the amount of sexual scenes which are in thriller films. However, because 10% said they think it ruins a thriller film we will try and limit the scenes if we decide to include it. 20% said that they think homophobic and racial attendiances which tells us that if we do include this content we should try and limit it to an extent as we do not want to make the audience feel uncomortable.

The second question we added was - (a) Out of these popular opening film title sequences, which one do you prefer?
  • James Bond
  • Women In Black
  • Pyscho

From asking this to the audience there was a draw between The Women In Black and a popular Bollywood thriller called Kathik Calling Karthik. This tells me that a thriller that contains some aspects of horror and a bollywood thriller are quite popular. Which then helps us out as we can see what the audience prefers and what we should try and include. James Bond closesly follows these two. By doing this question we can see which title sequences are the most successful.
(b) Why is this? Is it the..
  • Music
  • Font
  • Editing
  • Effects
  • Camera angle/shots
  • Mise-en-scene (this is the costume, lighting, setting etc)
We decided to include a part b as we wanted to know why. We purposely listed things which could be why like the openings. From our previous pilot surveys we found out that Music was the most popular. However, Mise-en-scene followed up very closesy at 30%. This tells us as a group that we need to make sure the mise-en-scene and music is high quality as it is what the audience will expect.
As a group I think we have worked well in thinking and making up these extra questions for this survey. It was important for us to try these questions out before we added them to our finay survey as we didn't want to be given the wrong infiormation. I am content with our survey and as a group we are ready to make our final one.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Evaluation of Callum's analysis of the film Psycho

Callum has firstly gone into great into about the sound. From reading his analysis on sound I can see how the director uses the sound such as the non-diagetic sound to grab the readers attention. Callum has gone into detail by giving examples from the title sequence which has helped me as I now have a more advanced insight as I can view the examples myself. Another thing which I think Callum has described well and has successfully taught me is the darkness in a scene is symbolic as it connotes things associated with death an crime. This will help us as a group as if we want to present things like death and crime we will have to think of what type of lighting we are going to use to achieve an effect on the audience. Overall, I think Callum has done very well in analysing this thriller movie as I can tell by reading through his writing he has fully understood what each technical aspect of the media does. Example, when he says "As you can see in the screenshot it's of an extreme long shot, this implies that the whole city may be involved about the future events.". If I was to give Callum any advice of what to do to improve his knowledge and understanding I think he should look at the camera shots and angles in more detail. However, Callum has successfully built and added to my knowledge. 

Primeval extract

Yesterday in class we looked at the Primeval extract. We looked at the extract in four sections to help us focus on each part in more detail. I learnt how to break up an extract, some ways you can break up an extract are location change, visual change (a character walks into or out of a scene) and a sound change. This helped me as when looking at extracts it will be easier for me to break up the extract into sections helping me structure a more detailed essay. 

What I learnt about females
In class I also built up more knowledge on how director play on stereotypes. One stereotype we met was a female which was portrayed in a more masculine way. This is because we first see her in a large digger machine which demonstrates her strength as it is usually a males job to do this. The camera was mostly at a slightly low angle to denote that she is a dominant character. She was also positioned in the middle of the screen which is also significant because it conveys her importance as she is the center of attention. Looking at this character has taught me that directors can play on stereotypes to make the extract more interesting. However, the director then displays a more traditional stereotype towards the end of the extract. The director then presented a stereotypical female, looking feminine by the way she is dressed and positioned. The female in this scene is made to look slightly weak as even though when she firsts speaks to this man she is on eye level, she is then pushed to the ground with the camera looking down on her connoting she has no strength or power unlike the other girl we met previously.

What I learnt about males
It took me a long time to understand how the males were presented in this extract as the director displayed several stereotypes. First of all, we meet a male which does look masculine but because he is currently in the scene with the women in the big machine doing the harder job it makes him look more weak. He is also positioned in the bottom corner of the screen which conveys he is less important in the scene. The next main male we meet, meets the stereotype of a strong and powerful man. The props in the background help him appear more masculine as he has dogs which are more linked in with males. He also has a gun which he holds up to the women which is interfering in his business. This represents males in a confusing way as on one hand, the director represents males as less dominant but then towards the end of the extract he represents males as being powerful. 

Overall, I think I have gained a basic understand on how gender is represented within and throughout the scene. Although, because the director changes and plays with stereotypes so much it was hard for me to fully understand how the director is choosing to represent gender. When I start writing my essay I will have to make sure I watch the extract a few more times so I can get a more advanced insight on what the director is trying to achieve. 

My evaluation of Rachels analysis of the film "Salt"

Rachel has gone into detail with the colors they have used in the titles which will help us as a group decide if we should use vibrant or more darker colors for our titles. Rachel described the titles as "fairly simple" as the titles were mainly black and white, similarly to the other film she analysed. This will help us majorly if we wanted to make and create a spy film as it tells us that simple title sequences are successful. Reading over Rachel's analysis on the mise-en-scene, camera etc has taught me how directors use them to create effects. Such as, when Rachel talks about how the lack of lighting is used to create a dark and dangerous atmosphere. This is something we will have to think carefully about if we decide to make a spy thriller as we would want to try and make it look dark and dull. Also, Rachel talks about the music that is used which is diagetic sound. This has taught me that not all thrillers have to be fast paced and dramatic all the way through to be effective. Overall, Rachel has once again done a successful analysis on her third and final film. In this analysis she has added to my knowledge on mise-en-scene and told me how important it is within a opening sequence. 

My evaluation of Rachel's analysis on Black swan

Reading Rachel's analysis on the Black Swan gave me a wider knowledge on the codes and conventions of psychological thrillers. Rachel started explaining about how the title sequences were very simple as only two colors were used. She also successfully described the transitions of the text fading in and out of the screen. This has taught me that the opening of films do not always need to be extravagant as the Black Swan has made a successful title sequence. Rachel has also spoke about how drama and tension is created through the music. This is significant because it will help us, as a group create music which will achieve the same affect. In addition to this, Rachel went further and print screened the title sequence and labelled it which has helped me as I could see the title sequence for myself. Rachel has overall brought a lot of knowledge about psychological thrillers to the group as I have feel like by reading Rachel's analysis I have gained a more advanced understanding on them. It will also help us if we decide to make a psychological thriller as we now know the basic codes and conventions that are used throughout and within an opening. If I was to give Rachel any personal advice about how to improve her analysis I would say focus more on the titles and add more analysis to the mise-en-scene but overall I think Rachel has done a very good job. 

 Pilot survey two

Me and my group have decided to make a second pilot survey as we feel as if the first survey we made needed several improvements. This time we have done it online so that people can easily fill it out from their homes. Also, by doing it online it helps us out as it looks much neater and is easy to collect the data. For question one, two and three we decided to keep them the same as we feel they are giving us the basic information that we need. However, we have expanded most of the other questions.

Firstly, I have made a big mistake on the first question as I only asked people if they were 15 or 18. This was bad of me as I did not get enough age variation in my answers. When I make my final survey I will make sure that I correct this by asking if they are between the ages of 15-17 or 18+. However, half way through the survey I did manage to change it which did then give me a more accurate responses. 

The next question we asked was: Would you rather watch a film with an age rating of 15 or 18?
We got a lot of different responses. One response we got was that the reason they preferred 18's is because they are more scary. This tells me that when I make my thriller opening sequence, If I make the age rating 18 I will have to make it scary otherwise I am not following the audiences expectation. A few other people responded that they did not mind whether it was a 15 or 18. This tells me that there is not too much different between both the age ratings. 

Asking a question about what part of the title sequence they preferred helps us as a group as we can see what part of the title sequence we should focus on. 67% said that they preferred the music in the title sequence. This tells me that music is very important as it is what creates a tone and atmosphere in the sequence and it has a large effect on the audience. However, animation and font were also chosen which shows me and my group that we will also have to think about and focus what type of fonts we will use and if we are going to include any type of animation.

The next question we asked was "Which type of opening do you prefer? Why is this?"

As you can see, we have added on a second part to this question as before we did not feel the survey gave us enough information. A lot of the answers were different. Here are some examples:
"I prefer slow openings as they create tension"
- This tells us that slow openings are successful in creating tension.

"For a thriller film, I'd like a lot of action, intense music as well as cool fonts (James Bond title sequences are a good example"
- This tells us that audiences expect to see action and would preferably like to hear intense music. As you can see, the person that filled this out has given us a good example of a successful thriller film (James Bond). I am going to look at the James Bond opening sequence and look out for the music, fonts and the aspects of action to have a more advanced insight on what this person is trying to put across.

I think asking the audience "What is your favorite sub-genre thriller?" helped us see the most popular sub genre. The most popular three that were answered was Crime, Psychological and Conspiracy. This question helped me and my group as we can now see the most popular sub genres. It also helps us choose if we want to include a sub genre as they seem to be popular with the audience that filled out the survey.

What do you expect to see in a thriller film?
The last question we asked helped us as a group to see what the audience expected to see in the opening of a thriller film. We got a lot of useful answers in this. This tells me that this was a successful question to ask and we should include it when making our final survey. Here are some examples of answers we got:

"I expect to see ominous figures that raise suspicion"

"Flashing lights, horror, blood"

Overall, I think this survey has been partly successful as most of the answers that were given were very relevant  When making this survey I tried to write examples under the questions so the audience would see the example and fully understand what the question was asking them. I still think as a group we could expand some of the questions. However, I am content with this survey and I think as a group we have worked well in making up and thinking these questions. When making our final survey we will need to as a group, make sure that we are certain with the questions that we want to ask. I still feel as if we should be asking more questions as I do not think we are gathering enough information. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Evaluation of Rachel's: THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123: Crime Thriller

Rachel has gone into extreme detail on the camera which has not just added to my knowledge, it has taught me new things about the camera. Example - how the camera zooms in and out to create a certain type of effect. Rachel has commented on several important aspects of the camera such as; long shots, close ups, medium shots etc and has told me why were they used and how important they were in the film. From the camera and editing of Rachel's analysis I have learnt that the director uses each shot for a purpose and each angle of the shot is important. Rachel has also helped me gain a more advanced understanding on sound and music. After reading Rachel's post, I now know how significant diagetic sound is within a scene. This is because Rachel has gone into detail of how it achieves certain effects which now tell me that we need to see how we can create these kind of effects when making the opening of our thriller film. Rachel also shown me a lot about how costume is significant. Rachel commented on how the character is wearing things such as a hat, leather jacket and tattoos to show he is a dangerous character which helped me as I now have a more advanced insight on how directors use certain type of clothing and props to make the character look a certain way such as dangerous. Lastly, Rachel goes into great detail in the titles (example when she talks about the text). This has added to my understanding as I now know that when it comes to making our title sequence we need to think carefully about what symbols, images and text we should use as we want to try and engage the audience. I think Rachel has done an extremely good job on analysing this crime thriller as she has clearly shown her understanding through her explanation and has added to my knowledge. 

Overall evaluation on my analysis of thriller films

By analysing each of the films - Gupt: The Hidden Truth, Frozen and Kathik Calling Karthik. I have found out a lot of key things which will help me when I come to making my opening sequence of a thriller film.

Important things I found out:

Lighting - I found out that lighting is used to create a type of atmosphere which in all three movies I watched was to create a very dark atmosphere. In each of the films the lighting was dark and created shadows to make the scene look very mysterious. However, in each of my films I found out that in the next shot which would approximately be 10 seconds after the lighting would suddenly change and turn bright and vibrant to create a sense of hope but also confusion which draws the audience into the film as a sudden contrast has been made.

Props - The props which are used in each of the films make each film look realistic. I found out that I will need to consider certain types of props to use when making my thriller film as I want it to look as realistic as possible. An example of using props to make the film look realistic is in the film Frozen that I analysed, when each of the characters wore ski equipment it helped made the film look authentic and believable.

Camera/editing - Looking at the camera of each thriller opening has helped me see how the camera and editing is used. Overall, the main things I have found out about the camera is that; long shots are used to establish location and setting, close ups are normally used to show the facial expression on a characters face or to show a certain object, mid shots are used to show facial expression as well but it also shows the characters body language. I have also learnt a lot about shot angles. The main angles that I came across in each of the thriller films were: eye level and high angle. The eye level is important because it shows each character is as important in the film as one another. The high angles that are used are normally to show that one character is more dominant than the other. I also learnt editing creates suspense and mystery in the scene as it cuts back and forth of either a character or a place which is confusing for the audience as they don't know what is happening.

Title sequences - Looking at all three title sequences has helped me gain a more advanced understanding on how they create suspense, anxiety and worry at the beginning of the film. Each of the title sequences were extremely different but they all achieved the same result. From analysing title sequences it has shown me that I need to make sure I think about what colors  lighting, fonts, images etc I use carefully as I need it to be eye catching and draw the audience in. 

Music/sound - The music and sound was very significant in each of the thriller films. I found out generally non diagetic and diagetic music is used equally. The diagetic sound of each of the characters played a less important roll as it didn't create much mystery or didn't add much to the tone in the film. However, the non diagetic sound such as music which is played over the top of characters talking helped out making the film come across very sinister.  I also found out that film makers contrast sound a lot by making it go from calm and soothing to upbeat to engage the audience. I will have to make sure I try and do this so I can achieve the same effect and draw my audience in.

Overall, I think analysing each of the three thriller films help add to my knowledge on thriller films in general and how they achieve to grab the audiences attention.

Analysis on opening sequences of thriller films

I have decided to analyse another Bollywood thriller. However, this time I am analysing a psychological Bollywood thriller which is different to the one I previously analysed. Again, I will be looking at the music and sound and how it is used to create a tone in the opening sequence. I will then go onto camera and editing to see how the camera creates and establishes the location, setting and how the camera presents the different characters. I will then look at the mise-en-scene and see how the costumes, lighting etc are used to create a theme of thriller in the movie. Lastly, I will look at the title sequence and see if it creates and achieves suspense and also see if it creates a certain type of atmosphere before the movie has begun. 

Karthik Calling Karthik is a 2010 Indian psychological thriller film, written and directed by Vijay Lalwani and produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidwani under the banner of Excel Entertainment and Reliance Big Pictures.The film starsFarhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone in lead roles Ram Kapoor and Shefali Shah play supporting roles in the film. The film's music was composed by the trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, while the background score was composed byMIDlval Punditz and Karsh Kale.

The film opens up with noises of buttons on a phone being pressed. Then, a very upbeat sound comes in, with the noises of the button still happening and going off. This already creates suspense in the title sequence as the tone is thrilling. However, a calming voice then comes in with the music and sound which contrasts with what the audience have just heard. Hearing the voice sing very calmly changes the tone and makes it very soothing and light hearted. Making this sudden change engages the audience into the film as there is slight confusion because of the sudden changes of the sound. Although, you then start to hear whispers and someone saying in a very creepy voice "pick up the phone". This is significant because it again, changes the tone and atmosphere and makes it very dark and sinister. Also, by saying "pick up the phone" in a scary frightening voice it makes the audience think that something bad is going to happen and also gives the audience a more advanced insight of what the film may be about which in this case, would be something to do with a phone. In addition to this, when the film starts you hear noises of the protagonists nightmare. The noises are very dark and sinister as you can slightly hear a child crying out for help. The non diagetic sound that is played on top of this helps make the scene look very scary as the sound is very slow and creepy. When the protagonists wakes up from his nightmare, sad music is played to create a melochloy tone in the scene which makes the audience feel sympathy for him. It then shows him talking on the phone to someone, however, he speaks very quiet and shy which shows he is depressed or upset.

The camera plays a big part in the opening the film and the editing too. When the film begins, you see into the main protagonists nightmare. The nightmare is of two children, one of which is trying to hurt the other. The camera uses a lot of different types of shots to achieve different things. Firstly, there is a close up of a little boys hand, touching the grass. This conveys innocence as you can tell the little boy is experiencing things for the first time as he is interested in something so simple as long grass. It then goes straight into a long shot of the location, which looks like a very poor location and setting as the buildings are all broken and the grass hasn't been cut. However, the long shot helps show the audience what the location is like. The camera then goes onto a low angle shot of the older sibling, trying to be horrible to the younger sibling. By using a low angle shot it helps the older sibling look more dominant in the scene and displays that the younger sibling is helpless as the camera is looking down on him. The editing also helps make the scene look scary as it cuts back and forth of the older sibling trying to be horrible to the younger sibling and then of the younger sibling trying to run away. This is important because as it cuts so quickly the audience don't know whether the sibling will escape or not. When the film properly begins, the camera is shot at a close up of the man when he wakes up. It then zooms out on him to show his facial expression without being uncomfortably close. You can tell he looks very distressed in this scene by the way he is looking down. The camera then goes on to various long shots, mid shots and close ups of him doing normal, day to day things such as getting dressed, washing his face etc. However, it then goes onto a slightly high angle shot of the camera looking down on him whilst he sits on the bed. The shot also shows his room which makes him come across very lonely and isolated as he is being shot in a big area and he is all alone. It then goes onto a bird eye view of him walking down these very large stairs which also reinforce his loneliness as the stairs look so big compared to him. 

When the film opens up, the lighting is very dark and shows a lot of shadows behind the main protagonist. This makes the atmosphere in the scene come across very dark and sinister which results an ominous tone as the audience doesn't know what will happen. The next shot then contrasts with the previous shot as the lighting is very natural and even though because of the camera the protagonist looks very isolated, the lighting creates a sense of hope as it is bright and creates a positive atmosphere in the scene. The props when the scene opens up are important as they help make the film look realistic. The props such as; socks, bed, chairs, table make the room look genuine and real. The costume the character is wearing is a business suit which shows the audience, even though he does not have a 'fancy' flat, he has a good enough job to have to wear a suit which conveys his intelligence.

Title sequence
I think the title sequence is the most important thing about the opening of this thriller. It plays a very big part on creating a tone and atmosphere. The first thing you see is a a phone inside a phone box, with a dark black background, already creating a gloomy atmosphere. Throughout the title sequence the names of the cast members show up in white sans serif writing. The reason why they are in white is because the images that appear in the title sequence are very dark which is why the writing contrasts with them, helping the names to stand out and be more noticeable. The images that come up in the title sequence stay on the screen for about 2 seconds. This gives the audience time to look at the cast members name that has appeared on  the screen and to look and view the image. Each of the images are significant because a lot of them introduce characters. However, the characters face is never shown properly to create suspense as it is more of a mystery for the audience to work out if they are good or bad. There are several images of phones in the title sequence, this already indicates to the audience that the film has something to do with phones or calling someone. The director has purposely done this to imply, but not to tell the audience a few important key aspects in the film. Each of the images that are shown are never positive or happy. A lot of the images show characters, alone looking very isolated or if they are with someone, one of them is usually looking very angry or sad which creates quite a melonchloy atmosphere in the beginning of the film. The colors in the title sequence are normally blacks, whites, greys and light blues. The white, grey and black are very professional colors which make the title sequence quite professional. However, the blue helps make the title sequence a bit more vibrant as the other colors that are used are quite dull. 

Screen shots:

This is a mid shot of the main protagonist.

Birds eye view shot of the progtaonist.

This is an image from the title sequence. This image caught my attention as it shows his loneliness. 

This is a screen shot of when the older sibling was bullying the younger sibling. As you can see, the setting is very dark and gloomy.

Close up, showing his worried facial expression. The shadow behind him helps make the scene look very ominous.

Overall, I have learnt a lot about Bollywood thrillers and how the opening sequences create suspense. I found out that by implying and hinting in the title sequence of what the film may be about it creates a sense of mystery which engages the audience into the film more. I feel the title sequence is extremely successful in making the film look mysterious and ambiguous. The sound, lighting and digital images all help out too. I have found out that by using dark lighting, creating shadows make scenes look very sinister and dark. I feel as if I have done this task good. However, I feel as if I could of analysed the title sequence more but I did find out enough information from it as I have learnt a lot about how the title sequence creates mystery in the beginning of the film.