Media Studies: Opening Sequence of a Thriller Film

Topics: Psychological thriller, Thriller, Film Pages: 5 (2093 words) Published: December 28, 2012
The brief:
Our brief was to create the opening sequence of a new thriller film, or the opening sequence of a new children’s TV programme of any genre, or a series of three advertisements for a local or regional event. My group wrote down an idea each for all three briefs and we decided to continue with the thriller film brief. The opening sequence should include titles and should be approximately two minutes long. Individually I wanted to develop the skills that I had learnt from the practice coursework and gain more experience of filming along with confidence when editing. As a group we aimed to produce a film that was stimulating and looked refined and professional given the limitations of the equipment that was available to us. The resources available to us were digital video cameras, various tripods, lighting equipment and software programmes to edit like iMovie HD and GarageBand.

We all did some individual research on thriller movies and it’s conventions using the World Wide Web, and we were able to compile some information as seen on page . After going through our research, we decided to make the antagonist wear black as it connotes and air of mystery along with the feeling of unhappiness and despair. Next we put together a short questionnaire (see page ). As we analysed our questionnaire results, it became apparent that our target audience is females between the ages of fifteen and eighteen. As the majority of people who answered our questionnaire are students, we decided to base our film on the life of a college/university student. Nine people out of the total fifteen answered that the favourite thriller sub-genre is psychological thrillers, so we decided to make our film a psychological thriller. Eight people out fifteen answered that the scene in which their most memorable part of their favourite thriller movie was set in a house, so we chose on locating our film in a house. The protagonist in our film is going to be a female because seven people preferred to have a female protagonist and 53.3 percent who answered our questionnaire are female. We also looked at three different thriller movies each, and did a textual analysis on each film in order to identify the different conventions of thriller movies and conventional narrative structures that could be applied to our two minute opening sequence to mark it as a thriller. The films I watched and analysed were ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ by Alfred Hitchcock (1956), ‘Notorious’ by Alfred Hitchcock (1946) and ‘The Insider’ by Michael Mann (1999). All three of these films had one shot in common; they all delayed in showing the face of the main character. Instead they started with a close-up of something. In ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’, a close-up of some brochures and leaflets began the movie. In ‘The Insider’, the movie began with an extreme close-up of some material. This confuses the audience as they don’t know what is happening. They also get anxious and feel uneasy as they can’t relate to what is happening on the screen, a feeling that most directors of thriller movies want to achieve. We tried to achieve a similar feeling in our opening sequence.

After discussing the three film treatments that we had created, we decided to develop Luke’s idea on Perfection further (see page ) as his idea presented the best opportunity to create a thrilling opening sequence that would leave the audience wanting more. However, we changed our idea as it was too complex and difficult to film. It also gave too much away and this wouldn’t keep the audience’s attention further into the film if we hypothetically made the whole two and a half hours of it. So the protagonist of our film changed from a model to a novelist, but a similar plot line was adapted. As Luke is good at drawing, he took on the responsibility of creating the storyboards whilst I wrote up the treatment and typed the film plot. Our most difficult decision was to decide the...
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