Preliminary Task

Planning

CHARACTERS
Our narrative consists of three characters; however there are only two protagonists:

The first of these lead roles is led by a male assassin who is under the name of Ken, the reason being that the name is simple, short and easily remembered. This matches the identity of the character, being that he completes jobs or ‘killings’ with little fuss and is quick to the point.


The other protagonist is that of Victoria, her name which was chosen because it reflects her personality as somebody that is elegant enough to appear feminine yet be capable of murder. It is a name that is longer and therefore more complex which contrasts Ken much like the tactics of either character.


Our third character that stars within our sequence is less significant and appears less so than the assassins. However, Scott's presence is still important in the sense that without his deliverance of either envelope or more importantly his role in bridging the two killers, then there would be no conflict between Ken and Victoria.

LOCATION


Our original idea for the first location was next to the main road, near Sidcup Place. This was because it had an ordinary park area that featured benches, trees and grass which complemented our storyboard preparations and earliest ideas for an outside location. However, this wasn't chosen, because the traffic nearby and the amount of people in the area became inconvenient as it would effect the performance of the character's and create problems in the background of the cinematography. Therefore, we decided upon using the other side of Sidcup Place, where it was a more remote location that consisted of similar benches, less people and more space to suit the expanse and environment of our location.

Location 1 - Park on Chislehurst Road, Sidcup.

Unit Call: 13.00.

Est. Wrap: 14.20.

The second place in our sequence was a car park within Sidcup, it is situated outside and thus offered a lot of space. This made difficult camera shots that required a tripod and stillness more achievable and easier to perform. The fact that it was built up of urban surroundings made it more realistic visually, because it matched the idea of an every day average place, which hoped to be accomplished in the second location.

Location 2 - Car Park on Grassington Road, Sidcup.

Unit Call: 11.40

Est. Wrap: 12.30


The final location we decided to use was a selection of public garages that were in the open showing day light. This made each shot a lot brighter, with a better focus that gave maximum emphasis to the characters that featured. The reason that attention needed to be drawn towards them was because this was the pivotal scene where contact is finally made between the two different worlds of Victoria and Ken. The fact that the garages are portrayed to be connected to Victoria's house, it puts her in a weaker position to Ken and makes her character more vulnerable.


Location 3 - Public Garages behind Sidcup Place, Sidcup.

Unit Call: 13:30

Est. Wrap: 15:00


CLOTHING

The costume of each character was tailored to fit their own attitudes and identities.


Ken:

To begin, we thought it would represent Ken most if he were to wear all black clothing that gave him a look of mystery and uncertainty of identity. Yet, this was decided against for it was too dramatic and possibly took the focus away from Ken's mindset and thoughts and put it on his appearance. Therefore, it was best to allow Ken to wear more casual clothes and normal attire that portrayed him as an average male in jeans and trainers. As it is this idea that makes him more of an unexpected killer that would not be suspected and would still murder in cold blood under a casual attitude. Also, by doing this, his involvement in the crime and murder was to come across as a shock and surprise, in something that the audience may not associate with him judging from his look.

Victoria:

To reflect the character of Victoria, we chose to concentrate on her personality. For instance, to represent her confidence she was shown in a grey dress, as opposed to a formal suit that may be worn to impress or satisfy someone. Wearing a grey dress, it enables her femininity to be highlighted and emphasises the role of the woman.


Scott:

Not being a key figure in the sequence it was important to keep Scott's identity quite concealed. This was because the main focus was on either killer and Scott was more of an anonymity rather than somebody to interact with. Considering this, his clothing is dark which isn't inviting to the audience, the exact impression we wanted to cover when deciding on certain clothing. The figure of Scott being larger than the other two characters gave him the power as he was in control of the situation, setting both of the characters up to kill one another as he distributed the envelopes.


PROPS

In Location 1:

Envelope.
Image of Victoria.

In Location 2:
Envelope.
Image of Ken.
Volkswagon Polo Car.

In Location 3:
Mobile Phone.

SLUGLINE


Two killers, with different identities but equal motives.


SYNOPSIS


Our plot consists of two characters who are both serial assassins, Ken and Victoria. They are handed envelopes by an anonymous character, Scott, that inside reveals photographs of either assassin. The anonymous character is known by both Ken and Victoria yet has assigned each of them to kill one another. While Victoria is on her way to carry out the killing, Ken has beaten her to it and is following her without her knowledge until Victoria senses something is wrong and that she is being followed. Victoria then turns around to find Ken watching her from behind.

INITIAL IDEAS

We initiated our own storylines for a thriller by making an idea brainstorm:


A man and woman both have a code to a vault containing a large sum of money, he woman kills the man, but doesn’t realise the man changed the code before he was killed. She must now find the new code from his person, place of work or family, before the account expires and his death is discovered. However, this would have been problematic in the sense of production because we do not have access to a large amount of money or an ATM machine.


A girl finds a bag of money and spends it, the man who owned this money later finds out the money has been used and wants her life in return. This idea was decided against because a similar storyline was attempted by class peers and they had great trouble in making a murder look realistic as well as cinematic, which deferred us away from the idea of a killing being shown on film.


A doctor's family is held hostage because a secret organization need one of his patient's life machines to be terminated. The group fear that the patient may make a recovery and thus
release information that is harmful to them. This concept became complex in itself and would be difficult to film as well as get access to a life machine, hospital environment and lots of characters.


TARGET AUDIENCE


From basic observation, the predominate age audience of our thriller is in the teenage years, this is deducible because when showing our opening sequence in a classroom those aged between 16-18 years were most interested and attracted towards what our sequence offered.


In terms of gender, both male and female characteristics are equally evident which makes there no clear emphasis on either audience gender. For example, the following themes indicate traits that may appeal to male as well as female audiences:
  • Victoria and Ken share equal roles, where neither one is killed
  • There is an unusual use of a female assassin instead of the conventional dominant male
  • Victoria wearing a dress to carry out a murder is ironic for it subverts the idea that women don't belong in violent crime
  • Ken is seen and detected first rather than him reaching and assassinating her

Through using 'www.pearl&dean.com' we have been able to see the future response of our product through similar products that are already in existence. The closest example we came across was 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith', it is a thriller themed film where two assassins have to kill each other, being the greatest similarity to what we produced. From Pearl&Dean it is noticeable that there was a majority of female viewers as compared to males who watched the film in the cinemas. This is contrasting because for the most part, thriller audiences are usually more male based. However, as this film has themes of romance and comedy, as well as Brad Pitt as a protagonist there is great reason to why more women went to watch the movie. Also, from the websites statistics we can see that the biggest age range who went to see this film was 15-24, which is similar to our product, for it is teenagers that we would expect to get the most views from.

Brainstorm

We decided to create a brainstorm (below) of our initial ideas. It consists of the locations, actors, titles and props amongst other things that we considered in the preparation stages of our thriller. This shows that we carefully thought of each aspect before actually executing it, one example includes which professional actors we would use if they were to play the roles of our characters.


Script

1 EXT. DAYTIME - LOCATION PARK.


(Non diegetic sound is played throughout the sequence)


2 CUT TO: Long shot establishing shot, of Ken sitting on bench wearing casual jeans and dark coat.


3 CUT TO: Point of view shot from Scott’s perspective, walking towards Ken from behind.


4 CUT TO: Camera stops still, showing medium close up of Scott’s hand touching Ken’s shoulder.


5 CUT TO: Reverse shot, camera is now in front of Ken his body is turned to Scott

he then hands Ken an envelope. [Scott is wearing a leather jacket and dark clothing]


6 CUT TO: Medium close up shot of Ken looking at the envelope, shot of Scott becoming out of focus walking into the distance.


7 CUT TO: Mid shot of whole bench insight, Ken now opening the envelope, staring at the picture, then walking away leaving the photograph behind. 


8 CUT TO: Mid shot of picture left behind.


-CUT TO NEW SCENE-


1 EXT. DAYTIME - LOCATION CAR PARK.


2 CUT TO: Medium close up shot of camera in front of car revealing Victoria waiting in driver’s seat.


3 CUT TO: Medium close up shot from the passenger’s side, Scott’s knock on the window is heard, she rolls down the window and receives an envelope.


4 CUT TO: Over the shoulder shot of Victoria looking towards image of Ken.


5 CUT TO: Gradual zoom into Ken’s face.


6 CROSS CUT TO: Gradual zoom into photograph of Victoria on park bench.


-CUT TO NEW SCENE-


1 EXT. DAYTIME - LOCATION PUBLIC GARAGES.


2 CUT TO: Long tracking shot of Victoria walking out towards main road.


Dialogue: ‘Yeah, I’m on my way now.’ 


(Non diegetic sound fades as Victoria speaks and becomes louder when she stops)


3 CUT TO: Whip pan back to Ken, to see him following Victoria.


4 CUT TO: Tracking shot of Ken following Victoria without her knowing.


5 CUT TO: Point of view shot of Ken watching Victoria through the bushes.


6 CUT TO: Reverse medium shot of Victoria with Ken in the background behind the bushes.


7 CUT TO: Reverse point of view shot from Ken’s perspective as Victoria turns around looking back at him.


8 CUT TO: Fade out title appears on screen: 'Deadly Assignment'

Shot List

List of cinematography:


1st Scene:

Establishing shot 

Long shot 

Gradual close up

Point of view shot

Close up 

Reverse shot 

Side mid shot

Direct mid shot 


2nd Scene:

Establishing shot

Medium close up

Side mid shot

Over the shoulder shot 

Gradual zoom

Cross cut 

Gradual zoom 


3rd Scene:

Long shot

Pan 

Whip pan

Tracking shot

Point of view shot

Reverse medium shot

Point of view shot

Storyboards





Research

Above is the official film poster of 'Vertigo', it is a typical example of Saul Bass' graphic work. It depicts a man and woman, that are both seen from behind from an abstract perspective. The woman is outlined underneath the male, which may indicate that she is inferior to him. This confirms the male as the central figure of the poster, as does the font because it is similarly black and towards his side, reinforcing the attention on him. Also, the font is asymmetric and not solid in shape, signifying the instablity that lies heavy in the character's conditions. Further on this, the letters are inconsistent, switching from bold to italic lines, this builds a conflict, which is parallel to the one the man and woman are in. The most visual point is that of the background, being red it has a connotation of anger and violence. This is only emphasised by the other black and white shades of either character, for they intensify the feeling of danger, whether or not he is helping or harming her.

Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, is a crime thriller that is perhaps best known for its use of stars. The film poster is most often created to attract its audience to the unique selling point of the film and what it primarily has to offer. In this case, it is the A-list actors that are the main attraction such as: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis, to confirm this they have their names largely printed so viewers can see who is in the film. The title is in bold yellow font which sticks out easily so the audience is able to recognize the title immediately. The film poster's content is of Uma Thurman, another lead character, laying down with a cigarette in her hand and a gun at her side. This gives the viewer an idea of her character because she appears dangerous yet laid back. Her short black hair, black dress and black heels suggest something mysterious about her character. The props that are used in the poster, for example the gun, show that something significant will happen in the film concerning the weapon. The use of red near the background of the title suggests a clear threat within the film that can be used to attract the audience in to thinking something frightening will happen. Also, the fact that Uma Therman is at the focal point of the picture connotes her importance in the narrative but also her significance in attracting a audience of more than one genre to the film.

Pictured above is the poster from the film entitled 'Panic Room' which was directed by David Fincher. Most noticeably, the black background suggests a theme of mystery or secrecy to the film, as it appears that the dark is closing in on the character (Jodie Foster). The font of the title is in a large format and is made to stand out so that the audience can become familiarized with the name and thus remember it. By use of the word 'panic' it is a good way to indicate the content of the film, for it is to be based on fear and anxiety. As a well known actor, Jodie Foster’s name is printed at the top of the poster, this is so the audience know which characters are in the film. Having an A-list actor gives the film positive publicity from her previous successes such as 'Silence Of The Lambs as well as identifying the typical role that she is known for playing. The male figure in the background is out of focus compared to Foster and the audience can see this as a convention of a thriller, male dominance over women. The credits used at the bottom show who was involved in the production of the film to see which institutions took part in the making of it, which is to further entice audiences to see Panic Room based on stars of the film industry.

Gothika, the horror thriller is illustrated above, it features lead actor 'Halle Berry' who is also obviously the centre point and focus of the film poster. The glared look of her eyes gives the audience a sense of unknowing and fright that is associated with the film's content. Her arms show her scars which read ‘Not Alone’, the audience can see that there are elements of horror associated with her which outline the film's similarities with the horror/thriller genre. The fact that Berry is in a close up shot where she is most visible it contributes to her star image and one of the main features that will popularize the film. The title of the film is printed in a disorientated way as if someone has scratched it on, making a connection with the writing on her arm. The use of the colour blue can indicate depression and sadness through the poster, it portrays that she may be alone and cold giving the viewer the impression she is lost however the writing on her arm says different. The rain creates a pathetic fallacy aswell that the mood of the film is matching the the mood, which further relates to the conventions of a genre.


The noir-thriller, 'Black Dahlia' conveys the most different thriller conventions looked at so far. The poster's themes are gothic and eerie, because the only image on show is of the woman. This is reinforced through the woman’s appearance being cold and ghost like, the dark red lipstick shows there can be a sense danger within the film. It also looks like blood is pouring out of her mouth, which connotes a sense of murder in the film. Her position of lying on her back gives the impression that she is dead, however her eyes are still open so it shows she may be conscious but is trouble d and stunned by something. The black background suggests that she is alone and can be further associated with death. The white writing at the top shows the main characters involved, including A-list starts such as Scarlett Johansson. The title is in simple text however it fits in well with the rest of the poster as it is not too busy and is simple yet effective.

Research

The trailer for Alfred Hitchcock's 'Vertigo', produced in 1958:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkHn8PNGYaA


The opening sequence of Vertigo begins with a mixture of live action and graphics that introduce the primary female character (Madeleine). She is shown through extreme close ups that give full focus to her identity. Through these camera shots she appears to twitch and act nervously, bringing about the themes of anxiety and unease that are integral to the film's subject. These conventions are not only significant to Vertigo but also to the thriller genre; i.e. paranoia, mystery and voyeurism. The graphics that follow are also produced by Saul Bass, they confirm the topics tackled inside the narrative. For example, the swirls create a confusion and link to the unstable identity of the character being shown. They continue to fill the screen and appear when another has disappeared, which is shown to be a visual metaphor of the complex layers of the character's personalities. The opening further consists of live action that introduces another character as well as the location, which is key to opening title sequences. The male's greatest fear of 'vertigo' is shown early in the scene to establish the magnitude of it. He is left in mid-air through a close up shot to set an atmosphere of suspense and reflect his own fear onto the audience. This being the end scene, it achieves the typical expectations of the thriller, to be left in an enigma and state of fear that is similar to the position of the character.

Steven Spielberg's opening of 'Saving Private Ryan', from 1988:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDEeO57PpLE


The opening sequence to ’Saving Private Ryan’ is both cinematic and realistic to the audience, these ideas are explored in the following analysis.

As Private Ryan begins to cross the field in which his war comrades are buried, strong non-diegetic sound can be heard that represents a sense of honour; as the sounds are similar to a war anthem with horns and slow-tempo drums. The protagonist is then shown in a close up, with his immediate family behind him, this is portrayed further as his other family are also around him. It gives the impression of a structured landscape where we begin to think everything seems optimistic, yet this is only the calm before the storm.

Spielberg then cuts sharply to the shores of Omaha Beach, making the transition pivotal; from longer takes in a calm environment to an unanticipated cut in a much darker location. The contrast is amplified by diegetic sound, as the roar of the waves and the ship’s mechanisms indicate the gritty reality of war. As the Americans are about to arrive on the shores, there are multiple close ups of individual soldiers, it could be depicted that although they stand united and forceful they are all as fearful as one another. The audience is then shown an extreme close up of Captain Miller’s hand to accentuate his inner feelings; it is a reminder of the fact that he is still human and concerned about what they each face ahead. The purpose of these neighbouring shots are to create the impression that we are also experiencing the emotions felt and bring us in touch with every soldiers viewpoint.

Once the ships are within the enemies sighting, it becomes a battlefield where every man is for himself. To convey this idea, there are several cuts between long shots and mid shots, the cinematography creates an urge to reach safety and a sense of protection, however, this is only met with disorientation. This is achieved through a number of point of view shots that stress the vulnerability of those who landed on the beach. By use of a regular high angle shot that looks down towards the Americans, the Germans become superior and have a more powerful status. Yet, from the American soldiers perspective, over the shoulder and low angle shots only connote a loss of direction away from their ships and onto the open and exposed battlefield. The director significantly leads the audience in to thinking the sea will be free from danger, but firepower beneath the water becomes evident to symbolise the dangerous unexpectancy and continuity of war.


The opening to the thriller known as 'Matrix', by Andy Wachowski, released in 1999.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYqIi-ZiHp4


The Matrix is a well-recognized thriller film that primarily features conventions of the thriller genre as well as those associated with science fiction. This theme is strongly evident from the start as a number of production companies and institutions appear such as: 20th Century Fox and Village Roadshow Pictures. However, they are not in their usual format or style, as they are tinted with green, almost as if they have been taken over by the following title of the ‘Matrix’. The titles continue to appear as numbers are displayed until the number zero is focused into and then fades out showing a different scene, this creates an image bridge from a matrix of numbers to the light of a torch. The camera then pans slowly as well as track a leading police officer towards a room they are investigating in. Inside the room, a figure is shown sitting alone, because of the camera’s position as well as stereotypes of crime scenes the audience assumes the character is a male. However, this convention is subverted, when the camera is placed in front of the character in a close up shot to reveal her face and female characteristics.

The camera switches to the following scene and reveals the exterior of the crime scene where officers and policeman begin to speak to one another. This is made evident by a series of cuts between over the shoulder shots of each character. The fact that the officers are dressed in suits as opposed to routine uniform gives them a much higher status and sense of importance concerning the crime scene. This is reinforced by the camera looking down towards the policeman in a high angle shot and the officers leaving first to signify their greater significance. In contrast to this scene, the camera cuts again inside the building to reveal a group of officers approaching the female suspect. They approach her slowly with caution which conveys the threat that she poses, as they step closer she attacks the first officer. Her costume again signifies that she holds greater power than those trying to arrest her, for her character is calm, postured and relaxed yet capable of murder. As an end to the scene, special effects are employed to slow down the rate of frames which gives full impact to her fight skills and the damage it inflicts on those that conflict her.

John Woo's opening of 'Mission Impossible II', made in 2000:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ts3A8D6ytE


The opening scene is led by an establishing shot which immediately gives the viewer a sense of the environment and its conditions. The mise-en-scene consists of isolated land whereby nobody inhabits it; among this abandoned expanse we are guided towards the first sign of civilisation. The camera sweeps between cliffs as if it is narrowing down everything around it to focus entirely on the one character in the shot. This conveys the idea of a small man in a big area, where the latter is insignificant as he is accepting the challenge, confirming that size is unimportant. The concentration thrusted upon this individual gives off the initial signal of him being the protagonist.

The sequence begins with diegetic sound to fully acknowledge his efforts, as for example, the implementation of heavy breathing. As he continues to mount the debris, there are feelings of him treating the terrain like an assault course in which it is an ordinary workout for him. This leads onto the apparent contrast; because it would be eccentric for anybody else to attempt something similar. As a result, it strengthens his persona and lets the audience become aware of his confident characteristics considering the possible dangers.

Next, the camera zooms gradually putting him again in the focal point, this is met with non-diegetic sound; that carries suggestions of courage and inspiration, allowing the audience to infer that it could be his own mantra. The music remains synchronous with his progress, as once he reaches a safe spot and he is firmly mounted, further instruments are applied. It is possible to deduce that he is recollecting himself; now that he is in a more stable state, where the viewer can momentarily relax.

Soon after, there are regular reverse zooms to reveal Ethan’s progress, by heightening the jeopardy of his position; it reengages all attention lost. Tension is then echoed as he becomes increasingly closer to the vertical limit, planting the thought in the viewer’s mind of where he will step next. As he reaches a fixing in the cliff, the camera vouches for his discovery of another ledge through a point of view shot. The music fluctuates to reflect his contemplation of whether to take the jump; upon making the leap he slips and there is a second of doubt through unexpectancy as he is represented in an invulnerable fashion. This surprise is accentuated by the drumbeat being stopped and only a subtle tapping being employed to almost weigh up his options available.

As he recovers, our earlier thoughts are perpetuated by him gripping another ledge, this hatches the idea of his reassuring personality. Additionally, non-diegetic sound helps to reinsure his objective and focus throughout. For where there is dialogue in the soundtrack there is advancement in him as an individual whether physically or psychologically, since we associate the lighter-hearted music themes with his acknowledgement of succession. Whilst the protagonist stands firmly on the cliff-top reviewing what he has achieved, a helicopter is shown spontaneously. At first, this carries an element of surprise as the passenger is holding a firearm of some kind, leading the audience to believe there is a threat to the exposed man below. However, these ideas are discarded as he barely turns around; knowing full well it poses no real harm to him, this is comforting to the viewer since we make an attachment with his smile and laid-back approach. The helicopter above fades, putting Ethan in his element amongst the conventions that shape his ego, for example, the signature mission impossible music alongside frequent close ups of his incessantly care free facial expression that co-exist to represent his importance in the opening of the film.


The opening scene to 'The Godfather', directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1972:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO0ijrgr-qQ


An eerie, slow non diegetic music is played at the beginning of the scene against a black screen this builds up the suspense of the audience as they do not know what is about to happen. The title of the film then appears in white text ‘The Godfather’ this creates an impact on the audience so they are attracted to the title and can recognize the film, making it white against black shows the significants of the title.

The title then fades into the background where the black screen is shown again where the audience hears an Italian voice “I believe in America” this gives the film a location as they audience can tell where the film is set. Although the audience can hear a man they cannot see him, leaving them questioning where are they? And who is saying this? We then start to see the mans face face appear from the black background as he then says “America is my fortune.” The audience is able to get an insight of the character as he is an Italian-American.

The camera then zooms slowly outwards as we start to see more of the mans face. However the audience cannot see the surroundings as it is too dark, this shows the mans importance and of what he is about to say. The man begins to tell a story about what happened to his daughter which includes a potential rape and abuse to her. This draws the audience into what is going on as the audience sympathizes for the man, with rape and violence involved the audience is given an insight to what the film is about. The man appears more alone and upset as the camera zooms outwards showing his vulnerability. The audience is still left wondering why he is there and who is he talking to.

As the camera zooms out we see an over the shoulder shot of man sitting in a large chair behind a desk. Even though the audience cannot see his face they can see his importance as a lead character. The desk appears to be more lit up showing his authority as the other man is just sitting on a single chair. Not being able to see his face creates the tension among the viewers and they are left questioning who is he. We can see his relaxed body language as his hand is positioned against his head, whereas the first man is sat straight up with at tense posture. The audience then knows that the first man is there for help and asks the second man.

As the first man says “I said to my wife we must go to Don Corleone.” Where the audience can recognize the man on the desk to be Don Corleone. Where he then questions the man to why he didn’t visit him first and what he wants. As the first man rises from his chair and whispers something into Don Corleone’s ear the audience is left in suspense, what has been said? The camera then reverses to show Don Corelone’s face, there is a paused silence where we can see him thinking showing that he holds the power as the opening ends with “That i cannot do.” The audience is left in suspense to what has been asked of Don Corleone and why has he refused.


The opening sequence of 'The Usual Suspects', which was released in 1995:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO0ijrgr-qQ


In the beginning of the film ‘The usual suspects’ there is a black screen where all of sudden we are shown a close up of matches being lit. As the flame starts the picture becomes clearer, as numerous matches are lit the audience is curious to what the fire could lead to. The cameras then switches to a medium close up of a man as he lights his cigarette at the beginning the audience cannot fully see his facial appearance and are left questioning who he is. The camera then tilts up where we can see more of who the character is in terms of appearance, as he looks tired and is sitting down. The camera then cuts to a medium shot of barrels of gasoline as the camera tilts we can see and hear the gasoline dripping out onto the floor. We then see the man in a wider shot the audience is left wondering why is he there, is he injured? The surroundings show it to be night time; dark background appears to be on boat with varies boxes and equipment around.

The man then drops his match onto the trail of gasoline as the fire catches onto it as moves in line with the gasoline. However the man does not appear to be startled by this and this can be interpreted as a suicide attempt. As the fire is moving along the camera shows us a man lying on the floor we as the audience assume he is dead and is surprised by this both men has no identity at this point. The fire then is stopped as we see water falling from above the audience is curious to where it has come from. The camera then tilts up as we see another man but cannot see his face at all he is left mysterious tilting back down again as he walks down the stairs approaching the first man. As we begin to see him non diegetic music is played to build up the tension to who is this other man and why he is there. As the man walks towards the man sitting down we can hear his footsteps and only his lower half of his body. He then walks past the dead man appearing that he doesn’t care and this is normal to him the audience can get a sense that death or murder in the film will be a prominent theme.

We can then see the men in contact with each other although to the audience the second man is still unseen the two seem to know each other and the audience can interpret a relationship between the two. We only see the second man light up his cigarette however we do hear him before we see him as he asks “how you doing Keaton?” The first man can now be given an identity as we learn how about his character through knowing his name. Keaton then replies to “I can’t feel my legs” the audience can guess from this that his legs may be broken. The second man then says “ready” the audience is left wondering what is going to happen as he then pulls out a gun the audience believes Keaton will be shot. However the situation and conventions are switched as Keaton replies “What time is it” as if there is a normal conversation going audience is left confused to why he cares. The camera then cuts to outside of the boat where we can see where the location is we then hear gun shots although the audience is prepared for this we still wonder what has happened as we do not see it however we assume Keaton is dead.

Different sides and shots of the boat are shown as the suspicion builds up to what is happening inside the boat now, more dramatic. We then see the second man walking away as he drops his cigarette on to the gasoline trail the fire is lit up again the making the audience think it is to cover up the murder. We see the man wearing gloves gives his character a complete mystery as he is covered up he has no identity. The man then climbs down some side ladders we as the audience can tell he is trying to get away from the scene of the crime before an explosion happens. The non diegetic music increase as the tension builds up to when the explosion will happen. We see the fire trail go through a man’s legs unaware if this could be Keaton or the first dead man we are in doubt if Keaton could still be alive. We see an increase of light against the ropes the camera then cuts to an explosion going up into the air creating a dramatic effect. The camera then goes back to the rope using a slow zoom where the audience can see what appears to be blood on the rope suggesting more murder.


The opening scenes from Spielberg's film, known as 'Jaws', from 1975:

http://www.tv-links.eu/show_link.php?data=MzEyMTUy


The opening scene begins with a point of view shot from the shark’s perspective which immediately gives the viewer a sense of the animals’ whereabouts. This is amplified by non-diegetic sound, as with every drumbeat the shark grows closer to civilisation; once the music reaches its paramount there is a sudden, sharp cut revealing the vulnerability of those situated around the nearby fire.

The camera then sweeps across the beach to where two people are continually tracked which entices the audience to pay deeper attention to them in particular. Further diegetic sound is applied to emphasise the increasing distance between the innocent and naive couple from the warmth of the environment behind. Unremittingly, the young girl heads out towards sea, where frequent long shots are used to intensify the water’s unpredictable nature, this plants the thought in the spectator’s mind that she may already be out of her depth.

Once the shark makes an initial contact with the girl, there is an apparent pause in music, this builds connotations of unexpectancy. As the attack unfolds, we witness a series of cuts, which begins to reveal the contrast between the girl herself to the drunken man lying on shore. After her death, a noticeable sea buoy becomes visible in the background. It’s unbroken chiming sound symbolises the confirmation of her murder and the continuity of nature even past the girl’s death.

Thriller Opening


Evaluation of the opening to our thriller:


Our thriller uses non diegetic music to build up tension at the beginning, we used the outside first scene to show the realism of the scenario where interaction takes place. However the conventions are subverted as the audience believe that it is Scott that is about to kill Ken. The audience is left questioning what is in the envelope and how do the characters know each other.


The next scene introduces a new character, Victoria she is waiting in her car as someone knocks on her window handing her an envelope. The audience cannot fully see that it is Scott however due to the previous scene were Scott hands Ken the envelope the audience presumes it is him again. We then find out that Victoria has been given a picture of Ken and as the camera cuts back to the first scene we see that Ken has been given a picture of Victoria. The audience can tell from this both have been set up by Scott.


The next scene shows Victoria walking outside as she is on the phone “Yeah I’m on my way now” the audience is left thinking where is she going, to find Ken maybe? However the conventions are then switched as the camera does a whip pan back to show Ken is actually following her Victoria then sense that something is wrong as she turns around Ken and Victoria witness each other leaving the audience wondering what will happen next.

Deleted Scenes




We had decided to put our out takes on the blog to show that we did have some difficulties in filming our opening. It also shows us experimenting different camera techniques that might have looked better on paper than on screen so we had to work around this. The out takes shows that we did have some problems in filming that actors didn’t always act to the best of their ability e.g. they stumbled, laughed, got the words wrong. Or that outside people got in the way of the clip taking away the attention and value of the opening.

Graphs


We decided to ask this question because it was important that the audience recognize the genre of the opening sequence. If the audience understood that it was a genre then our sequenced would follow together and be continuous rather than complicating the audience with a mix set of genres. Also we wanted to see if our sequence fitted the genre that it had thriller elements included.


The choice of music was important is our sequence as it needed to fit into the moves and actions to what was happening. We wanted the music to fit into the thriller conventions so that it was correct and made the elements of our sequence more suspense. The music was to create a build up of tension as there was no dialogue it was important to find the right music which would be used continuously throughout the sequence.


It was important to use talented actors that were professional and could play the parts well. If the actors were not up to the job and acted poorly that would reflect badly on the whole sequence. To make our product realistic the actors had to be capable of acting well that is why we chose drama students which reflected positively on the outcome as the majority of people who we asked felt the actors played the parts well and could see the genre thriller involved.


It is important to see what quality the audience rates our sequence out of to see whether it was a success or not. Whether it was poor, medium or low will determine how well we produced our sequence and whether the audience thought it looked professional. It is important to get the opinions of the audience as they determine whether the sequence is a success or not.