Friday, 26 March 2010

Screen Shots for Evaluation

Here are some of the screen shots that we took to include in our evaluations.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

feedback by u266

The music was very suitable for the genre and very different from all of the other groups. They held the shot steady and the framing of the shot was appropriate. They used a variety of of shot distances and selected an appropriate mise-en-scene. The only difficulty we have with the film in general is that we didn't understand the plot of the film and what the point of Andrew in the car park and in the office was. However, they used a variety of shot transitions and effects whilst using sound with images and they also used titles appropriately.

Final Project

Friday, 12 March 2010


After showing our project to the class we received the following comments.

  • The use of props worked well such as the photograph shots
  • Changing the colour on the clips helped it make sense and looked good
  • Our main protagonist was clear
  • The locations were well chosen as they didn't look like we filmed in college
  • Lots of different shot types and angles. One particular shot that worked well was the over the shoulder shot of the agent at his desk.
  • The ident matched the genre well
  • In order to improve our project we shall have to add sound and make sure the low angle shot of the agent remains clear for it's duration

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Rough Cut

Target Audience

Our target audience is 17-30 year old males. Their viewing preferences would be action, thriller and political films. Because of the political theme in our film it will attract an older audience as opposed to young teenagers. Examples of similar films that attract this audience are; Se7en (1995, David Fincher), Identity (2003, James Mangold) and Children of Men (2006, Alfonso CuarĂ³n).

Dark aspects of the film such as murder may also attract fans of crime the horror genre.

Rough cut deadline

As today is the rough cut deadline, we've had to make credits for our film and do as much editing as we could with the 1hr 10mins of the lesson. We have finished editing all of the film clip itself, and started adding more to our soundtrack. This involved ambient as well as non-diegetic sound. The film at the moment is 2minutes, 10seconds, with the editing.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

09/03/2010 lesson

Today all we did was start to make the soundtrack

Friday, 5 March 2010


Today we were given the following targets for our film:
  • Add an earlier shot of the clock to give meaning to the audience
  • Begin garage-band soundtrack today
We've completed the first target of adding the clock, and started some research into what we will have in our film using garage-band

Today's Filming and Editing

Today we filmed the extreme close ups of the evidence photographs and incorporated them into our project. Following our targets we then added some more footage of the clock showing a different time to show the passage of time. We then moved on to Garage Band in order to create a sound track for our Thriller opening. We wanted to create a sinister atmosphere through non-diagetic sound.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Evaluation Questions

The following questions must be answered in your evaluation PowerPoint:

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
5. How did you attract/address your audience?
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

1st lesson only editing

We are keeping the flashbacks blue, and are making the contrast/brightness high to separate it from the rest of the 'present day' footage, and make it obviously different. the rest of the film, not the flashbacks, was left as it was when we filmed it. We will/ have used dip-to-colour fades and a lengthened fade, along with cuts and animating the ident.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Props and Costume

Here are the props that we used:
A criminal reference file that we mocked up

3 Other documents of random text to bulk out the file. These had coffee stains on in order to make the scene look more seedy and to show that the agent doesn't care about being neat

A clock

A coffee mug

A folder

2 grey-scale evidence photographs that Jennie took in her kitchen and edited using Adobe Photoshop

We chose to make them grey-scale so that they fitted in with the dark, cold lighting and tint that we used on our footage. Using black and white also connotes that the images were taken a long time in the past and that they are from the criminal's earlier crimes. This hints that the criminal has since moved on to more dangerous criminal activity. For the second photograph Jennie used ketchup as blood. In black and white it is less obviously ketchup and it becomes easier for the audience to suspend their disbelief.

Finished photographs with post it notes

Unfortunately the photos printed out a bit blue but our present day footage has a grey tint so that is almost monotone so the blue wont be noticeable.

A Suit

3rd day of filming

Today we managed to get nearly all of the required filming done, with only the extreme close ups left to film. We also started editing the filming we had done.

Our Time Line so Far

Friday, 26 February 2010


Today we also started to add the opening credits top our thriller opening. We have left a gap so that we can add the title and ident of our film later. We have not added any transitions as yet; we shall add them when we have all our footage captured and in the correct order.

Our Story Board With Credits

2nd day of filming

Today we managed to film all of the outside scenes, next lesson we should be moving on to the scenes that need to be filmed inside. We managed to film without any problems, because we had all of the props needed for today. We also managed to edit what we did because all of the shots so far are flashbacks, which we've tinted and raised the contrast. We had to change the filter settings slightly because it is darker today than it was yesterday.

Stills of Today's Shots

Our Time Line So Far

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Editing the Flashback Footage

We decided that we wanted to make the flashback clips stylized to make the fact they are set at a different time more obvious to the audience. In the end we chose to make them high contrast, mid brightness and tinted blue. This is how they turned out.

The Video Filters We Used

1st Day of Filming

Today we filmed 2 minutes of footage; when we cut the outtakes we had 1 minute of footage left. We did not have the sunglasses necessary to film the agent from the front . This meant that we only got the outside shots from behind Andrew, without sunglasses. Next time we film, we should have all of the props for filming. We didn't encounter any large problems however the tripod would not move as smoothly as we would have liked for the pan shots. We also managed to get shots to incorporate into our storyboard to make it flow more easily. We managed to get all of the shots we could, with the props we had.

Stills of Today's Footage

Time Line

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Call Sheet

We will film On 25th February, 2nd lesson (10:50 - 12:10)
Jennie shall pick up and bring back the camera.
We are going to film in the college car park. We chose this location because it is inside the college grounds and suits our needs. As we will already be in college we shall not have to organize travel. It is not a public location so we will not have to ask permission from an outside party. Health and safety wise we shall have to watch out for cars when filming and make sure we don't damage any cars.
We will be filming during the day so we will not have to supply lighting.
Apart from the three members of our group we don't need anyone else to be there. Andrew shall be playing our agent and has no lines so will not have to learn a script.
Ben and Jennie shall share the directing and filming equally.
Andrew shall bring a suit
Ben shall bring some sunglasses
Jennie shall bring some official looking documents, evidence photographs and post-it-notes.
If weather interrupts our filming we shall film the indoor scenes.
In this filming slot we shall try and film all of the car park scene.
We shall capture the long and close up shots of the agent in the car park. We shall not have to re-record any sound for this as we shall only be using non-diagetic music.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Thriller Poster Analysis

Here we have analyzed some Thriller film posters to gain inspiration for ours and to see how they are marketed to their target audience.

The Matrix (1999, Wachowski Brothers)

The poster is dark tinted with grey, this makes it look gloomy and mysterious. The semitransparent numbers down the sides of the image add to this mystery and hints at science fiction themes. All of the characters are holding guns, a commonly used prop in Thriller films. Neo is not only at the front of the group but also has the biggest gun showing that he is the main and the most dangerous character.
The font resembles corrupted computer text which again relates to the narrative conveys disruption to the viewer.
The black costumes show how serious the characters are and their lack of fussy items of clothing show that they are ready for action. Trinity's outfit in particular is used to draw a male audience through sex appeal because of it's tight nature.
The sunglasses, another commonly used item of Thriller film costume, dehumanize the characters making them appear emotionless and imposing.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009, Michael Bay)

The background is dark but with the sun rising, which shows a dark mood but good wins over evil. The main human actors are smaller than Optimus Prime (the Transformer) showing that he is the main appeal of the film and to attract Transformers' already established fan base. Optimus Primes' stance and position in front of the humans and a symbol of human civilization ( the Pyramid) shows that he is defending them from danger. This connotes to the audience that action and danger is a large part of the plot. This is enforced by the damage already shown on Optimus Primes' exterior. Once again sex appeal is used to draw in male audiences through Megan Fox's revealing outfit. Shia LaBoef is used to draw in teenage female audiences as admired by lots of girls of that age range. He is also attracting younger male audiences who want to be like him.
The text is an updated version of the 1984 Transformers TV series logo. Using a tarnished metal effect on the title makes it look battle scarred, which matches the age of the franchise and Optimus Primes' condition.

Awake ( 2007, Joby Harold)

The poster is largely black with a shaft of light connoting death and unconsciousness. The main characters' faces take up most of the space showing that the film is being sold on the back of the actors. The colours of the actors' faces are muted as if the scene is a memory however the colours of the operating theater are more vibrant and the image clearer showing that it is the reality. The large picture of the main character's face is half in shadow showing that he is in a different state from his female counterpart. The operating theater is in the center of the image which conveys that the plot is centered around surgery.
The poster features a small segment of text about 1 in 700 people being awake during surgery, this is used to unnerve the audience and make the film seem like it could actually happen.
The text is sans-serif capitals of glowing white which relates back to the themes of death and "The light at the end of the tunnel".
The surgeons in the operation scene are all turned towards each other as if they are conspiring which adds mystery as the audience wishes to know what they are plotting.

Our Chosen Font

We decided to use the font "Traveling Typewriter".

We chose it because it relates to the typed pages in our mise-en-scene. The font is serif but not ostentatious which matches our main character's formal but plain costume.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Test footage

This is our test version of our thriller film opening.

Our test footage went well and gave us a rough idea of what we will film and how long it will take. Changes we shall make are the location of the shots as we did not film in the car park and the sun caused allot of lens flares. Because we did not manage to film all of the footage we decided to use images from our storyboard as a substitute in the final project we shall use actual documents and photograph. We used a basic font for our Titles and credits as we have not yet decided on an appropriate font. Our test footage does not contain any music as we shall create non-diagetic sound during the editing process for our film.

Problems with costumes

Due to an unfortunate incident involving moths, the suit we were going to use is not in one piece. We will use Andrew as our agent character, due to him having a suit.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Test filming

Today we filmed some test footage related to our film, this included the outdoor scenes and the 'walking through a door' footage, and the part when Ben is looking through the pieces of paper.
This was to practice filming to be prepared for next lesson when we film. Also it was to film the harder shots so that we can see what problems we would have, for example the close-ups were showing too much background and the filming of the cup was difficult making the camera rise.

Tips for Filming

General rules
  • Keep the shots steady - use a tripod
  • Have a plan B if it is raining and you can't film outside
  • Have a clear idea of what you want to film and shot lengths
  • Always capture extra footage
  • Bring your shot list/ storyboard so you know what yo are filming
  • Capture a variety of shots
  • Be aware of continuity
  • Make sure the tape is in the correct place
Health and Safety
  • Get consent if filming on private property
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Don't do anything that a passerby might be offended by
  • Be respectful to the public
  • Don't filming in a dangerous area
Teacher's Expectations
  • No swearing
  • No children in shots
  • No weapons in public

Friday, 5 February 2010


We decided to call our film "Ultionis", which means revenge, punishment or avenging in Latin. Using Latin in our title makes it mysterious and also make the audience want to know more about it because they don't know what it means. The one word title is a convention of the Thriller genre e.g "Se7en" and "Equilibrium".

Sample fonts for credits

Although no title has been found we decided to use one of these fonts:

However without a title a suitable title cannot be chosen

Finalysied ideas

Break down of each 10 seconds:

The first ten seconds includes the ident and the title which fade into each other and then out. There will be an ambient sound as the ident and title is on screen.
This 10 seconds shows the agent's desk and the back of the agent's head and white credits on a black background. The lighting is gloomy and the music is low and sinister.
This includes a flashback of the agent walking out of a door. The music continues but the lighting is edited in Finalcut so that it to too bright and tinted blue. This 10 seconds also includes the beginning of a set of close ups and extreme close ups on a text document.
Here the close ups and extreme close ups continue. After that there is another flashback of the agent walking through some cars.
Again the close ups continue, this time of a typed document and photographs.
This section moves on to another flashback in which the agent is in a deserted location. The agent then smokes a cigarette and removes his sunglasses in a close up.
The Agent's hand, holding the sunglasses, returns to his side. The scene then returns to the present as the agent writes something on a slip of paper, the next shot shows him underlining an important section of text.
The next shots show the agent highlighting segments of text from a folder and looking through more papers and photographs.
81-90: Then we shall go back to the flashback, with the agent looking around the area

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Shot list

This is our shot list, a written version of our storyboard for ease of reference when we are out filming.

Analysis of 'Six Feet Under' and 'Panic Room' credits

These clips, although not necessarily Thrillers, both show the starting credits in different ways other than films like 'Vertigo' or 'Quantum of Solace', where the credits are stationary and not generally different however in these clips the credits are animated and fit in with the background, they are also not in the 'black background' as seen in some films like 'The Matrix'.

In Panic room the credits are seen 'floating' near buildings within the background of the city, in which the film starts, This is also seen in the TV program 'Heroes' which uses it for the title and for the episode number, this makes the text seem to be more subtle than the credits for 'Vertigo'.

In the clip for 'Six Feet Under' although not a Thriller, it also shows a different way of showing the credits as it shows them as literally part of the mise-en-scene, this makes it diegetic for most of the clip for example the section with the corpse on the table with the tag on their foot with the credits.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


This is our storyboard:
We included information on shot type, shot length and shot number in order to help us when we are filming and editing so that we can tell what we are filming and for how long.
We also included notes on when flashbacks start and end so that when it comes to editing the video we shall know which clips to manipulate.

Page 1.

Page 2.

Page 3.

Page 4.

"Why Thrillers thrive"

We read the article "Why Thrillers Thrive". This is our summary.

  • Audiences enjoy thrills to escape from the mundane nature of their lives
  • These thrills are enjoyable because their subconscious knows that they are safe
  • Audiences like thrillers because they can witness a scene of chaos, but from a safe point of view
  • Thrills are more enjoyable for an audience than Horror because horror directors have to censor their work
  • Horror creates "unnatural" excitement that puts the majority of viewers off watching
  • Thrillers work best on screen as the viewer can see the danger as opposed it being inferred such as in theater
  • Thrills can also be experienced through empathy for a character in danger.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Thriller Title

We have not yet thought of a suitable title for our film, one idea given was Johannesburg, due to that being the antagonists birthplace and possible setting for the end of the film. However, this may be unsuitable because it is not related to the clip we are filming.

Thriller task - characters/mise-en-scene

1) Compare and contrast your protagonist and antagonist with characters from a blockbuster thriller.
The antagonist is not shown but is revealed by notes on a piece of paper, this is not like any thrillers that we've heard about, however there is similarities to the film 'Identity' due to the referencing before seeing the antagonist, or like 'Se7en' when the antagonist isn't shown until the end.

2) We will be using a table with a folder (containing files about the antagonist) with 'post-it' notes with other information on them, photographs of objects related to the antagonist and his/her victims, a coffee mug, these are conventions of a crime thriller, which our film partially is, an example of this is shown in the film 'Identity'. Also the protagonist is wearing a formal suit, shoes and sunglasses, similar to the 'agents' in 'The Matrix' and he also carries a briefcase.

The setting will be in a dark office which is also similar to the star of 'Identity', however the setting will also be in a car park, also using the lift in the car park, this is not similar to a film but the inspiration was taken from the videogame 'Driver' specifically the first five minutes.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


After pitching our ideas we were asked some questions by our class. Here are the questions and our reactions.

What style would your credits be in?

Our credits will be in a bold caps much like the font we used for "productions" on our studio ident. The text will be white and will fade in and out over the top of the images in our film opening.

How will the flashbacks be made clear that they are in the past?

The flashbacks will be edited so that they are almost black and white, bright and with a blue tint.

What costume shall you use?

Our agent, played by Ben, shall wear a black suit, formal shoes and black Ray Ban sunglasses. This will make him seem mysterious and detached.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Film Opening - Pitch

- Narrative Ideas
Our opening will introduce our main character. We shall show objects and case files on his desk to imply an investigation. It will be hinted at by showing shots of the text within these case files that there are political and crime themes in the investigation. We will show evidence photos, not any of another character, but of objects from the case. We will make it seem that an incident has taken place that involves a politician with sinister motivations.

-Character / Actor Ideas

In our opening scene we won't actually show the main character's face however we will include shots of case files but not photos to introduce some characters.
The main character will be a agent working independently to solve a case. He will wear a black suit to follow the conventions of thrillers.

-Locations Chosen

We need a couple of locations for filming. This shall be a dimly lit room.
Our photographs that we shall include in the case files shall be taken in other locations such as a kitchen so that the lighting will be bright and harsh.
We shall also use a car park where the main character will walk down through the car park.

- What Certificate Would it be?

Our film opening would be a 15 rating because of the violent themes of the narrative.

-What sub-genre is it

Political/Crime thriller
Conventions that we shall follow:
-Political : Plots are designed to illustrate a possible power shift or give power to someone.
-Crime: Set in a large city
Seedy locations
-Thriller Genre: Antagonist traps protagonist in an increasingly intricate web
An enigma is set up at the beginning of the film

-Music/shot Information

Our music shall be atmospheric and suggest a dark and sinister theme.
Shot wise we shall use lengthy shots of items on the desk of various distances interspersed with short flash backs of the main character in a car park

-Will there be any Intertextuality Reference to Other Films

The opening shot of a desk is a genre intertextual reference as quite allot of thriller films use these to introduce characters and situations. The desk is also used in Identity (2003)

Friday, 22 January 2010

Our Studio Ident

This is our unanimated studio ident. We created it from scratch using Adobe Photoshop. We decided not to use stock images from so that the ident would be more original. We will make decisions about sound and animation during the editing process, and will most probably use this as part of the final project, as we are pleased with it, plus it will save valuable time for editing.

Studio Idents

We analyzed the ident for Universal Studios.

It shows a picture of a glowing earth. The Universal text then comes around from behind the earth. As this is happening the camera pulls back to reveal the whole earth.

The sound is a dramatic, orchestral and highly recognizable score.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Sound Terminology

Diegetic - You can see where the sound comes from:
  • Dialogue e.g. Tones/accents/ phrases
  • Background noise e.g. Tv/radio
  • Ambient sound- things you don't pay attention to but notice if its not there. e.g. people talking in the background of a restaurant
  • Asynchronous sound- Sound that doesn't match the action/scene
Non-Diegetic- sound that is added later:
  • Sound effects
  • Soundtrack/character motifs
  • Asynchronous sound- Sound that doesn't match the action/scene

Soundtrack for Opening Sequence of the film 'Identity'

In this lesson, we created a soundtrack for the 3-minute opening sequence to the film Identity using the Apple Garageband software.
We managed to create 1:10 of sound in the 45 minutes given, and managed to utilize the software creating a satisfying soundtrack, creating diagetic and non-diagetic sound.
To the left is an image of our work.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Analysing previous projects

We analyzed group Q1-10's thriller opening 'August 13'

A variety of shot types and movements are used in this clip to make it fast paced and exciting e.g the tracking shot of the suited man running from the pursuers. This not only includes the marking criteria "use a variety of shot types" but also the "race against time" convention of the thriller genre.
This opening includes selective mise-en-scene through props and costume. The briefcase and suit relate to the thriller genre as well as adding a mysterious atmosphere. One of the pursuers is wearing sunglasses this is also commonly used in thriller films e.g The Matrix (1999).

August 13 uses varied and stereotypical thriller settings such as the bank and roof top.
The Music used incorperates low electric guitar riffs and drum beats which adds atmosphere and tension. This is also often used in thriller films.
This group has demonstrated the appropriate use of titles. This has been done by pausing on a frame of the actor and then cutting to a graphic featuring the actor's name.

Marking Criteria

Marking criteria for level 4
marks: 48/60

You must demonstrate excellence in the following:

- Holding a shot steadily
- Framing a shot - excluding/including elements as appropriate
- using a variety of shot distances
- Shooting material appropriate to the task set
- Selecting the Mise-en-scene
- Editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer
- Using varied shot transitions/effects
- Using sound with images
- Using titles appropriately

Friday, 15 January 2010

Example of Crime Thriller: Reservoir Dogs

The clip above is the trailer for Reservoir Dogs (1992), one of the conventions followed is the fact that this contains 'murders, shoot-outs, and a double cross'. This is shown by the dialogue and the narrative of one of the characters betraying the rest. Also it is set in a large city, which is also a convention of a crime thriller this is shown as the setting of the film. Also from the narrative you can tell that they aspire for recognition/ success by actually committing the crime. Also the several locations, as shown by the warehouse, the bank which their robbing, the car at thirty seconds in to the clip.

One of the conventions, "the protagonist being in danger" seems to happen a lot during the trailer, most of the time, if not all of the time, involving guns. There also seems to be themes of identity, as shown by the main characters having colours allocated to them instead of using their names. It is also centered around the crime of them robbing a bank, Which, as well as being a crime (and a convention), is also where one of the characters has betrayed the other characters, also a convention.

Action Thriller Analysis

We analyzed the opening scene of The Matrix (1999) to see how it follows the conventions of a action thriller.
There is a clear antagonist shown by 'the agents'. They wear suits and sunglasses which distinguish them from the rest of the police. The fact that you can't see their eyes also depersonifies them, and also gives them higher status. The shot shown below is an example of this, they are both (naturally) taller than the police officer, putting them in the position of power.

The chase scene and need for the character Trinity to get out of the situation follows the convention of "a race against time".
The opening scene shows Trinity fighting off a group of police officers. This use of violence is another convention of the action thriller genre. Trinity is also skilled in combat to a supernatural level e.g jumping over long distances accurately. Combat skills are often used in action thrillers to add to the tension and action of certain scenes.
It is set in a large city, as can be seen from the skyscrapers in the distance when Trinity is running across the roof tops.

The character's ambition to succeed is also apparent in this scene as if Trinity does not escape, the agents will kill her.

Action Thriller Conventions

  • Obvious antagonist
  • Race against time scenario
  • More violence than other sub genres
  • Disruption to equilibrium requires the protagonist to use action to solve it
  • Protagonist must be skilled in some form of combat
  • Generally involves a character of the opposite sex to drive the narrative
  • However their loyalty maybe doubted (double cross scenario)
  • Often will involve high profile actors

Examples Include:
James Bond films, Spiderman, Die-Hard, The Bourne Trilogy, Taken, The Matrix, The Transporter

Conventions of a crime thriller

  • Suspenseful accounts of failed or successful crimes
  • involves murders/robberies/ shootouts/ double cross
  • can glorify the rise and fall of criminals sometimes real life
  • often set in large crowded cities to provide a view of a secret world
  • characters have ambitious desires for success/ recognition
  • strong rivalry between binary opposite characters
  • several locations, often seedy interior locations
Examples of this are: The Fugitive, The usual suspects, Kiss the girls, Reservoir Dogs, Double Jeopardy, Murder by numbers, Public enemies.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Example of Psychological thriller

Silence of the Lambs

In the first 5 mins of the clip, which is what I'm going to analyse you see part of a conversation
between the character Clarice Starling and a psychiatrist about Hannibal Lecter, they talk about
a scene earlier when Hannibal Lecter is playing mind games, this is one of the conventions of a psychological
thriller. Also you see the location of the area in which Hannibal led the protagonist to. The location appears to be dark
which is another convention of a psychological thriller. Also you see the protagonist in peril, this is shown about 4:30 when
you hear something moving in the background.

Conventions of a Psychological Thriller

  • Elements of drama and/or mystery
  • Danger on a mental level, rather than physical
  • Two or more characters preying on the minds of each other, to create conflict, or:
  • One solitary character in mental conflict with their own mind
  • Characters try and discover their own purpose
  • Characters have a fear or fascination with death
  • Narrative contains confusion of what is real or what isn't
  • Non-linear editing, flashbacks, montages

Examples include:

American Phycho, Se7en, Panic Room

Analysis of Political Thriller

We analyzed the theatrical trailer to the 2004 film, The Manchurian Candidate, we explored how the micro-elements relate to the genre of political thriller.

The dialogue in this trailer uses simple science terminology. This use of complicated words relates to the genre of political thriller, as the audience is meant to be unsure who they can trust. Because the terms are well known it makes the science accessible to the audience so the film will still make sense.
Screaming is used in two different points of this trailer. The first is a man screaming in an odd medical situation and the second is a crowd cheering at a political personality. The second use at first sounds like people are screaming in fear but then changes to celebrations, this puts the audience on edge and shows them that there is something not quite right with thew politician. politicians going off the rails or being involved in a power struggle is a convention of the political thriller genre.
Conversations in this trailer are shown to be urgent and fast paced. this sets the tone of the film as dramatic and action packed. This incorporates the "race against time" element of action thrillers. It also shows that the conversations are needed but not important as the situation has moved on from discussion to action. This is another common theme in political thrillers as politicians have gone so far away from what is considered ethical that they must be stopped by force.

Camera Angles
All of the politically involved characters are shown in a medium close up, low angle shot. This makes them appear more powerful and fearsome to the audience and it is clear that they are not the leader figures that they should be.
On the other hand the protagonist is shot from a high angle which makes him seem less powerful and in peril, another convention of political thrillers.
The trailer also shows a low angle shot of CCTV cameras which makes the audience feel uncomfortable as they are being watched. This follows the convention of figures in power abusing means set up to make the public safe.
The trailer includes a long shot of the protagonist running through some pigeons which all fly up. This represents the theme of one man disrupting the calm and causing a ripple effect that effects everyone.

Camera Movements
There are many cuts used in the trailer. This follows the conventions mainly of a thriller film, creating a sense of tension and increasing the pace of the trailer. Several quick fades are used as well, giving a sense of time passing, and giving it a quick pace too.
Pans are used too, to give characters a position and status in the trailer, a convention of the political thriller sub-genre.
A couple of seconds into the trailer, there is a 'night-time' infrared camera shot used, this connotes, very heavily, a military theme.

At the beginning of the trailer, much emphasis is put on the army, with many props and costumes used to impose this concept to the audience.
The political themes are soon made clear, when a character leaves his car and walks into a building, there is a lot of red, white and blue hoarding all over the building, and crowds of press and the public surrounding him. This would normal suggest celebrity, but because of the red, white and blue colours of the hoarding matching the colours of the American Flag, these mise-en-scene naturally follows the conventions more of a political movie rather than mainstream.
Along with the sound, the audience is shown images of the American high class soceity, with a Rolls-Royce and large Federal-style house in large grounds (a typical image of Conservative America). When Meryl Streep's character talks about 'a plan' of some sort, the combination of the images with her dialouge start to connote the concept of conspiracy, which is a common convention of political thrillers.
It also follows convention with the large amount of different settings, such as a military base, Denzel Washington's character mentions Kuwait, the large house, a rally, and presumably a high-class party. This is typical of political thrillers.

Political Thriller Conventions
-Threat against a backdrop of power struggle
-Plots are designed to illustrate a possible power shift or give power to someone
-Opposing characters will try to prevent this person from gaining power
-2 sets of characters ranked by authority
-Often spans many locations

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Se7en Analysis

The opening scenes of Se7en (1995) contain almost constant diagetic emergency service sirens and heavy rain fall sound effects. This gives the audience a sense that no-where is safe and that danger is everywhere. The rainfall also sets the mood as quite gloomy.
The montage featuring someone constructing a scrap book contains a non-diagetic score which consists of distorted synthesized sound, random drum beats and a deep bass line. This is used to create tension and fear in the audience as there is no tune, only synths that sound a bit like screaming. The music is very similar to that of horror video games such as "Silent Hill" (1999 - Konami) which make the audience scared even though nothing scary may be happening on screen.

In the first victim's house the score is made up of just deep bass. this is unnerving and creepy for the audience. it also hints that something is going to jump out at them as it builds and gets lower.
The dialog is quite hard to make out over the sound of heavy rainfall which makes it hard for the audience to quite fully grasp what they are saying. This makes the film mysterious as the audience never has all of the information. The dialog that makes sense is hard boiled and reminiscent of the Film Noir genre, famous for it's detective themes., which ties in with the storyline. It also makes the characters seem experienced and quick witted as there is no general chit chat.

Camera Angles / Movement:

The clip starts in Morgan Freeman's character's apartment. This is set in a dark, anonymous apartment in a city. Incorporated with the sound, this makes the scene as a whole darker and more mysterious to the audience.
Morgan Freeman's character wears a normal suit, of black and white, contrasting but normal colours, which presents his character as a fairly normal man living in a fairly normal life. Then his colleague arrives. The colleague wears a leather trench coat, which is used as costume in many thriller films, especially The Matrix (1999). Brad Pitt's character is presented as younger, wearing more youthful clothes, such as a beige suit and his leather coat, which contrasts Freeman's basic suit and basic coat.
Throughout the entire clip, there is rain. This helps to create a melancholic image of the plot of the story, which is common amongst thrillers and is used a lot.
The opening credits start with a burst of sound. There is a large montage of clips used, showing seemingly random images which the audience do not know the point of. This gives a mysterious feel to the opening credits, which draws an audience in to watch the rest of the film, used in all films but particularly in thrillers. Here it makes it seem that there is something more to the film's plot than has been suggested. There is much black and white used as well, which gives a dark image to the clip.
After the opening credits have finished, then we return to the city. This time it is much darker, and still raining. This adds to the melancholy feel of the film we have already seen.