Sunday, 26 April 2009

Thriller Opening; Working Script

Working Script


1. Atmospheric music plays in background, camera shows a mid-shot of hooded man walking away from the camera in a corridor, approaching some steps; a metal bar is held behind his back.
Cut To:
2. Black screen, white writing says “An S.L.N Production”
Cut To:
3. High angle shot of a young woman working controls at a mixing desk in a
music studio, she types and moves the mouse.
Cut To:
4. Black screen, white writing days “presents a POW film”
Cut To:
5. Mid-shot of the hooded now walking down the steps, the metal bar remains behind his back; the music builds up as he reaches the bottom of the steps.
Cut To:
6. Black screen, white writing says “starring”
Cut To:
7. Long shot of the hooded man, he has reached the bottom of the steps; turning right, the camera begins to track him.
Cut To:
8. Over the shoulder shot of another man playing piano, the same atmospheric music remains. His head turns as he follows where his hands are placed on the keys.
Cut To:
9. Black screen, white writing says “Grant Long”
Cut To:
10. Tracking shot of hooded man turning towards a door, the camera stops tracking as he reaches for the handle and walks in.
Cut To:
11. Woman working at the controls of the mixing desk, she continues to type on the keyboard; remaining unaware of the imminent danger.
Cut To:
12. Black screen, white writing says “Joe Costello”.
Cut To:
13. Inside one of the rooms in the recording suite, high angle pans around, tracking the hooded man as he peers through the window in a voyeur like style at the woman working the controls; she remains unaware of his presence.
Cut To:
14. Black screen, white writing says “Rachel Newbolt (Rapture)”
Cut To:
15. High angle shot of woman at mixing desk then pans to pianist, he is focused on playing; both still unaware of any danger.
Cut To:
16. Black screen, white writing says “Directed by Philip Streete”
Cut To:
17. High angle over the shoulder shot of pianist finishing playing, then tracks him as he gets up, clicks his fingers, and walks over to a window which he can see into the mixing room through.
Cut To:
18. Black screen, title comes up in type writer effect in white writing; “Taken”
Cut To:
19. over the shoulder shot of the pianist looking through the glass; as he observes, the hooded man walks into the mixing room that the woman is in, and he kills her.
Cut To:
20. Close up shot of the pianists reaction to what is happening; the camera is almost from the point of view of the killer, as if we are seeing the reaction of the pianist through the eyes of the killer.
Cut To:
21. Close up of the hooded man’s face, he is side on, and then turns face on to the pianist through the window; wearing a content smirk, he moves closer to the glass.
Cut To:
22. Close up of the pianists face, his eyes move back and forth between the body of the dead woman and the killer.
Cut To:
23. Mid-shot of the back of the woman’s head slumped over the arm of the chair she sat in, her arm rests slightly clenched on the keyboardtowards the back of the shot.
Cut To:
24. Wide shot pan’s in slow motion, and then gains speed, as we see both characters rush towards the door that connects the two rooms in which they are.
Cut To:
25. High angle shot of the pianist trying to lock the door, holding the door handle. As the pianist steps back from the door that he manages to lock, the camera pans in and we see the door handle violently being pulled up and down from the other side.
Cut To:
26. Mid shot of the pianist in his surroundings, he looks around for an escape route, and focuses on the window which leads to the outside. As he does this the camera cuts back to the door handle vigorously shaking, and back again to the mid shot.
Cut To:
27. Close up of the door handle, still violently being pulled up and down from the other side.
Cut To:
28. Pianist quickly walks towards the open window, looking outside to see if he can escape via this route.
Cut To:
29. High angle shot of the killer through a circle window in the door the pianist has locked, he uses the full force is his body, trying to smash open the door.
Cut To:
30. Mid-shot of pianist climbing up to the window, resting one foot on the window ledge; he looks behind him to see if the killer has entered the room.
Cut To:
31. Full body shot from the side of the pianist climbing up to the window, he checks once more behind him.
Cut To:
32. High angle shot of the killer through the circle window again, still trying to force his way into the room.
Cut To:
33. Side view of the pianist at the window, he checks for the last time to see if the killer has entered, then makes the jump out of the window.
Cut To:
34. Extreme low angle shot of the pianist as he jumps out of the window, which tracks his landing and running off up a steep hill.
Cut To:
35. Point of view shot from the pianist’s perspective, running towards the peek of the hill.
Cut To:
36. Long shot of the room the pianist was just in from outside; door bursting open, the killer rushes in and makes his way towards the window.
Cut To:
37. Point of view shot, again from the pianist’s perspective, heading for the peek of the hill.
Cut To:
38. Mid-shot of the killer, he is now walking towards the window where the pianist escaped; we d not see the killers face.
Cut To:
39. Blurred point of view shot from the pianist’s perspective, he falls to the floor and blacks out.
Cut To:
40. Point of view shot from pianist’s perspective, the sky is grey, it’s wet, and he begins to blink slowly. As he blinks for the second time, the killer comes into view against the backdrop of the overcast sky; raising the metal bar, the killer strikes the pianist; screen fades to black.


Friday, 24 April 2009

Thriller Opening

preliminary task

In our preliminary task we were asked to :
film and edit a sequence of shots in groups in which a character opens a door, crosses a room and sits down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. It should also demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Audience feedback

After creating our thriller opening, part of the evaluating proccess we went through was collecting audience feedback.

We created a survey asking people of age ranges 16-18 what their view on the conventions of a thriller movie were:

Here is the question we asked:

Thriller Opening Audience Feedback

From your knowledge of Thriller films, what do you think are the main stereotypical characteristics displayed?


And here are our results:

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We came to the conclusion that the top five most memorable conventions of a thriller are:
1.) guns/weapons
2.) killings
4.) police
5.)chases/ adrenalin, fast paced

In our Opening, we have convered four of the top five conventions.

We also carried out a pie chart asking people whether the ending of our trailer left them with any effective suspence, or intrigued them into watching more of the film.

23 out of 30 people asked said yes, givng us an on average 80% success

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Research; Thrillers.

The thriller genre has been explored by numerous directors, taking on different ideas and different concepts to make them constant and successful crowd pullers in the film realm. 

It usually contains
Thrillers are usually characterised by fast paced editing in action scenes, speedy camera action, adrelalin pumping 'life or death' situations, and characters following the heroes and villians theme; in which heroes almost always defeat the villians.

In our Thriller opening we want to to convey the typical thriller scenario; a fast paced killing, panic, an escape, a chase, and an attack. Ending the opening like this we thought would leave the audience intrigued as to what will happen to the focal character in the scene next.

We looked at the original version of the texas chainsaw massacre,a thriller/horror movie directed by Tobe hooper in 1974.

This is the chase scene we looked at:

The scene uses a lot of mid and long shots when the chase begins. The woman runs to safety into a house. When she locks the door there is a use of a mid shot to capture her reaction and panic. The mise en scene (french for everything in the shot) in the clip adds to the thriller genre of the film; the clothing is dark and dirty, the lighting is dark and there is use of weapons such as guns and a chainsaw. The woman then escapes by jumping through a window where an extreme low angle is used. More mid shots are then used in the chase on the roof, until she falls to the ground where there is a use of an extreme low angle. As she gets up and runs for the second time, the camera tracks her, giving the audience a sense of perspective from the victims point of view as she runs franticly.
The whole scene has been edited to make each shot very fast paced and speedy, enhancing the panic and adrenalin in the scene.
This scene portrays a typical chase scene following thriller conventions which we intend to use in our final opening scene.

In class, we were also given a list of typical thriller conventions.

A crime at the core of the narrative (often murder, but not necessarily).

A complex narrative structure, with false paths,
clues and resolutions,

A narrative pattern of establishing enigmas which the viewer expects to be resolved.

A protagonist who is systematically dis-empowered and drawn into a complex web of intrigue by the antagonist.

Extraordinary events happening in ordinary situations.

Themes of identity.

Themes of mirroring.

Themes of voyeurism.

Protagonist with a ‘flaw’ which is exploited by the antagonist.

Titles often reflect an aspect of the pro/antagonist’s psychological state.

There is often a scene near the end of the film in which the protagonist is in peril.

Mise en scene which echoes/ mirrors the protagonist’s plight.

In our opening sequence we included four of these conventions; the crime being the first killing, the establishing enigmas being the kill and chase, the extraordinary in ordinary situation,and the last scene with our protagonist in peril.

Evaluation Questions

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?Our media product draws on most conventions of a thriller; suspense, action, mixtures of fast and slow editing and other key aspects feature to ensure that the target audience is obtained.            Although our piece does not challenge all expectations of a thriller, it uses some to capture an audience that will enjoy the creative use of the motifs and conventions associated with this genre. )
We also used our research of the genre, a clip from the 'texas chainsaw massacre' , to mould our chase scene. we followed the type of scenario, the texas chainsaw massacre starts off as an idyllic summers day that turns bad, in our clip we tried to portray a average typical day gone bad. We also followed the types of shots used; as our chase beings we use mid shots etc. We followed the locking of a door, then panic shown through mid shots. We also took and developed the uses of extreme high angles, extreme low angles and a type of tracking shot as the victim attempts to escape. The soundtrack in our opening was music from the film 'seven', which we edited and volume automated to fit the scenes in our peice. It fitted the opening because the soundtrack is from a thriller film and contains the right energy to emphasise the attack and chase in our opening.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Our media product represents mainly the young adult social group, as the actors featured are of college age or slightly older. Although this may appear to have its limitations in terms of connecting with an audience, it may incidentally create a new audience as the appeal of a younger cast my draw people of college ages that would not usually take the time to see a thriller movie as it my not have interested them before. Although we often see slightly older cast members in thrillers; Bruce Willis in the Die Hard series for example, the idea of selecting a predominately younger cast seems to be increasingly popular; Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemur in 'Disturbia', for example. Both these actors are young and had little film acting experience before, yet Disturbia hit number one and made £23 million in its first week of release, from a small budget of just $ 20million; worldwide it made $117 million, proving that a young cast can appeal to people beyond its assumed audience.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
>A number of institutions may wish to take on a thriller with younger and older audience appeal; naturally, the more audiences targeted, the more of a financial success the film is able to be. For example, paramount pictures clearly foresaw the talent of Disturbia's young cast and the potential it had to attract a large audience; they decided to give the green light which was a wise move for Paramount, as it was a box office hit.

who would be the audience for your media product?

Thinking about the narrative style of our opening, I would expect the typical age and gender of our target audience would be mainly male of ages 13+. We feel that it would attract a male audience because other films such as 'die hard' and 'rush hour' follow the same concepts of chase scenes and dominant male protagonists.
However, unlike these films, our male main characters are teenagers attracting a younger audience also.
How did you attract/address your audience?
The age range of the actors in our sequence i think attracts and reflects the target audience (Just like 'disturbia's young cast, this would appeal to others of the actors age.) Because we chose the thriller concept of an unusual occurrence happening in a normal situation, part of our mise en scene, our characters clothing portrayed a normal, typical teenagers fashion sense, which would appeal and relate to a teenage target audience.

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?

During the planning, filming and editing phases we learnt how to combine various technologies, software and hardware to create the final product. Software we used included final cut pro; the aquisition and implement of skills needed to use this programme were paramount to the succesful editing of our piece. In addition to this, hardware such as hand held cameras and firewires were used to film and transport the footage for editing. Through the use of these various technologies and devices, we learnt that attenton to detail and technological convergence are paramount to creating an opening sequence.

7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

From the very early stages to the final cut, we have learnt a number of valueable lessons when considering the technicalities and complications that we are faced with as creators of an opening sequence. We have collectively realised that continuity is an issue of great importance, as physical changes to actors and surroundings can set filming back by days. In addition to the issue of continuity, the time frame and correct use of time allocated is also an issue we have learnt crucial lessons from. In order to use time as efficiently as possible, a time plan or time frame should be at least agreed upon, and preferably written down in order to complete filming with sufficent time to edit.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Media productions

Thriller Opening:Pre-production

*Location: we are choosing a recording studio with two main rooms; a studio booth and a live recording room, to fit in with the themes in the story of our thriller opening. We chose the second room because it had a large window backing onto a field which was perfect for the escape scene.

Thriller Opening: Working Script

Thriller Opening: Storyboard

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