Friday, 24 April 2009

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Evaluating Our Thriller

This is the last step we needed to complete to finalise our thriller opening. In our evaluation we will look at how our thriller displayed common conventions seen in other openings of the same genre, how new media is involved and what we have learnt about the technologies involved in producing our thriller. We have also discussed who our target audience is likely to be and how we would attract them to our thriller. Then finally, which institutions would want to sell our film and what would be the unique selling point that would attract our demographic.

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products.?
For our thriller Deception, we decided to reverse the conventions normally seen in thrillers. We thought this would appeal more to our target audience and be used to sell our film to institutions. We have challenged the conventions by misleading the audience into thinking the two protagonists were meeting up for a romantic get together, when in reality the female is an assasin who kills the male taking his briefcase as well. From looking at how our thriller goes against the conventions of its genre, we believe our opening falls under the hybrid of crime interlinking with psychological thrillers.We have also converted the stereotypical view of men being dominant and females adopting the more passive role. This is to attract the demographic into coming to see the film. Older teenage girls and young women would like the fact that there is a female assasin who has power and status rather than women being represented as the victim.

When we finished our Thriller opening, we gained some target audience feedback. The majority of our target audience responded very positively when shown the opening sequence and found it interesting as they were mislead as to how the story would progress, they also liked the fact that the female protagonist turned out to be the dominant character. There were minor improvements that the negative viewers had to contribute. They were that the story line was a bit ambiguous and the audience didn't really understand what was going on.

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
A couple, male and female, are represented in our thriller opening. They are young, both white and the social class portrayed is middle-class. They are young adults, the female is seemingly getting ready and the male is shown to be on his way to meet her. They are represented as a stereotypical young couple. At first you would think that gender is represented in a stereotypical way yet at the end the woman becomes extremely dominant and the audience is surprised by the end of the sequence. We think our thriller would be given a 15 certificate by the BBFC as it is similar to the film Taken which has this certificate. This would relate to our target audience as this thriller is aimed at young adults and adults.

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
We believe that our thriller could be adapted and used in Hollywood by major film companies like Paramount Pictures, Universal studios or 20th Century Fox, who have produced films, with a thriller films, such as Taken, Collateral, Shooter and October Sky. We believe that a major Hollywood studio would make our film as it challenges common thriller stereotypes and misleads the audience. Independent film production companies such as Lions Gate production and Marvel Studios would also be interested in our thriller. If the film got good reviews and the majority of critics had positive comments and opinions, then it could be released free on Sky or another major TV companies.
It could also be arranged into a two part crime drama which could be shown on BBC or ITV.

4.Who would be the audience for your media product?
We agreed that our thiller would most likely attract those in early adulthood to later adulthood, with an age range of 18- 40. The audience would be a mix of male and female. We looked at the Pearl and Dean website to give us a guide as to our target audience. See Planning and Research.

5. How did you attract your audience?
At first we researched other thriller openings with related themes and decided on what type of audience would view our thriller. We visited The Pearl & Dean website to find comparisons between thrillers and who would view them.
On our initial day of filming we used a sony hand held camera. This enabled us to change from shoot to shoot with ease and helped us to work sufficiently and manage our time better. When we returned to do our re-shoot, we used a slightly different camera which was not charged and the the screen was broken. We had to sacrifice some of our filming time so that the camera battery was fully charged and had to adapt adequately as we were not able to see what we was filming on the camera. On both days of filming we used the tripod to get a steady, static shot, and this also helped us to create smooth pan shots.

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
There were strengths and weaknesses in the camera equipment, a strength was that it was fairly easy to operate, it was quick and easy to connect the footage to 'Final Cut Express' and upload our film. A weakness of the camera equipment was on our second day of filming we found that all of our footage was faulty and had to re shoot. We faced a problem when filming we arrived to our destination to begin filming and within 15 minutes the the battery on our camera went. We failed to charge our camera. However we then cancelled that date for filming charged our camera and re filmed another day. We learnt how to compose and edit a film.

7. looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Once we had fully decided what was happening in each shot including: the sound, mise en scene, the camera composition and type of shot we started to plan our working script. This was in so much more detail than the storyboard, as we were to find out. The script was made easier by the fact we had no dialogue; this was to keep our opening basic so that we had fewer problems. We had to update our storyboard and script many times to keep up with the changes we had made for many different reasons. When filming we had our storyboard with us and we were reffering to it as we were filming.

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Production of Our Thriller.

This is our Preliminary Task we had to complete which helped us to establish the difference between various camera shots 180 degree rule, shot revere shot and a match on action.

Once we had completed our story board, working script and we had decided on our actors, locations and props, we set out to begin the production of our thriller opening. 

Our location was directly opposite a secondary school, therefore we chose to film our thriller opening before the children finished for the day. We began filming around 12.00 and were finished by 2.00. There were no major set backs, and all shots were filmed correctly, and no changes had to be made to the story board. We began by filming all of the female protagonists shots first, then we filmed all of the male protagonists shots and finally we decided to do all of the shots, where both the female and male actors were together, so that it made it easier when it came editing. We organised our time so that we could manage all aspects of the shoot and were able to include all that we wanted. 

Monday, 23 March 2009

Research and Planning Our Thriller.

Once we had decided to produce the opening of a thriller, we looked at previous openings to get inspiration. Then we brainstormed all our ideas along with the typical conventions of a thriller. Here is one of the brainstorms we created. It includes themes and ideas for characters, locations, music and other typical thriller conventions.

Here the opening of the thriller se7en, which we analysed for our initial research project.

From watching the opening of this thriller, our group noticed that there was no dialogue, just non diegetic music, which we felt was good because if dialogue had of been included it would have seemed too much in the clip. Also the opening was made up of fast close ups of hands; there was no faces, so the identity of the main protagonists was hidden. 

The opening of this thriller displayed many conventions from the genre. The prestige comes under the sub genre "drama thriller".  The film opens with a voice over from who is percieved to be the main protagonist. This re enforces the no dialogue theme that our group has noticed in many thriller films. 

'Pearl and Dean'
For our opening of this thriller we knew it was important to find out which different target audiences would come and view are film. Therefore we studied the 'Pearl and Dean' website and found out some useful information. We viewed three different thrillers in which we felt matched our opening of our thriller and then looked at what figures were set for each of these films. These figures are important to our thriller opening because we would then know what gender, age and class would be interested in our thriller 'Deception'.

For every film, these figures are important to their advertising and the ways in which they promote their film. This is because you would not place a film trailer which the target age is set at 35+ and then put the trailer on the television at a time in which children would be viewing the television. The films in which we had viewed on the 'Pearl and Dean' website were; 'Man on Fire', 'The Departed', 'Hide and Seek' and 'Eagle Eye'. All of these films are very up to date with modern thriller films, so therefore they match our sort of criteria with our opening thriller trailer.

Eagle Eye
'Eagle Eye'
45+ 27%DE14%

Man on Fire
'Man on fire'
45+ 0%DE17%

The Departed
'The Departed'
45+ 23%DE19%
Hide and Seek
'Hide and Seek'
45+ 7%DE0%
Working Thriller: 
We decided to adapt our initial idea of a female assasin. We decided there will only be two characters in the opening to keep it simple. They is the female protagonist and the male victim. We will use a corridor and a hotel room or something similar. It was only till we went to hotels and Bed and Breakfasts, that we realised how challenging it would be to find the location we had in mind. So we came to a group decision, to change the main location of our opening to a the female assasins bedroom and the street where the house is located. We kept our initial idea of the male protagonist carrying a briefcase to meet the female and that when he had been assasinated the female would exit the scene with the briefcase in her hand. We hoped that this could open many doors for "the rest of the film" as it leaves many questions with the audience. 
Here is our two characters for our opening thriller:

Female Protagonist:
Played by Amy Dyas
Costume: black dress, hair straight, 
Props: applying make up in bedroom

Male Victim:
Played by Jack Lee
Costume: jeans, shoes, shirt, 
Props: black briefcase, black sunglasses

Once we had our location, props an costumes decided, we had to complete a storyboard and working script before filming. 
We completed the storyboard and working script in a double lesson at college. 
While constructing these we decided on the name Deception for our thriller.
Here is our storyboard for our thriller Deception:

Here is our working script for our thriller Deception:


Shot 1: Begins with a black screen and white writing “Festival Films Presents A Group Production” with a typewriter sound over the writing.

Shot 2: This is a close up, while the female protagonist applies blusher, Romantic music begins to play. A credit begins to say "A Hayley Barry Film" at the end of this shot.

Shot 3: This is a mid shot of the mystery man walking towards the camera holding a briefcase. (non diegetic music continues)

In the shot first credit continues “A Hayley Barry Film”

Shot 4: Extreme close up while the camera is acting as the mirror, of female protagonist applying mascara to her left eye. Romantic music plays through. (non diegetic) The credit finishes in this shot "A Hayley Barry Film"

Shot 5: This is a long shot of the mystery mans feet as he walks from the left to the right holding the briefcase in his right hand. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic) 

Shot 6: This shot is a close up of the female protagonist looking into the mirror (camera) applying lip-gloss. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic)

Shot 7: This is a mid shot of the mystery man walking from left to right holding the briefcase. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic) 

Shot 8: This is an over the shoulder shot of the female protagonist. The camera follows her movement as she looks into her mirror and begins to brush her hair. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic)

Shot 9: This is a tracking shot in front of the mystery mans feet as he continues to walk towards the camera with the briefcase. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic) A credit appears "Starring Jack Lee and Amy Dyas"

Shot 10: This is a mid shot of the female protagonist looking into the mirror (camera). She has applied all of her make up and finished her hair and is now putting on a pair of studded earrings. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic) Credit continues "Starring Jack Lee and Amy Dyas"

Shot 11: This is a mid shot of the mystery man walking from left to right of the screen. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic)  Credit continues "Starring Jack Lee and Amy Dyas"

Shot 12: This is a mid shot of the female protagonist looking into the mirror (camera). She is now putting on her other studded earring. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic) 

Shot 13: This is a mid shot of the mystery man walking towards the door holding the briefcase. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic)

Shot 14: This is a mid shot of female protagonist opening window, looking out then closing it again. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic)

Shot 15: This is a mid shot of the mystery man entering the house, before he enters he stops and looks up at the window then he puts a pair of sunglasses on and enters the house without a key, the door has been left unlocked, and mystery man is holding the briefcase. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic)

Shot 16: This is a high angle into mid shot of the mystery man walking up the stairs once he is in the house. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic)

Shot 17: This is a mid shot of the female protagonist looking to the side of her and opening the drawer with her left hand. She appears to reach for something but then closes it. Romantic music continues to play through (non diegetic).

Shot 18: This is a point of view shot of the mystery mans hand on the door handle opening the door slightly. Romantic music continues to play through. (non diegetic) – to be filmed.

Shot 19: This shot is a match on action mid shot. The female protagonist is in the left foreground of the shot, the mystery enters the right background of the shot. Romantic music continues to play through (non diegetic). 

Shot 20: This is a mid shot of the mystery man walking over and sitting on the bed, he places the briefcase to the right of him on the bed and then looks in the direction of the females direction. Romantic music gradually stops in non diegetic form.

Shot 21: This is a mid shot of the closed door followed by two diegetic gun shots.

Shot 22: Black background with the title "Decpetion" appearing in white writing with a non-diegetic typewriting sound over the top.

Shot 23: Thriller music begins to play (non diegetic) as the female protagonist opens the door and leaves the room with the briefcase in her right hand.

Shot 24: This is a jump cut the female leaves the house with the briefcase in her right hand, walks a bit puts the briefcase down and puts the glasses on. She picks up the briefcase again and walks away with a smug look on her face. The thriller music gradually fades.