Thursday, 18 March 2010

Feedback T1-28

Ryan Gorman and Luke Bowers have come to an agreement that we really liked your thiller opening and feel that you have listened to the feedback you were given by the other groups and have changed your thriller in a good way.

The music really suited the atmopshere of your thriller narrative and worked really well together. We thought the way your credits appeared and disappeared suited the genre perfectly also.

Overall we thought this was very very good and is a very good example of a thriller opening.

Well Done. :D

response from t1-29

Here is what we thought about your title sequence, we'll start off with the good points:

- We believed your title credits were very professional
- Continuity of the title sequence was also very fluent, and match on action was used throughout
- Good use of different camera shots for example the close up of Annabelle under the table and the over the shoulder shot in cambridge center
- The soft music gives an eerie experience
- The jump cuts of the music add to the drama

Now, the constructive criticism
- It appears that you composed your music before you had finished ordering and editing, as when the shot flicks to annabelle momentarily, the music doesn't follow timing
- The over the shoulder shot from Ryan was quite shaky
- Although there was good continuity, the weather isn't quite the same when annabelle gets on the bus to when she leaves the bus. We do understand that you only had one and a half hour slots though

Feedback from T1-25

- When using the over the shoulder shot with handheld could of been a bit more steady as it loses the viewers focus on the situation.
-The shots were framed well.
-There was a good variety of medium and long shots, with a few close ups thrown in.
-The shooting material suits the genre due to the stalker victim combo.
-The location suited when she was being stalked however when she was under the table it was incoherent. Lighting was good due to the dark room, when under the table.
-The editing worked well so it was apparent to the viewer what was happening, with straight cuts not to confuse the viewer.
-The sound was the same all the way through, which was good with the added synth sounds.
-Titles are very good, especially the one on the varnish, and the Editor one along the road, helping it blend into the scenery.

Final Version Of Our Thriller Opening

Thursday, 11 March 2010

feedback from our class:

  • nice over the shoulder shots (x2)
  • clips are too long but well thought out (make them shorter)
  • handheld is nice but some bits are too shaky
  • really good credits
  • titles fit well with designated scenes
  • shorter bus scenes
  • shorter scenes
  • more angles
  • more jumping cuts
  • sudden cuts in music
  • good opening music - compatible with the viewers thinking (unsure of what is going on)
  • bobotronic
  • change of music in same scene/location - why?
  • sound is far too repetitive and random
  • hoody symbolises mysteriousness
  • Damsel in distress
  • dark soundtrack
  • mystery - dont get to see his face
  • Chase

certain aspects of the feedback we disagree with such as the comment on needing more angles we feel for the length of the thriller there were enough different shots and the variety was good, we could change the length of some scenes however we felt that would affect the amount of information we need the audience to see. We agree with all the criticisms of our music, as we did not manage our time too well the soundtrack was not our final product.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

film still images

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Why thrillers thrive

Why thrillers thrive

  • People watch thrillers to experience life differently to how they do in reality. Thrillers creat and exciting jump from ordinary life to a life consisting of "emotional disturbances"
  • Experiencing thrills at the cinema artificially is the best meidum for receiving the "shake-ups" we crave.
  • People feel secure and safe being in a cinema as oppose to the people in the story. They are simply looking at it as if through a window, instead of experiencing the fear first hand.
  • The fact we subconciously know we are safe means we can remain comfortable throughout as if we are "sitting in a comfortable armchair"
  • The basic sense of security can never be undermined by the cinema as you are merely spectating the thrills.
  • Connecting the audience with a character and helping them sympathise with them keeps them interested.
  • The cinema beats the stage because you can believe the thrills you see. "The audience thrives on thrills, the cinema thrives on the audience, the director thrives on the cinema and everybody is happy"
  • The more exciting the thriller is, the better.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Test footage.

We filmed some test footage so we could then play around with the light and try out some effects in Final Cut Express. I cut the footage and used a range of different techniques and effects on each section. In our thriller we aim to create a dark atmosphere. We are also planning to use a number of point of view shots to imply that the stalker involved in our sequence if following the girl.

  • The first thing i tried to alterring the brightness and contrast within the footage. I tried to make it darker to create a sinister effect. I thought this was a very good tool to use and we will be using this in our final opening sequence.
  • The second technique i used was altering the white and black lines in the colour correction tab. This worked well to create the image of a dark night or the image of a very bright, intense atmosphere.
  • The third effect i tried was 'channel blur'. This effect blurs the footage to create a slightly distorted effect, it would be very useful to keep swtiching too when we are trying to create a view from the eyes of the stalker.
  • I then selected the 'fish eye lense' on the footage. This created the effect of the fish eye. It distorted the footage and gave it a very abstract effect.
  • I then used the effect of 'echo' under the heading of timing. It blurred the image like the 'blur' effect did but made it seem like you were seeing duplications of the footage.
  • I then tried out the 'stobe' effect from the same catergory. This slightly delayed the footages and made it quite jumpy which gave the footage a very edgy effect.
  • Staying within the same category i then tried the 'trail' effect. This trailed the image and duplicated it. It also gave the effect that it was vibrating almost because of how shaky it was. We liked this effect to use when we are filming handheld.
  • The last effect i tried was the 'scrub' effect. It made it seem as if the footage was vibrating but i did not see that much difference to the footage.

From what I tried out i decided for our final footage we will use some of the effect found it the timing category to create the good effect when using the handheld camera trying to create the point of view of the stalker. The fish eye lense will definitely be used at some point because it creates an edgy lense like effect as if somebody is being watched. This research will definitely help us when it comes to doing the final editing of our thriller opening because we now know how to alter the contract and colours to make it seem as if its dark without having to film in the dark and the quality therefore being poor.

The Feedback From Andrea

Andrea gave us some constructive criticism which we have worked hard to change and to make our opening sequence a to the highest standard of quality.

  • Andrea informed us that we needed to focus on how we are going portray the feeling of paranoia.
    - To change this we decided to add effects to our footage when editing to exaggerate the feeling. We are also going to make sure that our camerawork and the sound we add will help create the feeling of paranoia and eeriness.
  • Andrea convinced us that we should not film at night as it could be very problematic as the footage would not be of a high quality.
    -We took this into consideration as decided that for some of our shot we will film at dusk and other we shall film in the day, however when we film we shall change the brightness and contrast to create a dark night feeling. Les Tombres was a good influence on us for how we could create a night atmosphere.
  • Andrea also advised us to develop our idea to something else than just following a girl otherwise we are at risk of boring our audience.
    - As a group we thought long and hard about how we could improve our idea. We choose to have a twist in our story, to catch the audience off card and hopefully give them a thrill which will keep their attention. Our film is going to consist of a lot of different camerawork angles and effects to reinforce that our genre is a thriller.


For our thriller we will use a wide range of equipment ranging from the obvious, such as a camera, and right down to the software we will use to edit the footage and creat a soundtrack to accompany the thriller.

Here is a list of the equipment we will use to create our thriller opening sequence:

Still Camera- the still camera will be used to take still images of certain shots and also some of our work in process

Camcorder- the camcorder will be used to shoot our footage and is possibly the most vital part of our whole thriller project.

Tripod- the tripod will be used whilst filming to help gain a steady shot and to maintain a professional style manner for our thriller.

Apple iMac: we will use the apple iMac to upload all of our footage to and it contains the programme's we need to edit the footage properly and professionally and also to create a soundtrack which is a very vital part in every thriller opening.

Garage band: this is the software we will use to create the soundtrack for our thriller practice.

Final cut- this is the programme we will be using to create the transitions and to edit overall our thriller to help put it into a chronological order and to add various effects titles and so on.

Saul Bass

Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) was an American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker, but he is best known for his design on animated motion picture title sequences.

Amongst his most famous title sequences are the animated paper cut-out of a heroin addict's arm for Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm, the text racing up and down what eventually becomes a high-angle shot of the United Nations building in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, and the disjointed text that raced together and was pulled apart for Psycho (1960).Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) was an American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker, but he is best known for his design on animated motion picture title sequences.

we have decided to take some inspiration for our own title sequence, the way saul bass designed his title sequences changed the way everyone in the industry presented their titles, his work was so far ahead that he was seen as a genius in his field and has more than certainly been the inspiration between some of the best titles seen in this industry.

Production Roles In Detail

We have allocated production roles for each of the members of our group. The production roles we have allocated are roles that we think are suitable for each member and are roles in which they will be able to show their real potential and skill they have at their position.

Rebecca Hewings' position in the group is the cinematographer as this a position she really enjoys and has a good idea of how to use the camera to make it feel like a thriller and to make the audience feel involved and give them a sense of the 'fear of the unknown'.
Annabelle Monks' role is the main female character who is being shown in the opening sequence as the character being stalked. Annabelle is also the producer of the opening sequence as she is able to construct an idea and generate it into a good piece of footage.
Ryan Brook's job in our group is the sound engineer as he has high level of skill of being able to create music that is for a specific genre without telling the audience what genre it is.

We decided as a group that we would all take the position of being the director as we all had a huge input on the idea of our opening sequence and how it was going to shown in the footage. We also decided as group that we would all take part in the editing of our footage as this is one of the main tasks that all of us would like to participate in.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Target Audience

We decided the certificate of our film would be 15. We felt 15 was the right certificate in relation to our ideas for our thriller. Our target audience is teenagers (15+) we feel that the main character being a 16 year old would make it more suitable for teenagers as they can connect to the character and everyday life of that 16 year old.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Details Of Costume with Illustrations

Costumes For Thriller Sequence

Annabelle Monks (Girl Character) - Leggings, Cardigan, Uggs. We chose this outfit for the vulnerable girl character as this is something a girl would wear as a casual everyday outfit.
Stalker - We decided on this outfit for our stalker as we thought it would symbolise a shady and discrete character.

Practice soundtrack for thriller

The Practise Soundtrack

This is my rough idea of what type of music we will have in our final thriller movie, the music starts of slow and eerie, I then included some interjections to show that something different is going on, e.g credits or a close up. The sound then becomes more vigorous which symbolises the change in mood and atmosphere.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Definition of thriller, outline of different sub-genres and hybrids -


A thriller is a suspsenseful adventure. It is a type of film that keeps viewers on the edge for their seats. Thrillers can often be confused with horrors, a way to distinguish which is which is a horror has blood and gore in it where as a thriller seeks to simply thrill the audience as oppose to scare them. There are four different types of thrillers, psychological, crime, action and political. For our thriller opening we have decided to do a psychological thriller as we felt we would be able to do more with it. Our psychological thriller includes the theme of obsession.

Different sub-genres

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Other films from the sub genre physcological thriller

Here are some examples of physcological thrillers which is the same sub genre as our own thriller opening sequence we are going to create.

Fatal Attraction - Happily married New York lawyer Dan Callagher has an affair with his colleague Alex, and the two enjoy a love weekend while Dan’s wife and kid are away. But Alex will not let go of him, and she will stop at nothing to have him for herself.
Memento - Memento chronicles two separate stories of Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator who can no longer build new memories, as he attempts to find the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers. One story line movies forward in time while the other tells the story backwards revealing more each time.
- This thriller portrays the exploits of a deranged serial-killer. His twisted agenda involves choosing seven victims who represent egregious examples of transgressions of each of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Silence of the lambs - a young intelligent FBI trainee has been sent to the Batlimore State hospital for the criminally insane to interview an inmate Dr. Hannibal A brilliant and renowned psychiatrist turned serial killer. She must match wits with Lecter to gain clues in the search for “Buffalo Bill” – an unknown psychopathic serial killer.

Props List for our thriller opening sequence

To create our thriller sequence we are going to need props in our footage. The props we are going to use in our film are...
  • A mobile phone. The girls thats being stalked starts to realise someone is behind her and she gets scared and get out her phone to call someone and tell them she think someone is following her.
  • A lollipop, This well be use to show the vulnerability and the age of the girl. She will be eating the sweet as she is walking through town to get home.
  • Hoodie, the boy will be wearing a hoodie to keep his identity hidden from the audience. Wearing a hoodie is a bit stereotypical however if you were being followed by a boy in a hoodie at dusk you would get a bit worried and curious.
  • Pictures of the girl, we are going to show pictures of the girl that the boy has on his possession to show that he is obsessed with the girl and that it's not just a random stalk.
  • Handbag, the girl will be carrying her handbag as she makes her journey home which symbalising her finishing college and going straight home.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Final Idea

Thriller Opening Sequence

After the company credits, we plan to start off our opening with the girl sitting in her last class of the day at Long Road Sixth Form. We then create a point of view shot from 3 lads in her classroom admiring the girl from the other side of the room. This informs the audience that she is a very noticeable and likeable girl.
The girl is then filmed from behind as if she is being followed to get her bus into town. She is then followed on her way home through the grand arcade from a birds eye view. The identity will not be revealed to keep the element strong of the fear of the unknown.

Location report

We intend to film in a long road classroom, in the centre of town and the leisure park.
We are going to film at dusk to create a dark thriller feeling, but we also plan to edit the contrast to get the exact light we want to create our thriller atmosphere.
Every place we plan to film is public so we are taking into consideration the public's where abouts. When we film we will be very considerate and not get in the way of the general public.

Our schedule for final deadline of thriller opening sequence

We decided it would be a useful idea to plan our lessons productively, making sure we put aside enough time to complete every aspect of the criteria to a high level.

Soundtrack Practice

We got given a task to create a soundtrack to 5 minutes of footage from the film Taking Lives.
We first watch the footage with out any sound and had to imagine how we thought the soundtrack would be like. We then go to watch the footage with original soundtrack, which was completely different to how we thought, but gave us a good idea for our own soundtrack we were going to create.
We decided to start the sound of just as the logo's were finishing. The music we choose for the beginning was a creepy beat to give the audience an idea of what type of film they were watching. We decided to have the music build up when the action started as we thought it created a much more mysterious atmosphere.
We wanted to make the music eerie as the footage itself shocked us and itself was a bit creepy, so we thought it fitted well.

The fact that we weren't able to create 5 minutes of sound for the footage, was real eye opener to us at how long and difficult it is to create a soundtrack. We learnt from this task that we have to allow ourselves more time for our own soundtrack for our opening sequence.

Logo Practice

Pitch Feedback from Andrea

Your idea is good, i think one element you need to focus on is thinking how you intend to build up that feeling of paranoia, your use of camerawork and sound will factor into this discussion.
I also think you should avoid filming at night as it can be very problematic. Look at the previous student thriller Les Tombres for an idea of some of the challenges of night shooting.
Do also develop your idea to perhaps include something else as well as following the girl, otherwise you risk your viewer getting a bit bored.

Good work so far.

Blog advice from Andrea

Your blog is designed to evidence the research and planning you have done before you start filming your thriller.
A blog in the 'excellent' category could include some of the following detail:

1. Analysis of student thriller - YES
2. More than one detailed analysis of real thriller openings - YES
3. Practise soundtrack for your thriller - YES
4. Practise soundtrack for Taking Lives intro - YES
5. Production company logo - YES
6. Definition of thriller, outline of different sub-genres and hybrids -
7. Analysis of examples of political, psychological, action thriller and crime thriller - INCOMPLETE
8. Initial ideas post - YES
9. Final idea post - for pitch - YES
10. Influences and the thriller generic conventions you intend to explore
11. Mood board - YES
12. Research into other films of similar sub-genres - YES
13. Props list - with illustrations - YES
14. Details of costumes - with illustrations - YES
15. Location report - where you intend to film, if it is a public place then you need to consider the logistics of filming there. If it is private property you must seek permission from the owner. - YES
16. Complete shot list - YES
17. Completed storyboard - YES
18. Test footage with a full explanation as to the technique you were testing and how successful the test was.
19. Details of when you intend to film (dates, times and places), who is responsible for bringing what props etc, what actors are needed and who is in charge of ensuring the actors are informed of times and locations.
20. Practise titles, consider the job titles and the names you wish to include. Do some research into titles. Look at Saul Bass as an industry expert in title sequences.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Thriller Thrive

Why are thrillers successful and enjoyed by audiences?
‘Thriller’ comes from the word thrill. A thriller consists of what happens in life but with a difference of emotional disturbances. A thriller gives the audience an experience that we like to call ‘shake-ups’ that gets your heart racing and your attention is fully on the screen. The thrills that you get from watching it on the big screen is artificial, however it’s the best encounter you can get with a thriller with knowing your safe and not in harms way. Thrillers are successful as they give the audience thrills during the movie, resulting in them jumping and kept on the edge of their seat, keeping their full attention on the screen. Audiences pay to see thrillers as they are able to give the viewer an adrenaline rush, which some people are addicted to as it gets their heart racing. Thrillers are able to give the audience an experience that no other film can give you. They are so unpredictable that viewer doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, they are glued to their seat dazzled by the screen itching to find out how it’s going to plan out. Thrillers use a special technique where they use a vulnerable character that they make the audience fall in love with and become attached too, before they become endangered. They then make you feel like you are a part of that person so you put yourself in their shoes. This gives the viewer a real sense of danger, even though they are in fact just sitting in a chair. Thrillers are good at showing you what’s going to happen without giving it away, this is when the unexpected appears and shocks you. The big screen is really clever at making the thriller seem like we are in great danger as we feel we’re a part of the film. However our subconscious kicks in and we are aware that we are sitting in an arm chair, safe and secure.

Draft shot list

shot 1 - the main character in a classroom at the end of the day + just walking out of college.
shot 2 - walking out of college with friends
shot 3 - credits
shot 4 - her leaving her friends later on to go home.
shot 5 - credits
shot 6 - a long point of view/handheld shot of her
shot 7 - close up of her looking around.
shot 8 - ringing a friend to comfort herself
shot 9 - credits
shot 10 - closer point of view shot
shot 11 - shot reverse shot, close up of girls face
shot 12 - credits
shot 13 - SRS closer point of view shot
shot 14 - girl walks faster
shot 15 - closer point of view shot
shot 16 - girl keeps looking behind
shot 17 - closer point of view
shot 18 - girl walks round corner and bumps into friend.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Pitch document

For our thriller we wanted to create a story that involved some kind of following. We had the idea of a young girl simply walking home from college like every other normal day and is oblivious to the fact she is being stalked. Starting off in a classroom with her class mates at the end of the day then the camera shots changing to mainly point of view shots to imply that she is being followed by someone. the identity of the character stalking is not revealed to sustain and create the fear of the unknown then throughout the film the identity is slowly revealed.
For the actors we are using ourselves and friends to create the classroom atmosphere and a range of suspects.
We are using Cambridge town and Long Road as our location as she is a college student and we want to use the centre of a town which is busy and also slightly dangerous.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

My ideas for a thriller

I was inspired by two of my favourite films... Taken and final destination 3.

In a thriller opening sequence you need to make sure you don't give the whole story line
away too quickly. I think that we should pretend everything is fine and don't make anything
to scary, just a normal calm settled life. Then we should make things turn a bit mysterious,
maybe have a few jumpy parts when a person could be creeping up on someone or for a man to spying on a young girl before she notices. Something that will give you a bit of a thrill but not too much you know whats going to happen. I like think thats make you jump and makes you question things so we could twist the story alot. Maybe one of the characters can pretend they can see into the future or have a sixth sense.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Student Thriller Analysis

Error Code

Error Code starts off with computer information been showing on the screen, as you would
see if a computer had a malfunction.
It the fades into a man in a hoodie, walking down the street at night. You can hear the wind howling through the footage, resembelling the sort of night he is walking alone in.
The error code then reappears with more information being show, meaning the error code is
still processing.
The camera them starts to shake and you start to feel all confused as you cant really see whats going on. This is a good way to get the audiences attention as they are trying to concentrate whats going on.

Error code is successful as it leave a lot to the imagination. It also plays on the fear of the unknown. There is very little sound during the footage which also helps to not reveal to much about the plot.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Analysis of The Number 23

The music behind the opening was an orchestrated score which sounded eerie which created a feeling of suspense and tension. It helped to create fear of the unknown. There is shots of pieces of paper with the number 23 printed all over it. The space that the number 23 takes up on the paper gets larger and larger towards the end to also create a build up of tension. The number 23 on the page turns into looking like more of a pattern as oppose to many numbers. There is also an increasing amount of blood being shown over the paper. This also adds to the sense of tension and suspense maybe implying that as time passes more and more blood is being spilt. It is a very subtle yet very effective opening.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


deadlines for thriller project.

Wednesday 24th February - all footage must be shot and imported.

Monday 1st March - deadline for the rough cut of project. All footage must be in the right editorial order.

Monday 8th March - deadline for the completed project.

Monday 15th March - Interim deadline for the draft of writing.

Monday 22nd March - Final deadline for writing. 9:00am

Conventions of a Thriller


Damsel in distress - there is usually a vulnerable female character who needs to be saved.
Complex narratives - non-linear films, beginning with the ending and things like flashbacks confuse the audience.
Location - putting a character in a familiar place e.g a house can give a false sense of security.
Fear of the unknown - not revealing too much keeps the audience intrigued and interested.
Protagonists - a character in danger that can adapt to the story, become interested in things that something that they wouldn't of before.
Identity - (doppelganger) having a character with a split identity.
Suspense - sound, silence and music and create a sense of suspense keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
Lighting - dark lighting would be used in a thriller. Shadows are a good use of lighting. e.g Film noir
Objectification of women - getting pleasure from looking at something you shouldn't be.


The opening of vertigo included a few conventions. Initially there is a close up of a woman's eyes which is objectification of women. Her face is very lowly lit and covered in shadows, this implies something dark about her. The use of the music conveys a sense of suspension of what might be about to happen. A lot of time is spent showing colorful spirals which are implied to be inside her mind, this gives an impression that her mind may be spiraling itself.

Monday, 4 January 2010


match on action

match on action is a type of cut that emphasizes continuity and a certain action in contrast to a straight cut. match on action is a type of invisible editing. it helps create 'reality effect'. the match cut is a contrast with cross-cutting between actions in two different locations that are occurring simultaneously or parallel editing, it links one angle of the action to another continuously.

shot reverse shot with over the shoulder shot.
shot reverse shot is filmed usually during a conversation, it is used as a form of editing known as continuity. it is usually done by filming an over the shoulder shot of one character and then switching to an over the shoulder shot of the other character to create the ........

establishing shot
an establishing shot is usually a mid shot used to portray the scene location and the props. It is used to give the audience a good idea of what is happening in the scene.

close up shot
a close up shot is used to invite the audience to become personally closer with the character or object.

long shot
a long shot is also known as a full shot or a wide shot. it's used to show the entire object or human figure and is usually intended to place it in some relation to its surroundings.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009