Friday, 7 November 2008

Feedback from finished project

- Hoody give a good sense of mystery
- Music helps add tension
- Subtitles matched to images
- Lighting effective and interesting
- Close up shows fear
- Titles quite dark
- Overall good
- Unrealistic slap
- Good camera shots
- Interesting storyline
- Sound suited genre
- Beginning creates suspense
- Lighting effecting for building mystery
- Mysterious character creates questions
- Good use of edited montage near end
- Music appropriate to titles


Feedback for Beth's Draft Evaluation

In question 1, try to be more precise about the way you have deployed these conventions in your thriller. In question 2, try to address the issue of gender via the different way that male and female characters are represented. In question 2, think a bit more about other possible reasons why Hollywood is the most likely institution to produce a feature film thriller. What are the factors involved with making thrillers, that mean it is best suited to Hollywood? Overall, the content of your answers is good, but you need to go into more detail in each one, because currently the word count is half what it should be in the final submission.


Feedback for Nicola's Draft Evaluation

The content of your answers is good so far, but more detail in the expression of each one is required throughout as so far the total word count is only half what it will need to be in the final submission. In question 2, try and address the different way that your thriller represents gender, based on the differences between the male and female characters. Also, you need to proof read for typos as I have spotted a few errors.


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Draft Of Evaluation-Nicola Hartley

1) Whilst shooting our opening sequence we used the conventions of a thriller such as a
  • Typical mise-en-scene such as a dark lighting, empty & dirty room and with no windows or very dirty ones.
  • Characters like a mysterious person who is often hidden from the camera, people who are in danger.
  • Questions being set up for the audience like in ours why are our main characters in the room.

Using these conventions it makes it more obvious to the audience about what genre they are watching.

2)In our Thriller opening sequence we only really have two types of groups. Such as our victims are from the same social group as they both wear similar clothing and our both in the same situation so this could hint to the audience about who they are. We also have our killer wearing dark clothing which is baggy & covers his face which keeps him mysterious this shows a different social group to our victims.

3)I think the place that would distribute our sequence would be somewhere like Hollywood as it would be the best place to deal with the intricacy of filming a thriller as a lot of time & money would need to be put into shooting one because costumes & other items would need more effort than other genres.

4)The audience would be people aged anywhere above 15. I feel that anyone under 15 wouldn't be suitable to watch this because of the violence involved in the film. I think it is aimed at both genders as we have both male & female victims so both genders can relate.

5)I think our thriller will attract audiences because we create a lot of questions such as "Why has the killer kidnapped our victims?" & "Who is the killer?".Also as we have both genders in our sequence both genders would like to watch it. I feel that also our sequence has more meaning to it, as its not all about the action of the kidnapping we also have the emotional side to kidnapping and the aftermath as well.

6)Throughout making our sequence the main programmes we used were Final Cut & Garageband.Each member of our group had basic skills with this programmes but we all added to them creating our sequence.

Using final cut we were showed how to use a "Day For Night" filter which gave our shots a blue tint which gave a overall darker look to our shots & fitted in better with the genre. We also learned how to slow down or speed up a shot, such as we wanted to slow down our female victim looking down at her wrist.

We created our soundtrack on Garageband, once we completed the soundtrack we had to make certain sounds longer or shorter to make it fit with the changing of the shots in final cut which took some time but worked well when finished.

7)The biggest progression from the preliminary task to our thriller task was that the quality of our work was a lot better. Because we had more time to shot & film our sequences so we could take more care & effort into getting the shots just how we wanted them to look. Our storyboard & shot lists were more detailed than before which made filming easier & more efficient. We also learned more technical skills when using final cut & other programmes for example the "Day For Night" filter.


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Draft of evaluation - Beth Walsh

1: Our opening sequence uses many of the thriller conventions such as:
- typical characters (a protagonist and antagonist) for example, our protagonist is Ollie and the antagonists are Vincent and Beth.
- the use of typical mise-en-scene found in thriller films i.e. dark lighting, dirty setting, sealed rooms etc. We used dark lighting and an untidy room which consisted with the typical mise-en-scene needed.
- questions being set up in the audiences minds. For example, why Beth and Vince were in that situation in the first place.
- extraordinary events happening in ordinary situations i.e Beth and Vince getting kidnapped and beaten.

These conventions are used to make it obvious to the viewer what genre film they are watching and what kind of action to expect.

2: Our thriller only represents two social groups. Both victims are obviously from the same social group as they are wearing similar styles of clothing and are both in a similar situation within the sequence. The killer is wearing very dark clothing and as his face hidden which makes him mysterious and creepy which shows a different social group. With the exception of the male victim our sequence shows that females are vulnerable and males are the stronger gender.

3: Our thriller sequence would probably be distributed somewhere within the Hollywood industry because it is the type of media product they deal with. Thrillers also take more costume work, special effects and sound effects than most other genres therefore a lot of money would be needed. Hollywood would also be able to provide higher quality actors which are vital to the creation of atmosphere.

4: The audience of our thriller would probably be anywhere between 15 and 30. Its not suitable for under 15's so would have a 15 certificate. This is due to the violence that would be included in the film. Our title sequence shows some of this violence. It would be aimed at both genders because although the female is victimised in our sequence, a typical thriller would have the victim beat the killer in the end and this is what happens.

5: Our audience will be interested in our thriller because we create questions in the title sequence such as "Why is he tied to a chair" and "How did she escape" and "What happened to the killer if she is alive in the future". The audience will also want to know what the relationship between the two victims where due to the picture of us.

6: During the making of the title sequence we learnt how to use final cut and garageband.

We already knew the basics on final cut but we also used an extra called the 'day from night' filter. This tinted all the shots slightly blue and made them more suitable for the genre. Another thing we learnt in final cut was how to increase and decrease the speed of shots to make them fit in better with the sequence. We also used final cut to create the titles on black backgrounds. We then learnt to fade pictures in the second video line into the first.

We used garageband to create the sound track. This was done in a similar way to other tasks we had completed, however the timing of the sound track needed to fit with the shots in final cut so timing was important. The soundtrack also needed to be suitable for the action.

7: The biggest progression we made from the preliminary task and the final product was the quality of all of the work. For example, the storyboard was fully completed, the acting was better due to scripts and planning and the mise-en-scene was more suitable. Due to having more time to film and edit, we had more shots to work with and edit together to create a better sequence to the one we created for the preliminary task. We also used many more technical devices within final cut than we did with the preliminary task, for example the day for night filter and speeding up the shots.


Tuesday, 21 October 2008


We planned to film in a university room or a hotel room, however these were both unavailable so we improvised and used Beth's bedroom and a music room found in college. We followed the storyboard and shot list accurately with the exception of a shot of the window for the title sequence and a shot of Beth looking at her wrists while Ollie is torturing Vincent. We could not include these shots because we didn't have an suitable window and the shot of Beth couldn't be included within the sequence due to continuity problems. We decided not to use diagetic sound because we thought that non-diegetic sound would make the thriller more dramatic and realistic as a film opening due to unprofessional acting.

Acting by Beth, Vincent and Ollie
Filming by Nicola


Rough cut

The rough cut was captured into final cut, separated into individual shots, put in order and then we used a day for night filter. This made the lighting of the shots darker as originally they were too light for the mise-en-scene suitable for the thriller convention. None of the shot transitions are completed, haven't included any titles and there isn't any audio yet. 


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Animatic Storyboard Evaluation

We showed are animatic storyboard to a class to gain feedback from them. From this we learnt the following:

  • We had clear mise-en-scene
  • Good use of flashbacks in the storyboard
  • Clear and concise storyboarding
  • Good premise
  • Good use of music to enhance the dramatics
However some things that we needed to work on were also mentioned:

  • Increase continuity in some scenes
  • Use the shot types we had more effectively

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


We decided in advance who is playing which character in our thriller project. Ollie will be playing as the murderer while Vincent and Beth will be playing as a couple. The first thing we did was to take a picture of Beth and Vincent so we can shoot the opening sequence first by including a picture frame.

As for the costumes, we thought that it would suit Ollie to be in black as we want to keep his identity unknown. As for the Beth and Vincent, it should just be them wearing normal tidy clothes like how all people would wear everyday.

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Animatic storyboard

For the animatic storyboard the whole group came up with ideas for what to do in our thriller. Beth and Ollie then created a storyboard on paper and went over it in pen. When this was completed Nicola and Vincent took pictures of it with a stills camera and we uploaded it into final cut. Beth and Nicola resized the individual pictures to 3 seconds long each. After we had to edit the sound track to fit with the sequences we uploaded it into final cut.


Shot Listing

We've arrived to the final stage of our planning. Ollie will be working on the shot list that we will be shooting in order from the storyboard. The order we will be shooting from is the opening credit title (page 1) and the scene of Beth waking up from her dream (page 3). We chose this order because it would be more convenient to shoot in the exact location that corresponds to our storyboard. This will also save time instead of shooting in chronological order according to our original storyboard.

Our second shot list consists of the dark room scene with Vince, Beth and Ollie. Again we've decided to combine these 2 storyboard pages so that we can easily shoot it all in one go.

The shot list consists of the type shots we will be using as well as the actions and extra info that will be required in the scene. These include the location, props and costumes.

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Friday, 10 October 2008


For the opening sequence shots 2,3,4,5 we will either use a hotel room or a university room. For shot numbers 15,16 and 17 of the main sequence we will use an empty room. All the rest of the shots can be filmed anywhere.


Props List

  • Picture of Beth & Vincent
  • Teddy Bear
  • Bucket
  • Rope
  • More frayed rope
  • Torn poster
  • Picture Frame
  • Old Chair
  • Weapons(knife,saw,gun)
  • Fake Blood
  • Red Pen
  • Glue
  • Desk


Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Our storyboard idea initially came from a vague storyboard that Oliver had created in his own time. We adapted this storyboard incorporating group ideas and techniques that we all felt comfortable with. Our idea centers around an interrogation of Vincent, however we never get to know in depth about Vincents character and this poses a question in the audiences mind. Beth's character however, develops more throughout the short sequence and as such the audience feel much more sympathetic towards her character.

We initially drew our storyboard out in pencil as to limit the amount of mistakes made and then copied over these in pen. At first we added only descriptions of what would happen in the scene then we added more detail including shot types, angles and movement.

After we completed the main story we then created a storyboard for the opening titles including names and locations. We tried to make it relate to the main story.


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Garageband test

Nicola & Vincent spent a lesson testing out different sounds on Garageband. Over all we came through with an appropriate soundtrack, we looked through all the different categories that were on offer such as dark,intense & distortion. We wanted to start off with a slow beat and then for it to build up to the suspense gradually. For our final product, it turned out different to our first thought but it was still useful for a thriller project.


Sunday, 5 October 2008

Initial ideas

For our thriller project we decided to do a sequence which made the audience ask questions.

The opening shots will consist of shots of photographs and memories of Beth and Vincent together, having fun. This should explain Beths emotions in the rest of the sequence more.

The sequence started with Beth(victim #1) in the corner of a dark room. The door of the room will open and a shaft of light from the hall outside will light Beth up. Ollie (Killer) then comes into the room and drags Beth out by her wrists. On the way out of the room Beth will obtain a large cut on one of her wrists. Ollie will then throw Beth into a new room where Vincent (victim #2) is tied to a chair. Beth now sits in the new corner, watching Ollie trying to get information out of vincent. When that is unsuccessful Ollie drags Vincent out of the room. The camera shot will then cut to Beth flinching as she hears a gunshot. Beth will then close her eyes tightly and in the next shot she will open her eyes in a different setting. She will sit up and look around and then look at the scar from the cut on her wrist.

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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Face Off Opening Sequence Analysis

The opening sequence we looked at was the 1997 thriller film, Face Off, starring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta.

From the opening sequence we were able to establish that this was going to be a conventional thriller. It displayed elements of suspense such as when the gunmen was going to shoot. The music that was playing through out the sequence was initially innocent and unassuming. However this soon changed when the gunman fired and also as the suspense was built pre-firing.

The setting was in a fairground specifically located near the carousel. The gunman who was still an unknown entity was located further away on a mound. Due to the carousel's movement, the camera angles constantly changed, this would have made continuity difficult however they managed to do this very successfully.

There were many different camera effects used. Some of these were the out of focus sight of the gunman which then changed to the gunman being out of focus and then sight being in focus as he changed to look through it.

The characters at this point are still unknown to the audience. This helps to build suspense and bring up a few questions to the audience, such as why is the gunman is there and what is the connection between the gunman and the man with his son. It is apparent to the audience, that there is an attempt being made on the man's life and the gunman seems unsympathetic towards his target. However when he accidently shoots the child as well, he changes and becomes more emotional showing though that he's a gunman and his job is to kill. He still has some sort of mortality.

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Analysis of student work

The final product that we looked at used many of the technical skills needed for a good thriller sequence. They used a good use of sounds and effects throughout the sequence and the music was suitable for the task in hand and well timed.
They used many of the conventions typical to the thriller genre such as dark lighting, a murder victim, suspense. It also makes you ask questions about how and why the victim had died and how they had ended up in that location.
The editing between the clips was simple but effective. The editing is done well enough so that the audience can decipher what is happening.
They managed to hold a steady shot when needed even at difficult angles. They managed to use a variety of different shot angles and distances such as close ups of bloody hands and newspaper articles, medium shots of the investigator, and an establishing shot of the setting.


Monday, 15 September 2008