Monday, 22 March 2010

12T1 Handout for Monday 22nd March 2010.

Compare at least one character from your thriller to a character in a professional film.

This shot of the villain in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "Psycho" is similar to out shot of Craig. They are both close ups which restricts what you can see and stops you from seeing the whole picture, in "psycho" it uses a shot reverse shot from the lady to the villain this makes the audience almost angry as they know he is enjoying watching her change. Although ours is different from actually watching the innocent victim, it just fades from Leanna's eye to his eye which shows the transition from Leanna to Craig and gives the audience the idea that something is going to happen and Craig will take over.
Leanna's character is seen as the typical vulnerable female. A real filmic example of a vulnerable female character

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Evaluation of feedback

We were all very pleased with our feedback from the rest of the group.
We are glad that people thought it did what we wanted it to in the first place.
Along with much praise, we were given some constructive criticism.
One of our shots appeared quite long - the shot of the panning of the photograph. We will consider making it shorter, but we think that if the voiceover were added, it would not appear that long at all. This is because the audience will have more to focus on.
By looking at the feedback we have learned how our thriller is seen through other peoples perspectives. we have also learned how to take criticism on board and use it to possibly make changes to the piece.



"The cuts were very good. The flashes of the girl in between all the pictures worked well. The length of the shot showing photos went on a bit long."

"Like the jaded editing between Leanna and the pictures."

"Shots are well put together."

"Really good sense of narrative."

"Spinning of the bottle is very good editing."


"High angle shot of Leanna on floor was good, showed objectification well. "

"Good pictures make it scary"

"Move into photo; blur. sense of insecurity/fear."

"Nice pan around pictures"

"Close up gives tense feelings"

"Very good"


"Very tranquil but creepy at the same time. "


"Leaves you on edge"

"Soft, contrapuntal"

Mise en scene

"Leanna looked very scared/mean. I liked it!"

"The use of the bottle is very effective- and the camera"


"Vulnerable female character. Domineering/ threatening stalking character."

"Dark contrast"

"Creepy music"

Rough cut

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Identity - Identity was the main influence as it gave us the idea of doing a voice over. This was then linked with the theme of obsession.
Vertigo - Vertigo gave us the idea of extreme close up shots to the eye of the subject. which will be shown and flickered throughout.
The shinning - The editing in the shinning is what makes the whole film so tense. It is this tension we wanted sustained throughout the opening. Therefore we have taken the idea of cutting constantly throughout the opening to the subject. Which will leave the audience confused and interested.

Film certificates.

We have decided to make our thriller opening of a 15 certification. This is because of the fact that some of the content in the opening can be thought of as quite frightening to a younger audience as the idea of being stalked is explored, and this can be a very unpredictable topic for people under this age.
We feel that it would be bit of a risk to make the certification a twelve because of this. The content is suitable certainly for people above the age of fifteen, and definitely 18.
The thriller is certainly not suitable for younger audiences, especially children.

Saul Bass

Saul Bass is a well known title sequence expert within the industry. he has produced some very well known sequences such as the likes of the thrillers "Vertigo" and "Psycho". Bass is best known for his title sequence from ‘The man with the golden arm’, and his ‘jet stream’ logo for Continental Airlines, which became the most recognised airline industry of the 1970’s.

Here is the complete list of the title sequences produced by Saul Bass.
The pictures above are examples of his work. as you can see, some of it is quite similar. he chooses bulky fonts and either uses all caps or none at all. Red is commonly used, as is black and white. These colours are very bold and stand out to catch the audiences eye. Red is also a primary colour which can cannote love, lust and danger.

Possible titles and roles.

Director - ...... (to be decided)
Producer - ........ (to be decided)
Editor - Craig Gannon, Emily Dalton, Elliss Morgan and Leanna Parsons
Cinematography - Craig Gannon
Soundtrack - Emily Dalton and Elliss Morgan
Actors - Andrew Pritchard, Leanna Parsons, ........ (not yet finalised)
Props - provided by Craig Gannon, Emily Dalton, Elliss Morgan and Leanna Parsons
Voice over - Voiced by Andrew Pritchard

Monday, 8 February 2010

Test footage

We decided to test the spinning scene with a tripod as we were unsure how it would look.
Unfortunately, the tape we used was faulty and as a result, our video has lines through it. By spinning it around once, were able to duplicate it and change the speed of the footage at certain times. We also reversed the spin once.
This will be done during the scene where the stalker slams the bottle down after seeing the pictures of the subject with other people. This will make him jealous.

Filming times, Location and prop list.

We intend to film on Thursday the 11th of February at Emily's house which will be the location of the stalkers room. We will take the camera at 2.40 and will be returning it at 12.30 on Friday morning (picture house).
Leanna will bring the pictures of the subject, a photo frame and lipstick.
Craig will bring the bottle.
Elliss will bring the lock of hair.

By this time the recording of the voice over will be in production. (Andrew Pritchard).

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Final script idea.

She wasn't too young
There was a ... certain maturity. In her eyes.
Those eyes.

She ...socialized. (pictures of her with male friends)
Was real friendly. (opens can angrily)
(laughs) (sipping and gulping drink, sigh)
Im a sucker for those blue eyes.
Click. Click. Click. (laugh)
You should have seen the way she looked at me chief.
With those eyes. Click. Click. Click. (laugh) (continue to drink and gulp, crushes can)
Maybe i wouldn't be here... if she hadn't looked at me like that.
I dunno what she was afraid of... she always smiled for the camera.
(Sigh) So.....

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

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

Thriller- A thriller is a type of film genre that is normally very tense and includes some kind of action and mystery, it normally involves a hero vs villain type story, where the hero is flawed and the villian knows the flaw of the hero.

Sub-Genres- There are many different sub-genres within the thriller genre, these include; psychological, action,crime and many others but these are the main ones. A psychological thriller normally involves mind games between the hero and the villian, which normally ends with the hero winning.

Hybrid - two film genres in one. For example : Action horror
Rom com

Location report

Location report

Our thriller takes place in a few places.
The most important location is the room of the stalker - which is to be filled with obsessive items.
This we decided to film this in a spare room in Emily's house. We have the permission to do so, and will be a lot easier to do.

Another place we will be filming in is the dark room in college, where the short title sequence takes place.

The voice over will be pre recorded at Netherhall school in a drama room. For this we also have permission from the teacher who will be using the class at this time.

Details of costumes - with illustrations

Details of costumes - with illustrations

Our main character in the thriller is actually never fully seen on screen. Only as much as his eye, shoulder or hand is shown at any one time to intrigue the audience. Images of the girl will be shown, she will be dressed casually. Aside from the images that upset him where she will be at parties dressed more formally with friends.

During the shots of the girl looking at the camera - which are frequently shown throughout, we can go in either two directions.

Option one - A very plain simple nude coloured slip or a white T shirt.

Option two - a bright, vivid dress in either red or plum.

Something vivid could look rather strange, as could something completely simplistic.
12. Research into other films of similar sub-genres
other psychological thrillers:
  1. The talented Mr. Ripley
  2. Suspicion
  3. Shadow of a doubt
  4. Strangers on a train
  5. Blue velvet
  6. The Good son
Our thriller opening scene falls under the sub genre of Psychological thriller. Above are a few other psychological thrillers, which have similar aspects to ours. These films may inspire us in the way we film our opening.

Past Opening Analysis

Music - The music throughout is quite tense, it sort of resembles a heart beat as it is very repetitive. it gets faster and louder as the action happens
adding tension and grabbing the audiences attention. As the intruder creeps up on the victim the music then becomes more quiet, this also adds
tension because you can then hear the repetitive beat again that could resemble a heartbeat.

Location - It is in a good location, homes are a good place to have as a set for a thriller as it is one place people feels safe, this intruder then
destroys the security by breaking in.

Shot types - One of the first shots is a close up of a post-it note on the fridge. This enables the audience to know more about the situation and lets
the know that the victim is home alone without having to use dialogue. they have used a match on action this lets the audience know that he is
leaving. There are lots of close ups of things that he is doing for example, as he locks the door and puts the key under the mat, this is good because
it lets the audience know the details of what he is doing and draws attention to detail. there are also lots of mid shots of the victim, often not showing
his face this adds mystery and keeps the audience interested and engaged in the film. Point of view shots are used from the intruder to show that he
is watching the person and puts the audience in his position, and keeps them involved. they have used establishing shots, this shows the victim is
leaving and shows the audience more of the surroundings we can then gather that the area the person lives in and establish class. There is a very
good shot of the victim when he opens the cupboard, this is the only time the audience gets to see his face in detail and it has an audience privilege
as we can see that there is someone behind him but he cannot. It also uses an over the shoulder shot, this shows the intruder coming into the victims
personal space. The angles used towards the end are good as it uses a high angle when on the victim this shows difference in power and hows
intimidated and helpless the victim is.

Mise En Scene - The victim is wearing his normal clothes and the intruder wears all black and covers most of his face, this connotes dark and evil as
the colour black is a typical burglar colour. props they have used are things like keys and the cloth that knocked the victim out, these things are
small but very important to the story. For example, the keys are vital as these are the intruders way of getting into the house, this is why they use
close ups when shooting that part of the opening to show that they are significant.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Props list

Props list

Cup with lipstick stain
Lock of hair
Photos of subject
photos of Subject on her own, with friends and with boys.
photos of the letters C A M E R A M A N
Picture frame

Story boards

Here are our story boards for our thriller opening. From bottom to top, 1, 2, 3.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Script ideas

A key feature in our opening is the voice over of the stalker who is narrating. He is confessing to the police and telling them what happened.

Character's personality - very confident
- awkward
- psychotic
- obsessive
- possessive

She wasn't too young
There was a ... certain maturity. In her eyes.
Those eyes.

She ...socialized. (pictures of her with male friends)
Was real friendly. (opens can angrily)
(laughs) (sipping and gulping drink, sigh)
Im a sucker for those blue eyes.
Click. Click. Click. (laugh)
You should have seen the way she looked at me chief.
With those eyes. Click. Click. Click. (laugh) (continue to drink and gulp, crushes can)
Maybe i wouldn't be here... if she hadn't looked at me like that.
I dunno what she was afraid of... she always smiled for the camera.
(Sigh) So.....

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Further ideas

The stalker's dialogue would indicate that he is confessing to his obsession. At the end, he would continue talking in such a way that the audience would expect the story to continue - thus making the opening look like an opening and not a trailer.

Pitch Feedback from Andrea

Your thriller uses the theme of obsession and that concept is central to the narrative, which is a common thriller convention. I think you have a lot of work on your hands preparing the props you are going to need in order to convincingly illustrate an obsession. My advice would be to keep your camerawork tight so you don't have to produce enough photos to cover a whole wall for example.
Also if you are going to use a narrator you need to think about why would a stalker be talking about a previous obsession, that seems unlikely. You need to script the voiceover carefully.

Good work so far, I look forward to reading the detailed proposal.

Shot list for thriller

Black screen with voice over starting.
Image of girl gets closer eventually ends up in the pupil of her eye
Sudden blink to stalker's eye.
Shots of individual items
Quick shot of girl staring at camera (lipstick stained cup, lock of hair, tissue more photos).
Voice over ever continuing.
Quick shot of girl staring at camera
Shot of his legs as he enters room
shot of girl staring at camera
more shots of images
shot of calendar and images on calendar
cutting constantly to the girl staring at the camera
no images of her on days he doesn't see her
shot in house of victim, (voice over continuous, yet character is becoming wary)
shot of girl looking around after hearing noise, cuts to shot of cat entering, relief of female is shown)
Shot of girl staring at camera
This upsets stalker so music alters slightly, and character becomes frustrated and fidgety at nearly getting caught.
Shot of girl staring at camera
Slams down a beer bottle on table, spins, camera pans with bottle to give a view of the room, and the things in it. Not all with be shown so that the full extent of his obsession is not revealed to the audience.
When bottle has stopped
flash of his face, zoom back into his eye, zooms out to eye in a different image of a different girl. Speech goes on as if to continue further.

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
2. More than one detailed analysis of real thriller openings
3. Practise soundtrack for your thriller
4. Practise soundtrack for Taking Lives intro
5. Production company logo
6. Definition of thriller, outline of different sub-genres and hybrids
7. Analysis of examples of political, psychological, action thriller and crime thriller
8. Initial ideas post
9. Final idea post - for pitch
10. Influences and the thriller generic conventions you intend to explore
11. Mood board
12. Research into other films of similar sub-genres
13. Props list - with illustrations
14. Details of costumes - with illustrations
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.
16. Complete shot list
17. Completed storyboard
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

Final Idea.

Narrating: (to the police, gets arrested at the end of film)

1) Room: photos of Leanna, cups with lipstick, locks of hair.
The narrating comes in with a black screen. "I was watching her in a coffee shop" -close up of coffee cup with lipstick on it.
"I worked at the hairdressers" - close up to a lock of hair.
"I've never seen anyone as beautiful as her before" -close up to picture of her.

2) Hear footsteps coming into the room. See his lower leg/feet.Door slams. Image of calender, each day has a photo of Leanna, apart from this day (didn't get to see her- angry). Loud music comes on (made from garage band, out onto CD player in scene). Slams down a beer bottle on a table, spins it, full image of room.


Monday, 25 January 2010


Mood Board

Our mood board :)

Opening story ideas.

Initial Ideas.

The obsession
Psychological thriller
Close up of lots of photos of one girl
Photog dark room, develop photos in there
Darts at photos.
Spinning bottle.
Quick cuts throughout.
dark - not day.
Girl screaming. black screen to start tape recorder.
Interviews stalker.
Starts with black screen goes to close ups of victim's photos - shown in dark room with torch at college.
Possible question : what do you like to do ?
"play darts" (dart imagery)
close up of weird hand. Villain handicapped in some way - this shows pain and bravery.
voice over on top of imagery.

Further ideas.

We will never get to see the villain in the opening.
Taking photos through key hole.
Damsel in distress will hear noises of what she thinks is a villain, but it turns out to be her pet cat, or so she thinks.

flash of her seeing herself on video. And photos.
Zoom of her eye and zoom out to his.
He has her cup with lipstick on it, and a lock of her hair.
Camera is his point of view.

Bottle spinning, shot of it at full speed, but as it reduces, the camera will spin with it, showing the photos around it. All of the victim.

Restaurant scene - possible relationship between characters?

Spooky location - abandoned house near Netherhall, a church.

Public transport - both on bus through Cambridge.

Shots of buildings in cambridge.

End on her gasp at camera (his perspective) to black screen.

Final ideas.

(Highlighted in blue)

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Malcom X analysis

This thriller is political, we can see this with the opening credits as the
voice over is talking about black peoples rights. It is clearly made
political because of the contents of the speech and the footage of the
beating of the black man. The music has a heroic sound to it, as well
as the constant cheering throughout. this adds to the mood

At the end the symbolic burning of the American flag represents the
rebellion of the opposition and also shows a more contemporary time

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Conventions of a thriller.

Damsel in distress: The character is hanging of the edge of a gutter of a building, he relies on another character (hero).

Protagonist: the flawed hero, the character is scared of heights. this is shown as he is hanging of the building and is made worse when he see's the police officer fall to his death when trying to help him.

Lighting:Shadows cast over woman's face in beginning. The lighting then turns red, symbolize; lust, danger, blood. In rooftop scene, grey colours used, dull, pathetic fallacy = weather reflects the mood (cloudy, grey).

Fear of the unknown= Don't see entire face of woman, unaware of who she is. Her eye's widen in shock, it's unknown why. Unknown why man is running from the police.

At the beginning when the animated patterns come up on the woman's eye could represent a kind of hypnosis which connotes the control she has over the victim or vice-versa. This links in with obsession and gives the audience the impression that the villian could be obsessed with the 'damsel in distress'.

Music is used throughout to add tension, suspence and to keep in time with the dull, tense mood.

Deadlines for thriller project


Rough cut: 1st of march (monday's lesson)
Shooting Deadline: 24th of February, wednesday
Final deadline: 8th of March (end of Monday's lesson)
Draft deadline for writing: Monday 5th of March
Final dealine for writing: 9am, 22nd of March

Monday, 11 January 2010

Examples of thriller films and their conventions.

Stephen King -
Room 1408
The shining

Others -
The ring
The Orphan
The dark knight
Panic room

Conventions -
Score to reflect genre or mood of scene
Most introduced main character
Locations - mostly dark eg. Hotels, motels, homes
Titles can relate to a character's weakness
main title appears at the end of the credits
Introduces important themes, characters, locations of the place where the thriller will take place
Ofter does not give away main plot (that would be more of a trailer)
credits sometimes subltle, but can sometimes fill the whole screen

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Preliminary Task

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Preliminary task deffinitions and examples

ESTABLISHING SHOT - In film and television, an establishing shot sets up, or "establishes", a scene's setting and/or its participants. Typically it is a shot at the beginning (or, occasionally, end) of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place.

CLOSE UP SHOT - a close-up tightly frames a person or an object. Close-ups are one of the standard shots used regularly

MATCH ON ACTION - is when you cut during an action to another camera angle but showing the action from the same point in time that you left it from the previous shot.

REACTION SHOT - A specific type of close-up in which the actress, actor or group of people is responding to an event. The shot is supposed to convey the impact of the moment and is often accomplished with a cutaway from the primary action to someone viewing the occurrence.

LONG SHOT - shows all characters in the location, this informs the audience of the characters position relative to both one another and the surroundings.

FILMING A CONVERSATION - shotting a conversation over the shoulder allows both characters to remain in the scene throughout.

THE 180 DEGREE RULE - is very important, it refers to an imaginary line which cuts through the middle of the scene, from side to side with respect to the camera. Crossing the line changes the viewers perspective in such a way that it may cause disorientation and confusion. For this reason , crossing the line is usually something to be avoided.

Our storyboard :