Sunday, 9 November 2008

draft of Joshua's Evaluation

1. When I came to do the thriller project I new exactly what sort of film I wanted to be. I wanted it to be one of this new wave of gritty realistic dare I say more ‘intelligent’, though perhaps that’s not fair action/thrillers. The best example being the Bourne films, but also the re-booted Bond films with Daniel Craig. This is why I definitely wanted it to be set, out in cambridge rather than in Long Road because it would have lost any sense of reality and grittyness if it’d just been a bunch of people running around Long Road. I also drew on other films which I love in various places. The most obvious example of this is the use of the briefcase as a macguffin, as famously used in Pulp Fiction. (A MacGuffin being an item which drives the plot, without the details of it being necessary to the plot e.g you never find out what’s In the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Also the titles I think are slightly Tarantino-esque with he straight blocks of colour and the names in simple bold print. All credit should go to Ashley for them, he was always our chief artist for the project.
2. There is an argument that runs along the lines of “ baddies are always the lower class people”(of course I’m paraphrasing), whether this is merely upper class snoberry or something just sub-consciously ingrained on people of that class as well as perhaps the snootier of the middle class. To a certain extent one could argue that there is a ligcal line of thought that you can follow to reach this conclusion, that those who are of a working class background are more likely to have less money than other people so are more likely to need to commit crime as a form of income thus making them more likely to become ‘baddies’. And it is interesting that without really thinking about it, we dressed the ‘hero’ of the chase in a smart suit whereas the pursuers are dressed more casually perhaps suggestintg that they are of a lower class. This is the idea of a James Bond figure suavely beating the more ruffian adversary. More often that not these villains tend to be russians, in other films as well as James Bond, and I did make of the fact that Luke does look a bit like a Russian. This may have been my intention without fully realising it when I asked him to where his coat to the shoot. However regardless of whether it was planned it is very appropriate, to that idea of what a baddie should be, whether this is a far representarion or not is another matter. What really pleases me about the opening is it’s ambiguity, you could quite easily see it as Jamie is the baddy and the pursuers are actually trying to reclaim a piece of stolen property. This turns the idea on it’s head and portrays now the person higher on the social ladder is the villain and the ‘working class’ people are now trying to honestly reclaim what had been stolen from them, perhaps symbolic of capitalism itself: that idea that the rich have everything (symbolized in the suit) and yet they still will steal from the poorer people (or perhaps just the russians). It is open to interpretation.
3. When it comes to the distribution of films there are normally two or three ways to go the first and most obvious is a cinema release, this can be to as many theatres as the distributor thinks is economically sensible, they will weigh up how much money they want to make and the likely appeal of the film i.e how many people will go and see it and how much money the film will get because of this. It’s a fine balance because if they don’t put it into enough cinemas they won’t get enough returns but put it into too many and they’ll lose money because of the cost of creating the reels and then actually distributing them. This is why films get pulled from the cinemas if the company thinks that not enough people are going to see it to make it econmically viable. The other way is a Tv movie or straight to DVD. Straight dvd is really for those films which either no one will distribute in cinemas or are aimed at a different market, for example small children. This is also true of TV movies, a company will often put a film on the TV if it’s aimed at small children who aren’t as likely to go to the cinema and then get their returns through merchandising and similar, a good example of this is the first High School Musical film. Straight to tv or DVD are almost always much lower budget affairs that can’t afford too go into cinema. Bigger budget movies needs the return that they’ll get from cinemas, it’s an upwards spiral often: bigger budget, more predicted viewsings, bigger distribution, possibility of more money, so next time bigger budget. However this is not always true some films have very high budgets and don’t make returns. As this is the opening to a action/political thriller movie, it’s the kind of film that is almost certainly likely to be distributed in a cinema as it will have wide appeal to audiences meaning that lots of people will go and see it. This is because everyone likes action/adventure movie type things. It would also be the kind of movie which probably had money put into so would want a cinema distribution to get that money back.
4. Action/thriller type movie generally have quite a broad audience, because exciting films are usually enjoyed by lots of people. Both males and females definitely. However I think it probably wouldn’t be the sort of films for young children, almost certainly a 15 or 18. This is to prevent a problem which can be created when you try and cater to everyone. In this instance if you made it an action thriller but had very little violence or swearing etc., small children could go and see it but probably wouldn’t anyway and older people teenagers and aldults who like really intense action films owuldn’t want to go and see it either cos they’d consider it stupid and kiddy. So by trying to appeal to everyone you’d actually end up distancing the majority of your best chance at a large audience (in this case older teenagers and adults).And, instead of getting a very borad range of audience you’d probably only get a very narrow one: in this example probably tweens, those who would want to go and see the more violent grown up actioners but couldn’t due to their age. However on a separate not this is a very successful age group to aim yourself at (again see High School Musical). But the target audience for this film would be predominantly male (men seem to like these sort of films more, this may seem sexist but is seemingly true) but also female older teenagers and adults. Probably not older people because they again tend not to like too violent or ‘unpleasant’ films.
5. Without trying to offend said target audience I think it is fair to say that the huge majority of people who go to see actiony/thrillery films are not after much when they go and see a film, you can see evidence of this in the slew of mediocre actions films around that still manage to make money despite pretty average at best, see Bangkok Dangerous. So to attract this audience I would make sure all your usual action film ingredients, gunfights, fight, chase sequences, car chases, explosions etc. However the likes of the Bourne films have shown that if you put the effort into making an action film really good and more importantly really clever you get rewarded with returns. Also it is infinitely more satisfying to produce a really good film than just to make a substandard one to make money, it the people who do that that are destroying the souls of films and the film industry. This is why I’d try and make it an action trhiller that was very clever in turns of plot, and the way it tells the plot. A really good action/thriller will tell the plot through the action, this is what I’d try and achieve.
6. Whenever you create anything like this that you haven’t done before you always learn a huge amount this is only natural. From simples things like I’m now completely confident with the basic handling of the editing software and was able to edit, quite precisely, exactly what I wanted in the opening (the huge majority of the time) something I just wasn’t able to do. A confidence that grew throughout the project, and came in handy in the last lesson of frantic editing. Actually going out into the ‘real world’ and having to shoot the footage also taught me a lot of things, for instance there are a lot of places which you may think are public spaces and you’re allowed to film there are actally privately owned and the people in charge will stop you from filming there. This is exactly what happened in Lion Yard, I just wasn’t aware that a single company could own a shopping centre, I always presumed they’d be a council run thing and would be lenient toward student groups filming: the wonderful of corporisation proved me wrong. This experience also taught that when you’re out shooting a film, things can go not according to plan and quite often do. This meant that we had to on the spot change what out thriller was going to be, something which I’m very proud we pulled off effectively as the alternative footage was able to be edited together almost seamlessly. Also due to the equipment we did, or more accurately didn’t have, I learnt that perhaps some of the more ambition shots I would have like to do don’t work exactly as they do in my head. The prime example is the slight wobbly hand-held camera shots where in a perfect world we would have used a dolly to create a smooth track, but perhaps another time we might be able to recquisition one of make one ourselves. Finally within the editing software, we created titles for the first time, but mostly it was just getting a lot better at everything to do with the editing software, especially really fine editing down to parts of seconds. The best example of an innovation that we thought up and then worked up how to do, was the creation of the freeze frames. We did this by getting the footage in the viewer to exactly the right moment we wanted, turning this into an image and the putting it back into the timeline and then just making it as long as we needed, thus creating the freeze frame.
7. I think the biggest progression I made from before to the present is just how naïve I was before I did this project. I’d always had lots of ideas about filming stuff but never put them into practice. I learnt so much about the realities of actually filming stuff about how when it actually comes to the nitty gritty of filming and how easily and often things don’t go to plan. How you might really want to do a shot but you just don’t get time or you can’t for whatever reason. The best example of this I can think of is me thinking we’d be able to film inside Lion Yard, something I now know we can’t. I also have more general experience of being out and about, the best ways to run a shoot, and how YOU should always get the footage if you don’t have anymore days to shoot because it’s better to have the shot which is not perfect then to have no shot at all. The best thing is everything I’ve learnt between the preliminary task and the finish of this thriller project I can use in the next project, plus I’ll learn the same amount or more next time probably.

um maybe a bit too long? :\
tell me what you think and then I'll stick on a powerpoint


Friday, 7 November 2008

feedback to Thriller final cut

-Great use of camera angles, music and devices in general.
-good prop use and costume
-great setting (mise en scene)
-great editing and continuity.
-good camera shots
-pauses before subtitles were good
-"like the pause with the name VERY EFFECTIVE"
-"run up the corridor and back?"
-dramatic music
-very good editing
-varied camera angles and shots
conventions: dramatic music, relevant, creates questions.
conventions: -chase scenes/running
-mysterious object/something in briefcase
-shots well put together
-music fits well, builds suspense-good range
-subgenre: action thriller
-smooth camera movement
-"action thriller! cool!"
- sound fits well with chase scenes
- a lot of questions, e.g why did he run up and down the corridor?
-creates curiosity
-music goes well
-builds up suspense
-the ending makes you wonder, what will happen next?
- Good use of continuity/variety of shots
- suitable thriller music
- unique use of credit titles
- nice and interesting plot
- good timing with music during chase sequence
- chase sequence-good thriller convention
- clever and well used titles (editing)
- good variety of shots used (camera work)
- sound gets a bit mono-dramatic(?)
- good continuity when cutting between shots of running
- music help builds suspense
- fast pace shows that it is a thriller
- camerawork:"tracks well and shows different angles"
- editing:"links well and doesn't have any gaps.constantly moving"
- sound:music matches what is happening on screen
- thriller conventions: good use of music-relevant, succesfuly created suspense.
- good use of camera shots: wide variety of shots
- creates questions well
- "prime"
- "good editing"
- "nice running"
- "very good sound"
- "chase scene good"
- god use of music with what was going on

We'll be able to use this feedback when it comes to analysing the thriller opening and it's effectiveness.
some will obviously be more useful than others



Final Cut of Thriller-August 13

This is the final cut of our video, enjoy

Feedback for Ashley's Evaluation

Ashley, for the most part your draft answers to the evaluation questions are extremely thoughtful and very well written. The total word count for the answers should be between 1000 and 1500 words though, so you need to do a bit of editing down as your draft comes in over 2000 words. You could probably express your use of conventions in question 1 a bit more succinctly, and some of the text in the social groups question is not 100% relevant. Also, within your answer to that question, try and comment a bit more overtly on the specific social group that makes up your set of characters. As well as law abiding citizens versus criminals, it is also the case that only white males are used as characters in your thriller. Perhaps you could think about linking this to a point you make later about target audiences. Very well done so far though.

Feedback for Jamie's Draft Evaluation

Jamie, your draft evaluation looks good so far, and you have addressed all the questions quite comprehensively. The answers should total between 1000 and 1500 words though, so you will need to edit it down significantly (at present yours comes it at just over 2000 words). Your answer to the first question is particularly lengthy, so perhaps you could think about expressing your answer to that one more concisely and succinctly. Well done so far though.


Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Opening Credits

On the left is the design we have decided to use for our opening credits in our thriller sequence. I have gone for a darkened mood using a jet black background. However, the bold, racey colours of red and yellow have been used to bring a feel of action and suspense to the credits. This style of laying out credits is very similar to Quentin Tarantino's in his film Kill Bill. I have used a stencil style font to display the title and credits. This choice of font as used as I wanted to create a bold, in the viewers face, credits. This will help add to the suspense that is built up throughout our thriller sequence.


Crisis point

ok final cut deadline is the end of this lesson

and we've lots of work to do

we've decided that from the roughcut we need to do the follow:

- Cover up any jumpcuts with either titles or a closeup of Jamie's face
- Ashley is creating all the titles
- We will then put these into our cut.
-Putting these titles in will allow us to make the video shorter because at the moment it is too long and we are losing the pace and suspense of the opening because quite simply there's so much running.
- We will decide where we are going to put the titles so we can then have larger gaps in the action so the events of the action don't have to flow in a series of events meaning it'll be shorter.

sorry if this is a bit nonsensical, a tad hurried


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Jamie's Evaluation (Rough Version)

Thrillers are well known to contain many typical conventions that everyone will recognise and be able to identify. The brief idea of our thriller is that there is a company that is looking after a briefcase containing something very important. Our thriller opening sequence begins with someone from the big organisation realising that the object that they are meant to be looking after has been stolen. We cut to a man very smartly dressed walking casually out of the building with a briefcase in hand. Later two thugs not very smartly dressed burst out of the doors and start running after the man in the suit. This starts a whole chase scene where they run through buildings upstairs where finally the man is cornered by the two thugs. He pulls out a gun. The titles drop down.
This involves the conventions of a typical thriller in many ways. Firstly, the questions we left our thriller very open and we didn’t answer very many questions so that it would keep people wondering about what’s going to happen?, who’s the guy in the suit?, who are the good guys? Etc. This keeps people on the edge of their seats. By having the screen drop down as he is pulling out the gun you do not know whether he shot both of them one of them or himself. Identity and who people are plays a large role in our opening sequence as you never get to know who any of them are. You never know who the good guys are and whole the bad guys are. You automatically think they man in the suit is because he is running away from two people and he looks the most formal but you never know he could turn out to be the bad guy. Another convention of a thriller movie that we have incorporated into our thriller sequence is how the whole series of events is sparked off by a crime of some sort. It all starts with something being stolen and like many other movies this is how they start off the action sequences of chases. By having someone steal something it is an easy way to get straight into the action and draw people in without having to answer any questions about what it is and why he is stealing it. An additional convention that has been taken from a thriller and then put into ours is suspense. The suspense is used when we have the two thugs corner the man in a suit into a corner and you are wondering what he will do. Building this up also he goes into his pocket to pull something out and the title of the film drops down and you hear gunshots. The viewer has no idea where they come from and from whom. This puts the audience on the edge of their seats at the very beginning.
The thugs in our thriller opening are typical working class, they are inn casual clothing and they will be doing all the leg work that their big boss can’t be bothered to do. This shows that they have a big boss and this shows as they nearly catch him their boss will be allot more powerful. This portrays the typical convention of the questions needing to be answered. The man in the suit is a typical middle class person because he strolls out with his head in the air and up until he gets chased no care in the world. He is wearing a suit this gets across his class and how he is more important than the others making it look, before they even get to the end of the chase, that he is going to always come out better. This follows the common stereotype that people in suits are better and allot more important than those that are just dressed in casual clothes. Also by having two of the two of the thugs rather than it makes them look lower down as they cannot do the job by themselves. There is an alteration though in who is in charge usually in normal society the middle class would be in charge of the working class, telling them what to do all the time and telling them where to go and when. This has changed in our thriller, the working class symbolised by the thugs are chasing the middle class symbolised by the man in the suit. This shows how he is scared of the working class making them more powerful than he is. On the other hand though you could say that the middle class man is still in charge because he can decide where he is running so that he is in control of where they run. However, the thugs do choose to run off in the other direction this may be because they have chosen to take an easier root or because they don’t like being led by someone they are trying to catch and kill.
The kind of media institutions to distribute this product would probably be big well known ones. This is because they will have lots of money this will be needed for movies like this because they usually involve many stunts and special effects to make the movies believable because if it doesn’t look believable people can’t get into it and then they won’t be on the edge of their seats. Also when filming a thriller you will have to have certain things done over and over until they are correct so people will have to be employed for longer. Also thrillers are filmed in a number of different areas full of extras as they are mostly based around real life. So people would have to be employed and places would have to be bought and closed for days while the film is being made in that area. This could add up to millions of pounds to make this movie successful and as realistic as possible it would have to be made by top Hollywood film companies.
The audience I think for the thriller would been teens up to about 40’s I think this would appeal more towards the teen end though. This is because they are mostly all action storylines with a few things to think about in between. One of the traits of a thriller is that extra-ordinary things happen in real life places. So teens will think ‘Wow if that happened to him and he was just a normal person it could happen to me.’
To attract the teens and over, the opening sequence has allot of action from the very start the questions are raised. So this will draw them in from the beginning as I said at the very beginning there will be someone stealing something. This is affective because you don’t need any explaining beforehand it can all come later. People will become very bored so to drag them in at the beginning will mean they won’t have to sit through allot of rubbish before there is a decent chase scene. Curiosity and impatience plays a big part in getting people to watch our film. We have the start where it jumps straight into a chase scene. Curiosity helps because people will see our opening and by the end they will have 101 questions that need to be answered and they need to know. This will entice them to come back and carry on watching the whole film.
There are many different things used in the making of the thriller. It starts with the story board this is where the sequence is planned out and all the ideas come together. It is important that the images you draw for the storyboard get across the camera movement, the scene and the person in the shot without making the frame too crowded and too confusing. This is because when you come to the animatic it flashes up. If these frames are overcrowded then you get confused and don’t focus on all of the essential things. The technology that we used to make the animatic was the digital SLR camera and the iMac’s Final Cut software. I learnt how to get the clearest picture using the focus ring, and how to import the images taken off the camera onto the iMac and then into Final Cut. The next stage was uploading the images to the thriller blog to do this we had to convert the video we had created on final cut using QuickTime converter then selecting the option from the blog menu selected the file we wanted to upload select ok. This took a while as we had quite a long video as we had many frames for our chase scene. The next part in the sequence of creating our opening sequence was the camera and taking it out to location and shooting. We already knew how to use the cameras from the preliminary tasks. When uploading and capturing our video from the camera we learnt that as long as while we were uploading the video the video on the screen of the camera was ok then the video would come out correct. We were told this because the video kept stuttering on the screen and we kept restarting the capture wasting precious editing time. Editing was another aspect of the process that we learnt a lot about. We first of all learnt how to change the aspect ratio from widescreen to normal. We had to change this back because we were editing the two videos together and it would look un-professional as the aspect ratio would change from shot to shot. The camera we found very easy to use as it was just point and click. But when we were filming we had to take into account if we had enough battery and that people weren’t going to walk into our shot.
I have learnt many things from the preliminary task. I have firstly learnt about how the storyboard frames do not need to be overly detailed and they don’t need to be followed to strictly. I have learnt that when you have your storyboard and you are out filming your sequence and something comes up that would look a lot better or work easier it is not essential that you stick to your storyboard. The story board is there for a rough guide. Other things that I have learnt from the preliminary task are that all the time you get with the camera is precious so you must not waste it messing about and filming anything. Now that I am doing a bigger task the aspect that most jumps out to me now is the continuity of everything. Learning from the preliminary task the continuity of it is very important it doesn’t have the same effect to the audience if the person in the shot is wearing something completely different in the next one. Another very important factor about the process of making a video is the saving of it. We learnt the hard way during our preliminary task that you must save it every five minutes because it could suddenly close for no reason and you could lose your work we have been using this in the making of our latest video and we now save it every five minutes and every time we do something bug that took a long time. Another essential that is needed in the video is lots of shots of the same thing over and over so you can pick the favourite. In our preliminary we had a few shots that didn’t work as well as we wanted so we wished we had taken more. We have taken this into consideration and now in our thriller video while filming we took a lot of shots from different angles so when we came to the editing process we had a few shots to play with and to see which one worked better. Something that we found extremely useful that we didn’t find out in the preliminary task was how to add sequences to the video project. This helped immensely as we could now edit cut copy and rearrange each section separately keep them organised and only drag and drop the sections that we needed one at a time. This sped up the editing because we didn’t have to search for clips they were always in one place or another.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Roughcut of Thriller opening sequence

this is or roughcut for our thriller opening
there a couple of jump cut we're going to have to work on and a view of the shots need effects on them to make the change of angle less brutal.
the ending and begining aren't finished (including titles), but apart from that all we need to do is add music and it's what it should be like in the final version.

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Ideas for Opening Credits

Rough Version of Ashley's Evaluation

1. Thrillers can be recognised almost immediately when being viewed due to the conventions they employ. Our group opening of a thriller sequence was based on a chase between a professionally dressed businessman and two casual looking thugs. We used fast and quick changing shots to add suspense to the footage. Like other thrillers this is a way of controlling the audience to a high level of fixed concentration.

In thrillers there is always a good guy on the run usually involved in some sort of occupation involving a political or high class business. For example in the film ‘Vantage Point’ a president is on the run from his assassins, with one of his special agents chasing the villains down. In our thriller we have used a similar technique. A businessman is in threat by two villains. In thrillers a person’s identity is not always completely clear from the very beginning. The good guy who seems heroic to the vulnerable can turn out to be the baddy towards the end. In our thriller we have used a similar convention of confusion. The footage we have filmed causes many questions to arise. Who is the good guy? Why is the businessman being chased? Is the businessman really the good guy? The audience can become confused towards the end of our opening due to the businessman appearing to pull out a weapon from inside his suit jacket. This causes the audience to question whether he is the villain and the two casual thugs are actually chasing him for the briefcase which belongs to them. Who knows? It’s only the opening and this technique of filming and the interpretation of the story line is used to draw the audience in. Finally one other convention of a thriller which we used is where the sequence ends leaving a character in great danger. In our sequence the film closes with the businessman being cornered by two villains, he himself removing an item, perhaps a weapon from his jacket. This leaves the audience in a climax of suspense leaving them to wonder which character is the villain and who is in danger.

2. Social groups are represented in different ways throughout our thriller opening sequence. At the beginning of the sequence a character appears running down a dark corridor claiming that something has gone. This adds some confusion to what nature this character belongs to however the dark corridor could represent that he is not a completely innocent character. However, when he mentions something has gone this leads the audience to place him in a vulnerable group as it appears that something has been stolen from him.

Character one (businessman) appears walking in a casual manner out of a grand looking building, smartly dressed carrying a black briefcase. When the audience is first introduced to the character they probably feel he is a rich, innocent, businessman continuing his day of work. However, when character two and three appear sharply out of the building’s entrance, the grand taste of the building suddenly turns sour due to the two thugs appearing from it. This is where character ones appearance turns vulnerable as he is in threat due to being on the run form two un-identified men. The characters natures are changed from the beginning to the end of the sequence. At the beginning character one appears as an innocent businessman in threat by the bad guys, however, when he is cornered at the end, appearing to remove a weapon from his jacket his nature soon changes. This leaves the audience to perhaps believe that in fact he is the villain on the run with a stolen item which is locked away inside the briefcase. Characters two and three until this point appear as thuggish villains, plunging character one into a scenario of danger. However once they corner character one it begins to question the audience whether in fact character one is the bad guy on the run with a stolen briefcase. These questions that the audience are invited with therefore show that the nature of our characters changes throughout the shots of our footage.

Finally I would like to comment of the location of the final scene. Here we used a top level of an empty car park. This added suspense to our sequence as no one was around to help character one to safety. The background shows a dark sky in contrast with a golden sunset. This juxtaposition of warm and dark scenery corresponds with the threatening chase between character one and characters two and three making the location appear unsafe.

3. Thrillers are mainly produced by big American film production companies in Hollywood; however, there have been successful producers in the United Kingdom. ‘Hammer Film Productions’ founded in 1934 produced a number of thriller films. The films were cheap to produce but there use of excellent actors and well designed sets made them successful films to watch. The company produced high quality thrillers such as ‘Crescendo’ and ‘Hysteria.’ These black and white films with twist endings are often compared to the film Psycho.

Putting aside Hammer Film productions, the main companies responsible for successful thrillers are involved with Hollywood. The main reason due to this is because the billions of dollars Hollywood has to spend on its movies. They take every step they can to achieve the best from the films they make. This includes attractive, eye-catching advertisements, mesmerising trailers and expensive top notch premiers. The film companies in Hollywood also have fantastic design sets and use advanced special effects allowing the viewers to be speechless but the quality of film they watch.

However, if I were to choose a film company to produce our thriller I would chose Lions Gate entertainment. This company founded in 1997 has produced many successful films which contain elements of a thriller such as American Psycho and the Saw films. It is proven by the Saw films alone that the company is very successful in what it produces otherwise viewers wouldn’t be waiting in suspense for the release of the next film.

4. I feel that the audience for our thriller could be any group from teens to middle aged people. It is generally quite hard to choose an age group for films depending what is and what isn’t appropriate for people of today’s era. However I feel that our footage is able to be viewed by all ages as it has a suitable content. It would probably be most appealing to people from 20-40 whom ordinary are working people in society. However, the audience should have a high concentration span as the shots are fast and a lot happens in just under three minutes of footage, therefore the viewer needs to be fixed on what they are viewing otherwise they could get bored and lose concentration.

I feel that the gender suited for this film would largely be male as it contains fast action and I feel that many females will reject their concentration from this type of story line. However, I’m sure females would enjoy the film too but their demand for viewing won’t be as strong of those who are male.

5. Our sequence has attracted our audience in many ways involving them to become involved with the film. We have used quick cuts between each shot causing the viewers to become infixed on the footage. This technique achieves full concentration from the audience if done so correctly. I therefore believe we carried out this technique to a high standard causing us to address the audience with a successful thriller containing a hint of action. I feel that the chase throughout the sequence worked well in capturing the audience’s attention. It will keep them transfixed as this fast scene scenario will allow the audience to never take their eye of the screen throughout. Also the theme of confused identity used in our sequence causes the audience to have a role in the film themselves. Here they can throw a number of questions at the sequence such as, What is in the briefcase? Who is good and who is bad? This main theme that we used throughout the sequence really does attract the audience to become involved.

Finally I feel that the audience is first attracted due to the opening scene where a character is running back and forth down a darkened corridor panting ‘it’s gone’ this short speech is very effective pulling in the audience as they want to know what is gone.

6. From this assignment of constructing an opening to a thriller sequence I have learnt a lot through using certain technology. First of all I have learnt many types of shots which we have used successfully in our own sequence. These included long, mid, close-up, match on action, and over the shoulder shots. Without these types of shots our footage would be very stale and boring looking as if someone who had never come across a camera before had been told to shoot some people running. These shots were discovered and learnt due to the very useful preliminary task that we carried out before this coursework assignment. We also learnt about different techniques from camera movement such as zoom and pan. These types of camera movement were very useful in helping us capture our chase scenes without the footage looking jumpy.

A great deal was learnt through using editing software programs such as Final Cut, Garage Band and Photoshop. Final Cut was where the editing of the footage was carried out. Here using expert tools we managed to cut out bad and unnecessary footage. We were also able to learn how to use tools which would make our sequence shorter as it all had to be viewed within two to three minutes. Final Cut also allowed us to be able to fade one shot into the next without it appearing jumpy. This tool allowed us to have the sharp cuts between each shot that we wanted creating a build up of suspense throughout the sequence.

Photoshop was also useful, here we didn’t so much learn a lot but it gave us an opportunity to experiment with certain styles and ways to display our opening titles.

Finally from Garage Band we were able to learn how to create a successful soundtrack to go with our footage. Here we experimented with instruments creating an audio which would work well with the footage. Tools in the program allowed us to change the pitch and tempo of certain sections in the soundtrack and instruments such as the piano and guitar could be overlapped to create a combined piece of music. Thanks to Garage Band our thriller footage was taken to another level due to the fast upbeat music which was added to it creating more appeal and suspense. Therefore the programs above allowed us to create and capture a successful thriller sequence.

7. Since the preliminary task I feel that our group made a great deal of progress. For this assignment we were better prepared. The preliminary task wasn’t taken into account with as much seriousness as our thriller sequence. Due to an incomplete story board and shot list much of our footage which we captured was poorly improvised and this can be seen in some scenes of the footage due to the unrehearsed script. When creating our thriller sequence we took time over making the story board and the shot list was carefully discussed and thought through. I also felt that a great deal of progress was made due to one main factor. The thriller assignment allowed us to have more time to plan and prepare. Due to this we were able to scout locations and also had the opportunity to watch some other people’s footage inspiring us with a number of challenging ideas.

Due to the amount of time we had for shooting the sequence, we were able to shoot more footage than needed allowing us to watch it through and pick out the best shots. Finally the preliminary task allowed our confidence with the use of shooting and editing to improve. Without a taste of filming in the preliminary task I don’t think our thriller sequence would have been as successful. It gave us the opportunity to pick up on mistakes allowing us to avoid them when shooting our coursework assignment. Without our evaluation of the preliminary task little progress would have been made as it was the evaluation that really helped out group to pick up on errors. This resulted in us being able to create a sequence using the best of our abilities.


Black Back Drop?

We were thinking to add effect to the sequence the final shot would have a black back drop to add effect, we went out of the classroom to test this and see if it would work well with our piece. This is what we got;

We felt that this shot didn't have the effect that we were hoping for. We felt that the back drop didn't look as black as we would like it because the lights were too yellow. This would be more effective if we had a white light therefore creating more of a contrast in light and dark.
We will try this again for our final cut with a different cloth and a white light rather than a yellow energy saver!


Monday, 20 October 2008

Shoot report

We were filming the rest of our footage today we had from about 2 o'clock and I had to get the gear back to long before 5 at the latest, so we had time. It turned out to be an eventful shoot.

we got into town and ran through what we were going to shoot so everyone in the group knew what was going on.
However as we were about to start shooting we were stopped by Lion Yard security who told we weren't allowed to film their because it was private property. This surprised me as I always thought it was a public space, but apparently it's all owned by Barclay's-you learn something every day.

So despite this seemingly disastrous turn of events, as we had been planning to shoot the entire rest of the sequence in Lion Yard/Grand Arcade, we persevered. We decided that instead of running through the grand arcade the chase would be around the outside of Lion Yard and then into the stairs and lift the back entrance.

At this point I should make the point that it was only Lion Yard people who didn't want us filming there, the Grand Arcade employees were quite happy to let us film near the lifts. So go Grand Arcade!

anyways we managed to shoot pretty much all the shots we needed despite the start of heavy raining. We will see how the footage turned out and whether it can all be used when we come to edit.

Also some pictures of the locations should be up soon


Saturday, 18 October 2008

Shot list-order of shooting

this is exactly the same as the previous but in the order we will shoot the shots.

sorry for the repetition but this will be primarily used by us as a sort of call sheet so everyone in the group knows what we are shooting that day, as well as being useful to make sure we get all the shots we need.

• Close up of briefcase, pan and zoom out to long shot as Jamie walks away with briefcase down street.
If we are allowed to shoot from the second floor of 'eat':
• High angle shot of Jamie walking from Lloyd's away down Petty Cury
• High angle shot of the two pursuers coming out of Lloyd's stopping then running after Jamie down Petty Cury

• Long shot of Jamie from inside of Lion Yard as he runs in.
• Long shot of Jamie running through Lion Yard into the Grand Arcade section with the pursuers visible behind him.
• Several mid-long shots of both Jamie and the pursuers running through the Grand Arcade from the sides.
• Long shot of Jamie running through the Grand Arcade, then right up the escalator (pursuers visible running after him).
• High angle shot of Jamie running through Lion Yard, which then pans to the right to see the pursuers running into Lion Yard.
• High angle shot of Jamie running through Grand Arcade, with 180 degree pan under the bridge from which the shot is taken.
• High angle shots of Jamie and pursuers running down the Grand Arcade.
• Mid-long shot of Jamie coming (maybe running) up the escalator, 720 degree pan following Jamie up escalator-round column at top of escalator-and across the 'bridge' across the Grand Arcade-at which point it keeps panning to the left and follows the pursuers coming up the escalator and around the column.
• Mid-long shot of Jamie running across the bridge from the opposite direction, panning to the right as he runs towards lift (pursuers visible coming up escalator in the background)
• Tracking shot with Jamie as he runs to the lift. (pursuers visible coming across the 'bridge')
• Mid shot as he presses button and gets in the lift, pans to left to see pursuers running towards lifts but turn and run the other way down the Grand arcade to the stairs.
• Long shot to extreme long shot as pursuers run down the side of the Grand Arcade.
• Mid-shot from behind Jamie in the lift as the doors close.
• Mid shots of Jamie in the lift.
• Mid-long shot of pursuers running around end of the Grand Arcade to the stairs (pan to the right)
• Mid shot pan to the left as they run past and start running up stairs.
• Several shots of them running up the stairs from either side (showing levels as they go)
• Extreme high angle shot from directly above looking down centre of stair well as they run up.
• Shot of them coming to the top of the stairs, panning to the left as they burst through the doors and run across the top of the Car park.


Shot List-chronological order within opening

These are the shots we will take in chronological order within the opening itself

Depending on the weather i.e how similar it is to our first shoot we will shoot these shots first outside the Grand Arcade in and around Lloyd's TSB. The first of these we have to shoot because we need it for the opening to work. The second two will be optional depending on the aforementioned.

• Close up of briefcase, pan and zoom out to long shot as Jamie walks away with briefcase down street.
If we are allowed to shoot from the second floor of 'eat':
• High angle shot of Jamie walking from Lloyd's away down Petty Cury
• High angle shot of the two pursuers coming out of Lloyd's stopping then running after Jamie down Petty Cury

The rest of the shooting will take place within the Grand Arcade/Lion Yard shopping centre.

• Long shot of Jamie from inside of Lion Yard as he runs in.
• High angle shot of Jamie running through Lion Yard, which then pans to the right to see the pursuers running into Lion Yard.
• Long shot of Jamie running through Lion Yard into the Grand Arcade section with the pursuers visible behind him.
• High angle shot of Jamie running through Grand Arcade, with 180 degree pan under the bridge from which the shot is taken.
• Several mid-long shots of both Jamie and the pursuers running through the Grand Arcade from the sides.
High angle shots of Jamie and pursuers running down the Grand Arcade.
Long shot of Jamie running through the Grand Arcade, then right up the escalator (pursuers visible running after him).
• Mid-long shot of Jamie coming (maybe running) up the escalator, 720 degree pan following Jamie up escalator-round column at top of escalator-and across the 'bridge' across the Grand Arcade-at which point it keeps panning to the left and follows the pursuers coming up the escalator and around the column.
• Mid-long shot of Jamie running across the bridge from the opposite direction, panning to the right as he runs towards lift (pursuers visible coming up escalator in the background)
• Tracking shot with Jamie as he runs to the lift. (pursuers visible coming across the 'bridge')
• Mid shot as he presses button and gets in the lift, pans to left to see pursuers running towards lifts but turn and run the other way down the Grand arcade to the stairs.
• Mid-shot from behind Jamie in the lift as the doors close.
• Long shot to extreme long shot as pursuers run down the side of the Grand Arcade.
• Mid shots of Jamie in the lift.
• Mid-long shot of pursuers running around end of the Grand Arcade to the stairs (pan to the right)
• Mid shot pan to the left as they run past and start running up stairs.
• Several shots of them running up the stairs from either side (showing levels as they go)
• Extreme high angle shot from directly above looking down centre of stair well as they run up.
• Shot of them coming to the top of the stairs, panning to the left as they burst through the doors and run across the top of the Car park


shooting Schedule, mark. 2

Unfortunately we were unable to film on Wednesday like we had intended due to some errors beyond our control- The camera we were going to borrow of a friend was unable- on top of this we decided that the hassle with the compatibility of the cameras wasn't worth it.

luckily we are allowed to take the camera out again into Cambridge so it is possible for us to shoot the rest of our opening. However we're not allowed another over night with the camera so we will just be shooting throughout next Monday afternoon and then I'll return the camera to Long Road

this will then give us tuesday and wednesdays lessons to edit the footage as well as after school on thursday.

so this is our new shooting Schedule:

Monday the 2oth of October
Cambridge City Centre (majority inside the Lion Yard/Grand Arcade shopping centre)


Friday, 17 October 2008

Location Info

In the opening of our thriller we used the following locations:
  • Long Road C block corridor
  • Lloyd's Bank
  • Petty Cury
  • Grand Arcade
  • Grand Arcade car park roof
Long Road C block corridor
This location is used as the beginning of our thriller opening. At this location we filmed one of our characters running down the corridor anxiously looking for one of our important items used throughout the film, the briefcase.

Lloyd's Bank

This location is where the audience are first introduced to the characters. Here we saw character 1 casually walk out of the building in a business like fashion. the movement of the other two characters is the complete opposite. We see character 2 and 3 running out of the bank urgently looking for character 1.

Petty Cury and Grand Arcade
These location are where the dramatic chase s
cenes were shot. In these locations we see character 1 being chased by characters 2 and 3 up through the shopping centre levels up onto the top level of Grand Arcade's car park.

Grand Arcade car park
This location is where the intense climax of our thriller opening takes place. Here it appears that character 1 has managed to escape from characters 1 and 2. However, characters 2 and 3 come racing out of the car parks double doors chasing character 1 into an enclosed levels of the car park.


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Rushes log

This is a retrospective shot list for the shots we filmed yesterday
in roughly chronological order within opening, rather than order we shot them:

• Jamie leaving Lloyds-close up on briefcase to zoom out as Jamie walked away down the street.
• Jamie walking past camera then away down street, zoom in as he turns around sees pursuers and runs.
• Mid-long shot of Jamie from side, turning round seeing pursuers and fleeing.
• Long shot of Jamie in distance, turning-reacting-running towards camera, then slight pan to right as he runs round into Lion Yard.
• Long shot of Pursuers running out of Lloyd's stopping then running off down street.
• Mid shot as pursuers run past, pan to the left-long shot as they run away down the street.
• 2 Mid shots from either side of the street as pursuers run past.
• Long shot to mid shot as pursuers run towards camera, then pan as they
run past camera into Lion Yard.

• Mid shot of Jamie walking through opening Lift doors.
• Tracking shot from behind Jamie as Jamie walks across the side of the car park
• Over the shoulder point of view shot of pursuers bursting through doors on other side of car park.
• Over the shoulder shot of pursuers running across the car park towards Jamie, slight pan to right as Jamie starts to run away to the right away from the pursuers.
• 540 degree pan following Jamie running towards camera-past camera, then continuing the pan following Luke running up the otherside of the partition across the car park-around the end of it and after Jamie where Jaie ran.
• Long-high shot of pursuers running across car park-Ashley turns back and runs around the other way to Luke.
• Mid-Long shot of Jamie running past camera and up ramp at centre of car park followed by luke running past camera and standing at bottom of ramp.
• Long shot of Ashley running across car park, with slight pan to the left as he comes up the the bottom of the ramp in the centre of the car park.
• Close up of back of Jamie's framed by the two pursuers on other side in the middle ground. Them walking towards Jamie.
• 270 degree pan from behind Jamie's head taking in the skyline behind him, the finishing the pan looking at him from the right, with the pursuers advancing on him.
• Close-Long shot of three men from right as Jamie reaches into his jacket.
• Close up of Jamie's hand reaching into his jacket.

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Shooting Schedule

Retrospectively: Monday the 13th of October
Cambridge City Centre (outside Lloyd's TSB)/Rooftop car park of Grand Arcade

Wednesday the 15th of October
Long Road 6th Form College

Lion Yard/Grand Arcade shopping centre (a few shots outside maybe if we need depending how the weather is)
11:00-14:30 approximately

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Monday, 13 October 2008

results of first day of shooting

first day of shooting went pretty well we got all the shots we need for the rough cut, whether we have to redo anything we will see when we try and edit the footage together tommorrow in the lesson.

there are actually some shots I would have liked to have get which I didn't due to time pressures but this can be corrected when we shoot some more footage.

if anything I think shooting our first lot has taught how useful a shot list can be because without it the shoot was rather chaotic, I intend to have a complete shot list up by at least the end of Tuesday.
Although some of the 'chaos' was partly due to various people not being in the same place at the right time mainly due to some people having bikes and others not, however it was no great problem and we got everything that we needed doing done.

we'll try and edit the footage shot into something vaguely cohesive and then shoot the rest of the footage (the inside parts, and anything we need to re-do) probably on wednesday with the shot list which we'll do tomorrow.

So Shot list should be up by tomorrow
as should the shooting times for wednesday


Sunday, 12 October 2008

Shooting Schedule

Due to finding out that the rough cut for our Thriler project has to be handed in a week today, we've decided that we NEED today Monday the 13th of October as our day of principle shooting

we are going to try and shoot all of the outside scenes today: those in the streets outside and around Lion Yard/The Grand Arcade and those on the rooftop of the Grand Arcade car park.

The main reason for this is if we don't manage to then have enough time to film all our inside scenes, inside the Grand Arcade/Lion Yard, then we will still have continuity with all the outside shots and it will be possible to film all the inside shots on a separate day with a camera belonging to a friend of mine. This will be necesary because if we do manage in shooting the scenes today then that will be our one alloted overnight with the camera.

We will see how things progress.

I am also aware that having to shoot so soon means that we have not yet completed a full shot list, however this is in my head already and I will right up todays shots as I would have intended to do them had I not already, and then those inside the Grand Arcade to complete the shot list.
This will mean we will have the shot use at hand when we come to shoot inside the building.

Lets hope filming goes well today


Friday, 10 October 2008

Animatic Storyboard

This is our animatic, it is far from perfect but it will suffice for it's purpose: giving a vague outline for the rough storyline of the opening and a vague idea of what the music and opening as a whole may be like.

It is also something from which ideas may spring i.e we could do this better because... etc.



Listed below are the props that we will be using in our thriller opening sequence.
  • Gun
  • Briefcase
  • Calendar/Diary
The briefcase will be the most important prop used in our sequence as the viewer will never know it's content, in other words it's a MacGuffin a phrase though of my Alfred Hitchcock as an obkect which drives the narrative but what the item itself is is unimportant. An example of this would be another briefcase: the one in Pulp Fiction. This will therefore adds suspense to our production. The gun is also an important prop as the moment of gunpoint adds a pacey speed to the suspense. Finally the calendar/diary will be used to reveal a particular date to tie in with the title of our thriller.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008


Character 1

Character one will be wearing a black suit with a white shirt and black tie.
this will be important to our piece because it makes this character stand out form the rest. Men in suits are mysterious and enigmatic. thrillers often bring up questions and by keeping the man in a suit people will be asking themselves 'Why is he in a suit?'

Characters 2 & 3

These two can wear anything but they need big coats and sunglasses, this is to mark them as different to the 'man with the briefcase':they're not as 'sharp' as the person fleeing. this is to make the person fleeing look more important and more of a professional so it looks as if he can get away easily.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Location scouting/working out final ideas for chase

this afternoon I went into Cambridge to try and work out where our chase sequence is going to take place (from where, to where).

I wanted it to start at Lloyds opposite eat in town, because it has impressive doors and looks like the kind of a building something important might be kept there (logical really considering it's a bank). The 'man with the briefcase' will then be chased/run down the road opposite to the market, then turning left into Lion Yard he will run the length of Lion Yard/the Grand arcade and up the escalator at the far end. This will be filmed from a variety of angles and then cut together in a dynamic exciting way. We'll will also be switching between the pursued and the pursuing.
At the escalator the shots get a bit more complex and I'm not sure I can explain them that well on here, we may try and get them now in pictures. But once upstairs the fleeing runs to the lifts and get in but the pursuers can't get in one so they run to the stairs. There will then be intercut shots of the man in the lift and the two chasing running up the stairs.
Then the 'man with the briefcase' will then come to the top floor and get out of the list coming slightly out into the carpark (the camera following him with a tracking shot), still inter cut with this will be the pursuers running up the stairs they will then burst out of the door on the other side of the car park. At this the 'man with the briefcase' will run to one side as will one of the others then the second will come round the back and he'll be surrounded. This will then lead to him pulling a gun and shooting the two, although this will be after the screens gone black, all we'll hear is two gun shots and the name of the film coming down in two parts with the gun shots.


A Few Ideas For Our Chase Scene

These are a few ideas for our chase scene that I found on YouTube:

These chase scenes contain many elements that our thriller could contain. The first thing that I noticed was how the camera angle is constantly changing. this adds an edge to the film and it keeps changing the viewers point of view so they are satisfied that they can see everything that is happening. We could incorporate this into our piece.
Normally they are quite free-roaming this makes it more interesting for the viewer, and a really good action sequence can tell the story with or through the action. A very good example of this are the second two bond film which almost never stops to tell the story. The action being the story.
They also contain many acrobatic moves that if tried first time in real life probably wouldn't work. These, if we do them, would have to be rehearsed over and over again if we had any chance of getting them right.



I started working music for the piece on Garageband
there'll be no music in the starting bit
but from on the 'man with the briefcase' leaving the building we'll have music
this will be mostly fast paced music to go with the action I would imagine

we will see as I work on it

I am thinking of that I probably want it something like this:

I certainly want that 'chugging' (as I'd say) sort of feel of the start with the big guitars/bass etc. for the bit where 'the man with the briefcase' first comes out of the building with the slow motion. Whether this style will work for the rest of the chase we will see. It is likely that I will change it and make it a faster tempo for the rest of the chase and then drop it out completely once the pursuers have cornered 'the man with the briefcase'. Meaning we'll have no music at the beginings and end which has a pleasant symetry I like the sound of, as well as highlightin the key moments of tension.

we will see


That's Right It's a FAKE Gun!

This is the prop that we will be using in the ending scene :)

This prop will be used responsibly, we will make sure that the public are aware that we are shooting a film and that we are not using it to harm people. we will also make sure we use it in a secluded place out of sight of the busiest areas of Cambridge.


Friday, 3 October 2008

Initail Ideas

As a group we've started working on the initial ideas for our thriller project.

The Beginning

Our first shot will be of an empty corridor you will be able to hear the footsteps of two people walking down the corridor this will either cut to a black screen with a few of the titles on, or we will have the titles over the top of the video. We will try both of these out on first cut in the editing stage and will see which one looks better. We will then ave another character bursting out of the door with the suitcase in their hand this shot will then move up to the back of him. The next shot will be of the same character from behind then walking into a crowd of people this will be from a mid shot right behind him then to a long shot of him in a crowd. the next shot will show him walking out of the crowd but it will keep his head cut out this will add mystery to the scene. The next will be a long shot from up high above the character . The character will be walking down a partially deserted street and the shot will follow him down the road.

The Chase

We have some vague ideas on what we want to happen but we need to look into some things and different ideas of what we want to happen and what locatios we want to shoot it in.

The End

At the end of the scene we are thinking of having our run away character getting cornered and just as they are about to get him. He whips out a gun and points it at the two chasers. Then a black screne falls down and two gun shots are fired. As each gun shot is fired the seperate words of the title flash up.

*Ashley the expert drawer drew all of our wonderful pictures :)

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Thursday, 2 October 2008

Analysis of Student Thriller Project

This piece was effective in creating a convincing beginning for a Thriller film. It achieved this through the use of several different themes and techniques.
A very common technique used in Thriller openings in the creation of suspense and intrigue, this asks question of the audience and almost without fail will grab the viewers attention and probably keep them hooked til the questions are answered and longer. They create this intrigue through the events of the opening. who are these people why are they dancing? What's the story of their relationship? Why, and this is a clever use of the soundtrack music being part of the action, is there a man playing a piano? Is this part of the plot or surrealistic? And the big question, what is it that leads the man to killing? The fact that all these questions are being asked.
Also this technique is often used in Thriller films; that of an event (like a shooting) and then the rest of the film are the events leading up to it and often past it.
The use of music, calm, serene during the romantic sections and then tense and less musical, as it were. Sometimes, often in fact, when you're trying to film scenes like the one at the end of this opening music can hinder and some of the most dramatic and effective scenes like this have been filmed with no soundtrack at all apart from the noises of footsteps an then a deafening gun shot. Of course there are also many examples of ,often happy, music being played over scenes of violence etc to great effect. One of the most famous such scenes being the one at the end of The Godfather where the religious church organ music is playing among scenes of the shootings.

I also thought the variety of shots was also good. Again highlighting the difference the more romantic beginning and more violent end, there tended to be more longer shots in the first section and certainly more shorter shots with slightly more cutting in the end section.
Another thing I really liked was the use of titles, the effect on the '36' was very professional. But the thing I liked the most was the fading in and out of the titles and the shots, these is a technique I've seen a lot and one I like. It was certainly one I was hoping we could use for our Thriller project. So it is encouraging it's worked here.
It also included stock things like guns and violence/murder, which almost always crop in one way or another in Thriller films so this is another thing that firmly secures it in this genre.
All these different things contribute to making an effective and well made Thriller opening.


Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Analysis of Hollywood thriller

We watched the film Memento's opening sequence.This contained many elements of a thriller.

To begin, the music used created suspense,this was done by the music having a gentle crescendo and the tempo throughout the opening sequence became faster. By changing the music it altered the mood of the audience, as they watched it.

Other techniques used were the length of the takes and the shots. The music was fast when the shots were slower they were contrasting creating tension. This was done because the audience want to know as they were following the pace of the music without being able to move to the next shot.

Another convention used was the use of the blood, this rose questions which the audience wanted to know the answer to.
  • Who was he?
  • What had he done?
  • Who's blood was it?
  • How did she die?
  • Who else was involved?
Another typical aspect of a thriller was the use of weapons in the opening sequence; the last shot was of a shell. Weapons put an element of fear into the film making the audience want to know more.

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Monday, 15 September 2008