(The following notes are preliminary working responses only)
This is the first shot of the 9 in my opening scene is a static mid shot. In this shot we see one of the main characters walking towards the church, this partly makes it an establishing shot as well as it sets the scene and shows where the action will happen. The setting is not that of a conventional thriller, it looks to be an old village or town. I deliberately did this as my film is meant to be more of a psychological thriller and i felt the city is more the place to have action scenes, i followed this convention also. I chose this shot because it made my main protagonist stand out, but didn’t show too much of him too quickly keeping people intrigued. He starts out of centre frame but slowly walks into it, i did this because it represents the way he enters the plot. He used to have no clue about anything involving his friends dark side and the people he’s involved with but then he gets thrown into the deep end as he is dragged into his friends life of crime. The weather was also perfect for the mise-en-scene because it kept everything dull and grey making it more depressing. I did the tilt with the zoom to show where he’s going so the ellipsis made sense, creating a sense of clarity for the viewers which quickly changed.
This shot is the first shot we see of the protagonists friend (ben) it is a tracking/panning long shot. The reason its in black and white is to represent that it happened in the past, i stole this from the film ‘Kill Bill’ which was directed by Quintin Tarantino a very famous director especially of thrillers. I thought the it was a good idea to use as it helps people differentiate the 2 scenes and the time of the scenes. I chose the part of the canal which was murkiest because again it made bens character unclear making us slowly see more and more of the characters gradually. It also represents this characters past and shows how it is unclear. I wanted this shot to feature in the film no matter what, because i first saw it used in ‘ Peaky Blinders’ and loved it. However i adapted mine to make it fit better with the genre and the film, i did this by making it a long shot and having it panning instead of tilting. I got ben to wear all black to show he’s a antagonist which follows the conventions of a thriller, however in this scene bens character is the victim so this goes against the conventions. I did this to foreshadow the fact that he does turn evil and that secretly has been a antagonist all along.
I chose this shot not for as much the look, but for it what tells you about the character, for example the ‘bars’/fencing between him and the camera. This could mean many things, for example it could mean he’s caged and trapped so has no choice but to live the life he’s been given working for the antagonists. It could also represent a barrier between us (the audience) and him, meaning we cant connect with him as a character or that we shouldn’t connect with him and its protecting us. Again we don’t see much of the character keeping us intrigued and going along with the idea that we shouldn’t connect with him. In this shot we can establish that we are in a much more urban area like a city, this definitely follows the conventions of a thriller and it could mean that this is where the action is going to happen.
This shot is a close back at the church which is why its in colour, the reason i did this shot was because on the first edit people couldn’t really link the characters of ben and luke together so i acted on their criticism and added this shot to establish the relation between the 2. It also shows that luke is at bens grave which was also unclear before. In this shot i ask luke to wear the same outfit making him seem neutral and unchanged, however i made ben wear a lighter more protagonist like outfit. This shows how bens character changed at a certain point in his life and Luke’s character new him before he got into trouble, which could mean he’s the only one who truly knows bens character.
This is an over the shoulder shot of our main antagonist (Eddie) watching the protagonist, this is the first shot where both the antagonist and protagonist feature in the same shot this one shot also sets the relationship between the characters. For example eddie is always one step ahead and knows Luke’s every movement. It also shows how eddies character knows about Luke’s but Luke’s doesn’t know about eddies, making it easier for eddie to stalk him giving him the power which is why he’s the most prominent character on screen taking up most of the shot. Eddies character is also hiding in the dark and wearing a dark coat which definitely goes with the conventions of a thriller. It also shows that his characters secretive and doesn’t like to show himself, this also describes the cult he is apart of and bens characters dark past/story.
This shot is an example of the action that takes place in the city, still in black and white to show its in the past. The shot is a static long shot of ben getting chased. This shot appears very quickly as the editing in this bit id very fast paced to help shows the rush of the action and to keep the audience guessing. This shot
This shot is a static mid shot of the main antagonist (eddie), this is the first time we see Eddie in this scene, we already saw him at the church which is why this shot has much more impact because it tells us its all connected. Eddie is centre frame because he’s the main character in both scenes, it also creates much more of an impact and looks more aesthetically pleasing. Its a shot very similar to that used in the batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan. I believe it helps the audience understand the importance and power of eddies character. Again i got eddie to wear all black to show he is an antagonist, not breaking the conventions of a typical thriller, the black coat also makes him stand out even though it is black and white which is what i wanted.
This shot is an extreme close up and reaction shot of bens character once he’s seen eddie, this is the closest we’ve been to bens character and that’s because he is completely vulnerable and open making him become more clear and easier to get. So i used his vulnerability as an invitation to see him In a more detailed way. This works because earlier on when he was in control of the situation we only really saw long shots of him. The effect this has on the audience is that we are merely viewers and don’t feel as involved in the action, which is what i wanted because this scene happened in the past and it means the audience are fortunate to see it because it means we know more than Luke’s character.
My whole cast in the opening scene are white males, this is because of many reasons some to do with the story line others to do with availability of actors. For example the reason all the characters in the opening scene are because the antagonists in the film are a racist cult with ideologies that only the purest are welcome, and when i say purist i mean white British/American. This is why Eddie was perfect for this role as he is white British and a great actor. I wanted to make my main character played by luke a black actor to begin with but due to times of filming and when my friend was available i was not able to do this, which was a shame because until recent you don’t see many black actors have main roles in thrillers. Also because the film is set in the uk all the actors are British, however because there is no dialogue in the opening scene there’s no way of knowing this.
All of my characters in the opening scene are male because the antagonists are those of more wealth and have more old fashioned views, like the wife stays at home whilst the man works. Most people from the current generation know these views are wrong and immoral but this is why the cult are doing what they’re doing because they want everyone to have the same ideologies as them. Know a days thriller antagonists can be both men or women but men are still usually the main convention. I also followed conventions by making my protagonist a man, however i did this because of convenience. Besides this does mean that i could introduce a women later on in the story line. Another reason they’re all male could be because in today’s society its mainly men who are involved in crime.
This is also the reason i chose to film it in the 2 places i did. The first location at the church is set in an old town which does go against conventions but worked for my piece. This is because my film has 2 set locations and having a modern city as one and an old town as the other makes them very contrasting and creates many opportunities. It also helps show the opinions of the old and the opinions of the new in a very balanced generation as its set in current times. The other setting is in the city which definitely does follow the conventions of a thriller and this is where most of the action happens, this is because the city has a lot more opportunities for action sequences and chase scenes.
In my film i feel i created a great sense of realism whilst keeping it on the balance of the unknown appealing to the audience. I did this by having it in a realistic setting and by also having a variety of them to cover a wider audience, i also made it set in the current day but introduced both old and new ideologies and opinions making it realistic and relatable for all ages. However by having the antagonist as an evil cult based off religious ideologies it creates a massive sense of the unknown. I did this because it fits the genre of a psychological thriller as it creates an opportunity to mess with the audience and hit them with plot twists.
My initial audience ideas were to make a psychological thriller appealing to both the young and the middle aged because thriller films usually interest young adults as they find the plot interesting and they enjoy the suspense and mystery. Also because as our society is developing so are our views and this is meant to be shown in the film between the contrast of the old ideological cult and the young shown through Luke’s character. I wanted to do this because i wanted to really show how the old racist ideologies are out of date and should no longer be a thing because our current generation is very close to getting it right. This relates to brexit being a backwards step when it comes to racism, that’s why I incorporated it into my story line by having the cult be responsible for global issues like Brexit and Donald Trump.
I used many ideas and camera styles from the film ‘kill Bill’ who’s target audience was 18-30 year olds which is very similar to mine. However i would like people younger than 18 to see mine so i would have to make my film less gruesome and more suitable for a certificate 15. ‘Kill Bill’ made around $176,469,000 in the worldwide box office. ‘Inception’ also targeted young adults by making it a technology based psychological thriller and also using a lot of attractive famous actors appealing to the younger audiences for example Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Ellen Page of course i would not be able top do this but my movie has a similar style.
My final audience choice was young adults aged around 15-35, this is because i feel my film would be best suited for this group of people of the action from films like ‘kill bill’ and the psychological aspect like ‘Inferno’. Also i have a young cast making it relatable for the younger viewers and as my film has both ideologies old and new its suitable for many people.
Before fully writing the story line to my thriller i created a questionnaire to find out what people like in a thriller. For example i asked if people prefer psychological or action thrillers, the most popular result was a bit of both and that’s what i did. I also used the feedback from the audience to make many more decisions. The research i did also helped with my creative process, for example the black and white which i used like on ‘Kill Bill’ to show its a past event. I also used similar camera techniques and shots from Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies.
Some of the feedback I received after my first edit was that it was hard to establish a relationship between ben and Luke’s character. So in response to this i added a shot to show that they were friends and that luke was visiting bens grave. I took a photo of them together and then got a close up shot of it and added it to the graveyard sequence.
In film making technology plays a massive part no matter what level you’re at and in the process of making my thriller I have learnt a lot about some of the technology and what a huge role it has. The main thing you need for a film is a camera and you can get many different types, for my film I used my own camera which is a DSLR Canon 100D which is amazing for filming. It allowed to shift focus which looked incredibly good, i shifted focus from eddie to luke so it became clear that eddie was watching luke.
It also adjusted to the lighting really well meaning i could change the exposure and make some shots and others bright which was extremely useful. It also had a built in mic which i used for more realistic diegetic sounds. However in the editing which i did on final cut pro i learnt how to add sounds in which were more clear and sounded better making my film higher quality. The editing was also extremely helpful in making my film more aesthetically pleasing, for example if an object or person was just off centre frame it allowed me to crop the shot and it also let me make some of the shots black and white which ended up helping the film massively. However than can be problems with this technology, luckily not much went wrong for me but your camera could run out of battery or your footage could become corrupt making it useless.
Technology was also extremely helpful outside the making process for example all the planning i did on my blog which was vital for coursework, however this blog did temporarily stop working for me which became a huge hindrance. However it was repaired and i had to catch up, that’s where sometimes technology can be unreliable. However it did help me make my film better by allowing me to get feedback from the public by posting it on YouTube and reading the comments.
Comparing my preliminary task to my main task thriller is a huge comparison because they are so different and obviously my thriller is much better. This is because of many reasons for example the actors i chose, some of the actors i used in my preliminary task were not up to the standard i wanted. This meant for my thriller i only kept this actors i wanted and replaced the others with better ones, for example Eddie Gripper. I also tried to choose the actors which were most reliable. Managing my actors became more of a challenge when we did the filming in oxford, this is because there were many of us and oxford is a big place. I also had to be particularly careful with my equipment, this is why i brought a friend along to help me carry it around amend look after it whilst i was directing/filming. Making sure everyone was at the location at the right time was also quite a challenge as we had to get the train, so i booked the tickets in advance and made sure everyone was there in time. This is because for the preliminary we missed our train which meant we had to change the filming location.
In my main task i did make a few mistakes which was inevitable, one of the major ones was I left the tripod in one of my shots. In order to fix this we had to go back to the filming location which luckily was near the school and re film the shot. I also had a few problems with the technology when it came to editing, this is because i am still learning and trying to master everything. One of the most challenging things was the title screen at the end. In my preliminary task i just added text over the shot, however i didn’t think that looked very good which is why i did something different for my main task. I also improved my main task by using royalty free music unlike my preliminary task and managed to fit the sound effects in with much better timing. Because in my preliminary i task i miss timed the sounds for a few things so i made sure this didn’t happen agin.
One of the things I decided not to do was go to the London to film my city scene, this is because both creative and practicality reasons. One of the reasons are London is too crowded to get most of the shots i wanted, also you’re not allowed to film everywhere in London which may have caused problems. I also decided not to add a voice narrative over my opening sequence, this is because i felt it got rid of lots of the tension and didn’t make the film as engaging.
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