Saturday, 29 January 2011

'Watching' Documentary on Film Openings

We watched a 30 minute documentary on film openings. while watching we was asked to answer some questions.

1. What does Thomas Sutcliffe mean when he says "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go far instant arousal is almost irresistible"

2. According to director Jean Jacques Beineix, what are the risks of 'instant arousal'?

3. Explain what "a good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little"

4.  What does critic Stanley Kaufmann describe as the classic opening?
Why does it work?

5. Why is Kyle Cooper's title sequence to the film Seven so effective?

6.  What did Orson Welles want to achieve with his opening in the film A Touch Of Evil? What did Universal Studios do to it? Why?

7. What is meant by "a favourite trick of Film Noir"? What is the trick?

8. How does the opening to the film The shining create suspense?


1. When Thomas Sutcliffe said this, he means that the movie should attract the audience’s attention straight away so that they pay attention to what is going on.  He also points out that at the same time u should be keeping the audience engaged you shouldn't give much away. This is so that the audience keeps a 'long term commitment' to the movie.

2. According to Jean Jacques Beineix the risks of 'instant arousal' is that once you do this the audience will have a high expectation of the movie throughout it, if the movie then doesn't live up to their expectations they will be disappointed.

3.  A good beginning to a film will make the audience engaged in the movie wanting them to watch more, at the same time you will have to make sure you do not give away too much at the beginning.

4. A classic opening which is described from critic Stanley Kauffmann is showing a town/city or a place with a tall building, an office, receptionist and a busy road. A New York City view is typical because it introduces the character and establishes their lives.

5. Kyle Coopers title sequence to the film Seven is very effective because it's discreet and also has powerful use of editing. It was a unique sequence because it didn't relate to the movie like other openings do to their movies. There was also many close ups and the mise en scene in the opening shows that this is not like any other film.

6. Orson Welles created the longest opening to a film with A Touch Of Evil, he wanted the opening to be silent but Universal Studios added music on top of it and title sequences which Orson Welles did not want originally. Universal Studios done this for their own benefit, wanting to advertise their company and making the viewers know that they was involved in the making of the movie.

7. The trick of Film Noir is that the ending of the film is shown at the beginning, when this is used the audience wants to find out how this has happened for this to happen. It is not always obvious that the trick is used.

8.  The opening of The Shining creates suspense by its camera work. We start by following a car from a high and far angle. This makes us feel like we are watching the car like a predator.






Thursday, 27 January 2011

Documentary on Film Openings






































This is from the lesson today when we watched a documentary about the openings of movies.
A 1) He is saying that you should not go all out with the opening and make it amazing from the start. even though it is very tempting to capture the audience from the start with a explosion or something. instead of doing that you should have a slow start and build the audience into the climax 
A 2) It will result in the rest of the film trying  to live up to the the start, and often the film can die out because non of it was as good as the start. 
A 3) It must make them feel like this so they have a reason to watch on, they need to feel like they know a little bit so they can discover the whole picture. no one wants to know nothing and enter the first 5mins still not knowing anythin, they would find this fustrating and boring.
A 4) The classic opening is where we get a long shot of the area in which the place is set, then the camera goes up the side of the building past the secertaries desk and into the executive office. This is a good classic opening because it tells us everything we need to know, where it is set and who the person is and what status they have.
A 5) Because it uses at lot of close ups and extreem close ups and is totaly seperate from the film, it also shows us the man is slightly crazy as he is cuting himself to put in a book.
A 6) he wanted to achieve doing the whole opening in one shot, with no cuts or edits, just a straight run through.
A 7) The trick is to put the ending at the start of the film and have the rest of the film lead up to the events that unfold in the beginning 
A 8) It creates suspense by tracking the car from a high point view like it is a predetor waiting to pounce on its pray.

Inroduction to Live Type and Final Cut Pro

Live type and Final cut pro are also both industry standard programs like soundtrack pro. Live type is the program used to make titles and title sequence for films. This is also what we used to make titles in our bag swap scene.


This is where you make and select what you want to do on your title. There are many different types of fonts and animations to choose from for your titles. You can make it fade in and out and make it go off the screen in crazy and weird ways.

This is final cut pro where you put the title you made into your film. you will have to render the clip into the clip otherwise it will not read it and it will not play

Introduction to Soundtrack Pro

We was recently introduced to a new program called soundtrack pro, this program is used to make sounds and music for films. It is a very good program and is industry standard. This is what program we will be using when making our final edit.

We were asked to create a short piece of music as a practice, so we could understand and get used to the program. 


This is where you select what instruments you choose, as you can see i chose drums and then selected a beat. There are many choices of instruments and even more types of beats for that selected instrument. So it  there is a lot of choice and variation you can have


This was what we finally chose to be are selected music for our bag swap scene. I made it a mixture of suspense with a drum kit introduced after the title sequence has been shown. 

response to the 'watching' documentary

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4IMC82tl6O4/TP1YMlukYEI/AAAAAAAAAEI/2kz_fCrmRN0/s1600/Screen%2Bshot%2B2010-12-06%2Bat%2B21.37.13.png
 After we watched the 30 min documentary in class we were given a couple of questions to answer regarding it.
A 1) He means that director should consider aiming to draw in the audiences attention as much as possible. he also points out that they should be kept for 'long term commitment' and not instant 'arousal' and that techniques should be used that will not reveal too much to the audience, but enough to leave for the audience to find out.
A 2) It will result in the rest of the film being dedicated to answering questions that were caused by the 'instant arousal' in the start.
A 3) Because you should aim to reveal only some info but leave enough room and eagerness for the audience to watch the rest and find out more
A 4) Because this opening through its camera work takes us directly into the interior of the characters life.
A 5) Because it was discreet and had powerful use of editing to create a unique sequence that was distinct from the rest of the film.
A 6) Its holds the record for the longest scene filmed in one take and universal studios decided to music over the sequence when the director himself did not want it there.
A 7) The trick is to put the ending at the start of the film and have the rest of the film lead up to the events that unfold in the beginning
A 8) The camera takes the role of a predator when tracking the car driving pass the mountains.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

LiveType introduction

We were recently introduced to a program called "LiveType". This is a program that is used to create texts. This program is commonly used for when creating introductions to movies with text or the credits.

Here is a quick example to how to use the program.

You type the text you want to appear in the little square in the top right corner.
You can change the size of the text if you want to by adjusting the setting, which is under the text box.





There are many different type of ways of changing your text, one of your options is to go into effects and select how you want your text to appear. You can also change the font and the background.







After you have done your selections, you will have to render the clip so that you can add it to programs such as Final Cut Pro. This has helped me because it will now be easier for me to edit credits and titles into our final piece of work, which is an opening scene of a Thriller.

Soundtrack introduction

We was recently introduced to a program called "Soundtrack pro", this is a program that is used to create music or sound effects. We will be using this program when making our final piece, which is an opening thriller scene.


We were asked to create a short music piece as practice to get used to using the program.

Here is where you can select the type of set up you want, I selected instruments. After selecting the set up you want a list of choices come up which have many different selections you can choose from.



After selecting the sounds you want, you can piece them all together making them in sync. While you are putting the sounds together you can play back what you have done. Once finished putting all the sounds together and you are happy, you export the file making it possible to add it to other programs such as Final Cut Pro.





Monday, 24 January 2011

Bag swap task

For preparation to our Thriller opening scene we were asked to plan, shoot and edit a bag swap. We did not have a lot of time to plan which means we only done a rough idea of it.
 

If you compare our original plan to the final product there are a few changes. We changed a few of the shots because we felt that it would have had a better effect this way. We also added a few new shots which we also felt would have a good effect to the clip.

After finishing filming we uploaded the clips and started editing them together using a program called 'Final Cut Pro'. We had many shots of various things, we also had a few shots of the same scene, this is so when we started editing we could of chose the best clip.

While editing we all worked as a group but also let each other have a go at using the program.
After finishing editing we played the whole clip back and saw that the editing was timed well and that many different type of shots were used.

These are a few examples of the different type of shots we used.


over the shoulder                                                                                         medium shot              









   medium long shot                                                                                  close up   
                



Long shot
          

                      
    
    





We also used pan and tracking shots to make a better effect.


Sunday, 23 January 2011

Introduction to cameras

Introduction to cameras

There is a few rules you have to follow when using equipment.

  • When borrowing equipment always check that they work before leaving to film.
  • Also say where you are going to film and make sure it is not a dangerous place.
  • Do not break the law. E.g. do not access unauthorized places or graffiti unless you have got permission from the local council.
  • Also carry 2 batteries and SD cards with you making sure you have enough time for filming.
  • The SD cards are inserted into the slots which are under the viefinder.
  • When inserting battery, place it into the compartment and slide to the left, to release slide to the right.
  • To switch the camera on or off turn the blue button to on/off.
  • You will hear a sound when you turn on the camera.
  • The camera has its own mic but you can connect a more powerful one to the camera.
  • When recording you can make it lighter by putting the gain to high.
  • When recording make sure the camera does not get wet, if your going to film while its raining make sure the camera is fully covered and protected from the rain.
  • Do not touch the cameras lens because it is the most sensitive and expensive part of the camera, also once your finger touches the lens there will be a fingerprint on the screen when recording.
  • You can always check how much time you have left of recording by the index button.
  • The cam/media button always you to flick between recording and playing back clips that you have just shot.
  • When recording make sure you count down from 5 so that in editing you can add more effects such as fade.
  • When setting up a tripod make sure that the 3 legs are set out equally and that they are locked. You can make sure that the tripod is level by the spirit level.
  • When attaching the camera to the tripod make sure slide the camera from the back of the tripod. Make sure you then lock the camera on by the toggle on the side. When taking the camera off the tripod hold the red button and slide the camera backwards.
  • Make sure you bring the equipment back on time without it being damaged.

Introduction to Camera - Safety Notes (SKILLS)

This documents the safety tips and "must-do's" when operating the CANDI camera's, and are the basic rules that need to be followed when filming:


-MAKE SURE SD CARD ON "OPEN" - THIS IS THE PROTECTION SWITCH, YOU CANNOT RECORD ON "CLOSED".

-SD CARD INSERTED IN SLOT BENEATH VIEFINDER

-BATTERY OACK CLICKS INTO PLACE BY PLACING INTO COMPARTMENT AND SLIDING TO THE LEFT,  TO RELEASE SLIDE TO THE RIGHT.

-CAMERA HAS BUILT IN MIC, EXTRA BOOM MIC CAN BE APPLIED

-ON/OFF BUTTON ON SIDE OF CAMERA, PRESS IN BLUE BUTTON THEN MANOUVER

-"POWER ON" TONE SOUNDS AFTER CAMERA IS TURNED ON

-POWER SAVE FUNCTION IS APPLIED AFTER CAMERA IS DORMANT FOR FIVE MINUTES

-PRESSING "FULL AUTO" BUTTON SWITCHES BETWEEN AUTO AND MANUAL FOCUS SHOOTING MODES

-PRESS "GAIN" TO "HIGH" SETTING FOR LENSE TO TAKE IN MORE LIGHT WHEN RECORDING

-W/T TOGGLE FOR ZOOMING, LOCATED ABOVE CAMERA BRACE

-ND FILTER CHANGES LIGHT SETTINGS, FOR EG. SUNNY DAY, ND FILTER STOPS TOO MUCH LIGHT FROM GETTING IN

-INDEX BUTTON CAN TELL YOU RECORDING TIME AND BATTERY LIFE LEFT

-CAM/MEDIA BUTTON SENDS YOU TO RECORDING AND PLAYBACK MENU, EACH CLIP IS SHOWN IN GROUPS OF NINE.

-"5 SECOND RULE" MUST BE APPLIED WHEN FILMING TO COMPENSATE FOR LEFT OVER MATERIAL NEEDED FOR APPLYING DISSOLVE AND FADE TRANSITIONS WHEN EDITING AND TO MAKE SURE VITAL VIDEO ISN'T LOST.

-THE TRIPOD HAS A SPIRIT LEVEL WHICH MEASURES HOW LEVEL THE TRIPOD IS AND HOW STRAIGHT IT IS, WHEN THE SPIRIT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LEVEL, THE TRIPOD IS STRAIGHT.

-SLIDE CAMERA ON FROM BACK AND SLIDE FOREWARDS TO PLACE ON TRIPOD HOLDER, THEN SECURE THE CAMERA ON THE TRIPOD BY ADJUSTING THE TOGGLE ON THE SIDE.

-THE RED BUTTON ON THE SIDE OF THE CAMERA HOLDER ON THE TRIPOD RELEASES THE CAMERA FROM THE TRIPOD.

-DO NOT CHANGE MENU SETTINGS ON CAMERA UNLESS IT WILL NOT BE COMPATIBLE WITH FINAL CUT PRO SETTINGS WITHIN COLLEGE

-DO NOT GET CAMERA EQUIPMENT WET

-ALL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP RESPONSIBLE IF CAMERA IS LOST OR DAMAGED

-CHECK CAMERA IS OPERATING PROPERLY BEFORE LEAVING BUILDING

- CAMERA MUST BE RETURNED ON TIME


Title Sequence Research : The Taking of Pelham 123


During classtime, our teacher showed us the intro and title sequence (above) of June 2009 release "The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3" the film stars enzel Washington and John Travolta - here are the most important aspects of the opening to the film that I picked up on.

The film's opening title sequence shows the films production and distribution companies, which are:

-Columbia Pictures
-Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures
-Scott Free Media
-Relativity Media

During the whol title sequence, these key things were noted as being chaacteristics of not only this but most title sequences and openings to films:

-Production Company
-Distribution Company
-Director Name
-Lead Actor Names
-Title of FIlm
-Supporting Actor names
-Casting Officials
-Other Crew Members (DOP, Editor, Wardrobe etc...)
-Soundtrack music behind titles

And specificially in the case of "The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3" :

-Location Establishment Shots
-Time Establishment
-Scene transitions in the shape of a train

It was also noted that the title of the film wasn't revealed until exactly 1:17 minutes in to the film, this may be the same format other films use aswell, but I believe it is widely accepted that the title of the film will appear within the first two minutes of the screening.

All these things must be taken into consideration for the opening of our film and must be completed and shown within the two minute timeframe we have for our film opening, to make it look as realistic and professional as possible.

Intertextuality

"Derived from the Latin intertexto, meaning to intermingle while weaving, intertextuality is a term first introduced by French semiotician Julia Kristeva in the late sixties. In essays such as "Word, Dialogue, and Novel," Kristeva broke with traditional notions of the author's "influences" and the text's "sources," positing that all signifying systems, from table settings to poems, are constituted by the manner in which they transform earlier signifying systems. A literary work, then, is not simply the product of a single author, but of its relationship to other texts and to the strucutures of language itself. "[A]ny text," she argues, "is constructed of a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another"

source: http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0278.html

My understanding of intertextuality in film, is a sort of "paying homage" during a scene or throught a film to a scene or film made prior to the film that is using it through intertextuality. Here is a YouTube clip made by an Australian teacher, describing in detail the meaning of intertextuality and providing an example of it in modern cinema:

Intertextuality is an interesting concept, as it can be seen as both plagirism or a form of flattery when done in cinema, but it also shows that throughout the times regardless as time moves on that some social issues are relevant despite the time period. I see intertextuality as a good thing and will be prompting my group to use this when it comes to our media coursework as it will provide a strong foundation for a good piece of work.

Suspense Created Within Film



The fast paced nature of the editing in the scene above, keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat, anticipating what is coming next, the soundtrack behind the pictures also place a support to the fast editing. The music provides suspense using percussion instruments. The narration behind the music also heightens the suspense because it adds another layer to what is happening so the viewer has more to think about, this makes it even more terrifying when something all of a sudden happens.



The use of a soundtrack in this particular scene shows how a soundtrack can reall heighten suspense. Using a close up shot revealling the message "Never Answer The Phone" the soundtrack immediately changes and gives me a feeling of something has gone seriously wrong. As soon as this message is revealed in the close up shot of the protagonists arms the soundtrack becomes more layered and therefore adds to the suspense. It must also be noted that by using a black and white effect, this scene plays to the thriller charecteristic of "not knowing what's really going on" the black and white effect, in my opinion adds to that characteristic.



In this last scene, particularly the acting and the camera work create a feeling of suspense, once again acompanied by a black and white effect the scene automaically have a feeling of "what's going on". The cutaways to the character Sammy in this clip see the camera slowly zooming in on him repetitively - this heightens the feeling of suspense and creates a sense of the camera searching for the "real" Sammy - a theme ongoing throughout the film. In terms of acting and body language, the dramamtic pause  delivered by the protagonist on the phone, lengthens the feeling of suspense and sees the character come to an epiphany that changes the course of the events within the film.

Detailed Analysis of Thriller Clip


This infamous shower scene in ALfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" film is widely regarded as the epitome of suspense enducing scene's in film history. The clip begins fairly normally with a sequence of medium and close up shots depicting a woman writing, the soundtrack accompanying the scene at this moment is fairly neutral in regards to being thrilling. A medium shot takes the woman in to the bathroom - a sequence of medium, close up and extreme close up shots see the woman remove her bath robe and enter the shower. The soundtrack music has ceased by this point and a medium shot focuses on the female showering.

As the scene progresses, the use of mise en scene comes to full effect. Clever lighting sees a dark silhouetted figure appear behind the shower curtain, it is pulled to the side by the figure and in a medium shot reveals the silhouetted killer. Medium shots interlaced with birds-eye shots and close ups depicts the female being stabbed to death and cut away shots of the shower curtain being pulled off and the blood escaping down the drain really leave the viewer at the edge of their seat. The sticatto soundtrack laced behind the images really heighten the feeling of suspense and creates an eerie and haunting mood.

Thriller : Sub Genres

The "Thriller" genre as such, can be disected into other factions or sub-genres. As a class we decided that the basic underlying themes that run throughout all thriller sub-genres are:

- KEEPING YOU AT THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT

- TENSION

- SUSPENSE

- BUILDING UP TO A DRAMATIC CLIMAX

- THINGS THAT CANNOT BE EXPLAINED OR SEEN

All these characteristrics of the "Thriller" genre can be found in these sub-genres:

CONSPIRACY
CRIME
DISASTER
EROTIC
MEDICAL
MYSTERY
PSYCHOLOGICAL
RAPE AND REVENGE
RELIGIOUS
SUPERNATURAL


At this particualr moment in time, I believe crime thriller is the most inspiring thriller sub-genre because at this moment of time the Bristol - Joana Yeates murder inquiry saga is at it's peak within the media. It has caused a frenzy within the published media world and some of the evidence and information released to the public, really helps us grasp what is needed for a good crime thriller: a motive, murder, deep investigation and a slow burning plot.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Title Sequence

Title sequences are a very important part for any movie, this is the first bit the audience will see, and will set up their opinions on it from the start. If you have a good title sequence, its more likely your film will follow on in the same way. It is also the point where you say the names of the companies which made the film, and who will be staring in it. 

A example of a good title sequence is The Taking of Pelham 123

In this opening it takes a few seconds to start up, this is a good thing because it is slowly building suspense. It shows us the companies that made the movie which was Columbia, this is good because they are a well known company and respected for the many good films which they have made. Rectangles then scroll along the screen uncovering over companies which helped make the film. These rectangles resemble trains which is what the film is about and a good way to tie in the plot with the title. You then hear fast pace up beat music as the camera starts to move faster, this shows the film is going to be quick paced with alot of action. As the camera is filming the streets of new york it switches between slow motion and fast speed, this also shows the film is going to be high tempo and exhillerating.

Bag Swap Video - Sound NOT Edited


Intertextuality

Intertextuality is the term used for when films borrow components of other films and incorporate them into their own. Many films do this nowadays and a lot of films have used the famous shower scene from Psycho.
Students who made the opening Succubus borrowed alot of elements from psycho. It followed pretty much the same pattern throughout, however it reversed the roles of the male and female. At first it looked like the women wanted to join the man by the way she sniffed his jumper, however when she then took out the knife it shocked the audience as it was unexpected and was a good tense moment. The main scene which is very similar to psycho is when she stabs him with the knife. the camera work is very much the same with alot of close up reverse reverse shots. Also they tried to mimic the music by doing sudden booms similar to psycho, and they used the same sort of knife that was used in psycho as well. It was very similar to psycho and very successful in what it was trying to do. 

The Stepfather borrowed mise-en-scene from the film psycho. For example the murder scene takes place in the bathroom just like psycho however in this one she is running away from the murderer unlike in psycho.The knife is copied from psycho and so is the thrusting motion in which he tries to kill her, however in the film the murder victim is reversed as it is the women who eventually ends up killing the man. This is more of a feminist version of what would happen in psycho. A lot of the camera shots are also very similar, for example when the victim falls down into the bath and grabs the curtain, the close up on the curtain falling from the metal bar is practically identical to the close up in psycho.







Wednesday, 19 January 2011

How suspense is created in 3 scenes from Memento

There are three scenes in memento which i think create suspense, the opening scene, the phone scene and the scene where Leonard  has flashbacks of his wife being raped and murdered.

The opening scene in memento is a very tense scene, a main part of its suspense is created through the non-digetic sound which is played throughout.the music connotes sadness to me and is a very emotional piece of music. Moreover suspense is created in this scene because you see a photo of blood which shows that a crime has been committed and that it will be a crime thriller, the fact that it is done backwards also tells us it will be a psychological thriller. The camera shot in this scene is an over the shoulder shot looking at the polaroid picture, this way we see through the eyes of the character. 

Another scene which creates tension and suspense in memento is the phone scene where he unveils his tattoo to find it is telling him not be on the phone. Suspense is created through him just having a normal conversation that seems to have nothing suspicious about it, until we have a close up of him pulling off the cover of his tattoo and it telling him not to be on the phone. This startles the audience, and like the character puts them into a shock, the camera switches between him and the tattoo, focusing on the two main things in the scene, his expressions and what hes about to unveil. When he does pull of the tissue covering it we hear dramatic music enphasisng on the fact that this is strange and un-ordinary. He then asks who it is on the phone and then they hang up. This is very freaky because it is as if the person on the phone knew he had just seen his tattoo and so hung up. We then get a long shot of him alone in the room to show to nothing else was in the room to see that he had seen his tattoo and therefore freaks the audience out. 

This movie is done backwards where everything happens in reverse order. This in itself can build a level of suspense as you want to know what happened previously to what you have just seen. For example in the beginning you see a man get shot on the floor, but you know nothing about who this man is or what he has done, so you therefore want to know more and carry on watching the movie.  

Thriller Clip Analysis

 Marathon Man is a 1979 thriller film directed by John Schlesinger

The beginning of the clip starts off with digetic sound of a crowd cheering while the titles are still on the screen. It then changes to a medium of shot of a black man running in a race. The shot is in black and white which shows that it is from the past and not the present time in the movie. It then switches between close ups of his hands and face so we can see his emotions and that he is checking behind him to see where everyone else is, which shows he is leading the race. The sound of the crowd cheering now slowly starts to lower as the man then reaches the finish line, he then out stretches his arms, this is where we have a medium shot of him crossing the finish line, it then freezes and starts to slowly zoom into his face then it fades to another shot which is in colour that shows that it is the present time in the movie.   

It then shows a close up of a shadow which belongs to another man who is also jogging, however this one is not running in a race as we see pavements and there is not crowd cheering there is instead a creepy tense non-digetic noise which builds tension as it makes it feel like something is wrong. You can also hear digetic sounds of the mans heavy breathing. The close up of the mans shadow last for around 30seconds which is quite long in a 3 minute opening. this build a lot of suspense and tension as it keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting for something to happen.The clip then swiftly changes to a close up of some sort of safe and you see a man using a key to unlock it and he pulls out a container, at this point the creepy music has now become more intense and is slowly building up the tension through increasing the sounds of the music. The scene then switches back to the man who was jogging, but now we see a close up of his face, the same shot in which we saw the man in the beginning where it was in black and white.

We then see the a close up shot of a creepy old man who took out the container, but he has now placed it on a table. The camera slowly zooms into his upper body as he is taking something out of the container. We then see a close up of him take another small box out of the container and the camera tracks his hand as he places it in his pocket. The creepy music still plays throughout this whole scene. We then see a long shot of the man running coming towards the camera and entering a street with alot of people on it, this shows us that he is just running around town like a normal jogger. It then switches back to the old man with the container and does a panning shot of him walking and giving the container to a security guard who locks it back up with a key. This shows us that whatever was in the box was a important secret and must be locked away. This makes us curios to what was in the container and makes us want to watch on to find our more.
                                           Only watch up to 3 minutes
 

Monday, 17 January 2011

Title Sequence opening



Title sequences are very important for movies. The title sequence gives us the view a lot of information about the movie we are going to watch. For example it tells us who is acting in the movie, who is the director, who the producer is, the production and distribution companies and most importantly the title of the movie.

A title sequence that I’ve seen and that inspires me is from the movie The taking of Pelham123.






The reason it inspires me is because of its fast pace, but also because it has slow motion in it. This shows that the movie will be full of action.

The title sequence takes around 8 seconds to begin, we see the IDENT for the production and distribution, this is Columbia pictures which we see for around 11 seconds which shows that this is a big movie, also shows us that the company was involved with the making of the movie. We then get introduced to the smaller companies that were involved with the movie such as MGM and relatively media. The first name we see is the director who is Tony Scott. After this we get introduced to the main characters, Denzel Washington and John Travolta. The title of the movie is then introduced at 1:17 of the opening. The director’s name, main characters and the title of the movie are all shown for 5 seconds individually, this is a long time in an opening sequence showing that these are important names. By doing this it attracts the audience by showing that this is a big budget movie with well known actors. From 1:43 till 2:36 many names are shown which includes the supporting actors, more groups of other actors, who the casting was done by and also the costume. These are all shown for 2 seconds showing that they are not important people in the movie.
Through out the opening sequence we have a feel that the movie is about trains, the sound effects and the editing hint us this.

Here is the analysis I have done on the opening sequence of The taking of Pelham123.

Intertextuality

The term intertextuality describes the visual referencing between films. Have u ever thought to yourself when you was watching a movie that the scene you have just seen looks familiar, this is because films ‘borrow’ from each other. This could be a camera angle, aspects of mise en scene, sounds you’ve heard or maybe even the editing.

After watching the famous shower clip from the well known film Psycho, I watched a further 3 clips that have intertextuality. The 3 clips I watched were from the films Fatal Attraction, The Stepfather and also What Lies Beneath. All 3 clips did refer to Psycho but in different ways, some clips had more intertextuality then others.

The clip from What lies beneath didn’t have much intertextuality, the main aspect that was borrowed was the basic setting of the shower.

The second clip I watched was from the film Fatal attraction; this had some more intertextuality reference to Psycho then What lies beneath does. The main aspect that was borrowed from Psycho was the shot of the pose of the knife; also the shot where the woman was squeezed up against the door was parallel to the shoot in Psycho.

The third clip I watched was from The Stepfather this was the clip that had the most aspects borrowed from Psycho, the background music was similar, the same knife was used by one of the main characters, and the stabbing pose was the same is well. The most obvious aspect that was borrowed was the shower curtain being pulled, as one of the characters are dyeing he pulls the shower curtain, a close up shot is used showing the curtain ripping just like the shot from Psycho. Although there is a few aspects borrowed there is a big difference between the two clips, in The Stepfather the attacker is killed by a women, this is a feminist response to Psycho.


Detailed analysis of thriller clip

The Shining

The clip starts with a black background and white text in capitals saying “TUESDAY”. We then have an extreme long shot of the environment which is a building which looks like a hotel in front of a mountain. We then cut to a shot of a kid riding his bike; the camera follows him from a distance. The way the camera is moving feels like you (the viewer) is in a bike behind him. While the child is riding his bike we hear the sounds of him peddling. 5 seconds later music in the background begins, the music makes you feel like something is going to happen, and it has a mysterious noise. We follow the child in his bike for roughly 32 seconds when suddenly he looks to his left and stops. When the child stops peddling the camera has a small zoom into him. We see a shot of a door with the door number 237, there is a low-angle shot used showing the child but focusing on the door. We then have a close up of the child’s face with his eyes looking at the door, we cut back to the low-angle shot of the child and the door for 4 seconds when the camera shot again changes this time to a medium shot of the child in his bike. As the child gets off his bike and walks to the door slowly, the camera follows him. As this is all happening the background music is still being played until the child tries lets go of the door knob after trying to open the but failing. At 1:35 of the clip the music stops for a second and changes tone, the music becomes deeper. We cut to a quick medium shot of two girls then back to the boy. He then gets back on his bike, as he peddles away we do not follow him this time, it’s a long shot of the corridor, we also hear him peddling away as the clip comes to an end.




Saturday, 15 January 2011

Thriller Sub Genres

The thriller genre can include the following sub-genres which may include elements of other genres

Crime Thriller -Reservior Dogs
Disaster Thriller- Deep Impact
Mystery Thriller- Memento
Political Thriller- The Ghost Writer
Supernatural Thriller- The Skeleton Key 

The thriller that inspires me most is Inception, Inception is not subject to one sub genre, it uses components from many other genres. They include action, crime, mystery, sci-fi, as well as being a thriller. It has a very clever storyline which keeps on the edge of your seat throughout. It uses key elements such as music and camera shots to build suspense and tension

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Suspense


suspense in thrillers is built through many different ways.
the music is a main contribute. it can suddenly change from a normal soundtrack to a more alarming frightening soundtrack that indicates to the audience that something is going to happen. 
another way suspense is built is through cliff hangers. cliff hangers make the audience go on the edge of their seats, movies often use cliffhangers at the opening of the movie to make the audience want to continue watching. they can also use them at the end of a film if they are planning on making a sequel of it. this gives the audience the idea that the film will be full of suspense.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Monday, 10 January 2011

Intertexuality


Intertexuality refers to the burrowing or referencing of one text in another and in this case from one movie to another. Nowadays, intertexuality has become a norm and many films borrow greatly from each other.  An infamous example is the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 'Psycho'. 

 
After watching the famous shower scene clip, we were shown other clips from other thriller films that have borrowed from the scene in a number of different ways.Below is an independent student film called ‘Succubus’ which has burrowed in whole the shower scene from ‘Psycho’ Except that it switched the genders of the victim and killer and that during the murder the camera was focused on the killer not victim. This film has shown that films can burrow from one another but still be able to show a stark contrast to the original.















Above is also another example of intertexuality in the film 'Fatal Attraction’ although this film doesn’t burrow as much as from the original film as ‘Succubus’ did it does however reference the infamous scene. It does through the scene were the obsessive husband attempts attack his blonde haired wife, this is similar to the characters of the original scene, also there is a subtle reference to the masked/shadowed figure of the male attacker when the lady locks the door on the hand of her husband and we see his unclear figure through the door. Some more visible and recognizable elements are the blonde haired women and the knife.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Thriller Sub Genres 

Thriller is one of the few Hybrid Genre's this means it can combine to different two genres together
Sub Genre. Is a film that falls under the main genre category but has distinctive features that allow it to be linked into another genre
examples include;
  •  Psychological thriller - Memento
  •  Action thriller - Resident Evil
  •  Political thriller - the ghost writer
  •  Romantic thriller - Mr and Mrs Smith
  •  Sci Fi thriller - Apollo 18




I can draw inspiration from all of these sub genres which means i might incorporate some elements from quite alot of them into my film but the sub genre i think i will choose to be play a key part are probably the action subgenre. this is becuase i feel this will be more appealing as well as being more easier to pull off than something like sci-fi thriller which will require lots of effects and expertise. (something an AS media student will mostly probably be lacking) this is why i feel this sub genre will be more of a suitable choice for our media film

Thriller sub-genres

There are many different sub-genres for Thrillers.
Here are a few examples of this:
·         Crime Thrillers – an example of this is The Dark Knight
·         Action Thrillers – am example of this is Hitman
·         Sci-fi Thrillers – an example of this is Inception
·         Political Thrillers – an example of this is The Contender
·         Psychological Thrillers – an example of this is Phonebooth

All of these sub-genres of Thrillers inspire me, but at the moment I would have to say sci-fi thrillers inspire me the most. With the release of Inception I have been interested in sci-fi thrillers more. This is because Inception has made me realise that Thrillers do not have to be horror type scary, but can also be seen in a different way.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Suspense

What is Suspense?

Thriller is a one of the genres that use's suspense among other techniques such as tension, and excitement as the main elements. The primary effect of suspense is to create the feeling insecurity and uncertantity as well as excitement felt at the approach of the climax of a scene.