Wednesday, 30 March 2011

EVALUATION QUESTION 6 - Audience Feedback - Part 1

In the previous blog there is a ‘word cloud’ of adjective and nouns used by our audience to describe our group’s final opening title sequence. The most frequently used words are the biggest and vice versa. The biggest words on our word cloud ‘good,’ ‘sound,’ ‘well,’ ‘shots’ and ‘interesting.’ Judging from this feedback I would say our film was…decent. Not the best student film they have ever seen, but not the worst – judging from the word ‘good.’
     What I’m really proud of is that one of the biggest words where ‘sound.’ Sound was something I really depended on to carry through suspense, and I believe that sound was successful in doing that. A lot of the comment we got back said that sound was very effective and created suspense.
     The word ‘interesting’ also sat well with me because it showed the audiences interest in our final film. Even though a lot of them didn’t understand the storyline, a lot of then said they would want to watch more to find out was it is about. And that’s the whole point of a film; we don’t give all the information away in the first two minutes – which was something we almost ended up doing with our last pitch – but you give just enough so that the audience would want the rest of the information. That’s the whole point of the rest of the film, the opening sequence is just an introduction.
     ‘Shots’ to me was a good comment because it improves the quality of our film, the fact that we were able to use effective shots, and really impacted the audience. 

There were a few comments about the darkness of the film, but when we were editing and filming the film didn’t look that dark. I think it was down to the lighting in the room and the fact that we were seeing it on a bigger screen, so I’m not going to worry too much about that, because when we watch it in the cinema the lighting in the room is going to be very dark.
     I look forward to going to the cinema to get more audience feedback on our film. :)

EVALUATION QUESTION 2: Representation of social groups

Typically in films, male characters tend to dominate the female characters in terms of character heirarchy. In thriller, the killer is often male who captures a female victim. For our own thriller 'Stolen Identity', we challenged this idea by casting our killer as a female.

We also intertextualised a few ideas from the 2009 thriller 'The Stepfather'. Firstly, when our character was first introduced, her face was hidden from the viewers until the end to create a sense of suspense and give the audience a feel that she is secretive. Secondly, both thrillers introduce a mysterious character which misleads the audience. As the main character mysteriously changes their appearance to disguise themself, their true colours are revealed towards the end of the opening. This concept is when the character is not who the audience thinks they are, creating more suspense.

I think that they portrayal of a female killer is becoming more popular in thrillers as the stereotypical view has been broken. Patriarchy in films is definately getting better.

Here are two stills of the killers from 'The Stepfather' and 'Stolen Identity':

'The Stepfather' killer before

'The Stepfather' killer after

'Stolen Identity' killer before

'Stolen Identity' killer after

Friday, 25 March 2011

Animatic storyboard for thriller

This blog is a bit late.  It's not in the correct order, but I numbered the captions so it makes more sense.  We also have another anamatic a few blogs below :)


Our distribution company lionsgate is responsible for our movie. They distribute a large amount of films in the US/UK AND Canada. They are responsible for titles such as; "Warrior"; "The next three days" and "The lincon lawyer". They are recognised for mainly distributing thrillers. Which we thought was more appropriate to us.

In addition, lucky for us, our establishing shot is similar to this digitally enhanced one (next to).

Upcoming Thrillers

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel
Director: Neil Burger (The Illusionist)

Psychological Thriller

Starring: Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas, Ryan Robbins, Adrian Holmes and Jacob Blair.
Director: Michael Greenspan

The Mechanic (2011)
Action Drama Thriller
Director: Simon West
Actors: Jason StathamBen FosterDonald Sutherland

Sanctum (2011)
Action Adventure Drama Thriller
Director: Alister Grierson
Actors: Rhys WakefieldAllison CratchleyChristopher Baker

Jump cuts/Match cuts and cutaways!

This video (below) shows some of the techniques we used.
For example: Jump cuts during a point of view shot to shorten time.

This video is particularly helpful when explaining the different effects when using a match cut and a jump cut. As a jump cut can be quite choppy. On the other hand a match cut of him going down the stairs cuts time in a subtle way. The cutaway is clever as well as the match cut which acts as another angle of cutting the time off him walking down the stairs.

Transition Effects

Here's a video with transitions if you skip to 1:04 you will start to see the transitions we used and would love to use again.

Although this person used a different programme than us, the cross dissolve and fade out/ins are similar.

My favourite transitions are:
-Cross dissolve
- Additive dissolve
- Dip to black
- Non additive dissolve
- Cross zoom

Those transitions in particular work well in thrillers because they give the footage either a seamless effect or an exaggerated effect which both are beneficial to having a successful thriller.  Some of the other transition seamed to be quite unprofessional and not clean. Spirals aren't appropriate and irus cross is tacky, in my opinion.


The opening of 'Stolen Identity' includes a range of jump cuts, match cuts, mid shots, wide shots, long shots, establishing shots, tracking shots, tilt shots, and panning shots.  We tried to keep the shots as natural as possible because we wanted the film to look as professional as it could.  Even though we're not professional film makers, the sequence still needed to look as real as it could.

Food colouring to represent blood on knife

Props used for the 'home-ly setting' of garage
Mis en Scene and props used were the kitchen knife (fake), food colouring for blood, tool box, sports bag, business dress, heels, and a casual outfit for the 'trampy look'.  Loads of other props such as washing products, and exercise equipment were also in the garage to let the audience know the character was squatting there.  Transitions such as 'cross dissolve', 'dip to colour', and 'ripple disolve' also contributed to our lovely effects between different clips, making it look realistic.  We did use a transition called 'additive dissolve' where a fiery effect was shown to introduce the title, but I don't think this harmed the sequence.  In my opinion, our sequence is 5 * quality, and I emphasise because I feel the need to.  The fonts, the sound, the filming itself - everything combined made me proud.

Questionare: Response to rough cut.