Sunday, 30 January 2011

In any film, the opening must give a slight knowledge of how the film is going to be. There should always be a clever twist most times in thrillers there are tense music played in the background to create suspense and cautiousness. The opening film can all depend on the target audience and the genre of the film. And in this case thriller movies should consist having some creepy music to create the atmosphere. When we looked at title sequences we noticed that there are three structures.
A opening with the titles running through out
As you can see this video causes tension in a very simple way, the audiences must ask their self why this car is getting followed and why is there is such weary music played in the background.  This clearly shows one structure that you can have when having an opening. This structure I believe is the best way as it opens the scene this is something I may consider in my group.

Titles over a black screen.

The Donnie Darko creates a very suspenseful video. He has a very slow but unusual video we wait to se the child get up. He creates anxiousness as it help the audience prepare a scene of how the opening scene may be.  the title sequence is placed on a black screen at the start of the film and then ollows on with very smothing but scary  music.

A distinct title sequence
This movie seven has constant massive close-ups shows very disturbing behaviours very weird behaviour which all links towards the music the weird crazy but mental music as well as the close-up shots in addition the hand written fonts give a sense of personality it illustrates his mental state.

font analysis :Research

In class, as an additional help and better understanding on fonts and how they are used in movie sequences and titles we where taught in lesson that the fonts in movie sequences are there to help reflect the movie. In my opinion before this lesson, I use to think that the title had no impact on the film it was literally there for appearance. But in fact most movies reflect their titles towards their films. We also learned that when we design are own video sequence we should think very carefully about the font because it should always reflect the thriller itself.   

There are two types of fonts that are seen on many movie sequences these are the traditional and formal fonts. This is Serif fonts – such as times and courier. Serif fonts these are slightly much more formal then sans serif fonts.  Serif fonts are usually the extra little detail and the end of every letter these are most used in newspapers over then magazines. Sans serif fonts are used in magazines more often these is more modern and less classical, these fonts are fonts such as Arial and comic sans.

For example the film PEARL HARBOUR  uses classical serif font the title is shown in large capital bold letters, this makes it very eye catching. The capital letters show importance, power and seriousness. You may think why I have included seriousness I believe this is shown through the mise en scene as the uniform directs military and importance and also the way they are positioned as if they are taking it very serious and it also shows that they have responsibilities through their military costumes this all reflects towards the title.

The film “ROCKY “uses the font Franklin gothic Heavy.  As you can see the title is presented in big bold writing it is very eye catching and films most of the viewer’s attention. This I believe is a great film cover as it reflects what I am trying to explain, as you can see the writing seems like it is being squashed it also is in big bold letters , this links to the character rocky as he is this big muscular man.

LiveType and sound :Skills

After accomplishing our “bag swap” we produced and edited our video on “final cut pro” and then transferred to live type to input some fonts EST.  But to do this we had to have a small introduction and tutorial on livetype and sound. On livetype, this is software produced by Apple Inc. The whole point of this software is to basically create animation –al    fonts on videos and sequences. Livetype have many different types of fonts and music to help create a creation on videos it helps bring out the best in videos and helps generate an atmosphere of your choice in our video we tried to make a very thriller suspenseful atmosphere. This honestly was very hard we found it quite difficult as this soft ware was very complicated and takes time. But hopefully with a great deal of practice and confidence I hope our group can work through it.
Live type also includes textures, objects and templates.  It can bring in any media file. It also allows the text in the canvas to be edited to curve shaped EST. Also the great thing out it, it also can change letters for example change the size the shadow the glow EST.
Livetype includes four main windows:

  1. The Timeline
  2. The Media Browser                                                                
  3. The Inspector
  4. The Canvas
This time line , is used to attach text grafics ect.

Live font – this is one of the programmes key features, these fonts include animation characters. For example smoke writing, fire EST. There are many animation effects that can be applied. You can either use live fonts or normal casual fonts. These are the examples such as scrolls, glows fades and zooms. Very interestingly there are also templates where over then text there are many more animation objects that can be included. The inspector helps do this it helps make changed in your text by using the five tabs.


Soundtrack pro is a programme which allows you to compose music and audio edit application this is made by apple Inc. This amazing software includes over 5000 professional instrument loops and sound effects. This is going to be a vital programme in our group as the sound is one of the most important bits in the making of our film this will help create the suspense and thriller. For example the opening of many thriller films such as psycho or shining has a very suspenseful music in it to create that tense feeling towards the audience and that is why soundtrack pro will be a great benefit towards our movie.
Soundtrack pro has to main roles which are “multitrack mode and audio editing mode”. 

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Structure of openings

In every film the opening is the most vital, as it sets a an atmosphere and gives a sense of expectation that audience would want to see later on the film to come true, or have a clever twist. The opening to a film, can depend on the target audience, for example, if its a fast paced film with action, and the audience expect instant sense and flow of a high paced film, the titles sequence starts whilst the film is going on a perfect example of this is the film "Taking of phelam123"

In the opening of Donnie Darko, the title sequence starts however it's a black canvas at the end but the only thing that you can see is the title sequence but only hear the sounds of thunder, and this technique helps the audience the prepare how the opening scene may be, and this also builds a sense of tension and anxiety.

Font analysis research

Serif fronts - such as Times and Courier, these fonts (Serif fonts) tend to be more traditional and slightly more formal than sans serif fonts which are generally more informal and more modern and come across more friendly, fonts like "Ariel" and "Comic Sans" do this.

This image to the left, uses the font " P L A T I N O " it's significance is to be bold, powerful, to stand out, to give a sense of historical facts and momentous time in history which changed the world today. From analysing this font, this film is about the army, and the font is perfectly spaced out and gives a sense of regime.

The font in "Rocky" uses the Frankiln Gothic Heavy.
The purpose of impression it gives the audience just by the font, is the bold and round texts, its bold and strong like Rocky. However this font style helps build his stereotype character of a alpha male, however the cover of this film, give a sense that the film is not just about fighting, that romance is accompanied in this film, and this can be shown from this image below.

Introduction to editing:Skills

When it comes to editing your clips and putting it all together, we had to use this programme called Final cut pro. This is such a wonderful programme it was quite simple once we got a hold of it. First of all we had to drag all our clips to final cut and then figure out which one goes where by viewing each clip individually. When you start editing, there are many options such as blurring, or dissolve this can be found from the tool box. In our video clip we had used dissolve this is a transaction from one clip to the other. We also learned how to delete bits from a clip, as this was an essential tool for us as many parts came out wrong but final cut pro allowed us to delete this bit without any hassle. In addition we were also educated to mute and delete sound from the clips and input our own sound. This was easily seen on the time line where it helped us input different effects to make our thriller the best it could be.

Livetype and Sound

After doing the "Bag swap" practice film, we took the video clip into "final cut pro" then imported the files from Livetype. In Livetype there are many types of fonts and other music files to help create an atmosphere, there are sound clips which add a sense of mystery, and some sounds clips like a crash or a scream to add to the effects and emphasise  what the clip is trying to deliver.

Though sound is a vital contributor to the delivery of an effective thriller clip/movie, the right music or sound needs to be played, for example in the opening of the shining. The shining start of with slow paced music and follow through out this extract, the long cords give a unwelcoming and distorted feel to the beginning of the clip which then makes the aaudience prepare on what they should expect in a film like this.

Extention exerxise deos of the type of shots

During one of our lessons we learned about various camera shots that can make a person or place look powerful, for example a bird’s eye view of a person or place can make it look week, as for this picture it seems as if this place is at threat from something the way it is looked at. With these camera shots it can make a person have control and make them seem like they are superior to others. This has taught me a lot as these simple shots can have a huge difference to the way things are seen. This has given me ideas towards angles that can help me make my video seem better. For example now I know if I want to make someone look superior I should do a bird eye view to make them look like they are in threat this can cause suspense.  

Introduction to editing

On Final Cut Pro, we learnt how to delete and alter certain clips, we also learnt how to implement transition between the two clips for a smooth transition. Also learnt how to mute or disable all sound from a certain clip, and learnt how to delete certain parts of the clips so we could use them in any order to maximise the thriller effect.

On final Cut Pro, it needed time to be played with to get used to it, the viewing screen allows to see what we are editing, and the time line allows us to make cuts and edits in precision.

introduction to camerar: Skills

In class we were introduced to cameras that we will be using in the future to produce our films. This I believe was a very useful lesson as it helped me as well as my group understand the key dos and don’ts. One key rule that we learned where to always shoot on manual and not automatic because the picture is very poorly. This helped allot as I saw a massive difference when it came to putting the practice to a test run , I noticed that when it was on automatic I had to figure out a lot of things and do a lot of things by myself , which as for me is a huge disadvantage as cameras seem to be very tricky to me.  Another basic skill that we were educated was to never zoom, only when focusing a shot.

After learning the key skills, we tried it out our self we all had our turns to put the battery inside the camera as well as placing the camera on the tripod, this also was a basic rule that we were taught to try and use the typhoid as much as we can, as it helps make the picture much more clearer. Resulting the shot to be much more smother also. In the end we had to put all the skills to practise and shot a mini clip of a bag swap, this allowed us to experiment and get familiar with the camera. During the filming we tried to remind our self to use various different shots such as close up mid shots over the shoulder EST.
In our mini clip we used






Extension exercise: shot types

During this lesson we learnt about different camera shots, we learnt how to get across a sense of power, and dominance by looking up at something, it connotes power and authority, and looking down at someone in a camera shot, gives a sense of vulnerability to come across and these shots types do this very well.

This image here with the man walking up the staircase, is from a scene from psyscho, this high angle shot, gives a sense of vulnerability and a sense of impending doom.

Introduction to cameras

During the lesson, we learnt few guidelines on what to do and what not to do with the camera, and what would come across effectively in our thriller trailers, we were told to use, manual focus instead of auto focus. Reason being is that, with auto focus it could come out blurry. We were also told not to use zoom, on the camera as it has bad results, ends up being blurry on the big screens, so we were advised to use close up, and to pan with manual focus. We also were taught how to change settings to change to help record in badly lit rooms and areas, or change settings to lower the light intake so the footage doesn't come out white.

Also learnt how to deploy a tripod, and attach the the camera to it, so it's locked in place, also learn how to insert the battery and insert and eject the memory card from the camera slot.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Practice film 1 - EVALUATION

Once we got introduced to the cameras, we filmed our first short clip. It was a short bag swap, inspired by collateral. What my group did was a similar clip we had two student’s one going down the stairs and the other going up; they both bumped into each over and exchanged bags. This was fairly simple; we took many clips and uploaded it on final cut pro, which then we put them in order and put together a little bag swap scene. What I learned from this practice film was that we took very little clips which caused us to have little trouble whilst editing. We had to cut many bits from clips because of how many we had. In future I think we should take many more shots incuse that ever happen again.  What I liked about our video is that it was so simple but covered all the areas, such as suspense. I also believe we could have improved the editing , because it was our first time editing on final cut pro we was not familiar  with it. 

Monday, 24 January 2011


This video was Directed by me and my group, I think this production we slightly rushed, we could have planned it out more clearly, although we did follow directly from what we had planned in our story board.

Editing was done by Joshua Adu, as he likes to edit, itis one of his strong points, we all gathered to suggest ideas, and learn also how to use FinalCut Pro, the main program we used to edit our production.

Over all I am very impressed with my group, as we all crontibuted as a team to help make this clip, acting, editing, directing and planning.

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Intertextuallitiy is the idea of borrowing another idea presented in a film, to give off the same connotations in another film. An example of intertextuallity is knife blocks in most common Thrillers like ‘The Stepfather’ knife blocks are used, they are used in the same way as ‘Fatal Attraction’. Another example of intertexuallity is spiral wooden stair case, we see the same staircase in ‘The Stepfather’ and ‘What Lies Beneath’.

The famous and most obvious knife block shots.

A few examples images of Intertextuality is within The stepfather we find the spiral staircase in the high angled shot a lot, this idea was originally taken from the thriller what lies beneath.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Collateral: Suspense.

Bag swapping 
 In this scene, two people are normally walking through a busy airport, then suddenly the two men bump into each , drop their bags at the very same time then walk off with different bags.  What makes this scene suspenseful is the use of camera sound and shots. When we see vince all that can be heard are his footsteps along with the normal airport noise, however the footsteps are louder which causes curiosity. When we first get introduced to tom cruise he has a number of close up shots as well as mid shots, from these shots it helps as understand that something is going to happen. The second character is also introduced to us in the same way which helps us understand that both these men having something to do with each over.  Also noticing that the effect of the camera lens blurs everyone out except the two people this creates anxiety on why both these men are getting the attention, it gets the audience thinking. When both men “casually” bump into each over it seems so normal, as they both make quick conversation but then take each over’s bag. This creates the suspense; In addition to help create suspense a very rapid upbeat music comes along.

when vince and max visit the fist individual that gets killed and dropes on top of the taxi
In this scene, Vince has tricked max to driving him around the whole day. Max the taxi driver has been asked to park in the ally way, this caused an anxious feeling towards why he had to park in that specific place. From the moment Max parks his car, there are a lot of cross cutting from the taxi to Vince creating tension and suspense.  Vince walks through the corridor looking for a flat, which then a lot of cross cutting is used to build up curiosity and suspense. However the main part which causes suspense is the part where max waits in his taxi listening to music and eating , while Vince is followed by load TV notices which then he sees a long view of the car which then comes back to max sitting patiently waiting. Finally the audience is horrifically shocked when a body crashes on top of the car.  

 This is near the end , where Vince is out to kill Annie
This I believe is the scene where the most suspense is included. Here the tension and fear builds up when Vince enters Annies work building. And max has discovered that he has gone into the building to kill her. The tension starts to build when Max calls Annie to tell her that Vince has come to kill her. Secondly the anxious feeling when Max is on the phone to her and at the same time Vince is making his way to the door. In addition the use of mise en scene comes in when the load music starts to get louder and louder as Vince gets close to her. Also as the camera is behind him this causes tension and suspense as the room is dark and we know that he is going to shot her.

Friday, 14 January 2011


Intertextuality: Is the term analysing the reference between films. How this works is films “borrow” from each over taking aspects from films and transforming it in different ways. They can borrow a certain camera angle  , sounds ideas est.

“What lies beneath”
In this scene, the lady walks into the bathroom full of steam; she walked in very slowly and takes the plug out to let all the water to go down the drain. As she looks she sees a girls face in the water which then she starts to scream then finally her boyfriend or husband comes in to comfort her, this leaves her hugging him very tightly as she seems very scared.  The aspects borrowed from “PHYCHO” are the setting which is in the bathroom as well as the close up shot of the plug hole as well as the draining water; in addition “what lies beneath also borrowed the running shower head.  Lastly I also noticed both thrillers caused a very anxious frightened edge after watching them.

" the stepfarther"
A man looks into the mirror the suddenly dramatic music comes on whilst he looks into the mirror once again with blood on his face causing a very suspense feeling.  He then gets into the shower and shaves resulting him looking very different with very load but stern back round noise to create anxiousness. He then does the normal average things, whilst there are children on the floor dead but it seems as if he can only see this.  The borrowed aspects are the rip of the shower curtain.

In this scene , the girl walls into the hallway , heading towards the shower room , while the man is taking a shower the girl brings out a knife hides behind the wall and once the man comes out the shower she stabs the man many times. The aspects borrowed from “PHYCHO” where the shower the stabbing as well as the camera shots which indeed falls under taking some of the mise en scene.  

Title sequence analysis

In lesson, we were asked to go into our groups and analyse in depths a title sequence. We were asked to analyse memento. In our groups we watched very closely at the thriller opening.
We where first asked to
1)    State the production and distribution companies. How are they introduced? What purpose do they serve at the start of the movie?

·         New market presents
·         New market
·         Association with summit entertainment
·         Todd production

2)    List the information that is listed in the title sequence and the time it comes up

·         casted by Jhon Papsidera , CSA-  0.23
·         music by : David julyan- 0.26
·         Costume designer: Cindy Evans – 0.30
·         Editor : Dody Dorn – 0.35
·         Production designer: Patti Podesta – 0.38
·         Director of photography: Wally Pifster -0.42
·         Co-Producer: Elaine Dysinger- 0.45
·         Co Executive producers: William Tyrer and Chris J. Ball – 0.53
·         Exclusive producer  : Aaron Ryder-0.55
·         Produced by : Suzanne Todd and Jenifer Todd- 0.59
·         Screen play by :  Christopher Nolan and based on the short story by Jonathan Nolan – 1.04
·         Directed by : Christopher Nolan 1.11
·         Film starts ; 1.16

  3)  The film title: where it is placed? Start, middle, end?

·        At 001 It states the title Memento in the beginning in big bold writing. 

Thriller sub-genre research

There are a lot of sub- genres in thriller films, such as romantic political EST. However this thriller sub genre is a physiological thriller. In class as we watched several different thrillers the one that caught my eye was Memento, the thriller started off so simple but yet so interestingly, I believe it had a lot of artistic moments as they used lots of close up shots which represented the quick twists on objects. The Mise en scene in this thriller begins with a photo being taken, with a close up shot to help analyse the theme on the story which in my opinion is something to do with memory. Also throughout most of the clip it starts to rewind, performing great editing skills to help transmit the idea of memory or a flash back.  This creates suspense and mystery causing the audience to ask their self what is happening as well as questioning as the music plays in a very mysterious way.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Intertextuality: The visual referencing between films where aspects of the film are practically borrowed, revised and reused. You may recognise certain camera angles, sounds, editing technics and mise en scene that were used in the film it had been borrowed from.

My favourit style of intertextuality is when a extremeley good film is taken by a film company and revised into a more comic form.
An example of this would be say taking an film like 300 and turning the storyline of the film into a comdey because although it is not as serious as the actual film it still gets the pinot across.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Suspense: Collateral

What makes it suspenseful?

A lot of effects produced by the camera makes this scene very suspenseful. At the very beginning of this scene the camera lens blurs out everyone except the characters the editor wants us to pay attention to, this builds tension as us as an audience wonder why exactly we have our attention drawn to these two people, why are they important, and what exactly is going to happen. The use of diegetic sounds help us relate to the characters and their environment, almost like an establishing shot the diegetic sounds set the scene. Hearing the footsteps of others walking around, murmur of speech of the surrounding peoples conversation, this places the audience into their comfort zones and gives them a sense of security. As the scene proceeds, the fast pace editing when the two male characters us as the audience have been watching bump into each other, this intensifies to mood, and makes the bump more sudden which leads the viewers to a more suspenseful happening, and amplify the state of shock to come.

Suspense is also created when the characters collide into each other, they have a perfectly normal conversation, however this also builds up tension for us as the audience as we have been watching these two characters stand out from all the rest of the people, it is strange that they have a very normal conversation as you would be expecting them to pass through some secrets or information so this adds to the suspension. As the bags are swapped, the suspension intensifies and we are interested in what was in the briefcases and why were they swapped, as one of  the males walk away, he puts an envelope in his jacket, this also makes the audience wonder what is in that envelope. Another point I noticed when watching this clip, the last part of the dialogue was “Enjoy LA.” This makes the audience wonder as to why this man knows where the other man is traveling to if they do not know each other and just happened to bump into each other, this also adds to the gradually building suspension. The airport setting was very smart, as it suggests that we are in good hands, safe and secure. We as the audience had began to get comfortable feeling very safe, as the airport has tight security, nothing should happen, but the sense of security is false, and we realize this as the film continues.

What makes it suspenseful?

This scene has been created to be very suspenseful, the lighting in the set first of all. The scene was set in a dark alleyway, this connotes dark happenings, scary thoughts, dangerous events, this also builds up tension in the audience, as they are excited and intrigued about the events to come in the scene. As Max is trying to get attention, we as the audience are clenching onto our seats, as if we want to help him, we sympathize him , when people come towards him, we are to believe he is safe, he is saved, us as the audience have a sense of relief. Until we are in shock within a couple of seconds, not expecting the men to pull out, a gun, and pin point it to Max’s head, threatening to kill him. Our tension within the audience accelerates completely which builds a very suspenseful atmosphere throughout the whole scene.

What makes it suspenseful?

Suspense is created when Max and Vincent are having a shoot off in the dark, at this point we do not know who has been shot, we hear many gun shots, which also adds to the suspense,  until we find out who is shot, we have a great amount of anxiety built in the audience. We as the viewers also can relate to both characters as like the characters we do not know who is shot. When both characters run out of ammo, this point we as the audience have more sympathy for Max, as we know Vincent has had special training in armed combat. The tension is broken once we discover the blood stain on his chest, he slowly sits himself down in shock, and the audience’s sympathy in now directed at Vincent. This is a very intelligent way of ending the action as it was not what the audience expected.