We had the task of producing the opening sequence to a psychological thriller with a video camera. The equipment we were given to film was a Canons XM1 Canons entry level 3. Firstly we had to carry out immense amounts of research into films and especially psychological thrillers. Our main focus was on Alfred Hitchcock as he is renowned for his portrayal of the human mind and relationships between people. We had to research this genre quite thoroughly as we wanted to achieve the conventions of psychological thriller.
We chose to make an independent film so that we could express ourselves through the film, rather than taking a mainstream Hollywood view, which would have been a bit opportunistic but we did use some elements of mainstream- e. g. the title music and the conventional killing and psycho set up. Typical examples of mainstream thrillers are ‘Along came a spider’ ‘Seven’ ‘The Hole’. Their mainstream characteristics cab summarised as being very dark dull and a limited use of colour. They always seem to start in a dark secluded spot and have a hero and psychological villain.
Our thriller relates to the established genre as it is about the inner inhibitions of the mind. It creates a bleak but realistic atmosphere, which adds to the psychological aspect of the genre. We intended to target a specific audience. We thought that the film would not appeal to all fans of psychological thriller. We wanted to target a passive audience that would appreciate a different form of presenting a psychological thriller and also enjoy this type of film as well. We didn’t expect to win the good wishes of the film critic but we did want them to have a film to think about.
At the planning stages we were aiming for a Hitchcock affect crossed over with film noire. We wanted to use the conventional expressive lighting and distorted perspectives of the film noire but also keep a complex story line and formulate relationships between characters that the Hitchcock style is famous for. With this in mind we started planning a suitable storyline but I do not feel we achieved this style but rather created a different style of production for the psychological thriller genre. We used many stylistic features that are commonly established with this genre.
For example we used quick editing and cuts to create moments of anxiety and tension. This is commonly found in thrillers. Also we used a combination of extreme close ups (ECU) and mid-shots to create moments of despair and confusion. The promotional strategy for this film would have to emphasise on the uniqueness of expression n the film. I think this worked well because audiences could establish what was going on in the film but also still left bewildered on what is actually happening in relation to the storyline. I think this makes the film enigmatic, which is a major convention that I wanted to include in the film.
The video format we used was Mm DV which allowed us to import straight onto the Emac computers. To import we used a fire wire connection which allowed us to import quickly and effectively. The software package we used was Imovie 3 Apple’s n-house software. Our imported footage was presented as a series of clips which were placed on a video timeline as appropriate. There were also two audio timelines to add non-diagetic sound le voiceover or music. Each clip needed to be cut or cropped and placed on the timeline. Where appropriate transitions were added.