My task was to produce an opening sequence of a new thriller film. It was too last about two minutes and must have included titles to include main cast and crew. We were allowed off college grounds to film our thriller and we had about two or three weeks to do so. We aimed our thriller at a more mature audience as we thought our story line was quite complex and complicated therefore a more mature audience would be able to understand and see it’s full potential.
I worked in a group of four and we began to research films including Panic Room, Speed and Jaws these films all came under the thriller category that I researched on the internet and they all had the conventions of a thriller – panic room promotes suspense as well as ultra-heightened expectation that leaves the audience on the edge of there seats however the film may have these conventions but when the film has finished everything seems to have settled down and reaches an everyday life for the main character. Speed is an action thriller it has high levels of suspense and is not predictable as the story changes.
Jaws has a high level of tension included it promotes a high level of nerve – wracking tensions it leaves you intense cliff-hangers. These films all have something in common though; they all leave questions in your mind that aren’t usually answered – being one of the conventions of a thriller. Our group wanted some of these elements in our thriller, seems it was only an opening it wasn’t to have all these elements, as we wanted to lure the audience in so we chose to have a slow opener but with suspense and tension that gradually built up along with the music.
We wanted our thriller opening to leave questions in the audience’s heads which I’m sure it did as in thriller films nothing is given away in the opening sequences which is why we wanted the same effect to keep the audience watching and interested. We watched a lot of other sequences before starting our thriller opening they were very inspiring and all good in there own way as they all had conventions of a thriller. Watching these thrillers was a lot of help, as we then knew what kind of thriller we could do and we extended on that.
We though it was important to also focus on the micro-aspects of a thriller including mise-en scene, sound, camerawork, editing, special effects and cinematography. The opening of our thriller needs to aim to catch the viewer’s attention through suspense filled music or through building suspense. A thriller opening is important as it gives the audience something they can identify the film with as well as using a soundtrack that could be used in the film.
Our group started combining ideas and started to get a sense of what we wanted to achieve. We focused on a thriller about exchange and identity with a twist that lead on to be quite a complex story that could only really be understood with seeing the full film, which is what we wanted to achieve so that there would be questions in people’s head so that it would lure you to watch the rest of the film but still leave you with a feeling that was mysterious as you didn’t know what was going to happen.
My character played a lady in her early 20’s wearing a blonde wig – that no one in my class realised it was I or it was a wig, which they would of if they watched the rest of the film. The other characters in my group were April, Tom, and Liz. Tom’s character was a mysterious man who was only in it for the money and wanted to be on everyone’s side so he could get what he wanted. Liz was tom’s ‘side kick’ that was under the impression tom was on her side even though he wasn’t really.
April was an outside character that was bought into the action because she had the disk and then the briefcase that tom and Liz wanted but when April switched the disk with me to receive the case this confused tom and Liz so they went after both of us to get the disk and the money but Liz found the money wasn’t real. As you can see the plot is quite complicated and hard to explain without intricate detail so I will leave it up to just watching it. We wanted this affect of it being complicated so that there would be many unanswered questions for the viewer.
We thought of having our thriller in black and white so that the audience would focus on the action taking place rather than the surroundings and location even though the location was important to set the scene but to tone it down we put it in black and white so that the viewer could focus more on what was happening as well as getting a sense of atmosphere. All of the characters wore dark clothing to emphasis that something bad is going on also so we would show up well in black and white we also wanted to stand out from the members of the public that we happened to catch on camera – hope they didn’t mind.