Thursday, 27 January 2011

Watching Documentary Research

Thomas Sutcliffe said "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible" In other words he means that films should not give a lot away at the beginning of the film but give a taster of what could happen, then this leaves a question in the viewers head of what can/could happen. That's why 'Long Term Commitment' the key words in this extract. Even 'Instant Arousal' is teasing the viewers at the beginning of the film.

Jean jacques Beineix states that the risk on Instant Arousal is that main question on what to do next and if you can start very strong but end on a weak not or not answering the questions. The classic opening that Stanley Kauffman describes is an establishing show followed into a close up of the building, then zooming into a window and going into the window. This works because it makes the audience feel like they are actually involved in the film leading them into the beginning of the story where they would meet the characters and what ever other outcomes.

Kyle Coopers title sequence to the film seven is so effective because it wakes up the audience from the start it's that tone that gets them ready to see what is going to take place. It show's the unusual nature of the films foreshadows and the main characters that act in the film. Orson Welles wanted to achieve a effect of 'the audience plunging into the story without giving them time to prepare themselves' which he did by not including a soundtrack or a title. Film Noirs are very dark and usually filmed at night and shadows to create suspense. The trick is to have the beginning at the end.

The film 'The Shining' creates suspense by first of all by the scenery due to it surrounded with mountains and only car creates a loneliness effect and paranoia, the helicopter shot made an effect of someone following the car like a predator and even the narrator says ' everything tells is that these people are travelling in the wrong directions' because of cars coming back down the mountain senses they've sensed danger and are getting away from it.

Introduction To Camera

In order to begin our filming we had a lesson how to use a professional camera, we we're taught the key points such as:

  • The battery and memory cards are inserted properly 
  • Don't situate the camera on west surfaces or filming in the rain   
  • Make sure lens is in focus before filming
  • Only use the necessary buttons (record/zoom/focus etc) 
Along with the camera came the tripod and the key things we was told was:
  • To get a good angle or if in need to keep the tripod balanced use the compass                              
  • The Legs on the tripod are set out even
  • Make sure the camera is locked on properly to the tripod to avoid it falling off or causing the camera to wobble
  • To disassemble the camera off the tripod press a red button also make sure the lever is pulled away from the camera then slide it off the tripod

Saturday, 22 January 2011


'Memento' is a 2000 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, which is about a man with anterograde amnesia that renders his brain unable to store new memories.

I will be analysing the opening credits of the film, which portrays the end of the story. Although it is very basic, the use of sound works well as it is the platform of the title sequence. Furthemore, the fact that the music is increasing, in the form of a crescendo creates a powerful feeling of tension. The way the image of the blood remains still, whilst the credits run through is very disturbing for the audience, as they can't do anything but observe the blood and text. Towards the end, we see a man get shot in backward slow motion, leaving the audience with questions which are bound to be answered during the film.


'The Shining' is a 1980 psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd about a writer with a wife and young son who accepts the job of off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel. The son, who possesses psychic abilities, is able to see things in the future or past, such as the ghosts in the hotel. Soon after moving in, and after a paralyzing winter storm that leaves the family snowbound, the father becomes influenced by the supernatural presence in the haunted hotel; he descends into madness and attempts to kill his wife and son.

This is a clip from the film 'Shining' which I decided to analyse since it contains strong features of suspense. The instant shot of the camera following the boy on the bike, works extremely well as it creates a sense that something is following him. In addition, the fact that the camera is moving so fast, keeping up with him makes the audience feel tense, with their hearts racing.  The moment he gets off the bike, we our left clueless on what is about to happen as he twists the handle of a mysterious door in the hotel.. Followed by the sudden flash of two girls, who look rather creepy with their old fashion uniform, builds even more suspense as the boy is left in a state of vulnerability. 


'Killers' is a 2010 American comedy film starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, which centers on a young woman who meets a guy who turns out to be a CIA assassin.

This is a clip from the film 'Killers', building a strong vibe of suspense through a range of camera angles, shots and sound. First of all, the use of a long shot at 0.12 seconds works well since it seems like someone is watching the couple at the table. Subsequently, the fade into an overshoulder shot creates a powerful sense of awkwardness for the male role, as it feels like the audience are observing him. His facial expressions and eye contact clearly shows he is nervous. Furthremore, the close up of the book on the bench at 0.47 seconds makes it look sacred. And the fact that he picks up the book, walks off and the scene changes to a completely different location indicates that the book is of some significance.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Title sequence Which Inspires

A title sequence that inspires me is from the film 'Salt' (2010)

This inspires me a lot because the director goes for the straight into action method, Salt which is the main character is getting held and tortured this makes the audience automatically think what has happened, grabbing the audience in very quickly.

Also What inspires me:

The Sub-genre which inspires at the moment are the psychological thrillers, films that are made under this sub-genre usually leave the audience wanting more by having hundreds of questions to ask the director by the end of the film, for example, Inception leaves the audience wanting to know what actually happens in the end, is it reality? Or was it all a dream? Psychological thrillers are produced to implant an idea into the audiences mind. For this to happen, events and characters are to be memorable as well as the way the suspense is created, unlike horror films where a single jump at the audience scene lasts for a second, psychological thrillers can plant the idea of fear into a viewers mind throughout the entire film.

Font Analysis

In some ways the font of a film poster when advertising can reveal a bit on what the film will contain not just only by the title. Neville Broady, known as the best graphic designer of his generation commented on what makes a good film font: "Fonts convey an emotion without actually having to say the words" that to me could not have been said any better personally, for example the film poster for 'Public Enemies' (2009) which is about notorious american gangsters showed a simple method but is unique at the same time.

In our lesson, one thing that was pointed out was the letter 'B' on how the wholes were a bit too small, they look like bullet holes and it is ironic how these bullet wholes relate to the film due to it being Crime based film Guns are represented throughout the whole film. So this goes back to Broady's saying, another example is the film 'Pearl Harbour' (2001).

The Font that was used is called 'PALATINO'
This font looks like historic writing like to say it was carved in and the event that happened in 'Pearl Harbour' was very historic.


Intertextuality means someone that borrow's a directors film but transforming it to their own suitable substance, From Mis en scene to camera angels is what they can use, some people use it a way to influence them so they can adapt from it. Obviously due to copyright terms etc they do not make it the exact same as the original.


Thriller sub-genre's include, mystery, crime, disaster, political and a few more. At the moment a mix of mystery and crime inspire me because getting aspects of the film 'sherlock Holmes' made me realise how to plot these kind of genre's in a movie.


During our media lessons, we went through a sequence of thriller clips, which we then analysed, such as 'What lies beneath,' an American supernatural horror - thriller directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Suspense in this clip is created through various camera angles, which forms a sense of vulnerability for the female role. For example, from 0.12 seconds to 0.34 seconds a low angle close up is panning floor, in the direction of the bathroom, which makes it seem like something is watching.  Also, the first person view when the female is walking towards the bathl, looking down into it works well as it puts the viewer into the position of the character. Furthermore, the use of silence throughout the clip builds a great deal of tension as the audience can see what is happening but cannot hear what is about to come. Towards the end of the clip, a sudden scream of fear from the young lady creates a powerful shock for the audience as well as cutting the tension of silence.

Definitions Of Suspense

Suspense basically means something that has been built up to find out the outcome of what is about to proceed, especially the paused moment. E.g 'The room was full of suspense as he waited his sentence from the jury'.

Title Sequence Analysis

Panic room (2002) was the next film viewed, the story's about a woman and her teenage daughter become imprisoned in their own house by 3 criminals thus leaving them trapped in the Panic Room.

The opening sequence showed a lot of graphics using very high tech equipment which is expensive,the gradual sound of the clock ticking implies rushing or a deadline till something happens like a bomb. Also where it was filmed in New York City which is one of the busiest cities in the world related to the time ticking, it also made us realise when coming to film our project we can make London look like anyplace due to London having multi-ethnicities. The shot's were taking around high places in New York it didn't really show a great deal of something relating to a thriller but overall it's a great film.

Title Sequence Analysis

We we're given a task to watch the beginning of Thriller title sequences relating on how it builds tension, sounds, camera effects etc. We firstly began by watching 'The Shining' (1980) A Thriller Film

The music is rather creepy because it gives the viewer an idea of something about happen, this then brings in the idea the one car that's driving and the helicopter thats filming gives us over - head shot's and long shots, the helicopter gives a sense of someone following them. The person who ends up driving to a hotel high up in the mountains and you see a car driving back down could mean that something may not be right up there. The massive, deserted landscape swallows up that little vehicle to give a sense of powerlessness. although it took 2 minutes and 31 seconds for the hotel to actually appear to signify he reached his destination it felt shorter and this again was mainly due to the music, making it feel as if something was going to happen when nothing really did. The Font looks simple and I personally think it could of been much better, but in the films perspective it show's through so the viewer can read it while not being distracted.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Intertextuality, is a term to describe the visual referencing between films; the films 'borrow' from each other. They borrow certain camera angles, mise en scene, snippets of sound or editing methods. They change these aspects slightly so it is not exactly the same.

Sub Genres

There are various sub genres of thriller such as Conspiracy, Crime, Disaster, Political, Legal and Medical thrillers. At the moment, Political thrillers inspire me since they reflect on what it is actually happening around the world and tend to influence citizens on how to act.

Definition Of Suspense

Suspense is a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety about the outcome of certain actions, most often referring to an audience's perceptions in a dramatic work. Suspense is not exclusive to fiction, though.