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Evaluation

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by

Komal Gorasia

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of Evaluation

Thriller Opening Sequence Evaluation
('See You There') Our media product uses thriller conventions seen in real thriller products as mass tension is created due to the darkness of the thriller created by using suspense. Suspense is created as the identity of the teacher/ killer is not revealed throughout the piece, only snippets of the teacher are seen, including his eyes and mouth. This was done to ensure that the audience get to know the gender of the killer and so can see his menacing features. Suspense is also created through the choice of diegetic and non-diegetic sound. The non-diegetic music chosen is very dark and tense and creates a sense of danger gradually looming as the music builds to a crescendo. Fear is illustrated due to the young girl’s shock as the teacher approaches her outside and she is confused as to what reason he has to approach her and why he shouts out “You’re late!” The killer is mentally disordered, which can be seen as he becomes obsessive over the students at the school he works in and keeps photographs of girls. Due to the psychotic behaviour and the audience not knowing what is wrong with the teacher and why he is targeting young girls as his victims, this thriller piece falls into the psychological thriller category.
The film may give out clues as to what sub-genre it belongs to due to the teacher stroking a photo
of his next victim’s face and violently stabbing the photo, leaving the knife’s blade in the photo
and finally showing the antagonist’s eyes as he concentrates on finding his next victim on the
Internet, smiling maliciously. THRILLER CONVENTIONS MASS TENSION SUSPENSE Antagonist's full identity is not revealed DIEGETIC & NON-DIEGETIC SOUND DIEGETIC Footsteps which show danger is approaching and it builds to a crescendo NON-DIEGETIC Antagonist stabbing the picture with a sharp blade which reinforces the fact that he has a twisted mind A film which has partly influenced our own product is ‘Happy Here and Now’ (2002), which
involves the antagonist using the internet and chat rooms to attract his victims into his deceitful
games. The antagonist in our film uses a false identity to trick his victims and to ensure that they do not find out that it is him. This was influenced by the change the antagonist’s identity through using special technology. 'Happy Here and Now' DVD Cover The social groups represented are a male aged 25 years and above and a female schoolgirl aged 14-16. Gender is represented in a stereotypical way as the teacher is seen as dominant as he is the killer. When he approaches the schoolgirl in the park and shouts “You’re late!” this can be
seen as verbal violence which may be related to domestic violence, perhaps. The schoolgirl is seen as vulnerable at this point as she has nowhere to run and can do nothing as the killer is much stronger than her and taller and can not possibly fight him. This may relate with the target audience as the plot is familiar with the society. Chat rooms are a danger to children and this is clearly illustrated in the thriller.
The chosen demographic for the media product would be males and females of any race and any class aged 15 and over as this is the crucial age where children become more rebellious and parents do not generally monitor what they are doing on the Internet and who they associate
themselves with. The age group may be changed to 16 and over due to the scenes of a disturbing nature, for example, the stroking of the photo and the stabbing of the photo. The gender group that this product is targeted at can be seen as for females more than males as females are more vulnerable due to their lack of strength. There may be particular points within the product which may terrify young girls as they may realise that there are possible dangers out there that they may not be aware of when talking to strangers in chat rooms.
The most commonly used shot used in the product is close ups as the audience becomes familiar with the character and the actions they are performing, this is especially used with the killer and point of view shots highlighting crucial moments which the audience can capture from the
character’s perspective. A variety of mid shots are also used and long shots to establish the setting and to also create a sense of being spied on when the killer is looking at his victim from behind a tree. A shot which illustrates violence is when the man is hitting the young girl, where in fact he hits the camera, this shot was further enhanced by using a fade to black in Final Cut to illustrate the full extent of what he has done to the girl, she has fallen unconscious. This thriller product would not be produced by a Hollywood studio due to the fact that expensive props and equipment are not essential. This thriller movie would be an Internet release on a pay-per-view basis, allowing easy access to the film. It may also be successful if it were to go on home release as profit would be made due to the pay-per-view basis. It would not offer opportunities for franchises or merchandising as there are no iconic objects or characters which would be a hit with audiences. If the film was to be distributed by a media institution, ‘Coffee Film Productions’ would have been considered.

‘Coffee Film Productions’ is an award winning British Independent film production company. They have recently produced a psychological thriller named ‘Lucid’. They produce low budget films, some of which are thrillers and horrors and are usually short in length. They would have also been a good choice as their films are aimed at a demographic similar to ours. They post many of their films on their website and on other video hosting websites such as ‘Youtube’ and ‘Daily Motion’. Popular sites like these would ensure that there would be immense views in a short space of time; this would also allow viewers to feedback there and then. ‘Coffeeshorts.co.uk’ is an online based independent film company established in the UK. Their short films range from horrors, thrillers, documentaries and comedies which with ‘Coffee Film Productions’ is a part of the ‘Coffee Arts and Media Ltd.’
Marketing plays a big part in promoting a film; posters especially have a big impact on the audience. Our poster includes a black keyboard with a bright blood dripping down the edge of the keyboard to the side which faces the audience, almost as if it is seeping out from it. A few keys have been manipulated, for example, the ‘control’ button near the spacebar is replaced with the words ‘kill all’ and engraved with a skull to give a sense of peculiar goings on. There is also a tagline included, which reads “Do you know who you’re talking to?” this relates to our film massively as the central theme is chat rooms.
Our Film Poster There were a few effects which we found useful for the mise en scene. A fading in effect was used
at the beginning of the product to provide a gradual introduction to the movie. Also for the music
and sound, fading out effects were administered to allow it to gradually come in and out of the
sequence. The diegetic sound could be made quieter to ensure that the full focus was on the video
itself and not the background sounds.
The planning process, specifically the use of storyboards ensured that the correct shots at the
right angles were produced. Also if a scene or part of the scene was to be done in one single take,
the storyboards ensured that the shot was taken with the actions being performed in the correct
order. I feel that the end product has fulfilled the task as the product follows general thriller
conventions which has a plot which is familiar with the target audience and is related to the
goings on in modern society.
Using Garageband did not work to our advantage as any of the preset samples we had saved
could not later be found on the Macs. We had hoped that a friend who plays the piano would be
able to help us out with the music by us giving her samples of music we liked or by showing her
our thriller so that she could get the feel of the type of music which may have accompanied the
thriller best. This however was an option we no longer required as free music samples were found
on the Internet. The websites we used for the copyright-free music were ‘audiolgfl.org.uk’ and
‘www.sounddogs.com’.
After the majority of the film had been completed, with just a few minor tweaks to be made, two
visitors who worked in the media field were invited to one of our media lessons and watched our
thriller pieces. The feedback given was that the premise was very good, however a few
adjustments could have been made in order to make it even more effective. They thought this
could be done by removing the shot of the teacher smiling at then end, which was intended to
further illustrate his dark side. They knew that this was the type of feel we were going for,
however it may come across as a comedic scene. Other feedback that was given was to move the
shot where he is typing ‘Facebook’ onto the computer to the beginning of the piece in order to
show he is a teacher who has a dark side while he is putting on the honest teacher façade. A shot
of the teacher doing something more related to his profession could have also been shown at the
beginning. Also the music where the teacher is approaching the girl was initially three different
pieces, this was modified to just one, which was the footstep sounding one as it is more intense
and shows danger fast approaching. We were also given feedback to try and see what it would be
like to overlap the sound where the girl is being hit onto the fade and into the beginning of the
next seen to further address the impact of what has happened to the girl. Another change after
feedback was given was that we did not require the teacher to shout ‘You’re late!’ due to it being a
tense moment where no dialogue was needed as the teacher needed no explanation for his
actions, he just needed to hit her as it is in his nature to be violent due to his mental disorder. One
final change which was made was to change the credits transitions as they felt that it was slightly
distracting and took the attention away from the film due to the audience looking at the text
appearing on the side in a typewriter effect. A simple fade was added to the credits instead for a
more subtle look. I felt that the visitors gave useful feedback and we took on board everything
they said as we wanted our thriller to be as great and effective as possible.
The strengths of this project include the camera functions which, importantly has the ability to zoom in and out, and the focus options and environment settings which would allow for recordings to be fulfilled in our favour. Due to there not being any tripods available, co-operation was needed and we had to work with what we had in terms of surroundings and being able to balance the camera on a raised platform or to be very still whilst recording. The shots used which required close ups were filmed with a steady hand, which showed that a tripod was not required. The fact that no tripods were used when filming may have worked in our favour as this may have had an impact on the shots created during the scenes. Due to the media product having a twisted character, the freehand movements may add to the psychotic thriller. The issues we faced when filming were that some shots were incredibly shaky in between when adjusting the camera. This was resolved when using Final Cut Express to cut out the parts which were too shaky for viewing.

A tilt was used when filming the killer marking books at his desk and then checking the time on the clock. This was intended to be a point of view shot, however, the killer’s shoulder could be seen, so using Final Cut, we zoomed into the video a bit so that the killer’s shoulder could not be seen. A further weakness is that in order to record the scenes which required the camera to focus on the computer screen while messages were being sent to and from the girl’s laptop, the camera had to be still when focussing on it. Despite being still when filming, another problem emerged; the screen flickered when watching the recording, making it impossible to see anything that is going on onscreen. This problem was resolved by using a software, Camtasia, which is specially
designed to record computer screens at a high quality and any actions which take place on the computer, usually in tutorials. This was a software I had used before and knew would work well due to the fact that I had used it previously for another subject. After we recorded these, we converted the files in order to make them compatible with the Macs and Final Cut Express.
Due to using Final Cut Express earlier on in the course in other tasks, I had used my knowledge of
creating bins to organize the clips (allowing quick editing in the long run)and to keep those which
may not me used in separate bins in the rare occasion that they will be needed. I also used my
knowledge to remind others to record for slightly longer than required to allow for the cropping of
the clip to be made easier when long enough handles are present.

From this project I have learnt to plan in order for everything to run as intended. I have also learnt
the importance of shots and the shot types in order to convey a message. This is an experience I
have thoroughly enjoyed.
Full transcript