Friday, 31 March 2017

Evaluation, question 5- Who did you attract/ address your audience

Genre pleasures-

As a film viewer, many people have particular genres that they most enjoy. Each genre follows a set that's within it's expectations. For example, if a consumer particularly enjoyed watching romantic comedies, they would enter the film expecting something light-hearted yet touching emotions with a happy ending. If however, someone likes thrillers, the expect elements of suspense with a complex plot and, most likely, an unpleasant ending as most thrillers are of the dystopian genre. Psychological thrillers are particularly confusing creating a complex maze an intelligent audience finds pleasure in following and the urban conventions add a gritty harshness to the film appealing to, particularly, a younger audience.

Our film is of the thriller genre, specifically an urban, psychological thriller. This appeals to a variety of people due to the popularity of the genre and relates to other popular films containing similar elements such as our main influence “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”. Our thriller has a gritty aesthetic with elements of high tension appealing to a thrill seeking audience, young adults are attracted to this in particular.

Representational pleasures-

Our thriller contains a weak, female prey presenting women as vulnerable and delicate, we do, however, contrast this with a lead female kidnapper. It’s rather unusual for a thriller to contain a strong female lead as the majority of the market is male dominated. This gives our media product a space making it individual attracting a rather niche audience. Our representations add the element of individuality to our film attracting a wider audience.

Young females may fear the film more due to the similarities they're likely to find between themselves and our main character "Eva". This makes Eva the character a female audience will mostly identify with and therefore they will empathise with her more in what's to come. The expectations of the thriller would most likely be for it to be male dominated so the twist hooks the audience through defying stereotypes and expectations.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Evaluation, question 4- Who would be the audience for your media product?

An audience is possibly one of the most relevant elements of a film. They are who determine the success of any media product and the only people to view the production. Pleasing an audience is what all products aim to do, ultimately. In order to determine the audience for our thriller, I have researched other thrillers containing similar genre conventions as the audiences can be interpreted from previous data. IMBD has been used to extract these results.

Our main influence when producing our product was “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”. It’s also of the urban psychological sub-genre much like my production and is equally based upon a kidnapping. Therefore I’ve used some of these results in order to determine the most suitable audience for our thriller.

From these results, I’ve found out that their audience is predominantly male most likely due to its gritty, unpleasant content. In addition to this, the majority of their audience comes from outside of the US much as our film is intended to as its UK based for niche audiences.

Another thriller we used in order to consider our target audience was statistics from “Essex Boys”. This is also a gritty film full of violence and contains some similar aspects to our thriller.

Looking at these IMBD statistics, they have some similarities with “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”. The statistics are also male dominated and for older audiences with the most popular, surprisingly, being around aged 30. Once again, there is a significant decline in female reviews as a comparison to male.

I feel our thriller will also have a predominantly male audience from the age range of 18-30 approximately. Most will be a niche audience from the UK as we don't intend to further our distribution abroad.

Using these statistics in addition to our own knowledge regarding our thriller, I have created a character profile for an audience member who, I feel, would enjoy our thriller project.

This is Daniel, He is 22 years old living in the UK, more specifically, London. Daniel is particularly interested in life in less remote areas of the country which contrast his city lifestyle. In relation to his film preferences, he enjoys gritty, violent thrillers, particularly complex, disorienting films seen as mentally challenging. He particularly enjoyed “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed” due to his seek for more niche films that challenge mainstream conventions. He didn’t so much enjoy “Se7en” due to its extreme popularity and well-known actors making the film all that less realistic for him. However, he did enjoy the complex plot devices and some of the dark content. 

Daniel’s cinema of choice is cinema city due to its niche exhibition within the film industry. On the other hand, as Daniel lives in central London and works a stable, full time job, he often doesn’t have the time for cinema trips. He does, however, have a Netflix account which he uses religiously. Due to the sort of films he already watches, our thriller is highly likely to be recommended for him. This is extremely practical for Daniel so he can watch the film whenever he has the free time to in the comfort of his own home. In regards to psychographics further, Daniel fears more urban crime, therefore, hopefully, our film would heighten his senses or raise awareness for him due to the content.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Updated 23rd march- Evaluation, question 1- In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? not finished

In our thriller, we used conventions of stereotypical thrillers in addition to challenging conventions. We class our subgenre as an urban, psychological thriller, much similar to our influence “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”.

Our title is in keeping with the thriller genre, we made it off centre to provide an element of disorientation the rest of the psychological thriller would hope to carry. In addition, it appears eroded and dirty which matches the grunge urban side of the thriller. The black background contrasting with the white text represents the difference between good and evil, the difference between the kidnappers and the kidnapped. Moreover, the font style has similarities with the one used in "Essex Boys", another conventional grunge style thriller.

Many elements of our thriller interpret the power displayed by the kidnappers providing the audience with a sense of fear due to their professional sense.

 In this shot, we used tools in order to display or foreshadow the violence the kidnappers are going to inflict. This is unsettling to the audience as well as creating a certain power imbalance between the organisations displayed by the kidnappers by contrast to the clueless kidnapped girl. Furthermore, a shot similar was used in the thriller "Se7en" to convey power and establish character.

In addition to conveying the power the evil force obtains, the weakness of the victim was equally conveyed. In the shot below, Eva is shot with an extreme close up making her appear exposed and therefore vulnerable to threat. Alternatively, this may be seen as a claustrophobic shot as her face takes up the entire screen almost as suffocation. This shot may make the audience feel uncomfortable, almost as if they're invading her privacy as such.

Combining the two together, the lack of power mixed with ultimate 
power, this shot displays the imbalance between the two. As the kidnapper picks the lock, a shadow grows in gradually on the door. This emphasises the metaphorical darkness the character holds that may not be visible on a surface level. Furthermore, the shadow growing over Eva’s property, her door, represent the removal of her freewill and the oncoming darkness following. The shadow being a gradual progression is representative of how the kidnappers have snuck up on her. This uses the convention of thrillers in the sense of violence adding a psychological twist with the disorienting shadow.

In our psychological urban thriller, we’ve placed emphasis on the convention of violence in order to in-keep with other thrillers. The shot below is from when Eva has her first encounter with the kidnappers. The shot is disorientating and confusing providing the psychological element to the thriller and the shot cuts from regular, to a close up, back to regular. This is further disorientating and the two different angles allow for more detail making the sequence more interesting. The fast cuts in editing speed up the scene making it more fast paced much like the kidnapping itself.

Before the kidnapping occurs or the characters are even established, our character Eva stands outside in the rain to smoke as she’s quite an anxious character and uses this as a method of relaxation. Outside it’s dark which foreshadows the oncoming metaphorically dark events occurring within the thriller. Furthermore, the ground is wet with rain creating a pathetic fallacy as such connoting misery or dismay. The unnatural light coming from the streetlights represents a struggle for anything positive as all the light is created artificially. As well as this, the over the shoulder shot implies she's being watched, perhaps this is the kidnappers. This shot establishes location for the thriller, this is an important convention of thrillers.

At the end, after the title is displayed, there is a shot of Eva in the shed, in relation to camerawork, it has been shot from a Birdseye view almost as if the kidnappers have filmed it. Having the audience look down on her makes her seem devalued and lacking importance implying she has less power. Furthermore, the horrid colour palette furthers the lack of comfort within the shot for the audience. This is shot in a shed surrounded by typical shed items which brings a sense of family much as all sheds, the occurrence of a kidnapping within it makes it almost sick or twisted.
( add stranger things comparison)

Our thriller demonstrates the thriller convention of having a vulnerable female lead character who then becomes the prey of the kidnappers. This happens in other thrillers such as “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”. This uses the convention matching/ asserting the thriller genre, particularly a more urban, psychological thriller. The shot where our lead Eva looks in the mirror upon entering her house emphasises this.
 This shot uses geometrical aspects of media. The shot may seem disorienting to the audience due to the multiple contrasting lines. The composition is extremely angular making the image unpleasant or even confusing. In regards to mise en scene, Eva looking in the mirror before entering an empty house emphasises her nerves further causing this climax towards the end where the main event occurs, the kidnapping. Using her reflection as oppose to her actual image represents the multidimensional aspects of this character the audience have not yet come across. Mirrors also carry connotations of vanity as such, this is a slight theme in relation to Eva's character, appearance. Many of her individual shots in her house involve her altering her appearance in the mirror such as brushing her hair and removing makeup. This emphasises her nerves as a character as it's not particularly relaxed and may go against stereotypical conventions of what a teenage girl would do when she gets home (for example- immediately visit the fridge or check their phone). This contrast makes Eva a more unique character adding a twist to our thriller in regards to defying common stereotypes or challenging conventions.

In addition to our thriller suiting the common conventions of the thriller genre, we also challenge some conventions. We decided to play with gender stereotypes. We used male and female kidnapping characters displaying equality in terms of ability conveying both genders are capable of crime and challenging the stereotype that women are weak as such. We then build upon this by creating a power imbalance between the two. We made our female character more dominant than our male, this shot displays this.

Our male character ties his shoelaces in a single knot. Our female character then doubles the knot in a shot that comes immediately after. This displays her dominance over him suggesting he can’t live up to her standards or expectations. It also conveys her perfectionist personality traits. Furthermore, the shoe being black contrasts the light colour palette used in the background. This emphasises there is metaphorical goodness around them yet them themselves don’t contain this and develops their negative connotations as characters.

The shot above is from "Layer Cake", another thriller similar to ours in the sense that it's also got aspects of this urban, psychological sub-genre. This film is extremely male dominated giving them all power and in the opening, the only time in which women are seen is when they are sexually objectified. Our thriller does not explore this convention as it displays women in two ways; the position of extreme power through our female kidnapper and the weak, vulnerable, anxious lead victim character.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Updated 31st march Evaluation, question 2- How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our thriller opening represented different social groups, particularly gender as we played with stereotypes.

Our main character, Eva, represents that young women are vulnerable. This is conveyed though not only her kidnapping, but many other media elements. At the end, there is diegetic sound of her whimpering conveying her weakness as a character, the addition of the removal of non-diegetic background sounds emphasises this further. The shadow cast across her face emphasises the oncoming darkness brought by the kidnappers almost removing all innocent senses. The multiple extreme closeups of her face bring us to her vulnerability as she becomes exposed and hopeless due to the actions of her kidnappers. 

In regards to mise en scene aspects, the prop of the door contains a window in the section, this makes it not opaque and more easily accessible to what’s inside. This emphasises the vulnerability of young women stereotype within our media product.

Moving over to another representation of social groups within our thriller, we challenge the stereotype being that criminality is masculine and replace it with a female dominance. We have a male and female kidnapper and the female appears to be in control of the male emphasising how it’s not only men who can conduct kidnappings, a way we differ from our influence, “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”.

We emphasise this element of female dominance in a number of ways in shots. For example, she rearranges his tool layout, pulls out the tool to open the door, pushes his jacket into him and stares at him as he gulps his water inappropriately.

In this shot, our male character ties his shoelaces in a single knot. Our female character then doubles the knot in a shot that comes immediately after. This displays her dominance over him suggesting he can’t live up to her standards or expectations. It also conveys her perfectionist personality traits. In addition, the shoe being black contrasts the light colour palette used in the background. This displays there is metaphorical goodness around them yet them themselves don’t contain this and develops their negative connotations as characters. The fast cut makes her action seem faster in pace further conveying her power and dominance.

Furthermore, our thriller challenges stereotypes and conventional representations of crime as a male domain. The lead male character doesn't orchestrate the kidnapping and isn't represented as vulnerable yet he is conveyed as inferior to his female partner in crime.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Evaluation, question 7- Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

There are many differences between our preliminary task and our thriller project. Our thriller contained a lot more demands and requirements such as using more complicated technologies as displayed in another blog post. With our thriller, we had a lot more time to shoot and edit our work containing more complex media aspects.

In pre-production, the main difference has been the element of planning. For our preliminary task, we did plan yet it wasn’t very thought through in media terms such as mise en scene and specific shots weren’t planned. For our full product, we produced a series of plans displayed in the thriller planning blog section including font decisions and storyboards. Doing this made us a lot more prepared making our shoots run more smoothly improving the quality of our final product as the process was a lot more thought out which gave more meaning to our thriller and gave it more professional elements. In addition, we checked our locations for shooting which clarified if the locations were usable and suitable allowing us to get a rough idea of composition of shots and props. By contrast, for our preliminary task, we had the intension of shooting elsewhere yet as we didn’t check the location, we had to change last minute to a less suitable location.

Through production, the elements were more complex as we used a greater variety of shots such as extreme close ups to add meaning and depth to our full product. We learned how do to this in our preliminary task as we experimented with the filming equipment so by the time we produced our full product, we were more familiar and confident when it came to filming as we had the knowledge required to produce effective shots. Another way in which our full product developed by comparison to our preliminary task relates to location. For our preliminary task we used one location which didn’t include any planning or connote any meaning. We had multiple shoot days to film our thriller in different locations and in addition to this, we had to do pickups where we reshoot a couple of sections as we were dissatisfied with the way they turned our within the editing component. Being able to reshoot improved the quality of our thriller.

In terms of post-production, our editing had to be a lot more specific and follow the laid out plan we created. This made our work easier as we already knew what we had to do so it was less time consuming in that sense. In editing, our preliminary task taught us how to use the software and develop skills in how to edit, this made our final piece more precise and used a wider variety of the editing tools we learnt about such as how to add text and sound and create sequences of shots that are coherent.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Evaluation, question 6- What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

In order to produce a thriller opening, we had to use a variety of technology in order to pan, produce and post-production equipment. This technology has not only enabled me to produce this but taught us about the process of constructing media products. It has, in particular, enriched my digital literacy and given a certain sense of creative empowerment through its democratization.

Pre-production of my thriller opening used a variety of websites to collect research. For example, all of our research has been done on a blog. These are an ongoing multimedia platform with online accessibility allowing for fast feedback and it’s easily updated due to its ongoing status making it very practical. In addition, it allows total ownership as well as customisation making it personal and allowing for creative empowerment in a making your blog original as such.

Moving away from blogs, we used Dropbox in order to access images that are used collaboratively for blog posts, particularly at the stage of researching other thrillers. As well as this, we used one drive for collaborative blog posts so that we could all edit PowerPoints at the same time that was easily accessible.

In terms of creativity, we used websites containing a great variety of content widening our thriller’s possibilities. For fonts in the thriller opening to add the credits, we used Dafont which appeared to contain endless fonts to choose from allowing for very specific, well selected, font choices. For sound, we used FreeSFX website which also contained a very wide variety of sounds including effects and background to be added non-diegetically into our thriller opening. Both of these websites were received as creatively empowering enriching the media possibilities.

The second section of this was the actual production of our thriller opening. Within this, we shot using HD cameras with a tripod allowing steadiness. The cameras were high-quality allowing our thriller to look relatively professional in its product. We used an SD card in order to record our thriller shots from the camera onto editing software in a post-production sense. This was useful as our thriller was collaborative and we could transfer the shots onto multiple things. In addition, it was relatively fast. With the camera, we also had control over the settings in terms of focus and zoom allowing creativity and further widening shot capability. Finally, the instant playback setting allowed us to know straight away if the shot was okay giving us knowledge on if we need to re-shoot anything.

Post-production technology also greatly impacted our thriller, in addition to adding music and text as mentioned in pre-production, we used non-linear editing software which allowed us to edit our shots in any order, non-chronologically. This was helpful as we could go back and re-edit removing and adding parts where necessary. It also allowed us to check the edit in addition to refine it. Most importantly, the editing software allowed for creative empowerment as well as many technologies do making room for individuality and specificity.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Evaluation, question 3- What media institution might distribute you media product and why?

We intend on distributing our thriller with CineMANX. They are a low budget film distribution company matching our film, also low budget. They produced films such as “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed” upon which our film is influenced by. Our thriller is unlikely to be able to be marketed abroad as we intend to keep it UK based. Moving on from this, we’ve filmed in unknown British locations which CineMANX films often do making our film suitable. In addition, our film revolves around a kidnapping making it a dark, gritty film we feel would be suitable for CineMANX.

Another institution we could use for the distribution of our film is Picturehouse Entertainment. This company is not independent as it’s owned by the mainstream Cineworld. However it is the parent company of Cinema City and if we wished to distribute to cinemas we would use this one. Picturehouse also specialises in the distribution of niche films. However, we feel CineMANX is more suitable than Picturehouse.

Referring back to cinema, we could distribute to Cineworld as they run a lot less mainstream films, however, a portion of Cineworlds audience is for the older generation of which our thriller will, most likely, not be suitable for. Alternatively, we could get it put into online distribution such as Netflix as they have tendency to contain more brave, experimental films containing darker topics. If our film was seemed to be unsuitable for cinema, we could distribute to companies such as film 4 as they display films that aren't so globalised.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

chosen location updated

 Our thriller will be filmed mainly at Mollae’s house. We hope to produce a variety of interesting shots with our chosen location adding to the thriller genre in addition to successfully establishing location.

Our first location is the pavement outside of Mollae’s house. The houses in the area are nice and well organised, this implies our character comes from a good background. Hopefully this will make the audience more sympathetic towards "Eva" as it provides an innocent sense to her character. We plan to shoot here when it begins to get dark. In addition, it would be ideal to film when it’s been raining to create a reflective pavement against the dark contrast. This shall hopefully create a kind of pathetic fallacy with the weather representing the bad events that occur. The darkness with the streetlights will allow for some interesting shadows providing an ominous element to this scene. Furthermore, the darkness will carry negative connotations giving the scene a foreshadowing element.

Our next location is a living room that’s being redecorated in Mollae’s house. We feel this would be an excellent location to display the kidnappers preparation shots. The room is covered in plastic sheets and contains things such as paint pots and tools like screwdrivers and saws. This provides a professional sense to the kidnappers. Ideally, this will make them appear more to be feared adding the element of suspense to their preparation. The location also has a heavy door so we plan to have a shot of it slamming shut. The interesting ensemble of windows should also allow for some interesting eerie shadows.

Our next location will be Mollae’s room. It’s a nice room, therefore it should create a heavy contrast to when she’s trapped in the shed which will be an extreme opposite. She has a full length mirror so we hope to create some interesting shots using that. The room should connote innocence in her character making her seem small and innocent which leads to her hopelessness later on in the dark shed.

Leading on, there is a shed in Mollae’s garden. This is an ideal  location in which we plan to withhold our kidnapped character. It’s dark representing the metaphorical darkness and the fact there’s no windows represents a struggle for life by literally and metaphorically removing the light, therefore carrying dark connotations. There’s a singular lightbulb swinging from the ceiling so we hope to create some interesting shots with this, it should provide an ominous sense to the peace giving the audience a sense of disorientation. the floors and walls are all hard and wooden making them seem unpleasant suggesting this harsh reality the character faces.

sound updated

In the opening of many thrillers, they include non-diegetic sounds or a background piece in-keeping with the thriller genre. This adds effect in regards to building tension and hooking the audience in addition to successfully establishing the tone the thriller wishes to outlay.

Our thriller is influenced by “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”. In their opening, they use a droning sound encompassed by higher notes adding rather scary elements displaying the metaphorical darkness. This occurs around this shot-
This sound remains throughout the entire opening representing the consistency of the kidnappers actions, the lack of change makes their movements seem smoother emphasising to the audience that they are to be feared.

Following on, it also uses some amplified diegetic sounds over this background sound which appear rather ominous. An example of this would be the squeaky wheel-
The sound is almost hellish yet everything except this wheel runs smoothly such as their professional actions, so the amplification may suggest a downfall in the kidnappers perfect seeming set up.

 These loud sheet sounds convey a professional sense, suggesting the kidnappers are organised, furthermore, the plastic sheet carries horrid sounds. This may make the audience cringe which would be very effective in representing the power the kidnappers hold.

The final element of sound in "The disappearance of Alice Creed" would be the lack of dialogue, in-fact, there is no speech in the entire opening. This comes across to be extremely effective as it means the audience doesn't know what the characters are thinking. This almost dehumanises them into these mechanical robots making them all the more terrifying.
In our thriller opening, I feel a long, building drone sound would provide ominous connotations in addition to, hopefully, building tension for our audience. I'll most likely select from one of the following sounds on

Finally, we will be using diegetic sounds from our main character "Eva" whimpering in the shed scene after her kidnapping. We also feel the shots used by Alice Creed with the amplified diegetic sounds come across extremely effective so we plan to use some heavy breathing shots to display the weakness obtained by our kidnapped character and contrast it by using strong, powerful noises to convey the power the kidnappers hold.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017



What do we see/hear?

The first shot will fade in from a black screen to Eva standing on the corner of a miserably dull, wet road with the weather almost foreshadowing the horrors to come. She smokes a cigarette to calm her stress and walks home. When she arrives she gets “unready” as such, removing her makeup etc, becoming more relaxed after her day. The kidnapper’s preparation shots will cut in to Eva’s shots displaying the heavy contrast between the two as they gradually come to one. We then see the victim figure trapped in a shed to finish the opening.

Describe the opening

The opening should start at a slow pace building up through the tension and anticipation into a faster paced scene. The edits should become more frequent along the way along with following the 180 degree rule with appropriate fades and jump cuts.