Log of Film production.

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Paul White.


BRIEF: Brief one (Film).

The opening sequence of a new thriller, including the titles, aimed at a 15 or 18 certificate audience (approximately two minutes duration).


We began the ball rolling, by researching into target audiences . To begin with we got information from the BFI (British Board of Film Classification), on the two film certificates 15 and 18. We finally chose the certificate that would allow us to manipulate audiences in the best possible way. In the end the final decision went with the 18 certificate , It allowed us more freedom of speech and we agreed it allowed us to use more conventions that are expected in a thriller. The 18 certificate allowed us to play to a more sophisticated audience where spoon feeding them is not acceptable. They have to think for themselves. Overall, we settled for an 18 to 35 target audience; 18-35 is an age group that big blockbusters are mainly seen by. Next we turned to the target audience for help, to learn their thoughts as to what has affected them and fulfils their expectations of the thriller genre; also, particularly, what makes them feel fear , what has played on their psychological well-being. We gave out 40 questionnaires in total. A number of questions were asked that focused on the main conventions of a thriller. We analysed this research and it became extremely useful, for example, we found that in the target audience most people enjoyed the sub genre of the psychological. From this information we could model our new psychological thriller and add symbolic techniques that would surprise the audience, one possibility was to induce the target audience into a state of discomfort, through the noir lighting along with the discordant colours of the scene. This became a strong idea for us.

We thought it would be a worthwhile piece of information if we sent letters off to institutes that were in a position to provide us with relevant information ( for example, how they tackle the thriller genre or a way of making a successful thriller movie). The information that was received from Granada followed the 'High Concept Model' which is a ten point formula which film scholars use to make successful Hollywood films. With this in mind ,we could now contrast our ideas and see if the thriller film of ours follows that successful formula. That would add key connotational value for the audience, such as intertextual links that could keep the audience in a state of familiarity.

We also looked at existing real media texts for their conventions and language to help identify key stereotypes of characters. We began by looking at 'Se7en' and the 'Third man'. The key conventions were noted which included the titles, camera angles, key characters etc- the gothic lettering for instance in 'The Third Man' that connotated possible violence, and the exaggerated camera angles used in 'Se7en' to signify mental distortion and canted frames to represent a lack of balance. Once all the key language was highlighted , all the information was translated to the idea of the maintenance of narrative tension, so we could see how big blockbusters kept narrative tension. It allowed us an insight into how to keep narrative tension in our piece. This would allow us to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, during tense parts of narrative structure.
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The final part of the research, consisted of a historical overview. What had been the top ten thriller movies of all time? What makes them so successful?. We researched into their storylines and the period the films were set. This would allow us guidelines into good psychological thriller and other thrillers, and allow us to model our piece around some of the greats, such as those by 'Alfred Hitchcock', and manipulate our audience the same as many of his films did.


We began to plan the production by choosing the most popular points from ...

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