Production Log - Thriller Project The brief task was to produce an opening sequence to a thriller film, aimed at fifteen or eighteens, including titles and last about two to three minutes.

Authors Avatar



The brief task was to produce an opening sequence to a thriller film, aimed at fifteen or eighteens, including titles and last about two to three minutes. Our group aimed to follow themes and stylistic conventions of a thriller that would be familiar to audiences, making them anticipated. This is a purpose of an opening for a thriller, also to hook audiences and create enigma .We wanted to make our thriller have a ‘movie feel’ towards it, making it look professional even though with the low budget and equipment. I wanted to further advance my camera and editing skills from the music video project and I felt like I had more to prove in making this movie.

        I made my production on a non-digital camera and tripod. We had the internet for downloading music, sound effects and used programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and IMovie.

        I watched several thriller movies to pick out conventions of an opening sequence to give me a plan on narrative structure and genre for my product. ‘Crime Story’ (1993, Wong), ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995, Singer) and ‘New Police Story’ (2004, Chan) were excellent choices and we were able to adapt our own ideas and mix them together. For example, the mysterious character in Suspects is hidden away from screen or is covered by his hat and we only see extreme close ups of his eyes and hands. This is featured in our thriller and creates an enigma for the audience. Both ‘Crime Story’ and ‘Police Story’ have flashbacks and jump cuts to put the audience at the edge of their seats. The protagonists in both movies suffer from loss and instability as they are chased by the antagonists. We used these elements of film noir and added the mysterious antagonist which created a whole new level to the thriller genre. The binary opposition of good versus evil stimulates audience expectations as they’ll be eager to see certain things happening throughout the film. All three movies follow a cause and effect structure such as twists in plots and detection. This helped our group to figure out our film as a whole, through the use of the Todorov structure and making the audience unravel the outcome of the movie.

        Our target audience was ages from fifteen to twenty five. Since our thriller had teenagers playing as teenagers, we felt that we had to target a young audience so that they’d be able to get involved with them and the movie. It was unique rather than using the same age group (over eighteens). Our narrative involves a worried relationship which both male and female audiences can relate to, creating a sense of realism in the movie world. Our potential audiences were fans of dramas and psychological thrillers such as ‘Psycho’ (1960, Hitchcock) and ‘Léon’ (1994, Besson). We researched target audience by making a questionnaire and asked people what they know about thrillers and what they’ve watched, with the top 50 thriller handout. This helped us understand what our potential audiences wanted in a thriller. Most of them say that they expected a mysterious character and plot that creates suspense, and we used this idea to a great advantage.

Join now!


Our group decided to go with the idea of a depressed protagonist who is chased by the mysterious antagonist. This opened up the clearest ideas for suitable iconography (knife, hidden character), which was important for establishing themes and genre during our sequence.

        For preparation, we had difficulties in choosing locations and actors. Individually, I knew the main scene was going to take place on a bridge, during the night time. It was a perfect setting which could show off the protagonists’ isolation. This would set a dark mood for audiences, as they feel this is a place ...

This is a preview of the whole essay