2. In what way does your media
product use, develop or challenge
forms and conventions of real
3. Conventions used
In our film, we made use of the various codes and conventions which are classified as being part of
the thriller genre. The conventions we made use of from the thriller genre are:
- Obtrusive Editing: Throughout the character introduction scenes we made use of quick cuts and
fades. This created a sense of time distortion as we can tell time is passing, however the use of
parallel editing alongside the quick cuts make it seem so time is passing on two fronts, yet the
journeys seem different lengths. This distortion creates tension between the characters and the
- Iconography: By making use of the motorcycle in the introduction scene, we show a sense of
excitement, this creates an uneasy tension within the audience, as they are being shown
something that is suppose to impress them and make them feel anxious to see what will become,
it is used normally used within action films to create a dramatic moment, however with our film, I
feel that we are lightly challenging the typical conventions by making use of the excitement to
4. - Setting: We chose to set the thriller in a modern time. During our research we found the most
successful thrillers, were ones which could be possible to happen within reality, meaning that
they would actually be scared that something like a murder or a psychopath can occur within their
home environments. By setting it in a modern, average area, its applying a sense of normality to
the film, with events considered abnormal. This juxtaposition between the two cause a sense of
tension and suspense, the audience will be worried that they can relate to a movie meant to
Car park Setting: Average setting, common whenever
going out. Part of normal Environment
Kitchen Setting: At home area, makes audience think
more about the film itself.
5. During the creation of our film, we found that the narrative we made, lead to the addition of various
codes and conventions from the Psychological thriller sub-genre. Past research into this had
shown us that psychological thrillers were normally filmed in average environments, so in terms
of practicality it was the most suitable for filming. Out of the conventional themes derived from the
psychological thriller genre, we found our film best suited the themes of Perception and Reality. I
thought perception because our film offered distorted views on time causing tension. I think that
the film better suits the theme of Reality, as the film takes place in an average environment,
where one wouldn’t expect the ensued chaos and tension of a psychological film.
In terms of whether we were inspired by other previously made films. Although we watched several
others in hopes of learning about how the different techniques and conventions have been used.
In the end however we decided we didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of other psychological
thriller films and instead make one based on our own views of the genre. Along the way however
when it came to making the title sequences, we ended up making one styled after the one used
in the thriller film ‘Se7en’ which turned out to have used similar conventions to ours, however still
7. Social Groups
In our film we included the following characters: Middle Age Male, Young Upstart UpperClass, Wife.
We wanted all the people participating on the game to appear to each be representing a different
social group. With this we could add a variation of different character types to suit the theme of a
psychological thriller, by using multiple mind sets to create tension between the characters and
suspense to the audience.
The middle aged man was played by myself. We wanted to make this character appear to have class,
yet at the same time, not as rich as the other characters, yet still taking part in an event meant for
the rich. This adds an idea of rivalry between him and the other richer male character. This idea
of rivalry could form an impression or accusation towards one of the two characters. We chose to
use the cigarette with this characters, as it is a typical middle-class representation, meaning
people would be able to relate to the normalcy of the character.
Simple white shirt, black tie, formal, yet not over
the top with said formality.
8. The Young Upstart Upper Class male is represented as being a formal. We chose to have him walk
out a building, as this show a professional side to it the character. He initiates the nods between
the two characters presenting a sense of respect between the two, which adds to the prior idea of
In terms of Race we decided not to include any of the racial stereotypes, as we felt that they were not
needed with the genre and worked better using the classes alone.
With the Wife character, we wanted to make her seem like she was constantly being put down by her
husband. This would make use of the male dominance stereotype. We however wanted to go
against this stereotype, by having the woman become the films ‘Killer’. The reasoning could be
that she had the abuse and became somewhat psychotic, in this case disregarding human life
and murdering her husband by poisoning his drink. This would create the impression of female
dominance, making the film appeal to the female audience
With the wider range of characters it would be easier for multiple audiences.
Black Shirt, smart casual apparel, not as well
dressed as older characters, gives idea of
Smart attire, simple plain blazer, blonde, aimed to
be treated as object by husband, to show
9. What kind of institution might
distribute your media product and
10. Personally I believe that we have made the film to a Holly Wood style, based on prior research. We
had made the opening in a simple old school Holly Wood style, however, it could also be seen as
a film which would be shown only on the television. The way this movie would be distributed
would start out by being a cinema release, followed after by the release of its DVDs/ Blu-Rays.
Although we stated in the film that this was presented by ‘Motion Cube’, we feel if we were to
compare it to a real production company, it would likely be ‘Warner Bros. Studios’ (Owned by
Time Warner, one of the six media giants), who produced the previous psychological thrillers
‘Se7en’ and ‘Inception’. These films also featured a similar sense of both using and at the same
time challenging the usual conventions of thriller films.
The film itself offers plenty of opportunity for brands to be shown off. For example, using a motorbike
from a certain make of motorbike, it would drum up publicity for the company. It doesn’t however
leave much room for merchandising uses. You wouldn’t be able to create any merchandise, other
than DVDs, Blu-Ray etc, from this film. Through other technologies the film could be distributed
further or more easily through such things as Netflix, which allows various films or shows to be
watched from various devices. This technological advancement would make it much easier for
the consumers to view the media product.
12. Age: The age rating we decided on in the end for the film was a 15. We decided this because out of
our prior survey results, we found the largest age group who enjoyed thriller films was people
aged 15+. This also worked in our favour as we were also included in this age range and could
see what we enjoyed personally and compare it closer to other members of the audience.
Gender: For the target gender, we had the male audience in mind as the survey showed they had a
greater preference of the genre of females. However as we were making the film we found that
female members of our audience could actually relate to the female character in the film, allowing
our film to appeal to members of each gender.
Race: Deciding a target race for this film was a difficult choice. We didn’t have much we could say to
make it relate to a single race. In the end we decided on a British nationality for the demographic
as it was an British made film, this meant we wanted it to appeal to anyone within the United
Kingdom. This however isn’t such a limitation as just because it was aimed at the British
demographic, that doesn’t mean that people who are outside this range wouldn't enjoy it.
14. Our audience for our film was people aged 15 and above, the age rating was 15, and we made it
appeal to both a male and female audience. The motorbike scene although this isn’t intended to
scare the audience, it appealed to the male audience in terms of excitement and intrigue as
motorbikes are typically scene as cool and interesting by our audience. This would help keep
focus on the film and keep the male viewer engaged. This scene really focuses on the two male
characters and makes them seem to be the leading characters, this forces the male audience to
try to relate to the characters, however at this point, all it seems to be a dramatic version of
what's considered normal reality, there isn’t anything out of the ordinary happening, this lulls the
audience into a false sense of security.
15. In terms of making the audience feel uneasy and creating tension, the scene when the wife is pouring
the drinks accomplishes this. By using a close-up of the glasses when ones having poison placed
into it, creates the idea that even at home, your never safe. This creates the idea of fear and how
someone who at first seemed like a calm individual, can actually be a killer without any obvious
warning beforehand. During this scene the music has changed from a dramatic fast paced song,
suiting the males, but this time it’s an eerie slow song which builds up the tension when the
poison is placed in the drink. This is considered out of the ordinary as murder isn’t seen as a
normal part of life. This then forces a relation between the female audience and the wife as they
would see her as the dominant female role throughout the film, she is the only one woman could
These forced relations between character and audience creates an uneasy feeling between them as
they would be forced to see the film through the eyes of a realist, yet still have to come to terms
with the fact that the murder is a normal part of the film.
16. What have you learnt about the
technologies from the process of
constructing the product?
17. In my past experience of using cameras, I have only used them for photography, which only required
stillness for a brief moment. Using them for filming was much more difficult than I imagined. We
found that over time we had all become better at using the camera, alongside its use with the
tripod. During our filming sessions, we found that using them to do camera techniques such as
pans was much harder than it had first looked, keeping the camera steady whilst moving proved
a challenge at first.
The filming process itself was not an easy one. At the start we often had the post-pone filming
sessions due to them not being charged or there not being one available. At first to counter this
we started booking and charging the camera well in advance before filming, however this didn’t
always mean we had enough time for filming a day. To again solve this issue we decided on
using one of our groups own HDR camera, like the ones we used in the school. This saved us
time as we could shoot multiple scenes at the same time. This in the end lead to a large issues
near the deadline, where we found the resolution of our group members camera was too low, this
meant the only way to fit it to the screen was to stretch it out, which in turn made it look terrible.
To solve this we all worked hard to get the needed shots re-filmed.
The editing process was an interesting one, I had a lot of previous experience using Adobe Premier. I
started out by explaining the basics to everyone in the group, however we found that I was not
the best at explaining so instead we got the teacher to confirm everything with the group. For this
project, as the rest of the group needed more practise we decided on letting them handle the
majority of the editing and I would only edit some minor parts here and there. We also made use
of Premier to alter the sounds we found for the film, we were able to play with lengths, volumes
and a few other parts. Overall as a group we all found Adobe Premier very useful for the editing
process as it gave us precise control over the footage and audio. It also allowed us to easily
created the opening titles, however personally I felt that using only a fade wasn’t very dramatic,
and was too calm for a thriller film. I thought that adding a shake effect to the text as it faded in
and out would make it seem scarier and much more dramatic to better suit the genre.
18. Looking back to the preliminary
task, what do you feel that you
have learnt from it to the full
19. During the research we found that we needed much more than we did for the prior editing task. In this case
each member of the group spent time researching different parts of thriller films and the film industry.
During this phase, we all learnt a lot about the actual thrillers themselves, and the different types of
industries which would distribute them. The amount of research we put into the project in the end was
more than I expected, however I found some of the research that we did really interesting, for example
learning about Alfred Hitchcock, and how he revolutionised the thriller genre by being the first, if not one of
the first, to introduce a normal human being as the ‘monster’.
For the planning stage, we had learnt from our last attempt and started out mind-mapping with all the
information we had gathered from a past survey and using it to make the major decisions for the film, e.g.
Genre, setting, plot. Once we had we had a solid idea for the plot, we then went on to create a story board.
The storyboard we made the first time, really wasn’t suitable we had found. It took time but we worked out
a good storyboard to start with. Overall the planning went somewhat well, I feel that messed around with
the original idea a lot over the course of the project, however I’m glad we did, we learned to adapt and
change our idea to make it more possible and usable than the older ideas. For example, changing
locations of certain scenes due to the original idea not being doable.
During the editing we had found that the storyboard, did not need to be a solid guideline, but rather we could
move the squares around and change the narrative as we liked. By doing this we managed to set up more
tension between characters, and create greater suspense by having the poisoning scene go last, rather
Throughout the course, we had been managing to improve our skills with the camera. We managed to work on
our technique when filming until we all managed to keep a calm hand with the camera and make sure it
stays steady. We also managed to work on the techniques which really add to the footage, for example,
one of our group members became really good at Pans, and another managed to work out a good paced
steady zoom. Since I was acting, I did not get much time for filming for the actual film itself, however I did
manage to get in some practise on the side so that I would be prepared for next year.
Overall I would say that during the process of production, we had a lot of bumps along the way, we were not
the most organised group, and we did not get along the best, but in the end I feel we came out with a
rather good film. I feel that if we tried harder from the start, we could have produced a better film but I feel
we did a good job with what we had.