- In what ways does your media product use, develop, or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
When my group and I had to think of a film opening, we thought we would use the idea of a child getting kidnapped but not being found and being trapped in a room for lots of years because we figured that most kidnapping thriller films you get are based on someone getting kidnapped but being found by the end. So to make our film seem more thrilling, we decided that instead of having a child kidnapped and found for our thriller, we thought we would show her life after being kidnapped and not being found.
When we developed our film, we used different conventions to make the film seem interesting and to help the viewers understand what is happening in the film opening.
Here is a screen shot of the woman looking at the mirror. We added ‘fun house’ and ‘dream’ effects to the camera shot to make it look creepy, distorted and to allow the audience to have a different perspective of her. This was also done because the distortion made the opening slightly more thrilling and shows the audience that after all these years of being locked up, the woman might have changed, in terms of her mental health.
We used many different effects to our film opening to make the shots look more professional because most thriller films use different effects to make the movie seem chilling and sinister. For the flashbacks, we used two main effects; ‘Aged film’ and ‘memory’. These two effects were used to make the audience understand that the shots were of the woman when she was a child around the time of her kidnapping. My group and I thought that the effects we used looked professional to some extent and we tried to make sure it flowed and fitted in with our film opening.
When we filmed our thriller opening, we mainly used the camera convention close ups and mid shots. We used these shots so that the audience would feel engaged and can understand and see the expressions on the characters faces and what they were doing. We used close-ups to make the shots seem more intense and creepy. The close ups were ideal; especially the straight views where the characters were looking in the mirror (at the camera) because it adds an effect that they are looking directly at the audience, making the shots seem chilling and quite frightening. The use of mid shots helped to show emotions and what the characters were doing in that scene. Throughout the film opening, we used a few long shots to set the scene of where the character was and what she was doing. For example, we used a long shot when the girl was walking down the road to show the audience there was a change in scenery and to show that the shots were flashbacks of the woman’s past. This shot can also be symbolic as she is all alone, which can relate to the woman being lonely as the shot was taken so far away.
Planning our opening, my group and I thought we should use some camera shots that were taken from different places. For instance, we shot the characters from different angles such as sides view, front views and over the shoulder views. Here are some of the shots we used in our film.
We filmed the shots at different angles to show the audience what the characters looked like at different angles to get a better interpretation of them and to give the audience an idea about how small the room was that the woman was kept in. Shooting at different angles also gave an effect that helped the audience to get a better picture of the characters in their minds and feel like they were in the characters place.
Mise en scene:
When we were planning our film, my group and I thought we would add the convention of a jewellery box that both the woman and child had when throughout the film to add a creepier effect that was more suspenseful. We showed the jewellery box with both characters because we thought it would help the audience understand that the box was symbolic and show it was the same character just at different times in her life; the shots of the girl were flashbacks of before and after she was kidnapped. Additionally, we thought there should be makeup in the box and have the characters put the makeup on to show they are the same person and to create a creepy but psychotic effect to the woman as she was drastically putting on the makeup. This made the character seem scarier and made the film opening seem more thrilling. The woman character looking in the mirror created an effect that symbolised she’s looking at her reflection of how she pictures herself to be and creates a creepy effect.
The woman in our thriller opening was portrayed as someone who had become deranged after spending around thirty years in a locked room with minimal chance of escaping. At first, the woman’s face is distorted so you cannot see her face. This adds suspense as the audience does not know what this character looks like. As the film opening continues, the audience then sees the woman applying makeup to her face in a drastic way, which gives the audience the idea that she is mentally unstable. This then leads to the audience wondering all sorts of questions such as: Who is this woman? Why is she applying makeup in a strange way? What is she going to do next? Where is she? Not knowing the answers help make the film more intriguing and adds suspense to the film opening, leading to the audience wanting to know more.
The girl in our film opening was supposed to be portrayed as defenceless and helpless as she is mostly just sitting on a stool applying makeup to her face. The way she was presented was supposed to make the audience feel sympathetic towards her for being locked away with minimal hope of escaping. When the girl was walking home from school, we used long shots to show how alone she is and to demonstrate her vulnerability.
When we edited our film opening, we added a lot of sounds to the film to make it seem more intense and add a thrilling effect to it. We added the jewellery box sound to the film as it could continually play throughout the clip and make the film opening seem more thrilling. We also added some dialogue to the film opening; we added a police call when the mother of the girl called to report she was missing and we added a news report about the girl when she went missing. My group and I added these voice recordings to our film opening to ensure that the audience understood that the girl had been kidnapped and to show that the girl is the same person as the woman. Furthermore, we added a siren sound to the film opening to add the effect that shows the audience the girl was kidnapped and the police were looking for her. The deep ambient sound we added to the film made it seem more intense and created a creepy feel to the opening. In addition, my group and I added the convention of a door creaking open as this makes a more chilling effect and we used a door slamming shut at the end of the film opening to just create that suspenseful moment at the end. These sounds used made the thriller opening more suspenseful and helped the audience understand that the girl is the woman and that she hadn’t been found. Furthermore, we added these sounds to our thriller to make sure the opening seemed thrilling and told the opening story to the film.
When we were creating the film opening, we liked the ideas from the film opening of Se7en because it was a montage of images put together and had shots of different objects associated with the film, for example, there was a shot of a man using a razor to peel off his fingerprints, there was another shot of police tape at a crime scene and there was a map with different marks on them. These sorts of shots in a montage form made the film opening seem interesting and gave the audience a lot of information without revealing the whole storyline. My group and I liked this idea and thought we would use a similar idea by trying to create a montage of images. However, we used more movement in the shots taken whereas the opening of Se7en used less movement and more shots.