Friday, 28 January 2011


The opening title sequence of “Se7en” is around 4 minutes long and it is intended to introduce us to the central protagonist, Detective William Somerset, as well as to set the mood for the remainder of the film. It also gives the audience lots of information about him including what he does for a living and what he’s like as a person, not least introducing another main character, Detective David Mills. The title opening structure is a discrete title sequence which is separately edited, with a blank screen and with white writing, it also includes mash-ups of scratched frames and fuzzed-up, glitchy graphics. The hand written fonts tell us that his mental state is not right. This all makes it spooky and gives it an edge, this also helps us to identify the genre of the film.
The look of the entire opening scene is very rough and raw. This is to keep the tension high and the mood dark, it also links the film with dark ideas such a murder and serial killers. The opening cuts from the distributor’s logo straight to Somerset in his apartment, getting ready for work. It shows he is very particular and exact his things are all lined up parallel on his desk in the order in which he picks them up. Continuity editing is used for this scene so all of the audience’s attention is focused solely on Somerset although the edits are fairly fast, to keep both the pace and tension as high as possible. It also keeps the speed of the scene up he gets ready very quickly, in the very next shot we see him at work straight away.
There are also many close ups of the many things the character is doing the fact that the face of the person is not shown adds a sense of ambiguity for the audience. The opening credits fit the theme of the film by being quite dark and scary. The music played throughout the opening is also daunting and agitating with high pitched sounds.
I chose to analyse the film 'Seven' because I like the techniques used. As it has the right amount of everything to make the audience interested before the film has even started.

RESEARCH: Thriller sub-genres

A thriller uses suspense, tension and excitement as it's main elements. Thrillers have many different sub-genres:
Conspiracy thriller  Hero/ Heroin confronts large group of enemies, whose true extent only he/ she is aware of. Eg: Snake eyes, Absolute Power, JFK.
Crime thriller Offers suspenseful account of a successful or failed crime. These films usually focus on the criminal rather than the policeman. Eg: Hostage, Copycat, A perfect murder.
Erotic thriller Combines erotica with thriller. Popular since the 1980's. Eg: Basic instinct, Dressed to kill, Eyes wide shut.
Psychological thriller In which the conflict between characters is emotional/ mental, rather than physical. Alfred Hitchcock favoured this type of sub-genre. Eg: Suspicion, Shadow of a doubt, Red eye, Psycho.
Medical thriller  hero/heroine are medical doctors working to solve an expanding medical problem. Eg: The hot zone(by Richard Preston), Anatomy.
Political thriller The hero/heroin must ensure the stability of the government which employs them. Eg; Seven days in May, The interpretor, Proof of life.

The Sub-genre which inspires me most at the moment are Crime thrillers. This is because crime thrillers reflect a real part of life, it is based usually on a true story. I think suspense is able to be created effectively in this type of thriller as the audience will be able to engage in the story, as a result of their interest in the story. They will also be more willing to watch it to the end as they are curious as to what happened to the person who comitted the crimes and how their crimes got caught/ succeeded.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

RESEARCH: Font analysis

“Fonts convey an emotion without actually having to say the words”

As known it happens to be that the font is an extremely crucial tool for any reason which could be producing a film or even a poster/cover. This is  because of the fact that the font format and size and such can indicate many things to the audience. For instance it could tell the audience and give them a sense of the genre, atmosphere and also tone too. There happens to be mainly two forms of fonts. The two main fonts are serif fonts and also sans serif fonts.
The title of the film pearl harbour uses a classical, Serif font. It shows ‘Pearl harbour’ in large capital letters, this makes it stand out from the rest of the text. The capitalisation reflects the importance and power of pearl harbour.  The Mise en scene is shown by the uniform worn by the characters, they are shown to be from the military which reflects big and important and links with the title.  Also the way they are placed show there place of status.

The film 'Rocky' uses Franklin gothic Heavy font . The Title ‘Rocky’ is in bold so it stands out to the viewers. The boldness and capitalisation indicates the strength in the actual main character. The mise- en scene used indicate the issues about the film such as the way they have presented rocky in the cover which is as a boxer we can see this from the way they have dressed him. The way they have presented rocky promotes a strong, violent side of him, however considering that he is holding the hands of "Adrianne’s" promotes his sensitive and friendly side too.

Friday, 21 January 2011

RESEARCH: "Watching" Documentary on Film openings:

Thomas Sutcliffe states that in order for films to be successful, 'films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistable'. What he means by this is that it is essential to grasp the attention of the audience in the first few moments of the film, in order for the audience to become interested in the story; this can be done in the opening of the film. However,  Jean Jacques Beinex argues that 'instant arousal' in an  opening is risky.. If you start an opening strongly, with a lot of suspense and drama, the suspense is needed to be maintained at a high level throughout the film; which is difficult to achieve. 
It is argued that 'a good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little.'  In other words, the audience should know something of what is happening; for example location, occupation or the characters world, but the audience can not know too much, so that there is no element of mystery; a certain amount of  knowledge is needed to cause intrigue in the audience.
Critic Stanley Kauffmann describes the 'classic opening' as an effective opening. A 'classic opening' starts with an establishing shot of a building and continues with several establishing shots of the place in which the opening is taken place. Kauffman explains that this opening is very effective as the audience are shown where the film is taken place, or the 'world' of the characters. This shows that an opening has to supply the audience with a certain amount of information, in order to create interest in the audience, but not so much information that you ruin the suspense.
A film which is effective in using title sequence is Kyle Cooper's 'Seven'.The use of editing (such as fast jump cuts) and images introduced the obsessive nature of the character and enabled foreshadowing. Also another successful opening to a film is 'The Shining' which creates suspense by the use of panning, showing the audience that the car which is introduced is not only in the opening as a coincidence, but that it is relevant to the film and that it is being followed, creating suspense. Another technique useful in an opening is "the use of an end as a beginning" This is the trick used in 'Film Noir.'


Fonts are used to convey meaning to how we view the opening scene of a film, it can depict hints about the story. Things like the size, shape, effect and movement of the help us guess what the genre of the film is.
Today we learnt about the two basic types of fonts
Which are:
Serif fonts - such as Times and Courier
Serif fonts are commonly more established and often considerably more formal than sans serif fonts. (A serif is the extra little detail at the end of each stroke of every letter) Serif fonts are used more in newspapers than in magazines.
Sans serif fonts - are fonts such as Arial and Comic Sans
Sans serif fonts are generally more informal and more up to date and more ‘friendly’. Sans serif is used in magazines than newspapers.

Thursday, 20 January 2011



Intertextuality is the visual referencing of films, films will borrow certain elements of thier film from another film. audiences may notice some;camera angles,mise en scene, snippets of sound or methods of editing in some films that you have seen in others.

 At about 2min31, The woman pulls down the shower drackes, this is also used in the stepfather as the man falls into the bath and the drackes also fall.

How Suspense is created in 'The stepfather'

Suspense in 'The stepfather'

Example 1; False Plato of cat jumping outThere is a non-diegetic sound of a heartbeat which increases in volume and pace as the old woman in the scene walks towards the door. As she opens the door, the sound becomes silent, and we see her cat jump out at her. The audience are left in suspense as in who is at the door as the non-diegetic sound of heartbeat gets louder, till we don't hear it at all, then a sudden jump from the cat.

Example 2; Close-up pan on David's tools
The Camera pans across Davids tools, which the audience are familiar off from the beginning of the film when he killed his last family. This creates suspense because the audience begin to suspect that David is about to kill again. This is done effectively because of the focus in the beginning of the film, making it easier for the audience to remember them throughout the pan.

Example 3; Camera tilt
There is a camera tilt to show a boy who looks dead, with his head on the table. The Camera tilt creates suspense because it shows the distraught character of David, whom we as an audience might have been a normal man, is shown in a different light. The camera tilt leaves the audience in suspense of what will happen next.

The surprise elements of suspense influence me to use them in my own film. This is because I found them effective in the way they where presented;They do not give away too much too soon. This leaves the audience wanting to watch more of the film.

Detailed analysis of Thriller clip

Analysis of Thriller clip analysed in class;
'He loves me,He loves me not'

File:He Loves Me He Loves Me Not.jpg

During the lesson, I analysed the thriller 'He loves me, he loves me not'.

The state production and distribution companies all appear in the beginning of the clip. These are;
*Optimum releasing
*UFD for distribution
*Charles Gassot
*TF1 films production
*TPS Cinema

These are all introduced by the company's individual logos in motion, The first three companies are shown in the first 38seconds of the clip. I think these are the main Production distribution companies simply because there logo is advertised along with their company name. This is different compared to the other four  companies which appear during the beginning of the opening. The companies are presented at cut aways of pink roses appear on the screen, these are also part of the scene.

After the different cut aways we see a camera tilt onto some red roses, the camera then pans the roses to reveal the start of the acting. After a short part of a scene in the movie there then a dissolve into the cast names.

Finally we see the Title of the film and 'all rights reserved', this all appears at the end.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Thriller Sub-genres

Thriller sub-genres

sub-genre informs the audience what type of thriller it will be,simply because there is a wide range of thriller's available, different genres appeal to different individuals.
  • Psychological thrillers
  • Political thrillers
  • Action thrillers
  • Religious thrillers
  • Legal thrillers
  • Erotic thrillers
  • Disaster thrillers
At the moment i am inspired by action Thrilles;
These films are characterized by fast-paced, hero-centered narratives full of action and excitement. They often have elements of mystery and crime films, but these elements take a back seat to the action.

They inspire me because the they keep me on my toes and constatly aware, when watching Action films i am always on my toes with excitement.

These films are characterized by fast-paced, hero-centered narratives full of action and excitement. They often have elements of mystery and crime films, but these elements take a back seat to the action.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Definition of suspense


A feeling of being uncertain or excited whilst waiting for an outcome this is usually accompanied by the feeling of anxiety.

There are many ways in which suspense can be created in terms of thrillers.
An example of this would be jaws the sound used creates tension for the audience as they are left in suspense as the build up of the sound accours the audience begin to feel the suspense.

There are many other ways to create suspense including:
Mis en Scene 
Camera shot 

Monday, 17 January 2011

The Definition Of Suspense

1. The condition of being physically suspended.
a. The state or quality of being undecided, uncertain, or doubtful.
b. Pleasurable excitement and anticipation regarding an outcome, such as the ending of a mystery novel.
3. Anxiety or apprehension resulting from an uncertain, undecided, or mysterious situation.

Thriller films are known to use suspense, tension and excitement to build up an interesting watch for the audience. There are many sub genres of thriller which all use similar techniques to create an eventful viewing. Some sub genres of thriller include:

Psychological thrillers
Mystery thrillers
Romantic thrillers
Techno thrillers
Rape and Revenge thrillers
Crime Thrillers
Political Thrillers

Here is a scene from 'The Machinist' in which some techniques of suspense have been used. The Machinist is a psychological thriller and i think this particular scene is very effective due to the subtle suspense portrayed.

Friday, 14 January 2011


Today the technician came and showed us how to use soundtrack pro;  
Soundtrack Pro is a music composing and audio editing application which is made by Apple, it has a collection of just over 5000 professional instrument loops and sound effects.

Multitrack mode
Multitrack mode is where the instrument loops and sound effects can be arranged in synchronisation with the video track, and where narration or other external audio sources can be recorded. There are both single and multi-take recording features. As with all of Apple's loop arranging software, the project's master key and tempo can be set, and all of the loops will automatically be played at those settings, regardless of the key and tempo at which they were originally recorded. At the same time, the key and tempo for the whole project can be varied over time with the master envelopes.
Audio editing mode
The audio editing mode is where individual clips can be edited. The waveform, as well as a frequcency spectrum, can be viewed for the clip. The audio can be analyzed for common audio problems such as clicks and pops, power line hum and clipped signals, and then any discovered problems can be fixed. Audio can be faded in and out, the amplitude can be altered for a selection, noise can be removed and silence, waveforms and ambient noise can be inserted. There is also a selection history tool that cycle between previous selections. After zooming in on the individual samples in the audio waveform, the pen tool can be used to edit the wave directly. There is a time stretch tool for changing the speed of a clip.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

SKILLS: Livetype

Today we had a tutorial on LiveType which is a software programme developed by Apple, which creates animated title sequences for video projects. It includes many things such as fonts, textures, objects, templates and effects. It can import any standard media files and can create text tracks whose style can be thoroughly specified. The text can be edited, so that the titles can be on curved or shaped into whatever you want. All attributes of each title or character can be changed and key framed, including the size, drop shadow, outline, glow, opacity and tracking of the text.

 'LiveFont' is one of the program's key features. These are fonts with animated characters. Examples of the LiveFonts shipped with LiveType are animated handwriting, smoke writing, fire, and blinking LED characters. It is also possible to create custom LiveFonts, but the necessity of generating a separate movie file for each letter makes the file sizes very large.
Various animation effects can be applied to type, either LiveFonts or normal system fonts. There are, for example, glows, scrolls, fades and zooms. The timing of the effects can be customized and new effects can be created from scratch using keyframing.

Apart from text, there is a wide range of animated objects and textures that can be added to a sequence, and there are a number of templates such as title themes and. Any image or movie file can also be placed and edited on to it.

After being shown what can be done with this spectacular program we all had a turn to play around with it and get a feel of what it can do.

Friday, 7 January 2011

SKILLS:Introduction to editing

After filming our newspaper reading thriller

In the editing tutorial we learnt many useful skills on how to use Final Cut Pro to edit our clips, making them interesting. In the upper right corner is the Canvas, which displays whatever clip or frame selected in the Timeline. The viewer displays tabs for each of the selected clip's audio channels and the audio's waveform can be viewed and scrubbed, and the volume can be key framed. The timeline is where the clips can be edited together. You can crop the clips and alter the size of them these are only two of the many settings that can be changed.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

SKILLS: Introduction to cameras

This lesson we had a tutorial on how to use a camera, a technician came in and showed use the basics of the usage.       

We were shown how to do the following:
1.      How to insert the memory card
2.      How to insert the battery in the slot accurately.
3.      How to put the camera on to the tripod so it stays on steadily without the danger of it falling off.
4.      How to higher and lower the tripod to get it at the right height


        5.      We were also show how to zoom, focus

We all had a turn of how to do all this so we know what and how to do everything before we could begin to film.

We were also told about the health and safety issues of the camera because it is expensive and is hard to replace.