Presentation on theme: "The genre uses thrills at one level that simply portrays danger and violence. The aim of a thriller is to thrill the audience, they heavily stimulate."— Presentation transcript:
The genre uses thrills at one level that simply portrays danger and violence. The aim of a thriller is to thrill the audience, they heavily stimulate the viewer's moods, giving them a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and terror. Alfred Hitchcock is known for his popular thriller films. He’s made many and helped to shape the modern-day thriller genre. Hitchcock is considered the acknowledged master of the thriller or suspense genre, manipulating his audience's fears and desires. Examples of his work include Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds, Strangers on a train, To Catch A Thief, The Lady Vanishes and many more.
The Lodger Strangers on a train Gaslight Psycho Frenzy Dead Calm The silence of the lambs Se7en Collateral
Crime Thrillers This particular genre is a very popular category for thrillers Central topics of these films include serial killers/murders. Psychological thriller : The conflict between the main characters is mental. Characters, often by accident, are dragged into a dangerous situation that they are not prepared to resolve. Legal thriller : The major characters are often lawyers. The system of justice plays a major part of the narrative, at times almost functioning as one of the characters. Conspiracy thriller : In which the protagonist confronts a large, powerful group of enemies. ‘Collateral’ and ‘Se7en’. ‘Silent Witness ’ Edge of Darkness’. ‘Shutter Island’.
There is often a crime at the core of the narrative, such as serial killers, abduction, kidnappings. Law enforcement is often seen in thrillers, with characters of authority; police, detectives. The narrative structure is complex with false paths, clues and distant resolutions all in the aim to keep the audience in suspense and under high anticipation levels. We see this in ‘Shutter Island’. The audience think he is a detective, in the aim to solve a crime, however he is the issue himself. This resolution is revealed in a climatic ending, typical of the genre. The narrative/plot of a thriller is often based around an extraordinary event happening to an ordinary person, putting the audience in the characters prospective, making it extra thrilling.. For example in the film ‘Collateral’ the protagonist is a taxi driver (therefore seen as an ordinary person) suddenly he gets into a menacing situation- he picks up a trained assassin.
Thriller narrative relates to Todorov’s five stages..Equilibrium- we usually see the protagonist in ordinary life..Disruption- an event e.g. a crime, killing, kidnap happens typically due to antagonist.. The recognition- The protagonist is bought into a menacing situation and has no other choice but to resolve.. Repair- protagonist has to repair the situation, often overcoming antagonist..New equilibrium- back to ordinary life, or a new equilibrium. An example of this is Collateral, Max (the protagonist) we see him in normal life, doing his everyday taxi job. Then the disruption occurs when he picks up a trained assassin. He has no other choice but to follow the antagonists rules and try and overcome the dangerous situation without getting hurt. Eventually after a series of abnormal dangerous events, the situation is overcome and a new equilibrium is made
Thrillers have ‘restricted narration’, where questions are left unanswered until the end. The audience know just as much as the protagonists, which links to putting the audience in the characters shoes, making it a form of escapism. The film focuses on the danger the protagonist has to face. There will be plot twists throughout the film, keeping the audience guessing, the plot will build towards a climax at the end of the film. In ‘Shutter Island’ there is an extreme twist at the end of the film, where the character portrayed to be the protagonist (a intelligent detective) is in fact the complete opposite and has been fooled into thinking he is a detective. Although he still in fact been ‘committed’ due to killing his wife. Crime is at the core of a thriller.
The antagonist is often the start of an extreme situation, typically their convicts, criminals, stalkers, kidnappers. This makes the film thrilling and fuels the action of the film. Also seen to be very intelligent, skilled and methodical. The evil character is often hidden for some of the film, to add to the tension. For example in the film ‘Collateral’ the antagonist is a intelligent serial killer, whose calm, in control and a trained assassin, also we know nothing about his identity, linking to his hidden part. -Psychotic, therefore unpredictable -Intelligent, difficult to stop -Hidden identity makes more mysterious and suspenseful.
The protagonist of the film is often of authority, e.g. detective, part of law enforcement, police officer. They may have a dark past. To engage the audience in the suspense of the film, typically the main character is an ordinary person and in the wrong place at the wrong time. This connects the audience with the protagonist allowing them to give empathy and sympathy. The protagonist of the film is usually an ordinary innocent person who gets involved in a shocking situation, like we see in the photo of the young boy above- he appears to be an ‘ordinary school boy’ The audience can use this as a form of escapism, creating a high level of suspense throughout the film. An example is Collateral- a highly skilled assasin just so happened to get in the main character taxi. Cop duos are seen in thrillers, like ‘Se7en’ characters are paired in a duo often they clash and have very different methods. But ultimately work together to solve the crime.
Thrillers mostly are set in ordinary suburbs and cities, although sometimes they may be in foreign cities or exotic locations. The reason for so is to emphasise the protagonists social identity; an ordinary person and to show society to be corrupt, violent and to have dark places within. -Towns -Suburban areas -Streets/ allies -Islands Remote/dark places in these locations The props we see can be ordinary objects that gives the characters their position in society. Props often give a character status to help drive the narrative. -guns/knifes -cars -ordinary objects In ‘Brick’ we see a fast black car drive by which gives an impression of intimidation and danger.
The way we see the characters dress determines their personality and emphasises a particular character. -Detectives/ trench coat+ hat- iconic thriller costume -Police/lawyer (authorities uniform) -ordinary clothes, reflects their social status, job and role in narrative. Trench coat and hat, signifies jobs. Experienced. Denotation- Suit- smart. Connotation- Dressed young shows less experienced than partner Prisoners ovals, stands out compared to other characters, highlights antagonist There is a lot de-saturated colour grading to suggest the setting as cold and dark. The colours are often of a blue and yellow colour grade making cold colours and a dull setting, which fits with the tension it also adds to the mystery and false paths of the narrative. Low key lighting is often used, as thrillers are often set at night sometime of the film.
A micro feature which is part of the many conventions which help elaborate and create a thriller film is cinematography. It depicts the different camera shots and angles, when the thriller genre is concerned these shots and angles are used in greater quantities and with faster transitions from one to the next. Long, establishing shot Sets the scene, helps to establish situation. Introduces audience to characters. Not always used in thrillers, it adds mystery. Extreme close up Shows his emotion, emphasises fear, resulting in empathy from audience. This point of view shot places the audience within the characters emotions- the feeling of anxiety. Wide shot Showing the location connoting its an isolated place Wide shot Emphasises prop. Wide and low angles connote the power of the character – the weakness.
Thrillers are typically noisy. They use a lot of diegetic sound during the course of the film. Commons sounds like bangs, ticking, and screams. The build up of these sounds help create suspense and tension. These sounds are heard by both us and the characters, and normally are jumpy. Non-diegetic sound is used regular during thrillers. A steady drone is used, which creates unease. As the action increases and the tension builds the music speeds up. Pleonastic sound is also seen to emphasise a scene to help create an atmosphere and add to the tension. Diegetic (ambient) Sound Car engines roaring Bad weather Weaponry sound- gunshots Phones ringing Rustling Footsteps Non- diegetic sound Voiceovers, (e.g. Giving background info about character, perhaps voice of character) Low pitched soundtracks- creates tension, creates suspense Fast-paced soundtracks- dramatic builds to a climax. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WtDmbr9xyY
The 180-degree rule is a basic guideline regarding the on- screen spatial relationship between a character and another character or object within a scene. An imaginary line called the axis connects the characters, and by keeping the camera on one side of this axis for every shot in the scene, makes the shot correct. Jumps cuts become a commonality during thriller films. This is usually because multiple things are happening that were unaware of and the jump cuts fill us in, they allow us as an audience to make assumptions on what the story or characters will be like. Cross cutting is a key point in editing as it is used to build suspense which is essential for a thriller. Faced paced editing is typically used in Thrillers reflecting the action on screen. Quick shots are used frequently in thriller films to accentuate the feelings of suspense and tension. They are often used during an important or particularly thrilling scene, which can create a disorientation of time and space. For example in ‘Psycho’ the shower scene includes lots of quick shots and close ups when she is being stabbed. The continual editing technique is used to allow the audience to become absorbed in the action of the film..
Expectations of a thriller: suspense, action, adrenaline, tension and excitement. Target Audience for thrillers is quit mainstream so a wide demographic audience with a wide age group and both genders. The target audience like thrillers because the fast paced narrative and scenes that build suspense and adrenaline putting the audience on the edge of their seats. Also the idea the protagonist is connoted as your everyday person, gives the audience a sense of escapism and excitement. The false paths and secretive identity of the antagonist adds to the mystery and tension of the film. Mainly young adults aged tend to watch thrillers. This is because people this age are usually drawn in by the intense storylines and graphic action, which is commonly seen within the thriller genre. Unravelling the narrative as it plays out in the film, and working it out whilst watching the films attracts older audiences.
YouTube Google SUBGENRES Thrillers appeal to a more male dominated audience aged around as they’re drawn in the by the action and fast paced edits/camera angles, whereas a more female dominated audience would be attracted to romantic thrillers such as Wicker Park. This is because they can relate the characters and storylines within the film. Crime and psychological thrillers such as Silence of the Lambs, attract a mainly male dominated audience of the typical young adult age. This is because they’re drawn in by the conventional male leads, and can relate certain characters (both protagonists and antagonists). Supernatural thrillers including The Others appeal to more teenage – young adult female audiences, who are attracted by the ‘scare factor’.
Another idea was to have a knife dripping with ‘blood’ besides the victim’s body, with the antagonist acting completely normal, not fazed by the murder. Also we plan to show a crime scene, with a body and the antagonist sat next to it. Then to cut in between the two scenes the second one being, a girl posting leaflets ‘the leaflet girl’. She then eventually walks up to house where the crime scene took place and un-expectantly walks in on the crime scene as the assassin had left the door open without realising. This will then establish the main characters. One of the ideas was to have a Non-Linear start, the opening scene is to be a crime-scene. We came up with a few shot ideas, such as lots of extreme close ups of parts of the antagonist e.g. her mouth- sipping tea, the reason for so is to keep the identity of the antagonist hidden. The antagonist being completely normal after he has committed the murder. Sam agreed on this idea as she said it would get the message across to the audience she’s an assassin. Films of inspiration Collateral - Antagonist being a skilful assassin Salt- A Young sleek women to play the role of the antagonist Brick - The lighting, of de- saturated greys and blues-dull.