Sunday, 9 October 2011

"Analyzing a thriller opening"

As research I went over some thriller openings & looked at the strengths and weaknesses on them. I'm going to talk about the strentgh and weakness of a thriller opening called "The Safehouse"

Mise-en-scene is used very well in this whole thriller opening; many conventions where used in order to match the atmosphere.
  • The lighting used on the female talking about her rape experience was really well lit, it's not too bright though it isn't too dark either, it seemed right in between with a little bit of a gloomy feel to it. This was a good way in which the audience can interact and feel the pain of the female actor; as rape is a very serious situation and the lighting really helped catch the seriousness of the scene.
  • The costumes where also very well done from the beginning to end. from when she is talking to the viewer directly in a  hoodie giving the expression she is trapped and stuck indoors to the outdoor outfit of going to her house; as if she just came from night out. The heels worn gave away that she was out partying as females normally wear them when going for a good night out.
  • The location of the entire thriller opening also matches the scenes very well as it links to the story. At first she's directly talking to the audience through a camera about her rape experience. Her location seems to be her home most probably her bedroom. This goes well as it gives the impression that she's stuck inside doors ever since her terrifying experience.
  1. She also has a location outside of her home; while she tells the viewer her story. She talks about her day "A taxi dropped me home, about 2AM, outside my house." the location matches the story she's telling the viewer as the location's outside her home showing her walking to her house. It then changes to her going into a block and walking up stairs to go inside of her home.

Another strength is the sound used in the thriller opening; both diegtetic and none diegetic sounds are used.
  • Diegetic sound is sound that comes from the world of the story; such as the dialog is used. It was used very well as they're all synced in perfectly with the mouths and are allow the viewer to understand what's happening in the thriller opening. Diegetic sounds of doors closing are also in this opening and are good in volume & very clear to listen to. Lastly diegetic sound of a keyboard is used for the opening credits. This makes it look like the letters are being typed onto display  and not just appearing randomly; this was done very well as all key sounds are matching in time with the letters appearing.
  • Non diegetic sounds are sound that doesn't come from the world of the story; an example of this being used within the thriller opening is the sound track being played in the background. It's played by a piano which creates a soft melody which really fits in well with the situation occurring within the scenes. The volume is put low while dialog is being played, this is to make the dialog clear and easy to listen to.

Many camera angles / shots where also used in this thriller opening. they managed to include a wide range of different camera shots & angles
  1. Eye level medium shot (Female actor talking directly to the audience)
  2. Establishing long shot (Female actor walking home)
  3. Low angle medium shot (Female actor walking towards door)
  4. Extreme close-up (Female actor's feet letting out cigarette)
  5. Medium shot from behind (Female actor walks into the block of flats)
  6. Then turns into a panning shot towards a shaded character
  7. Extreme close-up of heels (Female actor walks up the stairs)
  8. High angle medium shot (From top of stair case looking down at female actor walking up stairs)
  9. Long shot (shaded male character walking into the block of flats)
  10. Medium shot (Female actor on top of the stair case)
  11. Extreme close-up (Males shoes walking up the stairs)
  12. Medium shot (Female actor opening her home's door)
  13. Extreme close-up (Female actor drops keys and picks the keys up)
  14. Medium shot (Male actor runs into the home and attacks the female actor)
  • A good example of match on action was used when the female was opening her home's door to go inside. They took a shot from behind her opening the door and a shot in-front of her walking in. It's very smooth and created great continuity.

Editing was used very well, they managed to use editing to create meaning within this thriller opening.
  • Straight cuts are used throughout the entire opening. Each cut was done very well as the entire opening was very smooth allowing the cuts to be unrecognizable. I feel they should have experimented with some transitions such as fades just to have a change as the shots changed.
  • I really liked some of the effects they used, e.g. when the female actor is walking home '0:34 - 0:37' they added a form of motion blur. They used this as the female actor tripped over; this showed the viewers that she's drunk as the motion blur gave a feel of how she's currently feeling (dizzy)

  • Another nice effect they used was when the opening credits appeared '0:38 - 0:39'. They used a key bored effect to make it seem that the letters are being typed into the screen as they appeared one by one; this is very effective as it shows their creativity and i'm personally going to learn from this and try introduce something similar to my thriller opening.

On an all i feel they did very well. The thriller opening was very simple but very effective as everything linked well together; allowing a lot of meaning to be created. On the other hand i feel they should have tried experimented with more complexed effects just to show off their skills more then they do.
They also managed to make it seem as a opening sequence and not a scene of a film. They did this by showing a outline of the story and making it clear what the thriller will be about.

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