Task 2: thriller opening scene evaluations

Task 2:

Batman: The Dark Knight:

The opening scene to The Dark Knight is very conventional of the thriller genre. One example of this is the non-diegetic sound used in it. The music is an orchestral song that starts off slowly and quietly as one instrument and over time builds up to a whole orchestra that is playing very fast and loud upbeat and suspenseful music. This builds up suspense for the rest of the film and gets the viewer exited. The vibe of the music reflects the whole film in how it is action packed and mysterious which is shown through the build-up in the music. The diegetic sound in the scene is of a clock ticking, showing the passing of time, this helps build suspense as it makes the viewer think about what is going to happen at the end when the clock stops ticking. Another key element in the sound to the opening sequence is the way that the antagonists maniacal laughing is in the background. This sound is diegetic and builds on the characters personality, showing the audience that he is clearly insane, which makes the film seem a bit creepier and therefore fits in well with the thriller genre by building suspense and tension.

The font used in the titles is a thick font that looks grand and bold, making it stand out, they fade in and out with an effect on the words that make them look as if they were burning paper. With the holes burning into the text. For emphasis on the words the text has been edited to slowly grow a little which would catch the viewer’s eye and get them to read it.

The colours on the title screen in the background are all blacks and greys, of concrete on the floor. This is very typical of the dark thriller genre as it is quite gothic. On this dark background however there is fire, which is a bright and vivid colour, which foreshadows all of the action that happens later in the film. Another part of the title sequence that doesn’t match the dark colours that primarily make it up is the way the jokers purple and green clothes contrast this, they are brightly coloured clothes that look like they have since been dirtied, showing the characters personality as a criminal, the same as the makeup does. The makeup the joker wears is messy and dirty, it looks like the character has just put it on himself which builds backstory to the character. The makeup is dark around the eyes and pale in the face making him look ill and psychotic, which builds interest for the character in the audience.

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James Bond: Casino Royale

The Opening scene to Casino Royale is not typical of the thriller genre. It starts off typically however because it is in dark colours, having a black and white hue over it, it makes it seem like an old film, like how the first James bond films were, it looks as if its going to be starting off calm with James going to pick something up, then you see someone go and pull a gun on him. This is very sudden action, foreshadowing the huge amount of action that happens through the film. The black and white is massively contrasted with the red that drips down from the point of view shot, as if the viewer was the criminal and Bond had just shot them. This allows for the editing to swap to a red background as if it was the blood. The next part of the title sequence is unconventional as it is all red on the screen. This means that its mostly quite a vibrant colour scheme, rather than the usual black and grey one.

The text is all in white which helps it to contrast with the red and black on the rest of the background helping to show the text more clearly, helping the viewer to read it. It is in a block capitals and in a very uniform font. This kind or reflects on the spy files that feature a lot in the James Bond film franchise, due to the focus of the genre being a spy film as well as a thriller.

The rest of the title sequence is in a cartoon drawn animation with a heavy focus on playing cards and guns over a patterned background. The guns demonstrate the spying nature of the film and the action that the genre brings with it, which is normally conventional of the thriller genre as well. The playing card symbols are foreshadowing the semantic field of casinos and card games that the film is involved with. All the characters in the opening scene are silhouette, the enemies represented as red while bond is represented as being a black one, the silhouette only fades into looking like the actual James Bond in regular colour for a second at the end, which raises suspense and adds a sense of mystery.

All the sound used in the opening titles is Non-Diegetic as there is no other sound apart from the background music that is used, other than the gunshot in the very first seconds. The music starts off very grand and orchestral and then quickly fades to electric guitar and drums, which is more of rock music. This suits the action that’s going on in the scene, as its very upbeat and dramatic. Towards the end of the scene the rock music merges with the orchestra for a dramatic exit to the opening titles.

casino royale

 

Nightcrawler:

The Nightcrawler Title sequence is quite typical of the thriller genre through its use of dark colours, contrasted with the bright lights of traffic and the lights on cars or street lights. The camera work is very different as it is lots of quick shots of driving in a car, with the inside of the car in focus while everything outside of the car is out of focus and very blurry. This creates a sense of the unknown and mystery. The editing is very short quick cuts between these shots, never leaving them on for any more than a second, which helps build suspense.

In the way of sound there is very little music. There is some strings music with a beat on it to start off with but that fades out after about 30 seconds and leaves the rest of the title sequence silent. This helps build suspense as it is silent and therefore the viewers don’t know what is going on and what’s happening. There is absolutely no diegetic sound in the opening sequence which means it gives very little away about the scene that the film is set in.

The Titles used in the scene are all in block capital white letters and are clear and easy to read, they contrast against the dark of the night and the streets. The Nightcrawler title at the end of the sequence is very large and clear. It is just above a bright city setting on the horizon and the title is white against the black of night. This emphasises it and makes it stand out more to the viewer. Another way that its made to stand out is the way that the title slowly grows as time goes on and as it gets bigger its more in the view and this catches the attention of the viewer.

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Task 3 research

1)

Name: The Dark Knight

Director: Christopher Nolan

Release date: 24th July 2008

Made in: UK/USA

Box office returns: 268919979.909

Intended target audience: Mainly male audience, aged 12 and up focusing on teenagers and young adults that like the superhero genre.

Audience reception and user ratings: The film was received well by the target audience and has become a benchmark for DC movies to come, and a great edition to the Dark Knight trilogy. It was rated a 9 on IMDB and an 82 on Metacritic. Most consumer reviews were 10/10

 

Joker interrogation scene analysis: (1:25)

1.       How is the antagonist/or protagonist represented in the scene?

 

The antagonist, the Joker is show and criminally insane but while being clever and cunning. This is demonstrated by him being calm, he laughs at threats and in the face of danger presenting him to have no fears or emotions. He is shown to be clever and cunning because even though he has been captured and beaten he is still in control of the situation ad by the end of the confrontation has the upper hand on everyone. Another way that he is shown as insane is the way his makeup is, it’s the makeup of a clown with scars on his mouth as a Chelsea smile. The camera angles used on him are mainly quite close, they show his face and his shoulders but not much else, this creates a sense of mystery that surrounds this character and makes the viewer intrigued by his personality. The actor Heath Ledger gives his character strange little habits such as the way he often sticks his tongue out when he is speaking, which is very symbolic of a snake, which him the bible is linked to the devil, who the character the joker is very much based on as he calls himself an agent of chaos and is a complete anarchist .

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2.       How does the location and the use of light and dark depict the emotional landscape of a character?

 

The darkness around the Joker shows his dark and evil nature, that is contrasted to Commissioner Gordon’s nature, who lives by the book and works for the police being good. There is a light behind his head. This shows light and his personality being bright. The joker however is in the dark and all that you can see of him is his face, covered in white makeup, showing the only light of him to be artificial and not real. The white makeup on his face emphasises the fact that its dark, while still letting the audience seeing his face.

joker 2

 

3.       How is sound used to create suspense and other effects in the scene?

 

No background music is used. This creates suspense as the music gives no hint to what’s going to happen next. The only things that can h=be headed is the dialogue between characters and the noises from the violence in the fight scene. This emphasises the tension between characters and the anger. the jokers voice is high pitched in comparison to the average man’s voice. However, the voice that Christian bale uses in his character is very low and rough creating a angrier depiction of his character. All that can be heard in the background is a quiet low hum of electrical lights, adding to the suspense.

The wrong mans essay:

How is Sam Pinkett presented in the opening scenes of the wrong mans?

 

Sam Pinkett is the main charter in the opening scene that we saw from the BBC show, the wrong mans. He is presented as lazy, boring and weak because of the way he acts and mese on scene and through the analysis of sound.

One example of he is presented as being a boring character who is boring and lives an ordinary life that never really changes. One of the ways that this is presented in the opening scene is through the choice of music that is used as he is walking out of his house into the snow and finds that his bike is gone. The music playing here is quite a soft sung song with no real beat, this presents Sam’s character as fairly mundane as there is no exiting vibe to the song. The lyrics to the song start off with the phrase “Get me away from here I’m dying” this shows that he is not enjoying his life and wants to move away to some place more exiting or do something more entertaining with his life, this presents him as boring and not living life to its full potential, making it seem like he would be a character that the viewer would think nothing interesting could happen too. This makes the viewer feel a sence of security and that’s why the car crash was so shocking in the opening scene.

One way that San Pinkett is shown is to be a weak character is through the car crash when he feints. As Sam feints and falls on the floor this makes him look weak as a stereotypical manly man would be able to see blood and violence and not worry about it. Sam defies the stereotype by passing out and therefor this makes him look like a lesser man. The editing work also helps demonstrates this because when he feints the shot fades out in an eye shape and goes white, making the viewer feel like they are in the scene and feinting at the sight of the crash too. Another way that he is shown as weak is because of mese on scene where he brings out the paper bag to inhale into when he is approaching the sight of the car crash. The paper bag represents his fear making him look like a weak character, as he carries a paper bag around for situations where he panics. To the viewer this makes him look weak and against the manly stereotype that would be expected from a twenty something year old man. Another way that Sam is made to look weak is through the camera work used in the scene where he was talking to the police. The camera is at a low angle looking down on Sam when he was talking to the officers making him look smaller and weak in comparison to the officers who are having a high camera angle used at them to make them look bigger and more of the manly stereotype that is the opposite of how Sam is being presented.

Sam is also presented as being lazy, this can be shown in the way that his house and style of living is presented. One example of this is in the opening shot that pans around Sam’s bedroom focuses on the fact that he is living out of boxes, this shows that he has been too lazy to unpack his things after moving in and gives the viewers of the program an overview of the fact he lives his life in a lazy laid-back manor in the opening shot. Another way he is presented as being lazy and laid back is through the use of camera work as he walks through the main room in his house. The shot first focuses on a cluster of beer bottles and then changes the focus to further away to show Sam walking past them. This shows that he is lazy because of the way he lives in a mess. This would make the audience feel as if he cannot be bothered to pick them up and clean after himself after the party.

In conclusion, Sam is presented as being lazy, boring and weak in the opening scene of The Wrong Mans due to his lifestyle, the way he is presented as the opposite to the stereotypical manly man and also boring due to his lack of excitement towards life.

Thriller poster evaluations

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Blair Witch poster (2016 version):

The Blair with poster follows typical thriller genera, one way it does this is that it is only made in dark colours, red and black. These colours give the film the appearance that it will be scary as its showing mystery and darkness. This reflects the nature of the film as it is a dark horror and thriller film and makes it seem like there is something in the darkness that the viewer that cannot see. The poster is covered in roots and this is reflective of the film as the whole thing is set in the woods, they also look like veins on a person, which has connotations with the fact that there is murder and killings in the film; it only hints at this though hit never explicitly says that there are killings.

Another thing about the cover is that it has in small letters in the lower middle of the poster it says the tag line for the film “There’s something evil hiding in the woods” which tells the reader that there is something out there but keeps the film thrilling as it gives the element of mystery by not saying what is in the woods. The way it says there is something “evil” makes it sound more thrilling and scary because of the unknown.

Another way that the poster complies with the thriller genera is how the theme of death is used, in this case in the red structure in the middle some of it is made up of what looks like dead bodies and body parts, made into some sort of satanic effigy. This makes it seem scarier because it is shown to have connotations with the devil who is in the Christian fair the embodiment of evil. The whole poster is a reflection down the middle which is confusing the audience and gives away very little to the audience making it even more thrilling. The shape they are formed into are with symbols, that were belived years ago to be the mark of an evil witch.

The font used in the title and the date is an old-time typewriter which shows that the film was set roughly 50 years ago, therefore causing even more mystery and fear to the audience.

Mad Max fury road:

In the Mad Max poster, it complies with the thriller genera by having a dark colour around the edge of the screen. This makes it seem like a darker thriller poster. The colours start of dark towards the outside and get brighter towards the middle and in the centre of the poster where the colours meet it is the light on the horizon. This is very symbolic of the film in the way at the start it is very dark and Max is captured and tortured, while towards the end Max is reaching the horizon and is in a better place.

Another way that it is conveying the thriller genera is how max is shown in an extremely wide shot from behind. This only shows a small amount of him and you cannot see his face. This conveys suspense and mystery as it gets the potential viewer thinking about what he looks like and what actor is playing him. The shot is also set in the wasteland in a desert and this gives nothing away about the film, therefor building suspense as it is just the wasteland and the viewer doesn’t know what is in the film as it gives nothing away. The car in the shot is old and rusty, showing that there is something wrong in the world as he is driving a broken rusty car rather than a working shiny one, making it more intriguing and post-apocalyptic looking.

The font for the date and the slogan is a messy and hand written in paint. This emphasises the way of the waste land and how things are re used and old. This is linked to the thriller genera because it shows that things are bad and the world is not in a good place. The title is also in an old rustic font that is like rusty steel. Which links to the heavy semantic field of cars in the film. It shows that they are run down and broken, which summarises the way of life in the waste land where it is set in this is a part of the thriller genera due to the unknown nature.

The tag line of the film “What a lovely day” is in an ironic tone which contrasts with the stereotypical thriller genera as the phrase would be happy in most other films of genres but as you find out later in the film it is actually in an action scene and not a lovely day as it would stereotypically be looked at.

The Dark Knight:

In the Dark Knight poster the colour scheme is very dark, Its all blacks, greys and blues ad this suggests a dark nature to the film and this is stereotypical of the thriller nature. The bottom of the poster is completely black and as it fades upwards into lighter colours, this kind of represents Gotham where the film is set. The only vibrant colour in the poster is the fire on the building behind batman. The fire is standing out due to it being a vivid orange in comparison to the other dark colours in the poster, this would draw the attention of possible viewers and get them to see the fire. The fire is in the iconic shape of the batman logo. This would make it extremely easy for people to recognise that there is a new batman film coming out as it stands out so hard against the ark background. Another way that they make the batman logo stand out is the second logo, over The Dark Knight text is dark but has a shining light outline to show that it is there and to get people to recognise the iconic symbol.

The character Batman is shown to be coming out of the darkness at the bottom of the poster, he is wearing a black suit and this makes him hard to see. This gives a sense of mystery and crime which fits with the thriller genera. He is looking off into the distance and this combined with the fire gives the viewer the sense that some action is going to happen and this builds suspense. This makes it very thrilling.

The tag line for the film is “Welcome to a world without rules” this makes the viewer feel like they are in the film world more and feel more involved. A world without rules is a direct comparison to our world and current society as the world described in the film is supposedly the world we live in now, this one has no rules and breakdown in society.