Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Denotation and Connotation

We learnt about denotation and connotation and looked a number of images to understand what this means.

What an image actually shows and what is immediately  apparent as opposed to the assumptions that an individual reader may make about it.

The meaning of a sign that is arrived at through the culture experience a ready brings to it.

Thriller Planning...

This week we finally started planning for our own thriller film. This was quite a scary and exciting , this was our chance to show what we have learnt .However it also scary because you have to rely on people that you have not known for very long and this could come as a problem but however we will try to work hard as a group to cooperate with each other and put in as much work as we most possibly can .
To help us plan our thriller film  our teacher Bernard gave us each a A3 piece of paper with seven boxes on the sheet.
The boxes consisted of what we would have to plan to make our film successful;
  • Locations to be used,
  • Opening that have inspired you and why
  • Which thriller Sub Genre will you produce
  • Opening structure to be followed
  • Key Props to be used
  • Intertexual refrences
  • Fonts and font effects to be used
this sheet is very helpful as it helps us to express our ideas and have them on paper so that when we go to film we have a rough idea of what each memebr in the group wants so we can use all the ideas so that every has had an imput .However we may need to change some ideas as they maybe to adventurous or difficult to film so we will have to keep that in mind the main thing we need to keep in mind is a time schedule so that we have enough to edit and so that we finish on time .

Things to consider when making a film...

When planning a film there are many things you need to take into consideration;
  • Lighting
  • Good Location -with space
  • Noise level
  • Can you get really good shots?
  • Can you get interesting angles?
All of these points are  important , because if its too dark then audience wont be able to see what is going on and if you dont where you are going to film then you cant plan time your are goin to film and this will lead to you not knowing whether you will get really good shots or intresting angles so the most important thing that we need to take in consideration is the location because that ties up all the losse ends and brings everything together .

Intertextuality from the Stepfather

the stepfather using a
component of the shaving set
in the opening sequence of the stepfather we can see he has set out his shaving set as he is about to shave, this may give the audience the impression that we are in equilibrium.

However other members of the audiences may take his excellent organisation and neatness as a disorder, over compulsive disorder. This emphasises that he may kill people for the pleasure and just as a means to put everything in equilibrium for him.

I believe this scene is ambiguous because it has more than one meaning to it. This is an aspect which me and my group find really interesting and will hopefully be using this idea in the final project. This may be called Intertextuality, because we are borrowing ideas from other films.

Font Analysis


In the lesson we focused on fonts used in movie sequences and titles.

We learnt when we design our own sequence we need to think very carefully about the type of font that we use.

There are basically two types of font:
Serif fonts - such as Times and Courier
Serif fonts are generally more traditional and often slightly 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 modern and more ‘friendly’. Sans serif is used in magazines than newspapers

Font analysis

What does the font PALATINO suggest as used in the promotion of PEARL HARBOUR?

The title of the film pearl harbour uses classical, serif font. ‘Pearl harbour’ is shown In large capital letters, this makes it stand out. The capital letters reflect prestigious, power and importance 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 positioned show there prestigious.

The film 'Rocky' uses the font Franklin gothic Heavy. The Title ‘Rocky’ has been presented in bold so it can stand out to the viewers. The words are shown in this large bold. It is also tight either side . This connotes its wanting to come out of the page.  I believe the simple font links with the character Rocky because he is the ordinary uneducated, simple guy.
Every film opens with either 3 structures. These  structures are:
  • A narrative opening with the titles running throughout
  • A discrete title sequence
  • Titles over a blank screen, followed by the narrative opening
We watched a few openings of films which were great examples of the different structured openings.

such as the stepfather ,the shineing and the takeing of pelham 123

Friday, 4 February 2011

Analysis of title sequence of "MEMENTO"

Thriller Sub-genres

The thriller genre can include the following sub-genres, which may include elements of other genres:

Conspiracy thriller: In which the hero confronts a large, powerful group of enemies whose true extent only he/she recognizes. The Chancellor Manuscript and The Aquitaine Progression by Robert Ludlum fall into this category, as do films such as Three Days of the Condor, Awake,Flightplan, Snake Eyes, Edge of Darkness, Absolute Power, Marathon Man, In the Line of Fire, Capricorn One, and JFK.

Crime thriller: This particular genre is a hybrid type of both crime films and thrillers that offers a suspenseful account of a successful or failed crime or crimes. These films often focus on the criminal(s) rather than a policeman. Crime thrillers usually emphasise action over psychological aspects. Central topics of these films include serial killers/murders, robberies, chases, shootouts, heists and double-crosses. Some examples of crime thrillers involving murderers include, Seven, A Perfect Murder, No Country for Old Men, Firewall, Hostage, Silence of the Lambs,Kiss the Girls and Copycat. Examples of crime thrillers involving heists or robberies includes The Asphalt Jungle, The Score, Rififi, Ocean's 11, Entrapment, The Killing and Reservoir Dogs.

Disaster thriller: In which the main conflict is due to some sort of natural or artificial disaster, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, etc., or nuclear disasters as an artificial disaster. Examples include Earthquake, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon, Knowing, Deep Impact and Twister.
Erotic thriller: In which it consists of erotica and thriller. It has become popular since the 1980s and the rise of VCR market penetration. The genre includes such films as Basic Instinct, Chloe, Color of Night, Dressed to Kill, Eyes Wide Shut, In the Cut and Lust, Caution.

Legal thriller: In which the lawyer-heroes/heroines confront enemies outside, as well as inside, the courtroom and are in danger of losing not only their cases but their lives. The Runaway Jury by John Grisham is a well known example of the type. Other examples include The Client, Fracture,A Time to Kill, Primal Fear, A Few Good Men, Presumed Innocent and The Juror.

Medical thriller: In which the hero/heroine are medical doctors/personnel working to solve an expanding medical problem. Robin Cook, Tess Gerritsen, Michael Crichton, and Gary Braver are well-known authors of this sub-genre. Nonfiction medical thrillers are also a subcategory, comprising works like The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. Films such as Extreme Measures, The Experiment, Anatomy, Coma and Pathology are other examples of medical thrillers.

Mystery thriller: Suspense films where characters attempt solving, or involved in, a mystery. Examples include Flightplan, Mindhunters, The Number 23, Unforgettable, Shutter Island, Secret Window, Vertigo, Identity and Memento.

Political thriller: In which the hero/heroine must ensure the stability of the government that employs him. The success of Seven Days in May (1962) by Fletcher Knebel, The Day of the Jackal (1971) by Frederick Forsyth, and The Manchurian Candidate (1959) by Richard Condon established this sub-genre. Examples include, The Constant Gardener, Rendition, The Good Shepherd, Topaz, Syriana, The Interpreter, Proof of Life and The Ghost Writer.

Psychological thriller: In which (until the often violent resolution) the conflict between the main characters is mental and emotional, rather than physical. The Alfred Hitchcock films Suspicion, Shadow of a Doubt, and Strangers on a Train and David Lynch's bizarre and influential Blue Velvet are notable examples of the type, as are The Talented Mr. Ripley, "Orphan", House of 9, Phone Booth, Breakdown, The Collector, Panic Room, Don't Say A Word, Frailty, The Good Son, Dead Calm, Funny Games, and Misery.

Rape and Revenge films: Out of the sub-genres of exploitation film, this focuses more on the thriller elements such as suspense, tension, some action and fast-pacing rather than scares and the supernatural. Some famous rape and revenge films are The Last House on the Left, Irréversible,Thriller - A Cruel Picture, Baise-moi and I Spit on Your Grave.

Religious thriller: In which the plot is closely connected to religious objects, institutions and questions. While suspense stories have always shown a significant affinity for religion and philosophical issues (G. K. Chesterton's novel The Man Who Was Thursday has been called a "metaphysical thriller"; and Umberto Eco's novels The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum both display thriller characteristics), Dan Brown's 2003 best-seller The Da Vinci Code has led to a current boom in religiously oriented thrillers. Other examples include the film version of The Da Vinci Code, The Devil's Advocate, The Ninth Gate, Angel Heart, The Sin Eater, The Omega Code and Angels & Demons.

Supernatural thriller: In which the film brings in an otherworldly element mixed with tension, suspense and plot twists. Sometimes the hero and/or villain has some psychic ability. Examples include, Lady in the Water, Human Trace, Possession, Fallen, Frequency, In Dreams, Flatliners, Jacob's Ladder, The Skeleton Key, Signs, What Lies Beneath, Unbreakable, Rosemary's Baby, The Others, The Gift,The Dead Zone and the TV series Medium.

Techno thriller: A suspense film in which the manipulation of sophisticated technology plays a prominent part. Examples include The Thirteenth Floor; The Matrix; Jurassic Park; I, Robot; Eagle Eye; "Terminator"; Hackers; Futureworld; eXistenZ and Virtuosity.

Although most thrillers are formed in some combination of the above, there are some however that are formed with other genres, which commonly are the horror genre, spy genre and the action/adventure genre.

I have been mostly inspired by the sub-genre Crime Thriller as this creates an atmosphere where the audience is engaged to the film from the beginning. The movie Seven (Se7en) is a great example, the angles, the faded tones, the close-ups and quick cutting to intense music were all so unusual and disconcerting I was caught off guard. I immediately felt both mesmerized and at risk. And that was just during the opening credits. 

The situation is formulaic, but director David Fincher contrives a stylish, intentionally ugly look that transcends the pulp narrative.