Sunday, 3 April 2011

Evaluation - Question 1: Forms & Conventions of Real Media Products and Our Title Sequence (Part One)

There are a number of conventions followed by almost every single film opening released by major film studios. These include things like the order of the titles, idents for production/distribution companies, the music/score, and a number of intertextual references which show the audience the genre & sub-genre of the film.

There are quite a few similarities between our thriller title sequence and the opening of 'The Stepfather' (2009) 

The ident for our production company (CANDI Studios) uses the same colour scheme as the 'Screen Gems' ident which is the production company that created 'The Stepfather'. The colour red has connotations of blood and also danger, which is why it is ideal to be the first thing the audience see at the start of a thriller.

After the ident appears, the name of the main production company is usually shown again, in the same font as the rest of the titles (unlike the stylised ident), and also with the names of any other production/distribution companies. Both 'The Stepfather' and our opening follow this convention, with the titles appear over an establishing shot showing the setting. In 'The Stepfather', we see that the first scenes are set in a suburban street, probably somewhere in America. In our opening, the setting is shown to be a forest area, but the location is unknown.

Also, the font we used for our titles looks quite similar to that used in 'The Stepfather', although this was not intentional - we just decided to use that font because we thought it looked right for that kind of opening and fitted the tone/mood of the film.

Usually, after the name of the production company, the next titles shown are the names of the main stars of the film. Our thriller has two main characters, so we decided to show these one after another on the same screen, over another establishing shot, whereas in ‘The Stepfather’, the names of the stars are shown over shots of the main character, as shown below:

After the names of the main stars and co-stars, the name of the film is usually shown (see Part Two). After this comes the name of the casting director. In our opening we chose to show this over another establishing shot showing the setting, whereas in ‘The Stepfather’ it is shown while the main character continues his 

Other titles include the name of the director, editor, and the creator of the score or music.

Another thriller convention we used in our opening is the score (music). Nearly all film openings feature music of some kind, and in thrillers the music used is usually slow and ominous, setting the mood for the rest of the film. In our thriller the soundtrack was created from a combination of the ambient sounds of the forest and animals and simple orchestral music which sounded dark and mysterious.  

Here is the full opening of 'The Stepfather'. From 4:07 - 4:10 there is a flashback which is similar to the ones we created in our title sequence (recurring all the way through).  The flashback is shown with a change in camera angle, editing pace, and sound/music, which we also used in our thriller (shown below)

And here is an example of one of our flashbacks used in our opening sequence:

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