Evaluation: Conventions of Thriller title sequence Q1
Our sub-genre for our film was a suspense Thriller, so we need to assure our audience that it is one. Intertextual references from other films such as 'The StepFather' and 'Psycho' will help our audience identify what type of sub/genre it is. From watching our short opening, you will be able to see references from other films.
Intertextual references from 'The Stepfather' and 'Psycho'
0:28 - Camera pans left to right, revealing
the tools involved in the incident
similarly in 'The stepfather '
With the camera panning smoothly, we get a point of view shot of the tools neatly laid inside a bag. Normality is established in this scene because our audience would not think of anything strange as these are used in everyday tasks until the camera focus' onto the bloody knife besides it. We want our audience to adopt the persona of the killer, to see her 'daily' kit as if it something normal just like how people use a shaving or a make-up kit, as they peer over the tools. Similarly in 'The stepfather' bloody tools are dumped in the sink, which is not normal to see in everyday life.
The opening in our film is an established shot, showing the location and where our chillings scenes will take place. Also in 'The stepfather' this has also been used, with a narrative which we also applied to our opening of Census. The houses used are quite similar as 'The Stepfather' looks as if its in a quiet, leafy suburban area of America whilst ours is a townhouse in a middle class area both with white painted houses.
When the killer looks at the list with blood stains used to cross out previous names, this has to be one of the most important scenes in our opening. This is when the title 'Census' relates to this, as it means 'still counting.' But in this case, the crossing out was to show the ending of another victims life. At the beginning of 'The Stepdfather', a man seen in a car also highlights/crosses out a name. However, this aspect has been used cleverly in our film, so that the killer has a souvenir of the victims blood.
Plugholes, water and blood
From the many Thriller films that we watched, the one thing that these films had in common is that they each had intertexual references from Hitchcock's 'Psycho.' Although, each film played with intertexuality in various ways we also used this iconic scene in our opening, just after the killer wipes the blood off the victims face, and goes to the kitchen to wash it off. We followed the same sequence, of the close up on the plughole, the water swirling around it, mixed with blood from the victim. I think this would help our audience realise that our genre is a Thriller, because of the intertexual references made.
Mise en scene, of course, played an important role in our opening, but most significantly, Mirrors. In a normal house, mirrors are usually seen around the house, on walls to small compact ones lying around but we made sure those were out of sight until the last scene where we finally see the face of the killer as she puts on her glasses. From watching, you should be able to see that the face of the killer was hidden, by leaving her head out of the frame, her hair hid the sides of her face and that her back was facing the audience most of the time. We wanted to conceal her identity to connote that she is mysterious but at the same time for the audience to be curious, making them want to know 'Who is this person?' 'The stepfather' also had mirrors, revealing David's face, although we did see him beforehand. I feel using mirrors, the character can look at themselves and reflect on what they are doing.
We wanted to put our audience in a calm but curios state by establishing normality throughout the first scenes of our opening to our film. Everything seems normal, until the bloody knife is put on display, lists crossed out with blood markings but most of all, the corpse lying casually on the floor. It would be strange for someone one to walk over a dead body, tidying/cleaning their belongings whilst someone is dead on the floor, then bizarrely taking swipes of blood on their face. We borrowed this idea from 'The Stepfather' as David goes along to do his daily routing of showering, shaving and making breakfast while his family lay cold dead on furniture and he walks out as if nothing has just happened.