Monday, 31 January 2011


This is our jelly baby animation.

Art of the Title sequence: Title Sequence Analysis

Opening for '300' - Art of the title

The opening for this film is an animated opening but not the usual animations we expect. This opening has a pretty violent and vulgar feel about it as the whole opening is filled with killings, blood and death.
The different shots somewhat resemble a illustrated story book which tells the story of the film, just in the opening. It is a good opening as it is unusual and you don't usually see openings like this for films. The soundtrack for the film works well with the film as they culturally suit the type of animation that the opening has been made with.


In films you will see different types of fonts, shapes and size, in the title which could give you an insight into the film or in some cases be the actual opposite.

There are two types of Serif fonts such as Times New Roman and  Courier.
Serif fonts are normally used in traditional films and are seen as formal. The other type of font is Sans serif fonts for example Arial and Comic sans. These fonts are used more in modern films such as 'Simpsons Movie' as they are seen as more welcoming to a younger and more modern audience.

In the 1976 version of Rocky (and most of the other versions as well), the font Franklin Gothic Heavy, and this was used to highlight the masculinity of the film and the main character. The reason this would show masculinity is because the letters are big, bold, strong and quite plain, just like the stereotypical "macho man" that the audience would be expecting. It may have also been chosen because the bold letters are eye-catching, but it doesn't give the audience much insight to what the film will be about so this may encourage them to go and watch the film.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Thriller Audience

I did a bit of research and found out that in 2009 503 films were released in the UK from many different genres, yet only 31 were thrillers.

Out of this 503, 52% of these films were either action, animation or comedy. I think these genres are most popular mainly because they appeal to a wider target audience instead of just one main one. Forexample, 'Toy story 3' which was release on the 19th of July 2010, appealed to its usual young audience, yet inorder for them to be able watch the the film they would have gone with an adult. I also know teenagers who went to see this film as it was a continuation of a classic Disney production.
In 2009 Thriller films only accounted 4% of the UK's Box office which is a very low propertion compared to many of the other genres. I think this was the case because most thrillers tend to have a certificate of 15 or 18 which is meant for older or mature people. Stasicly, more teenagers starting from the age of 12 attend the cinema more than adults, yet they wouldnt be able to get in to see a thriller as they would be too young.

I found a 'what gender likes what genre' diagram which shows that females are most commonly known to enjoy romance films followed by periodans suspense. Whilst men will prefer to watch Sci fi, action and crime films. It says they both enjoy watching comedy and horror genres of film, yet overall, how true is this.
To be honest, i prefer to watch allthe genres men are suppose like, and im a GIRL.

5) Look at the age certificate for 10 of the films featured on the teaching blog. What does this tell you about Thriller audiences?

Thriller audiences

503 film were released in the uk in 2009.

Number of films releases in suspense/thriller is 31.

Action animation and boxoffice movies is aimed at children. Number of animation films released 14.

 This shows that simple females are geared towards the genres on the left and males to the right, so a Sci-Fi film showing at a cinema will statistically have more males then females etc. on the  other hand a romance film will have more female audience as people are likely to think women are more romantic than men, feminine-stereotype. Also as people will associate action with men as it seems masculine and hard. However comedy lies between both the genders as its a hilarious.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Thriller audiences

Out of the 503films which were released only 31 of them were thrillers

Action, animation and comedy genres of films are seen as the most popular type of films because appeal to the younger audiences as well as adults

Thriller Audiences

By looking at some data from UK Cinema in 2009 i hope to gain a better understanding of the relative audience for thriller films.

Only 31 suspense / thriller films were realeased in 2009 compared to 503 total films. out of these 503 52% of these were either Action, Animation and Comedy films, this is because all three of these genres have a much larger appeal and target audience especially to younger people, for example toy story 3 : the age demographic will cover all age ranges, hence the massive share in the box office.

Thrillers however only have 4% in 2009 of box office taking generally because firstly alot less thriller films are made because its more of a risk in terms of capital and return compared to the action animation and comedy genres mentioned above. and secondly because it could be said they require more effort to produce - when unfortunatley a large part of the film industry is focuses on business and profitability.

Thriller Audiences

By looking at the UK Cinemagoing by GENRE 2009 we can see that out of the 503 films that had been released, only 31 (4%) of the films were thriller/suspense, and out of these a larger majority of these were Action, Animation or Drama films, because those genres seem to have a wider audience and seem to have a much larger appeal to different people.

These statistics should be taken into account once you plan your thriller film as you want to get as many viewers as possible and you may want your audience to be a people of a male/female gender.

Watching Documentary

"Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible"
Thomas Sutcliffe says that openings of films should 'seduce' the audience and by this he means that it is very tempting to show the most dramatic parts of the film at the beginning but you will give away too much drama at the beginning and then the audience won't really be interested in the rest of the film.

According to director Jean Jacques Beineix, the risks of 'instant arousal' are that you may never be able to answer the audiences' question for the rest of the film, and that starting off with a big, dramatic, exciting beginning may redue your chances of having anywhere else to go with the film or including any dramatic and attention grabbing moments later in the film.

"A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little" because you have to make a judgement about how much information you give to the audience in the opening, because if you give too much they may not be interested any more and could leave the film half way through thinking they already know what is going to happen throughout the rest of the film, but if you don't give them enough information they may not be interested in the film anymore as they are not seeing enough, and getting bored.

Stanley Kauffman describes a classic opening as something that starts with an establishing shot, for example, a shot of New York City and then other shots of a building, then a shot through the window of the building, then past an office, then to a shot of maybe a receptionist and then the last shot of the main character, and these shots establish normality and set the scene for the beginning of the rest of the film.

Kyle Cooper's title sequence of the film 'Seven' was so effective because it highlights the psychotic and obsessive behaviour of the main character and it also foreshadows future events of the film.

"A favourite trick of Film Noir" is to start the film with the ending of the movie, this is used to shock and surprise the studio audience whilst building suspense as the audience are intrigued to know why and how this happened.

The opening of the film 'The Shining' creates suspense by having the lonely car driving up into what we can see as some sort of shadowed darkness and also the show of the camera following the car is like a hawk hunting it's prey.

Watching Documentary.

Thomas sutcliffe means when he says "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. while there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible" -going straight in from the dramtic opening so the audience can be attached to the start of the movie  or you can slowly seduce the audience from the start of the movie as it will also hook them .

According to director Jean Jacques Beineix says the risks of instant arousal is that if you start strong in the opening then the audience will expect much more throughout the movie so it better to start with something small to build tension during the movie.

'A good beginning must make the audience feel that it dosent know nearly enough yet and at the same time make sure that it doesent know too little because if you give away to much in the opening ... you want the audience to know whats gonna happen and if you give to little they may lose interest quickly.

Stanley Kaufmann describes as the classic opening- began with establish shot of new york city then close up to a building then to a window then pass an office ...were the thing was taking place or the occupation of the hero.  It works because its establish normality.

kyle coopers title sequence to the film Seven is so effective because he wants to wake the audience up  it sets the tone, obsessive phycotic nature of the film and the main character and it foreshadows of what is gonna happen next.

'Favourite trick of film Noir" means they put the end at the begining then it goes back in time as thats the trick.

The way Supense is created in The Shining is that the way the camera is placed above "birds eye view" tells us that the car is going in the wrong direction as it driving to an isolated, dark area. The music is also tell us that the car is heading to danger.

Documentary on film openings

I watched the 'watching documentary, and gained a lot of interesting information which i thought i might share with you. !

"Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. while there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible"
Thomas Sutcliffe explains that a film opening should slowly seduce the audience into the film by only allowing them to see something calm, instead of hitting them with something dramatic, full of drama
really dramatic 
slowly and slowly seduces their act

According to director Jean Jacques Beineix, the risks of 'instant arousal' makes the audience expect a lot more later on in the film, which will not happen. He believes in starting a film opening slowly then delivering the dramatic action later on in the film will entise the audience enough to want to continue watching and see what else the film has in store for them.

"A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little" because allowing the audience to only know a little bit about the film makes them want to watch on to find 

The critic Stanley Kauffmann describes as classic opening to start with an establishing shot for example, new york city. Which then zooms in and you see a building, followed by a window then a room where all the action would be taking place.This establishes normality at the beginning.

Kyle Coopers title sequence to the film Seven was so effective because it makes you feel like part of the movie, foreshadows next events, show the obsessive psycho nature of the main character.

A favourite trick of film noir was to start the beginning of the film with the end scene of the film. 

The opening of the film 'the shining' creates suspense by using a birds eye view making it seem like the camera is like a predator following the car. The direction of the car also is going in the wrong direction, into an isolated place which makes the audience instantly know that something is wrong.

Watching Documentry

Watching is a short documentry about films and audiences broadly as well as thriller openings and other specifics.

"Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible"

Regarding film openings, Thomas Sutcliffe presents his idea that films must obviously grab the audiences interest into a long term span of attention paying and or desire to continue to watch and discover the conclusion and ending of the film.

He then continues to say that it is always tempting and seemingly unavoidable to create this interest and attention immediately referring to using a effective opening to achieve this goal.

Personally I completely agree with Thomas, if I am not within the first say five miniutes of a film inclined and motivated to watch the rest as well as feeling entertained, I wont watch the film, meaning that taking me as a audience the opening to a film is of paramount importance.

Another interesting point is made by Director Jean Jacques Beineix - he contradicts mine and Thomas Sutcliffes opinion detailed above by saying that if this 'instant arousal' is present in a film then after the opening portion of the film the level of interest of the audience will be at full peak meaning the rest of the film will be less satisfactory and wont be able to compete with the opening.

He says that instead, a film should be gradual and keep the audience willing to watch without any extremely dramatic scenes or key moments and gradually draw the audience until later in the film - presumably the end - finally bring in the key scenes and important parts of the film leaving the audience completely satisfied and fulfilled.

I partially agree with Jean Jacques, depending on the severity and degree of this method / technique it can either be highly successful or bring the film to a boring and un-desirable watch. if the level of interest is maintained to a relative and decent level or the end 'discovery' or revelation is worth watching then waiting throughout the whole film will keep the audience glued to the screen and dying to reach the conclusion. if the level of interest is not maintained, audiences will be dis-engaged and not interested in the on screen action.

Something else to consider about films and their openings is the idea that a good beginning / opening of a film must have a balance between giving away information but withholding enough information to use to give the rest of the film purpose, a good way to put it or to reach the perfect level would be giving away information in a way that is revealing to satisfy the viewer but leaving them with desire to know and see more.

Stanley Kauffmann describes the stereotype / classic opening: we see a overview of a city so we can identify where we are and the scene is set, such as a establishment shot or a helicopter birds eye view shot, we then see a shot of a building, followed by the window of that building, we will then enter the building and meet the main character of the film. This sort of opening is very effective because firstly it explains and introduces a lot of elements to the viewer and secondly because it establishes normality in contrast to what might be later in the film.

One very effective opening mentioned in the Documentry as mentioned earlier in this blog is Se7en bye Kyle Cooper. aside from very well crafted camera shots, excellent titles and clever editing the opening introduces the main character as very physchotic and through what i just mentioned this is shown in a highley effective way, it also foreshadows the rest of the film and entices the audience with desire to watch the film.

A interesting trick mentioned in 'Watching' is 'Film Noir' which is the idea of putting the last scene or the ending of a film at the very beginning - then using the rest of the film to build up to and explain this moment. in my opinion it is only effective when the ending still has some elements of mystery about it and there is desire for revelation.

Finally the documentary mentions 'The Shining' a classic thriller. The opening creates suspense perfectly through use of the birds eye view shot that constantly follows the car from a big distance, there is continuously building suspenseful music, as the scene progresses it becomes darker and darker and the car starts driving into a very isolated area - all of these elements give the simple idea - this car is travelling in the wrong direction.

Monday, 24 January 2011

300 (Title Sequence and Font Analysis)


The Structure of Thriller Openings

The title sequence is the first thing you see when the film starts, which means that it is one of the most important parts of the movie as it gives the audience the first impression of the film.

There are three basic structures which are followed:
A narrative opening with the titles running throughout; this occurs in the opening of films such as 'Panic Room' which has a helicopter flying over New York City with the titles being shown throughout the sequence on the sides of buildings and scenery. The camera shots that are used purposely focus on the titles.
A discrete title sequence; A discrete title sequence is a small, self contained film that may not have much relevance to the actual opening of the film but is used just to introduce the titles. For example, in the film 'Se7en' where the opening titles are of a psychotic man organising his unusual belongings, and then after that the opening of the film is completely different to the title sequence.
Titles over a blank screen, followed by the narrative opening; was used in the Donnie Darko title sequence.


 NARRATIVE OPENING- starting introduces setting or charaters but there also will be titles running over it.    

A DISCRETE TITLE SEQUENCE- seperately edited seqence that stands apart from film.

TITLES OVER BLANK SCREEN,FOLLOWING BY THE NARRATIVE OPENING- titles rolling over a blank screen with a sound track then introduces images.

STYLIZED EDITED - makes the opening effective . 

The Structure and Types of Thriller Openings.

The title sequence is one of the most important parts of any film obviously including thrillers. There are four different types of title sequence i have identified.

Narrative Opening with titles running throughout.
A example of this would be Panic Room, the sequence involves a helicopter that flys over new york city showing the setting of the film as well as cleverly blending the titles into the city with names of directors and actors ETC appearing on the sides of buildings and vehicles.

Discrete Title Sequence.
Such as Se7en, a discrete title sequence means that the title sequence is a short self contained film in its own right and has little or no relationship with the main feature film or is showing a part of the film irrelevant to the real opening, in seven the sequence uses very dimmed and distanced lighting as well as only using extreme close up camera shots to create a intriguing and suspenseful intro.

Titles over a blank screen - followed by a narrative opening

Stylised Edited Opening
A stylised opening to me is one that makes heavy and effective use of complex editing techniques, a excellent example of this is the taking of pelham 123, in the title sequence of this film (which can also match structure of narrative opening with titles running throughout) initially only a discrete style sequence is used with images of trains moving as well as the tracks and control room being shown in various angles and styles and speeds, then titles start to begin to appear near characters which freeze as there name travels in with the font moving like a train, pausing, and then moving away horizontally as the characters begin to move again. As the sequence progresses elements of the main film begin to come into the sequence with the end quarter of the titles progressively moving into the actual story.

Structures of thriller openings

Looking at different openings i noticed that different films used different openings to introduce the audience into the start of the film.

'The shining' used narrative opening 

A narrative opening allows the location, settings then characters to be immediately introduced and in occasions the key enigma

The Shining used this type of opening to introduce the location, which creates tension from the beginning as it allows the audience to see a car driving to an isolated place

Seven used a discrete title opening

A discrete title opening is a separately edited sequences that stand apart from the film opening. They are stylised and heavily edited with alot of close up shots, and they support nearly all of the opening credits and film title.

Donnie Darko used a blank screen

A blank screen film opening begins with the titles rolling over it, often with sound effects or a sound track before any images are introduced. The titles also continue once the images are shown. 

Donnie Darko followed the technique and started its opening in darkness with the titles over it then slowly began to get lighter as the sun rose followed the introduction a character

The Taking Of Pelham 123 used a stylised opening

Stylised openings use a lot of editing to make the whole this more dramatic and exciting to have the audience at hooked from the very start.

This film opening stood out the most for me not only because Denzel Washington stars in it, but the amount of editing used throughout the first couple minutes. I would LOVE my thriller opening to be as stylised as this but this would take an immense about of time editing. Hopefully my group is able to film out shots quickly to enable us to use a lot of editing to make out thriller opening that more exciting.

Fingers Crossed ! 

Sunday, 23 January 2011


Fonts by Genre and Theme

These are some examples of fonts you can use according to a theme of  genre.
Family/Kids Fonts
Music and Party FontsPuzzle Fonts
Sports Fonts
Sci-fi Fonts
Fantasy Fonts

BEVERLEY OWUSU.  i have also tried experimenting with different fonts using my name . This is a VERDANA  font.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Editing - Soundtrack Pro

Soundtrack pro is used during our media project to add individual or a variety of different sounds to a film, by creating the soundtrack yourself. You can use the sounds that are available from Soundtrack Pro to accompany your film. Theres are hundreds of different types of sounds. This is another useful program but unlike Livetype can be quite difficult to use at times, although you will get the hang of it after quite a while. I did.

Editing - Livetype

Livetype is used in editing to add titles. For example, you may use it to show the actors names and to show the audience the title of the film. You can change the style, size, shape, size, colour and positioning of the text to suit your own personal preference or to suit the style of the movie you are creating. Its a very good and simple program to use once you get the hang of it!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Camera Skills Tutorial

Yesterday I had a camera tutorial as preperation for the main task of creating the two miniute introduction for a thriller film.

The cameras we will be using are very expensive and of professional quality therefore it was important to make sure I learnt how to use the equipment properly, i learned how to correctly insert media cards into the camera so that any filming is captured and stored properly, how to safely mount the camera onto the tripod to achieve different types of shots as well as basic and advanced camera functionalty such as switching between auto focus and manual focus, the zoom function, reviewing clips that have been viewed on camera via the pull out LCD and removing and replacing the battery.

After this tutorial i feel much more confident using the camera and feel yet more prepared for filming.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Extreme wide shot. 
Often used as an establishing shot

Wide shot
Very Wide Shot

Shows some part of the subject in more detail while still giving an impression of the whole subject.

Medium close up
half way between midshot and close up.
Close up -A certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame.
Extreme close up - shows extreme detail .
Extreme Close Up

Cutaway- a shot of something other than the current action

Cut in - part of the subject in detail

Two Shot - A shot of two people, framed similarly to a mid shot.

Over the shoulder shot -Looking from behind a person at the subject.over-the-shoulder shot

A Canted angle is a good use of shot type in a scary film because its deliberately slanted to one side, sometimes used for dramatic effect to help portray unease, disorientation, frantic or desperate action.

The Skills Audit

  • FINAL CUT PRO -  The software allows users to log and capture video onto a hard drive (internal or external), where it can be edited, processed, and output to a wide variety of formats.
  • SOUND TRACK PRO -  The main concept of Soundtrack was to allow people who are not professional composers to produce original music for their videos or DVDs
  • LiveType - created by apple. creates animated title sequences for video projects.
Screen shoots of how we edited the video we made "The Bag" and added components such as music and animations.






Skills Audit

While editing the bag swap skit, i I learned skills using three programs, Final Cut Pro - a industry standard video editor made by Apple. Soundtrack pro - the equivalent program for sound and soundtracks and LiveType - a suite for making high versatile titles.

 The opening screen of soundtrack pro, showing a new empty project

 Screenshot showing the making of the titles for the clip

 The inspector in livetype

 Effects in LiveType

 Sound Clip and Loop libary in soundtrack

 Final Cut 

 Clip Sequencer in Final Cut

All the shots imported from the camera into final cut.

After this exersisee i now feel ready and competent in editing clips and peicing shots together as well as constructing and importing sound to match the clips as well as producing and incoporating titles into any projects. Learning this skills has also put some new ideas for the main thriller project into my head.

The Bag Swap

After our first shot of filming a bag swap wasnt as successful as it could of been, we filmed another version. This time we used soundtrack pro to add sound effects, LiveType to add titles as well as Final Cut Pro for editing.

Sound effects: School bell,



This new clip is two characters which bump into each other and one the characters steal the others bag. Enjoy !

The Bag

Skills Audit

Whilst editing The Bag Swap i learned how to use three important programmes

Final Cut Pro - a professional non-linear editing software application developed by Apple Inc

Livetype - a software program developed by Apple which can be used to create animated title sequences for video projects.
 Sound Track Pro -  a music composing and audio editing application with over 5000 royalty free professional instrument loops and sound effects created by Apple Inc

At first i found it quite hard to import all the clips into Final Cut Pro and edit as well as make the titles on Live Type butwith abit of practise i become a 'Professional'. I still havnt got the hang of using Sound Track Pro but by the time we are ready to film and edit our thriller opening sequence i should have mastered it

This is all the clips which have been imported into Final Cut Pro

Clip Sequencer in Final Cut Pro
Final Cut pro as we edit the scenes. It allows you to see the import videos as well as a screen to watch the work you have already edited

 The inspector in livetype which allows you to change the font and colour of the title and add an effect

This shows the making of the titles for the bag swap using Live Type

Heres the bar showing the effects which were added to the titles in Live Type
This is the opening screen of soundtrack pro

This screen grab shows the Sound Clip and Loop libary in soundtrack