1. EVALUATION QUESTION 1
Q1. In what ways does your
media product use, develop or
challenge forms and conventions
of real media products?
2. My media product uses typical conventions of most thrillers by including
a death scene in the opening. Examples of other thrillers with death scenes
in the opening includes;
• A Clockwork Orange
• Casino Royale
• The Usual Suspects
• The Dark Knight Rises
A death in the opening is a significant convention of a thriller, so I used this
to clearly show that my opening scene is a thriller.
This also helped to make my thriller opening more effective as it made it more
interesting and foreshadowed what the rest of the film would be about.
3. Another way in which my media product
follows generic conventions is by creating
mystery and suspense throughout the
opening scene. Silhouettes and shadows
are used quite a lot in thrillers and low
key, dark lighting is also used to create
mystery surrounding the main
This is shown in my thriller opening as I
used dark lighting throughout to
foreshadow the fact that something is
going to happen and to add to the
suspense. I also used a silhouette of the
character in part of my opening, shown on
A example of a thriller that does this
effectively is V for Vendetta (shown on the
right). This film uses dark, low key lighting
and silhouettes to create a tense
atmosphere and to make the main
character/killer seem scarier. My use of a
silhouette was also for similar reasons as
it changes the atmosphere of the scene
and makes it more suspenseful/scary.
4. The killer/protagonist’s face is often not shown clearly throughout the
entire opening in many thrillers, e.g. Drive. This creates suspense and
keeps the audience engaged and curious. It also looks quite
effective, for example in the picture shown below of Drive’s opening
scene, showing his face in the window’s reflection makes it more
creative and interesting.
However, my thriller opening challenges this thriller convention as the
killer is clearly shown to portray the fact that she is not evil and to
show her innocence. Showing her face also makes the scene more
effective as her actions and emotions are clearly emphasised, making
the opening more frightening and real.
Protagonist of Drive Protagonist of my media product
5. A really effective thriller convention is the slow build up in an opening.
Nearly every thriller opening scene has a very slow paced opening
scene, which builds up to an event, like a death.
An example of this is in Drive and The Usual Suspects. Both films have a
very slow pace in the opening and aren’t rushed which builds up the tension
and keeps the audience engaged in the film and on the edge of their seat to
find out what’ll happen next.
I reflected this in my thriller opening as it is also very slow paced and has a
suspense-filled build up to the death. I made sure to show Elise (the main
character of the opening scene)’s every action and her journey very slowly
all the way up to her death to create tension and suspense. This is shown
6. A final way in which my media product has used generic thriller
conventions is through camera movements and sound. Most thrillers I have
analysed use many slow pans and suspenseful music in the background.
This helps to create tension and makes the thriller seem more effective and
interesting. This is the reason why me and my group used it in our thriller
An example of a thriller that does this is The Dark Knight Rises. The opening
scene of it uses many slow pans and has low suspenseful music playing in
the background throughout the entire scene. The music got louder as the
scene got more frantic and hit its climax, which was very effective.
I tried to reflect this in my opening scene by using many slow pans to build
up the suspense and also used suspenseful music in the background
throughout the scene. However, instead of emphasising the suspense
music, my group and I decided to take it away altogether during the climax of
the opening as we thought this would make it more eerie and more effective.
7. All of the thriller conventions I talked about in the previous
slides all indicate the sub-genre of my media product.
My thriller is a psychological/crime thriller as the reason for all
the killings is psychological rather than supernatural etc. This is
because the problem is inside the killer (Amanda)’s head and
the thriller is more focused on that.
The conventions such as a death in the opening, mystery and
suspense, low-key lighting-(mise en scene), all add up to show
the genre. Also, by following the conventions of thrillers, the
genre of it being a thriller is clearer.