Tag Archives: Genre

Conventions of a Thriller

I created a Prezi presentation in order to display the various conventions for a film in the genre of Thriller. Click below, on the image, for the presentation…

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Emelia and I will use this research in order to create our own thriller as accurately as possible. We shall also keep these conventions in mind when planning how to film, edit and put together our film.

Which Genre?

Emelia and I decided to pick a genre before carrying out any more of the other ‘pre-production’ work. We chose to do this because by knowing which genre we would like to base our film opening on, we could focus our other research around the specific genre. By doing this, our research will be more useful and will hopefully allow us to produce a more accurate and believable film opening.

Firstly, Emelia and I plotted all of the genres that we could think of onto a mind map. Once we had completed this, we picked out our favourite four genres. We ended up choosing Thriller, British Social Realism, Alternate History and Romantic Comedy.  From these four genres we then began to research and to think of possible ideas and plots. For each one we researched what would be expected, what would have to be included and how to create a film of our own from that specific genre. We then came up with a plot and then deducted a genre at a time. Here is what we found…

British Social Realism

“Social realism is a genre of film that focuses on topical issues alive in a modern society which is represented by different ideologies. Themes such as money, drugs, prostitution and sex are quite usual in modern contemporary social realism films as well as class, religion and political views.” – Slide Share

The conventions included in British Social Realism films are:

  • Location Shooting… to film in a real life location, not a studio.
  • Non Professional Actors… in order to give the film a feel of reality.
  • Semi Improvised Scripts… so that the film has structure but also has a sense of reality to it.
  • Seriousness… as often these films are based on serious, modern day issues.
  • Many Wide Shots… in order to allow the audience to get a sense of the location.
  • Regional Identities and Stereotypes… this genre relies on the location and actors to fit within one another in order to make it as realistic as possible.

Our idea/plot for British Social Realism:

Emelia and I had two main ideas for a British Social Realism film. Firstly, we wanted to focus on the modern day issue of sexuality. We were going to focus the film on the prejudices towards a gay individual in a group of stereotypical teenage ‘lads’. We would have based our film opening in Boston as Emelia knows this area well and the area could represent our issue clearly. In the end, we were not fond of this idea and so came up with a new plot to fit the British Social Realism genre. We decided to focus on the issue of class. We planned to focus on the lives of two families, one rather wealthy whilst the other had much less wealth. To film this, we would film once again in Boston. However, this time, we planned to be based in Fenside and Sibsey Road as these two streets show the clear contrast in class as Sibsey Road contains huge homes for the more wealthy compared to Fenside that contains the cheaper housing. Although Emelia and I were happier with this plot, it was still not perfect and after researching into the conventions of a British Social Realism film, we did not think that this genre would showcase our skills in film making as the conventions, such as ‘Non Professional Actors’ and ‘Semi Improvised Scripts’, would make our film look rushed, not planned and not legitimate.

British Social Realism film openings that we watched…

  • This Is England… (2007)…


  • Nil By Mouth… (1997)…


  • Face… (1997)…


  • It Always Rains on Sunday… (1947)…


After watching these film openings, Emelia and I were sure that this genre would not be perfect for our film opening…

Romantic Comedy

“Romantic comedy films, or simply romedy films, are films with light-hearted, humorous plotlines, centered on romantic ideals such as that true love is able to surmount most obstacles…Romantic comedy films are a certain genre of comedy films as well as of romance films, and may also have elements of screwball comedies.” – Wikipedia.

The conventions included in Romantic Comedy films are:

  • A typical “boy meets girl” scene.
  • Two protagonists… one male and one female.
  • Often seen from the point of view of the female character.
  • Sexual Innuendos.
  • “And they all lived happily ever after”… the inevitable happy ending where the couple get together.
  • Young and attractive actors.
  • Based around a heterosexual relationship.
  • Comedy and humour.

Our idea/plot for Romantic Comedy:

Emelia and I wanted to base our plot around the idea of speed dating. We were going to display a speed dating meeting in a stereotypical village hall for the first two minutes. We would focus on the conversations of the various characters in the hall and show that one male and one female are coming up with the same answers to questions and would be perfect for one another. However, the meeting comes to a close one section before they meet one another. Our film would then show these two characters going about their daily business whilst displaying the similarities between the two. We would then often show that the two characters are close to meeting but never do… however, to fit to the ‘happily ever after’ ending we would have these characters meet one another, get married and live a happy life together. Emelia and I were fairly happy with this idea but decided it was not perfect and so moved on.

Romantic Comedy film openings that we watched…

  • Love Actually… (2003)…


  • Bridget Jones’s Diary… (2001)…


  • Friends With Benefits… (2011)…


After watching these film openings, Emelia and I were still not so keen and so once again moved on…


“Thriller Film is a genre that revolves around anticipation and suspense. The aim for Thrillers is to keep the audience alert and on the edge of their seats. The protagonist in these films is set against a problem – an escape, a mission, or a mystery. No matter what sub-genre a Thriller film falls into, it will emphasize the danger that the protagonist faces. The tension with the main problem is built on throughout the film and leads to a highly stressful climax.” – thescriptlab.com

The conventions included in Thriller films are:

  • Low lit and dim lighting.
  • Shadows.
  • Mystery.
  • Protagonist in mercy of Antagonist.
  • Tense composed and compiled scores.
  • Changes in angles of shots.
  • A storyline to make the audience feel uncomfortable.
  • Many jump cuts.

Our idea/plot for Thriller:

I will describe out plot in my next blog post as Emelia and I have decided to go with this idea!…

Thriller film openings that we watched… 

  • Seven… (1995)…


  • The Silence of the Lambs… (1991)…


Emelia and I have decided to go with the Thriller genre for our 2 minute film opening.


Foundation Portfolio in Media

We have recently been introduced to our task for our coursework. This coursework will count for 50% of our overall AS mark. Our task is to “create the titles and opening of a new fiction film to last a maximum of two minutes”. For this aspect to the course, we will be working in twos. I am working with Emelia Rodgers as we get along, work well together and enjoyed working together at GCSE. In order to earn the highest mark that we can, there is going to be a lot of work put into this task. The planning work put into the task fits into the ‘Pre-Production’ category of the project. In todays lesson we went through the various aspects that we will need to include in our pre production planning. There is a lot to think about including…

Form: Firstly we will need to research the form of film openings in order to understand what the task is exactly asking of us. To complete this, we will research the common conventions in existing film openings. Then, we shall watch a few openings and plot the timeline in order to get a sense of what is expected and how to structure it. For example, how much actual film footage to include, how to relate the beginning to the plot of the entire film and of course the various aspects such as idents needed in every film opening.

Genre: Next, we need to search our options. We will look into the many genres out there and choose our favourite. In order to choose successfully, we need to understand the genre features to each. We will also need to know what an audience expects when watching a certain genre in order to base our film around that in attempt to make it as interesting and realistic as possible.

Idea: Once we have our chosen genre, we will need to think of an idea for our film. In order to plan the opening, we will need to plot an entire film. We will also need to come up with a title for our film in this section of the pre production.

Pitch: When we have chosen our genre and come up with an idea/plot we will need to begin the process of creating a pitch. In order to create a professional script, we will need to research the conventions to a pitch. We shall then write the script to a time limit of 30 seconds. We shall then rehearse our pitch so that it will seem thought out, convincing and professional when sharing it with our class, teachers and camera. From this, we will receive feedback, criticism and advice from others in an attempt to perfect our final idea so that we can then move onto the next step…

Script: The next step in the process is to produce a script for our 2 minute opening. We can not, however, just note down what we would like our characters to say. In order to complete this aspect to the highest standard, we will need to once again research the codes and conventions of a genuine, professional script. Once we have produced our script, we will have a read through and receive progressive feedback in order to get it as perfect as we can.

Storyboards: After writing our scripts, we will move onto creating storyboards. First, we will need to (once again) research the codes and conventions to a professional set of storyboards. We shall then hand draw our own set in as much detail as possible. After this, we will find an alternative way of creating storyboards in order to create an animated version. We shall then show these copies to others in order to receive some constructive feedback.

Branding: In order to complete the task successfully, we will need to create everything shown in the film. This includes the logos and idents of companies shown at the beginning. We will use a software called “Motion” for the first time and attempt to create a set of logos and idents to use in our opening in order to make it seem as realistic as possible.

Practical Preparations: The final stage to our pre production preparations are to make sure we have everything ready for filming. We will have to contact and organise some actors and various locations to film in. We will also need to practise the makeup and hair for the film as well as organising costumes and a filming schedule. On top of this, we will have to make sure that we know how to work the equipment properly and organise using it for filming.

Once we have completed all of the pre production work, we will be ready to film. We have been given the Christmas holidays to film footage for our film so that we can begin editing when we return.