In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Our opening, from the very beginning contains a detective and a murderer. Such characters are very typical of a neo-noir thriller, and we immediately establish them as character possibilities with the murderer’s costume of a black coat and scarf. The covered figure looks shady and intent, and combined with the conventions associated with our genre; created by the dark street mise en scene, suspenseful music, montage format and 1st person narration, the audience infer him to be a criminal.
Neo noir’s tend to revolve around the theme of crime and violence, therefore we incorporated this theme heavily. It is evident in the narrative of murders being committed, and the characters of a murderer, a detective and victims, and it is also evident in mise en scene of a dark and shady atmosphere.
The Neo-noir and thriller genre also inspired us to use water, reflections and shadows. We thought this would create alluring mise en scenes, effectively communicating the shots in a captivating fashion.
We haven’t used conventions such as long-tracking shots because our format was a montage, therefore we felt it would have been more effective to use rapid cut shots, but because we would have found long-tracking shots hard to film, resulting in poor quality shots. We didn’t use low-key/high contrast lighting because it was hard to consistently achieve that style of lighting in every setting due to natural light, and the fact that we had no professional white lights, meant we had too little a control of the lighting in our setting, to successfully achieve low-key lighting. Instead we made sure that each shot was well lit, however on shot 30; where Marcus lays dead on the floor, we failed at this. We didn’t want to move the light for that setting in order to be consistent, but on doing so, we filmed a dark, weak shot; we should have used another part of the set.
The form and structure of our opening develops upon the Neo noir and thriller genre. Conventionally openings are a single sequence and have a slow build up towards an explosive end, whilst ours is a montage and picks up pace in the middle. However, we found this structure to be difficult to achieve a dramatic climax, something of which is conventional for neo noir openings.
I believe whilst our opening could have benefited from originality; from being more innovative with the neo noir and thriller genre, that the typicality of the opening makes it effective at satisfying our well-accustomed audience. In fact, I wish that we had been more conventional with our opening, being inspired by our genre to use more dutch angles and inverted frames, deep focus, long tracking shots, low-key high contrast lighting, heavy breathing, and bars, diagonals and frames within frames; just to name a few of the conventions that we could have used to further improve our opening.