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Thriller conventions

What is the thriller genre?


A thriller normally consists of a battle between a hero (protagonist) and a villain (antagonist). There
is usually a disruption between the two sides. This leads to a sort of chain reaction of bad events
that occur. This builds tension and suspense for the climax (the end) of the film. Whilst the aim of
the protagonist is to try to restore justice to life, the antagonist seeks to cause further distraction
and mayhem. An example of a protagonist is James Bond and an example of an antagonist is Le
Chiffre from the well-known Thriller Casino Royale.
The aim of a thriller is to create suspense, tension and excitement for the audience. Thrillers are
normally filmed in urban and suburban areas and on the streets. Violence is a central element of a
lot of conventional thriller films. The police, army or government are normally always associated.
There are lots of crops that are used when creating a thriller film. Some of these include:
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Film Blood
Mobile phone
Knife
Guns
Explosives
Conventions of a thriller film
There are a huge range of conventions used when creating a thriller. Some of the most common
ones used are:

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Low key lighting


Quick cuts
Shadows
Black and white shots
Montage of shots
Changes of angle of shot
Tense music
Sound of heavy breathing
Task 2:
The thriller that I have chosen to watch is James Bond Quantum of Solace. I have chosen five still
shots of the opening few minutes of the film that I will be analysing closely.

This is a mid-shot showing a hostage being tied to a chair by an agent with Bond walking beside
him. The difference in dressing is important between the protagonist and the hostage because
Bonds smart and formal suit and shirt suggests that he is more important and powerful compared
to the hostage who has ripped and scruffy clothing implying that he is less dominant. The main
point of focus in this scene is the hostage. This picture of the scene suggests that the hostage is
about to be interrogated. The important mise-en-scene elements include the setting being
underground in a very dark and serious setting. The shadows from the down lighting crates an
element of tension in the room. Adding to this the atmosphere is dark and grey creating a further
feeling of depression.

This shot is a close up mid shot showing M in the foreground and an agent in the background. It is
significant that M is in the foreground and clear to the camera because it suggests that she is very
important and has lots of power. As well as this, the stern facial expression on Ms face helps add
to seriousness of this shot. Her power is also shown through the black suit that she is wearing as it
is business like and very smart. In this scene M is clearly shown as the key point of interest. It
appears that she is watching over something very important, this could also be suggested by the
way M has her eyes locked onto a specific point. The darkness of the shot adds to the
atmosphere and the tension that she is feeling. The lighting also suggests that the set is quite
secret. In this shot, the bars are used in a way that amplifies Ms importance and power. They act
as a frame for her and her guard with M in the foreground and the guard in the background whilst
blurry and faded.

This is a mid shot showing Bond, the hostage and three agents. The lighting is very dark and
gloomy in this picture. This creates a lot of tension between the characters and adds to the
nervousness of the scene. All the agents including Bond are wearing smart business like suits that
are very formal and makes a serious setting. The hostages clothes are very untidy and the left leg
trouser is ripped. As well as this, he is not sat up right and is slumped compared to Bond who is sat
up straight and looks very professional. All these elements make Bond seem much more powerful
and in control of the interrogation of the hostage. Also, the fact that the hostage is slumped creates
the illusion that he has no control in the situation. The dark lighting also creates shadows for the
agents which makes them feel bigger in the room as they have a bigger stature. The chain that
hangs from the roof suggests that the hostage may be tortured for the information that Bond and
M need. One of the agents is holding a gun. This will add to the tension of the piece as the
hostage is under threat. The main focus in this scene is the hostage being interrogated and Bond.
This scene is underground. This is shown through the darkness and lack of lighting. This makes
the atmosphere extremely serious and gloomy.

This shot is a mid shot of M, Bond and an agent standing guarding the door in the background. All
three of the characters are well dressed in business like suits and look very professional. This
makes the scene feel very serious. The centre focus of this shot is the document on the table in
front of Bond. We assume that this document contains vital information that M needs because it is
the centre focus of the still shot. The position of the agent suggests to the viewer that he is not as
important as Bond and M. This is because the agent is further away towards the background and
the other two character are further in the foreground. The unpainted brick walls give the room a
very cold and uninviting feel. This helps to create the uncomfortable atmosphere between the
characters. The walls also suggest that the setting could be underground. The shadow from the
gate in the background also suggests that it could be underground. It appears in the picture that
Bond is pointing toward the document and speaking to M about it. He has a very serious facial
expression. This further suggest that the scene is extremely important and suspense. Ms posture
might suggest that she is in a position of power in this shot.

This shot is a close up of Bond. He is climbing out if a drain of the secret underground interrogation
chamber that we see him in a few minutes earlier in the film. Bonds facial expression suggests
that he is chasing someone and is in a hurry. He is looking and chasing after the villain. Bond is
wearing a business suit. However, the suit is clearly shown as very dirty as Bond has been chasing
the villain through the tight and thin cellars of the underground interrogation chambers. This adds
to the drama of this scene. Bond climb out at an awkward place because after climbing up the
drain, Bond finds himself at the legs of a crowd of the street horse races. This creates a very tense
atmosphere because Bond may feel trapped and squashed. As well as this there are many people
in the way of Bond when he is trying to chase down the villain.