1. To what extent does the extract adhere to the codes and conventions of a
Firstly, the sound that is used is scoremusic. That means that the music we hear
has been especially composed forthe scene. As the action builds, the piece of
music gradually crescendos which really does compliment what we can see in
the extract. The music is played in a minor key, suggesting an atmosphere of
tension, and uncertainty, therefore supporting the extract with codes and
conventions. We also get diegetic sound, meaning that we can see where the
sound is coming from. A common convention of a thriller is to have parallel
sounds, whereby the sound that we hear, goes hand in hand with the image on
the screen. By doing so, tension ripples throughout the uneasy atmosphere. For
example, when the character had to hold up his hands, whilst watching the
close-up, we could hear every single breath that he was taking. Whilst not only
dragging out a short o highlight danger, parallel sound is a really good asset to
not only a scene, but to the thriller genre as a whole.
Next, I shall we exploring the use of mise-en-scene. The extract mirrors the
convention of suburbs to be the setting. The reason for using this setting is to
add emphasis that the protagonist is an ordinary person. Not only does the
extract use a common thriller setting, it incorporates the use of stairs, another
code. Stairs are such a common convention because onceyou're on a stair case
you're well and truly trapped. The man is wearing an ordinary sweater which
symbolises that he is an just your average man. The director uses an ordinary
sweater for a stylistic effect, and allows us to associate him with being exactly
the same to everyone else. He isn’t wearing a stereotypical black leather jacket,
or sunglasses to conceal his appearance. Another thing, is that he didn’t
originally have a gun, therefore signifying his innocence. Only when he
intercepts the gun from his attacker, is when we realise that there is a gun in the
frame, and it then begins to adhere to the codes and conventions, then becoming
something from the thriller genre. The man is not wearing any obvious make-
up, once again highlighting how average he is. Admittedly, it would look a little
odd if the director told the make-up artists to apply bright red lipstick on a
middle-aged man to signify danger. The distribution of light is perfect, there
isn’t too much high key lighting, nor is there too much low key lighting.
Although these are common conventions of a thriller, the film must still remain
professional, and in this case, a sense of ordinary normality is the overall goal.
The director has placed ‘Bourne’ as the main focus point, and even though his
costume is average, the significant coverage he receives hints to the viewer that
this man is quite important, and we should keep our eyes securely glued on him.
This works because the viewer is more inclined to pay attention to something
that is slightly unbalanced, and something that appears to be abnormal. The
scene from the extract increased suspensefor the viewer due to the longer, more
2. obscureand puzzling shots, therefore keeping the audience engaged, desperate
to know what happens next.
Now I shall begin the more technical paragraph, framing and composition.
There were very few deep focus shots, this is because they slow down the pace,
certainly not a convention or aim of a thriller film. The majority of shots were in
shallow focus, keeping our eyes fixated on whoever is right in front of us. This
causes our attention to be directed to a specific point, therefore making the
extract much more intense. There were also several shots shot solely using the
rule of thirds, directing our view to a specific point of interest. In this case, the
character whom is being pursued by the police.
The extract contains both a fight and chase scene. These are quintessentially the
most recognisable association to something from the thriller genre. By adhering
to these conventions, the extract is most definitely a thriller film.
Finally, I will be analysing the different shot types used in the extract. There
was a tracking shotused so that we could follow the action. We also saw a
P.O.Vshowing us what the people can see. This is a really great technique
commonly located in thrillers because it shows the action from a different
perspective. There are lots of fast cuts and cutaways to speed up the action and
builds tension. The main character and the police are juxtaposed which
demonstrates that although they’re in different places, they are both involved in
the same thing. For example, tension is created by the shots cutting from the
singular man running up the stairs, and then back to the army/police also
running up the stairs. This makes us desperate to see if the man is caught or not.
It makes me feel scared and tension has been created by the editing.