Our thriller opening was shown to our class, who were then asked to write down short points on their thoughts. Below are the results of the questions they were asked, depicted in 'word cloud' form (generated by a nifty little website called Wordle):
|How did the opening make you feel? What words would you use to describe the opening?|
The most common word we got back was confused, which is exactly what we didn't want. We had hoped that we were able to make it clear what was happening with the online chat in our film, however, the first feedback we've received suggests otherwise. Nonetheless, a few did express understanding in what was going on (maybe some didn't pay attention enough!) The other most common words included mysterious and eerie, which we definitely wanted to convey through the mise-en-scène. Quite a few people also conveyed a wanting to watch on which makes me think that maybe our opening might be more successful than I first thought, as a thriller opening should set out to arouse the audience's curiosity.
|What did you enjoy about the opening (and specifically what aspects of film language)?|
Somewhat surprisingly, the sound was commented on positively the most. I didn't really expect that because, although I loved what we did with it, we didn't exactly spend an overly substantial amount of time working on it. If anything it goes to show how powerful sound can be in creating a tense and thrilling atmosphere. A few commented on the variety of our shots being pretty limited, which I actually wholly agree with as we did not film everything we intended to. However, there was praise for what we did have, with the close-up and over the shoulder shots being mentioned frequently.
Here is a selection from the actual written responses we received:
Here is a selection from the additional feedback we received via Facebook:
On the 5th of April we had the chance to see all the AS Media groups' thriller openings on the big screen, including our own. We went to The Screen on the Green in Islington, Angel and it was a great experience seeing everyone's efforts. Below you can see (well, hear) the questionable audience reaction to Facade...
(NB: The titles look cut-off as I was seated right at the front, so the bottom of the screen was slightly obscured; in reality the titles just made it into the frame. I've also only posted the end of the opening as the audience were silent throughout, hopefully because they were concentrating on figuring out what was happening!)
All things considered, I think it's clear that our thriller opening could have been improved. Due to time constraints we used a limited amount of shots and the finished product was short compared to all the other openings we saw at the cinema. I think this is the reason why there wasn't an immediate reaction after our thriller opening was finished. As the feedback from the written responses and Facebook suggest, quite a few people were left wanting more. However, this could be a positive since thriller openings should tease the audience of what's to come and get them interested by grabbing their attention.