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Se7en

The short clip shown which was used as the opening title sequence of the film Se7en can be seen by the audience as being a conventional thriller. This is due to the many technical codes and conventions it contains throughout. These are used not only to gain and maintain the audiences attention, but to make them aware of the genre (thriller) of the film. As the skills and techniques used are associated with this genre, this therefore makes them relevant to this particular media text. During the course of the clip there were quite a few conventional codes that stood out to me, an example of this would be the use of shadows, this often denotes darkness, gloom and a follower. Also, this can connote danger, cruelty and even death, linking well with the genre of the film. Furthermore, this point relates to the use of dark lighting and filters (red is regularly used), which connotes sinfulness, danger and blood shed, all of which can be seen as disturbing aspects but however is what thrillers are mainly made up of. Producers frequently assume the target audience has predicted these elements to be included in the text before watching it, hence the name technical conventions, due to the film being a thriller. An example of a technical codes would be the camera editing used in order to form a repeated image of one picture, this effect denotes confusion towards the audience and abnormality, resulting in it connoting misperception and curiosity, two main elements frequently incorporated when creating this type of film, and possible features of a potential character which will help to create the sufficient atmosphere. As well as technical codes and conventions being exposed to the audience, verbal and symbolic codes conventions are also shown. Some verbal codes are represented in books shown in the video, this denotes the character is a reader and suggests that valid information is being given to them. However this connotes that the reader is educated and possibly of authority, furthermore books are often associated with being the tool to gaining knowledge, therefore

the audience could assume that the reader is searching for clues, traces or evidence. Again, this links in well with the genre of the film, as thrillers conventionally involve an investigation. An example of verbal convention would be the screaming that is heard by the audience in the background, which would be an example of ambient sound. This helps to set the mood and allow the video to contain verisimilitude. This denotes horror, shock and disruption, this arguably connotes someone being harmed or being vulnerable, which could possibly mean someone is going to get hurt in the video, this is stereotypically a woman. Symbolic codes would include the usage of the colour red, which is often synonymous with death and danger. Also, an unsettling image is shown of a character removing his finger print with a razor blade, this connotes that someone may be harmed or is trying to hide their identity. Lastly, I believe this opening sequence is quite cleverly put together, as it immediately appeals to the audiences sense, for example sight and hearing. It also follows many of the conventional skills used when creating a thriller however, uses some unexpected techniques to try and surprise its audience, for instance messy handwriting being used in the book where symbolic codes are shown or unusual quotes being included within the text, I want to be closer to God. These features all play a part in maintaining the spectators attention. Brandon Lee-Lawrence

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