S2-56 : THRILLER PROJECT 2008/9

Friday, December 19, 2008

Evaulation Questions Again

Thriller Opening Sequence Evaluation Questions
1.In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?In our thriller project we included a lot of the generic conventions of a thriller, for example; the opening makes the viewer ask questions because no one knows where the girl had gone and there was no indication to what it could have been. The music is slightly psychedelic which reflects the girls state of mind, we didn’t show what actually happened, leaving the viewer wondering what actually did happen, it’s based around a main character (the husband) and finally we had the woman as the vulnerable character, all of these elements fit in with the thriller genre. The opening also, like most thriller openings, introduced the main character, their flaw, visual style and the location. We also added lighting effects to create a more eerie atmosphere, more like subtle horror – which is expected in a thriller. We also tried to make the main character like others that we had seen in other thrillers such as ‘Vertigo’ we did this by making him slightly paranoid, and dependant on himself and perhaps didn’t trust anyone else.2.How does your media product represent particular social groups?We originally wanted our actors to be adult, but we were unable to get any. So I think the main social group our thriller opening represents is gender, obviously the girl is being portrayed as vulnerable and dependant on the male, making the male seem slightly heroic, which is usually the case in most thrillers. I think we managed to fit the stereotypes well and weren’t discriminating any of the social groups, we also represented class because our main character was an inspector and because of the costume he was wearing the viewer can see that he is upper class and the doctor was also upper class, so we represented upper class as well dressed, highly qualified people.3.What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?Creating this would not cost too much as there are no special effects or needed to be in a special location, just a hospital or psychiatric institute. And because the storyline is quite complex and can effect a lot of people, just like ‘Taken’. I think that it would be too big for the internet or the picture house, but actually released as a film, I think our idea is very good and could be developed quite a lot into something that could hit the big screens.4.Who would be the audience for your media product ?I personally think that if we made our target audience any younger than 15 we would have to make it less serious and complex, and because it may include disturbing thoughts, young teenagers might not enjoy it, so I think the certificate would be a 15, because then we can include a more complex plot and will be able to expand on some of the thriller conventions, for example the enigmas we include can be far more in depth and can include more adult scenarios.5.How did you attract/address your audience?I think because our thriller opening doesn’t suggest a sense of horror or gore, or anything horrific, it is appealing to most young adults and adults, I think this because there aren’t many films based around psychiatric wards and seeing an almost parallel world makes the audience think and from our opening it shows that the whole film will probably be a light hearted question raiser not an intense 2 hour film. It also will attract people that are interested in inspector/detective things because the main character is one which would indicate that he is going to try and solve the mystery of his lost wife.6.What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?From producing our thriller opening I have learnt that planning really is crucial and to always think of an alternative. Our camerawork and editing wasn’t amazing, but bearing in mind we didn’t have long to produce this and we filmed it at college, the final product was very good. We found out that you have to be so careful with the dolly, because the slightest accidental movement is captured and there is no way of editing it out and it effects how professional the whole thing looks, fortunately thanks to our editors, we had a very good effect on the shots making it darker and edited the pace, taking the attention off the camerawork. Right before filming our group encountered a massive dilemma, we were originally planning to shoot our footage at Addenbrookes Hospital because the mise en scene would have been perfect with the right effects, we were not expecting to be banned from the site, unfortunately there was an outbreak of the Nora Virus, and all students and teachers were therefore not allowed to go on the site, this all happened on the day that we were meant to be filming, luckily we were able to come up with a last minute alternative and used the sick room at school, removed some posters and objects that would obstruct the mise en scene and use the C corridor as our psychiatric ward corridor, when editing we made it really light so it almost glared because after looking at images of psychiatric wards on google we were able to identity that the walls are stereotypically white and ghost like.Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?Looking back, I think the preliminary task helped to an extent, going straight into the final task would have been a nightmare and we wouldn’t really know what we were doing, the preliminary task helped us get used to camera shots and using the equipment and computer software, it made it a lot easier for us. The main thing is that it would have taken a lot more time if we hadn't of done it because we’d be getting stuck on how to use Final Cut Express or Garageband, and how to import/export, however because we already knew how to use it, we were able to just upload it all and edit/save it within a few lessons.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thriller Opening Sequence Evaluation Questions

1.In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

In our thriller project we included a lot of the generic conventions of a thriller, for example; the opening makes the viewer ask questions because no one knows where the girl had gone and there was no indication to what it could have been. The music is slightly psychedelic which reflects the girls state of mind, we didn’t show what actually happened, leaving the viewer wondering what actually did happen, it’s based around a main character (the husband) and finally we had the woman as the vulnerable character, all of these elements fit in with the thriller genre. The opening also, like most thriller openings, introduced the main character, their flaw, visual style and the location. We also added lighting effects to create a more eerie atmosphere, more like subtle horror – which is expected in a thriller. We also tried to make the main character like others that we had seen in other thrillers such as ‘Vertigo’ we did this by making him slightly paranoid, and dependant on himself and perhaps didn’t trust anyone else.

2.How does your media product represent particular social groups?

We originally wanted our actors to be adult, but we were unable to get any. So I think the main social group our thriller opening represents is gender, obviously the girl is being portrayed as vulnerable and dependant on the male, making the male seem slightly heroic, which is usually the case in most thrillers. I think we managed to fit the stereotypes well and weren’t discriminating any of the social groups, we also represented class because our main character was an inspector and because of the costume he was wearing the viewer can see that he is upper class and the doctor was also upper class, so we represented upper class as well dressed, highly qualified people.

3.What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Creating this would not cost too much as there are no special effects or needed to be in a special location, just a hospital or psychiatric institute. And because the storyline is quite complex and can effect a lot of people, just like ‘Taken’. I think that it would be too big for the internet or the picture house, but actually released as a film, I think our idea is very good and could be developed quite a lot into something that could hit the big screens.

4.Who would be the audience for your media product ?

I personally think that if we made our target audience any younger than 15 we would have to make it less serious and complex, and because it may include disturbing thoughts, young teenagers might not enjoy it, so I think the certificate would be a 15, because then we can include a more complex plot and will be able to expand on some of the thriller conventions, for example the enigmas we include can be far more in depth and can include more adult scenarios.

5.How did you attract/address your audience?

I think because our thriller opening doesn’t suggest a sense of horror or gore, or anything horrific, it is appealing to most young adults and adults, I think this because there aren’t many films based around psychiatric wards and seeing an almost parallel world makes the audience think and from our opening it shows that the whole film will probably be a light hearted question raiser not an intense 2 hour film. It also will attract people that are interested in inspector/detective things because the main character is one which would indicate that he is going to try and solve the mystery of his lost wife.

6.What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?

From producing our thriller opening I have learnt that planning really is crucial and to always think of an alternative. Our camerawork and editing wasn’t amazing, but bearing in mind we didn’t have long to produce this and we filmed it at college, the final product was very good. We found out that you have to be so careful with the dolly, because the slightest accidental movement is captured and there is no way of editing it out and it effects how professional the whole thing looks, fortunately thanks to our editors, we had a very good effect on the shots making it darker and edited the pace, taking the attention off the camerawork. Right before filming our group encountered a massive dilemma, we were originally planning to shoot our footage at Addenbrookes Hospital because the mise en scene would have been perfect with the right effects, we were not expecting to be banned from the site, unfortunately there was an outbreak of the Nora Virus, and all students and teachers were therefore not allowed to go on the site, this all happened on the day that we were meant to be filming, luckily we were able to come up with a last minute alternative and used the sick room at school, removed some posters and objects that would obstruct the mise en scene and use the C corridor as our psychiatric ward corridor, when editing we made it really light so it almost glared because after looking at images of psychiatric wards on google we were able to identity that the walls are stereotypically white and ghost like.

Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Looking back, I think the preliminary task helped to an extent, going straight into the final task would have been a nightmare and we wouldn’t really know what we were doing, the preliminary task helped us get used to camera shots and using the equipment and computer software, it made it a lot easier for us. The main thing is that it would have taken a lot more time if we hadn't of done it because we’d be getting stuck on how to use Final Cut Express or Garageband, and how to import/export, however because we already knew how to use it, we were able to just upload it all and edit/save it within a few lessons.

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Breakout Animatic

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This clip shows our animatic version of Breakout. By making an animatic we could follow the storyboard on the day of shooting and film smoothly without deciding on aspects of the footage whilst at our shooting location. However, many shots have been altered and changed due to the problems we faced. The following pictures display the differences;


This is the second shot of both the animatic and the real footage. We decided to use a distorted angle on the camera to show the strange atmosphere in a thriller situation. Also, the obvious difference is the width of the corridor and the amount of doors, this was because we had to change the location. The corridor we decided to use in the hospital looked like the picture in the animatic.


This is the fourth shot of both the animatic and the real footage. We were unsure of the markings on a CCTV shot when we made the animatic because we hadn't researched it, therefore they're different. Also, in the animatic the patient is strapped down and a wearing different costume. These were changed because little research was put into this particular shot and obviously the medical room at Long Road Sixth Form College was hugely different to the Psychiatric ward in Addenbrookes hospital which we were forced to used.


This shot was change because we decided the shot would look better as a close-up, and would detect the reaction of the character. Furthermore, we decided to shoot the footage from the side as apposed to seeing the door straight ahead, this is because the medical room wasn't through the window in the real shot but it is supposed to be in the animatic.


This shots are the most similar out of all our footage. They both show the two male characters at the end of a long corridor. By using the colour correction in our editing software we managed to briefly remove things off the walls, giving a basic mise-en-scene which we aimed towards.

All together, the shots were changed a lot due to the problem in addenbrookes.

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Breakout (Thriller Opening Sequence)

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This is out thriller opening sequence final

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Animatic

Before starting our animatic, our group went over to Adenbrookes to check out he location and surroundings to see what we ha to work with. After having done this, we decided to base our Animatic around what we'd seen in the Psychiatric Ward. 

Firstly, we drew up our animatic on to a story board, the took pictures of each story board frame and threaded them together in sequence. Although we decided against having a soundtrack to our thriller piece, we could use some sounds well to create tension and suspense with the audience.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Evaluation Questions

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
We breifly use a nonlinear narrative in our opening sequence, this is a frequently used generic convention of thrillers. We also use the idea of extraordinary events in ordinary situations, situation being our character visiting a patient at hospital, even being the escape of the patient. By the male character having a friend or relative in hospital highlights his weakness and makes his character vulnerable.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
There are several represents several particular social groups including gender and proffession. Specifically it focuses on gender throughout the sequence, given the vulnerability of the female patient and the male dominance.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
To make a film of this genre wouldn't require much budget. There are no special effects or explosions, there are no spectacular locations. This is similar to many other thrillers such as The Dark Knight / One Hour Photo and Vertigo. This wouldn't be an Internet release or a picture house, more of a TV movie. The mise-en-scene is remarkably simialar to that of One Hour Photo. The clean and basic atmosphere gives a strange physcological sense which helps match the narrative.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
Some of the narrative may be too complex for young viewers, therefore the target audience should be young adults and above. One Hour Photo includes strong language and disturbing images which is why it has been given a 15 viewing, given that this thriller is simialar to ours we may include strong language to protray the intensity of the situations.
How did you attract/address your audience?
There are no requirements for someone to be scared, therefore I think that any light hearted viewer could be attracted to our work due to the sudden images and sounds. The use of camerawork and editing emphasises this statement. The lack of transitions gives and uneasy atmosphere, given that the viewer is aware that anything could jump onto the screen (using transitions gives a viewer time to brace and prepare). This is a generic convention, and has a strong impact. Suspense is easily created by the un obviousness of the editing and unsteady camerwork.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
We have many weaknesses in our work, as do professional movie thrillers. Any movement shot suddenly breaks the professionalism of the camerwork due to the unsteadiness and other aspects. I feel that our thriller could be improved by using the equipment wisely and going into more depth during the planning (visiting the location to determine exact camera positions). In our group we faced a tremendous problem. Our location (Addenbrookes Hospital) encounted an outbreak of the Nora Virus, meaning that our filming could no longer take place in the uncontained enviroment of the hospital. We went over several solutions such as using a green screen in the studio, or using photoshop to portray fotage of a hospital or simply using locations around the sixth form college. Finally, we decided to take footage around the site, using the hospital bed and C-Block corridor as the corridors and wards of the hospital. We attempted to use the dolly to help enhance our footage but this requires practice and we were on a short timeline and under pressured conditions due to the sudden change to our filming location.
Using Final Cut Express we found many video filters that entirely altered the meaning of the footage, giving unrealistic white balance to shots taken of the patient and deep, rich quality to those in the corridor gives an unatural yet questionable atmosphere. Garageband didn't prove itself as useful as we originally believed. Many of the soundtracks proved themselves to lack in suspense and we felt that all the audio was too much computer generated and an uneasy atonal soundtrack with no sense of beats or rhythm would be more appropriate. However, finding sound effects in garageband helped tremendously.
Looking back to your preliminary task, what did you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
The preliminary task didn't help our planning atall, we didn't need to research for our task, not did we storyboard, therefore no techniques or practice was accomplished through it. However, this blog proved itself useful to help share and generate ideas in our planning stages. Our use of specific shots types has improved greatly. We all were fluent in identifying and recording specific shots that would emphasise certain atmospheres in our thriller. For example, the close-up of the patient through a window, had qualities of a point of view and a close-up. I feel more confident with the equipment. Practicing using the camera during our preliminary task really helped and we all gained more skills and understanding of the equipment. I feel our end product is quite sucessful in fulfilling the task.

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Thriller Title

Breakout

We have chosen to use the name "Breakout" for thriller opening sequence because it can be interpreted in two ways/ split meaning. It can be see as the woman character from the Psychiatric Ward or, the woman breaking out from her mind and going "crazy" and the man loosing his mind thinking about the woman. 


The definition of "breakout" is:
- an escape, often with the use of force, as from a prison or mental institution.

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Editing

For our thriller piece we uploaded our footage to Final Cut Express, we then cut out the unneeded footage. We then organized our footage into playing order and then went onto adding the affects like;
- Adding night filters to our footage
- Embossing some of the footage
- Sharpening some of the clips
- Fading footage in and out of each other
- We have used colour corrector to change the light of the clips for a more edgy look to give out connotations of dull darkness and a sense of lost normality.
 We thickened the pace of our footage in some areas and slowed it down in some area to really show the tension and worry of the male character making it more effective to the viewer. We cut the clips up and faded them over the top of each other, this shows what the character is thinking and how he feels, Which really brings this part together.
for one of our clips we wanted o change it into a CCTV shot, so on final cut we added video filters to create that look, we used stylize and we added noise to the clip to give it a more grainy, grizzled look.We then looked at CCTV on YouTube and used the date, time and REC symbol they used on ours. This is the video we used from youtube.com;




The  actual sequence of footage is different to our animatic, we have slightly changed the the sequence of events for a more thrilling effect, partly due to us being unable to use our preferred location, Adenbrookes.
After completing editing the footage in Final Cut Express, we moved onto Garage Band to create music and sounds to match our piece where needed. There were not many choices of soundtracks for what we needed for final cut  so luckily for us we borrowed a Cd from the media office of sounds that were more appropriate for our thriller opening. The sound is quite important part to how effective our thriller will be so we had many brain storms about what kind of sounds to use and voted in our group.
 

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Evaluation Notes

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
• We have used two male and one female character. This can be interpreted in two ways, first being male dominance and female vulnerability, as the female is in Psychiatric hospital and would appear to be insane, and the other being female innocence.
• We have used a night filter which has increased tension and a feeling of uncertainty and suspension in our thriller opening.
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
• Our opening shows a stereotypical mentally ill patient lying in a plain white room with nothing mentally stimulating around and where the patient has just been left to wallow in self pity.
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
• To try and get our thriller piece noticed by a big production company like "21st Century Fox" if it were to be made into a feature length film, we might make a mini film of our thriller piece "Breakout", using actors like George Baglin, but then if it were to be noticed by such  big media institution, and a more established actor like George Cloony could fill the part of the unestablished actor like George Baglin.
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
• Our target audience would be yound adults onwards.
5. How did you attract/address your audience?
• We would try to attract people who seem to show and interest and get creeped out by the mentally ill and those who enjoy detective thrillers.
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
• I have learnt how to get distorted angles on a camera to create an eary affect, how to use Final Cut to create different affects on our footage like night filters and how to emboss and sharpen the footage.
7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
The preliminary task was no help to our media, because  for this we didn't need to do any researching or make a story board, which meant we didn't have much understanding or practice for what was expected of us for our thriller. Although we didn't have much understanding into what wen into story boards, etc, as we had the blogs of the groups previous to ours, to look over and gain a deeper understanding into what was expected of us and how everything needed to be strung together. The group now understands how to identify and record specific shots that would create certain tension and atmosphere in or thriller. I now feel confident in using all of the equipment and using all the equipment. Although the preliminary task didn't prove to be very helpful with the story board and research, it taught me how all of shots work together and camera angles.  

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Filming Location

For our thriller piece, we had managed to get an un-used psychiatric ward in Adenbrookes hospital which was the perfect setting for our media thriller, which revolved around patient in a psychiatric ward. Having previously seen the ward, our media decided to build or animatic around the location and it's settings.

Unfortunately, Adenbrookes became contaminated by the winter vomiting virus and were told by the college that going to Adenbrookes to film would not be a good idea. As a group, we decided to take our teachers advice and not put our health at risk and try and find another location to film our media. This proved to be very difficult as we were literally told on our day of filming our thriller that Adenbrookes is out of bounds to all student from the college. We then had to try to find a new location to film for filming that fits the criteria of our media, and the only places we could think of was a corridor in our college and te college's first aid room.

Due to this, our thriller piece has not been up to the standard it would have been had we been able to film in Adenbrookes. Setting all else aside, with the facilities and location on offer in such a short space of time, we made the best use of what we had to work with and not all hope is lost. We had the difficult challenge of trying to get an ordinary college corridor with students in all the classrooms along the corridor to look like a psychiatric ward full of the mentally unstable.

The pictures below are what we had to work with and try to make look like a hospital ward.




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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Teacher Feedback

In terms of communicating your mise en scene your blog is excellent. The images you use give a strong impression of the visual style you are trying to create.
What you must also have is your animatic and an introduction to your animatic. Also put in the feedback you received on your animatic.
Also blog the problems you faced with your location and how you got around it.

Also all group members need to include an analysis of a real thriller and a student thriller.

Keep up the good work.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Ideas for Mise-En-Scene

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rx2_IUZYOds

This extract from The terminator Two is perfect to gather ideas for our mise-en-scene. As both are set in a psychiatric institute, both will have similar aspects. The white costume for Sarah sparked ideas for the colourless outfit in our opening sequence, corridors seen is this extract are similar to those in Cambridge's Addenbrookes Hospital. A corridor equivalent to this would definitely portray an empty yet ongoing atmosphere, ultimately making the opening more ghastly. The alarm, sounding at 4:26 is ideal to use in our opening when the patient cannot be found, having the alarm at different volumes throughout the extract helps emphasise the different locations of each character. We could change the tone of the siren to match each characters interpretation of the situation (or altering the quality of the sound when the CCTV are monitoring the rooms as they have pour quality microphones attached).


For our alarm we searched the college for alarms that could qualify as a hospital alarm in a psychiatric ward. These are our findings;


We felt that none of these match our ideas of a siren at a pysciatric ward.


This image influenced the costume for our 'Doctor'




> White lab coat

> Clipboard

> Glasses

> Black Trousers

> Keys / Identification Badge

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Thriller Opening

Our Thriller Opening

For our thriller opening I would like to make what’s happening really subtle and only set the tone and atmosphere and also suggest the characters flaw – if necessary. From the thriller openings I have seen, the more successful ones had a filter making it darker, black and white, sepia etc. There is no need for much action in the opening sequence and should be quite short. The music should reflect the mood that’s trying to be portrayed, not comical or lively and made in garage band so there are no lyrics because lyrics can sometimes be taken quite seriously by viewers. If there is a criminal/killer, they should definatley not be shown because that always lets an opening down because you want to leave the viewer on the edge of their seat, asking questions (rhetorically). It shouldn’t be scary, but tense. Varied camera shots – establishing, close ups, match on action to make it interesting, some steady camera work and some unsteady.

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The Generic Conventions of a Real life Thriller

The Generic Conventions of a Real life Thriller

Music to reflect the characters state of mind
Don’t show the bad person
Enigmas
Paranoia
A character with a psychological flaw
Twists
Flashbacks
Subtle horror
What could happen – Not what does
Cliff-hanger
Women – vulnerable

In the opening:
Characters location
Visual style
The characters flaw

Posted by Emily Tofts

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Generic Conventions in an Opening Sequence

Memento Opening Scene


This opening sequence has the generic conventions of a thriller. It is given a thriller genre firstly because of the non-linear narrative; the sequence is being shown in reverse. This is evident as the instant photograph loses detail. It also creates tension and suspicion as we start to question what this photograph means and who is in it or who took it. By watching the trailer we see that this film is driven by a weakness in the centre character; short term memory loss. This highlights his vulnerability and suspense. There is vast potentiality in this opening scene, the questions it raises gives it hundreds of directions to take the narrative. Within the first 20 seconds it is apparent that there is an ongoing topic of crime and the repetitive audio gives an uncertain state of mind to the viewer. The main characters inability to prevent events gives an unsettled and tense plot.

By George Baglin

Face Off Opening Sequence


The opening sequence to the film "Face Off", has all the generic conventions of a thriller. Suspence and tension are built between the characters from the beginning, through the use of a Father and Son, who are shown spending, and enjoying time with eachother, creating a sence of equilibrium and makes causes the view/ers to want more of an insight into what is going to happen between them, creating an unsetteling mood with the viewer. The use of non-diegetic sounds, like music, are used constantly to create unease and unceartianty for the viewer, for example; when the seqeunce lost pace, and fell into slowmotion, the music along with it slowed pace, but when the camera focused on the man with the gun, the pace quickly thickened. Camera angles are cleverly used here to cause the audiences curiosity into the unknown and from the very beginning of the film, the audience want to learn more about the hidden character. All tools and techniques needed to make a good thriller are covered in the opening sequence of "Face Off", all serving there purpose, to make a more thrilling opening sequence and gives the story a more unsettling and tense story line.

By Shaun Kaba

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Welcome

S2-56 : THRILLER PROJECT 2008/9