Thursday, 27 January 2011

'Watching' Documentary

When watching a movie, the beginning needs to be interesting to make the viewers carry on watching. Thomas Sutcliffe said "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible." By saying this Tomas Sutcliffe meant that the beginning must grab the audiences attention. By saying instant arousal he means starting the movie with something big.

On the other hand Director Jean Jacques Beineix believes there are risks to an 'instant arousal'. He believes that the viewers should accept that they have to wait for satisfaction. If you start strong, what would you do next. He believes that if the beginning is interesting and then you start to introduce the film, your viewers will be disinterested and will not enjoy the movie. The beginning to a movie should never have to much information."A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure it doesn't know too little." As Alfred Hitchcock once said the viewers need to know more than the character. This is so that they are interested in watching the rest of the movie.

Critic Stanley Kauffm described the classic opening as an opening that starts with an establishing shot. Such as in the movie Panic Room, it starts by showing us New York City, then buildings, people and then Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart; the main characters. The title sequence for the film 'Seven', is very effective due to the unsettling music and the weird images shown such as the cutting of the hands. The titles are small, handwritten and it looks like the film is broken.  Orson Welles wanted to start the film, 'A Touch of Evil' by jumping straight into the film and not giving the audience a chance to prepare themselves. He did not want any titles at the beginning. Unfortunately Universal Studios did not agree. They were too cautious and decided to add titles to the opening and 'blunted' Orson Welles originality.

Many directors create a brilliant opening by using the trick of Film Noir. This is when you start the movie with the ending. For example 'Memento, Pulp Fiction and Casino'. Casino starts with Robert De Niro walking towards his car. When he gets in the car blows up. This is a great opening and pulls the audience straight into the film and leaves them with questions to be answered. This makes them want to watch the rest of the film.  Another film with a great opening is 'The Shining'. There is a lot of suspense in the beginning of 'The Shining' due to the camera work and the mise en scene. We see the camera following the car like a predator. This makes us know the car is heading in a bad direction. This leaves the audience wanting to know where the car is heading to.

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