Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Film Openings

There are four different type of openings for films. They are discrete openings, narrative openings, title over a blank screen and stylized editing.

Discrete openings are openings that show you the titles and clips that probably have nothing to do with the next scene but it gives the audience a hint of what the movie will be about. For example 'Arlington Road' shows images of white picket fences, dogs and children. We get the image of a homely neighborhood, but using the colours black, white, yellow and red and the music, we get the complete opposite feeling. We then know something about the film but we still want to find out exactly what is going to happen.

Narrative openings is when the film starts with an actual scene and the titles appear during the scene. The audience usually meet the main characters in this scene. For example 'Panic Room' starts with an establishing shot of the city, across the buildings are the titles in big 3D letters. We then have a zoom into the crowd and we are shown the main characters.

Titles over a blank screen is clearly what it says. This is used in the film 'Dead Calm'. This type of opening requires the music to do all the work. In 'Dead Calm' the music causes tension and gives us the feeling of doom. The music also pulls you into the movie. With this opening you are able to do something interesting with the font like 'Dead Calm' has titles moving towards the screen.

The last and newest way to open a film is through stylised editing. This is when the editing is the main feature. In 'Taking of Pelham 123' the screen starts of small but then expands. It also starts with an establishing shot which leads into different shots and very fast show of the streets. It slows down at certain points and on certain character letting us know they are either the main characters or who we have to look out for in the opening scene. It then jumps back and forth from the offices and the train station. The titles are shown very discretely so that we don't get distracted from the actual film.

Out of these openings I really enjoyed 'Arlington Road' but I think it will be very hard to do an opening like this but i wouldn't mind trying.

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