Tuesday, 1 February 2011

watching documentary

In class we watched a short documentary on film openings, and the way they are effective. There are a range of different film openings such as; opening with details of all the people involved in the production, opening with the ending of the movie and showing flashbacks of past occurence or even opening with just the movie and leaving the titles to the end. There are also a range of paces that film openings can use, such as fast up beat openings with music/theme tunes or with a loud bang of action, by avoiding all these specific elements films can start on a slow pace, which can also be quite effective as simmilar to having an loud visual opening.

Whilst watching the short half an hour or so documentary we were all asked  individually to answer certain questions shown below.

1)What does Thomas Sutcliffe mean when he says "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 irresistable.
What Sutcliffe means is that films need to engage there audience as soon as possible, draw the attention of the audience into the film so that they want to watch & know what happens next. Statistics show that a film opening worked best when it hit you in under five minutes. Films with such openings are Touch of evil, casino and many more.

Above is a the opening shot of Touch Of Evil and Casino

2) According to Director Jean Jaques Beineix 'what are the risks of instant arousal'?
Beineix implied that the risk of instant arousal is that films have to live up to the opening, which is quite easy to fade out. When starting the film with an action packed or dramatic opening the audience will have the intention/expectation of something more dramatic, which can usually be hard to deliver. 

3) Explain why a "good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesnt know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesnt know too little"?A good beginning must be aware of how much information it gives away of the film as it could possibly reveal the actual concept of the movie, Many people will usually be able to make a gesture or an judgement of what a movie may be about from the beginning of a movie which can possibly tend to bore people as it could be the same story line (etc) as a previously seen movie. However if theres too little information of what a movie is about in the beginning it can also have an affect of boredom, mainly being the cause of confusion.

4) What does critic Stanley Kauffmann describe as the classic opening?
Kauffmann describes a classic opening being one that starts with an establishing shot of New york city,  then up a skyscraper pass an receptionist and finally taking us into a close up of a character taking the audience into the everyday life of an specific character.
5) Why is Kyle Copper's title sequence to the film seven so effective?
Copper's 1995 thriller film Seven sequence was so effective because it tuned the audience to the right pitch of the movie and set the public up for the movie ahead so that they knew what kind of a film they were viewing. In other words it foreshadows later events. Below is the actual title sequence of seven

6) What did Orson Welles want to achieve with his opening to the film A Touch Of Evil, and what did Universal studios do to it?
Welles wanted to ignore the whole classic opening and begin the film from a point where he could plunge the audience in to the movie without using titles/credits. He chose to do this by filming the opening in one take. However Universal studios decided they werent going to let this happen as they wanted their name to be noticed and so went on to applying titles and sound to the original opening. 
Below is the original opening of Touch Of Evil without Titles and sound exactly how Welles intended.

7) What is meant by "a favourite trick of Film Noir"?What is the trick?
The trick of Film Noir is the ending of the film appearing in the beginning. In other words the film starts with the ending of the film and refers back to the past/ goes back in time ( beginning). 

How does the opening to the film 'The Shining' create suspense?
The opening of The Shining, creates suspense with the use of visualy showing the camera following from a high end like an predator. In The Shinning we see a car presumingly going to a very bad/dangerous place, which is able to be gestured from the use of the setting of the mountains in the far end corner, with the visual opening scene a very frantic music is accompanied which in all adds to the suspense.
Below is the opening of The Shinning;

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