Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The documentary 'WATCHING' on Film Openings

Film Openings

Thomas Sutcliffe 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 irresistible."
What he means by this is that when making a film, directors need to think about how they will keep the  audience interested throughout the film. It must a lot of different plots, twists and unexpected events. the directer has to keep the audience's anxiety high so that they feel like they need to watch the whole film. Thomas Sutcliffe says that the best way is to use 'instand arousal'. This is when the audience get a shock/ or when a significant piece of information is revealed, or if there is something out of the ordinary e.g. a big explosion or fire at the beginning of the film, rather than the film building suspense throughout the film, then revealing the shock later in the film, Instant arousal makes the audience engaged from the moment the action starts. If the film started with a explosion or fire this is how i would react:  hehehe :D

What are the risks of instant arousal??

According to director Jean Jacques Beineix the risks of instant arousal is that the directer has given most of the exciting bit of the film at the begging and have nothing that will compare to it, therefore the audience will not want to watch the rest of they film. They will get bored and switch off... looking like this:

Jean Jacques Beineix's idea implies that we must make sure not to give too little information in the beginning, and not too much. If the audience knows too much then there is no suspension for the rest of the film which means they will not want to watch the film. If there is too little and they don't know what's going on, then they will lose interest and will not want to watch the film. That's why its important that "a good beginning must make the audience feel that they don't know enough yet, and at the same time make sure that they don't know too little."
                            <-- Jean Jacques Beineix

A Classic Opening :

Stanly Kaufman describes the classic opening to be some sort of establishing shot of the surroundings e.g. the city, the countryside etc. This the leads to the camera going slowly to the main characters/objects/place. he says that it will typically show landscape, then it will show the building it takes place in and then the window in the building, which leads to the action within the room;

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I think that this style works because it's good for the audience to know where scene is happening and what environment its going to be in. i think the type of place or environment tells us a lot about how/ what the film is roughly about. However this opening is  not the right type of opening for me, I'd rather they cut to the chase and give me something that will appeal to me. An example of a classic opening would be the opening to the film 'The Shining'...

'The shining' is a very successful movie because it creates lots of suspense. The idea in the opening to use the helicopter is great because it creates the idea that something is following the small car from behind, it tells us that the car is heading ina bad direction, they also try to create this by the music. The music is very slow and the trumpet is played slowly in a low note, which leads to the idea that something bad is going to happen. in the documentary there was a quote that really stuck with me: "The camera is like the predator". I think that this is the perfect way to describe the how the opening was supposed to make you feel or think.


Kyle coopers title sequence of 'se7en' is so effective because of the way the letters move on the screen like they are trapped and are trying to escape, i think that because they used lots of close up it really made the film mysterious, leaving the audience wanting more, wanting to find out what happens next.  i think that the music is amazing because it really gives you the creeps, also it really co-operates amazingly with the opening. From the opening we might also guess that the character cutting faces from newspapers, crossing eyes and sawing the paper might be crazy, they might have some kind of mental disorder, maybe they are some kind of crazy serial killer.............

'A Touch of Evil'
Orson Welles with his opening to the film 'A Touch of Evil',wanted to achieve suspense by puting in an explosion that the ausinece were not expecting, he was planning to do this by having people acting as they would on a normal day, and the suddenly have a car explode. However universal studios put title credits over the the opening which ruined the effect Welles wanted to have on the audience. He faught his case with the production company but in the end they won. universal studios only did this because they wanted to be known and recognised.

This is the Opening to 'Touch of Evil':

'A Favourite Trick of Nior'

'Film Noir'/The Trick of Film Noir means when the opening of the film starts with the ending. the rest of the film shows the sequence to how they ended up in that position at the beginning. i think that this is effective because it will leave the audience asking 'why did it happen?' 'who caused this to happen?', this will make them in curious and therefore lead them to watch the rest of the film to find out answers to their questions... It is very effective, however keeping the suspense is very difficult as the action happened at the beginning and we know already know the ending. this is the opening to casino, this is a really good example of Film Noir;

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