Conventions of a Film Opening Sequence By Angharad Wilkins
The purpose of a film opening is to entice the audience into carrying on watching a film. A film opening should also establish characters and genre. Directors can do this in many ways.
1) FlashbackA scene that the narrative back in time usually to a key event for a couple of minutes or the whole movie.
2) Planning of landscape/establishing shot. This is used to set the scene andinform the audience where the film is taking place.
3) Narrations Easy and effective way of getting the audience involved straight away. Technique used to give background information on what has been happening or who thecharacters are, giving the audience an insight so the rest of the film make sense.
4) Action scene A fast paced opening to a filmattracts the audience straight awayand will make them want to carry on watching. As well it automatically shows the genre of the film if included in the opening.
5) Chase scene Similar to the action scene, alsocatches the audiences attention. It involves them as they will want tosee what happens after the chase.
6) Production LogosAt the start of most films they will always show the production ordistribution logos. If the film has a high budget the logo will be adapted to reflect the genre and story line of the film.
7) Title sequenceAll films have title scenes too, these show the cast and production teamfor the films. The titles can be a way of building up suspense and can show the genre of the film.
8) Animation To portray the beginning of the film in a creative way and visibly showthe difference between the film itself and the opening sequence. e.g. Juno
9) Compilation of photographsFor example Blue Valentine which is a romantic film, shows photographs to portray to the audience the theme and the relationship between the couple.
10) Narrative content This includes the context (Where/when/who). As well thepace of the narrative increases as level of engagement increases
12) SoundtrackThis is the use of tone, volume, and tempo, which will generically start quiet and slow-paced.
Some directors prefer to have an unconventional opening to portray a sense of mystery or giving the film an artistic edge.E.g. Lack of credits, Lack of establishing shot, Main characters are not introduced.
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