Analysis of a professional film opening BY SAM WALTON
<ul><li>Film : Tropic Thunder </li></ul><ul><li>Year of release : 19 th September 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Director : Ben Stiller </li></ul><ul><li>Genre : Action/comedy/adventure/war </li></ul><ul><li>Plot : A film crew in South East Asia are filming a Vietnam war movie. On the day of shooting, they are behind schedule and low on budget. In addition while filming, the director disappears, the actors are attacked by a gang of poppy growing local drug dealers, except the cast and crew don't realise these aren't actors who are following them. In the end one of the actors gets kidnapped, and its up to the rest of the unit to save him. </li></ul>Tropic Thunder
<ul><li>What happens : In the opening 2-5minutes of the film, we see the opening of the film that these actors are starring in. We observe the use of special effects with explosions, gun fire and helicopters crashing around the war heroes. After, we see the film set evolve looking at all the different sections in the film industry. The actors do not get along with the amateur director, Damien Cockburn. The filming does not go to plan and they might have to shut down in order to impress the boss, played by Tom Cruise. The main location in the opening is a set in Vietnam, South East Asia. It sets the scene for the main action. </li></ul>Opening Sequence
Characters Kirk Lazarus (Played by Robert Downey Jnr) is a successful Australian actor who is known for being a heavily method actor. He plays an African American war veteran, and Kirk gets surgery to change his face to look like Sergeant Lasard. Kirk never breaks character until a DVD commentary. Jeff Portnoy (Played by Jack Black) is a actor who stars in comedies about farts called "The Fatties." Also he has a massive heroin addiction which he is trying to overcome. Kevin Sandusky (Played by Jay Baruchel) An intelligent amateur actor, who has very little experience in the film industry. Alpa Chino (Played by Brandon T Jackson) A gangster advertising legend who promotes a drink called Booty Sweat. Tugg Speedman (Played by Ben Stiller) An actor who stars in action movies such as the six films of "Scorcher." Takes his acting seriously. Cody (Played by Danny McBride) He is the Special effects guy for the film and he is a pyromaniac.
<ul><li>The first opening 2-5minutes is set in the jungles in Vietnam. This is clear to the reader because a caption appears with the name of the location. They picked Vietnam because the war in the 70’s was set in Vietnam. The director wanted it to be realistic as possible. </li></ul>Locations
<ul><li>The Camerawork and Effects are very over the top. At the start the audience will see a tracking shot of three helicopters flying through Vietnam. The camera is on another helicopter which is out of view. The effects kick in when the chorus of the music starts. Explosions are used to make it a realistic war movie. We see reactions shots by several characters and close ups of them to show that they are the main characters in the film. In my opinion the action runs smoothly with smooth tracking shots, establishing shots, and master shots. For example the effect that the establishing shots have on a film is that they set the scene for the action. We will incorporate music and tracking shots into our opening. </li></ul>Camerawork
<ul><li>Sound is used appropriately in this film. At the start, the echo of a helicopter is played in slow motion then builds into the main section. When that stops, modern war music is played to represent the genre. The ideas in this film, we could transfer into our opening sequence, such as the close ups and description of the characters which is used in quite a lot of comedies. For our opening sequence we will use voice over's for our piece of action if the sound is blurry or hard to hear. </li></ul>Sound