Understanding micro elements in film openings

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  • 1. Scream Opening Scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detai lpage&v=G3lSvJ5RXKA
  • 2. Extreme Close Up Extreme close ups are used in film openings to make the audience feel as if they are getting closer to the character, and also to emphasise things. This is a screen shot of when one of the characters runs to lock the door, in fear. Having an extreme close up of her locking the door shows the audience how scared she really is.
  • 3. Close Up Close ups are used much like extreme close ups, except they are not used as much for emphasising something in the scene, more used for showing the audience that it is important. This is a screen shot of the phone ringing in the film, having a close up of this shows the audience that someone is ringing, but also if they hadn’t used a close up they wouldn’t have thought the phone ringing was very important, using a close up shows the audience that the phone ringing is important to the story, and whoever is ringing is also important.
  • 4. Medium Shot Medium shots are used in films to show the character and the setting around them. This is a screen shot of a medium shot used in the film, she is making popcorn as she talks to the person calling. This makes the audience feel as if they are closer to the character but also that they can see what she is doing and the setting around her.
  • 5. Long Shot Long shots are used to show a character/important element in the film, and the setting around it. In this screen shot it shows the setting of the house but also the character as she stares at the door, which isn’t in the scene. This is used to show the whole of her body, and to emphasise her fear through her body language, also to show the setting around her that she is the only one in the house.
  • 6. Extreme Long Shot Extreme long shots are used to establish a scene. This is a screen shot of the house in which the opening takes place. They are effective because it makes the audience straight away know where the film is taking place, and understanding whatever is about to happen.
  • 7. Track A tracking shot is used to follow the character or an element in the film. This is a screen shot of a tracking shot used in the film, as it follows her through her house. This is effective because it makes the audience feel as if they are in the movie with the character, as the camera goes wherever she goes.
  • 8. Pan A panning shot shows the audience everything around the camera as it moves, for example the screen shot is when the girl in the film looks at her garden through the window, and it uses a panning shot to show the audience that she is closely examining every part of her garden, this makes the audience feel as if they are as well.
  • 9. Tilt A tilt shot is good because it can show an insignificant part of the film, and tilt to a more significant part. Like in this screen shot for example, it begins by showing the tree in the front garden which isn’t important to the story, but then the camera tilts to show the house in which the opening of the film takes place.
  • 10. Zoom Zooms are used in films to get closer to an element of a film, in some cases the character. In this film opening the camera zooms into the girl’s face as she is on the phone, she at first isn’t afraid of the person she is talking to, but once he says something, she starts to get scared. The zoom is good because it shows at first how she isn’t scared, and as it zooms in it emphasises that she is becoming more and more scared, before it becomes a close up and you can see her emotion clearly.
  • 11. Cut The scenes cuts are good because they are quick and allow a certain scene to finish without anything unexplained. For example when the girl hangs up the phone for the second time, it immediately cuts to the outside of the house to show the audience where the phone scene, and the rest of the opening is taking place.
  • 12. Pace The pace of a scene is good because in certain scenes it will be fast and have loud music, but other scenes are slow and have little music at all and this is effective because it shows the audience whether it is going to be a scary scene or not. This is a screen shot of a fast paced scene, she is running through the house as there is loud and tense music playing. This shows the audience that it is going to be a scary scene.
  • 13. Performance Performance is everything about the character, how they act, move, speak and their emotions. In this opening the girl’s emotions begin as being quite relaxed, and she acts relaxed as well. She speaks with a calm voice on the phone the first time. She then becomes more alert as she is spoken to more, her mannerisms become quite stressed. Then she becomes upset and scared, as she speaks on the phone for longer. The performance that the actor/actress gives can tell the audience a lot about the character, and through the actress's emotions and mannerisms the audience are able to tell that her character is a normal teenage girl, because her performance shows her as this.
  • 14. Diegetic Diegetic sound is sound that the characters can hear along with the audience. It is used in this opening clip a lot, mainly the sound of the phone ringing. When the phone rings constantly, the audience knows that this is going to be the same person each time. And at the beginning of the clip, the phone ringing becomes the theme of the film, and the audience establish it as that. Other sounds include sound of the popcorn as the girl makes it, the sound of the doorbell ringing. Diegetic sound is effective because it makes the film seem more real.
  • 15. Non Diegetic Non diegetic sound is the sound that the characters cannot hear, but the audience can. This is mainly the music, but can include other things as well, such as commentary or a narrator. The non diegetic sound involved in this opening is just music. There is little music at the beginning as the girl answers the phone the first few times, but as the opening goes on the music becomes tense as she continues to answer the phone. Then finally the music becomes loud and scary. It is effective because mood music can really make the audience feel different emotions, in this opening it is scary music.
  • 16. Mise En Scene Mise en scene is everything that is seen in the shot. Including characters, lighting, props, location, costume, setting etc. I have chosen this screen shot from the opening as it includes most of those things. It includes the costume that the girl is wearing, lighting and the location, props around the room such as the sofa and the television, and the phone. Mise en scene usually includes all of those things because it is effective to the audience, it makes the scene seem more real.
  • 17. Conclusion This analysis will contribute to our own production because it shows the majority of the things that a film opening needs to include. I have written about all of the shots that should be used, as it is good to have different shots used, and I have written about things that need to be in the shot such as diegetic and non diegetic sounds, and mise en scene, having written about them I now have an understanding of the things that could be included in a film opening. We are trying to make our own productions look as good and as real as possible, so evaluating another film opening is good because it explains really all of the different things that a film opening needs, and we will be able to try and use all of them.