Case Study - I Am Legend
Below I have stated what my thoughts and opinions of the film were through
looking at the cover of the film.
By printing ‘Will Smith’
The destroyed city scape above the title and the
highlights the idea of use of a large font it
disaster within the film. It emphasizes the
also suggests the idea of importance of the
isolation which is a typical character.
theme within thriller films.
It encourages the audience
to want to watch the film as
it arises questions of ‘what The use of the colour white
has destroyed the city?’ By makes the writing stand out
revealing some information from the clouded
about the film but not all it background. The white
makes the audience connotation could be of hope
curious and therefore will due to the colour and
result in more people particularly due to it being
viewing the film. against a dark and unhopeful
background. The light
pictured around the character
could support the idea of
hope further. It could be said
By having Will Smith that the dark sky is the past
walking with a dog rather which seems unhopeful and
than a human it highlights the light surrounding the
further his isolation. It also character is hope, giving an
highlights further how he idea that the character is the
seems to be the only cure to this disaster.
survivor in this city.
The edge of the picture is dark with By having Will Smith pictured on the front of the cover
Will Smith walking toward the it highlights his importance further. By having him
darkness it could be said the cover is pictured as the only visible human it gives the idea of
foreshadowing events which will isolation. This could lead to the assumption of him
happen in the film, due to it being being the only human alive. The serious expression
dark it can be assumed that these are which the character holds gives the idea that he is
going to be dangerous and bad. focused and on a mission.
I Am Legend was originally a novel written in 1954 by Richard Matheson. It was
the third adaptation of the novel following 1964’s The Last Man On Earth and
1971’s The Omega Man. I Am Legend was developed into a science
fiction/horror thriller film and was directed by Francis Lawrence. By using these
genres it instantly creates an appearance of aliens or mutated forms of
creatures to the audience, due to horror genre it creates the idea that there may
be fast pace and frightening scenes. In this particular film they use shadows and
darkness, typical thriller iconography to create the horror genre. The film was
released on the 26th of December 2007 and was a huge success within the box
office. IMDB rate the film 7.1 out of 10 it is of a high quality and worth watching.
The storyline is that a virus created to cure cancer has killed 90% of humanity.
Will Smith who plays Robert Neville from the novel; is a man who is immune to
the virus and in the audience’s eyes the last known survivor in New York and it
could be considered the world. The virus essentially creates aggressive zombies
of the human form which highly habit the city of New York. While Will Smith
works throughout the film to try and find a cure for the virus he is faced with
many action scenes of him trying to survive against these mutated human forms
which are constantly watching him.
I believe the film has no particular audience in the sense of male and female
however, I believe that mainly the sci-fi and to a degree horror genre have to
appeal to the viewer for I Am Legend to appeal to them. This is mainly due to the
storyline being of mutated human forms and for this to appeal I believe you
would have to be interested in this genre already. I think this could explain why
the movie has not been rated a 9 or 10 and how sites such as IMDB contain
highly mixed reviews about the film.
With the new technology constantly improving the advertising of films has
increased. With good advertising it increases the general public awareness of
the film and therefore can lead to more viewings of the films happening. The
internet is a major source of advertising due to information such as reviews,
director and cast of the film and trailers being easily available to find. Yet the
internet is not the only way of advertising other devices such as trailers on
television, posters featuring in public places such as bus shelters and train
stations and the cinema.
For this section I have written up my
notes which I made in watching the first
6 minutes on the opening scene.
Before the scene sequence is in view a
conversation sound begins. By doing
this before a sequence is in view the
audience focus is on the sound. In the
speech the location is revealed through the repetition of New York, by repeating
this is makes it clearer to the audience.
The sequence begins with a television featuring the news the dark background
contrasts with the colour television and therefore enhances the viewers focus on
the television. Through the interview on the news the outline of the story is
revealed. It clearly states how they have found a cure for cancer, this information
is enhanced further by the bulletins quoting “viral cure for cancer”. This is
followed by a flash of a black screen with a sudden dramatic Non-Diegetic
The following scene features the city landscape stating “3 years later”. Through
the camera work of long shots and high angle shots it is clear to the audience
how isolated the setting is. Also in some shots the camera gives the idea that
the character is being watched, this creates suspense and mystery within the
film. Throughout these shots eerie music is played this again is Non-Diegetic
sound. Its affect on the audience is that is makes them feel uncomfortable and
suspicious of the surroundings. It also consists of Diegetic sound of birds in the
city. The high angle shot is also used to highlight movement within the city. This
is highlighted further as the car moving is bright red and therefore contrasts and
stands out from the grey and dull colours of a city scape.
I think the deer running across the road are used as scare tactics as they shock
the audience and then nothing happens. This gives a false sense of comfort as it
is possible that the next event that follows something will happen.
The character himself only has a small amount of dialogue by doing this it does
not reveal much about the character and creates suspense. By him carrying a
gun it highlights the unsafe atmosphere within the city, by doing this it creates
suspension again within the audience. The use of a gun echo’s death as the
theme within the film this is a typical narrative within a thriller film. The last
scene he is trying to kill a deer, this again uses the theme of death. It also
creates questions within the audience in to why he is killing this deer.
Overall in looking at the opening to I Am Legend it has enhanced my knowledge
and ideas to producing my own opening to a thriller movie. It has shown me how
a theme has to be within a thriller and ‘clues’ or ‘hints’ are used to highlight this
to the audience. In this particular film death is the film and guns, darkness and
isolation are used to highlight this to the audience. Also by looking at this thriller
it has shown me how in an opening scene little is revealed about the character
or characters this keeps the audience engaged and also continuing to want to
watch the film. Another technique used within this thriller is suspense, I
personally think this is a highly important factor to use within an thriller opening,
as it keeps the audience engaged within the film yet makes them sometimes
feel uncomfortable and scared in watching it.