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Textual analysis of back to the future

Textual analysis of the Back To The Future title sequence describing the shots used, typography, effectiveness and the order of the titles.

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Textual analysis of back to the future

  1. 1. Textual Analysis www.artofthetitle.com – Back To The Future
  2. 2. Shot used and impact on the viewer The Title sequence uses an eye line-match, tracking shot throughout most of it showing every detail in the room, apart from right at the end when it zooms out into a long- shot showing the mans (Marty’s) whole body and the room around him, dominated by a massive speaker. This will give the viewers an idea on the type of character Marty is. A series of close up and extreme close-up shots are used showing match-on- action. This will intrigue the viewer for it gives little snippets of film building up to the main shot of him strumming the guitar.
  3. 3. Typography (font style, placement, size and movement of the titles) The first titles before it changes onto going on top of the picture (as seen below) are very ordinary plain titles. They have used still titles placed in the middle of the screen. Although the first two titles are more plain it shows the viewers that they are the most important for they come before anything, even the title of the film. The main title of the film uses a entrance transition, it swipes in from the left and from the right. They use a logo for the film, which shows familiarity and a personal touch showing it is unique. The title is made relevant to the movie for example the arrow shows going backwards and the canted angle shows movement reflecting the car, also the colours used are similar to the colour of fire which represents when the car leaves fire on the road when it travels into the future. Through out the rest of the title sequence the same font is used in the same placement, the middle of the screen, but the scene is moving on behind it. This is effective because the title moves with the camera while it tracks around the room so you can’t miss it. However viewers may focus more on what is going on behind the titles instead of reading them. The font is quite contemporary which gives the film a modern feel.
  4. 4. Why is it an effective opening? This title sequence is effective because it gets viewers into the film straight away and gives hints of what type of character Marty is based on the state of his home and the implied theft (as seen in the images). The opening also shows lots of different clocks around the room showing the presents of time linking to the film. It sets the scene for a movie based on time.
  5. 5. Order of the titles The first title we see is the name of the director. This shows that he is very important, Steven Spielberg is one of the biggest directors in film so I will tell the viewers that the film is going to be well done and a high class production. This title is shown before the main title of the film which shows its importance. The title of the film is actually the third to appear, after the director and the production company. This shows that the film title isn’t actually the main one. This title however is the last one on a black screen, this is like a introduction that helps the titles to flow nicely into the movie. The titles then move on top of the actual film footage starting with the main actors and actresses. They put the actor’s name instead of the character’s in the beginning because we don’t yet know who the characters are. It also saves the mystery till the end of the film when the list of characters along with the actor’s names appear.

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