Understanding Micro Elements in film openings By Travis Quailey
CinematographyWe can see in the opening shot how they used a different camera techniques e.g pan shotand close up shot) in the opening sequence, because it starts with a tilt on the maincharacter daughter playing and some shots close up shots on the father and herdaughter, which suggest the close relationship between them.A beautiful tracking shot then when the father go to open the door and the frame movesfrom side to side a lot, this shows that something is wrong and maybe something is about tohappen. The music also here playing a big role when it change to a slow and calm whichmake the scene more scary and create the suspense of the film.In the shot of the father attacked and fall on the floor they use a tilt shot to suggest thefather is impotent and helpless. Then fast moving shots for the scene where the robber isbeating his wife and stealing the objects in the house, they are all fast shots and they haveused action and reaction from the father when they attacked his wife.There is few close ups of the father struggling on the floor which suggest his impotent andhelpless. In the end of the scene, the thieves go out with the daughter then they show fatherin a close up of his eyes, his eyes close that suggest that he has given up.Lighting also plays a major role with the viewers feeling and perceptions of the scene andcharacters. The entire scene is in soft low light, light not directly from the source, to providethe impression of good night for the family
DiegeticDiegetic sound in the opening scene of the film lawabiding citizen happens when you hear the beadswhich the father and daughter are making, themother who is clearly cooking a meal for her familyand as the door rings you can hear an aggressive bangnoise which turns out to be a pair of burglars.
PerformanceFacial Expression – Shows emotion which could make theaudience feel bad the charactersBody Language – This gives everyone an idea of what thecharacters feelings are in the film and what could happennext in the filmAction(fights and abuse) – Makes the film much moreexciting and gets you involved in the filmSound effects (items braking and people being attacked) –Exaggerates the stunts and action which makes it soundmore realistic
Mise en scene (Setting, costume, figure expression, props)In this shot the audience gets a glimpse of scene with one of the main characters of thefilm and as it is a calm scene where he is sitting down next to his daughter. The audiencecan learn more about the story and what could happen next. As it is a slow start to thebeginning of the story its bringing tension to the audience by making them want to knowmore about the characters. Costume is like a family man kind of look which is casual andnothing special.
Extreme close upExtreme close up is basically like a close up but even closer, this isa scene where the wife is being raped in a scene and as it is a 15 itdoesn’t show the full extent of what is going on in the film butshows her facial expressions which makes you understand thatthe woman is in serious pain. This emphasis’s the scene a wholelot more than a close up this is why it is called an extreme closeup.
Close upA close up shot is an effective shot in a movie which is usedby a lot of different genres such as action, horror and sci-fifor the audience to get involved in the film more by showingthe characters feelings by his facial expressions which couldshow what might happen next in the film.
Medium ShotIt shows medium shot of one of the robbers in the film withhis facial expressions and body language showing he isclearly upset about the situation and what is happening tothe main characters family which is an effective shot andtypical convention of a thriller.
PanThis a motion video shot where a woman in the movie isthrown across the room to stop her from assisting herhusband during the robbery. This shot is very effectivetowards moving action such as hand-to-hand combat.