Understanding Micro Elements in Film Openings Gianluca Kulczycki
DécorDuring the shot there is various objects like lamp shadesand childs dolls that are scattered around the room; thiscould emphasize that the couple have just moved in totheir new house. This could also say that these are futureprops to be used later in the film.
PropsIn this scene we can see a paintbrush being used by oneof the characters painting a child’s room, this shows thatshe is just an ordinary woman and therefore making itbelievable and their paranormal experience unexpected.The blue paint may suggest that she is expecting a babyboy quite soon.
CostumeThe character is dressed normally suggesting that she is not of thewealthy background. She is not formally dressed suggesting that she isa stay-at-home wife and looking after her child. Her posture suggeststhat she is not impressed about something maybe the fact she has hada disturbance, anyone could relate to this because she is an ordinarywoman who is stressed out and therefore making it appealing to theaudience and much more frightening.
Figure expressionThe women featured In this film, her body language is showingthat she is happy and cheerful and that she is overjoyed withconceiving a baby boy. This shows that the paranormal eventsare very much not expected by the family. It almost gives asense of security to the viewer showing that this could have ahappy outcome.
SettingThe picture above shows the first setting in “Paranormal Activity 3”, it isa close up of a nursery located in Carlsbad, CA. This screen shot showsthat the nursery is being newly assembled I can infer this by the plasticsheets covering the cot and the blue masking tape covering the skirtingboards suggesting that it is also being painted.
Close up:The close up of the character shows their facial expressionsand emotions in detail. Characters are often given a close upswhen they are introduced as a way of indicating theirimportance. In this particular case the character is In disbelieffrom her husbands teasing.
Extreme close up:Extreme close up is a tight zoom that shows only the detailof the subject of importance is seen to the viewer. They canalso help add a dramatic effect to a shot. We can see thatthese video tapes play a relevant importance to the plot ofthe film.
Medium ShotMedium shot is used for a scene so you can see what kindof expressions they are using it is also used to show anexpression of body language. For instance both charactersseem to be happy about the unborn child Kristi (left) isdebating about what the child will be called.
Long ShotLong shot shows the whole character and its usually intended toplace it in some relation to its surroundings. This scene we can seehow cluttered the new house is, this shows that the family has justmoved in making it more believable and relatable to the viewer.
Extreme long shotAn extreme long shot is generally used to set a scene or establishing ashot. Theres not much detail in a long shot, it is just to give a generalimpression. I can use this in my film opening to give the viewer a senseof where the scene is starting.
TrackA tracking shot is where the camera is mounted onto acamera dolly this a wheeled platform that is pushed on rails.The camera can follow a subject within the frame such as amoving actor . Paranormal activity 3 did not contain thisbecause it is ‘handheld’ film to add more realism.
Panning ShotA panning shot is the camera turning horizontally on avertical axis. This could be used on rails to move the wholecamera platform. This was used in the film to keep theaudience in a tense state of the unknown as it went side toside keeping the viewer in suspense.
Tilt ShotTilt shot moves vertically instead of horizontally, Like the pan shot.Tilt shots are often used to show the vertical significance ofsomething. In this case the significance is Kristi painting her unbornsons room to show that she is just an ordinary women who is notexpecting any disturbance of any kind.
ZoomZoom shot is where the camera moves closer to, or away from thesubject using the lens rather than moving the whole camera in or out.This shows the importance of an object or character and gives theviewer a detailed account of the object/person being zoomed into.
CutCut in editing is when a single unbroken strip of film is taken out and shortened.This is used to cut out any unimportant clips or to shorten the running time. Someclips are cut out of this film because they had no real relevance to the plot andwould confuse the viewer hence making the film seem un realistic.
PacePace is the rhythm or tempo. It is the rate of activity ormovement. The characters and sequences in ParanormalActivity 3 has a slow tempo throughout the opening clip togive it characteristics of a real life situation. For example theslow moment of the camera in the opening 30 seconds.
High angel shotLooking down at the main characters as thenunload items to show that we are in a morepowerful position to their vulnerable position.
Low angle shotWe are slightly lower than eye level here showing we are noton her level. She is important and powerful at this scene. Thischaracter has to dominate the scene so far which backs up thispoint.
PerformancePerformance is the physical expression and the vocaldelivery that interact between each other. This can tell us alot about the character and their relationship with otherson screen.
DiegeticDiegetic sound reinforces the narrativeIt helps to set the scene and make thescene more believable. E.g. when yousee the camera moving around thebasement you expect to hearfootsteps of the camera man objectsfalling and making small noises. If thescene was silent it would not bebelievable.Diegetic sound is sound that is recorded at the time offilming the scene.Diegetic sound reinforces the narrativeMost cases sound is added post production but weknow the characters are supposed to hear this sound.For example when Katie and Kristi are shuffling theboxes in the hall way in Paranormal Activity 3 this is stillclassed as diegetic sound. However the sound hadnot originated from the original clip.
Non- DiegeticNon- diegetic sound is generated outside thenarrative of the text. Only the audience canhear the sound(s).This sound helps to create theatmosphere and mood of the film. Thebackground music can completelychange the mood of the film and showthe emotion that the director wants thecharacter to feel. Non- diegetic soundis not featured in Paranormal Activity 3because it is filmed in a “home video”camera shot to make it seem asthough it has just been found.