Film opening analysis-Studios- Universal PicturesProduction team- WT2, associated with Big TalkDirector- Edgar WrightProducer- Alison OwenWriters- Simon Pegg, Edgar WrightMain Actors- Simon Pegg(who plays Shaun), Nick Frost (whoplays Ed)Year that the film was made- 2004 (released 9th April 2004)
GENRE- The genre of this film is a “romantic comedy, with zombies” Thestereotypical conventions of this type of film are -CHARACTERS- pretty women/good looking/or even unappealing men – witha shown sense of humour within the gestus of the character, also zombieswhich show a comedic element when appearing on screen. We see threeunappealing men within the opening, with a sense of humour; however Petedoes not have the same humour as the other two characters, Shaun andEd. No main characters, which are female, are shown. In the titles, we seethat the film will include zombies because of the way certain people wereacting, by walking ‘gormlessly’ and hanging their head to one side . This isshown in the snapshot below.ICONOGRAPHY- We see flowers (to show romance) and weapons of somedescription (to show the theme of zombies). In the opening scene, we donot see this; therefore it leaves the audience thinking that it is only acomedy because there are no elements of iconography suggesting thesegenres.THEMES- Within the romantic side of the film, we would stereotypically see love, anargument between two main characters that are in a relationship and occasionallysex. Within a comedy, we would see gags, jokes and practical comedy. Within azombie themed film, we would see gore, blood, and the ‘living’ dead; however wecould also see the idea of zombies being portrayed in different ways, which is whatwe do see in the opening scene. We see people acting like zombies in theireveryday lives in the title sequences, giving away a theme to the film alike thesnapshot above.
When watching the opening scene, we first see the titles.We are told the productionteam and title of the film. No main characters are introduced within the titlesequence, but the following micro elements establish a theme of the genre, of thefilm. This is ‘zombies’. All of the following gives the audience a set idea of what toexpect in the film.MISE-EN-SCENE-Clothes- work uniform, everyday clothes like tracksuits, jeans, t-shirts.Actors- No main characters established, however some characters act like zombiesto show one of the themes/genres by walking, swinging their arms and hanging theirhead, showing no emotion, and not talking.Makeup- No makeup/ natural appearance, this is because the titles is showingpeople in a day to day life, working.Props- Trollies, while someone is at work, mobile phones, which is an everyday itemthat is used.Setting- Shops, on the streets in a town. Once again, this shows an everyday life.EDITING-Graphic match gives a smooth editing transaction to go from one shot toanother, without using straight cuts.LIGHTING-uses natural lighting when filming outside and high key lighting wheninside, this shows that the film will be light hearted, which fits into the genre ofcomedy.
CAMERA-A tracking shot on a dolly is used to follow the man with the trollies andis also used to have a smooth transaction from one shot to the next.SOUND-A non-diegetic and up beat composition using trumpets, was used. Thepeople’s movements in the scene were in time to the music. This music suggests anup beat and light heartened mood to the rest of the film.After the titles, there was a scene which introduced the main characters, Shaun andEd. We are also introduced to another character called Pete. We are told more aboutthe themes and genre of the film using micro elements. The main theme establishedhere is comedy. All of the following gives the audience a set idea of what to expectand sets a mood for the rest of the film.MISE-EN-SCENE-Clothes- Shaun- begins the scene in shorts and a t-shirt. He then, later on changesinto smart trousers, a shirt and tie. This shows that he is a working man. Ed- also iswearing a t-shirt and shorts, however, he does not change costume during thescene. Pete- is in a full suit for the entire scene. This shows that he is a workingman, like Shaun, but takes it more seriously.Actors- Shaun- we are introduced by this character from a low angled tilt which wentupwards. He yawns, this connoted that he is tied or just woken up. He slouches ashe walks and sits down which also shows tiredness. The way he communicates toEd is in a friendly, light hearted tone of voice, this shows a friendship between thetwo characters. Pete, however is a more mature and serious voice. This connotesthat he wants Pete to think more highly of him. Ed- We are introduced by him sat ona sofa, with his feet up. He does not move from this position in this scene whichconnotes that he is a lazy person. He talks to Shaun in the same what Shaun speaksto him. He talks to Pete, however, like he does not care about Pete’s opinion. Thisconnotes that they do not get along. Pete- we can see that Pete down talks bothShaun and Ed. They take the way he treats them, so he is clearly the more dominantone.Makeup- No makeup/ natural appearance are to show that this is their day to daylife. They are men, so they stereotypically wear no makeup.Props- Toothbrushes, knifes, plates etc. This is to show an average morning. Eduses a games console. This could show that he is less mature than the other two.
Setting- it is in a house, on a typical English street. This shows where the maincharacters live.EDITING-There is a series of fast cuts to show the passing of time when Shaun isgetting ready for work and again when he is making breakfast. Shot reverse shot isused during the conversation in the kitchen between Shaun and Pete and againwhen Ed is playing a video game, during a conversation between him and Shaun.Straight cuts are used otherwise.LIGHTING- Most of the scene is in a high key light to show the light-heartednessof the film. This also implies that this is how the rest of the film is going to be like.CAMERA-A tilt shot is used to establish the main character. A slow zoom wasused to focus on the sofa (which is also a long shot), while Shaun is entering theroom. Deep focus was used to identify Pete through a mirror, an over the shouldershot was used for this as well. A deep shot was also used at a low angle to showhow untidy Ed is when his phone rings, showing blurred beer cans. Point of viewshots were used while Shaun is getting ready for work, preparing breakfast and Ed isplaying a computer game, there are also extreme close ups when Shaun is eatingtoast and brushing his teeth. Mid shots were used when Pete and Shaun werehaving a conversation. Two shots are used when Ed and Shaun are sat on the sofa.This shows that they both have a close relationship.SOUND-As Shaun enters the scene, the music from the titles stops, and we beginto hear the ambient sounds of him being in the house, which is Ed playing on a videogame. More ambient sounds are made when he gets ready for work and makesbreakfast, ideas of this are, the brushing of his teeth and spreading jam on toast. Forthe rest of the scene we still here Ed playing a video game, however we also heardialogue between the three established characters. Although, at the end of the scenewe hear the phone rings, the phone is not answers, leaving questions of who it is forthe audience.ENIGMA- During the openingof a film, it makes the audience think ofquestions to ask, for the rest of the film to answer. In this film, examples of this are- WHY DOES ED LIVE THERE?
WHY DOESN’T ED WORK, LIKE THE PETE AND SHAUN? WHY DON’T PETE AND ED GET ALONG? WHO WAS ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE?AUDIENCE-this film is targeted at people of the age 15 and above. This isbecause the BBFC have given the film this classification, due to the content of strongcomic violence and language. This film is also aimed at the male population becauseit contains violence and comedic dialogue.MY PERSONAL OPINION- I like this film opening because we getintroduced by the main characters. I like the idea of the fast cuts when Shaun getsready for work because they make it seem like an action film. (They also use thistechnique in Hot Fuzz which uses the same characters and is directed by the samedirector) I like the idea that the concept of zombies is carried on throughout theopening scene. I also like the use of comedy between Shaun and Ed, whichautomatically get portrayed as likeable characters and their close relationship ishighlighted throughout the whole of the opening scene.