Analysis of “the ring” (opening scene) link – ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU0MhYveNPo By Libby Jones
Why I’m analysing the first 15 minutes of this film• I have chosen to do my film analysis on “the ring”; this is because this is one of the films used as inspiration for when creating the script for our film. The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski. The film is the same sub-genre as the film we are creating. I hope by analysing and assessing the opening scene of this film, I will understand what camera angles and editing has been used and how the director creates suspense. I can then use this research and relate the techniques that were used to the film we are creating.• Quick story summary: the story is focuses on a mysterious cursed videotape that contains a seemingly random series of disturbing images. After watching the tape, the viewer receives a phone call in which a girls voice announces that the viewer will die in seven days. The story follows the main characters experiences/encounters with the tape.
1.) The first thing we hear is the sound of heavy rain. This sound is carried from thebeginning of the film. The picture fades in to an establishing shot of the house; asound bridge is used to carry the sound of the rain from the opening credits to thefirst scene. The lighting is dark suggesting its evening. Within the first few seconds ofthe film the iconography of the dark setting and the diegetic sound of the rain alreadysets the mood for the film.
2.) The camera zooms into the house as the character begins to talk, a quick cut isthen used to a two shot that show where the characters are and who`s talking. We areled to believe the characters are in the house in the room with the light on. The shotused is a long shot showing the characters position in the room. The lighting on theshot is low-key making the scene very dark and casting shadows. The two young girlsare positioned in front of the TV although we cant see the TV we know thats whattheir looking at because the girl is pointing a TV remote towards the camera and youcan hear diegetic sound of the TV playing.
3.) The camera zooms in to the characters faces as the characters are having aconversation. The first girl Katie (left) is wearing a white shirt whilst Becca (right) iswearing a white shirt almost covered by a black cardigan. Their costumes couldsuggest Katie is an innocent youth whereas Becca is hiding a dark secret. The close- upshot shows that the characters look tiered/board.
4.) The second character (Becca) who is sat on the floor begins to tell Katie about thetape whilst she moves onto the bed. This suggests that she’s moved into a position ofpower. Shot reverse shot is used during the dialogue.
5.) The camera zooms in from an over the shoulder shot whilst the girl elaborates onthe story. The picture switches to a close-up of Katie to show the look of shock on herface. Suspense is built in the scene because the film uses close ups and quick cutswhich show the emotions of the characters.
6.) After a conversation using shot reverse shot the 1st character (Katie) pretends todie. In the background a quiet eerie sound begins to build. A long shot is used to showwhat’s happening in the scene.
7.) character 2 pushes the girl on the floor and a high angle shot is used to establishher new position in the scene.
8.) The phone rings and the Katy (first character) look left. An eye line match is used sothe viewer sees what she’s looking at. A non-diegetic sound is used as the camerazooms into the clock which shows 10 o’clock.
9.) Close up of both the girls using shot reverse shot, shows Katie’s fear and themoment of Becca’s realisation.
• 10. The camera cuts to the bottom of the stairs and films them walking down the stairs. The scene changes again and we get a long shot with the telephone in the forefront taking up most of the shot. The depth of focus shifts from the phone to the girl.
11.) After picking up the phone a tracking shot is used to film Katie as she walks fromone room to another. The film creates tension as the phone call turns out to be a falsealarm.
12.) Establishing shot shows new location. The shot zooms in on Katie and tracks heras she moves.
13.) we here the diegetic sound of the TV, and see the reflection of the TV screen inthe window. The character stops still in action.
14.) There is a jump cut to an extreme close up of Katie’s face as she turns her head inslow motion.
15.) The camera moves slowly into the room focusing on the TV. The TV is the mainprop in the shot. The editor used an eye line match, as Katie’s looking down there is acut so the audience can see she’s spotted the remote on the couch.
16.) A long shot shows Katie pick up the remote. The camera angle is slightly tilted uptoward Katie suggesting she’s in power because she has the remote. An eye line matchis used again as she points the remote towards the camera and then a quick cut isused which shows the TV screen. We are led to believe she is looking at the TV.
17.) As she walks away the TV turns back on we know this because we hear the soundand see the reflection in the window. The camera zooms in on the character to showher state of panic. She walks back into the room and we see a close up of her lookingat the screen. After she’s unplugged the TV the camera slowly encircles her, this mighthave been created by mounting the camera on a “dolly”, the effect of this motion isthat it suggests she is not alone and lends to the idea that someone is watching her....this gives the impression were know looking from someone else’s point of view.
18.) The character is now left alone in the dark. We hear an eerie diegetic sound asthe character looks to the opposite side of the room, this time the camera movesswiftly from where the character is sat to what they’re looking at. This makes the shotlook “hand held” and consequently makes it look/feel more realistic.
19.) After briefly “panning” across the cupboards the camera cuts to the characterwho walks towards the character and off the shot.
20.) Continuity editing is used which suggests a short period of time has passed whereshe’s got up to go from one room to another. We know see Katie standing in a doorway. She appears to be looking at something. Cut to the fridge door which is swingingopen.
21.) The editing pace seems to be getting fasteras the shot cuts back to Katie who runs towardsthe camera and off the shot.
22.) Cut to the shot of the kitchen in which,Katie runs onto the shot and towards the fridge.The editing used makes it appear as thoughshe’s run from the doorway to the fridge.
• 23.) Close up of Katie’s face. Katie’s deep heavy breathing is the only diegetic sound we can hear in this shot. This is used to make the audience feel uncomfortable. We hear the eerie sound again which appears to be a sound motif which shows when the “supernatural presence” is there. It also could illustrate that Katie’s panic. In the following shot the depth of focus switches from the character to the hallway behind. This suggests theirs something out there however nothing has been revealed to the audience yet. The director uses “false alarms” to build tension similar techniques are used in other horror/thrillers e.g. jaws.
24.) A new establishing shot shows the viewfrom the top of the stairway. Again the charactercreeps into the shoot, and walks towards and offthe shot. There is a cut to illustrate her going upthe stairs.
Conclusion• I was unable to analyse the full first 15minutes because the clip was removed from youtube and I havent been able to get hold of the film footage. Nevertheless analysing this film has helped me understand how to shoot and edit a horror film to create certain impressions. Some of the main features used in the first 10mins of this film are:• -dark lighting (relates to audience fears e.g.. Many people are scared of the dark. Dark lighting is a typical iconography element in a classic horror film.)• -shot reverse shot ( used to show who is speaking at what point and also allows us to see the character and their emotions)• -close ups (used to draw attention to specific detail that might of otherwise been missed or disregarded)• -the gradual build up of strange sounds (used to make the audience feel uneasy. The sounds used are usually non – diegetic which helps build tension because the audience knows something is going to happen but the character in the film might be totally unaware.)• -false alarms e.g.- when the phone rings its her mum (builds suspense by keeping the audience on edge and shocking them when something really bad does eventually happen.)