This shot is an example of establishing the Dystopian society that the film In Time isset in. The colours in this long shot are drained completely of vibrancy which creates asense of desolation and hopelessness within the film. The colours that are shown arepale and dirty and the lack of plantation on the dusty mud infers the lifelessness ofthis society, nothing productive comes from the society that they live in. Thereferences to time “ONLY 1 HOUR”, “99 SECONDS ONLY Stores” are in sync with thetitle and the futuristic theme of the film.
Genre:Thrillers are designed to excite the audience keeping them on the edge of their seats, in the openingsequence of a thriller, the director (Andrew Niccol) needs to establish that the film is thriller by usingsignifiers; The implication of their being something that will lead to the Thriller aspect of the movie later onwithin the film. This mid-shot of the man wearing a suit is packed with different details that point toward sinister goings on. First off the clothing of this man, despite it being a colourless suit it indicates toward luxury and wealth and differentiates to the working-class jumpsuits that the other characters in The separation between this man and the other this scene are wearing, the people in the industrial work-place indicates to contrast between this man his authority and his expression reinforces this, and the ghetto is further the eye contact made between himself and Will highlighted by the brick wall Salas (Justin Timberlake) foreshadows the rest of behind him the film, where in which Will does a lot of “staring-down” with authority. The thriller genre is established here and empowered by the zeroed out person in this low-angle mid-shot.
Exposition: The camera establishes the setting by using apanning close up that revolves around the protagonist. Thecamera uses this as an opportunity to establish the setting andtherefore the themes and genre of this film. This thereforegives a place, setting the atmosphere for the film andtherefore helping toward the narrative of the film.
Exposition: The voice-overat the verybeginning of In Time conveys knowledgethat the audience would not know withoutthe assistance of this non-diegetic voice isinformation. The over-voice works as aguide and provides the audience withbackground information that will aid theaudience as the film progresses. Forexample we as an audience would notunderstand this: Evidently neither of them looks old enough to be 50 years old but because of the information provided by our narrator at the beginning of the film audiences understanding is established and the science-fiction part of the genre is established by the explanation of this. The voice-over of the protagonist indicates to his importance later on in the film and it is also part of the exposition as it introduces the narrative.
Exposition: The non-diegetic sound of the slow high key piano music and theheart-beat like sound playing in unison at the very beginning of In Time, infersthat the green glow (which is a zoomed in version of the 13 numbered clockwhich as the film moves on we learn is their life force) is equivalent to theirheartbeat, this builds a connection with modern day sounds that are associatedwith life and death. The music is slow, high key and sad inferring that this newform of a ‘’life-line’’ is like the music; sad. The non-diegetic music and heart-beatsounds do the same job as the narrative in terms of helping establish theexposition. The music and sounds of the heart, point toward thinking of life butthe sad music contrasts to it because it sounds sad, as if something upsetting isabout to be said, and soon enough the voice over is heard. All these sounds; thenon-diegetic sounds of the heartbeat, the music and the over voice all worktowards establishing the narrative so that the audience understand the story.
Exposition: The protagonist, Will Salas, played by Justin Timberlake is first introduced through the use of theover-voice; his knowledge adds authority to his character which is further reinforced by his status as aHollywood star. The first visual representation of him is shown through, a mid-shot of him looking at his“clock”There’s darkness around him and the only light is coming from his “clock” which essentially is his life thismay indicate to him constantly looking at his clock, nothing around him matters at that moment, thisgesture is repeated throughout the film by many other characters in the ghetto and the simple gestureestablishes class within the film. The rich don’t need to look at their clocks which to them functions morelike a purse but the poor however are constantly looking at it. Will is a representation of all those otherworking-class people who don’t have “more time on their hands than hours in the day”. This functionstowards helping exposition as this perception of Will isn’t just of Will Salas it is of everyone, all those livingin the ghetto make exactly the same movements that he does and using Will Salas to represent the biggerpicture at the beginning of the movie infers that he is an important character and perhaps will lead all of thepeople that he represents. First impressions of the protagonist are important as they help towardestablishing narrative, the automatic response of the audience when they see this man is to believe him tobe the hero. Through character narrative devices the audience unconsciously deduce the fact that this manwho has barely been introduced is the protagonist.
CinematographyCinematography is important in this movie and especially in thrillersbecause it allows the audience to see only a certain amount ofinformation, what is shown within a frame allows the audience tointerpret what they have seen. Cinematography can point toward acharacter’s state of mind, indicate to the genre of a film and each shothas a different meaning hence why there are so many of them.
What Does this Tell you about the Character of Will Salas?
Cinematography: This mid-shot of Will Salas tells us a lot about the protagonist’s state of mind. The city isreflected through the glass, indicative of place and also of his origins, the rust on the grills that trap himbehind the glass (in the confines of the ghetto in which he lives) is rusty and dirty, which infers to thepoverty of the place in which he lives and also shows that Will Salas may feel trapped by the place in whichhe lives as he is looking out toward the outside of the window and not straight at the camera. There is alsothe positioning of Will Salas is arm, that arm is the arm with the clock and although it is not directly visible itis important to acknowledge that that is the arm that holds his life, the currency that is trapping him withinthat unkempt and dirty atmosphere.
Cinematography: As explained before different shots can mean different things and draws the audience tomake certain conclusions by what they have seen. Cinematography is an important aspect in helping theaudience to decipher something from what they have seen. All these shots, which have been spoken ofearlier in the presentation all convey different meaning by using cinematography Close up Mid-Shot Long Shot
EditingEditing alters how the audience sees things within In Time andhighlights certain things prioritising them and indicating theirimportance within the film. Editing is important to a thriller as it addsthe “edge of your seat” aspect to the film as it only shows certainthings.
Editing: Continuity Editing, provides the essence of time and atmosphere within a film and is usedconsistently within In Time. Essentially continuity editing runs in chronological order, providing a sense oftime as the movie is moving forward, this of course goes with the theme of In Time which is of movingforward and persevering against the odds. Continuity Editing provides this aspect of time moving forward.Editing: Shot transactions are also another form of editing that is used continuously throughout thefuturistic thriller In Time to add speed and also to show immediate changes of atmosphere or emotions. Theshot transaction were used within In Time to change scenes, the film completely neglected the traditionalfading from one scene to the next and opted instead for shot transactions. This is indicative of the trait thatall the working class within this movie have, which is that they do everything to quickly because they “don’thave time” to waste. It also adds the fast past that is sometimes associated with Thrillers.Editing: The titles at the beginning of the movie already hint to the time theme of the movie and are verynicely done, but they are not incorporated within the actual film footage opting instead for a black screenwith the name of the production company and the title of the film. The actors’ names were not shown untilthe casting list at the end of the movie. The title of In Time has a countdown clock on the letter “I” goingdown from 6 -1 so that the 1 then becomes “I”, this time themed title reminds the audience of what the filmis about and is nicely done in keeping within the themes of the title itself
Mise-en-SceneMise-en-Scene is a very important part of In Time as they aidin establishing the atmosphere and tone of the film and alsoadds realism to the film, making it seem more futuristic forexample. There are 4 very important aspects of Mise-en-Scene that help to show the tone and atmosphere of In Time.
Colour (Mise-en- Scene): Colour really helps to establish the mood within In Time and is used veryeffectively in two different scenes within the opening sequence. Colour is very important in terms of a film as it shows the mood or state of minds ofcharacters and helps the audience to understand more about particular characterswithin the story/ the scene. The colour of the kitchen in this scene for example arebright, the oranges of the light shade , the green of the wall and the blues of thecharacters clothing and the fridge all point towards vibrancy a good life, but noticehow dirty the walls seem to be. I think that the use of colour here was meant to showthat these two characters are satisfied with the life that they have and althoughsometimes it can be tainted they are okay because they have a connection with eachother. The fact that they are wearing the same colour shows this, that they have aconnection and that they are play satisfied with life because at least they have eachother.
Colour (Mise-en- Scene): This scene outdoors really helps in conveying the dystopian theme of the movie asall the colours are washed out and barely existent. Everything seems to have a gritty coating over it whichcontrasts to the colourful pastel colours of the Kitchen in Will Salas is house. The watery colours in thisscene and the grittiness of it reinforce the dystopian world outside and also constitutes as a way todifferentiate how Will Salas feels within his home with his mother; safe, satisfied, happy. And how he feelsoutside of his home; invisible, sad, unable to change anything. The difference implies the protagonist’sfeelings toward the 2 different atmospheres.
Props (Mise-en-Scene): Props are extremely important within this film as the futuristic-ness of In Time isestablished. Apart from the “time capsules” there are also other devices that help to establish the fact thatthe time and place within the movie In Time is different from the one that we live in. This device is used to pay for things in stalls and shops , reducing the time on people’s clocks according to how many minutes things cost. It adds to the futuristic genre of the film and therefore helps with the film. The truck does not look like modern day cars, its abnormality highlights it as being something from the future. Props like this are important in establishing the realism of a futuristic type film like In Time.