Saturday Night Fever Title times by Rebecca Wilson
To have a better understanding of theFORM of an opening titlesequence, and how a film’s impressioncan be built up around the credits, Ihave chosen to analyse the titlesequence of Saturday Night Feverstarring John Travolta.
The sequence opens At 26 seconds in, the name Introducing Karen Lynnwith a panoramic shot John Travolta is displayed Gorney as Stephanie 45of the Brooklyn followed by Saturday (32 seconds in displays newBridge, zooming seconds), Night (34 seconds) actors coming on to theout, instantly showing Fever (36 seconds), and then scene and gives themthe location of the film. ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gee’s special recognition as begins. Before Travolta’s you may have never name, no music appears, giving heard of them before. no clue to the genre. 7 seconds in we see The shot then cuts to a persons feet Paramount Pictures (John Travolta) who is then shown Presents then at 15 walking through Brooklyn for the rest of seconds A Robert the title sequence, suggesting he is the Stigwood films protagonist. He struts down the Production‘, giving street in a suit and opended collared recognition to the shirt connoting he is a confident, young producers from the man. In just over half a minute, the beginning. film’s setting, producer, title and protagonist have all been established.
48 seconds in shows With Barry A break in the titles and the usualMiller, Joseph Cali, Paul shot of Travolta walking isPape, Bruce Ornstein, Donna switched to a scene where hePescow, continued at 51 seconds orders pizza for several secondswith Val Bisoglio, Julie then continues his walk with theBovasso, Martin Shaker, Nina Pizza in his hand. This suggestsHansen, Lisa Peluso. These names more to the genre of film: aaren’t left on the screen for musical for his exaggerated walklong, suggesting they are the accompanied by comedy forsupporting actors in the film. Travolta’s acting. Musical numbers staged and choreographed by Lester Wilson 56 seconds in then Original music by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb 59 seconds in. Pointing out the popular 70’s trio the Bee Gees will have enticed audience interest into the film, as they were part of popular culture upon the film’s release.
The opening credits continue "Production Designer Charlesat 1:17 with How Deep is Your Bailey" is continued at 1:36Love, Night Fever, Staying Alive, More whilst Travolta continues to walkThan A Woman, performed by the Bee through Brooklyns streetsGees‘. Once again, revealing one by showing a close up of himone little pieces of information leaves the carrying a tin of paint whichaudience wanting more, and to see the could lead us into the storyBee Gees music is in the film could when the titles end.entice the audience. "Director of Photography Ralf.D.Bode" is At 1:22, Additional Music shown at 1:39 against a shop window by David Shire followed 4 which leads us into a second interlude seconds after at 1:26 with of dialogue where the protagonist "Editor David Rawlins". enters the shop. This shot offers variety away from watching Travolta walk, so the audience do not tire of seeing the same action.
In the closing 30 seconds of the At 2:22, the titles readtitle sequence, Travolta "Produced by Robertcontinues his walk through Stigwood". TheBrooklyn with "Executive producer is mentionedProducer Kevin McCormick" at twice, once at the2:08 then "Based upon a story beginning and once atby Nik Cohn" at 2:12 recognising the end as he is thethe individual efforts of certain most influential and theparticipants in the film crew. manager of the whole film. After being rejected, Travolta walks away and shakes it off back to his original walk At 2:15, "Screenplay by and the cameras original shot which Norman Wexler", the shows "Directed by John Badham" (the protagonist shows an interest second most important part of the crew) in passerby and begins to run at 2:26. This is the end of the title after her switching the camera sequence where the protagonist returns to the disgusted girls face to work with the paint and the story really showing the audience what begins. kind of character Travolta is.
By analysing the opening title sequence to‘Saturday Night Fever’, I have understood how to use titles to entice audiences with famousnames and information without distracting themfrom the building narrative by fading the titles in and out. I liked how Travolta was travelling to a destination but kept audience’s attention asthey wanted to know where he was travelling to. I may use ideas from this piece in my own work, but adapt them to the genre of my choice.