Group 5 Finished Opening Sequence - Removal

Group 3C Finished Preliminary Task

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Concluding Opening Sequences Work

i) What forms can opening sequences take? Can you list the conventional features of opening sequences?
Opening sequences are the introduction to a film, and used by the director and producers to grab the audiences attention and interest. They are also used as a tool by the audience to recognise whether or not this film appeals to them.
Conventions of an opening sequence include:
- Setting the scene: The scene allows the audience to know where and when the film is going to take place, therefore also introducing the genre as there are particular sets for different genres, for example a high school for a teenage style romcom
- Sound effects and music: This further enhances the genre of the film as, for example, an audience would identify dark, minor sounding music or heavy breathing sound effects with a horror film. This can be used as another tool by the director to create tension or set the mood to draw the audience in
- Introduction to main/significant characters: Typically, an opening sequence would introduce the protaganist and possibly the antagonist as well. This allows the audience to connect with the main characters early on, enhancing the pleasure gained from what happens to them later on, either the protagonist winning or the antagonist being defeated
- Opening equilibrium: This is the culmination of the scene and characters, so it can then be disrupted creating the plot for the rest of the film
- Promise for what is to come: Opening sequences generally include subtle clues as to what storylines or themes are to come, which the director has placed in to make a promise and expectation of the audience of what to expect from the film.
- Credits: The creators/makers of the film can be established. The style they are written in also enhances the genre and style of the film, for example big bubbly pink writing for a romcom; shaking, faded black writing for a horror

ii) What narrative functions of opening sequences can you identify?
- Narrative story refers to all events, grouped to create a narrative sequence
- Opening sequences create audience understanding of events
- Time and space and the way it is shown is a key feature of narrative sequences, and it can be portrayed as compressed, linear or cyclical
- Narrative functions are vastly portrayed through the use of mise-en-scene, camerawork and lighting
- Film narratives are closed, in that they finish within the one viewing, with the exception of a small plot line to be continued through a sequel
- Main characters are conventially shown so that we are able to see individuals in great depth
- An audience is able to identify with characters, both protagonist and antagonists, with different relationships
- Directors can use lighting to help create the audience's opinion of a character, for example bright lighting on the victim in a horror or thriller
iii) What do audiences gain from watching the opening sequence?
- Understanding of the style and (sub) genre of the film and therefore recognise what to expect, what pleasures, and whether or not this film is enjoyable for them
- They can connect with the characters and their situation to then enjoy and anticipate what happens to them later on
- The conventions can be changed in, for example horror films, which can then use this to shock the audience and remove the apparently main character early on. For example, Scream

iv) What do film-makers gain from including an opening sequence?
- Filmmakers use opening sequences in a variety of ways to satisfy audience's expectations gained from the marketing of the film
- Directors can use symbols and clues to entice, confuse and excite the audience
- The audience can be hooked in by introducing the enigmatic plot of the film, making them want to know the answer to the problem or situation
- A filmmaker uses the opening sequence to be the captivating aspect of the film so the viewers are pulled in and want to watch the rest

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Barthes Narrative Analysis

Psycho (1960)
(Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Starring Anthony Perkins and Vera Miles)

Action code:
- Man and woman in hotel room
- He takes his shirt off, she puts hers on
- Both get smartly dressed
- He kisses her passionatly
- She leaves him alone in the room

Empirical code:
- Zooming in on building window: Creates suspense for the audience wondering what is happening inside
- Mentions of the 'airport' creates mystery of where he is going
- Mystery of what the man and womans's relationship is
- Car horn heard makes the viewer wonder who is there and where the women is going and who with

Semantic code:
- Woman is young, glamourous and proffesional (smartly dressed)
- She has some control over him, tells him what to do and insists upon what she wants
- Blonde hair with bright white shirt and bright lighting suggests goodness and possibly setting her up to be a victim
- Man is young, attractive and seemingly respectable/charming
- Imperfections (exwife)
- He sits in the chadows with dark hair and black trousers, connoting secrets and decietReferential code:
- Pheonix, Arizona (gives knowledge of place/city)
- Time (2:43) gives context to the affair, as viewer would see it as suspiscious, meaning it never has to be directly said

Symbolic code:

- Cheap hotel suggests affair
- Dark, shadowy room implies secrets and deceit

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Levi-Strauss Narrative Analysis

Levi-Strauss argued that narrative has two main characteristics which are:
1. That it's made up of units that are put together according to certain rules
2. That these units form relations with each other based on binary pairs or opposites, which provide the basis of the structure

Pale Rider
(Directed and Starring Clint Eastwood)

Binary Opposites:
- Quiet v Loud (sounds of the horse riders)
- Still v Action
- Peaceful village v Speed/Charging/Panic
- Green trees v Dry, sparse plains
- Steady camera v Panning movement
- Action v tension
- Happy, upbeat music v Tense music
- Slow editing v Fast choppy editing
- Steady camera v Frantic, fast camera movements
- Calm v Panic
- Life v Death
- Bright light v Dull light/silhouette in forest
- Panic v Mourning
- Sun v Storm
- Night v Day
- Country v Village
- Attacker v Victim
- High angle (HA) v Low angle (LA)
- Black horses v White horse
- Open space v Enclosed
- Threat v Safety
- Spiritual v Everyday (Horse disappearing in normal village environment)

Die Hard
(Directed by John McTiernan, Starring Bruce Willis)

Binary Opposites:
- Outside v Inside
- Open v Enclosed
- Black titles v Coloured titles
- Subtle music v Dominating music
- Older characters v Young children
- Showing faces v Over-the-shoulder (OTS)
- Empty v Crowded/Busy/Frantic
- Chatty v Silent/Moody
- Happy driver v Reserved passenger
- Direct address (DA) v Low angle (LA) v High angle (HA) (CCTV)
- Silent, dark, enclosed lift v Open, colourful, loud party
- Laughing v Tense music
- Happy party v Sinister street
- Relaxed v Arguing
- Yellow lighting inside v Blue street lights
- Tense, minor music v Party music
- Life v Death
- Domestic issue v Life/death issue
- Trivial matter v Serious
- High tech v Old fashioned
- Informal clothing of main character v Formal of the approaching men
- Present v Past
- Home v Away
- American v European
- Repeated photos v Real life people
- Marriage v Career
- Villains v Hero
- Organised/efficient villians v Idleness of hero