Sunday, 30 January 2011

'Watching' Documentary On Film Openings

What Thomas Sutcliffe means when he says "films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible", is that films have to have the audience hooked and interested in what is about to happen and not just throw the whole storyline by revealing it straight away.

According to director Jean Jacques Beineix the risks of 'instant arousal' are that your audience are satisfied straight away and the rest of the film will be of no interest. He says that the greatest opening starts slow and then comes the dramatic dilemma or 'explosion' of the film. The audience have to be waiting and making them want more and not be satisfied in the beginning, otherwise too much wil be expected towards the middle and end of the film.

"A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little" this is because the audience can't know too little otherwise they won't know what the film is about and what is going on. But if they know too much at the beginning then the rest of the film would not need to be watched as the audience know what is going to happen and they will lose interest and excitement.

The critic Stanley Kaufmann describes the classic opening as a shot of a city, then a building, then the camera moving upwards the building then going through a window and right past a receptionist and then meeting the important man at the desk. This type of opening works because these shots establish 'normality' of the character and then the rest of the film would usually contrast that and make the audience realise that it's not actually normal.

Kyle Cooper's title sequence to the film SE7EN is so effective because it foreshadows what is going to happen in the film and it shows the obsessive-psychotic nature of the character.

What's meant by 'a favourite trick of Film Noir' is the start of the film in the end and in the film it will go back in time to show the story from the beginning.

The opening of the film The Shining creates suspense by the camera being a birds-eye view following a car and going in one direction, almost like a predator watching its prey. The audience will assume that the people in the car are driving in the wrong direction as they are driving to 'nowhere' and towards darkness. The music also suggests that there is danger lurking ahead and this causes the suspense.

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