Saturday, 19 March 2011

Structure of Openings

Structure of Openings

There are different types of structures used to show the opening of thriller films. Each of the following openings each use different effects which allow each film to differ from each other. These different types of openings include the following:

A discrete opening
 In the opening of the psychological thriller film ‘Se7en’, a discrete opening is used as the sequence opens with the movement of papers changing from one page to another. No narrative is used to illustrate what is happening during the sequence. Throughout the sequence, we see a series of extreme close- up and shadows of on a variety of particular items and the movements and shadows of a character that is unknown. In contrast to the movements of particular items and the movement of shadows of the unknown character, we see the titles of the cast, producers, editors, title of the film itself etc… As the sequence progresses, we see the unknown character using a razor to remove the outer layer of their fingertips which makes the audience question why is the purpose of the unknown person removing the outer layer of hid fingertip? And what is the reason for his actions. Throughout the unknowns persons actions within the sequence, we see that he is acting shifty as he takes elements of information from newspapers and photographs to write his own account and sticking photos contrasting the information. Through the opening sequence we already have an idea that the unknown character is suspicious and mysterious and as the audience we want to continue watching to find out what happens. We can that the open sequence is heavily stylised and edited.

A narrative opening
In the opening of the thriller film ‘Panic Room’, a narrative opening is used. The sequence opens up with the variation of both wide and tracking shots of the landscape and buildings in the city New York. The use of the buildings , gives the sequence a business feel as we get the idea that the film is going to involve a business man or woman or someone who works within one of the famous buildings. The sequence includes the name of the film, cast, producers, writers etc… within the film. The effect of the upbeat tempo of the string orchestra soundtrack, suggests the impact of thriller and action within the sequence which grabs the audience attention making them wanting to watch more. By the end of the sequence we are introduced to a woman character. We don’t know much about her but if we continue to watch the film we find out what her place is in within the film.

Titles running over a black screen
In the opening of the thriller film ‘Donnie Darko’, the use of titles running over a black screen is used to open up the sequence of the film. The title of the production company is shown alongside the director’s name. The sequence fades into a tracking shot showing the surroundings and landscape of trees and the outside of an isolated area. The camera zooms in to a man laying on the ground which suggests to us that he’s hurt. The unknown man then stands up to look at the surroundings. The soundtrack of pianos begin to play as the man turns around to face the camera and chuckles to himself the sound of the pianos change from an innocent , peaceful sound to a thrilling sound which causes suspense as we realize that the unknown man is not an innocent character after all.

 Narrative opening with the titles running throughout
In the opening of the thriller film ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’ , the film uses a stylish style of editing as the we see the production company picture ' Columbia' merge into the opening scene within the sequence. This is effective as it is a modern way to not jump from one clip to the next.Like the opening sequence in ' Panic Room', the use of a tracking shot is used to showng the surroundings of New York City. However, the two openings differ as , through the use of stylish editing, the sunny surroundings sink into the dark surroundings of the city which is an effective way to suggest that there is two sides to the city. The fast transitions of movement of the car and people walking about in the city contrasting against the fast tempo pace of the soundtrack playing. The effect of this creates a buzz for the audience making them want to continue watching to find out what happens. We then come across 3 characters and we begin to follow their journey as they separately go towards a train station. As the audience , we want to find out what the 3 characters involvement in the film is and what will find along the way.

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