The Director of a film will open the film with a chosen opening structure. Each opening structure will have a different effect and the Directors chose their opening structure depending on what type of effect they want the credits to have on the audience. The three main types are the following:
o Narrative Opening with titles running throughout
o A discrete title sequence
o Titles over a blank screen, followed by a narrative opening
o (Stylize editing)
A narrative opening consists of titles running throughout. This type of opening takes you on a journey and shows the location, landscape, and surroundings of the area. Such conventions like location can indicate to the audience the time period of the film and even the type of society the film will take place in. An example of a narrative opening is ‘Panic Room’, in this opening no characters are seen or referenced but the surroundings and setting is shown. I think the large skyscrapers convey the film is set in a modern, financial environment and possibly a major city like New York or even Washington. In the opening structure of this film there are many birds’ eye view and long shots make us too more deeply into the picture to try see I any small details or movements inside the building are occurring. Also this allows space for the credits to appear 3D and clearer against the buildings. Lastly in ‘Panic Room’ I like the Sound as it adds anticipation and tension to the clip as not much is going on in the background but the sound builds creates a high tempo and makes the clip more intense.
A Discrete Title Sequence
This opening structure doesn’t use a narrative style but rather keeps the audience guessing and intrigued by showing suspenseful footage. This is shown in the film ‘Se7en’, which is a thriller film. ‘Se7en’ makes the audience ask questions, it does this through different techniques one of which is the use of close ups. The close ups of the main character disguise or make the identity of the character less significant. Many suspicious things take place in this clip. For example: The man uses a razor to cut his finger tips, he appears to be removing his fingerprints, however this makes us question why he is removing his fingerprints and what has he done? Furthermore he cuts the film tape, and this could mean he is trying to destroy evidence. Also this suspicious behaviour I reinforced through his actions when he uses a black marker to covers parts of the text on the newspaper text. Despite being suspicious he appears smart as his handwriting is very neat and sophisticated. I also like the way the text appears at a fast pace with the footage as it doesn’t distract the audience.
Titles over a blank screen, followed by a narrative opening
This opening has titles over a blank screen followed by a narrative opening. ‘Dead Calm’ is an example. The effective of using this kind of opening is that you can quickly show the titles sequence and move on into the narrative opening. Moreover the titles are bolder and clearer against the blank screen.
This occurs when a range of editing techniques are used to thrill the viewer. The film ‘Mezrine: Killer Instinct’ uses stylised editing for its opening structure. The title credits appear on a black screen while the special use of editing and split screen engages the viewer and maintains interest. The split screen shows shots of the same thing but from different angles. The effect of this is that suspense is built as the more you see the characters on split screen their actions become more suspect and lead us on to believe something will happen to them.