Friday, 28 January 2011

My response to the 'Watching' documentary

The thirty minute documentary was about the opening of films. 'Watching' gave an insight to the opinions what people (mainly those within in the industry)  think about the opening of a film.

Thomas Sutcliff states "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" . He means that a film needs to make the audience want to stay, it also means that directors will do something that will make the audience feel interested straight away , not make them wait for it later on in the film.

In the documentary the director , Jean Jacques Beinex says that there are risks of 'instant arousal'. He says that the customer says that they want something and you have to deliver within in 20 minutes. This happens with "pizzas,cars and computers and emotions". Basically this is immediate gratification. But he says no to this they, "you have to accept to to wait, nurse , nurture your desire , to make it grow and then the satisfaction comes. He says "this is the same with movies" .

"A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the time make sure that it doesn't know too little". This quote means that when making a opening to a film the audience must not know a lot of information but enough to keep them interested and allow them to understand what is going on. This is something that i will consider whilst making my own film opening.
Stanley Kauffmann describe as a classic opening had a certain scenes after each other. It would start off with an establishing shot of New York city ( from the East) , the camera would then provide a close up of a building , then up the building , to a window and through it, past the recpetionist desk into an office and there sat a character.He states it works because it tells the audience where its taking place , what the occupation of the hero is and the organisation of the world.

The opening to Se7en
Kyle Cooper's title sequence to the film Seven (Se7en) so effective it went against what usual opening titles do. The documentary narrator says Cooper knew that director David Fincher did not want a 'gentle prelude' but a ' sequence that would tune the viewers to the right dissident pitch'. Cooper states that people usually see the opening as something that should "settle" the audience into their seats and "be part of the transitional time where you're getting ready to take in what it is". However he knew that Fincher wanted to say that the "movie is gonna hit" the audience on the head, wake them up. He says it works because it feels like part of the movie. The sequence, according to Cooper,became the" first scene of the movie", it told a story and the nature of the main character. It foreshadowed the events of the movie , making it one of the most effective movies openings.

With the film A Touch Of Evil , Orson Welles wanted to start the opening off differently to any other movie. He intended it to be seen without music or titles, plunging the audience into the story without giving them time to understand what is going on. Universal studios did not like this idea , they added titles and a score to it.                   

The documentary explains a favourite trick of film Noir. This is when a films opening is not really a beginning but a sort of ending, this is seen in the opening of Casino. The use of this trick allows the opening to feel like a destination not a departure point , leaving the audience looking forward waiting to see what is to come.

The opening of The Shining
The opening of  The Shining create suspense in many ways. It starts off 'picturesque' , but the screen is full of 'omens'. The camera seems to follow the car like a predator , from behind and high up. It never sways to look at the scenery , just the car, connoting that the people are in some sort of danger, going the wrong way.

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