Saturday, 29 January 2011

"Watching" Document

This documentary gave information on film openings and what makes them successful and not so successful. Directors opinions were also given.

Thomas Sutcliffe stated,
"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 basically means to say that the audience needs to stay interested in the film. Every director will try and do something at the beginning of a film to keep the viewers intrigued. They cannot leave all the interesting parts to later on in the film.

Jean Jacques Beineix stated the risks of "instant arousal". The audience need to be kept entertained. If the opening is too interesting, the audiences expectations will rise (instant gratification). If the expectations are not met the film will be unsuccessful and the viewers will be disappointed. A film should gradually become more and more interesting and the most interesting part should be near the end.

"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"
Films have to give enough information to keep the audience entertained. But at the same time not give too much information. Too little will bore them. Therefore the amount of information needs to be balanced throughout the film.

The classic opening to a film according to Stanley Kauffmann is the first establishing shot of the city, which looked like New York. This reminds me of the opening of The Taking Of Pelham 1, 2, 3. The shot is followed by a tilt shot of the building from top to bottom. Then it moves through the window and through the reception and to the main office where the story continues.

The title sequence to Seven is very effective because it foreshadows what is actually going to happen in the film. The opening has no dialogues, only sound. The music is intense and it "wakes you up". It also reflects the state of mind of the psychotic character in the title sequence. The person is making abnormal actions such as scraping their skin off their fingers with a blade and sewing paper.

In A Touch of Evil Orson Welles wanted to plunge viewers straight into the film. He wanted to do this by  excluding the credits and begin the film straight away. Universal Studios, the production company, disagreed to this idea. If the film excluded the credits, the production company's name will not be revealed. He also fought for his decision but lost so the credits were included.

"A favourite trick of Film Noir" is when the opening of a film is actually the ending. An example of this is Casino.

The opening to The Shining is very suspenseful. The music plays a huge role in creating suspense. Its very eerie and personally, very scary. Especially the sound that gradually got higher and sounded almost like a scream. It increases heart rates and is quite frightening.
The camera is following a car that is driving in a deserted place. It looks like a bird following its prey. Due to the location of the scene, the viewers are in 
intrigued to know where the car's destination is.

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