Sunday, 30 January 2011

Structure of Thriller Openings

In film openings there are three basic structures, which are:
·       A narrative opening with the titles running throughout
·       A discrete title sequence
·       Titles over a blank screen, followed by the narrative opening
There is also a fourth type of film opening, which were going to refer to as, stylized editing.

A narrative opening with the titles running throughout is when we are brought straight into the film/story (as narrative means storyline) bringing us straight to locations setting then characters, while the opening titles are shown over the images. An example of this would be ‘Panic Room.’


This video contains the characterises of a narrative opening with titles as we are shown establishing shots, giving location and setting, then we are shown tracking long shots, giving the characters.

A discrete title sequence is a title sequence where the titles are separate from the narrative. An example of this would be, ‘Se7en.’


The music in the opening title sequence of Se7en is unsettling and the titles themselves shudder - shift and move, thus setting the tone of the film and giving the audience a felling to go along with. Discrete title sequences work well because they allow attention to equally be brought to the narrative and the titles.

An example of a title sequence with titles over a blank screen, followed by the narrative opening is ‘Dead Calm.’

(enbed video)

This type of title sequence is good because with no image and just titles it signifies the music.

Lastly, stylized editing is where the titles use a vast majority of edit effects – e.g. zooming - to appear very attractive and entertaining to the audience and gasp there attention. An example of this is ‘Taking of Pelham 123.’


A stylized editing title sequence is very effective because it allows the movie to be up to date with the latest technology thus ensuring that it appeals to it target audience, which in this case in mostly males, as stylized editing opening title sequences are commonly used for action movies.

The type of title sequence I enjoyed the most was discrete title sequences, because they’re not the most commonly used, but when they are used it allows me to appreciate both the narrative and the forces behind the movie.

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