Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The structure of Thriller Openings

Film openings consist of three basic structures which are:
- A narrative opening that has the titles running throughout
- A discrete title sequence
- Titles over a blank screen

Adding to that, there's a fourth type of style of a film opening which can be referred to as 'stylized editing'

A narrative opening with the title running throughout is when the viewers are introduced to the story straightaway.  The setting of the movie will be shown first, and then the characters will be introduced as the opening credits are taking place at the same time.  An example of this is 'Panic Room' 

The film starts with an estabilishing shot which allows the viewers to get an idea of where the film is located, and during this the opening credits are shown.  The font used in this opening sequence is almost as if the words are 3D and this really works well.  We are then introduced to one of the characters through the camera tillting and a wide shot.  Panic room is also classed a 'classic opening'.

A discrete title sequence is when the title of the film is seperate from any clips.  An example of this is 'Se7en'

The film has loads of images and small but bold text.  The text and the sequence itself kind of shudder, and reminds me a bit of an x-ray.  The opening gives the viewers an idea that the film may be about crime and precision.  Discrete openings work well because it creates curiousity as you don't know what is about to happen.

A title over a blank screen followed by the narrative opening is self explanatory.  An example of this is 'Dead Calm' (couldn't find opening sequence)

The lack of image used leaves the majority of the sequence relying on the music, and in this sequence, doom is represented.  

Stylized editing is when a range of edit effects are used to simply engage the viewer.  An example of this is 'The Taking of Pelham 123'

Almost everything is sped up in this sequence and I think it works really well especially with the choice of music.  It also appeals to the target audience and is  a good way to show some 'action' at the beginning of a film - already engages the viewer.  Stylized editing is commonly used in action films therefore aimed at males.

I prefer stylized editing compared to the others because to be honest it just looks better.  I'm not a fan of action movies but I think that if most movies used this technique, alot of people will be giving more attention to the opening of films.  Nowadays, cinemas still sell tickets even if the movie has started and has been running for about 20minutes.  If more openings were like this, I think more people will be in a hurry to actually make it in time for their film.

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