Opening Sequence Research 3 (Matthew Edson)

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Sequences 16-20:

Sequences 16-20 Matthew Edson

A New Hope:

A New Hope In one of cinemas most famous opening scenes, A New Hope starts with the famous non-diegetic “Star Wars theme”, before showing the famous scroll across the screen. This is used to tell the audience about what happened before the story itself starts. The iconic black, star-filled, background with a yellow wording is an iconic way to use titles. This idea of an opening sequence that features only a paragraph on a background is something that I would use in my own production. This is for two reasons: The first being that it is simple, and immediately allows you to convey to your audience what it is that you want them to know. Secondly, it is a very iconic concept and something that could make my production stand out to the examinor . To watch the sequence, click here.

The Rock:

The Rock Opening to the names of the films producer, the scene quickly transitions to a military funeral. The bold, fire filled titles then come onto the screen, displaying the title of the film. With the non-diegetic sound of both a dramatic orchestral piece and a voice over, of a conversation between General Hummel and a young marine. This ends with the young marine not being rescued as Hummel promised. It is then followed by Hummel speaking to a congressional committee. These voice overs foreshadow the events of the rest of the film. The lack of much natural light during this opening sequence can be used to show how this man (Hummel) who was seen as a hero, has become a man hell bent on destruction. The mais - en -scene in this sequence is that of the late 1990s. With the uniform worn by Hummel showing him as a man if high rank an esteem. Then the action changes to a military cemetery, with the ambient sound of the rain. Then we see the only diegetic sound of the sequence, Hummel talking to his dead wife. This final spoken language before the end of the sequence revels to the audience that something drastic is about to happen. And once again foreshadows what will happen latter in the movie. A variety of longshots, close-ups and extreme close-ups are used in the sequence. To watch the sequence, click here

The Hunt for Red October:

The Hunt for Red October The sequence opens upon a panning shot of a desolate landscape. This sets the scene for the movie, then a selection of green text appears on screen, accompanied by the relevant sound effects , to explain where the scene is. There is then an extreme close-up on the eyes of the main character. Which then zooms out to be a normal close-up of his face. Then, there is a wide-shot, off the titular named submarine and an escort of small boats. As this happens the non-diegetic sound of a Russian choir singing a Russian song is heard, this is a very intense piece of music and implies that the film is going to be one filled with much tension. As the camera zooms out from the scene of the small fleet. The titles come onto the screen. These a white and unobtrusive, until the final title (the name of the film) comes up and is shown on a black background and with a highly soviet-style stylised title. To watch the sequence, click here

Saving Private Ryan :

Saving Private Ryan Opening with the name of the film on a black screen, before transitioning to a shot of the American flag. This then changes to a stedi -cam following an old man as he walks along a path. This would make the audience question what the film is about. As it would appear that the title is misleading. AS the old man turns into the American cemetery an close-up of his face is used, and we see that he is a veteran, and the audience begins to ask if this is the Private Ryan mentioned in the title. The old man then moves into the cemetery, which confirms to the audience that the film is apart of the war genre of film. As he walks through the crosses, the audience is given the impression that he is searching for a single grave. This is done by using a range of long-shots to show his search. Upon finding the grave he is searching for the old man falls to his knees. This is followed by a zoom to an extreme close-up on his eyes, followed by a transition to the beaches of Normandy on D-day. Throughout the sequence, the non-diegetic sound that is used is that of a military band, playing a slow and mournful tune. This would imply that what is about to happen is an extremely sad story. And foreshadows the deaths of many of the main cast later on in the film. To watch the sequence, click here.

Shutter Island:

Shutter Island Opening with a dark corridor, and quickly transitioning to a spinning staircase. This sequence, opens in a way to confuse the viewer. Using a transition to a close up of a hand, this leaves the audience confused, as they are unaware of the identity of the person in the shot. Then the shots transition to a long-shot of the gate. Before zooming in to the gate, through the gate, before fading to black . The action then changes to a room with a shadowy figure sitting by a fire. Adding suspense and danger to the sequence. It also implies that fire is somehow important to the storyline. The use of dramatic non-diegetic music throughout the sequence shows that the storyline involves a great mystery, as the sequence leaves the viewer with more questions than answers. The costumes worn by the guards in the sequence are typical of the late 1940s, implying that the movie is set in that time period. TO view the sequence, click here (turn of anotations )

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