Friday, 25 November 2011

'Short Film Opening' task - Introduction & Opening(s) Research

This year we will be taking on the task of creating a two minute film opening with the genre of a
Comic-Book Movie. At this time me and my group are researching into film openings (including titles/credits) and not deciding yet what will be happening in the film opening.

I have been researching into openings from certain Comic-Book Movies such as 'The Incredible Hulk', 'Daredevil' and 'Batman Returns'. One opening that drew me in was the 2008 superhero movie
'The Incredible Hulk', because it had a mix of Live action and special effects, telling an orgin story of the main protaginist in the film and then cutting straight to the movie. So the opening gives you the begining of the film straight away, describing what has been happening to the main character of the film. 
  'The Incredible Hulk' (2008) Opening Titles
(Click to view Opening Video)

The opening of this film is very effective and I think personally draws the audience in as it tells the orgin story of the protaginist. What I love about this opening is the simple fact it is telling a short story and explains the characters, a part of the plot and also, the scale of this movie (special effects, etc).

Here are a few screenshots from the opening titles with a match of live-action and special effects which works really well for a film opening.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

'Children of Men (2006)' Film Opening Analysis

The film opening I have been analyzing is the film 'Children of Men' which was released in cinemas in 2006 and the reason for picking this opening because it has an unexpected element to it, also giving the audience the tone and feel of this movie.

Shot One - M.S
Now the opening of this film is all one shot (excluding the television shot which is the second shot) and immediately opens with a group of people in a cafe watching a television presumably. The 'Mise-en-scene' of this shot is the location (café), props (cups) and also, costume (raggedy dirty clothes). The lighting is very dark and dull, showing the films main theme.

Shot Two - M.C.U
This shot shows what this group is looking at from shot one, but not necessarily a POV shot. The main attention is on the images being shown to the group but now we are concentrating on this scene. A huge give away of a 'different time perid' is the TV itself, no frame or stand on it, so could be holographic.

Shot Three - V.W.S
As the main character walks out of the café, the camera pans to the right and we come to a Very Wide Shot of future London, then the text ' London, 16th November 2027' appears on screen in this show. Many futuristic cars and even bikes with carriages appear. Also, the color of this shot is very grim, city seems poorer and downgraded.

Shot Four - M.S
Following the man (subject), he stops and then the camera does a 180 degree movement around him as he stops, showing us more of the future London. Also, you see 'Extras' who are n the background. No person is wearing smart suits, but raggedy clothes like they have never been washed or taken care of.

Show Five - M.S
Subject is still in frame, we stop the 180 degree rule and stop. Suddenly an explosion occurs changing the mood of the film, gives the audience a shock or a scare as it is unexpected. Smoke and debris is everywhere showing the content of the damage.

Shot Six - W.S
We approach throught the smoke and get a wider shot. Debris is everywhere showing the damage and a woman with an arm in her hand (hers obviously) walks from the explosian site, showing the damage caused by the explosian. This gives audience the idea of this being a 'surprise' film when anything can happen unsuspectingly

How are the Characters Established?
We only get the introduction of the main character (Theo) in this opening, but the extras in the group are also characters, acting as citizens of this future London. . The group look tired, dirty and dull, showing the people of London's (in this film) personality.

How is Location Established?
Simply by the text appearing when we come to the V.W.S of future London which reads; 'London, 16th November 2027'. Also, vehicles including the red double Decker buses that appear in the opening.

Narrative Constructive?
There are two Narratives in this. One: the Cliffhanger of this opening is the explosion. Why did explode? Who did it? And Two: The new broadcast reporting over the death of the youngest person in the world, giving the audience this is not a normal world than it is present day.

How does the opening reflect the genre of the film?
I think a good example is the explosion that unsuspectingly happens. This explosion changes the mood of the movie straight away, showing audiences this is no longer a safe city and the fact it is a war zone in a way. You would expect an introduction of the character straight away but instead the explosion tells a different story that these peoples lives are more vulnerable to crime and death.

How have titles been used?
There are no titles for example credits, but instead a simple 'title card' that appears at the end of the opening scene. But when that title card appears just after the explosion, you still hear the alarm that is ringing/buzzing after the explosion. It makes this film more threatening and the fact no music plays in makes this film dark and intense.

In your view is this an effective opening?
I agree completely because the way the mood changes again with that explosion really tells you "this is not a normal place, this place has changed.". Also, you straight away get a feeling of this future London that the economy has just gone, civilization has become depressed. 100% effective opening and it is a real shame this movie is not that noticed much by the public.

"Preliminary Task" Final

I have finished my editing of the film and exported it as an FLV file to upload onto the media deaprtments channel on YouTube. Personally I am happy with the final product due to it's tone and genre shown to you and also, I love the shots the whole group has input into this film The editing was hard (overlapping voices, color correction, etc.) and sometime loosing some of the project due to computer freezing or even not SAVING which I made the mistake of time to time.

Never the less, I am happy with what I have done and also, couldn't of been done without the groups input.