Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Structure of thriller openings.

In all film openings, there are three basic structures which are followed:

Some openings use a narrative with the titles running throughout for example:
  • The Stepfather
  • A touch of evil
  • Casino
 I particularly like the title sequence of The Stepfather as I think the music and style of writing used in the titles suit each other perfectly; the simple, straight forward-ness of the writing is reinforced with the simple, monotone, yet very menacing music.

Another structure commonly used is a discrete title sequence
e.g the film 'Se7en' which has it's own music which is instantly recognisable, as well as the unique childlike writing used for the titles. Also, only close-ups and extreme close-ups are used in the whole opening sequence, this in addition to the occasional flickering, quick jump cuts and point of view shot used throughout create the illusion of mystery and draws the audience in to the story.

The final basic structure used is titles over a blank screen; followed by the narrative opening.

Donnie Darko is a classic example of this commonly used opening structure. The audience is drawn into the film not through camera shots or cuts, but through sound e.g the thunder in the opening of Donnie Darko, before any pictures come up on the screen is used to intrigue the audience and create a sense of mystery.

One more style in which a opening can be structured is 'stylized editing':

A classic example of this is The taking of pelham 123. It is unlike most film openings in the sense that it is edited to appear like a music video; everything in the scene goes with the beat e.g when the music goes quiet, the picture slows down, whereas it would usually have been super-sped up. I particularly like this type of opening structure as the amazing editing creates something out of the ordinary for film openings; it seems more unique and effective than the others.

No comments:

Post a Comment