Monday, 30 March 2009

Codes and Conventions of Film Openings

In every film opening that I have studied, the production and distribution logos of the companies that have contributed to the production of the film will always come before any other titles. Sometimes these have been edited in a way that reflects the narrative of the film (E.g. 300, the Warner Bros logo was shaped like a shield and edited to look worn and dirty. This reflects the story because it is about Roman soldiers.
The first shot of a film will either be an establishing shot or the titles on a separate background. If the latter, the titles often reflect the narrative of the film. This is apparent in the film “Scream” where the titles are shown in a Sans Serif font, changing from white to blood red after the sounds of a scream and the slash of a knife.
The establishing shot idea is shown in the film “10 Things I Hate About You.” The first shot is a panning shot of the town in which the action is set. Establishing shots are often extreme- to mid-long shots. This means that anchorage of the setting can be easily established, and the narrative can begin quicker.Some films will try to involve intertextual references in the first few minutes. An example of this is “Scream.” The genre of this film is horror, and so the films that it makes reference to are in the same bracket. Whilst on the phone, the character shown at the start of the film is talking about the different scary movies she has seen. Several films are named, like “Halloween” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

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