Thursday, 10 February 2011

Questions and answers from Documentary on Film Openings

In this task we had to watch a documentary as a class about film openings. The documentary gave me a good insight into the mind of a director and what inspires/ influences them when they are making a film opening. We were given a set of questions to answer while we watched it.

1) What does Thomas Sutcliffe mean when he says "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment? While there are many types of seduction , the temptation to go for an instant arousal is almost irresistible".
What Thomas Sutcliffe means is that they need to find a way of interesting their audience without giving away too much about the movie; in other words, sort of tease the viewer so that they are more tempted and so that they are even more likely to carry on watching the film.

2) According to director Jean Jacques Beineix , what are the risks of 'instant arousal'?
What I think he is trying to say is that the opening of movies are meant to start of slowly building up to something big or a climax. The consequences of a director choosing not to follow this tradition in that the viewer might feel disappointed because the movie doesn’t live up to the expectations of that in the opening sequence.

3) Explain why "a good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little.
This is important because if the audience feels like they know too much already, they might think that there’s nothing else to look forwards to. Whereas if the audience know just about enough it helps restore the balance of suspense seen as they don’t yet know everything so there are still things for them to look forward to finding out about.    

4) What does critic Stanley Kauffmann describe as the classic opening?
Stanley Kauffmann describes the classic opening that the film began with an establishing shot , then a close up of a building and of the camera going up the building to a window, then in the window taking us through some of the main characters and giving us an insight to what each character is like e.g. personality wise. To do this the director uses MES to his advantage. For example if the character being show is very playful and the joker of the work place the camera might get a few close-up’s of some of the things on the desk i.e. some office toys.

5) Why is Kyle Cooper's title sequence to the film Seven so effective?In my opinion I believe that it was designed to tune in and wake the audience up and get them ready for what’s going to happen, the title sequence introduce the audience to the character and the psychotic feel to the movie becoming the first scene of the movie. The title sequence was so effective it has influenced many movies even up until today. Some even say that Cooper was ahead of he’s time, in terms of the way he saw things and he's mentality.   

6) What did Orson Welles want to achieve with his opening to the film A Touch Of Evil? What did Universal Studios do to it? Why?
I believe that he wanted to create an opening sequence with a evil side; which in turn would create tension, without credits wanting to throw the audience straight into the story. However Universal Studios put the credits and title music losing the effect that Welles wanted to achieve.

7) What is meant by "a favourite trick of Film Noir"? What is the trick?
The trick is that the film starts with the end, then throughout the rest of the  film we are shown how a character got to that particular event which we were shown at the beginning.

8) How does the opening to the film The Shining create suspense?
The opening of The Shining creates suspense as a view of a helicopter shot of the camera fixed on that object pursuing the car like a predator suggesting that evil is upon this in the car.

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