Watching a Documentary:
In class I watched a documentary which explored the opening of films, Thomas Sutcliffe pin pointed the most important techniques of creating an opening, he affirms that "films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment" meaning the beggining is what gives them the need to watch on, hence it's a vital part of the film.
Techniques used & reactions:
Establishing shots- This is a camera shot which asserts a location, this is used in openings to notify the audience where the film is set. I believe including this in an opening reveals a lot, rather than leaving the audience anticipating. Yet this opening style puts the audience straight into a scene, and doesn’t fuss around, it can excite the audience dependent on the location being established e.g. a crime scene, this could inform the audience where there are but wondering who is involved and what happened before hand therefore they’re motivated to watch on, to find out the prior story.
Instant arousal- This is when a film starts at a climax for, in the documentary we were shown a movie staring Jack Nicholson which starts with an explosion, this stimulates the audience builds up a thirst, director Jean Jacques Beineix mentions this could also be risky, because the film has the climatic beginning to live up to and if it fails to match the peak , it will bore the audience and be remembered as a tedious film. If this is pulled off well and the rest of the film lives up to the expectation the beginning built, I believe it could be a potential masterpiece.
Foreshadowing- This is hinting towards future events, this can be done by creating an atmosphere with pathetic fallacy, for example a storm dim lightning this was used in ‘Film Noir’. By setting an atmosphere it creates an uncertainty, and the audience can predict misfortune.
An Opening shown in the documentary:
Touch of evil-
‘Touch of evil’ uses a tracking shot throughout, following a couple’s journey through a town, there are no cuts and this allows the audience to feel like we’re stalking the couple, because our eyes are never cut to another shot our focus stays on the couple, this builds tension as we are unaware of the couples fait. This opening is unique because it had to be filmed in one take, allot of work must had been put in to get it right, the fact they pulled it off perfectly, makes the opening is different to other openings and the rareness of this style made me realize I shouldn’t feel limited to do a conventional opening whilst making my thriller opening.
This documentary taught me the intention of an opening scene, to arouse the audience by starting with something which enlightens them to watch the rest of the film; it shall create an expectation and also situate an image which is relative to the rest of the movie. I understand that different techniques have different effects, for example being discrete creates more suspense this is something I will consider in my opening. Different openings are suitable for different genres and whilst making an opening you it’s essential to establish some sort of narrative yet not reveal too much as too much exposed will make the rest of the film pretty pointless.