Tuesday, 9 March 2010

General Codes & Conventions of Film Openings [DRAFT]

As a homework task, each member of the class had to create a powerpoint on a film opening from the noughties. Without any persific genre set, this was a good chance to make notes on general codes and conventions of film openings.

Marley&Me [David Frankel] [2008]

  • 40 second company credits - animation and white text on black background (20th cent. fox, Regency)
  • Voice over from centeral protagonist
  • Links sound and action - makes you th ink the person on screen is him.
  • Change in diegetic sound 
  • Frame paused when protagonist jumps over the fence (exposition that this is the person who voice is being heard.)
  • Exposition through voiceover
  • Interesting framing - through the door
  • Another character introduced - mise en scene (wedding day)
  • Stereotypes - American married couple
  • Rated PG   but includes adult themes
  • Typical rom-com but also covers social issues such as death

 Napoleon Dynamite [Jared Hess] [2004]

  •  2.40 mins of opening credits - paramount, MTV Films and other titles including actors and directors
  • Non diegetic music signifies comedy
  • Heavily stylised and creative
  • When it does get into the film, not much happens in further minute - exposition of centeral protagonist - geeky -> hair, glasses and clothes.
Where The Heart Is  [Matt Williams] [2000]
  • based on a novel
  • Romance + drama genre - hybrid genre
  • Audience = American teens.
  • Appeals to working class
  • 20th Cent. Fox 
  • Audio bridge - dripping sound from car signifies important object/social status of people
  • Exposition through dialouge
  • Accent and mise en scene links to stereotypical texas characters
  • Goes against general convention of first onscreen character being central protagonist.
  • Pregnant woman - loses male gaze
  • Titles appear after 2 minutes.
  • No signifers of romance genre in opening 

Hot Fuzz [Edgar Wright] [2007]
  • 30 second production titles - Universal + Working Title + Studio Canal
  • First scene very long shot - Establishing shot - Police office
  • Quick cuts -> fast paced signifying his skills
  • Mise en scene -> verisimilitude 
  • Voice over (exposition) + diegetic and non digetic sound. ('Goody Two Shoes' song from the 80's which signifies the target audience age.)
  • Preffered reading of genre - action with comedy twist
  • Quick established equilibrium - central protagonist being a hard working police man
  • Ending on disequilibrium - being moved location to small village.
  • Good representation of the police force
  • Binary opposition between rural and urban 

Anchor Man [Adam McKay] [2004]

  • Company logo - Dreamworks - Apatow > text on black - documentary style
  • Exposition through voice over -> very vague about time and date, but specifies location - San Diego - and exposition about the character
  • Ron Burgundy - Central protagonist. Propps archetypes theory -> the Hero - "the balls" "legend of.."
  • Comedy genre
  • Exposition through mise en scene -> News room
  • Older audience -> 70's songs and time period
  • But also attracts younger audience with silly humour 
  • High social class -> Scotch, ring, suits. "He wore suits that makes Sinatra look like a hobo" - inter textual references signifies older audience to get preferred reading

Donnie Darko [Richard Kelly] [2001]

  • Production comanies : New Market, Flower Films Productions + Pandora
  • Genre - Hybrid genre, Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi Thriller, Cult film
  • Audio bridge -> Thunderstorm over text into opening shot - signifies horror, connoting possible darkness of the film
  • Thunderstorm contrasts with the opening shot where there is no storm
  • Camera pans scenery along with non digetic sound of tense, slow music.
  • Protagonist turns to face screen, laughing. -> signifies a weird theme to the film
  • Music from the 80's could suggest time period. -> "The Killing Moon" by echo and the bunny man - connote horror film
  • Halloween party sign provides exposition to the date and signify a horror linked into the holiday.
  • Generally tracking Donnie - significance to being central protagonist
  • Anchorage to mysterious film with message on the fridge - "where is Donnie?"

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