Click the image below to be taken to my timeline of the history of thrillers:
Here is a video I created looking at different genres in title sequences:
The purpose of the title sequence is to hint towards the theme of the film, not to tell the story. Having very little plot in the title sequence is a good aim to have.
If we look at Se7en we can see what we are looking for in a title sequence.
- Typography is key in hinting at the theme/story.
- Audio adds to the atmosphere of it.
- The amount of cuts and different images makes it more intense.
- Hinting at the theme from words on the screen in newspapers, photos without any story being told.
- Specific order of the credits and roles.
I can relate this to my main task as I need to create the same form of media and do it to a high standard of quality, just like Se7en has shown.
- Research into typography.
- Look into different genres and themes.
- Find out more about the history of title sequences.
Today we started to research and talk about what we want to do for our main task, following the brief below once more, we have to create a two minute opening of a new fiction film.
We have to pick a genre, a sub genre and try and make our opening sequence come across that way by using specific visuals, music and fonts.
Things I have to avoid:
- Anything cliché.
- Unnecessary walking shots or shots of the backs of heads.
- Setting it in a college or school.
- Avoid using teenagers for actors, when an older role is needed.
- Royalty music.
- Avoid lots and lots of Dialogue.
- Ignoring the role of typography.
I have now finished my preliminary task and to help my evaluation, I’m going to recap the brief that we were given. We had to follow this brief to obtain a final piece that included:
- Match on action.
- Shot/Reverse shot.
- 180 degree rule.
- Opening door, sitting down and exchanging dialogue.
All whilst keeping the continuity of the scene going and not breaking it.
Match on Action
I think we achieved the first criteria for our preliminary task, we did two match on actions, one for the entering the room, then again when passing the evidence. When looking at the first example, we see Nicola reaching for the door handle, and once it turns and starts to open, we cut and go to the next clip which shows her entering the room, and sitting down. I think we did this quite effectively, but there is room for improvement on type the shot we used for her entering, I think we should have shown more of the door, or just not go for an over the shoulder shot straight away. I do think that the sitting down straight away helped continuity as it shown to the audience that she was walking down a corridor, then enters and sits down straight away, showing she means business and wants to get straight to the facts.
Here are some screenshots of this match on action:
Another match on action was the passing of the evidence to the prisoner, I will put some photos down below of the scene. We see Nicola take the evidence out and as she is passing it we cut and go to an above view of the evidence being looked at from a clear perspective, and as he is looking through them, we cut again to see him put them all down with frustration. This helps the audience clearly see what is happening in the scene and allows them to personally see the evidence as well. Doing this also shows the importance of the evidence to the film.
One point from this scene is that there is a break in continuity and its important to recognise these mistakes. In the shot where Will is looking through the evidence we can see the order of the photos, we can see him looking at a photo of a hand holding a phone , then in the next cut, we can see him holding the rest of the photos in an over the shoulder shot, but the next photo along is a piece he has already put down in the previous shot. Breaking the continuity of the piece, as we have seen the same photo twice. This isn’t that noticeable but it is critical to avoid these errors in the future, to do this I would number the photos so there is a set order, and would avoid them being mixed up.
Shot Reverse Shot
The next target we had to include was shot reverse shot, this was useful to have in our piece as it made the conversation more intense and added to the continuity overall. In the first shot we can see Nicola, whilst peering over Will’s shoulder. Then we cut to Will, whilst looking over Nicola’s shoulder, this gives us the appearance that they are having a conversation and are talking to each other face to face. I think we achieved the shot reverse shot really well, I think it might be one of the best out of all of them, as we clearly see them talking, over shoulder, and their eye lines match. One thing I would alter is the placement of the camera for over Nicolas Shoulder, as when comparing the two shots, his shoulder is mostly in the frame, and the bottom half of his face, where as Nicola’s face is the majority and not her shoulder. It makes it seem like Nicola is a lot taller than Will, but as shot reverse shots go, I think it was successful.
Here are the two shots which I have been referring too:
180 Degree Rule
180 degree rule has defiantly been followed in the film, as the 180 degree rule is when you stay only on one side of the actors, like a semi circle (aka 180 degrees) when filming. From the previous shot reverse shot example, we can see from the first shot that we stay at the maximum point on Nicolas side and then the opposite for Will’s view, we never cross over the ‘line’ and see over her right shoulder. In the first shot, Will is on the left side of the frame and Nicola is on the right side, and from following the 180 degree rule, when the shot is reversed, they are still are in the same positions on the screen.
Here is a side by side view of the shots to help show the 180 degree rule.
The audio for the piece went okay for the most of it, the sound when recording got picked up by the microphone well, didn’t sound static or mumbled. The Foley sound we created using footsteps also worked very well, it was successful and much better than using the original sound from the shoot. Finally the music we used in the background was very intense and helped set he mood for the film. It created the right atmosphere and helped the pacing of the script. One thing in post production that slipped through was at one point in the video, you can hear the voice of Nicola say “fine” even though her mouth isn’t moving. I’m not sure how this got through to the final piece but I say its down to the fact that we didn’t use headphones whilst editing and therefore didn’t hear the quiet voice speaking and thought it was air, so when we were filling the gap of silence, we thought that it would be okay to use as nothing was being said, but in reality, Nicola’s voice can be heard very quietly.
Below I’ve inserted the final piece again, but just started it just before you hear the “fine”.