Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Title Sequence Analysis

.... Todays lesson was quite interesting as we watched the title sequence to The Stepfather. We talked about how they lay out their title sequence and realised that they didn't just randomly put in text on the screen at random moments! We noticed that the most signifcant parts of the opening sequence was the moments where no texts were shown. For example when they showed Davids tools kit which had different types of scissors in it, this was significant as scissors are sharp dangerous tools.. maybe they wanted to get the idea across that David was a dangerous man that used such weapons (or more useful ones such as knives) to carry out his murders....

At first this paper was shown (sorry the image isn't really clear). It was held by a man that was driving a car around the estate, I believe it was the postman. It shows that the delivery of newspapers was cancelled at the address of where David was previosuly staying (as you can see the words 'CANCELLED' are highlighted in yellow).. this is significant as it tells us that he may have cancelled it for a reason; because he is moving from that address as he has already done his business (murdering a family) and is moving out elsewhere looking for another family to be his next victims. Evil man! Here, no text was shown as they wanted the audience to focus on this...

The image isn't that clear, but this picture was taken from the opening sequence. They showed this scene at a very slow paced, it rolled by across the screen which created a bit of suspence. I believe they did this on purpose to show that David is a dangerous man as he is used to using dangerous, sharp tools such as this. They did not add any text here becuase they wanetd the audience to really focus on this part too.

After this the name of the studio was shown at the centre of the screen as 'SCREEN GEM PRESENTS...' and then after this the Producers names, which was shown likes this; 'MAVERICK FILMS/IMPRINT ENTERTAINMENT/GRANADA production. This was shown so that the audience is aware of the studio/production companies and their names.

Soon after when the stepfather (David) first appeared on the screen they showed the text  'THE STEPFATHER' beside his face so that the audience are aware who he is (as he is one of the main and important chracters). After this the names of the main casts were shown such as; 'PENN BADGELY', (Michael) 'AMBER HEARD', (Kelly) etc

The bits which were unimportant such as David taking his luggage and walking down the stairs, this is where they continued to show the names of the other casts. This is becuase they do not really require the audiences attention on these scenes as he is just simply walking down the stairs...

This lesson was actaully helpful as it gave me a few ideas of how to lay/present my own title sequence when it comes to making it with my group. You don't jus randomly add texts at random moments... the most specific scenes have to come across as significant! And the unimportant part can be used to add in the rest of the texts and so on... interesting stuff :)

We then got into groups and analysed another title sequence. The title sequence that my group analysed was from the film called 'The Shining' which was 2 minutes and 48 seconds long. It was quite boring actually but we still analysed the order in which the title sequence was presented. To make it easier for us we also ordered it in a sort of timeline.. below is an image

It may not be clear but as you can see I have positioned on the timeline (which is a the bottom of the page) the times as to when the different titles appeared. For example, the first title that appeared was the name of the distribution company (which is the first one I have plotted) and it came in after 1 minute and 7 seconds into the title sequence (quite a long wait!). The film title 'The Shining' appeared right in the middle of the sequence at 1 minute and 24 seconds (half of 2 minutes and 48 seconds). The last sequence that came was the director and producers name (Stanley Kubrick) which came at the end (which was quite unusual) at 2 minutes and 21 seconds of the title sequence.

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