Sunday, 17 November 2013

Narrative in an opening sequence.

Often films incorporate narrative into their title sequence. This can be done by simply beginning the film with titles on top or more interestingly by having a separate but related story whilst the titles take place. The latter of the two techniques is something which is frequently seen in Disney and Pixar animations  and is very useful to establish all the mise-en-scene elements of a film without actually begging the film. In addition to this, some films would use an opening sequence to divulge background and details about the film.

Ice Age

The opening sequence of Ice Age is a clear illustration of an opening sequence being used to set up a film without actually using any of the main cast or introducing the plot. 

What does this opening sequence tell us about the film?

From this opening sequence a lot is suggested about the film. It's clear to us that the film will be set in pre-hidtoric times, the 'Ice Age'. Furthermore by the characterisation of a squirrel we are told that the film will involve animals and the narrative will surround them. As well as this, the elements of schaeenfeuder  that surround the squirrel tell the audience will be be a comedy and uplifiting. Not only this, but the fact the squirrel is 'sabre-toothed' further connotes comedy.

Ferris Buller's Day Off

Alternatively Ferris Buller's Day Off has an opening sequence which does not take the viewer away from the film and literally begins the narrative of the plot.

What does the opening sequence tell us about the film?

The opening sequence to this film introduces us to the main characters. We are shown where and when the film is set and the beginning of the story line is shown to us. This approach at an opening sequence is useful as it's almost impossible for the viewer to find it boring. The viewer is given a large chunk of information about the film at the start and are therefor automatically involved from the offset.


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