Sunday, 28 November 2010

The opening of My sisters keeper.

I decided to look at the opening of this film as it's not an opening you would expect. The opening really sets the mood for the rest of the film and tells the audience a bit of what the film is going to be about.

The image opens on a distorted image and the screen flickers different colours and you see a kite. The music is slow and simple like the kite. You can tell the image has been shot by a hand held camera to get the home movie effect. You hear a girl speaking over the top. She explains her story and the image changes to ones of kids who look happy. This is also shot with a hand held camera to get the home movie effect. You see a shot of a woman in a wedding dress who you presume is their mother. Then you see a woman who's pregnant. The images flicker a lot and aren't focused very well. It changes to someone who is flicking a book however a video seems to be on every page of someone running.

The images change to the children as they're older. I like the way this opening has been filmed as it tells the family background so you know who the characters are e.g. the mother, the sister Kate and the girl who is narrating the story. By the end of the opening you know the sister Kate is ill and has cancer and the girl was born so she could save her sisters life. The opening doesn't tell you what the film is going to be about, only the past.

the opening of Charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the chocolate factory was directed by the award winning Tim Burton in 2005. I decided to look at the opening of this film as I like the dramatic opening. We are going to be making a film opening for our final so I wanted to get some ideas for my final.

The dramatic opening leaves you wondering. Who is the person wearing the purple gloves? What are the golden tickets? And how are abnormal things happening? Like the chocolate being carried by balloon.

I like the establishing, low angle shot used to show the factory and due to the white sky as it is snowing, the factory looks dark and dull. This can show that there is a secret about the factory which has not been uncovered yet. You see a fade in of a small boy who you can tell is going to be the main character.

The opening of Casino Royal.

As we are going to be making an opening sequence for our final I decided to look into some opening sequences to see what looks good and what does not. First I looked at the opening sequence of Casino Royal. Casino Royal is part of the James Bond series.

This is the clip I used to see the opening sequence.

The scene opens in on a fade in of an establishing shot. This shows their location. The movement within the first shot is smoke coming out of a car. The scene is shot in black and white, to either a change in time for example in the future or in the past. Then a black car pulls up outside the building and you see a very low angled shot of someone getting out of a car, this shows their high status. They look mischievous as if they have a secret. They then use another low angled shot to show the elevator going up. They show the floor's changing on a little screen inside the elevator. This could also be interpreted as a count down. But a count down to what?

As he gets out the elevator, you see him speedily walking away. They decided to use a medium long shot for this and it slowly pans left and zooms in. They use a low angle shot to show the door opening. The room is quite dark, showing a hidden agenda maybe.

You hear a quiet noise which doesn't match the mans movement, then they quickly cut to a close up of his face. His face is well lit on one side and not very well
lit on the other, maybe showing he's not completely truthful. You hear speaking and the man quickly turns around and the camera pans left. You see James Bond sat down and he is barely lit. They use a high angle shot and James Bond is positioned near the bottom of the screen showing he may be venerable at this moment in time. The man moves across the room and sits down, subtly opening a drawer containing a gun. They use a medium long shot which you can only just see James Bond in as he is barely lit.

The man asks, "you aren't a cricket fan by any chance are you?" and the scene changes to a cricket match. Its still black and white, showing a change in time. Writing fades in at the bottom saying "LAHORE, PAKISTAN". You can see a normal atmosphere, people are playing cricket and others are watching. The cricket players are wearing white maybe showing their innocence, where as James Bond is wearing dark clothes. Then you see a shifty looking audience member who keeps looking around to see who's watching. When he notices James Bond, who is once again barely lit. The man quickly makes a move like he's got something to hide & James Bond quickly follows. The music cuts in and is fast paced. They use a hand held camera shot to show the anticipation and build tension. There is a cut shot and you see the man frantically running up the stairs when James Bond slowly walks into the room. They use a hand held camera again. You see the man run into the toilets and pull out a gun, when James Bond comes into the room. The music is getting faster and the cut shots are getting faster. They begin to fight. The director decided to use medium long and close ups for the scene as you can see whats happening and their expressions.

The colour begins to turn a sepia colour and you hear the mystery man hit James Bond with a bin, when the scene changes back to the office and you see the man pull out a gun and point it at James. Although you cannot see James you know it is to him as they have used the same angle previously. The music slows down a lot to build tension. They use a close up of the mans face and you see him slowly smile and speak. He pulls the gun and nothing happens. There's a cut shot to James who slowly lifts his hand and he's holding the gun. 
Theres then cut shot and you hear the man crashing against something and it breaks. They use a low angle shot and the man is in a venerable position. They use a close of of James Bonds face to see the anger. You see the man who we thought was dead reach for a gun, they use a reverse shot and show James Bond who quickly turns around and then it turns into the opening titles.

I like the way this opening has been shot as it shows you, the location, the characters and some of the storyline. Although you are left wondering who the man at the cricket match was and why James needed to kill him.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Music video - B.O.B ft. Bruno Mars - nothing on you.

I decided to look at the music video for B.O.B's nothing on you. They made the video by taping people like B.O.B and Bruno Mars on a White background and ripped out 10-15 images every second to make the image move smoothly. They then placed the images on a background.

At the beginning of the video you see loads of different girls and they have ripped the images so they have the mouth of one, the eyes of one and the hair of another. They then change it to B.O.B who is singing.

 As the chorus ends they show B.O.B walking down the street. Each thing down the street, for example trees, street lights & the lines on the road have all been ripped out so have outlines. The outline around B.O.B changes alot as it's been ripped out.

The shot of B.O.B walking was filmed by B.O.B walking on a White treadmill on a White background. They mainly use eye level medium long shots and close ups as they are realistic and personal for the love song.

As B.O.B says "I've been to London," they change the back ground to Big Ben & houses if parliament. He then says "... I've been to Paris," they change the background to the eiffel tower. They change the back ground to Tokyo as he speaks of going there and they change the back ground as he speaks of going to Georgia and New Orleans.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Tim Burtons Alice in wonderland!

The film stars blockbuster favourites such as Jhonny Depp, Barbara Windsor, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hatheway, Helena Bonham Carter, Matt Lucas & Alan Rickman.

The first scene opens as a fade in of the moon in the night sky and fast paced music is playing. The camera slowly zooms out over London city and you see Big Ben is lit up. It then keeps zooming out and pans down to a window which it zooms into. I like the way this film opening has been shot as you get the location and time of day yet you are left wondering who's window it is.
Once inside the room you automatically can tell the time period, which is about 200 odd years ago. The men in the scene are wearing suits with bow ties which shows they're high status. A young girl of about 8 walks into the doorway and says nothing. The father asks "the nightmare again?" this leaves the audience intreged into what nightmare they are on about!

They use alot of close ups and medium camera angles and they are constantly playing a small amount of quiet music. The rooms a slight sepia colour to show the authenticity of the scene.

The next scene fades in at a medium long shot of a horse drawn carriage with medium writing saying "13 years later". The camera pans down as the carriage draws closer.

The costumes are big dresses with corsets and stockings, you can tell the people within the carriage are of high status by their extravagant clothing.
They use cut shots between scenes of dancing to flash between medium long and close ups. They mainly use eye level shots and classical music is playing in the background.

I like the way the scene where Alice falls down the tree after chasing the rabbit is shot. She falls down the tree and is seen falling. You see a point of view shot as she is falling and she is looking at the exit and you see her hands waving about. The picture swiftly changes from sepia to blue and back again. When she is falling she bumps into books, pianos and all sorts. The fast paced music makes the scene alot more intense and dramatic. You see a reverse shot of her looking at the piano and falling on her, and you see the piano. The cut rate increases as the tension builds up. When she lands, she notices everything in the room is upsidown, the camera turns 360 degrees and she falls to the ground. The sepia colour are used
To represent unnatural and the film is set in the past. The image begins to become distorted and the image moves double time. Tim Burton chose to use a close up of Alices hand as she trys a key in the door and as she finds it doesn't work they use a high angle shot to make her seem vulnerable. The image suddenly changes to a point of view shot of two people talking about Alice and they're looking at her through a keyhole. I like this as your left in suspense as to who's talking!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Mize en scene in Desperate Houswives

The scene is set on a small lane in the American suburbs. There are four main characters in desperate housewives who the TV drama is based on. This particular scene is set in mid afternoon on the street. You get to see each of the housewives on this particular day.


The costumes within this actual scene are casual.

Bree: Bree is a well respected working class woman who wears pearls, cardigans and pencil skirts. You can tell what sort of person she is by her outfit as it shows she prides herself on being a perfect mother, wife and friend.

Susan: Susan is a working class mother who is recently experiencing money problems. She wears jeans, a basic t shirt and trainers. You can tell she is an active person as she wears comfortable clothes rather than anything too dressy.

Lanette: Lanette is a mother of 5 and a wife. She normally wears oversized shirts and linen trousers. She is a stay at home mum due to recently giving birth.

Gabrielle: Gabrielle is a former model who has a top class businessman husband and two children. She is wearing a figure hugging jogging suit in lime green. She is also a stay at home wife.


The lighting is slightly artificial and doesn’t seem too life like sometimes however they are stood in daylight in part of the scene which looks better.


There are some top actors in desperate housewives such as Teri Hatcher, Marcia Gross, Eva Longoria Parker and Felicity Huffman. There has been some guest appearances such as John Barrowman, John Schneider & Emily Bergl.

The actors are very good and they play believable characters who people can relate to e.g. the working class mother, the divorcee, the mother on maternity leave and the stay at home mum.


The movement in the scene makes the scenes flow well, they all seem to be in the right place and camera angles are very good.

IMAGE: "Desperate Housewives" 

Some of the props I saw was

Cooking bowl and spoon
Newspaper & mail
Baby bottle

They are sometimes used to get a character from one place to another e.g. outside to get the mail and they bump into a friend or go to get a baby bottle from the fridge and they see something out the window.


The setting is a normal summer afternoon on a lane in suburb America. Most the girls manage to cross each other in the scene e.g. using props and driving past each other and waving. Each one of them is in their house with their family.


There are both diegetic and non diegetic sounds within the scene. Some examples of diegetic I heard within the scene were wind and birds.

Some examples of non diegetic music I heard within the scene were a tumble dryer, a coffee machine, a car, speaking and walking. They also played a bit of subtle music to get between places like a piano played quietly as it swapped between characters. The upbeat music fit in perfectly making the scene flow well

Mr and Mrs Smith

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt star in an action film directed by Doug Liman in 2005. The film is based on a couple who attend marriage counselling and neither one knows the other is a highly skilled assassin.

The location of the film is a city in America. Their clothes are smart casual.

I like the way the film was shot as it isn't in chronological order. For example they open the film in the marriage councillors office, they move onto the first time they meet, they then swap to a scene at the marriage councillors office.

In the scene they use lots of different cut shots and different camera angle.

My favourite scene is a fight scene. They went against the prejudice damsel in distress and made her strong enough to fight her own battles. In the scene they actually chose to make the man chase the woman. The woman was stronger and faster and Brad Pitts character could not keep up, meaning he's weaker.