Tag Archives: Timeline

The Sixth Sense Opening

The Sixth Sense is a thriller movie from 1999. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the film is about a young boy visited by the dead. Unlike the other film openings that I have previously looked at, The Sixth Sense shows no opening scene in the first 2 minutes but rather shows names of producers, actors, music artists and makeup artists…

00:00:00 – 00:00:13 : The first feature to the two minute opening is the ident for ‘Hollywood Pictures’. There is no sound behind the ident; this builds tension as often silence can create suspense effectively. The sequence then fades to black.

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00:00:14 – 00:00:30 : The second ident sequence is for ‘Spyglass Entertainment’. Once again, the name of the company matches the theme of the ident. Once again, there is no sound. The scene then fades to black.

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00:00:31 – 00:00:41 : The shot then shows ‘Hollywood Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment Present’ in simple font with a plain black background. On top of the shot, a subtle and quiet composed score is played. This calmness and simplicity adds suspense and tension. The shot then fades to black.

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00:00:42 – 00:00:52 : The next shot follows on from this with the writing ‘A Kennedy/ Marshall/ Barry Mendel Production’. In the background the same subtle, quiet music is playing. This then fades to black.

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00:00:53 – 00:00:58 : With the music continuing from the previous shot, the main actor’s name ‘Bruce Willis’ is shown. This then also fades to plain black.

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00:00:59 – 00:01:07 : Suddenly, a tense sound effect is played when the title of the film ‘The Sixth Sense’ appears. The sound effect matches the movement of the simple title. This then also fades to black as the sound effect once again stops to continue the opening.

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00:01:08 – 00:02:00 : From here in the opening, names of actors, producers, casting agents and music producers appear on the screen in the same simple way. The calm and simple music from before continues to play with the same plain black screen.

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Silence of the Lambs Opening

Silence of the Lambs was released in 1991 and is about a psychopath called Buffalo Bill and his murderous ways. Directed by Jonathan Demme, the film can be categorised as a thriller.

00:00:00 – 00:00:10 : The film opening begins with the famous ‘Metro Goldwyn Mayer’ ident sequence. The ident involves the roar of a lion to link to the commonly recognised sequence. The sequence then fades to black.

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00:00:12 – 00:00:29 : The next sequence shows the logo for the company, ‘Orion’. Orion is “a constellation on the equator east of Taurus represented on charts by the figure of a hunter with belt and sword.” (Merriam-Webster). This shows that often the name of the company links directly to the theme of the ident. In the background to the sequence, a calm and melodic composition is playing. The sequence then fades to black.

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00:00:32 – 00:00:40 : Fade in to opening scene. The same composed score is playing, therefore linking the opening scene of the film with the previous idents. The scene shows a foggy, winters day in a forrest. In the bottom right the location, ‘Woods near Quantico, Va’, is displayed. This sets the scene clearly. Emphasised diegetic sounds such as chirping birds are played in order to set the scene further.

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00:00:41 – 00:00:45 : Nothing considering the shot, scene and location as the previous aspect changes. Both the diegetic, and the non diegetic sounds are still playing. However, the shot no longer shows the location in the bottom right corner but shows the production company in the centre… ‘A Strong Heart/Demme Production’.

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00:00:46 – 00:00:49 : Once again, the various aspects to the shot have not changed. However, this time the main character’s name is displayed, ‘Jodie Foster’. The picture then begins to move slowly in order to show more of the location.

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00:00:50 – 00:00:54 : The scene continues to move with the same sounds. However this time, a new name appears… ‘Anthony Hopkins’.

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00:00:55 – 00:00:59 : More of the scene is revealed as a new name, ‘Scott Glenn’, is revealed.

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00:01:00 – 00:01:05 : As the scene continues to reveal more of the forrest, the composed score remains calm. This calmness increases the suspense and tension. The title, ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’, then appears in the centre of the shot.

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00:01:06 – 00:01:14 : A wide shot now displays a part of the forest. Over the mud hill, a woman begins to climb over in a hurried fashion. The music intensifies and the sounds become more emphasised.

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00:01:15 – 00:01:24 : As this scene continues and the woman becomes closer to the camera, two more names appear. ‘Ted Levine’ and ‘Anthony Heald’.

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00:01:25 – 00:01:37 : The opening scene then shows the same woman jogging through the woods. She is shown to be taking part in an ‘FBI Academy’.

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00:01:38 – 00:01:50 :As the scene further continues, three further names are shown. ‘Brooke Smith’, ‘Diane Baker’ and ‘Kasi Lemmons’. Afterwards, three more names flash onto the screen. These include, ‘Charles Napier’, ‘Tracey Walter’ and ‘Roger Corman’.

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The opening scene of the woman running through the woods with the same soundtrack and emphasised sounds then continues… 

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The Purge: Anarchy Opening

In order to get an accurate idea into the structure of film openings, Emelia and I watched a few two minute film openings and decided to create timelines. By creating timelines, we could note down the various features, when they appeared and how long they lasted for. From doing this, we hope to have a better idea of the form and structure of film openings. Hopefully, this extra knowledge will help us to create an accurate and believable film opening. Due to our previous pre-production work, Emelia and I have already chosen our genre. Due to this, we have decided to look into the openings of thriller films only as this way we will know the specific features and how to relate them to the thriller genre.

Firstly, I watched the beginning to ‘The Purge: Anarchy’. This is an American thriller directed by James DeMonaco. I chose this film opening to analyse first as I felt the structure of the various idents and logos was fairly clear.

00:00:00 – 00:00:24 : Firstly, the Universal logo sequence plays. Over the top of this, a non-diegetic, tense and sinister composed score plays; this adds tension and immediately indicates what genre the upcoming film will belong to.  The sequence then fades to black.

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00:00:25 – 00:00:40 : The next ident sequence then plays for ‘BH Productions’. Over this, the same dark score is played; this connects the two and further builds tension. The sequence then once again fades to black.

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00:00:41 – 00:00:53 : The final company logo sequence occurs. The company is ‘Platinum Dunes’. The same score is played; however, it is less busy and more eerie. The sequence then once again fades to black.

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00:00:56 – 00:01:09 : The film then begins. However, an opening scene does not immediately begin. First, facts are given to give background and understanding to the film. The composed score is now fairly simple. This simplicity adds tension. This scene then fades to black.

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00:01:11 – 00:01:19 : The title of the film, ‘The Purge: Anarchy’, then suddenly appears. The composition’s dynamics increase as the title appears and then decrease as the sequence proceeds. This is a shock and draws attention to the title.

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00:01:23 – 00:01:31 : Then, the opening shows the time and date of the following scene. It also mentions the major event that will occur further on in the film. The eerie composed score continues to play and the scene fades to black.

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00:01:35 : Fade in to the opening scene. This scene begins with a close up and then shows a wide shot. There are emphasised diegetic sounds such as money and footsteps.

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00:01:49 : The diegetic sound of the news on the television begins; this introduces the upcoming major event in the film and builds tension.

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