Thursday, 18 December 2014
How does the opening scene of The X-Files: Squeeze attract the audience?
The X-files opens with an enigma, a murder or something which intrigues the audience and sets the case for Scully and Moulder to investigate. In this episode a killer enters rooms with locked doors and few possible entries. Tooms (the killer) turns out to be a mutated man, who feasts on liver to maintain immortality.
The mise-en-scene of the opening shows an establishing shot of Baltimore, showing where the episode will take place. Sound is presented pleasant and calmly, but then darkens to a pulsating crescendo. The day is translating into darkness which anticipates something abnormal to happen within Baltimore. It then cuts to a man leaving a building, this shows the audience he is relevant to the story and victimises him with a high angled shot. The man is shown to be isolated and completely different to the crowds of Baltimore. There is then a series of edits drawing the audience closer to the man and also the drain. The surroundings of the man are then changed to greyscale, where as the man is enhanced by desaturation, which enhances the relevance to liver, as liver disease makes the skin more yellow toned and the killer is make immortal by cannibalizing himself on liver. The yellow eyes and yellow skin show a link between the two characters, killer and victim. The focus of the drain is then dragged onward, emphasising the relevance of it making it clear to the people who still have not got the hint; the killer is in the drain. The audience then realise the relevance and a sense of anticipation is then created. The use of non-diegetic sound creates a dark atmosphere. The high sounds of strings intensify, therefore setting the audience on edge. This sound is then related to the killer and then further through the episode the audience hear the high pitched strings and suspect the presence of the killer whenever it is heard.
The shot of the elevator shaft is linked with Tooms, as it is matched with theme music. The audience are left to be curious of how they are both related, adding to the enigma. This is The frame of the man in mid shot excludes the audience from what is behind him. This emphasises the feeling of suspense, the audience predict the positioning of the killer. The man is then tracked from behind, implying that he is being followed. The shot of the elevator shaft is emphasized with the crescendo which is constantly related to Tooms. Furthermore, the man’s position as the victim is maintained when he states his ‘presentation didn’t go too well’ this makes the audience pity the man as he is not happy, the mise-en-scene of his office shows he is a family orientated man, judging by all the souvenirs placed around his room, developing the atmosphere and character, enhancing the slight emotional attachment that the audience gain for the character. The man is surrounded by darkness, putting the focus on the man and also, creating an unknown atmosphere, so the audience expect something to be within the darkness of the room.
The audience then hears the turning of the screws from the vent, which is a fairly long shot emphasising the relevance of the vent. The danger of the vent is then enhanced by the high, sinister music complimented by the diegetic sound of Tooms’ breathing. The man has his back to the ventilation system as the killer breaks it open, this emphasises the risk to come to the man as he is not able to see what is coming, so he does not know to run emphasising his vulnerability. After the sinister shot of the killer’s hands lifting up through the vent. The man walks through oblivious to what is yet to come. The audience is then concerned for the man and know what is yet to come, but the man does not. The suspense in this scene is created by cutting back and forth between the man and the vent, multiple times. The camera then tracks behind the man, as he walks back into the office. Implying that he is being followed, the audience realise it is undoubtedly the same person. The non-diegetic crescendo sets the audience into suspense, followed by the darkness room which leads the crescendo to come to a peak.
The attack is filmed from outside the room, to create a feeling of suspense and hide the identity of the killer, so the identity of the killer can be revealed in a more dramatic, shocking sense. Within the final scene a pan of the office is shown, it is shown to be slow and sinister to emphasise the feeling of mystery, after showing the coffee dripping, implying connotations of blood, you hear the heavy breathing the audience relate Tooms.
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
The Wilhelm Scream was originally used in a film named Distant Drums when a man was being eaten by an alligator. It was then used when a man, Wilhelm was shot in the leg. It then famously became the Wilhelm scream. It has been used in many films, such as Star Wars, Reservoir Dogs and Toy Story. Disney use it constantly. Recently it has became a joke to use it, but this iconic scream has been used for over 50 years.
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Editing is used to construct a narrative. It is used to change long boring scenes into quick visual bursts of information. The simplest form of editing is a cut, a cut is named so as in old fashioned film making they split the best parts of the film from unneeded ones, by physically cutting them. In the assassination scene of North by North west, between Roger Thornhill getting out of his taxi and looking out of the United Nations Building, there are roughly 16 cuts. These are most frequent during the conversation scene. The pace of the editing can be used to create tension. For example, in the shower scene of Psycho it is incredibly fast but, when Marion dies, the pace slows to show the life slowly leaving her (see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atjhOhH-V3E ). There are more complex styles of editing which involve dissolve, where one scene fades into another, overlapping for a moment. Fade out and/or fade in shows a scene that, fades to black or white quickly fading to another scene. Used very cleverly in Psycho, an iris transition shows one scene in the centre of another, like the iris of an eye. A different form of cut is the jump cut. This is where, two scenes with a common element, one after the other, something tends to stay the same but everything else changed. The change between the scenes is very fast.
Conversation scene, in North by Northwest.
Iris scene in Psycho, Marion's eye and the blood washing down the plug hole- an exact graphic match.