What makes an effective film opening? Well that is the question I am going to answer in this essay. There are a lot of factors that make a good film opening such as sound, lighting and effects. The film I will be using is “S.W.A.T”. I have chosen this film because I think it has a good film opening; it has a mix of sounds and visual effects. Personally I love my film openings to be packed full of explosions special effects and action, faint music in the background so you still get an effect from music as well as the action. I think that with an explosive exciting opening you get glued to the screen waiting for the next big bang.
At the beginning of “S.W.A.T” all you can hear at first is a police radio but you can’t see the radio you can only hear the transmissions, then it fades into police lights flashing. The word S.W.A.T gradually comes into the police lights that are still flashing. The radio continues and the camera slowly uses a big close-up effect into the Hollywood sign, you hear helicopters and the camera angle moves over the hill where you get a long shot of police helicopters flying over Los Angeles. The scene changes so that you’re in the city not above it and you get a camera effect as if you were watching this event on the news; because of this the camera switches quickly between things. This makes the viewer fell like it’s real so you really get engrossed into the film because it looks so real. The viewers emotions will be more dramatic because it seems so real, it doesn’t seem like it’s a typical movie.
WRITING A FILM REVIEW Be sure to check out film terminology! In writing your film review, remember that your writing is intended to be persuasive. Additionally, your writing should demonstrate clearly that you not only viewed the film, but also read the novel or play which formed the basis of the film. Paragraph 1: Offer your overall impression of the film while mentioning the movie's title, ...
There are then gunshots that you hear and a woman running past police cars. The sound gives you the idea that there is a shooting going on between police and criminals, but you’re not sure because you haven’t seen this yet. The viewer gets glued to the screen, because they want to see what really is going on. The radio still continues and you then get a quick close shot of two men in balaclavas shooting at police. If you listen to the radio and not the actual event sounds it tells you what is going on. At some points they make the actual event noise quieter, so you hear a certain part of the radio commands that the director wants you to hear.
This is followed by a medium long shot view on the suspects from a camera on a police helicopter. You see a police officer walking towards the gunmen shooting at them; straight after this you get a big close-up of one of the gunmen’s face whilst he shoots at the police officer. You hear a very important part of the radio commands it says, “Officer down requesting S.W.A.T code 3”. The director of the film wants you to hear this so he softens the surrounding sounds. This then makes you want to watch on because you know that the “heroes” of the film are coming.
This film opening has a good mixture of sounds, camera angles and camera effects to hook you on the film. The credits at the beginning of the film use a very clever use of lighting, the word S.W.A.T slowly fades in but in a clever way. It comes in as the lights spin and you don’t really notice it as it’s coming in. You don’t know what the S.W.A.T are going to do and you want to watch how they defeat the villains. This is just like an old comic where the villain kills someone, then the heroes come and save the day, but using the radio and news camera effects it seems more grown up and real.
Since film was introduced in 1923 as a means of entertainment, violence has played an increasing role as a way of enthralling the masses. However, it is only in recent films such as The Gangs of New York (2003) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) which have displayed gratuitous amounts of violence, the latter highlighting a real disparity with its certificate. Films such as The ...
The film uses a very typical storyline of “Cops and Robbers” but by using modern effects they can adapt this to make it exciting and addictive. This hero and villains based storyline is used in lots of blockbuster movies, take James Bond for example. All of the James Bond films use an action packed 5 minute film opening. It shows the villains killing people then the hero (James Bond) comes and saves the day by killing the villain. I think this is one of the most effective film openings as the action keeps you hooked because straight away the film is exciting. You usually get an extreme close-up of the hero at the end of the intro with “victory” music playing in the background. Music is a very important part in an intro filled with action, it creates a tense effect. In “S.W.A.T” they use a police radio instead of music, it works well because it creates the effect as if your one of the characters. It draws you in and you really feel like you are one of the S.W.A.T members.
I think that action packed intros with powerful music in the background and lots of different visual effects make an extremely exhilarating film opening. If you don’t have the music the opening doesn’t seem as exciting and it doesn’t draw you in as much. The music creates the dramatic atmosphere that makes it seem so real, it builds up the tension, anger and sorrow in the film. The director uses this to his advantage by making you fell what he wants you to feel, for example when the S.W.A.T team are going to their mission he puts rock music on so you get filled with energy and cant wait to see the mission. Visual effects are fundamental in action films; explosions and gun effects make the intro that much more electrifying. Overall I think that films like “S.W.A.T” and “James Bond” have the best film openings to create a truly thrilling experience.