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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Opening Sequence Analysis

Forrest Gump  

I drew out a detailed time plan of what occurs during the opening sequence of Forrest Gump. Fulfilling this allows to gain a greater understanding of what happens in this specific sequence but it also allows me to imply what occurs in most traditional sequences of this film's genre. This will help a lot when I come to the planning and shooting of my own opening sequence.

From this time plan I learnt that throughout (basically) the whole opening sequence the camera tracked a feather that floated across a city. This cleverly displayed the location the film was set in by making the feather float past notorious buildings that people would know, which meant that the main location of the film was known by people who knew what the buildings were. Later, if you still didn't know the country the feather floated down to the street (with the camera tilting down to catch this) it showed the notorious yellow cabs of the United States of America, this meant that people that didn't know the main location was the USA they now had a clearer understanding because they would be able to link the yellow cabs to a specific location because of multiple stereotypes, which were set by these specific type of cabs.

I learnt that there was a very calm, soft and gentle piece of music playing in the background throughout the sequence. This set the mood for the audience because the calm music made them feel stress free and relaxed, this mood would be carried through to the main film; the first thing they heard was relaxing so they will feel relaxed for the movie and anything that makes them jump, will make them remember it more because they were so relaxed and then a specific part of the film makes them jump, which is hard to forget because of the major change in moods. There is an example of this in the opening sequence; when the feather floats down and lands on Tom Hanks show the music heightens very slightly, which causes tension for the audience because they do not know what is going to happen, it could be something very dramatic or in this case keep the feather (very non-dramatic).

The positioning of the text is all the same (centre of the screen) this implies that all the information is important for the audience to know and understand. The only way they show the irrelevant information is by changing the font size. For instance; the production credits has 2 different font sizes, the irrelevant text such as, 'A' and 'production' are in a very small font; whereas the production companies name is in a font almost 4 times the size, which suggests that is the only relevant information needed to be known form that specific credit.

Tom Hanks is wearing a suit but it looks like it doesn't fit him or it isn't his; to start off with you just see his feet and he is wearing trainers that look to be covered in bird poo, which suggests to the audience that he is homeless or that he doesn't care about what he looks like, otherwise he would be wearing smarter shoes with a suit and tie. Another point of Tom Hanks mise-en-scene is his haircut; it looks like a haircut someone that has a very strict hair style (like the hairstyles for army people, which is based on stereotypes set by other films). This hairstyle makes him look less homeless but it further implies the scruffy look that he has been built up to have, which is first implied from the dirty trainers.