Thomas Sutcliffe explained that film openings needs to seduce the audience into long-term commitment. He meant that the opening must grab the audience from the off, Danny Boyle said that it must show enough ambition at the beginning to entice the audience to keep watching.
However, different directors have different views for example Jean Jacques takes the view that the film opening title sequence should be patient and that the audience should wait and experience an organic building of the story and excitement, and then reach a climax. Jean explains that the risks of immediate arousal is that you would have to hold that same level of excitement throughout the while films, maybe you wont achieve this and answer all their questions.
The beginning shot is very hard, as it has to make sure that the audience does not know everything but sill enough to keep them enticed to watch it. The introduction of characters, the setting and the general tone of it helps the audience identify how they will react and feel about this film. The audience has to feel like they want to know more, it is said that once you as the director have the audience on your wavelength, it allows you to do anything.
Stanley Kauffmann, a film critic described the classic film openings to be that of establishing shots such as the city of New York. He also said this went on to be evolved into shots that show you the setting but then zoom in and show more and more, and end up showing where characters live or work and how the world they are in works.
An effective title sequence is something that hits the audience on the head from the off, wake them up and reel them into the feel, an example of this is from the title sequence of the film ‘Sev7n’. The opening has a psychotic feeling and tone and some of the images we see are clear foreshadowing of what is to come in the film.
Orson wells, the director of Citizen Cane, wanted to achieve the feeling of being in the film straight away and forgetting that your even watching a film, in his ‘A Touch Of Evil,’ however Universal Studios didn’t agree and they put into the scene titles and also another score, this allowed for the opening to lose some edge.
Film Noirs are films that where usually made in the night, one of their favourite tricks is to have the end of the film at the beginning, this entices the audience because they will want to know what happens at the beginning to reach this point, an example of this is Memento by Christopher Nolan.
The Shinning is an excellent piece of Cinema. The opening title scene is very effective as the use of a high angle camera gliding in the sky looking down upon a car is as if they are being prayed. The slant that the camera does also adds to the awkwardness and weirdness.