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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Analysis of Title Sequences

On Friday we studied title sequences of thrillers and what they comprise of. I specifically looked at the titles for What Lies Beneath (2000), and immediately noticed that they were different to that of conventional films. Besides the production/distribution companies and film title, not much else is shown in the titles, as we are almost immediately plunged into the film.

Click to enlarge
The first twenty seconds comprise of the familiar ident of 20th Century Fox, who are the international distribution company for this film. The ident of the studio who released this film, ImageMovers, takes up another fifteen seconds. Further in at 0:52 we get the faded wipe of the first titles of the film: 'TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX and DREAMWORKS PICTURES Present', in a white serif font, against the murky moving background. At 1:07, in the same style: 'An IMAGEMOVERS Production'. Finally, at 1:16, in much larger lettering complete with a rippling water effect, the film title.

However, to compare we have the titles of The Stepfather (2009), which we were shown in the lesson. Like WLB, it first features the ident for its distribution company (Screen Gems), but then goes straight into the film introduction, with the titles rolling over the image (in comparison to WLB which was against a backdrop that could have easily been static). The distribution company is written again, along with the production companies, followed by the film title, actor names, and then the rest of the main crew. The latter information is what was missing from WLB, which could have been done for any number of reasons, probably either because it could distract from the film's introduction, or the actors (Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer) are well-known enough to not need their names plastered across the opening.

Other differences include the length of some of the title features: the distribution company ident of WLB is almost double that of TS. The film title is also shown in a different style: the size is much smaller with a sans-serif typeface and is not centered; but like WLB, it is in capitals. The title is black, like the rest of the titles in the film.

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