Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Analysis of Film opening: 28 Days Later (2002)

The film starts with mixed clips from the news; images of violence, panic and war. Here some sort of editing was probably used to create the lined, fuzzy look tat the clips posses, which is why the audience can tell they are from TV. The sound matching the clips is that of multiple broadcasts. It is safe to assume that the audio matches the visual media as each time a news clip changes their is a sort of tuning noise and the audio changes too. The fast jump cuts between the news clips creates a sense of confusion in the audience which continues throughout the first few minutes of the movie (and most of the film).

Then the camera zooms out from the clips and the audience finally understand that the clips are not just there for some random reason, they are being played on a TV screen. The camera slowly pans to show a chimp watching the monitors. There is a strange sort of beating noise in the background which slowly fades into a long, low, creepy non-diegetic note as the shot changes. The next shot is an establishing shot which shows the chimp strapped to a table and wired to machines as it is forced to watch the violent images on screen. We cannot see the chimps face as the camera shoots from the back of him but the high angle shot creates the idea of the chimp being an innocent victim, to weak and small to break free. There is another shot of the chip form behind, only this time closer, which shows the animal turning its head from one TV screen to another, showing its confusion over the images.

Next comes a long shot of the chimp, from it's side, which pans across the room allowing us to see more of the chimp and it's surroundings. The mise-en-scene of the room is dark and simplistic looking, with an over head light shinning down on the chimp it seems almost like some sort of operating theatre or or science lab. The shot continues to pan until we see another monitor, in far away from the chimp and pointing in the wrong direction so obviously not for the animal to watch, which shows people in ski masks walking along a corridor. The indexical reference of ski masks tells the audience they are people breaking in, we also know that we are watching them through a security camera, the audience can tell this by the writing "Cam 3--- Cambridge Primate Research Centre" which is across the top of the monitor. The camera seems to be old or not very technologically advanced because it takes less frames of the people than a normal camera would which males the people appear to be in one place one second and slightly further on the next without having actually walked there. Most of the people continue to walk until they have gone out of frame but one them walks behind and puts something over the camera so we cannot see the people anymore, this adds to the confusion.

The shot changes to a tilted angle view of a door, through its window we can see on of the masked characters approach. The shot is deep focus as in the foreground we can (barely) see the bars of a cage but in the background we can clearly see the door. The way the shot has been done makes it seem to be a P.O.V. shot, perhaps from an animal in a cage. The fact that there is diegetic noise of a monkey banging on its cage and screeching also helps the audience to reach this conclusion.

There is then two eyeline match, close up shots of two different people in ski masks looking through two different windows in a door. The glass appears to have been embedded with a wire mesh which helps the audience to build up the idea that the building is probably high security. There is also a flickering light but most of the time the entire scene is quite dark which lends to the theme of confusing the audience. There is then another shot, this time through a wire mesh window, again in deep focus so the things in the background are in focus and the things closer to the audience are out of focus, which further adds to the confusion the audience is feeling and creates a sense of separation from the scene, this is a subtle use of dramatic alienation. The shot is that of a man swiping a key card to gain access to the room with the chimp in. The fact that a key card is needed adds to the idea that the building is high security but it also forces the audience to start thinking about things like "Why do they have a key card? Are they supposed to be there?" The shot then changes back to a close up of a person in a ski mask looking in through the window, they then turn to the side to walk through the door. The three people then walk through the door and the fast jump cut editing continues.

We then see a long shot of what appears to be a dissected chimp. We can also see see more of the room, which appears to be cluttered although it is still obvious it is used for scientific reasons. At the back of the room there is a light source, coming from the open door, and we see the people slowly coming in the room, out of darkness, taking their masks off as they go. Their faces display obvious shock from what they see and their speech also shows the shock. There is then a jump cut to a chimp in a glass cage, illuminated by light and baring it's teeth in a savage way. There is a flash and the monkey stops in mid-screech, like a picture has been taken . The banging, screeching noise that has been back for a while, stops as a camera noise/ click occurs. The shots switch from the people to the animals for a couple more times and as we see the humans display shock and take photos, there is a bridging camera noise and it jumps to the next shot.

This next shot is a high angle, long shot which shows in the animals in dirty glass boxes as the people enter the room. There a more shots of the monkeys' and people, including match on action shots and shots that follow the 180 degree rule. There is not much dialogue which makes the audience feel confused, as they do not know whats going on, an alienated because obviously the characters do. I am finishing my editing here as I have gone into a lot of detail over each shot and feel like if i continued writing i would write to much. The reason i picked this scene to analyse is because it has the right amount of confusion and audience alienation, my group are trying to incorporate this into our final piece.

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