MISE-EN-SCENE OF OPENING SEQUENCE Props Settings Costume The first location the audience is introduced to is the landscape in which the film is set. We then follow the camera down a winding path until we are introduced to the protagonist. We are not introduced to another location until later in the film but this location is important as we can identify the location of the film being fairly isolated and conserved this is a change from most thrillers which are set in busy cities. The only prop we can identify in the opening title sequence is a bike, this shows us that the character has moved from somewhere and has come to this location for a specific purpose. The audience is left with a feeling of uncertainty and we have no other knowledge of how the character got here and why. The costume we see looks as if he is in ripped pjms, this makes the audience wonder why he is in this location, and what seems to be dawn, in this costume. This unconventional beginning is a good reflection of the film which questions the human mind and the distinction of reality and the imagination.
SOUND IN THE OPENING TITLE SEQUENCE In the opening title sequence of Donnie Darko the non diegetic music is a soundtrack by ‘Echo And The Bunny Men’ named- ‘The Killing Moon’: I feel this soundtrack is good as the its possesses an eerie quality which matches the location and time of day in the opening sequence, the uncertainty of the situation as to why this character is here at this time in what seems like his pjm’s is reflected in the music as it is fairly mutual and doesn't tell the audience too much, this technique is common to thriller films to help engage the audience by not revelling too much. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfqTq5Aso4o DIEGETIC- The diegetic noises used are the sounds of thunder and rain, the tweeting of birds and wind. These all produce a tense and atmospheric feeling which ties in well with the location and the beginning of the film.
CAMERA SHOTS IN THE OPENING TITLE SEQUENCE The sequence begins with a ‘panning shot’ of the location, we can identify its a woodland location and seems fairly isolated, unlike a busy location which is typical of a thriller. The shot then follows the curve around the path and we are presented with a ‘wide shot’ in which we see the outline of the first character shown in the film. This shot doesn’t give too much away but we can identify the landscape and character and what seems like a bike. The same shot then zooms in so the man comes into more focus and we can see he is beginning to move from this position, the shot becomes slightly lighter at this point.
CAMERA SHOTS IN THE OPENING TITLE SEQUENCE The shot then does a 360 degree turn around the character and stops as a ‘medium close-up’ of his face. We can see his emotion is confused and he seems stuck in thought momentarily, as if piecing things together. We then have an ‘associated point of view’ from behind the character, we as an audience are seeing what he is seeing but with him also in the shot, it seems that the daylight is beginning to creep through and the scenery comes alive. The character exits the shot and we are then presented with the title of the film ‘Donnie Darko’. The white font is used as it stands out well on the blue background and the font is individual which reflects the unconventional aspects of the film. We know something is different about ‘Donnie Darko’.
EDITING IN THE OPENING TITLE SEQUENCE • The shots are placed in order, you can rarely notice the edits have taken place which proves that this is ‘continuity’ editing • The 180 degree rule is applied, the character remains on the same side of the shot to prevent disorientation and obvious editing • There is a use of graphic match when we see a shot from the distance and then again zoomed in, this helps the audience to not notice the cut as there is a similarity between both shots, but still progresses the camera forward to expose what is happening in a more clear light • The editing is fairly slow and the shots are not fast, this gives a gentle feeling to the opening of the film which reflects the beautiful landscape and gentle music used. As it is the breaking of dawn there is a sense of freshness and freedom about the scene and the editing shows mirrors this JASMINE SOMERS