Opening Sequence Analysis - Casino Royale
The camera work in this opening sequence is one of the most prominent features. At the beginning, both the building and the antagonist are shown in low angle, establishing shots, showing them to be threatening. As the scene progresses, various other shots are used to show the switch in power between the two characters. Shots with selective focus draw the audience to certain parts of the camera framing, helping the narrative of the piece. Panning shots are used during the conversation to set the tone, showing that Bond is in control. During the action scenes, mid shots are used in quick succession to replicate the urgency of each of the characters. Towards the end of the opening scene, Bond is the character that is shown in a dominating light, through close ups and low angle shots.
In terms of sound, there is little non-diegetic music in the background of the piece, this makes the sounds of other objects, such as car doors, sound amplified against the quiet background. At the cricket game, the only sound that is heard is the ambient sound of the outdoors and the diegetic sound of the crowd and game as they are playing. The non-diegetic music then picks up as Bond chases the man through to the bathroom before coming to a crescendo of noise during the fight. The sound then dies back down again before Bond kills the antagonist.
The entire opening sequence is edited with a black and white filter, making the scene appear more sinister and dark. The conversation uses shot/reverse shots to develop the characters. The scene also makes good use of cross cutting, as the scene cuts away the the cricket arena where it is shown how Bond kills one of the contacts. Match on action also plays a big role in the fight scene, making it appear more believable.
The mise en scene is very simplistic. Bond is shown to be wearing dark clothing, as well as the antagonist. In terms of props, the stereotypical silenced gun was used my bond to kill the antagonist, while a black pistol was carried by the male at the cricket game. Bond’s facial expressions showed him to be a controlled, detached spy who knows what he is doing.
Opening sequences are a very important part of film production. If an opening sequence fails to meet it’s aims, it is likely that there will be a negative impact on the rest of the film. An opening sequence aims to be successful through these conventions:
To successfully achieve all four of these goals, an opening sequence must follow a set of conventions. Conventions of opening sequences are usually similar to all genres of films, with other genre-specific conventions coming through later on.
My opening sequence, an action/thriller, maybe deviate from these conventions. It is likely that although characters will be introduced, their personality and motives will not be established until later on, thus creating various enigma codes. The other three conventions will still be adhered to, as they are integral to the rest of the film.