Friday, 22 November 2013

The hobbit opening scene analysis

The Hobbit opening scene =
The candle glows as a hand lights it with a flickering match in the darkness, this is the first shot. The camera films the hobbit carrying the candle through a tunnel like corridor inside of a home, this is a long shot filmed from behind of the character, you have not yet seen the face of this character but from his style of clothing you can tell that he is old fashioned which is in keeping with his surroundings.

The first shot of the candle being carried is a close-up, there is music in the background and a deep friendly sounding storytelling voice that is using an orchestra non-diegetic soundtrack. The use of this soundtrack and the voice over makes the atmosphere seem both magical and comforting with the use of stringed instruments. The soft golden glow of the dim candle lighting in this scene makes the atmosphere seem very homely and welcoming. This is letting the audience know that this is a friendly type of film such as a PG rating, not a horror or an action type film. Also, the fact that the setting is very old fashioned with dark wood panelling on the walls and that the character is holding a candle which he lighted with a match tells the viewer that this isn't a modern type of film.

The voice over (narrative) that is being used throughout  the opening scene talks about his adventures and says that he may not have told ‘Frodo’ everything.

In the next part the viewer sees a medium shot of the hobbit character, where he looks like a pleasant middle aged male.  Then there's a close-up of the Hobbit opening an old chest full of interesting and mystical looking objects. First he removes a brown aged letter and then it looks as though he is reaching for a sword but he reaches underneath and retrieves a red leather bound book tied with red ribbons.  This shot makes you automatically realise that this is a fantasy film due to the magical music used for atmosphere, and also the old fashioned sword, book and other objects.

The Hobbit goes into a study, and sits down, looking at a picture of what seems to be his son (if you watched previous lord of the rings movies you will know that this is indeed his son). The voiceover suggests that this is his son in the very beginning when it says "My dear Frodo", and speaks to Frodo as if they are very familiar and close.

When the Hobbit sits down in the study to write in the book, you see a close-up shot of the inkwell that he uses to dip his quill into. The fact he is using a quill suggests that it's from a different period of time and the type of feather looks to be from a bird that isn't from our world. As he writes into the book the voice over reads the words out aloud.  The audience like this type of storytelling as it keeps them informed as to what's going on and it also acts as if it is a mother reading her child a story to fall asleep to, this element and all the magical suggestions make the opening scene seem more of a fantasy.

Also The Hobbit is dressed in clothing from the past and is not modern. Other films such as Harry Potter also use a quill to write with and an inkwell, and are also dressed in clothing from the past, this links them together as they are both fantasy films.

Another close up you see is of the characters script style handwriting, and it looks different from ours, suggesting a slightly different language, even though the words are in English he has used acutes and accents over some words that we don't use.

As the Hobbit begins to write, the camera begins to back away from him, and the rear view you have of the Hobbit on the chair slowly disappears behind the doorframe as the camera takes you into the darkness. It's as if you are now entering a different time zone to what you were into before, similar to slipping back into sleep. This gives the effect of the place they are in as being like a dream world, and also the non-diegetic music gets louder as the camera backs away which builds tension to what his story might be, keeping the audience interested.  Then there is a close-up of a map, and the narrator talks about a land unknown to us called Middle Earth. This makes you instantly feel that this story is going to be a journey and an adventure. The fact that he sat down writing a story after saying he needs to tell Frodo foreshadows that later this story will be given to his son.

After you have seen the map, the voice-over introduces a city called Erebor, which is a Kingdom that is ruled by Thror.  I chose not to analyse this part of the opening scene as it would have been too difficult to recreate, and we didn't need it for our film.

How it links to our film:
We have decided to choose thriller as our genre because we think that it will be fun, full of suspense and therefore exciting to create. We have taken some of the ideas that were used in the hobbit and developed those ideas so that we can use them in our film.
We used the hobbit in our movie by copying the idea of having the first shot of a extreme close-up and we also copied it as we are using narrating over what is happening, like storytelling.
From the hobbit we also like the idea that they use flashbacks to make the story he is telling easier to follow and imagine, therefore in ours we are using flashbacks too, but they will be between pieces of present moment shots.
We also like the idea that they used that was of someone walking down the corridor and you saw them getting further and further away, therefore we use this in one of out flashbacks.
Overall, this particular opening scene is the one which we took the most ideas from, as it was the first one we watched and was most enthusiastic about due to us originally wanting to create a fantasy movie. However, as we saw in this opening scene, they used many different effects and very unrealistic setting which meant that we would have to make a similar atmosphere. It would be difficult for us to recreate in such detail as we don't have the money to buy props and sets like that, including the range of outfits that would be needed in order to create our characters. Instead we have chosen a suitable urban area to create the setting for our film.

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