Monday, 10 November 2014

Film Openings event at the NFT

Presentation summary as used November 2012:

I had a very enjoyable day at the National Film Theatre yesterday, chairing an event of film openings from schools and colleges. We looked at some material which is expanded upon in my post below on film openings, but also some additional material which I am linking here. We were joined by two industry speakers whose work could be useful to a wider audience of students, so I am posting links to them here too.

Three film openings on which I showed at the event

Catch Me If You Can

Good as a graphic titles sequence and an illustration of how a film-maker can suggest things about character and narrative as well as establish a sense of place in an opening. A very large number of titles integrated into the graphics, which serve as a good model for thinking about how titles need to be used in student film openings too.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

In this sequence, we looked particularly at the fragments of narrative (a kind of back story) and at the way the titles appear in red on black with a little 'bleed' each time, but of particular interest is the use of sound, which is quite 'layered' with the Johnny Cash song, the heartbeat noise, the bits of dialogue and other little stings which link with the images.

Napoleon Dynamite

This sequence is a really novel way of representing the titles, but also gives us a sense of the characters, even though only one character appears and then only on his ID card.

Our guests for the day were the man behind all the Bond film titles from Goldeneye to Casino Royale, Daniel Kleinmann, and the editor of the film released today, Monsters, Colin Goudie.

Daniel mainly works in commercials, having started in music video in the 1980s with work for the likes of ZZTop, Adam and the Ants and Gladys Knight; he is based at Rattling Stick in London and his recent adverts can be seen here. His titles for Casino Royale drew upon the influence of Saul Bass (Vertigo, see post below) and blended graphic work with live action to introduce the then new Bond, Daniel Craig.

Casino Royale

Colin Goudie has worked on a number of films and TV productions as a sound and vision editor and his latest work on Monsters was the subject of our session. The film is released today at both arthouses and mainstream cinemas and is well worth seeing. He describes it as a love story and a road movie, but it has the look of Sci-fi in a post-apocalyptic world.

The official site is here

Colin talked very animatedly about the process of making the film, including the improvisation, the largely amateur cast and the use of multiple locations. The film has caused quite a stir as it has been made on a micro budget yet got quite a big release. Another BFI event interview with Colin appears here.

Colin also mentioned the value of youtube clips which show how things are done. One on visual effects is at


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