I am evaluating the opening credits from the 2002 production of 'Signs'. This is because it is a thriller film that demonstrates a particularly successful opening scene that, despite not including live footage, creates a strong sense of suspense and tension.
The opening credits are shown in the following link:
Signs (2002) — Art of the Title
Having already researched successful film openings, I know the ingredients essential for a successful opening sequence. However, having never properly researched into the effect of sound and credits within an opening scene I thought this is something I would explore. As previously shown, we have already chosen our films basic plot, however, it is crucial that we gain further ideas for our credits and soundtrack.
The opening to 'Signs' features text on a blue background, softened by a black vignette. This enhances the focus on the credits and creates the effect of a torch onto a darkened area; the circle of light shows us the information, almost like a crime investigation spotlight. The information shown is sought by the viewer, just like clues are looked for by detectives. The vignette effect creates a transition between the cuts as it fades the clip into almost darkness and then lighting the following cut. When we are creating our credits it is important to consider what roles to mention. The credits here mention the production companies, the leading roles, the casting director, the music composer, visual effect supervisors, costume designer, editing director, production designer, director of photography, executive producer, producers, the writer and director. These are all roles we could include within our own credits. The colour scheme of both the credits and the background conform to the conventions of a thriller film as the dark colour scheme create mystery and adds a cold atmosphere. The colours also create a level of eeriness expected of a film within this particular genre. The editing of the credits conform to the typical thriller film as the cuts vary, speeding up towards the end as the suspense increases through the music. In some parts, its almost as if the credits jump out at the viewer suggesting jumpy scenes to be expected within the live footage.
I think the aspect of the opening credits which result in the biggest impact is the score. What starts off as slow at the beginning builds up towards a fast and tense crescendo. The use of string instruments create an eerie screeching sound. There are also trumpets and drums within the soundtrack which create heavy beats, signifying a sense of emergency which adds to the feel of suspense. This captures the audiences attention as they have no idea what to expect of the film, as the credits withhold a sense of mystery that is shown through the tense soundtrack. This shows how important the soundtrack is within the opening scene so we need to make sure we fully explore this aspect and make ours effective.
Overall, I really like these opening credits. They are very typical of a thriller film with the quick cut editing, the serif font, the colour scheme and the tense score.