Our Film Opening

Monday, 19 September 2016

HW1a - Existing Film Still Analysis

My Film Still - Skyfall - 2012

The main focus in this film still is on James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) and the fact that he appears to be looking off screen at a potential enemy. This focus is made clear by the way in which the gun is blurred leaving James Bond as the only distinguishable subject on screen. This still is framed so that Bond appears on the right side of the screen looking into the empty space to the left of the camera. Tension and suspense is created in this scene by the pointing of the gun off screen, the fact that the audience can't see the threat being acknowledged by Bond creates tension as it makes them wonder what the danger is and whether he will survive. People typically see from left to right on the screen and therefore will see the gun and potential danger first, thus creating tension right away.

In this still James Bond is clearly dressed in very smart/formal attire and looks professional at what it is he does. This is the conventional look of a spy in Hollywood films such as Skyfall, therefore there are connotations of the spy genre in this shot. The inclusion of the gun suggests that this film is a spy/action crossover in terms of genre as guns are often considered a cornerstone of the action genre. Finally, the setting is not a familiar one to the audience and suggests that Bond is in a foreign location. This idea of a spy in foreign settings not only reinforces the spy genre around this film, but also suggests that the film may cross into the adventure genre too. This is because adventure films are typically coupled with the action genre in multiple foreign settings. Followers of the James Bond franchise will know that this is the case throughout all the films.

In this still the audience is a bystander, this leaves said audience with a sense of helplessness as not only can they not see what the danger is, they also have no way of helping James Bond in this situation. This sense of powerlessness engages the audience and allows them to view this scene as a race for survival between Bond and the danger, thus conforming to the conventional action codes of this genre. Furthermore, the audience is positioned in such a way that the danger appears to be directly behind them, the effect of this is that it places the audience in the action providing a more immersive viewing experience and keeps them engaged. This also serves to heighten the powerlessness felt by the audience as even when they are a part of the scene they are unable to do anything.

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