Characters/ Costumes

Costume is obviously a big part of the movie when it comes to superheroes, however most superheroes also have an 'alter ego', for example Batman is also Bruce Wayne in the comics and movies.

As it is unlikely for us to be able to create the amazing costumes that they have in super hero movies nowadays, I think it may be more appropriate to look at 'the hidden' life or the alter life the the heroes live.

This is Peter Parker from the spiderman movies, this is the kind of dress wear that he has on when he is out taking photos and being spiderman. 

As you can see, as most superheroes like to blend in, he is wearing just normal everyday clothes. However, he is still wearing fairly smart clothes, but nothing too flashy. He looks nothing like a super hero guy would, he almost looks 'geeky' especially with the hair and the glasses.

This shows that we can still use everyday clothes in a superhero movie, especially if we stick to their 'secret' side of the story.

This is shown again through alter egos, for example Bruce Wayne who is Batman, Tony Stark who is Iron Man for example, they often wear suits but sometimes they do dress down, especially when they are not 'in their super hero status'. This is somthing we should definitely consider when creating our opening scenes.


Zathura Opening: Conventions


Zathura is a 2005 super hero movie. This opening uses live action shots and mixes them with 'animated' shots, giving it a comic book feel. It feels like quite an older film with the old drawing being seen in the shots.

This opening is slightly different to most super hero intros, in the way that it is switching between live action and the use of animation. This gives it a very 'retro' feel, back to when drawn comic books we're very popular. It also sets the theme and the time for the beginning of the movie.

A lot of effects have been added to the titles, so they appear to be part of the film shots them self. For example, letters of text will appear to be knocked out of the way by mechanics in the shot, also lettering is super imposed to make it look as if it is written on the pinball machine used. The font used looks very dramatic and looks like something you would see in an old comic or TV show. This looks appropriate and fits in well. 

 We also see a lot of shots of the planets, spaceships and stars, these are all something that we relate to a sci - fi movie, which re - enforces it as a super hero/ sci fi movie. As they are normally set in a distant planet or universe.

Scenes, like in this title card, reflect the genre with the bright colours, the font and colours used for the title and how the people have been positioned and how they are standing, for example, the stance that the spacemen are standing, is only how a super hero would stand.

This is effective becuase it immediately lets the audience know what the genre is. It is also quick and fast moving, so will keep the audience intriged, especialy with the use of a lot of close ups, so they can't see what else is going on around them.


Ironman Opening: Conventions

This is  a short clip from the film Iron Man two, which is a well known comic book which has been converted into TV shows, animated films and more recently these live action movies. This a clip from near the beginning of the movie, where it really starts out, this is the first time we see Iron man, in the second movie. This uses a lot of the common conventions of superhero/action movies, which I will outline below. The nine frames below are the shot I think are the most important in this two minute clip.

This is the first shot that we see. The lighting and colour is fairly low key, the colour is also dark. This creates a fairly mysterious start with the audience intrigued already, especially as the camera has been placed behind and we cannot see his face. The camera is fairly close up and Iron Man has been placed in the left hand 
side off center in the frame, this lets the audience easily recognise the character and they are satisfied to see him, as well as him being positioned which is also a common code used in the rule of thirds, this will keep them feeling in control. However as it is from behind they will want to see the front, to see if there has been any changes since the first movie, as this is the sequel. The framing is fairly tight, not letting the audience know what is happening apart from what they can see.

This is soon after the first shot, where the camera follows Iron Man by jumping out of the plane with him, this shows how we are going to be following the action closely in this movie, as Iron Man shoots close past the camera, fireworks and city lights are in the background which help to compose the shot and help the lighting, however it is mainly the hero which is light up, by the lights on his suit and the rocket propulsion that he is using, this makes him stand out in the scene and immediately identifies him as the character with 'the power'. This is one continuous shot which switches between both close and long shots, as he flies around. This gives it a lot of pace, which keeps the action going. 

This long shot of IM and the city landscape really gives the sense of how high up you are, this adds to the 'thrill of the shot' and also the tension of being so high up. This has been created not only by the height, but by the wide long shot, and how IM has been placed so far away, which adds to how small he appears against the city. However he still stays well light, so that he is the center of what the audience is focusing on. This could connote how brave and daring he is as a superhero.

This shot is straight after where IM whips back around to the camera, which kicks back into the action once again. The shot is very close and we get to see the vibrant colours and blur as he passes the camera. This adds to the danger and the tension, but as the camera was not hit, this adds to IM's skill and abilities.

This shot is the first shot we see inside the expo complex, this is where we realise where he is really going. The long shot has been placed in the crowd to show how popular the character is and also makes the stage background look much more vibrant, with the contrast. The lighting from the fireworks and the on stage lights really create a vibrant and glossy feel to this shot, showing the wealth and popularity that this hero has. This is a common code used in superhero films, so the audience will look up to the character because of these traits.

The use of the 'fans' and the women being put in the frame clearly. This has been used straight away, to connote that the super hero has all the attention of the women and all the fans. This has been done, by positioning the camera in a medium/long shot, so that you can see a lot of people, but not everyone, so you know that there are more people outside of the frame. Not everything is seen.

This shot places IM in the middle of the frame, and shows the American flag behind him, this implies how patriotic the hero is and how he is devoted to protecting his country. He has also been placed and positioned in the frame, to make it look like he is balancing the power he has, but he is obviously using it for good. The light from the scene is well light, from the screen behind him and also from his eyes and chest, which give a cool effect to the frame's composition.

This extreme close up of the armour on IM's foot, really give a sense of how intricate his creation is. This implies how smart and creative he is as a person, behind the superhero and the face of the amour. You can also see how glossy and shiny the amour is by the lighting and close up, showing how expensive the equipment must be, but also the scratches and scars from the battles he must have been through are also apparent.


Wall-E Opening Scene Analysis


Wall-E Opening Scene

Shot list:

  • Long/wide shot | Of stars/space
  • Long/Wide shot | Of Galaxy
  • Long/Wide shot | Of Planets/star
  • Long/Wide shot | Of galaxy
  • Long/Wide shot | Of Nebula
  • Long/Wide shot | Of Sun
  • Pans down | To shot of rubbish covered earth
  • Camera moves /zooms | Into planet
  • Series of Long/ flying shots | Of rubbish covered earth
  • Series of Bird's eye view shots | Of earth, above a city

There are no characters which are shown in the opening scene of Wall-E, however, there is actually also no speech in the first 30 minutes of this movie, this could be because the the images of the devastation on earth are enough without any 'intense' dialogue needed. This also connotes how empty and deserted the planet is, by not showing the character of Wall-E.

The location is made very apparent during this opening sequence of this movie, nearly all of the the shots are establishing shot, for example the 'typical' shots of the galaxy, stars etc. that you normally see in a sci - fi movie, this re-enforces the genre of the movie in the first few seconds of the movie. You can also see the huge size of the location through the bird's eye shots near the end, where you are looking down from on high.

How is this reflect the genre?
Both of these aspects reflect the genre of sci - fi in a way, however they move away from the 'stereo typical' sci - fi. For example the shots that we see of the planets, the stars and the galaxies are all something that we relate to a sci - fi movie, as they are normally set in a distant planet or universe or where the people of earth are visiting far planets.

However you normally expect to see a 'clean' and 'cold' feel to a sci fi movie, with cold blue and white colours. You will also be able to see everything and feel as if you, as the viewer are 'in control' and know what is going on. Nevertheless, in this opening scene a lot of brown colours and it is quite misty and dirty, so you cannot quite see what is going on, it feels quite mysterious.

How is it appropriate?
It is appropriate because the makers of the movie have made it so that the viewer will be able to relate the movie to the genre easily, however they have put a different twist on what you see in a stereo typical sci fi, by using a different feel to the shots, in certain places. They have also done this by NOT using action/thriller sci fi music, which you normally hear in this kind of movie, but a song from a 1960's Rom com has been used instead, this could be to echo how the earth used to be. It also shows a contrast between the ruined earth, and all the hope that comes through the lyrics of the song.

How have titles been used?
Not many titles have been used during the opening sequence, only two appear, firstly'Walt Disney Pictures Presents' appears on the screen, followed by 'A PIXAR Animation Studios film'.

How is this effective?
Not using a lot of titles works really effectively, as it shows very few but effective titles. The fact that it shows who the film has been made and produced by, Disney and Pixar. Will let the audience know quickly that is is very likely to be a well produced movie, because of the brilliant reputation that the two companies both have.