final opening sequence:

evaluation questions:

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Due to a social issue the filming that has already been completed will have to be discarded. Basically the people involved in my opening sequence are now unable to complete the filming, and so new people and a new location will have to be decided.


The person to replace Dominique will be Sally Urquhart and she is much the same. Although she looks slightly different to how Lex was originally imagined, she is still happy to wear the black dress and dark eye make-up. Smoking is also not an issue, and as the filming will be completed very quickly, reliability is not a problem, and she is able to complete when asked. The replacement for Tom Welby will be Barney Aldridge. He is Sally’s boyfriend and so was the mot sensible choice, and looks close enough to how the character Tom needs to look, without it causing a major issue.


The location will also have to change. It is now going to be at Sally’s house, though this does not cause a problem to the story line. In her room is a dressing table which will act as the mantlepiece in the first shots. She also has stairs leading down to her front door, which will act as the isolated corridor. The only major problem is the angle I wanted for the shots outside, in which I will have to change her positioning to standing up to get the desired effect. Simply, I will have to make do with what I can and hope that it all works out.

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Analysis of Questionnaire and Influences for Opening Sequence

Twenty four people participated in the questionnaire, with a variation of eleven males and thirteen females. This I felt was a good mixture and gave me a wide range of results. The aging however was more one-sided than I would have liked. Nineteen sixteen to twenty year olds were involved, our twenty one to twenty five year olds and one twenty six to thirty year old. Although the majority are in one age band, overall there is a range of sixteen to thirty year olds which is quite expansive.

As seen in the graph. the most popular film that was chosen was This is England, which implies that the most popular themes in social realist films are to do with racial identity, peer pressure and a large amount of violence. The second most popular was Trainspotting which is majorly drug abuse, a theme I was thinking about using in my opening sequence. I think it would appeal to my target audience massively, and this is shown by the fact it is liked by the people questioned.

The most important aspect in social realist films is demonstrated to be the story line of the film itself, with characterisation being close behind. Clearly I will have to ensure that in the opening sequence the story line is obvious, and the character is well portrayed. The music seemed to be unimportant in the eyes of my questioners, and so will be the least focused on thing, however it can change the mood of the story and can be a useful tool in making my character who they are. It may have been that the people answering my questions are not aware of how the music can create a mood for any piece of work.

After finding out this in my questionnaire, I have decided in my animatic to show only the main character and the second most important, as it will focus solely on them. This then shows the characters and how they act, including what was chosen as important in the questionnaire. I also want to make the story fairly obvious, by following the one character throughout that evening and what she is doing.

The question directly approaches which films are most popular, and people could choose more than one of the answers. As displayed the most popular was drug abuse, with the second being criminal offences. These are intertwined anyway, and so it should be quite easy to include both in the film. The most common reason for choosing these themes was ‘because they are interesting and makes the characters both who they are and more interesting’ and ‘because they tackle taboo subjects’. From this I have decided that as long as the drugs are used sensibly and are not superfluous to the film, then they can make the film more interesting and can add to the film’s story. Mental health problems are not far behind as the third choice, as ‘they give a different outlook’ and ‘affect many people’ so the film becomes relatable. This will be the main theme in my opening sequence as it seems to give the films an extra layer and the people questioned think that though it may not affect them, the issues raised can be interesting to learn about.

In my animatic I want to have a shot of my character smiling as though she is thinking about something separate to what is happening around her. I think that if she does not speak throughout the opening then it shows her to have some problems also.

Question number six was another multiple choice question, with the questioners being able to choose any number of answers. The most popular character trait seemed to be rebelliousness as this is often seen in the teenage years, and the people asked were either teenagers or only a few years older. This means that people want to see extremes of what they are living everyday and so my character should have that rebellious streak. This will be shown by the character attending the house party and taking drugs. The second most popular trait is mysteriousness, with answers such as ‘it makes the film more interesting and keeps you hooked as you are trying to work the character out’. The feeling of not quite knowing what the character is thinking or why they are doing something means that the audience are waiting for answers right to the end of the film. Therefore my character will primarily be mysterious to ensure the audience is wanting to watch the whole film. She will be shown to be mysterious by her lack of speech and uncertainty of how she is feeling.

The last question told me how many special effects or large blockbuster type techniques I should include in my opening. Most people said that the film  should be suitable for both home and cinema, and so the camera shots and angles should be both simple and suitable for the big screen.

The red writing in this post is showing the ideas for my opening sequence, how they were influenced and why I have chosen these specific things.

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First Analysis of Social Realism

Trainspotting, Danny Boyle, 1996

Narrative Context

The opening  begins with two men running from another two men, presumably security

Renton and Spud are shown to be running from the security guards

guards. From beneath their jackets falls DVD’s and CD’s. Then one of the men gets hit buy a car whilst he is running and we are introduced to who he is. It then cuts to the same man smoking drugs at a flat. When the voiceover says “friends” it cuts to a group of people playing football and the audience is introduced to the rest of the main characters.

Enigma Codes

Various enigma codes are evident in the opening, such as

  • The voice over suggests the man running has all the right ideas, so why is he stealing?
  • When introduced to Renton, why are his eyes shadowed and painful looking?
  • Why is Renton laughing when he has clearly been hurt when hit by the car?
  • Why is Renton so bitter towards the life he is talking about in the voiceover?

Characters’ Establishment and Representation

Throughout the voiceover in the opening, the character Renton uses foul language, which suggests a more common character, as does his tatty clothes and the fact that he is stealing. Immediately he is portrayed as someone with not a lot of money and that participates in petty crime, someone possibly of the lower class.


The beginning of the opening is situated in a bust high street, with many factory buildings in the background showing an industrial area. We know, due to the accent, that Trainspotting is set in Glasgow, which is an industrial city. A lot of grimy back alleys are also shown in this beginning, and this theme is continued later when the flat in which they live is shown. It has peeling wallpaper, next to no furniture and demonstrates a complete lack of money and of the inhabitants caring how they lived. It is stingy, grimy and not looked after.

Editing Techniques and their effects

The quick succession of close up shots at the start makes the opening fast paced and exciting. Because they are mostly close ups, and very quickly edited it speeds up the audiences heartbeat and gets them excited to watch the rest of the film. The editing where the action stops to introduce the characters, and freezes on them, means that they audience can see who they are better and can understand a little about them as they see how they are dressed and how they are acting clearly. If the introductions were done as the action was still occurring then who the characters are would not be clear. The next notable editing is when the frame cuts between Renton being knocked over by the football and passing out because of the drugs. This shows that the two have the same effect and demonstrates his past times. The shots are done as such so that the similarity is shown.

Camera Techniques and their effetcs

The very first shot of the opening is a close up of running feet, which immediately evokes the idea of excitement, and the audience isn’t really aware of what is going on. The next shot is of the main character, and we know this because he is the only person in frame and it is a close up of him. Because it is a close up the audience can share his emotions and feel the excitement that he is. Later in the opening, the shots are all close ups of when Renton gets hit by the car, and the audience is completely disorientated and unaware of what’s happening as they can’t quite make it out. It also shocks the audience when they relaise what has happened. There is then a long shot which establishes the surroundings and shows the industrial area, and the audience can see the contrast between the tattily dressed criminals and the smartly dressed security guards. As the opening ends, there is an establishing shot of their flat, which shows how they live and in what condition. It pans around the location before zooming in on the action.

Use of Sound

The opening includes very fast paced music which makes it exciting and intensifying. The voiceover includes the audience in the action whilst also describing the overview of the film. As the voiceover continues the character begins to swear more and say it more bitterly. This shows his anger about what he is saying.


The act of the two characters being chased suggests they are criminals, and the fact that it was DVDs they stole implies they are desperate for money and will steal the smallest of things to make some easy money. Later, the baby is left alone in the flat, which implies incapable parents that are neglective.

Genre Characteristics

The opening uses many of the social realism conventions. The locations are all typically grimy and the main location is a stingy flat, as used in many other films of this type. Drug use is the main theme in the opening and petty crime is another, both common in many social realist films.

The Font, Colour and Positioning of Titles

The production company’s name is the first title seen and is a simple, block font, white in colour against a black background, centred in the middle of the screen. The next titles are of the characters names and are to either the bottom left or right of the screen, to display as much action as possible.

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Target Audience

My target audience is generally people aged between ten and thirty. Although ten seems to be quite young I am aware that people of this age may well want to watch this film, depending on what type of background they come from. I believe thirty is the right top-end of the age because they would have just come out from the lifestyle depicted (by a couple of years) and at thirty they are still at an age where they wont find what is in the film disgusting, and will still understand the party lifestyle and such.


The main age of people that I want to watch my film is aged 16-21. This is because they will be going to the underage drinking parties shown and many will understand the arguments with the parents. For this reason the film will appeal to them, as they may be able to relate to the film especially.


Sarah Brisbane

I am 18 years old and work in my local pub on friday evenings and saturday afternoons. I attend sixth form at Thurston Community College five days a week, and I am taking literature, computing and biology. I have a boyfriend and we go out every saturday after I’ve finished work, and at least once during the week. I find that my social life competes with my school work and job, but I always manage to fit things in. I do enjoy relaxing to watch films whenever I get the chance to. My favourite TV programmes are Skins, Misfits and The Gilmore Girls, simply because they either cheer me up or  excite me. My all time favourite film is probably Thirteen (Catherine Hardwick, 2003), and I love films that have a party element, but a sick, twisted character. I find watching films that include something I relate to (like partying or drinking) great fun to watch, but its brilliant also to include something that I don’t quite understand as it challenges me and makes me want to find out more about either the character or the situation, and so it keeps me hooked.

John McCall

I am 21 and in my third and last year at Edinburgh University, studying philosophy. My social life is manic as we are all trying to make the most of our last year and enjoy it to the max, meeting as many people as possible. Philosophy is a fairly doss subject, and requires only about ten hours of work, mostly it’s just thinking and remembering arguments. I watch a lot of TV, play a lot of xbox and love to just hang out with my housemates. We generally just drink and have a laugh, as we are all pretty chilled out. If we all sit down to watch a film then usually its something easy to watch that doesn’t require much attention, and doesn’t have too much of a storyline, things like Pineapple Express (David Gordon Green, 2008) and How High (Jesse Dylan, 2001). However if I’m left in the house on my own, or really feel like watching a film, I always go for something a bit heavier. I like films with the same themes as what we all watch, but with much more of a storyline and that show something a bit more serious than just pratting about. Films like Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996) and Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky 2000) greatly appeal to me because they are so fascinating and its so interesting to see how something like drugs can affect someone’s life. The storylines are so intense that they always have me hooked from the word go, and that’s the kind of thing I love in films: intensity.

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Props and Make-up


The props needed are fairly simple and easily accessible. Because of the nature of the party basic alcohol and smoking appliances and the bag of the drugs and the cards used for it are all that are needed to be seen. On the mantlepiece bottles of beer and wine should be seen to demonstrate that the party is in all rooms of the house, and that Lex has just chucked them out so she can be on her own.  A straw is to be used for the drugs to be snorted, but of course the drug  itself is actually sugar. This is the only prop that is not as it seems, as sugar is much more sensible to be used. Lex is later seen to be smoking and so a cigarette is of course needed. Due to the fact Dominique smokes herself it does not have to be a fake cigarette but she can actually smoke.


The eye make-up I want Lex to wear is dark and shadowed to show her mysterious nature. She doesn’t wear any lip make-up because that is too over the top and would show Lex to be trashier than she actually is. Tom will obviously not be wearing any make-up as he is a boy.


I want Lex to wear a black dress and black tights, again to show that she is both mysterious and that she prefers to shrink into the background. She will also be wearing a leather jacket to depict her rebellious nature and that she is the type of girl that is not to be tied down by anything she doesn’t want to be tied down by. She will be wearing boots as she is shown to be casual, but beautiful.

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Plot Synopsis

Lex and Tom have been together for just over sixth months and they attend a house party together. Lex feels as though she is alone at this party and begins to wonder why she is here, yet she also feels as though everyone is watching her every move and judging her, which scares her; she is hugely paranoid and feels as though she needs to get out of this state of mind. Thus, Lex decides to take her mind out of her mind the way she always does – drug abuse. As she comes up she goes outside to wait, when Tom comes to ask her what is going on. He wants to find out what is going through her mind so that he can help her. Finally she begins to enjoy the party.

Two weeks after the party Lex leaves her house because she feels they are constricting the way she lives her life, suffocating her and stopping her from doing anything at all. Lex moves in with Tom and his family, however this causes more arguments as Tom’s mother has never liked Lex, and seen her as a bad influence on Tom. Tom’s parents argue with Lex continuously, and she finally feels as though she belongs no where, and leaves Tom’s without him in the dead of night. Lex sleeps rough for two nights, drinking and smoking her way through it, before Tom finally tracks her down. He takes her in his arms before she passes out, both through relief of being found and through exhaustion. Tom rushes her to hospital. Here Lex rests, until she is dispatched, and she returns to her parents house. The scene hasn’t changed however, and she is still suffocated and patronised. Argument after argument is had between Lex and her parents, whilst her ten year old sister looks on, full of fear. Her parents then chuck her out, exclaiming that she brings bad energy into the house and will end up corrupting her sister and “ruining her life”. Lex leaves, knows that she cannot return to Tom’s and feels as though if went to stay with any of her friends they would not welcome her and she would also corrupt them. She feels as though anywhere she went she would be a burden and would make any household situation awful to live in. She feels as though she is impossible to be around. Lex continues to walk to the top of the local hotel. It is sunny and warm outside, a blue sky with not a cloud insight. Lex hurls herself off the top of the building. She feels as though she is flying, finally free from herself, free from her thoughts, and everybody else is free from her.

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