Shrek Media Essay Example
Shrek Media Essay Example

Shrek Media Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1501 words)
  • Published: September 14, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The opening sequence should be effective in any film, of any genre, to make the viewer want to watch it. The opening introduces us to the theme and the characters in the film. Additionally, music and setting can make the opening of the film more effective. The opening sequence of Shrek is generally effective because certain things, like the music, make the opening sequence attention-grabbing and appealing. Shrek is a comedic, family film and in the opening when the setting and music change, and it shows Shrek doing his daily routine the film definitely shows a comic genre.There are many different film techniques used in Shrek.

These include characterisation, camera angles and frames, colour, copy, voice over, setting, music and sound effects. The setting begins with the original Di


sney film beginning which is an old book opening and being read. Many things in the beginning suggest a classic fairytale: the book opens by its self; the book is old looking; the story of the princess locked in the tower. These all show a classic fairytale.

The book is shown as old because it is brown and stained on some page and has simple pictures, old fashioned style of writing and very few words on each page.This idea of a classic fairytale is then destroyed when Shrek's huge green hand comes across the page and rips the page out. Then you are shown a different setting of a dirty swamp where Shrek lives. This is a complete subversion of a fairytale. The swamp includes things such as slugs, dead fish and plenty of mud.

The swamp is mostly dirty and full of bugs of which any

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person would hate to live around. However, Shrek seems perfectly happy with his swamp because he is an ogre who's shown to love the dirt.Although the swamp is muddy, when you are first shown the swamp the setting looks bright and cheerful, reflecting Shrek's feelings towards his home. As well as setting, colour has an effect in the opening sequence.

When you see the book, the colours are dark and the cover of the book is brown to make it look old. Because of these dark colours they have a beam of light coming down on the book to make the book stand out that little bit more and to get the audience focusing on the book. When the book opens the colours used inside the book are rich primary colours. For example red, gold and blue are colours used in the book.The red is used on the dragon and this could represent anger or fear.

Blue is used on the princess to show purity. These primary colours are used so it is aimed more at children. When the setting is changed the colours change to natural colours you would see in a forest on a nice sunny day. Such colours would be greens and browns.

Green is neutral colour of plants, grass and trees; brown is a muddy colour and there is a lot of mud in the forest. After the setting of the swamp you see a mob heading for Shrek's swamp. The colours used for when the mob is trailing toward the swamp are reds, like a sunset.This could also represent anger or danger showing the audience Shrek is not particularly liked

by these certain people. Additionally, camera angles help to direct the viewers and create further effect as well as setting and colour. Camera angles are used numerous times in the opening sequence.

The first camera angle you notice is the close-up to the book and then it pans down to the book. As narrator reads the book it's slowly zooming in. When the page is turned onto the page with the prince it zooms in on the prince. Then you have a close-up of the green hand when it rips the page out.Afterwards, you are shown a medium shot of Shrek coming out of the toilet followed by a long shot of Shrek's home.

When Shrek is doing his strange daily routine you get a close-up of Shrek's face as he is brushing his teeth. You also have close-ups of the names of the actors that appear in mud or other objects in the swamp. Many more shots are used in the opening sequence and most are close-ups or long shots. This is because these are most effective. However, music also plays a large role in the effectiveness of the opening. The first piece of music you hear is soothing, gentle and soft.

The piece of music is very orchestral, classical and romantic. This sort of music is what you would expect of an original fairytale. The second piece of music you hear is more upbeat, fun and enjoyable. It has an impact on you and makes you want to get up and dance around.

The music is lively, catchy and has a strong beat. This gives an impression that the film might be a comedy

from the change in music or possibly an action film. Certain phrases in the second song reflect Shrek. For example, "Ain't the sharpest tool in the shed".

This is a typical stereotype of an ogre, as they aren't usually really intelligent.Later the lyrics say "only shooting stars break the mould". This suggests Shrek is doing things different; what you don't expect. Also, "What's wrong with taking the back streets". This is also saying Shrek does differently from others. Also "didn't make sense not to live for fun".

This is saying Shrek just wants to live happily with no responsibilities. As well as music, sound effects help sets the mood and are used a lot in the beginning. Sound effects are used for things like the book opening, the pages turning and the page being ripped out of the book.More sound effects, like the toilet flush, glass breaking, splashing, trumps, burps, splash, gargle, clashing and fire crackling are also used in the opening in the film. Some of the sound effects used are used in original fairytales and some you wouldn't find in any original fairytale.

For example you wouldn't hear trumping or burping in any original fairytale, princess film. These are called subversions of a fairytale meaning unlike a classic fairytale. The sound effects brings the film to life almost and each different sound effect can tell the audience different things.For example, trumping would show that character as disgusting and impolite.

Furthermore, narration, as well as sound effects, tells the audience about that person. The narration at the very beginning when the book is being read sounds soft, comforting, gentle and friendly. This makes the

story teller sound pleasant and pleasing. Towards the end of the story the narrator rips the page out which has a handsome prince on it and says "what a load of...

", then the toilet flushes. This is unexpected to the viewer and shows Shrek is no normal fairytale character.Characterisation, similar to narration, shows what the character and the film is going to be like. Typical fairytale characters used in the first section of the opening sequence are dragons, princess, knight and a prince.

This suggests the film is a classical fairytale film. The typical stereotype ogre things Shrek does is scare away people, live in a swamp and want privacy. But the things Shrek does that a typical ogre doesn't do are painting, brushing his teeth, smiling and doing other human actions. This suggests Shrek is slightly more humane than other ogres and that this is not an ordinary fairytale film.

The film sets up to be a fairytale with the dragons and the princess and prince but when Shrek rips the page out it shows that Shrek doesn't really believe in fairytales even though he is one himself. The writing also shows what the film is going to be like because of the way the writing is presented on the screen. The writing you first see is in the book. It begins with what every classic fairytale begins with, 'once upon a time'. The style of this writing is very old fashioned and very traditional for a fairytale.

Other writing such as the credits includes big names to encourage people to watch it because these big stars are in it.Such things like Cameron Diaz's'

name written in the pond and Mike Myers name written in mud so it fits in with the ogre stereotype of being dirty. These places the names come up are rather unpleasant showing the film to be most unlike a classic fairytale. Overall, in my opinion, I think it is a brilliant opening with the way it switches from a classic fairytale to a subversion a fairytale in a mere second.

It is an extremely effective opening and cleverly planned out and the reason why it is so effective is because it has never been done before.

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