Archive for August 30th, 2006

Opening Shots

Jim Emerson, the founding editor-in-chief of, is running an interesting project on his scanners::blog where he looks at (and asks readers to submit) opening shots of movies and discuss them.

The opening shot can tell us a lot about how to interpret what follows. It can even be the whole movie in miniature. I’m going to talk about some of my favorites, and how they work, and then request that you contribute your own favorites for possible publication in future Scanners columns.

Opening shots have always been important, apparently the start or Star Wars, where a space ship flies overhead, literally drew gasps from cinema audiences on its release. You’ve only got to look at the number of recent films where they’ve started messing with the opening, incorporating the company logo (like The Matrix or Batman), it was the Bond movies that are credited with inventing the pre-credits …