The film Forrest Gump is about a man who has a low I.Q that sets out to learn about the world. The opening credits is a slow pan of a feather carting its way slowly around town pushing past one man, a car and a women until it rests upon Forrest Gump’s feet which he then picks up and places into his briefcase.
Although the whole opening scene is one smooth shot with very few cuts there is a range of close ups to long shots. We see these shots mainly as we follow the feather. The start of the opening is slow and soothing, as the camera gently pans to follow the feather, this shot is compelling as it is reflective of Forrest Gump’s personality without even revealing who Forrest Gump is at this point. The interest of this shot for me is that such a simple idea can set the tone for the whole film and still have an impact this is something I would like to include into my own work not particularly with the feather but with a shot that sets the tone and has a huge impact on the viewer of what the film will entail. Another symbolic aspect of the feather is it reflects Forrest Gump as he is delicate due to his condition but his feelings as we see throughout the film are also very delicate, I like the idea that the first shot can foreshadow so much about the film
Within film making the rule of thirds can play on how aesthetically pleasing a shot is going to be, the film Forrest Gump has used this idea of rule of thirds within the shot of the feather but more interestingly when people get introduced, half way through the opening credits the camera pans down still following the feather onto the main road where the feather rests upon a working man’s shoulder the feather then the flies of and carries on, however during this shot the framing of the man looks as if he is a significant actor within the film as he is in centre of the screen which is typically how a character is introduced as they dominate the shot, however the character then walks diagonally of the screen dismissing him as a significant character. I like this idea of the feather choosing who is going to be gentle and caring enough to take time to pick up the feather as he is a working men clearly shown in a suit he is too busy to look at such a frivolous object as too which the feather then moves on until it finds a more suitable companion, the reason I like this shot is because it confuses the viewer of who Forrest Gump is going to be as a feather is a heavy contrast to a working man. I would like to include this within my own film opening with the confusion of what is going on perhaps not using the characters but using objects to symbolise the contrast.
Composition of a shot is something that is quite easily overlooked but is a brilliant way of introducing new characters and their role within the film, for example when Forrest Gump’s is introduced he dominates the shot completely taking up over two thirds, by doing this the director is saying through composition this is an important character or the main character which Forrest Gump is, the composition of the shot is something to really take in account when I make my film opening I need to make the main character really dominate the shot or for artistic purposes perhaps only stay within one third of the shot.
Characterisation is a unique thing to the film Forrest Gump as in the opening credits we already begin to find out what the character personality is like just from very simple items such as his shoes his suit and his brief case. The shoes Forrest Gump is wearing are trainers however this is paired with a suit, which makes Forrest Gump look very impractical and almost childlike, however his brief case is the opposite to this as it is neat and organised with socks a brief case almost as if he is prepared for any disaster which may come his way this immediately makes Forrest Gump a confusing character, the simple personality traits such through clothing is something that I would like to include in my opening.
Diegetic and non-diegetic sounds can be used for effect or to add emphasis, in Forrest Gump there is orchestral music as we watch the feather floating over the typical American town the music has very high pitched keys which quieten when there is no action but increase in volume when the feather lands on a the working man, but when the feather rests a Forrest Gump’s feet the music quietens which suggests the end of the opening scene, the diegetic sounds are around the ending of the opening such as the cars and the sound of the wind also the sound of the brief case, I like this use of diegetic sound and non-diegetic sounds as it is slow and fitting to the film itself.
The most important part of the opening is the titles, in Forrest Gump the titles are stills, entering the screen at a slow pace almost as if they were reflecting the feather, the style of the titling is classic for light hearted comedy but also for a romantic film. The colour of the text is white complementing the feathers tones with also being in the middle of the screen it portrays a more classical style of film rather than modern, although I like the titling for this film it is not something I would like to include into my own work as I would like to have a more animated or faster paced role however I do like that the colour of the text is reflective of the feather as it all ties in together so perhaps this is something I would consider for my own opening.