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Zombieland: Titles Deconstruction

Director: Reuben Fleisher Titles:

The text for Zombieland is a clever idea; it replicates the sign writing at theme parks. This is playing on the fact the name of the film is Zombieland; creating the idea that this country is now a theme park inhabited by zombies. But the most exciting effect of the text is the animation. It is set to react with the action on screen. This is a really interesting effect; as the text appears to become one of the characters in the scene and react to the mayhem unfolding.


Camera Work:
The most obvious camera effect is the extreme slowmotion used to shoot the footage. This technique gives the film a dream like quality because you can see every detail in the shot; from the spewing blood from the zombies to the characters running style and survival strategy. To achieve this effect you need specialised equipment so it is evident that the production company put time and effort into this effect.

The camera movements in this sequence are very simple; they are panning, tilting and a fixed shot. Panning shots are used on the more action packed scenes so that the viewer feels more involved and as if they are actually there, therefore creating a more realistic environment. The tilting shots are there for the shots of taller set pieces; such as the guard watchtower at the beginning of the film. These movements are extremely subtle because of the extreme slow-motion. But they add something to the shot that a fixed shot doesnt; movement. This is extremely important for the audience because a fixed action shot is quite boring but a moving shot; tracking the action is exciting and exhilarating. The movement used changes from shot to shot; creating the idea of chaos because the camera positioning is unpredictable and interesting. The camera is also at eye level throughout the piece; presenting the shots as being from a persons perspective, adding to the reality of the piece.

The settings for the title sequence are many and varied; they are all locations that the average viewer would have come into contact with; then some that many wont have. The opening location is a watchtower in a prison; a sight that many audiences won t have seen. This then switches to a street where a member of the public is being chased by a zombie. This then triggers a montage of many different settings such as shopping malls, housing estates and schools; again adding to the reality of the sequence. The lighting for the piece is all set to represent the sun. This lighting technique gives the shots an even more realistic flair to them because no artificial light is being used. This then portrays the idea to the audience that a pandemic could happen and cause these types of problems for society.

As the montage goes on the world shown becomes more and more chaotic; this can be displayed through the practical lighting shown on screen such as burning cars and buildings. The costumes the characters wear are mainly everyday clothes with some different ones included such as suits, police uniforms, t-shirts and even a wedding dress. This generates the connection between real life and what is happening on screen. The props used changes throughout the montage. At the beginning there are hardly any props bar a drink with its contents erupting; adding to the impact of the slow-motion. Part way through, weapons are introduced in the form of crowbars and riot shields; showing how the human race is responding this new found threat. But at the end of the sequence we see the appearance of guns, showing that mankind are becoming desperate and are turning to the more lethal means to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Only one transition effect was used throughout the montage; that was a cross-dissolve. This effect is very simple but looks extremely professional in this situation. If the transition effect was to complicated it would detract from the action on screen, drawing the audience out of the scene. It also keeps the action flowing on screen; allowing the audience to watch the film effortlessly. The pace of the sequence is slow, allowing the audience to concentrate on the fine details of the settings and characters. This also helps the slow-motion have more of an impact on the audience.

The sound choice for the titles is really good; the director has chosen a slow, heavy rock song. This adds to the impact of the slow-motion, narrating the chaos on screen. The effect of the bell at the beginning and end of the track give the footage a sinister feeling to it; really accenting the fear felt by the characters. The characters are represented as weak and out of control. This is achieved by them being chased by the zombies with extremely scared expressions on their face. At no point throughout the titles are they in control; they are always being threatened by the zombies and many of them are shown to be being eaten. Adding to the fear they are experiencing.

What would I use?

In my opening titles I would like to use the extreme slow-motion used so well in this example. This gives the audience a different perspective on the action shown on screen. The interactive text is also a really nice effect that I will endeavour to replicate in my title sequence. This puts a completely new twist on the title sequence as the public knows it.

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