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Sahara: Title Deconstruction

Director: Brek Eisner 2005

Titles:
The text used in the titles is interesting; it replicates the writing on old maps. The writing seems to be slightly worn away at the edges giving it that rustic, old appearance. The whit text makes it stand out from the background allowing the audience to the text easily. The black outline also reflects the writing on old documents and maps with the 3D effect it creates.

Camera Work:
The first half of the sequence uses a beautiful, flowing steady-cam shot that introduces us to the character without even meeting him. The camera travels through the heros office and charts his life so far. This technique creates the illusion that the audience is viewing his office through the eyes of another person; creating realistic looking sequence. As the camera moves through the characters office the audience is introduced to the characters past experiences and history, making them feel connected with him as they know what he has been through. To transition from the first segment of film the camera slowly zooms into a globe and onto the location of Lagos. This image then slowly fades to a 4x4 racing along a dirt track near the sea. The camera seems the fly in from the sea and then travel horizontally to the car. This

was achieved the camera being attached to a helicopter and being controlled by a cameraman inside. This then moves to close ups of the passenger inside the car and then shots from the characters viewpoint of the setting, introducing the audience to the location.

Mise-en-scene:
The lighting for the first part of the sequence is all artificial. The practical light on screen is from lamps and a main light at the centre of the room. These lights give the room a warm and homely look, like it is inhabited by a happy and warm character. The second part of the sequence natural light is used from the sun. This makes the location look hot and humid and also conveys realism to the audience that this is a real location and is not imagined.

The setting for the first half of the sequence is a characters office. The camera seems to float through the room and focus on the walls. The walls are full of newspaper reports and photos of the characters achievements and memories. This portrays a personnel side of the character that the audience can relate to and feel comfortable with. There are also objects related to the characters work which allows the audience to see the more formal side of him and also learn one of the key aspects of the film.

The second setting in the sequence is a seaside town in Africa. The camera shows rundown buildings that are common and a dirt track. The audience is then introduced to the second character. This location manufactures the idea that this character is charitable and wants to help the world because she is riding in a UN vehicle. The list of props used in this title sequence is extensive; there many objects on the desks and cupboards around the office which conveys the characters personality. These include photographs, newspaper cuttings, models, equipment and other possessions. The only costume in the sequence is worn by the female character at the end. She is wearing tough clothing; this reflects her work as a UN doctor in Africa as she travels round the country helping people in need. This conveys she is hardworking and smart with her choices.

Editing:
The editing is very minimalist with no cuts and one transition in the first part of the sequence. This allows the audience to become engrossed in the film without being drawn out by unneeded cuts. The transition between the two parts is really smooth and works well on screen. It is easy for the audience to follow the directors train of thought whilst watching the transition. The pacing of the titles is really laid back like the music that accompanies it. The music chosen is funk; this complements the cameras movements as they are smooth and laid back like the song. The song may also convey the characters personality as laid back and chilled.

How are the characters represented?


The character portrayed in the first part is laid back and happy because of the music choice and the props positioned around the room. The character in the car is portrayed as formal, hardworking and charitable because of her job as a doctor in the UN.

What aspects might you use?


I would like to use the smooth floating camera technique as I think it gives the audience a look at a scene through their own eyes because no one looks at a room from a fixed position. I would also like to use the idea of titles reflecting certain aspects of a story like the old map writing used on these titles.