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Camera, M-E-S, Editing and Sound
Non-Diegetic Sound Within the first ten minutes, there is quite a bit of non-diegetic sound heard. The first non-diegetic sound is during the credits. It immediately creates a tense atmosphere. The music is very eerie and has a low dramatic tone. The violins within it create suspense. Towards the end of the opening credits, the music gets louder and faster. This gives us an idea as to what genre it is. Again the next non-diegetic sound heard is as Bruce Willis approaches the man in the bathroom. The music is very low, the pace of which is very slow and gets increasingly faster to build the tension. This again informs us as the audience that the genre of the film is a thriller. After Bruce Willis is shot a large amount of violins start playing short sharp harsh notes. This is used to show the horror of what happened. This was a sound bridge as it connected the scene with the man in the house to the next scene.
Diegetic Sound The first diegetic sound heard is of the basement door squeaking open and loud footsteps. This is stereotypically used to scare the audience and create a tense mood. We hear the wind howling throughout, which again is stereotypically when something bad will happen. Many diegetic sounds are heard in the next shots back in the living room and bedroom. There is diegetic jazz music occuring in the background which contrasts with the scene before where there was non-diegetic low tense music as in this scene the diegetic jazz music is happy and calming. There is multiple conversations, laughing, the tinkling of a wind chime, screaming, yelling, shivering, crying, whispering, breaking glass underfoot and gunshots. These all help to show that The Sixth Sense is a thriller.
There are many close ups in this opening sequence. This is so we can note important props that the audience need to see that are relevant to the storyline. There are even some extreme close ups when a reaction is needed to be seen, for example when the character who breaks into Bruce Willis’ house is crying and rambling ,there is an extreme close up. There is close ups of candles to set the mood for the shot, a close up of Bruce Willis and his wife having a conversation. At the beginning there is an extreme close up on a light bulb lighting up, the interesting thing about this shot is that the rule of thirds applies to it as the lightbulb is within the 1 st and 3rd points. The camera zooms into Bruce Willis’ wifes face as she hears a sound in the basement. This is used to create tension and scare the audience.
There is crane shot with Bruce Willis’ wife as she leans down to pick up a wine bottle, the camera moves down with her. There is a tracking shot of Bruce Willis’ face as he walks forward to the man who has broken into his house. This creates suspense along with the point of view shot from Bruce Willis as he walks toward the attacker. We see things from his eyes which creates a tense atmosphere. There is a pan shot as the patient raises the gun to his head and then we hear the gunshot and we know he has shot himself. This is then followed by a birds eye view shot of Bruce Willis bleeding on the bed. This is used to make Bruce Willis seem small and vulnerable as he is injured.
The first indication of the special occasion/celebration that Bruce Willis and his wife are having is shown by her clothing. She is wearing a smart purple dress, with neat make up and posh jewellery. This indicates that she is dressed for something special. She also leaves the basement with wine, symbolising a celebration. The candles show that an effort has been made for the evening. Bruce Willis’ clothes also give the impression of dressing smartly for a reason. He is wearing a shirt and trousers, with the shirt tucked in giving the idea that he has dressed smartly for the occasion. The takeaway food on the table insinuates that the celebration was personal, but may have been a dinner or ceremony earlier on. The living room is very homely, with multiple sofas and a fire in the background, which gives a nice impression.
The darkened bedroom indicates that something is wrong. This is also shown by the broken glass on the windowsill and the broken belongings on the floor. This is used to show that there is someone in the house. This therefore creates tension and suspense. The clothes on the floor and the almost naked man suggest that the man has something wrong with him mentally as it is not an everyday occurrence. The man is bloodied and injured, this again helps to describe his mental state as he has gone through pain just to break into someone’s house but not with the intention to steal anything. The man is very nervous looking as he keeps his arms to himself and moves hastily, he looks dishevelled.
One of the first things I noticed was that when there was a tense bit during the opening scene, there would be more cuts. This increases the suspense and makes sure that the audience can see the actor reactions and the thing that they are looking at. When looking at a scene, not designed to be scary there did not seem as many cuts. Instead the entire scene was a lot more relaxed, there would be long periods of time with no cuts, before just having one cut to show an object, before returning back to the conversation between Bruce Willis and his wife. The scene in the bedroom cuts quickly between tracking shots of Bruce Willis and point of view shots from Bruce Willis’ eyeline. The many different cuts created tension.
The cuts back and forth quickly show the reactions from Bruce Willis to his wife to the attacker/ patient. The quick cuts show the panic of the situation.
By Alice Gamble