Sunday, 20 October 2013

Opening EG2: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off 
John Hughes, 1986
Paramount Pictures (prod.)

Budget: $6M; US box office: $70M

Opening duration: 3:07 84%; IMDB 7.8.

Summary/Ideas I Might Use
Outfits that tell us something about the person e.g. the parents wear posh clothes tell us they have posh jobs.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a coming-of-age comedy film about a high-school senior who decides to skip school and spend the day in downtown Chicago.

Title screen
There is one ident with no audio bridge. In the main titles there is an audio bridge, diegetic sound of a radio reading out the weather. The titles are a neon blue colour on a black background. Blue is closely associated with males. It is connoting that the movie will not be a girly rom-com but a movie for boys (as well as girls). 
The mother's voice (saying 'Ferris?') cuts in as the movie title is shown on the screen. There is about half a minute until the next titles appear. The titles are shown unevenly, with short gaps between some and long gaps between others. This is to make the audience focus on one part of the movie that is important, for example the titles stop when Ferris's sister Jeanie is introduced. This shows she is an important character. The titles are all the way through the opening.

Opening shot of Ferris's house
First shot is ELS of Ferris's house. It's a nice house with three cars parked outside, cleanly cut lawn, and a hanging basket outside the door. These are all signifiers of (upper) middle class. 
The second shot is of Ferris himself, in bed, looking shocked. This is the first shot of any character, showing that he is the main character.
Mum and dad in 'posh' clothes
The dad is in a suit and the mum has fancy jewelry on, indicating they have important jobs and are well paid for said jobs.
There is a shot of Ferris's room as his dad feels his hands for clamminess. It looks like a typical boys room: posters, tv, phone, clothes sticking out of the drawers. All of these are signifiers that this is a teenage boys room (although there is a strange absence of clothes on the floor, which could show he is a 'goody two-shoes' sort of boy). 
First shot of Jeanie
When we are introduced to Jeanie, the first things we see are her shoes and her nails. They are both fashionable and this shows that Jeanie is fashion conscious and typical teenage girl. It also shows a binary opposition between her and her brother Ferris. His room is scruffy, whereas she is put together.
The last shot of the opening is Ferris sat up in bed, looking considerably less ill than a few moments ago, showing he was faking the illness and ready to get up and go.

Narrative, Genre, and Exposition
In the opening we are introduced to four characters: Ferris (the main character, protagonist), the parents, and Jeanie (one of the antagonists). The genre is showed through Ferris's obvious lying and parent's overly protectiveness. Also the angle of the camera when showing the parents looking down at Ferris connotes the genre because it is quite comical.
At the start of the opening, all the sounds are diegetic: voices from the radio, mum speaking, dog barking, birds whistling. The music starts when the parents decide to let Ferris stay off of school for the day. The music is quite slow and sad, emphasising how Ferris appears to be feeling. When the parents leave, this music stops and instead there is loud bangs and crashes from the tv, telling us that Ferris isn't ill.

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