In this essay I will be comparing the starts of two popular films, “Gladiator” and “Twister”. Within this essay I will be looking at the difference in genre that is described as “the literary composition characterised by a particular style. ” This is concerned with the audience’s expectations of the film, and genre also displays the differences between this film and others. The genre of Gladiator is an epic action. The back of the video describes the narrative as “He was forced into slavery by the corrupt incestuous heir to the throne. Roman general Maximus becomes a gladiator.His prowess in the arena will eventually lead him to Rome, the coliseum and a vengeful showdown with a new emperor.
.. ” This narrative tells us about the story line, but within the first three minutes this is not backed up. You are unable to know what the film is about and will need to continue to watch to discover the story line. The genre of Twister is a disaster movie.
The basic story line is described as “A group of scientists chases tornadoes testing out their latest inventions seeing if it calculates the size and power” This is not backed up either during the first three minutes.Even though it is not clear the watcher still has a bit more idea about what is going to happen in the rest of the film, than the ones watching Gladiator. From the two descriptions it is obvious that they are totally two very different films, but do they use any of the same techniques? We can analyse the films by picking up on the important structure styles that they use and how well this creates the mood and atmosphere, and how well it complements the difference in genre. One effect that the films can use is voice over.This is an added voice, over what is happening in the picture, which supplies information that you wouldn’t necessarily get by the dialogue or movement. Gladiator did not use a voice over, because it did not need one as all the information that was needed to be told, was the location and history that was told by captions. They used writing on the screen, “Germania” is written, and this is making it clear where the battle is being held. This appeared at the bottom of the screen, so it is not obstructing any vital action that is going on.
Using a voice over in Gladiator would not have sounded right as it would have made it less believable, like a fairy-tale. The director of the film Twister decided to use a voice over, in the form of a person speaking on the television that the father is watching. It was giving all their watcher’s information and warnings about the tornado that is rapidly approaching. The voice over seemed a more direct and informative way, because it was told directly to the people that needed the information and warning.It goes back to the report two or three times giving snippets of information calmly spoken that is very useful to the watcher. They also decide to use captions like Gladiator telling the film watcher the year that the film is supposedly set in, and where the house was situated in America. There was quite a lot of dialogue in Gladiator but their sentences were short and direct, making them sound commanding and confident, but also raising the pace.
In the background there was foreign language being shouted out, giving a sense of danger and insecurity of the battling men.This also quickened the pace as it was suggested that something bad might happen. Twister also has a lot of dialogue after the voice over on the television. The first is where the mum and dad are telling the little girl to quickly get out of the house and into their storm cell, both parents talk over each other and the pace quickens and builds up tension.
“Quickly, get out of bed we have to get out. ” This is very commanding and restless speaking with a sense of worry about what is going to happen.The little girl screams out for their pet dog, giving the impression of not knowing what is about to happen, but not wanting to part from her dog. She makes it clear that she is a very loving person because of the care she gives to her dog. A little later on the girl calls to her mum. “Mummy. ” This is called out in a scared and quiet voice creating how insecure the little girl is feeling.
The husband and father used the name “Honey” a lot for his wife showing how much he loved his wife and showing the loyalty in their marriage.The repetition of “I can’t hold it” when the father is trying to keep the door shut from the force of the tornado builds up the tension. It creates tension with the repeated words but also with the panic in his voice as he does not know what is going to happen. The costumes of the soldiers in Gladiator are authentic Roman armour and the leader is shown wearing fur and a cloak. All the armour costumes are made with contrasting colours of silver and deep red. Through out the scene the colour mostly used is red, probably because it symbolises the redness of blood and how many people died fighting for their country.In Twister the father is wearing normal day clothing from around the date of 1969, and the mum and the daughter are wearing their night clothes, which are white.
This colour portrays the innocence of all the members in the family. These are of a style showing that this family is not a very rich household. This also suggests that the family is unprepared for the tornado, which promotes a sense of sympathy as they are honest and hardworking.
Gladiator is set in Germania, with a surrounding of wooded area that is dead, musky and in the middle of nowhere, giving off a dead and evil feeling.It is very dull and filled with the smoke from gun fire and other explosions and it is also set in the coldness of winter, with the mist escaping their body when speaking. The dead trees maybe suggesting that that is what is going to happen to a lot of the men that are there, via the battle dangers. Twister is set around a farm house in America that is also in the middle of nowhere, with on one to help if troubled. Their farm house has a massive garden that makes it a long way to travel when running as fast as they can.When they go to the storm cell it takes them quite a long time, this could put them in great danger at any moment. That feeling builds up tension and pace. Both Gladiator and Twister use a lot of sound effects during the segment of film that was watched.
Gladiator’s sound effects are that there are children playing in the background. They are heard laughing and having fun, when a man wearing a dark green uniform from the war walking through the corn fields. This is backed with a slow and sad musical background setting the sadness of the film.It sounds as if it is a classical piece played by string instruments. After that, the background music picks up by getting faster and louder making it clear that something is about to happen, quickening the pace of the shot. The sound effects that Twister uses in its first sequence of shots are hearing the sound of the rumbling thunder that starts off quietly and then gradually gets louder and louder, and they also make the sound of the tornado heard above the quiet but sincere music that fades rapidly, making it obvious that something dramatic is about to happen.The use of sounds and visuals make the audience know straight away that something bad is about to come from this scene.
This is made obviously by the sinister tone of the music which is played, to help discover this aspect. The sound of the reporter on the television fades in with the background noise of the thunder and lightening as well as the strong wind. Once the family are running outside the dog is continuously heard whimpering, suggesting that he is worried about his family and owners and feels as if he should be helping and protecting them as they are part of him.As with the sound effects both of these two films use a wide range of visual effects helping with the setting of the atmosphere they are set in. In Gladiator, in one of the first scenes there is a robin that flies away, showing the innocent side to Maximus, the leader who is watching the robin before it flew away.
T his also shows the freedom of the robin, of being able to do what it likes, when it likes. This makes Maximus believe that freedom will be achieved in the end.In the beginning, when the credits come up, the background is made up of browns and yellows passing as if they were clouds, giving off a warm feeling. When the camera switches to Maximus and his army, he gets a welcoming from all of his men showing he is the master, the one in charge. Within these scenes there was a lack of colour, but a wide use of cold colours such as grey and light blue showing the coldness of the surroundings that they belong to. Twister has many visual effects with the lightning because as it is the dead of night and every time the lightning strikes, the house lights up.In some places when the lightning flashes a shadow is produced on their faces making them more distinct in shape and expression.
As the family run outside to the safety of their storm cell the overhead electricity cable explodes sending out thousands of sparks and flames flying everywhere, but mostly into the direction that the family are running to and from, this creates a sense of danger towards the little girl and her family, which uses our emotion to keep us hanging on the edge of the film.Finally the family reach the safety of the storm cell that they thought was the safest place. In the storm cell the door gets torn away after several minutes of trying to hold it shut by the father, they then show the tornado spinning around overpowering every thing in its path including the father. This happens because the tornado is very strong and the father of the girl is unable to keep the entrance door to the storm cell shut to keep himself and his family safe. Longer.
The entire frightful atmosphere creates sympathy yet again because they return to the little girls face, and without her knowing or saying anything, the audience knows she will never see her father alive ever again, this shows irony within this starter as the sympathy deepens again every time you see the girls face. Gladiator uses a series of different lighting, when the captions are telling everyone about the film the screen’s background is made up of yellow and brown colours made by a yellow filter that also continues into the next scene of the man walking through a corn field running the tips of his fingers over the corn.They have decided to use the yellow filter to bring a warm and comforting feeling to the surroundings and also adding freedom and happiness to the scene. This quickly changes to a blue filter to bring in the coldness, dreariness and discomfort to the battle. The insecurity feelings of Maximus and all of his army soldiers all can be discovered within these settings. Twister starts off with a yellow filter and shows the peacefulness of the scenery. The skies are a bright blue and very clear and there is a feeling of happiness all around.
This slowly changes to a blue filter through out the day creating a cold and dark night atmosphere that a storm is brewing. This adds to the tension building but also to the quickening of the pace. All the way through the section of video watched there were flashes of white showing the lightning bolts. In between the flashes there was a shortage of colour, because it is night but also to give off a dark and gloomy atmosphere to add to the tension and danger of the storm.Gladiator and Twister both use a wide range of shots and frames with many different angles and camera lens movements, to portray differences in moods and atmosphere.
Gladiator starts with a close up, of a man’s hand wearing a dark green uniform from the war, running his fingers through the blades of corn. This symbolises new life and happiness that was once lived, maybe a long time ago. It also shows the dedication he had towards the army as he was wearing the uniform and a special ring. It then changes to a big close up on Maximus with him in deep thought.This was intended for the audience to know he was remembering the past and all the pain he was put through. There are a few over head shots to show their dull surroundings and the amount of people that are fighting to save their country, but are most likely to die fighting. The camera moves along with a horse showing how much land they have in their territory.
At the same time the camera is in a tilted position to make it look as if there were thousands of men. They used wide shots to show the whole army together, to show how many men were contemplating to save their country.Twister starts off with a long shot that looks down slightly moving through out the day with the weather getting worse and worse building up tension for the watcher and speeding up the pace even more.
It then changed to a close up of the television reporter explaining to the watcher what was happening and giving some warning. Quickly the camera moves onto the girl sleeping in her bed. That gives a feeling of sadness as the girl acts as if she is the innocence part and nothing bad should happen to her father, because he is probably a hardworking man whom she admires very much.Through out all the scenes the camera moves to a close up on the dark thundering clouds leading the thoughts of the people watching to think of many different consequences that could happen. When the family run outside it is shown through a long shot so that the whole area is shown and it can be seen what is happening. They show their pet dog in a big close up after the family have reached safety from the storm cell because he is still outside in danger evoking sadness and sympathy for the little dog.
The dog then gets let into safety being shown on a look up shot making it clear that they are under ground, creating a sense of relief that the dog is safe and hopefully nothing bad will happen to him, but also a sense of irony, because the audience knows that the dog fears for his family’s safety, but whilst doing so also knows problems that the family haven’t had chance to think about. While they are down in the storm cell there is a close up on the door showing it rattling and how all the screws are slowly coming undone, building up tension and quickening the pace.The dog is shown in a BCU barking at the door because he knows that danger is all around and he is trying to save and protect his family.
There is a looking up shot of the dad holding the door, trying to save him and the rest of the family showing he is loyal and a great fatherly figure. The camera quickly changes to a BCU of the window looking out showing the consequences and giving the audience a hint that something bad is surely going to happen.When it goes back onto the dad, he is sucked out by the tornado and then the camera flicks onto the screaming mother and child showing pain and sadness for their loved one. Gladiator starts peacefully and the happiness of laughter and the sound of children playing which is shown for a long time but quickly fades to the army and coldness of winter as if hurt by pain. Twister also starts with a peaceful surrounding in the morning but changes slightly worse each second towards the late afternoon building up tension of the thunder storm later that night.Gladiator and Twister use many of the same techniques, but both of the films use them in different ways to portray the differently atmospheres that they are individually trying to create. Both of the films build up a large amount of tension with in the first three minutes and sequence of shots. Each of them has also used many variations in techniques to cope with the differences in genre.
Twister’s audience are thrown straight into a high impact and dramatically piece of media, whereas Gladiator’s audience have to look deeper into the meaning of the message given to them with the use of visuals.From the two beginnings of film that I have watched, I have found out that from the first three minutes of filming a lot of information is given to you. Therefore, you know what is happening and a little about what it is likely to contain.
It sets the scene, the mood and the atmosphere for you. From my opinion Twister was the more dramatic one as it built up more tension and it had a quicker pace than Gladiator, but Gladiator had more depth and stronger meanings which many people can relate to?