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An Analysis of the Credits and Opening Scenes of the T.V. video version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band'.

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Introduction

An Analysis of the Credits and Opening Scenes of the T.V. video version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band'. The director of the T.V. version deals with the opening pages of the text very effectively but the video is very different from the text in a number of ways. Instead of the opening with Watson, the director, in the opening titles starts with a freeze frame with sepia coloured background and a yellow gothic font superimposed on it with music in the background. The director has chosen these colours and font because it gives the audience the idea that the story is based in older times. After the freeze frame, the camera cuts to a close up of billboards that display the word "MURDER" and then zooms out to a long shot of the 19th century Victorian street where the billboarders are standing. The director shows the word 'murder' on the billboards to tell to the audience what the story is about, and he shows the street to give the audience an idea of when and where the story is set. Then there is another freeze frame with a wipe to sepia, which has the author's name on it. The director has chosen this freeze frame technique to get the audiences attention so the audience know who the author of the film is. After this freeze frame, it cuts to a shot of the street at high angle. The director has done this to show the viewpoint of Sherlock Holmes. However, we only know this when then the camera tilts up to Sherlock Holmes in a close up shot, looking out the window, down on the street. ...read more.

Middle

Once Percy is departing, the camera follows his departure on the horse and carriage, and then the camera stops dramatically at a window and focuses on it. Watching from the widow is Dr. Grimsby Roylett watching Percy's departure. The director has chosen to put Dr. Grimsby Roylett looking out the window watching Percy's departure because it raises the tension for the audience. It does this by the audience asking themselves "why is he looking out the window?" and makes us even more suspicious of him. From my experience when you are watching a film and you ask yourself a question, you will not forget that question until you get the answer for it so the director is successful in raising the tension. The scene then moves to an external wide-angle pan of the house at night, made by eerie by background animal noises. The director has inserted the animal noises to make the atmosphere spookier. Helen Stoner then walks into her bedroom, inspecting it, to find that there is a pile of bricks in it. There is a focus shot on the pile of bricks. A knock on the door and Helen Stoner enters Roylotts room, confronting her stepfather, asking what has happened to her room. Dr. Roylett then informs her that there needs to be some building work done in her room and tells her to sleep in her sister's room until the work is completed. Helen is in close up visibly distressed by this news, and her mood is shown when she slams the door shut. There is then some spooky music and while the spooky music is still playing there is a cut to a mid-shot of Dr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another difference is that in the text it says that Helen said, "only last week he threw a local man into the stream". In the film, it makes a whole scene of Dr. Roylett throwing the blacksmith into the stream. I think the video is very successful because it is almost accurate to the text apart from some minor changes. I think that the director has included a lot of detail in his film, which for me makes a film a lot more interesting for me. Another thing I liked about the film is the way the director used his flashback technique, which I thought, was very good. At the starting of the film, the director chooses to show what the times were like then. I found the beginning very useful in the film because it showed me what times were like then. Some good camera work is when the director decided to use peoples view. Such as when holes was talking to Watson, this was Watson's view and when the blacksmith was talking to Dr. Roylett this was Dr. Roylett's view. However, I think the director should have stuck to the story when Helen was dressed in black not lilac because black would have stood out more. Especially that this is a murder story because black represents death and the film is about murder. Throughout the whole video, I think that this film has been a success. I like this film very much because the director has put in things, which are a couple of lines in the story and turned them into scenes. This does not only make the film longer, it also makes it more interesting and creates a lot more tension. 19/01/2003 Kassum Hussain 11YB English G.C.S.E. Coursework 1 ...read more.

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