While it may not seem like it to many, the opening shot of a film is a big deal. In the world of screenwriting, a lot of emphasis is put on the decision for an opening shot, and how a writer plans to introduce an audience to their world. As the first thing an audience sees, it can play a myriad of different roles in establishing a story. An opening shot can establish a film’s location, tone, or theme in one image and can offer a visually stimulating take on something that may be otherwise flat or boring.
Video editor Casper Christensen agrees that there is power in the opening shot, and chose to edit together a montage of what he feels are some of the best in the business. He also offers a small explanation for the video, “First impressions last and these movies know it. Fascinated by opening shots, I edited together a montage of some of the greatest of its kind.”
Christensen’s video, The Art Of The Open Shot, offers a smoothly-flowing look at thirty-five films with some of the most iconic, or most memorable opening shots. The YouTube page for the video offers the name of every film, but upon first view, several of them jumped out at me immediately, a few others were recognizable but I could not place the name. How many can you name without looking them up? Comment with the number below! Note, the few with the title in the shot don’t count.