Analysis of the Opening Scene of the BBC Production of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Analysis of the Opening Scene of the BBC Production of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Analysis of the Opening Scene of the BBC Production of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


This essay will analyse the opening scene of the BBC production of
‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens. It will comment on the
different sounds, lighting, editing, camera movement and mise en scene
I will also observe how these techniques create dramatic tension and
how they can set a mood for the rest of the film.

The novel ‘Great Expectations’ is about a boy named Pip. His parents
die and leave him under his sister and her husband Joe Gargery’s care.
In the opening scene, which is what we will be analysing, Pip meets an
escaped convict called Magwitch. Magwitch chases him through a corn
field and corners him in a graveyard. Pip then helps the convict by
bringing him food and rum. His sister craves money and a high social
status so she sends Pip off to Miss. Havisham at Satis house to play
with her niece, Estella. Miss. Havisham and Estella both humiliate
Pip; he becomes ashamed to come from such a poor background. He then
decides he wants to be more than a blacksmith’s apprentice and he is
given the chance to become a gentleman. He is helped by a secret
benefactor who he assumes to be Miss. Havisham. Once he finds out his
benefactor is actually Magwitch the convict he is embarrassed to know
his fortune is just a sham. The lesson to be learnt is that money and
status isn’t everything.

Lighting is used during film making to create all sorts of moods. A
bright light could mean something loving or happy is happening this is
typical lighting in films such as children’s. Darker lighting is most
commonly used to symbolise something creepy...


... middle of paper ...


...has it quiet then
he slowly zooms in on Pip and brings him to focus that’s when he
starts running and then starts to follow.

Another aspect is editing. Once all of the scenes have been filmed the
director has gone through and edited it to create an opening scene.
First his has cut down the length he has done this to create the sense
that the chase was quick and frightening. He has also merged the
picture slightly to show speed in Pips running. This is ever so
slightly and can be hardly recognised but many directors use this
method to mess with the viewers mind.

Overall this is a very successful opening scene and engages the
audience to follow on with the rest of the film. It creates suspense
and tensions. It shows the viewers that the following film will be
full of scenes with just as good editing, effects ect.

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