The first aspect of the film that needs to be covered is the opening credits. This is the establishing shot of the film, where the crane moves down the building and reflects the movement of the elevator further on in the film. The camera then tracks sideways and swoops across very smoothly. It gives the audience a chance to think about what will happen through out the film. Many different techniques have been used through out the film. In the film the “caution” sign above the door is shown to be important as the camera does a huge close up on the sign.
It shows the audience that this is a dangerous place and something serious is about to take place. Then the camera cranes down into a medium shot where the security guard is shown. It shows the audience that this character has much more authority. The viewers are then given his point of view shot using a hand held camera. As the camera therefore shakes, the audience is able to appreciate the feelings portrayed by the director. The audience is able to sympathize with this character very well. In the film a high level shot is used to show the building.
This shows the audience how big the building is and how the action in the movie will relate to it some how. When the characters move into the lift, it makes the audience feel as though they are moving into the lift with them. Extreme low angle shots have been used by the director to show the size of people. This allows the audience to relate the people to the size of the lift, and the lift to the size of the building. An omniscient point of view has been used so that everything can be seen, and the movement of the lift can be shown as it falls. This shows the audience the great height that the lift falls.
In the lift the audience are shown how many floors the lift falls and how quickly this happens as the numbers drop so quickly, there is a very close up shot of the lift numbers and the brakes. This shows that it was very important, and makes the audience try to understand how the trapped people must feel. When the lift eventually stops falling, the audience are left feeling uncomfortable because the camera angles are very awkward, zooming in and out of the actors faces, it shows how Closter phobic it feels for the characters. Once again an omnisient point of view shot is used to show how they are trapped.
When the viewers first see the hero a 360 degree pan is used. The camera moves all the way around him as it shows that the audience should be on his side. The camera is hand help to produce shakes which makes the audience feel as though they are there. A lot of editing has been used through out the film. However there are no cuts at the beginning of the film, as the credits pass over the building, the shot of the building is continuous. The director has used a reverse angle shots when introducing the security guard, looking at him and then showing the audience is looking at.
This makes the audience feel as though they are looking through his eyes which adds suspense. The identity of the killer is kept hidden until the security guard is dead. The main focus is on the killer’s hand, which has a thumb missing. This has been edited so that the audience look at his hand and know that he is the bad guy in the film because he is disfigured in some way. There is no build up to the stabbing, so the audience are left feeling awkward and uncomfortable and do not know what to expect next.
The quick shots tell the viewers that Dennis Hopper cannot be trusted; he is also known to be a psychopathic cold blooded killer in other films. Editing has been used to create a juxtaposition shot where the killing contrasts to people in the offices flirting and laughing, if shows the audience that no one knows what is going on. Editing has been used to show the height of the building which helps the audience comprehend the vast size of the offices. When the lift is falling, cut shots are used to add dramatic ness and makes is visually more interesting as it makes it difficult for the audience to keep up with.
The explosions in the film have also been edited; the reaction of the people in the film can be shared with the reaction of the audience in which they are left being unsure of what will happen next. More editing is used when Keano Reeves, the hero, enters in his car flying through the air over a large hill in the road. This shows the audience he is the hero as he finds it very important to be on scene. The editing enables the viewers to move onto his side, and feel safe when he is shown because he is only there to help people.
There are many special effects used through out the film including the shot where the killer stabs the security guard with the screwdriver. The blood in the shot is not real but the audience think it’s real because it comes straight after the screw driver goes through his head. Special effects have also been used to show the force in which the lift falls, in the lift numbers and also the sparks of the brakes. The titles of the film are also made using special effects. A 3D and shadow effect has been used. The font is quite bold and reminds the audience of large sky scrapers.
Also the movement of how the lifts fall is reflected by how the writing moves down the screen. The colours used are quite cold which shows the mood of the film. Models of lifts have also been used in the film along with the explosions which are all made- up. More special effects have been used when the camera shows the killers hand, the hand of the killer has been made to look like he has a thumb missing which represents him as a cold person. As the music in the film gets louder, the pace of the film also speeds up. The music also gets louder when people begin to shout.
It makes the audience feel uncomfortable because it makes them understand how people outside the lift cannot hear them. The viewers are made to feel threatened as metallic industrial sounds are produced using a synthesizer to represent the lift. It leaves the audience feeling uneasy when the brakes are screeching. Ambient background is used through out, it makes the film sound more real. The audience may think that it is an abandoned car park or some place underground after listening to just the music as it’s more based on dialogue and background noises.
People are shown to be rather noisy in an office environment which shows the viewers that this could be a real situation. Fire engines are introduced using uneasy music which then goes silent. The mise-en-scene of the film shows how the security guard is very vulnerable. He is just doing what he is meant to be doing when he is interrupted by the killer. The colours used on the film are dark and dull; this shows the audience it is a cold film which is meant to be uncomfortable to watch. A blue colour has been used for low contrast.
In the lift an orange/ yellow has been used to show that people feel Closter phobic in the lift. The warmer colours represent how compact the lift is. The people in the film show chaos and that they are shocked when the bomb goes off. The props used in the film used the screwdriver used by the killer to kill the security guard. Because the security guard does not know that it is there, where as the audience can feel as though he is hiding something. The film shows the audience how no one can help when the actors are in trouble until the hero arrives.