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The Sixth Sense Opening Sequence Analysis

An analysis of 'The Sixth Sense' Opening sequence

Lindsay Brophy

on 14 January 2013

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Transcript of The Sixth Sense Opening Sequence Analysis

'The Sixth Sense' Opening Sequence Analysis Cinematography Soundtrack Shyamalan uses the cinematography in 'The Sixth Sense' to create an uncomfortable atmosphere for the audience. This is seen in the first shot which is a close-up of the light bulb turning on. The use of this close-up shows the bulb with more detail as it is turning on which creates the uncertain mood in the audience as they do not know what else is in the room. From this shot, the audience begin to ask questions about where this setting is because they are not given very much information about the scene. However, they are given clues as to what type of setting this is by the fact that the light bulb is on its own in the shot and there is no cover over it. The fact that the lightbulb has no cover over it shows that the setting is not a very comfortable place to be in and could also show that no one goes down into the room very much. This makes the overall setting seem unwelcoming and makes the audience feel apprehensive.

Cinematography is also used in 'The Sixth Sense' to show that the character that we see come into the room is not alone. This is shown by the use of a long shot where the camera is behind the wine rack looking through the gap at the woman. This gives the audience the impression that the woman is not alone in the room and something is watching her. This makes the audience feel uneasy because she can not see what is watching her so she becomes quite vulnerable, especially when she turns her back on the wine rack. A tracking shot is used when she is looking for the wine which makes the audience feel as though every move that she makes is being watched, showing that while she is in the basement, she is in danger.

Cinematography Mise-en-scene in 'The Sixth Sense' is used to make the audience feel uncertain about the film and what will happen to the first character that we see in the film. The use of the character's costume gives the audience the impression that she should not be there because her evening dress contrasts with the setting which is dusty and almost abandoned. The low-key lighting and the gloomy setting makes her look out of place because she is wearing a bright dress for a special occasion. This gives the scene an element of danger because if she was put in danger, she would not be in a position to run which makes her look very vulnerable, especially when she turns around and then shivers. When she does this, it make it clear to the audience that she can sense something and so she is not alone in the basement.

Mise-en-Scene The editing in 'The Sixth Sense' gives it a supernatural atmosphere and makes the audience feel uneasy. This is seen when the titles are appearing at the beginning of the opening sequence. The titles are white against a black background which shows a contrast in the events that will happen in 'The Sixth Sense' such as the woman dressed in an evening gown coming down into the basement that look abandoned. The black background will make the audience feel apprehesive and uncertain because complete darkness is generally associated with danger. The font is a serif font which shows that the film is a serious film and something bad will most likely happen during the film.

The editing is slow paced between the first shots of 'The Sixth Sense' which adds to the feeling of uncertainty in the audience and emphasises the fact that the woman is not alone in the room.

Editing The non-diegetic soundtrack builds up during the opening sequence of 'The Sixth Sense' from a very slow, quiet, high pitched sound to sound that is louder, a bit faster and a bit louder. Close to the end of the title sequence, the soundtrack slows down and gets quieter. The change in the rhythm, pace and volume of the soundtrack builds up the suspence that will be felt by the audience during the film. When the title, 'The Sixth Sense' appears, the audiene suddenly hears a flurry of high pitched strings as if something is scurrying away which indicates to the audience that the film will be quite jumpy and have a paranormal atmosphere. This makes the audience feel quite uncomfortable towards what is about to happen in the film.

When the lightbulb has been turned on, the audience hears the diegetic sound of the door opening. This sudden sound surprises the audience because they had been built up by the light slowly turning on and were not expecting the door to open. The director hides information from the audience by doing this because we do not see the door, we only hear it. This makes the audience ask questions such as, "Where is this taking place?" and "Who has just opened the door?" The questions that they ask encourages the audience to keep watching to find out the answers.
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