Duration: opening 2 minutes
'The Silence of The Lambs' opening scene opens with an establising shot of a forest with the heavy fog in the background, with the non-diegetic sound of classical music works well with the mise-en-scene. This shot is held for 10 seconds with bold titles of the actors names. Due to the film being a Psychological Thriller, the actors names are spelt backwards, which creates confusion with the audience as normally titles are spelt the correct way round. Also with the bold black backwards titles it connects with the eery atmosphere of the dark forest and fog, which will create tension while the audience watch this opening scene.
From this, the camera pans across the forest until it pans downwards, creating a high angle shot of the forest from a birds eye view. As this is happening, the bold black backwards titles are still in the shot. The camera holds for a few seconds showing the mise-en-scene. From the camera shot we can see a faded shadow of a person emerging from the fog, as the person moves quickly from the fog we establish it's a young women.
The camera again pans down, giving us a long shot of the young women climbing up the muddy hill, by using a rope which is already there to pull herself up. By the women pulling herself up with the rope, it creates a connoation of an army circuit training routine to the audience. The camera keeps paning downwards showing the young women climb up the muddy hill. As well as having the non-diegtic sound of classical music, we could also hear some diegetic sound of birds singing and, branches and twigs being snapped by the young womens foot once she's over the hill.
The frame moves to a medium shot of the young women, panting for breath on top of the hill. The frame moves to a meduim shot of her running through another part of the forest, opening up to a long shot of her running, as well as the mise-en-scene of the forest. While she is running, the bold black backwards titles are continuing to show. The camera slows gracefully down so we can see the young women run through a large area of the fog. This frame quickly jumps to a close-up shot of the young womens face continuing running, showing some branches of the forest background.
Finally at the end of the opening scene, a tracking shot is used to show the young women running extremely fast through the woods. The use of the tracking shot makes the audience feel part of the shot, as they are actually running with the young women while watching this scene.
The Silence of The Lambs - Opening Scene: