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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Bacon and Eggs

A psychopathic serial killer is bound to have a slightly different view of the world ain't he? Dexter's opening sequence is all shot in ECUs, just like the deranged murderer in Se7en's opening credits (below). Dexter is a creature of habit, and the precision of his morning routine (dental floss one of my favourite shots) reveals his obsessive and singular perspective as well as eluding to his penchant for a spot of squashing, blood-letting, slicing, smashing, grinding, sawing, crushing, restraining, throttling and asphyxiating, in that order. Did I miss any out?!


The serial killers definitely have different tastes in music though, as the discomfiting, scratchy, screechy soundtrack in Se7en has been replaced by a catchy theme tune that bobs along merrily. The undramatic music helps to establish that executing a couple of carefully selected victims is a perfectly ordinary, everyday hobby for Dexter. The rest of the soundtrack echoes the visual ECUs, in my opinion the extreme close up sound effects are actually much more unsettling than the visual ECUs (the chewing noises especially). This again connotes a person with a 'warped' view of the world, that sees and hears things differently to the rest of us normal folk.

Which do you think is scarier, a serial killer who has 'lost it' and is slicing off his fingertips like that chap off of Se7en or one that goes about his daily business like my mate Dexter?

There are only three shots in Dexter's opening sequence that would be difficult to create, with the equipment you are using for your thriller sequences. They are the super-slow motion shots of the egg shell breaking, coffee beans grinding and the orange being sawn in half. This is because digital film cameras generally only film 24 frames per second (i.e. every second of film is made up of 24 individual photos). If you slowed the footage down as much as the editor has done in these shots, (maybe about tens times slower than real life) then the film would appear very jerky because you would only be showing 2.4 pictures every second. Cameras that are used for filming super super slow motion, such as on Sky Sports, record 2,000 frames every second!

Check out this ad for Pedigree from Canada, the director found a novel use for super slow mo that very effectively taps into dog owners' parental affection towards their pooches. It was shot at a rate of 1,000 frames per second.

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