The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Title Sequence
The title sequence for the 2011 film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo directed by David Fincher uses CGI to create a nightmarish sequence of images. The majority of the title sequence is in various shades of inky black and grey but the colour is made to look slick and shiny by having light coming from different places. Apart from the black/blue colour of the oil, the only colour is the bright orange of fire. This helps to make the fire stand out and gives it a more of an effect on the watcher because it is what you immediately notice as it is a stark contrast to the dark colours you are used to seeing. Not only are the objects in the pictures various shades of black but the background is also black and the models are coated in a black, oily liquid which is a computer generated image (CGI). Light shines from different angles and gives the oil a slick look which helps with the liquid effect. The oil effect is described by the creators as ‘that viscid, black ooze that seeps into everything, penetrating crevices, dribbling into lips and eyes, suffocating and sensual and silent. Each ebony form is made osmotic — surging and melding, torn apart and punctured, ensnared, set ablaze — thrashing in the deep. Through flashes of embers and murk, sticky vines creep, hands grapple, foul petals unfurl, and sable fists inflict their fury.’
The movement of the camera follows the direction of the oil and creates a flowing, oozing effect that looks like it consumes everything in its path. Close-ups of objects shows great detail and the textures of the scales in particular make the image interesting, dynamic and dangerous. To make certain images look more intimate, the camera angle is up high and when they are trying to make something look more ominous or dangerous; the camera angle is low and looking up at the subject.
Sound is important in this title sequence because of the tie between it and the editing. The music is ‘Immigrant Song’, originally by Led Zeppelin but in this case it was the cover by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Karen O. The fast pace of the music was thrilling and the vocals is mostly just desperate howling and wailing. This gives the music a nightmarish quality that darkens the title sequence even more than the colours and images. There is a very strong drum beat which paces the sequence well.
The editing is very well synchronized with the beat of the music and therefore the editing is quite fast, especially at first. At the start of the title sequence, the images fade in and out really quickly with the beat, producing only flashes. After these first few clips of film, the majority of the rest of the editing is cut straight. There is also some cross-cutting for example, where is goes from the start of a clips of the fire spreading to a clip of people moving in the oil and then back to the fire spreading etc. To carry on with the oozing and liquid style of the opening sequence, they have used a dynamic, flowing font that moves too.