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Franco Zefferelli’s Film Techniques – Romeo and Juliet Essay

Franco Zeffirellis opening shot is of the camera panning over a long-shot of central Verona, he does this to give an insight into the city, a quick zoom across instantly tells us this is set in the past as we are seeing fifteenth century Verona. The director’s name is superimposed on this, and then the camera focuses on a misty sun, this gives a sense of calmness. The camera then zooms in on the sun, and William Shakespeare’s name comes up below it. We then do a straight cut to a shot inside the city walls, the title of the film is again superimposed on the same shot while all this is happening music is playing (romantic orchestral).

The camera then is showing a long shot of the citizens entering through the gate, the camera pans left, this shot lasts for fifteen seconds – this shot is given to add to the anticipation on what we are going to see next, where are these people going? It adds to the whole scene we have seen so far, every shot we are gathering more information about the place and that shot just helps it along a little. Then we hear the bustle of the market and cut to the market. Yellow and red clad legs are walking through the market, this is done, as this is our first view of the Capulets.

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Zefferelli frames the men’s legs, in their house colours to focus on them as part of the Capulets. We are now up to shot 4, the camera tracks the legs through to shot 6 – one of the Capulets kicks a dog, and someone shouts villain. Shot six is when we first see the men’s faces, this shot is quite close to give a clear view of the servants of the Capulets, it also shows us their emotions and they are talking about the everlasting quarrel between the masters of the Capulet and Montague.

The Capulets are portrayed to be mischievous and having scandalous fun in the market that makes them laugh. Shot 7 we see the Capulet servants at a market stall, the shot is took behind the stall so we see a full on view of the Capulets, and there expressions when they see a Montague coming The camera then cuts to another stall, where the Montague priest is talking to the stall holder, this bring in the religious theme of the story.

Then for the final shot in the opening sequence we cut back to the Capulets, where they are talking about quarrelling with the Montague’s. This whole sequence lasted one minute thirty three and due to the shots the camera took we have gained a great deal of information about the setting and themes, already we have seen evidence of religious and conflict themes within the story.

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