Sunday, 27 September 2009

Case Study Of Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can is probably one of the most creative film openings I've ever seen. 
It has a lot of smarts and cleverness behind it.

The opening begins with a fade from black into a blue, night sky with the company's name, "DreamWorks Pictures, presents", printed to the left of the screen. There is also an anonymous figure to the right. The animation assumes it's in a airport. 

However I cannot make out what fonts were used. I have tried to research but I cannot find any websites that agree on the font. Personally it looks like Helvetica, for the large font, and the smaller font could be American Typewriter.  

Whenever the animation moves on, sound follows with it; for example, more font will appear and the tempo will increase, or another sound is added to the composition. 

The next title is "A Kemp Company and Splendid Pictures Production"- more characters are added to the animations (pilots). 

"A Parkes/ MacDonald Production". More pilots walking through the terminal. The anonymous character is watching the pilots from the far left. 

"A Steven Spielberg Film". Anonymous figure follows the air hostesses. 

This shows all the companies that are involved with making this film. It is important that they are shown first so the audience can become familiar with the company names; for example Steven Spielberg created movies such as Jaws and E.T which were huge/ popular box office stars.

Actors now begin to be introduced.

A common airport sign, normally signaling to a gate number, with a pointing arrow, points down to the anonymous figure, when "Leonardo DiCaprio" appears on screen. We now know the anonymous figure, that has been watching the pilots, is infact the star of the movie.

Leonardo goes through the clever font, and comes out the other side in a new disguise - a pilot. He then carries on walking through the terminal. 

"Tom Hanks". Hanks plays the detective in the film. In this shot, the figure has the connotations of a detective (sunglasses, suit, newspaper, hat). 

The airport sign arrow also is pointing down on this character. Hanks is looking at DiCaprio, as he is the suspect. 

It then cuts to many anonymous figures, mostly pilots and air hostesses, and Hanks looking out for DiCaprio. The arrow sign the points to one of the pilots.

We find out that it is DiCaprio; he then goes up some stairs, which disappear as Hanks runs towards them. 

"Catch Me If You Can" then appears. The font is in black, except for "Me" which drifts off and turns into a cloud as a plane flies past. 

The music used is based around the tempo. It is very fast and then slows down slightly, while the animation acts out every tempo change. It is quite slick music, and fits the animations incredibly well. 

A plane makes the transition onto a freeway. "Christopher Walken" - All cars are grey, except for the yellow taxi, which are main character is in.

A blue, police type car, follows the taxi off the freeway, as the title "Martin Sheen" appears.

The Taxi makes the transition, where DiCaprio dives into a swimming pool. A lady's legs, in high heels represent the actress "Nathalie Baye".

There are more women in the background, sunbathing by the pool side. 

DiCaprio swims from left to the right side of the pool. "Amy Adams" is represented by a woman sitting on the right of the screen, close up. Amy Adams plays a main lady in Dicaprio's life, in this film. 

Therefore there is relevance for her being close to the audience. Tom Hanks is also, still searching for DiCaprio by the pool.

Dicaprio goes hides behind a giant, high heel stiletto, and comes out the other side as a doctor. He goes into a lift where there is a female nurse.

As the lift goes up, the titles come down, displaying the names "James Brolin; Brian Howe; Frank John Hughes", on the right, in green, against a black background. 

On the left of the screen, in a darker green, the audience can see some steps. Showing the battle of DiCaprio in the left, and Hanks tracking him on the stairs. 

More names are introduced, above the lift (central); "Steve Eastin; Chris Ellis; John Finn".

As the nurse goes to kiss, DiCaprio, he runs out of the lift, right, as Hanks walks in, left. 

Dicaprio changes from green screen/doctor to orange screen/student/ business man. He walks into a room where two women are typing (secretaries).

This is to represent "Casting by Debra Zane, CSA." and "Casting Associate Terri Taylor". This is really clever, because the animation shows people typing and represents the roles of these jobs. 

As DiCaprio transits to middle door, between the two secretaries, "Co-producer Devorah Moos-Hankin" appears. 

"Based upon the book by Frank W. Abagnale with Stan Redding". The animated character runs past a bookshelf, papers fly off as he runs past. 

The scene representing the bookshelf is surprisingly clever because the titles are about the book. 

Two files displaying "Titles by Kuntzel Deygas" appear to the left of the bookshelf, as the flying paper, displays Hanks, appearing in what looks like a broken mirror, but is actually the paper falling.

Dicaprio appears in a pink snow scene, he goes behind the consistent black transition line, and comes out the other side as a waiter. 

The waiter walks off through the party. "Music by John Williams" is displayed on the piano. 

The music turns slightly more elegant, and fancy, as Hanks turns up at the party. Many guests surround him - "Costume Designer Mary Zophres" 

DiCaprio enters the revolving doors, while Hanks' reflection appears in them. This title is for "Film Editor Michael Kahn, A.C.E" 

Dicaprio jumps onto the next title, as the font for the first 'P' in 'Oppewall'  is adapted as a rope - "Production Designer Jeannine Oppewall"

The rope is disguised for the mirrored lines on the title "Director of Photography Janusz Kaminski, ASC". A shadow runs through the lines. Door opens to the left, displaying Hanks.

Close up of interrogation lamps - "Co-Executive Producer Daniel Lupi". Three other lamps are in the background; one lights up showing DiCaprio's silhouette underneath.

In another frame there are two more interrogation lamps; under green light, Hanks' character is shown talking on the phone.

"Executive Producer Barry Kemp Laurie MacDonald" are linked and held up on a hook. While DiCaprio jumps, disappearing in the background.

As you see DiCaprio reappear he has landed on the title "Executive Producers Michel Shane Tony Romano" - the font links making three interrogation lamps. 

As lamps light up, green, Hanks walks underneath them. 

The next title is published among a starlight sky "Produced by Steven Spielberg Walter F. Parkes". Hanks is large than Dicaprio and is fairly close behind him at this point.

As both characters run, the final title "Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson" displays, as the title fades to black. 

End Sequence

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