First & Final Frames

“What can we learn by examining only the first and final shot of a film?” – Filmmaker and cinephile, Jacob T. Swinney posted this video called “First and Final Frames” to Vimeo back in March, and since then, it has garnered some 1.6 million views.

Swinney says, “This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different–both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film.”

Here are a few of my favorites:

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.30.28 AM
Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.31.23 AM
Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.32.37 AM

Though I come primarily from a writing perspective, beautiful cinematography has the ability to say a lot with no words at all and has always been an area to which I’ve been drawn. It’s fascinating how much is conveyed in just these few brief moments, not only the individual scenes but their placement in the film and the impact these moments have on the overall story. Seeing the first and final frames side by side adds a new dimension – how about that Gone Girl section?

Check out Jacob’s work, including other great pieces analyzing film techniques and/or explorations including: Tarantino’s Close-ups (the second, in a four-part series) and The Evolution of Batman in Cinema.


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