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The Art of the Title
Gone Girl (2014, David Fincher)
By Alex Davies
How GENRE is signaled in Gone Girl
Genre is signaled immediately in the first scene and
first thing on screen after the production company
idents is a man combing his fingers through a
woman’s hair. The opening sequence uses a voice
over, a man speaking as a dramatic monologue:
“When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. I picture
cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brains, trying to get
answers. The primal questions of any marriage, what are you
thinking? How are you feeling? What have we done to each other?”
The contrast between the loving action and the
violent words immediately puts the viewer on edge:
their marriage and the amount of hatred between
them is something to be revealed later in the film.
This film ends the same way as it begins, which
leads to an important revelation in the film, which is
an effect called foreshadowing.
TITLES in the Gone Girl Opening
One convention of opening sequences is that they
contain credits: the principal actors feature
immediately after the production company idents.
The titles shown in the Gone Girl opening are
consistent. The main actors of the film (Ben Affleck
and Rosamund Pike) are the only actors in the film
mentioned before the main title is shown situated in
the middle of the screen against a black backdrop,
which makes it clear that they are the main actors in
the film. After the main title all the other key
supporting actors featured in the film appear in
bottom left and bottom right corners.
All the titles in the Gone Girl opening fade out and
make the audience feel uncertain as if there is no
certainty in the reality that we are watching.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES in the Gone Girl Opening
The production company idents are shown in the
first moments of the film. These production
companies are, 20th Century Fox and Regency
Pictures. None of the idents have sound and the
20th Century Fox is tinted blue. This is to fit in with
the opening since the flashes of the seaside town
are presented blue, showing that the production
company ident was changed to fit the film’s opening.
MISE-EN-SCENE in the Gone Girl Opening
Every aspect of the opening mise-en-scene is
designed to disturb and upset the viewer.
The set is lonely and contains cool colours as after
the main title is shown it flashes to a sea side town
with shades of blue and grey which doesn’t make
the film seem welcoming. In addition, these colors
have a tendency to feel like they are receding (or
backing away from you), like the titles of the actors
As well, in all the flashes, the town in uninhabited
and secluded. From this we assume that the film will
be mysterious and ominous.
EDITING in the Gone Girl Opening
The only instrument in the background music during
the opening is a harp, which seems calm, yet
mysterious since the harp slowly comes in after the
clip is shown. As well, the background sound
effects in the opening seem unwelcoming and
creepy, like crankling noises and hostile bird
chirping, making the overall sound of the opening
The vision of the ‘Gone Girl’ opening is mysterious
how all the flashes of the sea side town are similar,
which makes the audience have a realisation of
unsteadiness, between them and whether
something will happen.
NARRATIVE & CHARACTERS in the Gone Girl Opening
In the opening of ‘Gone Girl’, the audience
is drawn in due to the silent indents. The
first scene is immediately shown of Ben
Affleck combing his fingers through
Rosamund Pike’s hair, which makes the
audience more aware and how they would
expect him to say something pleasant
about his wife, however says murderous
thoughts. This draws the audience by them
making this being a thriller.