The opening of a movie is one of the most important 10 minutes, and John Krasinski made a hell of a good opening scene that we won’t forget.
A Quiet Place: Part II is finally out! After the great success of A quiet place Paramount Pictures quickly wanted writer and director John Krasinski to do a sequel – to which he said, “No”.
After writing a draft for the next screenwriter and director of the second film, Krasinski realized that there was no better man for the sequel than him. So a second quiet place was born.
Now there are a lot of great moments in the movie, but nothing beats the opening sequence. The adrenaline starts pumping fast as the alien monsters turn off cars and chase after some of our beloved main characters, and we haven’t even mourned the death of Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) from the previous film. Vanity fair sat down with John Krasinski to break down the fantastic opening scene. From one take to the perfect mistake, Krasinski made the opening scene beautifully intense.
Create an opening scene
The opening scene begins before the events of the first film. We’re in a small town with the same family we know and love. This time it’s normal and works like any other city. Krasinski’s goal for the opening was to shoot the whole scene in one take, and we think he did a killer job.
Now when he said he wanted to take a long shot, what he really meant was that it felt fluid. No clear cuts to get the audience out of the scene. There are moments when the camera changes perspective so the audience can walk with the character the story is focused on.
When it comes to finding the right moment to sew two cuts together in one, Krasinski looked for the transition. The only hidden sting in the opening of A Quiet Place: Part II is when Lee Abbott (Krasinski) gets out of his truck to speak to the policeman. When his body hits the frame of the windshield, the camera and ILM interrupt the plane of the two images. The crew had to put flippers under the wheels of the police car and attach wires to the car for a major stunt that involved a lot of safety precautions, which is why this stitch exists.
After the creature is introduced, the camera changes to Regan Abbott’s (Millicent Simmonds) shell or perspective. Every time there is a close-up of Regan in the film, Krasinski makes her envelope by letting the audience hear the world the way they do. When Krasinski started working with Simmonds, he spoke to her and her mother and asked her mother if Simmonds could hear everything. Her mother said she could indeed – loud noises, laughter nearby – but the sound is soft and muffled. When Krasinski tried to replicate the world as he believed it to be Simmonds heard her mother burst into tears because she could experience the world like her daughter. (I’m not crying, you are.)
What went wrong
When Lee is back in the truck, he starts playing around on the radio and the camera gently switches to Evelyn (Emily Blunt), who is also playing around with the radio. The roof is removed from your car.
A giant robotic arm programmed to move in front of the scene sits in the back seat. The scene was rehearsed for three weeks before the actual shooting, as there was no flexibility in the camera movements. That means no improvisation, no small changes. Total perfection. You know, unless the camera breaks.
When Evelyn drives away from a bus charging at her at 40 mph, the camera’s arm broke and the camera began to slide forward. The brilliance of this flaw is that the camera took a perfect close-up of Evelyn and perfectly captured her emotions in the scene. It was Krasinski’s best mistake.
The whole scene was heavily inspired by the chase in Children of men, and how the tension never breaks, even as the camera moves from character to character. It keeps the scene on the ground as the audience and characters try to keep up with the events that are playing out before them.
What does it right
Without a doubt the opening scene too A quiet place part II sets the pace very quickly for the rest of the movie, and that’s a great thing.
The thing about sequels is that the audience already knows what we’re getting into, and the movie needs to keep audiences gripping and pumping for the next 90 minutes or so. By creating a scene that never breaks away from the action or tension, you have a great opening, even for the sequel.
What do you think of the opening scene? A Quiet Place: Part II? Let us know in the comments!