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Examples of Opening Sequences

So how do you grab the viewers’ attention from the very beginning of your documentary? It would be fantastic to be able to provide a simple answer to this, but of course it is not so. Many things are influencing what a good opening sequence is and the solutions are manifol.

However the challenge of making a good opening sequence deserves attention. Therefore we have gathered these examples, which hopefully can inspire you and your team for the next opening sequence you are working on. Hope you will find this selection of opening sequences inspiring. We recommend that you watch the openings in full screen.

Thank you to the rights owners, who provided permission to post these opening sequences.

  • Jan Rofekamp, CEO, Films Transit
  • Ove Rishøj Jensen, EDN Web Editor
  •  

Do you want to share comments and input on the opening sequences already posted here at the site, please go to this section of The EDN Online Forum.

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Guest curator January 2012: Stefan Kloos

Guest curator February 2012: Tue Steen Müller

Guest curator March 2012: Audrius Stonys

Guest curator April 2012: Hanka Kastelicova

Guest curator May 2012: Karolina Lidin

Guest curator June 2012: Peter Wintonick

Guest curator July 2012: Ally Derks

Guest curator August 2012: Brian Hill

Guest curator September 2012: Amir Labaki

Guest curator October 2012: Cynthia Kane

Guest curator November 2012: Olaf Grunert

Guest curator December 2012: EDN Members

In December we asked EDN members to suggest their favourite opening sequences by posting them at our EDN Facebook Page. Here are some of the suggestions coming in: 

Will Mathijs: Here is my selection: 
Man-Horse: dafilms.com/film/7735-zmogus-arklys/
The Wheel dafilms.com/film/8106-kola/

Friedrich Moser: I have several favourites:
1. The Corporation archive.org/details/The_Corporation_
2. Man on Wire. Amazing how they directly suck you into the story from the first image shown, the first word spoken. Best dramatic re-construction ever seen.manonwire.com
3. Fahrenheit 9/11. Amazing how they got this archive footage celebrating Al Gore as winner of the 2000 US elections... The first image already gives you the feeling that something is wrong - which is the topic of the film. See the opening here.

Ivan Butel: Bread day by Sergei Dvortsevoy. You can watch the opening sequence here...grizzlygirl.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/serguei-dvortsevoy/

Ado Hasanovic: Nanook Of The North, Robert Flaherty 1921 www.youtube.com/watch

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