Definitions

making an affidavit

Making an entrance

The theatrical term entrance is the appearance of a character on screen or stage. The term "making an entrance" is used to most commonly to such entrances that are particularly prominent and attention-grabbing.

Some theatrical entrances mark the first appearance of a character, while others show them entering a scene for the first time.

On-screen

Many on-screen entrances exist in film and television, some of which have become something of a cliché. There may be a long build-up before the character is finally revealed to the audience, sometimes showing small glimpses as a teaser. This is especially common for villains.

Feet first

The shot begins at the person's feet, slowing moving upwards and finishing on the face. The person may be stood still, walking (often in slow motion), or occasionally stepping out of a car. Examples:

Character transformation

When a character transformation occurs the second "identity" may be filmed as a new entrance. This identity may merely comprise subtle changes, such as a character having a makeover, or may be a more dramatic change, such as going from a secret identity to a superhero.

The makeover generally sees an audience (often a love interest) watching the person enter the room. A popular example is when a beautiful girl walking down the stairs, with the camera panning up from her shoes (as with the "feet first" shot). This happens in 1999's She's All That where the character of Laney (played by Rachael Leigh Cook) is transformed from a geeky-looking girl and walks down the stairs after a makeover. The impact of the entrance is somewhat lessened (or in other ways strengthen) by her falling down over the last few steps.

"The team is in place"

The plot of some films culminates in the gathering of various members of a team. A popular shot for this is when the camera pans back as more members of the team join from the side, sometimes walking forwards in slow motion. Occurs in The Right Stuff, Armageddon, and Mystery Men.

Silhouette and shadow

Silhouettes of a person, outlined in bright line, are sometimes used to build up anticipation about a character. Examples:

  • The monster in 1931's Frankenstein, played by Boris Karloff, was first revealed when he slowly emerged from the laboratory.
  • The appearance of a silhoutte behind the shower curtain in 1960's Psycho is often parodied.
  • The title character from 1962's Lawrence of Arabia is first seen as a dot on the horizon approaching the camera.
  • 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark sees the character of Indiana Jones slowly emerge from an outlined figure on a mountain.
  • In 1989's Batman the first appearance of The Joker is when he appears as a silhouette at the door of the man that tried to kill him.

Some characters hide in the shadows until it is time to reveal themselves, often timed for effect with a dramatic piece of dialogue.

Other famous entrances

Concert performances

Artists performing at a concert may rise from the stage or be lowered onto it.

Real occurrences

  • The arrival of the bride at her wedding venue can be one of the biggest entrances of her life.
  • There can be a lot of media attention on celebrities making their red carpet entrances.
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