"Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible"
Thomas Sutcliffe says that openings of films should 'seduce' the audience and by this he means that it is very tempting to show the most dramatic parts of the film at the beginning but you will give away too much drama at the beginning and then the audience won't really be interested in the rest of the film.
According to director Jean Jacques Beineix, the risks of 'instant arousal' are that you may never be able to answer the audiences' question for the rest of the film, and that starting off with a big, dramatic, exciting beginning may redue your chances of having anywhere else to go with the film or including any dramatic and attention grabbing moments later in the film.
"A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little" because you have to make a judgement about how much information you give to the audience in the opening, because if you give too much they may not be interested any more and could leave the film half way through thinking they already know what is going to happen throughout the rest of the film, but if you don't give them enough information they may not be interested in the film anymore as they are not seeing enough, and getting bored.
Stanley Kauffman describes a classic opening as something that starts with an establishing shot, for example, a shot of New York City and then other shots of a building, then a shot through the window of the building, then past an office, then to a shot of maybe a receptionist and then the last shot of the main character, and these shots establish normality and set the scene for the beginning of the rest of the film.
Kyle Cooper's title sequence of the film 'Seven' was so effective because it highlights the psychotic and obsessive behaviour of the main character and it also foreshadows future events of the film.
"A favourite trick of Film Noir" is to start the film with the ending of the movie, this is used to shock and surprise the studio audience whilst building suspense as the audience are intrigued to know why and how this happened.
The opening of the film 'The Shining' creates suspense by having the lonely car driving up into what we can see as some sort of shadowed darkness and also the show of the camera following the car is like a hawk hunting it's prey.