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Mise en Scene - Alice in Wonderland

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Shahirah Hairuddin

on 19 April 2014

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Transcript of Mise en Scene - Alice in Wonderland

What is Mise-en-Scene?
Pronounced "meez-ahn-sen," it's French for "putting into the scene"
Director's control over what appears in the film frame
Elements can be planned or spontaneous
Weather, improvisation
Overlaps with art of theater
setting, lighting, costume, behavior

Alice in Wonderland (2010)
An American fantasy film directed by Tim Burton.
She falls down a rabbit hole that leads to Underland, where she is reunited with her childhood friends.
A scroll in Underland states that Alice is the one who will set the kingdom free by defeating the Red Queen's dragon-like Jabberwocky.
Gorgeous mise-en-scene and CGI

Mise-en-Scene in Space and Time
Prezi Made by: Anis
Prepared by:

Setting: Imran
Costume & Makeup: Asyiqin
Lighting: Arvindra
Staging: Kirshanthi & Anis
The Elements of Mise-en-Scene
1. Setting
2. Costume and Makeup
3. Lighting
4. Staging: Movement and
Mise-en-Scene: Alice in Wonderland
Plays an active role in films and filmmaking
In artistic filmmaking, lighting is more than just illumination that permits us to see the action. Lighter and darker areas within the frame help create the overall compositions of each shot and guide our attention to certain objects and actions.
Staging: Movement and Performance
Staging is the arranging of figures we see onscreen. Figures could be people, animals, robots or objects.
Can be in the forefront, enter the narrative action, and shape the understanding of the story
On-locale vs. Studio Shooting
First applied to
film scholars extended it to
Screen Space
distribute points of interest evenly
when unbalanced, filmmaker creates effect
color helps us pick out what's important
monochromatic films
MOVEMENT separates film from paintings
Scene Space
DEPTH CUES- 3D effect
lighting, setting, costume, staging
aerial perspective
Shallow Space- little depth, closer and farther distances are separated
Deep Space- distance separates planes in a frame
"what" we see is important but "when" we see it adds suspense
short frames vs. long frames
Helps support narrative and tone development/changes
Creates mood, defines eras
Adds deeper meaning
Used for aesthetics: contrast, brightness, darkness, etc.
Shooting on location gives a more authentic looking movie
Sets can be created so that every aspect can be manipulated
Some sets emphasize authenticity while others embrace style or ambiguity
Coordinates with setting (i.e. time, place, tone, etc.)
Can be passively visual or active in plot points or characterization
First used to add contrast to actors' faces so they would show up on film
Today used to hide flaws, look natural, accentuate features and expressions
Background Lighting
The background of a scene is lid to separate the object from the background.
Mood Lighting
Mood lighting is used to create a specific mood in a scene.
High-Key Lighting
Lid one thing and leave the surrounding in shadow.
Key Lighting
Key Lighting is first and most important lighting.
Fill Lighting
A fill light is often to be used as a tool to reduce the contrast of the scene and provide some illumination for the areas of the image that is in shadow.
Anis Aqilah, Nurul Asyiqin, Kirshanthi, Arvindra, Imran
Acting & Actuality
Acting: Functions and Motivation
Fantasy films usually contain some aspect of extroversion and exaggeration.
In this context, fantasy films encourage the use of stylized performance.
Victorian scenes were shot in England, namely Torpoint and Plymouth.

Film is primarily set in two different worlds, Victorian Era London and a fictional dream-like world called ‘Underland’.

Studio Shooting
Underland scenes were shot in Sony Pictures Studios in California using green screens and CGI to create visual artifacts.

The London setting represents the reserved nature of Victorian society at the time.
This is portrayed through the use of monotonous, bland colors.
Characteristics of the Setting
In London, Alice is bound by many rules. Her whole life is planned ahead by her family and members of society.
Whereas in Underland, there are no rules.
Rules of the real world don’t apply. Animals can talk, gravity works differently, time moves differently, potions change your size, etc.

There is a very distinctive use of colors to differentiate characters and their settings.
White Queen’s palace has an emphasis on white and is very open and roomy.
Red Queen’s palace has an emphasis on red and is very cramped.
We associate the colors to different things.
Stark differences in these exaggerated colors makes the story easier to follow, especially by the younger demographic.
What works
Visually captivating CGI forms a creative setting of Underland that adds to the realism of the film.
What doesn’t work
Film changes crucial aspects of the original Lewis Caroll stories in an effort to revitalize the classic story. This creates disunity. (e.g. film title)
Rehashed old ideas from other Tim Burton films that are part of his creative style are becoming predictable. (e.g. cast)
In contrast, Underland is a very lively, fantastical, and visually pleasing world.
This is portrayed through well-animated and rendered CGI effects that create the sceneries and the distinct color variations from scene to scene.
Motion Capture
Motion capture is the process of simulating actual movement in a computer
Motion capture technology is a type of CGI
To create his 3D version of Lewis Carroll’s hallucinatory classic-Burton shoot his actors in front of green screens rather than on real sets
E.g: The tubby twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee
being played by Little Britain star Matt Lucas
but only his rubbery features will make the finished film
all his movements are being recorded to provide the basis for the digital Tweedles.
Movement on camera
• Movement is usually an automatic dominant contrast
• Movement tends to be less distracting in the longer shots
This long shot of the ‘Queen of Hearts’ - she hold some kind of powerful position within the film.
Movement shot in closer ranges tend to feel more busy and chaotic
Expressions: The actor is always part of the visual design. Most of the time, film actors use their face to convey a message.
Realism: Performances are expected to be realistic in movies. However, certain movies don’t have to abide by realism when telling a story.
There are several facial expressions that are understood across cultures and this is one of the main reasons as to why expressions are integrated into the staging aspect of a movie making.
In Alice in Wonderland, the audiences do not expect scenes to be realistic considering the genre of the movie which is Fantasy.
The actors in Alice in Wonderland are expected to express emotions by creating stylized performances
Anne Hathaway portrays this extremely feminine woman who
Johnny Depp gives an over-the-top performance as Mad Hatter. Literally lives by his name.
Acting in The Context of Other Techniques

A performance can be shaped by editing as well
The filmmaker usually adds sound effects during post production.
With the freedom of editing, the director is able to select the best gestures and expressions and create a composite performance.
Scene: Mad Hatter arrives at the White Queen’s castle with the animals.
Scene: Conversation between Alice and Mad Hatter is cut short as Alice desperately needs to go to the White queen’s castle.

Disregarding the fantasy aspect of it, this scene didn't work well in terms of character development.
[20:50]Side-glance from Alice
[26:38] Character domination through actors’ expression
[11:57] Alice looks lost and unsure about the proposal. She looks a little distressed about it.
The Cheshire cat is seen here dwelling in a
conversation with the Mad Hatter
Here, it is floating in air....duh?
Props function within ongoing actions or help propel the story, usually as a gag or motif
Placing on Stage
Certain areas of the frame suggest symbolic ideas
The center screen is generally reserved for the most important visual elements.
Near the top of the frame can suggest ideas with power, authority and aspiration.
Near the bottom of the frame can suggest ideas of vulnerability and powerlessness
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