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Mise en Scene

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Rachel S

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of Mise en Scene

Human Figure Casting = crucial choice of the director
A-list = well known actors
-Auditions not necessary
-Can be expensive
-Typecasting = actor typically plays same type of role
Limited choices
- Harry Potter, Twilight series

Figure Placement and Movement: Citizen Kane Dining room table scene Lighting Illuminates the set and the actors, creating certain moods and effects Three Attributes of Light 1. Quality (hard and soft)

2. Placement (the direction from which the lights strike the subject)

3. Contrast (high or low) Hard light
- produced by a small light source, positioned close to the subject, creates deep shadows and emphasizes surface imperfections

Soft light
-large source, minimizes facial details, the most effective way to show the actor attractive

Available light (natural light)
-sun light, has a diversity in its style, most beautiful at "magic hour" The Three-Point Light Direction: In front: Side: Behind: flat effect, washes out details and creates shadows behind the subject -> key light sculptural effect, renders three dimensions by making volume and texture visible -> fill light separates the subject from the background -> back light literally: "staging a scene" -How the arrangement of actors, scenery, lighting, and props, set the scene for the audience The Four Elements 1. Setting: places where the scenes unfold
2. Human figure: movement and placement of the characters and actors.
3. Lighting: illuminates certain aspects to create certain moods/ effects
4. Composition : overall visual arrangement Katie Cape, Audrey Fleischner, Hannah Gersten,
Lisa Holden, Jacob Rubin, and Rachel Salzberg Mise en Scène Mise en Scène The Big Four 2 3 4 Hard/Soft light:
- Hard light: small light source close to the subject, creating deep shadows
- Soft light: larger light source scattered over a bigger area, often reflected off a surface before hitting the subject. 1 Setting Tight/loose framing:
Tight Framing: the subject is constricted by the shot and the surroundings
Loose Framing: the subject has a lot of space around them (usually conveying isolation or freedom depending on the context. Human Figure Lighting Composition Forced perspective: setting arranged to decrease in size from foreground to background, creating depth. Figure placement and movement: the blocking of the actors, which provides information about their character, their relationship to others, etc. Mean Girls Hard light casts shadows over Regina’s face. Soft light sets this romantic scene for Aaron and Cady. More Mean Girls tight frame loose frame forced perspective figure placement Vocab Review Setting:
*Forced perspective
Computer generated imagery

Human Figure:
Method acting
Character actors
Brechtian distanciation
*Figure placement and movement
Morphing Lighting:
*Hard/soft light
Available (natural) light
Three-point lighting
High/low/natural-key lighting

*Tight/loose framing
Desaturated Helena Bonham Carter as Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland Brad Pitt as Benjamin, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button a. Figure placement and movement = what the viewer sees
- foreground / background
- physical level (high/low)
b. Costumes and props
- purposefully chosen
- symbolic & representative of
characters, transitions, cultures
c. Makeup
- no longer just to make actor's face visible
- provides clues about time, changes in character
- prostheses (3D makeup)
- morphing (computer manipulation
of actor's appearance) a. Method acting = actors use memories of their own experiences and emotions to create a truthful interpretation of the character they are portraying

b. Character actors = actor who often portrays an unusual or eccentric character in contrast with protagonist and other characters

- Brechtian Distanciation: acting style that prevents the audience from becoming emotionally involved with the character the actor is playing and forces the audience to be critical observers instead. Methods such as addressing the audience are used to break the fourth wall.

c. Extras
d. Cameos
- How the audience forms their understanding and response to fictional characters The Three Aspects
of Human Figure Casting
Acting Style Actors' Bodies Typecasting Breaking the Typecast Lighting
Techniques ∟The method is designed to ensure the appropriate level of illumination and to eliminate shadows. Three-point light Low key Lighting *key terms Character actor, Peter Lorre Early films = exaggerated stage acting, silent films
Contemporary films = more subdued, other elements influencing audience Maggie Smith 26 year old Orson Welles High key Lighting Natural key Lighting History: Made by Germans between the wars, especially in the 1920s
notably low budget
Examples: Cabinet of Dr. Calgiri (Robert Wiene 1919), The Golem (Paul Wegener, 1920), Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926), Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922) German Expressionism chiaroscuro lighting
noticeably artificial, surreal sets
use of diagonal lines
“flat” Notable Features French films also made between the wars, but primarily in the 1930s
Examples: Pepe le Moko (Julien Duvivier, 1937), The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir 1937) Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939) French Poetic Realism Complex, intricate sets
Deep focus shots
Elaborate camera movement
“three-dimensional” choreography Notable Features French Poetic Realism:
Detailed realism emphasizes how social milieu shapes and limits characters German Expressionism:
Intentionally unrealistic mise en scene that expresses the thematic elements and characters' internal states A Comparison Mise En Scène Composition The space of a frame can be thought of as two-dimensional
The principles of visual art apply
The frame can be positioned on a horizontal or vertical axis The visual arrangement of objects, actors, and space within the frame Balance and Symmetry Frame 40:20 – 40:43 Internal Frame
A balanced composition has an equitable division of :
Bright/dark areas
Striking colors

An unbalanced composition:
Leads the viewer’s eye to an area more emphasized by brightness/darkness, an object or actor, or an area of color
May suggest lack of balance in shot
Context must be considered when analyzing an unbalanced composition Balance Unbalanced Frame The human eye tends to respond to diagonal, vertical, and horizontal lines in varying degrees of emphasis
A diagonal line carries the most visual weight Lines and Diagonals Diagonal Line Line in Composition Loose framing – A technique of leaving empty space around the subject in the frame in order to convey openness and continuity of visible space and to imply off-screen space
Loose framing may suggest freedom or isolation (depending on the narrative context and other elements of the frame) Space Loose Framing Tight framing – A visual effect created when the subject in the frame is restricted by the objects or the physical properties of the set What emotions or assumptions may tight framing suggest? Stress Infinity Shared Excitement A Shared Secret Entrapment Community or Friendship Objects are often placed in the foreground to highlight their narrative significance
Important details can be distinguished in the background Foreground & Narrative
Chiaroscuro – The artful use of light and dark areas in the composition of black and white filmmaking Chiaroscuro Foreground and Background Light and Dark
Color palette influenced by the way audiences respond to the properties of color
Warm colors
Cool colors

Color as a Motif

Saturation – The measure of intensity or purity of a color
Desaturated Color – A muted, washed-out, less intense version of color
Hue – Color

Color in Culture
When interpreting color in a film, it is important to consider the contextual use of color in relation to cultural norms and narrative elements Color Color as a Symbol Setting: the places where the film’s action unfold
- can be general or specific, real or imaginary

Examples: London, a train station, a character’s apartment, etc. Setting on location
Example: The Tourist (2010)

Setting constructed sets
Example: Children of Paradise (1945)
- forced perspective: when filmmakers construct and arrange buildings and objects on the set so that they diminish in size dramatically from foreground to background computer-generated imagery (CGI): sets can be made exclusively or with the help of computer graphics
Example: Alice in Wonderland (2010) Settings are chosen to evoke certain emotions and convey specific meanings

- indoors or outdoors
- living vs. public vs. work places
- spacious or cramped
- bright and sunny or dark and shadowy
- full or empty

Example: Capote (2005) Visual and Spatial Attributes of Setting Two things to keep in mind when analyzing setting:
1) the specific action taking place there
2) the relation to other settings throughout the film Contextual use of Setting 1) Establish time and place
Example: Pride and Prejudice (2005) The Three Main Functions of Setting 2) Introduce ideas and themes
Example: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 3) Create the mood for a scene or the entire film
Example: The Dark Knight (2008)
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