AS Film StudiesAS Film Studies Unit FM1Unit FM1 Introduction to Micro Features:Introduction to Micro Features: Mise En SceneMise En Scene
Lesson AimsLesson Aims By the end of the lesson you will be able to: Understand the concept of mise en scene Apply the concept to a film extract
Definition: Mise En SceneDefinition: Mise En Scene A French term meaning what is put into a scene or frame Visual information in front of the camera Communicates essential information to the audience Made up of particular elements: Remind me of what they are? Everything that we see on screen has been deliberately put there to make the meaning - the furniture we see in a room or the costume that a character is wearing, or something more subtle such as the make-up that an actor wears.
Because the phrase mise en scne describes putting something in the picture, it reinforces the idea that films are constructed nothing appears by chance in the filmic frame. Everything we see is placed carefully so that the audience enters and understands that filmic world the characters that we see acting out that story and the time and place where the story is set.
The 5 Elements of Mise en SceneThe 5 Elements of Mise en Scene Settings Props Costume, Hair & Make Up Facial Expressions & Body Language (performance) Lighting & Colour Positioning of characters/objects within the frame Each aspect of mise-en-scene has hidden meanings within a film and sends signals to the audience about how we are supposed to feel at a certain point
1. Settings & Props1. Settings & Props Settings & Locations play an important part in film-making and are not just backgrounds Sets are either built from scratch or a great deal of time is spent to find a setting which already exists Settings can manipulate an audience by building certain expectations and then taking a different turn TASK: What settings and props you would find in: 1. A Science Fiction Film 2. An Action Fiction 3. A Horror Film Setting can also suggest the genre, or type, of film
Settings are where the actions of a film take place. They can help us understand when and where the film is set. A film set in the past will have to convey when it is set through the selection of locations that give the viewer the impression of a particular period in history. The setting also needs to be linked to the correct costumes and props. All of these combined will help create a filmic world to represent a time in the past that the viewer understands. Seeing the same character in different settings can also change our understanding of both the plot and also the character.
Props are the artefacts used in the film that can be used in a number of ways They can be used to convey a general sense of the period that the film was set in. Props can also confirm the films genre, this is also known as iconography. ICONOGRAPHY The distinguishing elements, in terms if props and visual details.
SETTINGSSETTINGS The scene that you have just watched takes place in a number of locations: a) The streets of London b) The courtyard of Devonshire House c) The hallway of Devonshire House d) The bedroom where the Duchess awaits the arrival of her new husband 1. Why do you think that the sequence begins with a shot through an archway? 2. As the Duke and Duchess drive through the streets of London, what images of the streets are we shown? What do we see in the streets? 3. Why do you think we are shown so many shots of marketplaces? 4. How does the courtyard of Devonshire House contrast with what we have previously seen? 5. There are two more shots of archways in the scene firstly as they enter the courtyard in their carriage and secondly as they enter the house. Why do you think that these two archways were chosen? 6. As they enter the hallway, what feelings and ideas are suggested by the look of the room, in the eyes of the Duchess and in the eyes of the audience? 7. As the Duchess goes up the staircase what impression is given by the arrangement in the frame of the footmen standing in the hallway? 8. How does the look of the bedroom contrast with what we have seen of the rest of Devonshire House? If this scene shows the journey from wedding ceremony to wedding night, how do the various settings that you see build up a sense of moving from the public to the private?
SETTINGSSETTINGS This extract shows the journey of Doctor Nicholas Garrigan from the medical mission in Uganda where he is working in Kampala, the capital of Uganda and home to the dictator, Idi Amin. Nicholas has already met Amin and is summoned to the capital in order to become the Presidents personal physician. Nicholas is in effect moving from one world (the mission) to another (the capital).
SETTINGSSETTINGS Why do you think that the first shot is of a mosquito on Nicholas arm? Activity 1: Describe the mission station where the journey begins. What impressions do you have about the mission? Activity 2: As Nicholas drives to Kampala, what other locations are we shown as he looks out of the window of the car? How does each location that he sees build up to his arrival in the capital? Activity 3: How does the capital at the end of his journey contrast with the mission where he started his journey?
2. Costume, Hair & Make Up2. Costume, Hair & Make Up Costume, Hair & Make Up act as an instant indicator to us of a characters personality, status & job It tells us immediately whether the film is set in the present and what society/or culture it will centre around Certain costumes can signify certain individuals (i.e. black cloak of a vampire, Spideys Spiderman suit)
COSTUMECOSTUME 1. Towards the beginning of the scene, we are shown a view of the people attending the ball. Describe the way in which they are dressed. What are the predominant colours of their costumes? 2. In this shot, pay particular attention to the womens dresses, their hairstyles and their jewellery. 3. As the Duchess appears, how is she instantly recognised as what we would nowadays call a fashion icon? List the ways in which her costume, hair style, jewellery and make up are different to those of the women we have seen in the crowd. 4. How does the Duchess costume help her to stand out in the dance scene? 5. Lady Bess Foster enters into the scene. How does her dress make us realise she is a key character? 6. As Bess and the Duchess talk to each other, how does what they are wearing help us to make decisions as to their characters?
3. Facial Expressions & Body3. Facial Expressions & Body LanguageLanguage Facial Expressions provide a clear indicator of how someone is feeling If someone is smiling broadly, we assume they are happy but we may get a different feeling if this is accompanied by scary music Body Language may also indicate how a character feels towards another character or may reflect the state of their relationship TASK: What meanings/emotions do the following images convey:
4. Positioning of Characters & Objects4. Positioning of Characters & Objects within a framewithin a frame Positioning within a frame can draw our attention to an important character/object A film-maker can use positioning to indicate relationships between people TASK: What does the positioning in the following images reveal about the characters/film:
PERFORMANCEPERFORMANCE This is a very short sequence. You should write down what you see in each individual shot. 1. Once you have done this, think about the effect of what you are shown. How do the movements and the look of the actor create an atmosphere? What do you think the atmosphere is of the scene? 2. What are the different expressions on the actors face? How do they change and at what point in the action? What emotion does the actor show in the scene?
ColourColour Colour carries certain connotations which may add meaning to a scene (i.e. Red = Danger/Passion) Can give a scene a particular look, feel or mood Can be used for dramatic effect
5. Lighting & Colour5. Lighting & Colour Lighting & Col