UNDERSTANDING MICRO ELEMENTS IN FILM OPENINGS By Fahim Alim
CLOSE UPThis is a close up of a man in a mask about to rob a bank. Thereason why the director used a close up shot of a man in a maskis to connect the man with the viewer and hides the emotionsbecause he is wearing a mask. This disconnects all emotions withthe viewer to try and say that they are bad people who will hurtanyone who gets in their way.
MEDIUM SHOTThis is a medium shot of a man whose pointing a gun at people, tryingto shoot them. You can see the emotions in his face and they show thathe has a powerful face and he knows what he’s doing. His clothes alsoresemble that he works there, because it is smart.
LONG SHOTThis shot is a long shot, where you can clearly see the setting ofthe movie opening, which is a bank. It is significant because Theyare wearing masks and their body language shows that they arerobbing the bank. This would make the audience feel agitatedbecause they know what the general movie is meant to beabout, people doing wrong at the start and a hero, which is theBatman, saving the day. They must wonder how long the robbing isgoing on for and when the Batman is going to show up.
EXTREME LONG SHOTThis is an extreme long shot of a man whose holding a gun as wellas reloading it because he shot someone. This is ambiguousbecause in this camera shot, it shows him getting ready to shootsomeone, which therefore might make the audience think that he’sbad. Although, he is really trying to protect the bank and get rid ofthe robbers by shooting them.
TRACK SHOTA track shot is where the camera is mounted onto a rail, butthe camera itself doesn’t move, but the rails it is mounted ondoes. This scene is where the camera moves forward andpivots towards a vault, to show the robbers POV (point ofview). This would connect to the audience because it showsthe audience that the vault is the robbers initial target.
PAN SHOTA pan shot is the camera moving horizontally. This shot shows thefront to the side of the face of a robber, which identifies the emotionin the character, even though the character is wearing a mask. Thisconnects to the audience because they would want to see theemotions of a person robbing a bank, to see why they are doing.
TILT SHOTA tilt shot is where the camera moves vertically instead of horizontally. Inthis scene, the tilt shot is to show that the masked robber is putting anitem in his pocket and picking up his bag. This is significant to theaudience because they would want to know why the robber is picking upthe bag and what is inside the bag. We can also tell that the robber hasheavy machinery in the bag due to there being ropes on the side, like apulley mechanism.
ZOOMA zoom shot is when a camera is static, but the image goes in andout. This signifies that the shot being zoomed is important, which alsoshows more detail. It also gives the audience the idea at howimportant the character actually is, and that he will show up later inthe upcoming scenes.
CUTA cut in editing is when the director shortens a scene by deleting thefilm sequence. This is used to cut out unimportant parts of the moviethat doesn’t have any significance to the film. In this scene, the scenewas cut from people sliding across from one building to another. Theycut out the parts where they all aligned in a row because it didn’t haveany significance to the film.
PACE Pace is the rhythm in a film. It is how much activity goes on in the film. Batman: The Dark Knight has a lot of pace throughout the movie opening, to build suspense and make people feel like they are in the movie, even though they aren’t.
PERFORMANCE Performance is the physical and vocal expressions where the characters react with each other. In this scene, the men are talking with each other about the shares of money. They seem like they’ve already done this before because their vocal expressions are calm and they don’t seem to feel agitated within their voices.
HIGH ANGLE SHOTThis high angle shot shows that the person in the shot isn’t veryimportant because the camera is above him. This is to show thathe isn’t very important, and that the audience are moreimportant than the person in the shot.
LOW ANGLE SHOTThis shot shows robbers landing on top of a rooftop, which showsthat they are powerful and everything comes down to them intheir plan. The audience would feel less powerful to thembecause they would have to look up on them, and they would feelthat they shouldn’t due to the masked men beingrobbers, therefore criminals, and criminals are frowned upon insocieties norms and values.
DIEGETIC Diegetic sound is the sound visible on the screen or implied. For example, in the above scene, the man is shooting his shotgun. I know this is diegetic sound because it is clearly in the screen and the director clearly implied that there is meant to be a man with a shotgun shooting. Also, the people in the bank are able to hear the sounds because they all flinched when the blasting sound went off. Most sound effects are added post- production, which they try to make as real as possible to engage the viewer.
NON-DIEGETICNon-diegetic sounds are the sounds where only theaudience/viewers can hear. In this scene, the music builds uphigher and higher to create more tension between the viewersand the characters in the scene. The music stops because theperson is saying something important as well as somethingmay alter his intentions.
MISE EN SCENE SETTINGThe above picture is the first setting of the movie, The Dark Knight.It shows an extreme long shot of the city ‘Gotham’ which I know isGotham City because all the Batman movies are set in GothamCity. It also helps the viewer understand where the scene is takingplace and where the events are also taking place.
MISE EN SCENE DECOR In this scene, there is a normal man doing his normal work. I know this because you can see in the left background that criminals are running around un-harming the civilian. Also, there are phones, papers, computer screens, which show that there would be more people in the office and that they wouldn’t be very important because they would have to share an office. It also shows that the people are just normal people leading their normal lives.
MISE EN SCENE PROPS & COSTUMEIn this scene, the props are a mask and a bag. The mask resembles that he’s goingto hide his face later on, because he’s not wearing it at that time. The bag mightresemble tools to open something or to enter a building illegally. I know this becausewith the mask in one hand and a bag in the other, it seems like the man will commit acrime, as well as the man in the middle might be one of the main characters becauseit shows the character directly in the middle. The mask also resembles the costumebecause the person in the middles posture bad, meaning that he’s going to dosomething wrong. The man in the middle is also wearing a suit, which means that hewill be able to blend in the bank in the next few scenes without alarming anyone.
MISE EN SCENE FIGURE EXPRESSIONThis scene shows a woman frightened because a man ispointing a gun at her and it has never happened to her before.Also, the woman is an ordinary woman whose probably neverhad anything like this happen to her. This can relate to theaudience because people have probably never experiencedbeing robbed at a bank, so it shows that even normal people likethem would be able to get robbed at a bank.