Play the following clips to show how setting and décor can establish character, advance the narrative, and set mood: 26:50 (Vanessa’s character, class differences), 7:00 (Juno’s room), 22:10 (Paulie’s room: yearbook and underwear).
Juno was filmed entirely on location in actual houses, etc. The sets were nevertheless designed for the film.
His Girl Friday was filmed in a sound stage. Studio stages are designed entirely for the camera.
Many films, such as The Social Network, combine filming on location and on a soundstage.
Note how Mark’s costume changes over the course of the movie to reveal his “childish” character. In the basement scene (below), he dresses like Juno; both wear a gray t-shirt over a long-sleeved shirt.
Most of His Girl Friday is evenly lit, so we can see the action and the actor’s faces. This high-key lighting scheme is typical of comedy.
The story takes place over one day, and into night. Notice that it is now dark outside, and the importance of the overhead lamp for providing light. The scene is darker, as appropriate to the time of day and the mood; nevertheless, the essential action is still well-lit, and we can easily read characters’ facial expressions. Play clip at 1:00:28 (scene with Hildy, Earl, and Molly, to show example of low-key lighting used for expressive effect.
Mise-en-Scene: Design and Composition
“Staging or putting on an
action or scene.”
Overall look and feel of a
the look and feel of settings, props, lighting,
and actors (including makeup, costume, and
(as in plays)
the organization and arrangement of objects
within the frame (emphasis, balance, light,
shade, line, color, etc.)
(as in paintings and photographs)
How does mise-en-scene
function in the film? How
does it advance the narrative
or create a pattern of motifs?
How does setting relate to the
action? How does setting relate to
other settings in the film? How
does setting relate to similar
settings in other films?