The arrangement of everything that appears in the framing – actors, lighting, décor, props, costume – is called mise-en-scène, a Frenchterm that means “placing on stage.” The frame and camerawork also constitute the mise-en-scène of a movie.
DécorDécor refers to the decoration or decorative styles, comprising mainly of theset and props used in a TV DramaAs Media students we need to work out how aspects of the décor creatingmeanings, and provoking thoughts
Unarguably one of theelements that has the greatestpower to evoke emotions islighting.High Key LightingEverything looks bright with littleto no shadow at all. High-keylighting has little dramatic effect,and it is often used in a scenewith no tension or to attachpositive and upliftingconnotations to a character orsituation.Low-key lightingOften used in tense scenes orscenes where negativeconnotations are to be derived. Itcomprises of a lighting patternthat has both bright and darkareas in the frame.
Costume & PropsThe obvious purpose of costuming isto dress an actor according to hischaracter. Lawyers wear suits,nurses wear scrubs, and a driftercould wear worn out shoes, raggedshirt, and baggy pants.But, more than that, costuming canalso be used to establish someone’shierarchic level or attach astereotype to themCostuming may also be used toemphasize a personality trait. Forinstance a women wearingleopard print may becharacterized as a predator.
Colour• What is the dominant color?• Are there contrasting foils?• Is there color symbolism?
LocationThe set or location of any filmeddrama is created to give meaningto the text. A documentary willalso attempt to film contributorsin locations that are relevant tothe story or meaning of the text.For instance, in a soap operasuch as Coronation Street, theactual row of terraced houses,the pub, cobbled streets etc. allcontributes to the working classfeel of the community.
Body Language Appearance - how the actor appears in the role - large, small, the right size. Costume and make up can help an actor build a character Movements – an actor’s movements can enhance the believability of the character, and increase the information the audience is receiving about the character Gestures – gestures are helpful to creating the character Facial expressions – important in whether a character is sympathetic or not, and for reading emotions such as love, fear and pain. Vocal delivery - very important in delivering the lines so that comprehensive meaning is understandable to the audience
Staging Positions Which way do the characters look in relation to the camera?An actor can be photographed in any of five basic positions, each conveyingdifferent psychological overtones. – Full-front (facing the camera): the position with the most intimacy. The character is looking in our direction, inviting our complicity. – Quarter Turn: the favored position of most filmmakers. This position offers a high degree of intimacy but with less emotional involvement than the full-front position. – Profile (looking of the frame left or right): More remote than the quarter turn, the character in profile seems unaware of being observed, lost in his or her own thoughts. – Three-quarter Turn: More anonymous than the profile, this position is useful for conveying a characters unfriendly or antisocial feelings, for in effect, the character is partially turning his or her back on us, rejecting our interest. – Back to Camera: The most anonymous of all positions, this position is often used to suggest a characters alienation from the world. When a character has his or her back to the camera, we can only guess whats taking place internally, conveying a sense of concealment, or mystery.
Character Proxemics How much space is there between the characters?The way people use space can be divided into four proxemic patterns. – Intimate distances: the intimate distance ranges from skin contact to about eighteen inches away. This is the distance of physical involvement--of love, comfort, and tenderness between individuals. – Personal distances: the personal distance ranges roughly from eighteen inches away to about four feet away. These distances tend to be reserved for friends and acquaintances. Personal distances preserve the privacy between individuals, yet these rages dont necessarily suggest exclusion, as intimate distances often do. – Social distances: the social distance rages from four feet to about twelve feet. These distances are usually reserved for impersonal business and casual social gatherings. Its a friendly range in most cases, yet somewhat more formal than the personal distance. – Public distances: The public distance extends from twelve feet to twenty-five feet or more. This range tends to be formal and rather detached
Character Placement What part of the framed space do the characters occupy? Center? Top? Bottom? Edges? Why?• The area near the top of the frame can suggest ideas dealing with power, authority, and aspiration.• The areas near the bottom of the frame tend to suggest meanings opposite from the top: subservience, vulnerability, and powerlessness.• The left and right edges of the frame tend to suggest insignificance because these are the areas farthest removed from the center of the screen.
In the next shotWhere is our eye attracted first?
Why?... The DominantThe dominant contrast can be created by any number of techniques:1. The size of an object may draw our attention to it.2. In black and white movies, the dominant contrast is generally achieved through a juxtaposition of lights and darks.3. In color films, the dominant is often achieved by having one color stand out from the others.4. Placing one object in sharper focus than the rest of the shot can also create a dominant.
Close AnalysisWatch the following sequences and make notes on what meanings can bederived from aspects of the mise-en-scene, in particular regardingcharacterisation. Be prepared to share your ideas with the rest of the class.You must consider; From the start until 1 minute 30 seconds of Ugly Betty•Location http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBhG78Ou rjw•Body Language Monarch of The Glen•Costume & Props http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTQDipfN8•Colour JA&feature=related•Lighting Revenge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJmoqRAa•Decor Gjw&feature=related