What is Mise-en-Scene?

Mise-en-Scene is a critical term (i.e., we use it when analysing film, not really when making film) which basically means 'everything in the shot.' It can refer to the setting, the costumes, the iconography, the casting, the facial expressions, the lighting, the camera angle and movement... everything. the basic idea is that all of these elements should be controlled and all of them should be working in unison to create the desired effect.

Mise-en-Scene and Character

What kind of person do you think this guy is? How do you know? Consider palette, angle, iconography, lighting.

Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960)

What mood is this guy in? How can you tell?

La La Land (Chazelle, 2016)

What sort of relationship do these two have?  Support your answer with reference to mise-en-scene.

V for Vendetta (McTeigue, 2005)

Your turn

Spend a little time developing a character  - decide on gender, a name, some characteristics, a mood, some degree of backstory. An example might be:

  • A teenage girl...

  • Called Brandi...

  • Who is very self-centred and vain...

  • Who is in a bad mood because not enough people liked her Instagram picture quickly enough.

HOW COULD YOU COMMUNICATE SOME OR ALL OF THIS MEANING IN ONE PICTURE? 

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