Textual Analysis : Mise-en-scene

In filmmaking, mise-en-scene is anything which can be seen in the film, which is not covered by: camerawork, sound design or editing.

Actors 

The actors can be judged on their appearance. In terms of appearance, this includes: hair, makeup and costume. Not only that but, the actors’ actual performance classes as the appearance. Their actual performance includes things like: dialogue, expression, gesture and techniques used like “blocking”.

Lighting

To help create the ideal theme in a visual way, lighting does just that. Lighting creates an ambience of a scene. An example of this is bright lights or bright lighting; which can be used to represent happiness or hope. On the other hand, shadows can be used to create a sense of foreboding or happiness.

Setting 

Location, props and set decoration all come under the setting. The elements of the setting are carefully chosen based on the plot and what is happening in the scene at the time. Sometimes, directors use it for symbolism. These “symbols” may not be shown so obviously but, they may have a meaning to the story/scene itself.

Colour Palette

Colour shown in a film has a big influence of how the audience feels whilst watching the visual story. The influence power has on the audience allows the director to subtly manipulate the audience’s thoughts and feelings – this can change the feel and effect of the film. Colours are used to not only show the temperature of the scene but, to tell the story.

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Textual Analysis : Editing

There are three forms narrative editing: contiguity, continuity and temporal structure. Continuity is things happening in a sequence, contiguity is multiple things happening at the same time and the temporal structure is how you show time passing in various ways.

Contiguity

  • Cross cut: things happening in a parallel order.
  • Action match: moment in one scene matches movement in another.
  • Graphic match: the shape of something in one scene matches the shape of something in another scene.

Continuity

  • Establishing shot: a shot which “establishes” the setting at the start of the scene.
  • A cut away: where you show something else in one scene in vicinity – adds information/context.
  • Glance/object: when a character glances at an object and then you show the object.
  • Match on action: https://11jacksonjac.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/match-on-action/
  • Reaction shot: the shot of someone’s reaction to something.
  • Shot reverse shot: the most common way to film dialogue. https://11jacksonjac.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/shot-reverse-shot/
  • Master shot: recording of an entire dramatized scene, from start to finish, from an angle that keeps all the players in view.

Temporal Structure

  • Fast forward
  • Frame skip: like fast forward but skipping frames.
  • Freeze frame: freezing the scene/frame.
  • Slow motion
  • Time compression: when time is compressing in the video, this is making the duration shorter than real-time.
  • Juxtaposition: two different shots (to highlight the contrasts/differences).
  • Montage: collection of videos in a sequence.

Post production effects

  • Colour correction
  • Filters
  • Visual effects

Transitions

  • Dissolve
  • Fade
  • Wipe

Textual Analysis : Sound Design

Sound design is a key part in the making of a film. Here are all the different types of sound design in the world of film.

Diegetic sound: sound that purports to come from the world of the film. This includes: sound recorded on set and the use of foley effects (this is everyday sounds separately recorded, which is then put into the film). The most common form of diegetic sound is dialogue. A way dialogue is also recorded is through the process of ADR (additional sound recording).

Non-Diegetic sound : sound added in post-production to have an effect on the audience. Two examples of non-diegetic sound is a composed score (music composed for the film) and compiled score (songs which already exists but, is then put into the film). Examples of composed scores are movie themes (‘Star Wars’, ‘James Bond’ etc etc) and “stings” which is audio punctuation (for example, in ‘Kill Bill’ when the alarm-espque sound is played). A narration/voice over also fits this category (for example, direct address is when the narrator addresses the audience).

Sound bridge: where the soundtrack from one scene continues to the other scene. 

Textual Analysis : Camerawork

Camera Shots

  • Wide shot/mid shot/medium shot: from waist to the top of the head (the most common shot used in the filming process).IMG_5385.JPG
  • Long shot: full body shot, this shows more of the environment.IMG_5386.JPG
  • Extreme long shot: a shot of the character in the environment.
  • Close up: a head shot.IMG_5387.JPG
  • Extreme close up: specific parts, for example: a shot of the eyes, mouth, nose etc etc.IMG_5388.JPG

Framing

  • The rule of thirds: this is a rule which is used by many directors and film makers. Things in the shot, which have the rule of thirds applied to them always look better. The rule can be used on a camera with the rule of thirds grid on the settings of the camera.

Composition

  • One shot: a shot with one person in it.
  • Two shot: a shot with two people in.
  • Point of view shot: the shot used to show the point of view of someone or something.

Focus

  • Shallow focus: a specific focus of something (a pen is focussed but everything else in the background).
  • Deep focus: everything is in focus in the shot.
  • Focus pull: within one shot, the focus changes from an object in the foreground to an object in the background and, vice versa.

Camera Angles

  • Eye level shot: a shot from middle point/eye level.
  • High angle shot: the camera is high (almost like it is above the subject).
  • Low angle shot: the camera is low (almost like it is looking up at the subject).
  • Bird’s eye view: looking straight below/what a bird would see in the sky.
  • Down shot: more limited than a bird’s eye view shot. A down shot would be done in a room whereas, a bird’s eye view shot would be done outside.
  • Up shot: opposite a bird’s eye view shot, on the floor/below something.
  • A dutch tilt: usually used to show drunkenness/disorientation.

Camera Movements

Aerial Shots

  • Helicopter shot: a shot done from a helicopter.
  • Shots using drones: a shot using a drone. It is like a helicopter shot but, cheaper and more stable.
  • Wire shot: this shot is done by using a wire which, the camera is attached to. For example, they used a wire to show a 100m sprint at the olympics.
  • Crane shot: a pivot with a long stick attached to it which, the camera is placed on. It can also be used to show shots on the floor as well as shots in the air/above.

Dolly Shots

  • Dolly shot: a wheeled vehicle on a track which means a smooth and precise movement (dolly out = further away, dolly in = moving forward/closer up).
  • Crab shot: uses a dolly track but, for sideways movement (called a crab shot because, it resembles the movement of a crab).
  • Arc shot: this shot is done by using a dolly track but, instead of sideways and forwards/backwards, it moves the camera in the shape of an arc.
  • Fixed shot: pan is a horizontal shot on a tripod and a tilt is camera moving vertically (tilting up and down) on a tripod.
  • Handheld shot: the cameraman is actually holding the camera.
  • Steadicam: the camera is strapped onto someone’s shoulder with a harness. This allows the camera to get a smooth shot from a handheld perspective.
  • Over the shoulder shot: used in conversation.

Zoom

  • Zooming in/out: using the lens to zoom in and out of a subject (zooming out of something is also known as a reverse zoom).
  • Crash zoom/dolly zoom: dollying into something but, at the same time, zooming out (and vice versa).

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Textual Analysis – Flowers

How is the mood created in the TV programme, ‘Flowers’?

In order to analyse programmes and films efficiently, I need to do a textual analysis. A textual analysis involves looking at the camerawork, sound design, editing and miss-en-scene. To have a go at this process of textual analysis, I watched a programme from Channel 4 called ‘Flowers’.

Sound design : everything I can hear in the film/tv programme

  • The emphasised heavy breathing of the main character at the very start creates a tense atmosphere as well as a serious mood.
  • The narrator throughout the start of the programme sats the scene but, also contrasts with what is going on. Most films and programmes with narration are almost “fairy tale like”. This juxtaposes with the theme of suicide which then makes this seem like a comedy. But in this case, a dark comedy.
  • There was a soundtrack after about half way into the programme. The cheerful and uplifting non diegetic sound played whilst the parents were arguing created, a sense and mood of silliness and pointlessness. This is because, the argument wasn’t a very serious one therefore, the happy music juxtaposed this and made the mood seem silly and hectic for the audience.
  • Towards the end of the programme there was a scene where all of the people in the room starting talking all at once whilst the piano was beginning to be played very quickly. The diegetic sound of the piano was emphasised as well as the people talking. The mood created here was a feel of commotion and the environment wasn’t under control. This made the audience feel like things were beginning to go wrong.

Camerawork : things which are done by the camera/cameraman

  • At the part of the programme where the neighbour is running and the son is shouting, there is a wide shot of the trees in the field. This shows the isolation of the family to everyone else. In the shot, you cannot see the son who is shouting . This shows his “relevance” to the girl running.
  • In the kitchen where the son and the foreign boy are talking, camerawork is used to create a sense of separation between the two. There is a shot where the son has his back turned to the other. This shows the distance between the two.
  • Throughout the programme, there are close up and extreme close up shots of rope. Even though this rope is just a simple object, it has many negative connotations to it. Since the rope is shown so many times, it shows the importance of it and because of the negative connotations, there is an eery and depressive mood.

Mise-en-scene : things that are seen in the film/programme which are not camerawork, editing and sound design

  • The main character who attempted suicide smokes a cigarette at the start of the programme. Since cigarettes shorten the life of someone, this adds to the fact that the character wants to end his life so desperately. This creates a very depressing mood.
  • The girl, Amy, has a very gloomy appearance to her. Her hair is a jet black colour (black can relate to the theme of death) and her expression is usually the same: miserable. Since she is shown many times, it can be argued that she is the centre of the family and she represents what is actually going on. This creates a feel and mood that the family is going through a very distressing. This shows a melancholy mood throughout the programme. This is also a theme which is juxtaposed. The family is having a gathering and Amy is playing upbeat and jolly music. The music is representing the family’s real situation where as Amy, is showing what underlines the family and what is really happening.

Editing : what is done in order to put the film/programme together

  • At the start when the man is walking, the cuts between the shots become quicker. There are quick shots between the man’s feet, surroundings and his hands holding the rope. This shows and increase in tension and also creates a mysterious mood.
  • At the very end of the programme (where the talking all happens at once and the piano music intensifies), there is rapid cutting between the shots. This quick cutting creates and increase in tension. This creates a very dark and tense mood.