Mise-en-scene


Assesment 1: Critical Glossary.


You are required to write and compile a critical glossary of three terms concerned with formal properties of media texts and principles of textual analysis. For each term you must provide one glossary definition in your own words.


I have chosen to write about the formal properties of the image in film, TV and radio. Connotation/ Denotation, Mise-en-scene and Montage editing.


Setting
The setting in a fiction film is planned to the infinite detail by set designers and then built by construction crews. Ideally, everything on the set works to create a certain mood or atmosphere and to comment on the film\'s characters or events. Advertising also factors into a setting with product placement. For example, a certain type of carbonated beverage appears on the table at a restaurant.


Sets in fiction films get extensive -- and expensive. For his 1997 opus Titanic, James Cameron rebuilt the cursed ship at 90 percent scale, only to destroy it when taping the film\'s climax.


Documentary films for the most part rely on places in the real world for its settings


Exceptions exist, however


Costuming
A second aspect of mise-en-scene is costuming, and, by extension, make-up. Both of these elements are carefully controlled in a fiction film. They work together to create a character that is believable to the audience. This character can be either "real," such as a fashionable 16-year-old or a middle-aged lawyer, or "imaginary," such as the alien Mr. Spock or the fairy tale monster the Grinch.


While make-up and costume work to bring fiction closer to reality, both of these aspects help accentuate the real in documentary. Like setting, the costumes and make-up we see in documentary belong to the real world, to the person who owns and wears them.


Re-enactments provide a location within documentary for a filmmaker to exercise complete control over costume and make-up, not to mention other aspects of mise-en-scene.


Movement
Few frames in a film are static, for still images rarely hold audience interest for long. Instead, most frames contain some type of movement, or at least the illusion thereof. Movement mostly occurs in characters\' actions. Their actions create a sense of direction in a frame. Their actions also set a pace for a scene -- fight scenes, especially in action films, set a faster pace than dinner scene. Other movements also occur in a frame, though outside humans, such as trees swaying, or objects floating through the air.


Lighting
Lighting serves numerous purposes in a film beyond showing us the contents and actions in a scene. As much as it reveals, lighting also hides -consider the shadows in a film noir or a horror film. It sets a tone or even helps set the scene. It also directs the audience\'s attention to the point of focus in the frame.


While lighting gets too detailed with such major features as quality, direction, source, and colour, Jim Piper provides a convenient, non-technical way to consider lighting in his book Get the Picture?. Piper labels styles of lighting as follows: practical, dark, flat, and classy. Practical lighting is the kind one expects in a particular scene such as a restaurant or an office. Dark, also known as low-key lighting, is a study in contrasts; much of the scene is dark with bright areas of light. Flat lighting offers no shadows in a rather efficient way similar way to institutional lighting like in hospitals. Piper calls his last category classy lighting, or highly stylised lighting.


Most documentaries use what is called "available lighting," or the real-life equivalent of practical lighting. Whatever lighting is available in the scene becomes the lighting for that scene.