Mise-En-Scene

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“Mise-en-scene means all of the elements placed in front of the camera to be photographed: settings, props, lighting, costumes, makeup, and figure behavior (meaning actors, their gestures, and their facial expressions); from the French, meaning that which has been put into the scene or onstage.

Mise-en-scene is the first step in understanding how films produce and reflect meaning. It’s a term taken from the French, and it means that which has been put into the scene or put onstage. Everything—literally everything—in the filmed image is described by the term mise-en-scene: it’s the expressive totality of what you see in a single film image. Mise-en-scene consists of all of the elements placed in front of the camera to be photographed: settings, props, lighting, costumes, makeup, and figure behavior (meaning actors, their gestures, and their facial expressions). In addition, mise-en-scene includes the camera’s actions and angles and the cinematography, which simply means photography for motion pictures. Since everything in the filmed image comes under the heading of mise-en-scene, the term’s definition is a mouthful, so a shorter definition is this: Mise-en-scene is the totality of expressive content within the image. Film studies assumes that everything within the image has expressive meanings. By analyzing mise-en-scene, we begin to see what those meanings might be.”

Film studies: An introduction by Ed Sikov.

Cinematic Star

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