Elements of Design
During the process of envisioning and designing a film, the director, production designer, and art director (in collaboration with the cinematographer) are concerned with several major spatial and temporal elements. These design elements punctuate and underscore the movement of figures within the frame, including the following: setting, lighting, costuming, makeup, and hairstyles. Choose a scene from movieclips.com. In a three to five page paper, (excluding the cover and reference pages) analyze the mise-en-scène.
Respond to the following prompts with at least one paragraph per bulleted topic:
- Identify the names of the artists involved in the film’s production: the director, the production designer, and the art director. Describe in separate paragraphs each artist’s role in the overall design process. Conduct additional research if necessary, citing your book, film, and other external sources correctly in APA format.
- Explain how the artists utilize lighting in the scene. How does the lighting affect our emotional understanding of certain characters? What sort of mood does the lighting evoke? How does lighting impact the overall story the filmmaker is attempting to tell?
- Describe the setting, including the time period, location, and culture in which the film takes place.
- Explain what costuming can tell us about a character. In what ways can costuming be used to reflect elements of the film’s plot?
- Explain how hairstyle and makeup can help tell the story. What might hairstyle and makeup reveal about the characters?
- Discuss your opinion regarding the mise-en-scène. Do the elements appear to work together in a harmonious way? Does the scene seem discordant? Do you think the design elements are congruent with the filmmaker’s vision for the scene?
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