Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Project: Mise - en–Scène Exercise: Spaces

Objective: Capture four shots that have a distinctly different feel about them.
1. An oppressive cluttered space.
My immediate thought on this first space was my rather untidy garden shed.
Cluttered certainly, oppressive (causing discomfort by being excessive, intense etc.)  - it has a low ceiling, it is poorly lit and if you had to work or stay inside this building for any length of time it would be uncomfortable. I think this scene fills the brief well for an inside space, however, while I was out looking for other spaces I did come across this outside space that also fills the brief.
If I was looking for an outside location to give an air of oppression and a dark, sinister feeling. This would be it. This space would feed the imagination of the susceptible, dark shadows, restricted visibility and an eerie sound quality deadened by the soft carpet of fallen leaves.

2. An open, honest simple space containing one intriguing item.
This space is honest because it is where people are (the houses in the background) it is simple, the discarded shoe relates to the sense of a lived in space which in turn is non threatening. The sun is shining, there is blue sky between the trees and your immediate thought is about the shoe, who it belongs to and why is it there? There is no threat or perceived danger here. This is how I visualised the space and the shot. I think it is working well.

3. A stark, empty hostile space
This space was more challenging to find, especially in rural Hampshire in the middle of summer. I don’t have access to any interior spaces which are stark and hostile but I thought this wide low shot of an area of tarmac parade square in the centre of the MOD training area near my home would fit the brief.
It’s not quite empty but the dark trees and the heavy sky make it hostile. The trees may hide hidden dangers and the surface of the tarmac is hard and unforgiving. It feels cold and somewhere you want to get away from as soon as possible.

4. A warm, friendly cosy space.
Here,  I have used an existing image from my TAoP blog exercise on lighting. A domestic scene which by the colour of its lighting shows a warm and friendly space. I’m sure it is cosy also ( snug, comfortable). I think the muted colours contribute to the cosiness and the small space is a snug one.
I was also keen to explore warmth and cosiness outside and thought that these sheep settled in  the long grass, warming themselves  after a squall of rain looked warm and cosy.

Conclusion: Setting a scene is an important part of the narrative process. The atmosphere or feeling you can create by carefully choosing or constructing  the scene can save the need for lengthy explanation through dialogue. Our eyes take in and process a lot of information without us having to think about it. This not only applies visually. Think of a radio play and how simply a scene can be set just by the introduction of some very simple background sounds.

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