Mise-En-Scene or in French, “placing on stage” is an expression used to describe the contents of a frame and the way in which they are organised. Mise-en-scene is a visual theme that tells stories not only through narrative structure, but also through storyboarding, cinematography, stage design, and also direction.
Before learning this theme, I have always been curious to know what makes a film so visually appealing. Having a novice background in cinematography, all I knew was that there is a certain way scenes have to be filmed, in order to achieve the goal of a story.
When we look at thriller films, there is a cold grading in the colour that enables viewers to anticipate a not so happy ending or plot. You can also associate this theory with action, sci-fi, and drama films.
In addition to colour, set design plays a big role in Mise-en-scene. Set design can be used to describe the state of a character and their emotions. For example, if you are watching a drama film, you may find that a character may be in their room surrounded by clothes on the ground and clutter everywhere. You can most likely associate the scene with the fact that the character may be experiencing a rough time in their life.
An immediate indication of Mise-en-scene that can be distinguished from others is costume, makeup, and hair design. After watching a very prominent television series, “Ripper Street”, I realised that Mise-en-scene was achieved in giving a late 2012 released series, a late 1800s experience. This show can not successfully achieve the significance of the plot without first bringing viewers into experiences of those times.
In figure one, you can see that the outfits play a big role in the type of time this television show may have taken place.
I found Mise-en-scene to be “blog-worthy” because while many may argue that film and television are only about story or narrative, I can argue that visual style is a key point in the meaning.
Figure 1 BBC America, (2013), Ripper Street [ONLINE]. Available at: http://cdn5.thr.com/sites/default/files/2012/12/Ripper_Street_a_l.jpg [Accessed 4 November 2016].