• Used in film studios to refer to all the
elements that of a movie scene that are
organized and that are later visible on screen.
They include the scenic elements of a movie—
such as actors, lighting, sets, costumes, make-
up— essentially “everything in front of the
• Key Lighting – The main source of non-natural lighting in
a scene. High-key light is even; low-key light shows
• Backlighting – a lighting technique that illuminates the
person or object from behind, tending to silhouette the
• Fill lighting – A lighting technique using secondary fill
lights to balance the key lighting by removing shadows
or to emphasize other spaces and objects in the scene.
11. Other Elements of mise-en-scène:
• Verisimilitude – The appearance of being true or
• Often filmmakers will want to evoke a specific
mood using their setting. As a viewer, you have to
think: is this supposed to be realistic, or is this
supposed to feel “unreal?”
• Filmmakers that want to give their film a more
documentary type of film will film in actual
locations, limiting the role of the set-designer;
these films are meant to evoke realism.
12. Other Elements of mise-en-scène:
• An example of verisimilitude in the Italian neo-realist classic Bicycle
Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica, shot on location amidst the rubble of
• Here, the setting is intended to reflect the turmoil of the
13. Other Elements of mise-en-scène:
• Other films completely remove verisimilitude in order to
give their film an “otherworldly” feel. If you’ve seen a Tim
Burton movie, then you’ve seen an example of this.
• This is most common in sci-fi, fantasy, and especially horror
• On the next slide is an example of this using a frame from
Dario Argento’s highly influential, landmark Italian horror
film Suspiria, which used its sets to deliberately displace
• Argento wanted his film to be like a live-action version of
Snow White, and, in fact, had his set-designers watch the
Disney cartoon frame by frame for inspiration.
• His film is in no way meant to be taken as “realistic”
Depth of field – The range or distance before and
behind the main focus of a shot within which
objects remain relatively sharp and clear.
Lawrence of Arabia (d. Lean)
Deep focus – A focus in which multiple planes
(foreground, middleground, background) in the
shot are all in focus simultaneously .
The Best Years of Our Lives (d. Wyler)
Framing – A measure of the filmed subject that
appears within the borders of the frame and
correlates with camera distance.
Mulholland Dr. (d. Lynch)
20. Framing the shot: Shot Types
Extreme long shot (XLS)– emphasis is not on characters but on their relationship
to the surroundings.
Long shot (LS) – The “who, what, and where” shot. Often used as an establishing
shot at the beginning or ending of a scene.
Full Shot (FS) - Generally contains the full body of one or more characters.
Background is beginning to be reduced.
Medium shot (MS) – Shows the character from the waist up; the most
frequently used shot in film
Close-up (CU) – The camera pays very close attention to the subject, whether an
object or a person
Extreme close-up (ECU) – The extreme close-up is a variation focusing on a very
small detail of the subject.
High angle shot – The camera
is looking down upon its
subject. Conventionally means
the subject is thought to be
weak or vulnerable
Low angle shot – The camera
is looking up at its subject.
Conventionally means the
subject is thought to be in a
position of power or
The Shining (d. Kubrick) Touch of Evil (d.
27. Dutch Angle/Canted Angle
• The Dutch angle, also
known as a canted angle,
is a type of camera shot
where the camera is tilted.
• In cinematography, the
Dutch angle is one of many
cinematic techniques often
used to portray the
or tension in the subject
The Dark Knight (d. Nolan)
28. Dutch Angles in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Sometimes these angles are referred to as “German Angles” because
they were so predominant in German Expressionism.
Pan – A horizontal movement of the
camera, whose tripod or mount
remains in a fixed position
Tracking shot – A shot that moves
forward, backward, or around the
subject, usually on tracks that have
been constructed in advance or on a
dolly that follows a determined
course; also called a dolly shot or
• Steadicam allows for a smooth
shot, even when moving quickly
over an uneven surface. The
Steadicam was invented by
cameraman Garrett Brown and
was introduced in 1975.
• A Steadicam essentially combines
the stabilized steady footage of a
conventional tripod mount with
the fluid motion of a dolly shot
and the flexibility of hand-held
camera work. While smoothly
following the operator's broad
movements, the Steadicam's
armature absorbs jerks, bumps,