Week 4: Introduction to mise-en-scene – Unit 4


I will be looking into what mise-en-scene is and how it effects what we see on screen.

What is mise-en-scene?

The mise-en-scene is everything in frame, this is not a term used by the production team on a movie, but it is what the viewer interprets about a location or character by what is on-screen. If a character is in a classroom and the body language of all the students is slouched it gives the impression they’re not ready to learn and maybe the school isn’t very good.

Examples of mise-en-scene are:

  • Costumes
  • Hair
  • Props
  • Locations
  • Body Language
  • Technology – Lighting, Diegetic Sound (not everyone thinks sound should be included in the mise-en-scene)
  • Placing of Actors



This example is from Edward Scissorhands. The whole street of houses are multi-coloured and so are the cars, this is to show that the area they are living in is quite middle class and that the people living there are relatively wealthy.


This is another example from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Everything in this shot portrays that they’re located at some kind of native tribe. The clothes the two tribesman are wearing are very basic and neither are wearing tops, but they do have makeup on their bodies which is common in tribes. The placement of human skulls in the shot shows that the people there are savages, as have killed people and hollowed out their skulls to have them on display. Jack seems to be wearing some sort of  crown on his head which shows that he is the leader or king of the tribe. His clothes are also clearly not from the tribe so it shows that he is an outsider that has come into the tribe.


It was interesting to learn about how our brains subliminally decode what we’re seeing on-screen in order to carve our opinion about a character by the things they wear and what they own. For my future productions I now know that mise-en-scene is important and to incorporate it into the videos I make.

Week 4: Introduction to mise-en-scene – Unit 4

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