Thursday, February 14, 2008

What is mise en scène ?

In film theory, mise en scène [mizA~sEn] refers to everything that is to appear before the camera and its arrangement – sets, props, actors, costumes, camera movements and performances. The term was coined by early French film critics and means literally "put into the scene" or "setting in scene." In auteur theory, less creative directors are sometimes disparagingly called "metteurs en scène".

German filmmaking in the 1920s excelled at conveying tone, meaning, and information through mise en scène. Perhaps the most famous example of this was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari where the doctor's internal state of mind was represented in the sets and lighting.

It has also come to represent a style of conveying the information of a scene primarily through a single shot – often accompanied by camera movement. It is to be contrasted with multiple angles pieced together through editing.