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Anyone who creates, whether it be in writing, painting, sculpting, theater work, or film, knows how important setting the stage is. Once the stage is set, framing and space come into play to build a relationship between the viewer and who or what is in the scene before filming or photography can begin. This unit will present full movies, scenes from movies, clips, and stills, as well as non-film photographs and paintings. to help students understand and practice framing, territorial space, contextual framing, and composition and design of mise en scene, or setting the stage. Students will view, discuss, and create based on what they learn. Realistic narrative is the focus of the films used in this unit, but other genres also follow these basic guidelines of mise en scene. Students will learn to recognize and reflect on the care that filmmakers take to make a film more interesting and eye-catching, even in the most ordinary of situations. This unit is meant for a high school Art and Filmography class but could easily be used to teach photography or 2-dimensional art; it could also be used in other classroom settings, in particular in Drama and English.
(Developed for Film Production, grades 9-12, and Art 1, grades 8-12; recommended for Art, English, and Drama, grades 8-12)