Learn 15 Key Elements of Mise-en-Scène – Infographic

If you’re just starting to study the craft of filmmaking you’ve probably come across a strange word you’ve never seen before: mise-en-scène. This French term, which translates to “placing on stage”, is used to describe the design elements of a frame, or “everything within the frame that makes up the frame,” and that means everything. This includes lighting, costuming, camera placement, camera angle, props, blocking, lenses, even film stock—literally everything.

Admittedly, mise-en-scène is kind of a convoluted and overly-complicated concept to understand, but it’s necessary to look at what your camera is capturing from a wider perspective. In other words, it’s a concept that helps you look at the shot as a whole, not just with the cinematographic elements (lighting, camera angle, etc.), character elements (blocking, wardrobe, etc.), or set design (props, decor, etc.) alone.

To get a better grasp on what mise-en-scène is, check out this helpful, and very detailed infographic created by Michael and Christopher of ShoHawk that illustrates 15 of its most important concepts.

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