Representation of Disabilities – corrected

Representation:

In this clip, the disabled person (Blake) is perceived as weaker than the so-called ‘normal’ characters. Blake is represented as somewhat of an outcast, like disabled people usually are, not understanding/get to know everything going on around them. Blake’s disability is very seen as a tabu subject in this clip, and as something the other characters avoid speaking about. This is because the representation of someone disabled is quite often that they are dumber than the average person (thus, we avoid speaking about it to be polite). Blake is also represented as helpless, as he relies on other people to ‘survive’ in the world they live in.

Camerawork:

A high angle shot is used when filming Blake person, to represent him as the weaker one whilst others are filmed from a low angle shot or eye level shot, making them look more powerful and in control. A 2 shot is also used to show his dad is his caretaker; someone he needs and relies on to get by on a daily basis. This is a very good example of the ‘helplessness’ being represented in this clip. Long distance shots are used frequently in the clip to establish the spacious apartment the characters find themselves in, as well as to make us focus on elements of Mise en Scène, such as the props, for example the red big bed, curtains and everything else that makes the room romantic. This makes Blake seem out of place, as his surroundings are not where you would normally expect to see him, tying in with the outcast assumption of disability.

Editing:

Subtle blurriness is used to represent the element of romance in the clip. The tone and ambient lighting used in the clip also represents this romantic touch, still keeping the disabled person as the weaker individual by connoting that the woman (the romantic influence in the clip) is powerful, that her sexuality is raw and stronger than the disabled one, tying in with the representation of disabled people being weaker than your average/healthy individual would be. We can see a match on action being used when Blake’s father places him into the bed, as well as an eyeline match combined with match on action when he kisses him on the head, to reinforce that Blake is taken care of by his father (that he depends on others). Long takes are also used throughout the clip to establish the awkwardness, as well as the tabu element to the clip. Combined with the eyeline match of the woman, Blake’s father and Blake exchanging looks, the long takes create a uncomfortable ambiance, reinforcing the tabu issue.

Sound and Music:

Softspoken, discreet language is used when speaking about Blake’s disability to represent the element of tabu. The dialogue leaves key words out and simply starts the question (eg. “Have you talked about the..?”) and leaves it unfinished, yet finished enough for us to realise what they are referring to. As said, this represents the tabu element, but also the idea of disabled people being slightly dumber/slower. A sad score, in minor key, plays throughout to represent the hardships Blake feels because of his disability, making us have sympathy for him. This non-diegetic score helps reinforce and represent the disabled boy’s helplessness, making us understand him and his emotional state more.

For most of the clip, no score is heard, which itself stands to make a statement. Not only does it make us focus on what the characters are saying, but also has an effect on the discomfort of the situation of the clip. What the characters are doing is tabu to disability, they rarely speak about it in a upfront manor, and Blake is most likely to be seen silent, making him seen unaware and unable to be like everybody else.

Mise en Scène:

The main character, Blake, is filmed under a pale whitish hue to emphasise his disability/’illness’. Looking closely at the clip, we can see that nobody else is displayed under the same kind of light; everyone else has a warmer hue around them. Not only does this connote to the element of him being different, or an outcast, but also that he is weaker is reinforced here. An obvious representation of disability within Mise en Scène is the wheelchair – distinguishing the disabled character right out of the crowd. The wheelchair sums up most of the representations at once; he is different for having a wheelchair, thus an outcast. He needs help to be fully mobile, so he is helpless. The people around him avoid speaking about the wheelchair around him, which shows us it is a tabu subject. Finally, as he is not able to access every area a normal person would be able to access because of his wheelchair/disability, we can safely assume he would not know of everything a so-called normal person would know of.

In conclusion, this clip gives us a pretty standardised representation of disability, with the exception of the element of romance/sexuality. All the four technical areas are used to represent the stereotypes discussed in the introduction.

 

Exercise: representation of disability

Representation:

The disabled are usually perceived as weaker than the so-called ‘normal’ characters. They are often represented as outcasts, or people who do not understand/get to know everything going on around them. Disability is very often seen as a tabu subject, and as something to avoid speaking about. This is because the representation of someone disabled is quite often that they are dumber than the average person (thus, we avoid speaking about it to be polite). Disabled characters are also seen as helpless as they need to rely on other people to ‘survive’ in the world they live in.

Camerawork:

-A high angle shot is used when filming the disabled person, to represent them as the weaker one whilst others are filmed from a low angle shot or eye level shot, making them look more powerful and in control.

- A 2 shot is used to show his dad is his caretaker; someone he needs and relies on to get by on a daily basis. This is a very good example of the ‘helplessness’ being represented in this clip.

Editing:

-Subtle blurriness is used to represent the element of romance in the clip.

-The tone and ambient lighting used in the clip also represents this romantic touch, still keeping the disabled person as the weaker individual by connoting that the woman (the romantic influence in the clip) is powerful, that her sexuality is raw and stronger than the disabled one, tying in with the representation of disabled people being weaker than your average/healthy individual would be.

Sound and Music:

-Softspoken, discreet language is used when speaking about the boy’s disability to represent the element of tabu. The dialogue leaves key words out and simply starts the question (eg. “Have you talked about the..?”) and leaves it unfinished, yet finished enough for us to realise what they are referring to. As said, this represents the tabu element, but also the idea of disabled people being slightly dumber/slower.

-A sad score, in minor key, plays throughout to represent the hardships the boy feels because of his disability. This non-diegetic score helps reinforce and represent the disabled boy’s helplessness, making us understand him and his emotional state more.

Mise en Scène:

-The main character is filmed under a pale whitish hue to emphasise his disability/’illness’. Looking closely at the clip, we can see that nobody else is displayed under the same kind of light; everyone else has a warmer hue around them. Not only does this connote to the element of him being different, or an outcast, but also that he is weaker is reinforced here.

-An obvious representation of disability within Mise en Scène is the wheelchair – distinguishing the disabled character right out of the crowd. The wheelchair sums up most of the representations at once; he is different for having a wheelchair, thus an outcast. He needs help to be fully mobile, so he is helpless. The people around him avoid speaking about the wheelchair around him, which shows us it is a tabu subject. Finally, as he is not able to access every area a normal person would be able to access because of his wheelchair/disability, we can safely assume he would not know of everything a so-called normal person would know of.

In conclusion, this clip gives us a pretty standardised representation of disability, with the exception of the element of romance/sexuality. All the four technical areas are used to represent the stereotypes.

Sexuality in TVD: Fingersmith – notes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPBE6YNoP5w

Representation of sexuality in Fingersmith:

-Forbidden love, or rather, lust; homosexual – illicit between the two women (one way: Maud likes Sue)

-Unrequited love (Rivers/male rep): dominant, forceful, aggressive, almost villainous

-Male rep. of sexuality is threatening

-Maud’s love is hidden/secretive

-Sexuality displayed in a very sensual/erotic manor

-Some cultural references/references to the time period can be made, eg. how sexuality was perceived back in the Victorian era

Camerawork:

-Eyeline matches, match on action shots and close-ups used to create further sexual tension/intensity in the clip

-Pan used to establish environment, along with the classic establishing shots

-Handheld camerawork to show uncertainty and turmoil that the characters feel

-2-shots used to create intensity when dealing with the chemistry between the characters

Editing:

-Dissolves/cross dissolves used to create a soft, romantic touch

-A blurred effect is applied for the same intentions as the dissolves, but also to focus on a particular character by blurring everything in the background

-Mirror shot at the beginning has a hazy, sensual ambiance to it as the mirror is tinted -> gives off a similar effect to the blurred effect

Sound and Music:

-Calm piano score at the start to establish/reinforce the time era in question, as well as the mood/tone of the clip

-Heavy breathing to add sexual tension

-Piano accelerates into a flute score/orchestra to mark tension and intensified emotions

-Narrative is highly elegant to establish the time era/sophistication Maud is supposed to have as she pretends to be wealthy

-The line ‘She’s coming’ can be seen as an innuendo, adds further tension to the scene

-Strong oboe score used to add the element of danger

Mise en Scène:

-Victorian clothing and props to set time era in question

-Soft lighting to add sensuality

-Blue sky and otherwise idyllic settings, to establish that Maude is experiencing turmoil in what seems to be the perfect world

-Rivers taking off Maude’s glove can be seen as a grander gesture; as undressing Maude herself, courting her

-Red paint drops to establish danger, but also romance, with the colour chosen

 

Ethnicity in TV Dramas: Hotel Babylon

The representation of ethnicity in ‘Hotel Babylon’ is quite diverse, and varies depending on which point of view is gotten in the different situations and scenes. In some scenes the authoritarian, caucasian/lighter people are perceived as the more important ones, whilst in others the cleaners from various countries ‘drag’ you to their side of the story/you sympathise with them rather then the ‘greater force’.

Camerawork:

- A fair amount of pans and close ups/ long shots moving to close ups are used to show us who we should focus on, but also, who might be in trouble or danger. This again reinforces the separation and tension between the illegal immigrants and the non-immigrants.

- Cameras are very shaky/handheld throughout: this is to show the distress of the immigrants, and also to emphasise the danger of their situation. This technique reinforces a very stereotypical assumption about illegal immigrants; that they are always escaping, shady and/or in danger.

- When the woman (of asian descent) is being confronted by the officer who has just found Ibrahim, we see both samples of a 2-shot conversation as well as a long shot/crowd shot. As this sequence starts with the 2-shot and then moves onto the crowd shot, it connotes that even as an immigrant, she has the higher ranked workers behind her to support her. This breaks the stereotypical assumptions of immigrants and lets them be seen in a positive, humane light.

Editing:

- Wipes are used in the clip to change from scene to scene; this adds an element of high speed and action. As it is used from the first half of the clip onwards, it can also be seen as something to build the action or tension until the peak of the action, the disequilibrium of the clip.

- When the action is at its highest, a lot of jump cuts, parallel editing and crosscutting is used. This adds speed and intensity to the action, as well as makes the viewer perceive the situation as even more hectic and dangerous for the immigrants.

- At the near end of the clip, there is quite a lot of long takes. This is done to further add tension, and to make us (the viewer) really focus on what is happening in the clip.

Sound and Music:

- Non-diegetic music is used from the very beginning of the clip to create tension and warn us that something bad is about to happen.

- When the ‘head’ of the immigrants (the lady of asian descent) is running around telling people they are in danger of getting caught, we can hear various dialogue (diegetic sounds) and people speaking as if they clearly are in distress. Also, we can notice her speaking in foreign languages – this represents that she is a part of the immigrants’ community. The sense of belonging, the ‘group’ feeling is also a stereotypical assumption about immigrants, as they keep to their own little groups when being segregated from the rest of society.

- When the woman collapses in the storage room, and the dark-skinned male suggests she is having a hypoglycemic attack, we get a contradicting representation of immigrants: The man has a clear foreign accent, but uses very eloquent language/medical terms. This shows us a very positive representation of the immigrants, as they are shown as intelligent individuals despite of all the stereotypes being pushed upon them.

- The score stays essentially the same throughout the clip, with some crescendos and diegetic sounds/dialogue at various scenes. At the near end, the score stops, so the viewer can focus on what the officer is saying. This adds significant tension to the clip, as we are now removed from the ‘normal’ (score playing) to a high danger situation (officer, who is bad is now in control and the score has disappeared).

- A new score then comes in, in a minor key, to show us the sad situation of Ibrahim being arrested. This is done to make us sympathise with the immigrants.

Mise en Scène:

- As we can see, all of the stereotypically ‘higher ranked’ workers at the hotel are mainly light in skin tone, and wearing very smart, classy clothes. The surroundings they are in, as well as the props (eg. vases at the tables) are also very stylish to reinforce and represent the image the higher ranked posess and want to give out to others below them.

- As we move to the scene where the immigrants are warning eachother that the officers have arrived, we notice a significant change of lighting and props around them; the surroundings are much darker, more shady, and the rooms look almost more like warehouse rooms rather than rooms in a high-end hotel.

- The clothing of the workers/immigrants is also different from the higher ranked; cheaper-looking fabrics are used, and many are wearing cleaners’ outfits to represent that they are lower down in the class system and perhaps discriminated/judged.

In conlusion, we overally take the side of the illegal immigrants in this clip, knowing they have a good solid reason for doing what they do. We also see a lot of signs of high, if not even higher intelligence than the hotel boss, through clever use of different techniques.

 

SELF-EVALUATION:

Explanation/analysis/argument: 12

Use of examples: 12

Use of terminology: 6

Sherlock: Notes (HL)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01dmfz6/Sherlock_Series_3_The_Empty_Hearse/

In this episode, Sherlock returns from the dead to reunite with Watson and help save London from a terrorist attack.

Camerawork:

-Cameras use a lot of extreme close ups/close ups to emphasise details along with the sound effects

- Canted angle is used in Watson’s flashback scenes to represent the confusion and distress

- Watson’s scene also features an eyeline match when he is ‘put to sleep’

- Cameras are shaky in action scenes, to mark and emphasise what is happening

- Two shot is used in the ‘shaving scene’, to represent conversation even when Sherlock is lying down

- When Watson is speaking to the older lady, the lady is in low shot whereas Watson is filmed from a high angle shot. This shows that Watson is the weaker individual and that he seems to be the one needing help/feeling vulnerable.

Editing:

- Slow motion is used to make action scenes more impressive

- Background is often blurred out to focus on characters

- Heat cameras are used during the police chase scene to make us relate it to police officials and outlaws

- Sped-up images of London streets are shown to represent a busy, metropolitan city

- A close up shot of Watson with a distanced, blurry shot of another person in the background shows that Watson is distanced from the real world and consumed by his thoughts

- Cutscene-like shots are used when Sherlock walks into the house and the woman is screaming for added hysterical effect; the same effect is used in the following scene to mark the action

Sound and Music:

- Starts off with a uptempo score to mark the action scene

- Extreme close ups of action are emphasised by diegetic sounds

- A lot of sound effects are used to mark movement

-  When Watson is under attack and being put to sleep, the dialogue has a hazy, blurry effect to it, to emphasise the confusion and disorientation Watson feels.

- The action score cuts to a simple dialogue to mark a ‘real life’ situation with normal people

- To reinforce the mundane situation, you can hear people chattering in the background during the dialogue. This then escalates to piano in the background as a score, and then crescendos into a dramatic score which slowly fades to dialogue again.

Mise en Scene:

- Lighting has a blue hue to it, and is also sort of dark to represent the mystique that Sherlock as a series has

- All clothing is in dark colours, with a lot of tailored jackets and other classically stylish pieces. This emphasises that the people are well off, and in Sherlock’s case, very intelligent.

- Surroundings are fairly minimalistic and not very detailed, not too many props

- Props are simple and stylish, again relating to the intelligent, classy aspect of the show

- Sherlock’s grave is very clean and polished, as himself, to represent his character and the type of person he is

- During Watson’s scenes, the lighting changes to a softer, more realistic one to show he is more of an ordinary person than Sherlock or the villains

- A lot of shading is also used to add mystique

 

 

Match On Action, 180 Degree Rule and Shot Reverse

Aside

Match on action: when you are filming someone ‘performing’ a specific action (eg. opening a door), you can use match on action to cut and edit the clip into one fluid action. This is done by combining several shots of the person performing the action (from different angles etc) in order to make one continuous clip.

180 degree rule: when for example filming two people having a conversation, you must be aware of the 180deg rule. This rule is essentially based on establishing a semi-circle-area within the footage being filmed, and not going over that line in order to avoid confusion viewing the footage/clip. For example, when filming two people having a conversation, your 180 degrees would be limited to the line from one of the character’s left shoulder to the opposite character’s right shoulder.

editing-reverse-cuts-180

 

Example of the 180-degree semicircle. 

Shot reverse shot: shot reverse shot is used when for example filming two characters standing in front of eachother; the shot reverse will go from one of the characters looking at the other character to a shot of the actual other character, making us assume that the first character was looking at the second one.

 

TV Drama deconstruction: Mise en Scène

Fot this task, I deconstructed 3 screen shots from the TV drama ‘House M.D.’ (Season two,  episode two – ‘Autopsy’).

Kuvankaappaus 2013-12-1 kello 15.23.18

At the very beginning of the episode, in the first scene, we see a bald little girl in put on a wig in what we assume is her bathroom. The bathroom lighting has a pink tone to it, accompanied by pink towels and other toiletries all over the room, to give the bathroom a girly look and thus reinforcing the fact that it is a little girls’ bathroom. She goes to the medicine cabinet and grabs a container, which we can see in the reflection of her in this screen shot. Her mother comes in, telling her ‘ten minutes’. All seems to depict a fairly normal life of a little girl, except for the obvious signs that she has cancer which can be spotted in the props. For example, next to the sink, we can see a mannequin head where she probably puts her wig every night.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-12-1 kello 15.24.22

Following is a shot of the very same little girl, now without a wig, laying on a hospital bed. The lighting is dark, with a stark bright spotlight on the girl. This makes the girl an immediate centre of attention, and also the subject of examination. As it is a hospital environment, the lighting has a slight blue hue to it, commonly used in all hospital dramas/scenes. Around the girl we see various typical hospital items, such as a monitor, a liquid bag, x-ray images on the wall, and, of course, a supervising doctor. The doctor is not in the light, but neither in the shadows completely; he is watching over her in a dim light. This might be contradicting to the goodness of the doctor, suggesting he might be shady (pardon the pun), even though he is not. Nevertheless, the lighting has been chosen to be completely focused on the girl in this scene for one reason or another.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-12-1 kello 15.26.56

 

Next we have a shot of Dr. House himself, in his dim room, looking out the windows. The shot is very shady and barely any lights are on; this gives the effect of suspicious behaviour, and contemplation. The silhouette of everything around House seems to look a bit messy; he has a lot of things lined up on his desk, reflecting on his messy/carefree personality. The dim light and spaciousness of the shot also suggests that House is alone, which, if you have watched the series, you will know he is, so this yet again represents his personality through mise en scène techniques.