The third shot is a point-of-view shot of the house from Lila. This puts us in her shoes, a place we will inhabit every other shot now for the remainder of the scene, and, because of where she stands, it is also a low angle shot: the house ominously looms over her and us.
As she enters the bedroom the fifth shot starts with a medium/close-up shot of Jack asleep in bed. The camera zooms out slowly, revealing a mirror through which we see him. This suggests that the viewers aren’t seeing the “real” Jack. Wendy enters through the door to the right of the mirror and for a moment Wendy’s reflection appears in the mirror while the camera still has her body in the frame, thus we see two images of her and one of Jack. The camera zooms back in so that Jack is in the center of the frame; he notices his reflection and makes a face of disapproval as he looks at himself in the mirror. He doesn’t like what he sees and is critical of himself and perhaps his relationship since Wendy is framed within the mirror as well.
It turns out that scenes that work have at least one story event which is listed in as concise a manner possible, and articulates how that scene moves the story forward.
Which life value should I highlight on my Story Grid Spreadsheet? This happens to be the global inciting incident for a love story and as such it has to clearly establish the global genre and the stakes at play. Therefore, we’ll track the life value/value shift for the character that is advancing the love story plot. Mrs. Bennet is fussing over an opportunity for one of her daughters to get married (i.e., the commitment value on the love story global value line).
Finally, figure out what the overall impact and / or message of the scene is. As you ponder this, you will want to consider the events that transpire in your scene. Is there dialogue? Is there action? How does the film construct meaning beyond the actions and words of the characters in the film? What film techniques do you see employed in this scene? What are the shot angles? Are there close ups? Establishing shots? Crane Shots? Are there abrupt cuts? Slow fades? Steadicam? Extended shots without cuts? Use of montage? Does the scene violate the 180 degree rule? Does use of sound help to construct meaning? Is there music? What is the music? How does it help construct meaning? Is there information entering the film from outside the diagetic world created by the camera? Is there anything in the scene that draws your attention to the filmic apparatus? How does all of this affect your understanding of the scene?
Purpose : The purpose of this assignment is to expand your understanding of how film constructs meaning using both traditional narrative as well as iconic representations presented through images and sounds.
The C o l o u r s
In the film “Matrix” every colour is chosen with a deeper meaning. There are two different colours used to point out the distinction between the inside of the Matrix and the reality.
There is a lot more to discuss when interpreting a scene , but hopefully this video can give you an idea how different visual elements can work together to help tell a story.
It uses two scenes from the movie American Beauty (American Beauty IMDb Page) —the two office scenes featuring Lester (Kevin Spacey) and Brad (Barry Del Sherman). I’ve kept the video short and simple, so it should be suitable for anyone interested in learning about movie making.