Motion pictures are possible by a director and a dream. The making of a motion picture is a tedious event, involving scripts, takes, re-takes, and an abundance of post-production editing. Many people sit and enjoy a movie without realizing the complexities and the amount of individuals involved in creating the film. The individuals create landscaping and backboards for us, the ultimate image also known as mise-en-scene.
This is possible because of the phenomenal cast and crewmembers involved in the production of films; individuals such as the director, cinematographer, and art director, to the actors, sound people, and most importantly the editor, who pulls everything together to create the final cut. Additional elements such as sound, style, societal impact, genre, and film, can help in film. The movie that will review is “The Green Mile”, the scene that will be closely looked at “The Execution.
The artists who were involved with the production are: Stephen King (novel writer), Frank Darabont (director), Terence Marsh (production designer), William Cruse (art designer), David Tattersall (cinematographer), Michael Seirton (set director), Karyn Wagner (costume designer), and Mali Finn (casting). Film editing controlled by Richard Francis-Bruce Jay. Director Frank Darabont managed to reduce the volume of Stephen King’s six-part novel The Green Mile to a viable screenplay in just eight weeks. Darabont was obligated for overseeing constructive aspects of the film with the overall control of the film producer.
He developed the vision for the film and carried out the vision, deciding how the film should look, he made King’s novel come to life. Darabont states, “If anyone in this production deserves a nomination for his work, it’s Terrence Marsh (Cinemareview, 2013). Marsh designed and built from scratch the interior parts of the building used as the prison in The Green Mile, except the warden’s office. There was not a single exterior location substantially reinvented for the purpose of filming. Cinematographer David Tattersall did an outstanding job with the lighting in this scene to catch the illusion of a real execution.
The overall scene appears gloomy and sad with few hanging overhead lights. Every guard in the scene appears sadden and heavy hearted. Actor Michael Clark Duncan who played John Coffey appears calm and ready, while he sits in the chair waiting for the switch to be pulled. When pulling the switch the second time the lights sparked, showing that he was executed and it was finished. The room has shelves for storing of supplies, this was just off to the side were the witnesses are watching. The witnesses are sitting in wooden folding chairs. Were the guards are standing that pulls the switch, this is behind an old wooden wall.
John Coffey (Michael Clark Duncan) ask Paul (Tom Hanks) not to put the black hood over his face. The witnesses are sitting their yelling out to kill him, and the guards are upset, they see something else in John Coffey then the witnesses ever did. The guards no that John is an innocent man and they do not want to pull the switch. The lighting allows the viewing audience to be able to see a close-up of John Coffey and guards in the scene. This provides the most light to the stage where the main characters appear in a setting that adds to the film by showing what appears to be a situation that really takes place in this type of environment.
This setting gives us the understanding of the characters and allowing us to not only go on the realistic journey with them throughout the film and their lives, also to imagine and/or relate their circumstances to what we may hear about, see, or experience in very world we live in. The uses of the lighting in this scene effects the viewers’ reaction in the same way as it does in much of the movie. The overall darkness of the story and the movie coincide with the light in this scene as well as the light being shed on the character of John Coffey.
The light affects our understanding of characters by allowing us to see the dark and griminess of the environment of all the characters. The light helps us better understand the main character of John Coffey by showing us with the dark and troubled life he finds light, joy, and compassion in passing his gift to Paul (Tom Hanks). The lighting was done by John Dietz. Mentioned earlier in the reference setting reflects or adds to the films overall mood due to the lighting of this particular scene, the films overall mood is gloomy yet serious and passionate. The setting reflects this mood by the environments in which it is filmed.
Part of the mise-en-scene the costuming can tell the viewer a lot on the character that may not actually come from the story. The costumes can tell us the time period (1935), place such as the environment (Death row inmates at cold mountain penitentiary), economic status (depression era), and personality of the character. In the scene we can see the guards are wearing prison official uniforms. John is wearing and old dirty worn out white tee shirt, which is commonly used today as part of inmates’ attire. The witnesses are wearing dingy coats and hates, some are dressed in their Sunday best and others look as if they are working in the fields.
This gives the viewer an idea that they are in a prison environment, they have sweat on their faces, the walls are made of cinder block so there is no ventilation, and the characters look as if they are from a rough street environment. In what ways can costuming be used to reflect elements of the film’s plot? As stated in the text, a characters relationship to the story’s themes, the plot developments, and other characters can be suggested, emphasized, and intensified for the audience by use of certain costumes (Goodykoontz & Jacob, 2011).
Costuming can be used to reflect elements of the films lot by, establishing the general mood, time of day, place in the world, ear of history, or a characters current situation in life or state of mind (Goodykoontz & Jacob, 2011). Costume designer was Karyn Wagner, costume supervisor’s Paula Kaatz and Gilda Texter. Hairstyles, much like costume, do a great job in assisting with telling the story. Hairstyle and makeup show viewers the actor’s age progression and time period in a story. This can also show an actor’s mood, reveal their age, if they have been in a fight, just woke up, been in the rain, attending an event, and even if they are wealthy or not.
In this scene hair and makeup showed the sadness with the guards to carry out in their heart. With this scene hair and makeup were done by, key hairstylist Nina Paskowitz and Katherine Rees, hair stylist Janis Clark, key makeup artist Lois Burwell and John Elliott, makeup artist Deborah LaMia Denaver and Daniel C. Striepeke. The mise-en-scene is everything visible in the scene used to tell the story (Goodykoontz & Jacob, 2011). Mise-en-scene in the clip does a fantasic job at contributing to the overall theme, plot, and story.
The use of lighting, color contrast, costumes, makeup, and actor’s movement, give the viewer a very realistic feel of being there, almost feels like a documentary type film. The producers, directors, and cinematographer do a phenomenal job at incorporating the elements used in the mise-en-scene to tell the story and draw the viewer inside the actual dialogue. The elements used in the mise-en-scene coincide with the mood and theme as dark and dreary in the light of Coffey’s life. The scene is not discordant in any way everything fits and ties the scene together as a perfect manner.
The design elements are appropriate with the filmmaker’s vision for the scene. The filmmaker was aimed at portraying a rough scene consisting of rough characters in a prison execution environment and the design of the scene is successful in just doing that. The setting, the basic environment, with all its textures and concept, patterns of lighting, props that are visible, even the electric chair all contribute to what is going on in the plot at that moment, weather it is establishing the general mood, time of day, place in the world, era of history, or a characters current situation in life or state of mind.