In English it means everything put into a scene.
A French that is used whilst providing the pitch perfect scene on what The characters , The locations , the scenario, the mood , the lighting The camera movement , Absolutely everything.
It was originally used in stages and plays. It’s The arrangement of scenery and stage properties in a play, film, music video etc…
Here are 3 examples of 3 different scenes from 3 different movies.
1# A Scary scene from David Lynch’s Neo Noir Horror” Lost Highway ” (1997 )
In this Scene Fred played by Bill Pullman is casually strotting around in a cosy conventional party. He picks up a glass of wine and suddenly out of nowhere appears a black dressed man , whom is pale to the point it looks like make up and black round eyes . The camera is pointed slightly lower on Fred rather than upwards which is the case of The Mystery man character since he is smaller than the latter. And in the image above the camera is OTS also known as Over the shoulder.
Now David Lynch is well known for lighting and sound. So here the slightly smooth and near moody lighting is kept the same. We have a close up shot and the ambient music from the party stops. Disturbing music comes into the foreplay and the atmosphere of the environment has fallen dead silent, indicating that this Mystery Man represents something of an evil nature.
In the same shot The mystery Man says to Fred that they have met before haven’t they.
Cut to Fred the setting is still the same the environment is still stone cold dead and lighting is warm but the atmosphere is slowly growing a sense of unease. So Fred puts the glass of Champagne down on a table in which we distinctively hear, And replies to the Mystery man I don’t think so , where was it you think we met ? The Camera is positioned into a medium close up with a little background.
Cut to the Mystery man with same cold ambience and the same medium shot used in the previous shot of The Mystery man. He replies with At your house don’t you remember ?
Cut to Fred with same shot from the previous still of Fred, again same camera angle , lighting , sound etc. He replies with No , No I don’t are you sure ?
Cut to The Mystery man in MCU. One other thing the camera lenses is focused on the Mystery man and the background is blurred. The Mystery man replies with as a matter a fact I am there right now. By that moment the Soundtrack becomes slightly louder and darker with a moody and unnerving score. As The Mystery Man’s expression get’s more serious.
Cut to Fred in which the camera has zoomed in a little. The unsettling music carries on and Fred is obviously intimidated and confused by The Mystery Man’s reply. So he ( this is more on a psychological level ) Flips out a little and replies with That’s Fucking Crazy man !
Cut to The Mystery Man’s Phone. The camera has tilted down to take a near close up shot of the object the Mystery Man has in his hand. The Man presses the button and the beep is loud and clear to obviously make a precision on the sound and the quality of the scene since it is becoming more an more weird and darker as the atmosphere and score is kept the to same balance.
Cut to the Mystery man in the same atmosphere and MCU he tells Fred to call me. Fred picks up the phone the and the Mystery man replies with dial your number.
Cut to Fred in which he is hesitating.
Cut to The Mystery Man who replies with go ahead in a semi forceful tone. Both shots have the same soundtrack , same lighting and MCUps with blurry backgrounds.
Cu to Fred puts the phone to his ear . Same lighting and MCU with a blurry background and a focus on Fred. Fred dose not believe this with his expression and takes this as some kind of joke. But he dials his own number calling his own place.
In the same shot the phone rings , we hears this distinctively and the phone of whom Fred is calling is picked up with The mystery man’s voice in which we hear as clear as daylight who says I told you I was there . Suddenly Fred’s expression changes the score becomes louder and more unsettling
In the same shot of Fred he replies he lays down the phone and says to the Mystery man how did you do that ?
Cut to the Mystery man who replies with ask me. Same shot as the others including lighting , soundtrack , Score etc….
Cut to Fred in same angle and atmosphere with blurry background and focus etc who replies with how did you get inside my house, He begins to give a small inch of panic.
In the same shot we hear the Mystery man on the phone saying that you invited me it is not my custom to go where I am not invited.
In the same shot . In MCU Fred slowly replies with who are you ? in a serious manner.
Cut to the Mystery man . In MCU but this time the response of The Mystery man is both on the phone and his presence as we slowly gives a maniacal laugh. His laugh on the phone is louder than The man who Fred is looking at. As to provide a sense of creepiness, the volume is turned higher up on the phone to provide a strong sense of disturbance and near horror. And yet the atmosphere and soundtrack is kept the same as the previous shots.
Cut to Fred holding the phone in MCU with blurry background and cold silence with unnerving score by Angelo Badalementi. The Mystery man on the phone asks Fred to give me back my phone. Fred looks at the Mystery man and returns his phone.
Cut to the Mystery man in the same shot as the previous ones , ( Again always in MCU ) in which he aggressively takes back his phone and puts it in his pocket without another shot of the phone. He finally replies to Fred with it has been a pleasure to you.
In the same the Mystery man turns around and walks away the background the camera lenses begin to focus on the background as much as the back of the Mystery Man. The cold tense soundtrack slowly stops and suddenly we can hear the music from the party and the crowded people chatting away.
Cut to Fred this time with a more cosy atmosphere and music playing in the background. The camera zooms out a little bit. And Fred’s expression is tense and worried.
In all of these shots there is mainly MCU . And precision on sound. With 2 soundtracks one The cosy party music playing in the background. The other is a dark and unsettling piece. whenever the Mystery Man is present indicating suspense and possibly evil around the corner.
Lost Highway is very Abstract puzzling movie in which Identities are changed and multiple lies reign supreme. It has all the qualities of a noir There is that femme fatale and Troubled Anti hero. There is also lot’s of darkness with neon lighting and there is of course a lost highway.
It also has elements of Supernatural horror , The Mystery man keeps appearing out of nowhere and at one point Fred transforms into someone else. The Cast is Bill Pullman , Patrcia Arquette , Balthazar Getty and Robert Blake. And it is Written by David Lynch and Barry Gifford and Directed by David Lynch
2 # Deconstructing a shot from Battle of Algiers ( 1966 )
Directed By Gillo Pontecorvo , it is a controversial and landmark film about the Algerian war against the French government it was banned in France until 2004.
Now in this shot a group of Algerian terrorists plan to attack the French military.
It was shot in a documentary style black and white to provide a sense of realism ( Just like Spielberg did with Schindler’s list ) The prospects got a used military truck and the camera is positioned beneath the back doors of the truck. the door opens and thus The Terrorists with their firearms jump out. Since it was back in 1966 the crew were on a tight budget and so they used non professional Algerians actors to play the Enemy of the French. The Only Professional actor in the movie is Jean Martin who plays a commander leader of the French army. But in this shot all of these characters we see holding firearms are non-professional. To add more detail the man holding the sub machine gun on the right side. Wearing a grey jacket and a black buttoned up shirt with light black trousers . His cloths are near filthy as much as the character himself who is also covered in sweat.
The Man with a moustache in front left is also holding a Submachine gun Firearm but is seems less tense than the other. Wearing a black buttoned up shirt and dark trousers. He is less dirty than other and much more calm.
There is another character behind the calm man on the left side, wearing squared glasses and has short hair. He too seems more calm and confident.
And finally there is the character on the right side sitting behind the more stressful man paying attention to the Man on the left with the buttoned up shirt. he is wearing squared glasses.
It is a simple shot too decorate. We have a filthy truck with 4 men inside holding submachine guns and wearing business clothes from the 1960’s of Algeria. A tense semi tragic score is played in this shot. As it lasts about 5 seconds at most. The camera is pulled back to catch every actor in the frame. and positioned downward . Not necessarily meaning they represent power instead it is more like someone else is watching these people and following them with an old camera on mode low quality black and white.
3 # Describing the camera angles and the getting the right colour angle. From this shot of Paris Texas by Wim Wenders ( 1984 )
In this shot , the camera angle is positioned downward and pointing upward. At Harry Dean Stanton. He is calling his ex love interest from a sex booth and on the other side of the window is Nastassja Kinski. Harry’s Character Travis is under a blue neon light bulb representing innocence. He is explaining his sorrow over what he did to her over the past by letting her down. she listens distinctively and realises this is not a natural customer. Wenders main interest of mise en scene from this shot was capturing a dreamlike sense of Melancholy. as The camera is shot in a more darker shot rather than bright light to make sure that the film is dramatic and adding a more deeper style and meaning to what we are watching. On an artistic point of view the shot is a mythological an image of a regret full man on his knees explaining his pain as the angel above him is understanding . Providing this with modern day reality. You have the scruffy old man ( a abstract version of a broken creature ) And you have the blonde beautiful woman ( a version representing beauty ) this shot is similar to this one from Bridge of the Madison county.
Again you put the characters into a natural environment then the objects must be placed properly in the shot like in the image above . You have the shelf with the food providences next to the sink the lighting must be correct to make it look rather melancholic and somewhat romantic. You make sure that the score is smooth and fits the shot and even the movie itself.
And it is the same for the Paris Texas shot. Smooth romantic music whether it’s Jazz or even soft rock for that matter . It must fit the style of the sequence. Then you make sure on what the characters are wearing. If say A scruffy old man tries to look smart . The character must wear clothes on where he comes from and also what he thinks is correct ( slightly psychological ). If the Woman in the Paris Texas shot is meant to look absolutely and naturally ravishing . Then she must have a certain amount of make up to look good on the camera and as such for Harry Dean Stanton’s Character. while wearing something smart and natural. then with the woman being in more bright full environment so a shiny natural light is provided rather than blue neon. then giving the right prospects if on the script it is said that she is this kitchen environment then thus the location she is at , it must look like a kitchen.