Framing

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http://thegrownupya.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/mean-girls2.jpg

The image i chose was from the movie Mean Girls. In this particular scene, Cady, the main character and the new girl at school encounters a 4 way call with 3 of her friends. The director chose to split the screen into 4 quadrants so the viewer was able to capture all 4 girl's responses to each call. At this moment in the scene, Gretchen (upper left) is sharing private information of Regina's (bottom right) to Karen (upper right. This use of several secondary screens is to indicate simultaneous events occurring in different places. Because the scene involves all of the girls talking to one another on different calls but not all girls directly talking to one another, the placement of the screens is important. Gretchen and Regina do not directly talk with one another, nor do Cady and Karen, so the choice to put them in opposing corners was most likely deliberate. I also think this choice adds to the psychological closure in the scene. It makes sense to have the girls who are talking to be placed by themselves and the opposite accordingly. It makes the scene flow and adds to the viewers understanding of the scene. The scene is horizontally oriented to make the most of each screen in a spacial context. You can see a little bit of each girl's surroundings which makes for a more in depth understanding of all of them. The decision to have three of the "mean girls" in a close up but a medium shot of cady is indicative of her current position amongst the girls. She is not yet considered a mean girl and is isolated by the contrast. The only girl who does not have headroom is Regina, the antagonist at this point in the movie. This may have been a play on her ego. Her head is so big, it won't even fit on the screen. Aversely, Karen is seen as the dumb girl and she has the largest amount of headroom. The scene is fast paced and high energy. The screens are small and the girls are constantly talking. The decision to split the screens may have been a nod to the fast pace and the bouncy nature of the phone calls. Having Cady lay down draws the magnetism away from herself which is important because for the most part, she is silent and not involved in the phone calls during the split screen portion. Her head is closest to the center which draws our eyes to the other three girls screens. Cady acts as a graphic vector drawing us to the others.

2 Comments

I agree that this framing of the scene was effective. I really like how they chose to split it up into quadrants instead of switching from one shot to the other. It helps the audience see the facial expressions of every girl in that moment rather than guess what response is coming from each.

This is a great example of framing and also a great movie. I agree with Kelsey. I like how they have the quadrant so that they don't to keep switching shots to capture all of the girls. It was smart of the director because we got to see what all four actors were thinking instead of just one at a time.

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This page contains a single entry by mcdou092 published on February 17, 2013 7:17 PM.

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