In the film industry, Mise-En-Scene is a general term that depicts all the procedures that go into the production of a movie. Mise-En-Scene entails the following elements and procedures: framing, lighting, costumes, make-ups, and hairstyles. When designing a film, movie directors take into consideration several cinematic techniques for these elements to work in harmony. By analyzing the movie Jeepers Creepers, this paper explores several ways in which Mise-En-Scene has been used in the movie and its effectiveness.
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With the use of modern instruments, Jeepers Creeper’s directors employ several cinematic and Mise-En-Scene techniques to enhance the appearance of this movie as a horror film. The movie’s directors are Victor Salva (movie director and a writer), Steven Legler (production designer), and Brad Parker (art director).
Salva combines traditional literature and urban legend comprehensively in the movie. By displaying a horrifying creature, creeper, with a hidden face that is only exposed to its victims, Salva thrills and suspends his audience. With the creeper’s eye on the movie’s cover page, the director introduces the movie’s genre. Through this, the audience can predict the movie’s settings as treacherous and classical, even before the movie commences.
Steven Legler (production designer) worked under the directions from Salva to effectively develop, and shape Jeepers Creeper’s overall look, mood, and its sensation. To achieve this, Legler created several stage sets and appropriately selected the movie’s settings and backgrounds to match with its genre. Similarly, Legler with the assistance from Salva is responsible for the movie’s costumes, hairstyles, and settings. In this regard, the movie’s cohesive visual appearance is due to Ledger’s ingenuity.
Working under supervision from Victor Salva and Steven Legler, Brad Parker (art director) was responsible for the movie’s visual concepts. As specified by the movie’s director, Brad was in charge of props, special effects, constructions, and dressings, all through the movie’s production session. In this movie, the director utilizes color and contrast heavily to create the feelings of horror.
In a dungeon, at the old church premises, green and yellow lighting effects were employed to illustrate the horror look. With these lighting effects, several shadows were created in the dungeon to enhance the movie’s mood. Similarly, it should be noted that most parts of this movie were shot at night to enhance the horror scenes associated with darkness. Equally, the movie’s dreaded creature, creeper, is presented with the lighting coming from different angles every time to emphasize his evilness.
The movie commences with faint sounds in the background. Afterwards the title of the movie appears as the movie’s background transpires turns into an extensive countryside view. Before long, a car appears from the horizon and the camera turns in its direction. As the car approaches, the characters’ voices are heard.
This scene seems very crucial as it sets the movie’s mood. The road and the surroundings look isolated setting anticipation in the audience. After passing the camera, the camera crew follows the two characters from behind closely. To emphasize the sense of urgency, the camera crew moves the camera closer to the two individuals from in front. Through this shot, an old murky truck is seen approaching from behind. All through the movie, the creeper acts supernaturally and hunts down most of the characters.
By selecting isolated places as their settings, lonely road, old church and a horse farm, the movie triggers paranormal fear in its audience. Except for the creeper’s costumes, ordinary costumes are used in the movie to make it more rational. The creeper’s costumes are designed to portray its evilness.
The creeper dresses in black costumes and has enormous bird-like wings for flight. In the movie, all characters are presented in common hairstyles and make-ups. However, the creeper is presented as a bald creature that has to feed on human beings to gain his hair. To capture the characters’ true reactions on the creeper, the movie’s director ensured that Trish and Darry (the main characters) never met Jonathan Breck (creeper) before the filming session.
In my opinion, Mise-En-Scene refers to all physical things that are to be captured by the camera. In Jeepers Creepers, all the elements of Mise-En-Scene function harmoniously. For instance, every time before the creeper strikes, a spooky chorus sings in the background as the camera focuses more closely on the victim. From my point of view, Mise-En-Scene in the movie has been overemphasized more than any other cinematic techniques used. As the movie progresses, the characters’ and creeper’s attires gets filthy.
Similarly, as the movie commences bright lighting is used, but towards the end, the scenes are poorly lit to emphasize the film’s horrific nature. In general, the movie’s scenes are not discordant as some critics suggest. By analyzing the filmmaker’s vision of the scene, I realized that all Mise-En-Scene elements employed in the movie did match with director’s vision. This is true because, the design of elements in film enabled the movie’s director to capture several horrifying scenes as expected.