Posted: August 8th, 2022
Creative Exercise 1: Mise en Scene
For this exercise, you will take on the role of a production designer (and screenwriter), constructing a fictional character through describing the mise en scene of their bedroom. Who is this bedroom’s inhabitant? What do we know about them based on this space? Your description of the mise en scene will need to communicate this to the film crew who will shoot the project and to the audience who will see the completed film.
Do not tell us anything about this character or their physical traits–only describe their room. Don’t tell us their name, their hair color, their voice, etc. Your classmates/TA/professor will need to be able to surmise who this person is by virtue of the mise en scene. Through your description, the reader should be able to have a very good picture of this person’s identity, personality, and maybe even goals, life story, etc.
You should create your own fictional movie character (not one from an existing film). Do not describe your own bedroom. You’ll need to negotiate:
Some advice provided:
You don’t have to create a teen or child character, but for other sources of inspiration, I would also point you to Adrienne Salinger’s photography book, In My Room: Teenagers in Their Bedrooms (Links to an external site.), which was photographed in the 1980s and ‘90s. Also, the James Mollison photography project, Where Children Sleep (Links to an external site.), offers a comparative view of children’s sleeping spaces (not all of them are rooms) around the world. It’s a remarkable project in many ways, but you can also consider whether it falls into certain stereotypes and how you might avoid doing so in your work. Reflect on how social class, gender, culture, and personality are evoked through the decor and objects. You can also consider the number of film professionals who would be involved in constructing the fictional versions of these spaces.
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