The Importance of Tying Everything Together in a Film

         When people look at a film, they see a picture put carefully together by many smaller pieces. Most people might not realize just how small and very significant those pieces are to the over-all development of a film. Just imagine if the camera work was not just right, or the costumes were from the wrong era. The picture just would not flow, and the entire film would be out of tune. There are many different aspects that piece together a film; the first one piece would be the camera work. A prime example of this is the 1941 movie, Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles. The most memorable camera work done in the film is evident when the reporter (William Alland) is interviewing Kane's second wife (Dorothy Comingore). Throughout the film, the camera people are constantly doing something different to bring the film to a whole new unique level, but when the camera went into and out of the bar through the ceiling, it added so much more.

         Another aspect that can enhance films if done properly is the costumes that the actors and actresses wear. They have to be historically correct because, if they are not, then the flow of the film is disrupted and difficult to get back on track. Also, the colors and tones of the clothing have to fit the actor and the scene. An example of this is the Rob Marshall's 2002 movie Chicago. In the scenes that are more oriented towards the show business side, the costumes have extra flair and shine.

         Lighting helps to define the scene and brings focus to where the director wants it. If the mood of the play is happy or uplifting, there tends to be brighter lighting in the scene. Also, if the director wants to focus on one person, than the majority of the light is focused on that person's face. An example of this would be in Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's 1933 King Kong. The actress, Fay Wray, was constantly getting the majority of the light on her face, as a way to emphasize the situation she, as Ann Darrow, was in and bring more attention to the horror of it all.

         Setting brings the visual aspect of scene together. The scene is the place in which the action is going on in the film, which helps to depict what kind of lighting persons need, as well as the type of clothing the actors need to wear. Chicago is a prime example of this again because of the scenes they have on stage. First off, the setting is on stage, which tells the people to have clothing that is flashy and expresses the kind of light that is going to be needed to show off the star singing. Sound keeps people going and interested in the movie. If those silent films did not have background music, I would never have been able to keep my attention of the film. Also, background music sets the scene up and the expected emotional response from the audience. This can really be seen in horror films. It seems we know the tunes to expect when a bad scene is coming and we already tense up waiting for the scare. Background noise also helps with making the movie realistic. As in Don Siegel's 1956 The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, when the characters are outside, we can hear other people and vehicles moving about. It definitely adds to the believability of the film.

         The components that are listed above completely make a film. Without them, a film seems lost and not completely there. It is also shows a bad film when just one of these items are not there. So the basis of this paper is that for a director to have a successful film, he or she needs to have these components placed and fitted together perfectly.

Michelle Maden

Table of Contents