Through analyzing the mise-en-scene used in each film we can understand what the director is trying to show the viewer. The scene I am going to use from Transformers is the scene where the Autobots first meet up with Sam and Mikayla in a back alley. This scene begins with Sam and Mikayla entering a back alley from one direction and the Autobots entering the alley from the other direction. The design of this scene is very ambiguous. It is set at night and in a back alley that is very dimly lit with lots of smoke and objects to impede the viewer’s view.
I feel like the director used this approach because he wanted to build suspense for the first shot of the Transformers on the big screen. He knew the viewers would be anxious to see these huge machines transform for the first time and wanted to build as much suspense as possible up until that moment when the viewer can first see the how they looked and the size of the Transformers compared to humans. The composition of this scene is such that the director wants to show the size of the Transformers compared to humans.
One part of the scene is shot from behind Sam and Mikayla as they look up to a fully transformed Optimus Prime. From this Point of View you can see just how massive the Transformers are compared to that of Sam and Mikayla. Also, Optimus is standing in between two buildings and you can tell that he is at least 30 to 40 feet tall because his head is 3 or 4 stories up the building. The director uses the frame in these shots to show the viewers the sheer size of the Transformer Optimus Prime.
Through showing the viewer his size the director shows how powerful and well respected these characters should be in this film. He also shows Optimus’ size compared to that of the other Autobots. Because Optimus is much taller and the first to speak to Sam and Mikayla the director shows that Optimus is the leader of the Autobots. The scene I chose from Bad Boys II was after the Miami PD and DEA bust the transport of ecstasy in the Miami harbor. The bad guys happen to capture Marcus’ sister in the process and take her by plane back to their stronghold in Cuba.
During the flight the bad guy calls Marcus to set up a switch between his drugs and Marcus’ sister. The design of this scene is very serious and important. It begins with a close up shot of Marcus receiving the call from the bad guy. This shows the viewer that Marcus is a very important part of this section of the film. The scene then jumps to inside the plane where the bad guy has Marcus’ sister and is talking with Marcus over the phone. When the bad guy is shown in the scene he is being shot from the ground up.
This shows the viewer that he is a powerful character and that what he says to Marcus should not be taken lightly. Also, the bad guys costume is that of a business man with a nice suit. This shows that not only is the character financially able to do whatever is necessary to get what he wants, but also that he is an intelligent man capable of many different things; whether good or bad. The composition of this shot mainly shows the relationship between the two main characters, Marcus and Mike. As the scene progresses it shows Marcus standing up.
This shows the viewer that what the bad guy is telling Marcus is extremely important and troubling to him. The scene then rotates over in front of Marcus and shows Mike also standing up with a concerned look as he tries to understand what’s going on with his partner. This not only shows the bond between the two partners, but it also shows that Mike has Marcus’ back no matter how large the circumstances. When Marcus hangs up the phone and says to Mike “shit just got real,” the concerned look on Mikes face shows all you need to know about the love shared between these two characters.
As you can see Michel Bay was able to use mise-en-scene in ways that showed exactly what he was trying to portray to the viewers. Although both these films genres are very different, Director Bay used many of the same characteristics throughout both of these films. Of course, that is what makes each director unique is that they like to use certain shots and techniques for each film that they direct. Through just these two shots it can be seen how much mise-en-scene means to each and every film made today.