28 Days later - Analyse how the mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound create meaning and generate response from a scene of your choice.

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Hilary Brocks 12MM

Analyse how the mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound create meaning and generate response from a scene of your choice.

28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle and produced by Andrew MacDonald was described as “genre busting” upon its release in 2002.  I have chosen to analyse the second scene in the film as it establishes the main character, the setting and gives the film its apocalyptic feel.  Although there are no monsters or blood, it is one of the eeriest and intense scenes in the film.

Sound, cinematography and mise-en-scene all play a crucial role in this scene as there is very little dialogue to inform the audience of what has taken place.  This is extremely clever: as Jim, the main character has no one to engage in conversation we feel everything he feels and experience the same emotions.  We too feel his isolation and frustration and this builds a huge amount of tension as the scene progresses.

The scene commences with an extreme close-up on Jim’s eye as he awakens. The shot is so close you can see every hair on his face and all of his eyelashes as he looks around the room. The audience is made aware of his shock and confusion by a sharp intake of breath. It then cuts to an overhead, high-angle, long shot showing Jim lying completely naked on a hospital bed.  This is not shown in a sexual way, but makes him appear to be childlike and vulnerable.  This also shows that something has happened to him as he has wires and a drip inserted into him.  This creates intrigue as the audience want to know what has happened to him.  Overall this shot establishes the action is taking place in a hospital.  As hospitals are usually associated with cleanliness and order the fact that the medical equipment is in disarray, strewn all over the floor also indicates that something ghastly has occurred.  Cutting to a close up of the wires inserted into him and then a medium shot showing Jim slowly rising up from the bed, his clumsy, slow movements coupled with the machinery inserted in him gives a “Frankenstein” coming to life feel.

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Jim is unshaven and looks dishevelled, he has a partially shaven head with scars and this

suggests to the audience that he has been there for some time.  The use of sound at the beginning of this scene is incredibly effective.  There is absolutely no ambient sound and the silence is eerie.  Diegetic sounds such as Jim’s breathing and groaning as he arises from his bed are exaggerated and the lack of ambient sound or soundtrack enhances the tension. This also makes other sounds more effective as they appear louder and the sound of the equipment clattering to the ...

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