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Blade Runner: Mise En Scene and Cause and Effect

Question 1. Identify the nature and function of your designated production element and story element.


Mise en scene is one of the most important production elements of any theatrically based project. It is defined by all the components that build a scene visually. From the actors, where they are, what they look like, facial expressions etc. to the props, costumes, and set. Mise en scene is a prominent contributor to the ambiance of a shot, and hence the development of the project, technically and story telling wise. It is an essential production element that should be well thought through, and detailed.


Cause and effect is vital to any successfully entertaining narrative. It develops a story through beginning middle and end, capturing an audience and eventuating the tale to a climax and/or a moral. Cause and effect is explained by an occurrence or event that effects or changes the course of a character. It is vital to any story, as it develops the narrative… making the story flow before the audience’s eyes.

Question 2. Discuss nature and function of one production element and one story element in each narrative we study. Provide examples.


The nature of this production element is used abundantly in Blade Runner to set the scene up. It is to encompass the whole look of the film by incorporating all the other production elements for example: lighting, diegetic sound and non diegitic sound, costume and shot type etc. Mise en scene gives the atmosphere of the world the audience has been taken into. The function of Mise en scene is to amplify character, emotion, and the prominent lasting feelings or mood throughout the whole movie.
The wide shot street scenes that are overcrowded with extras whilst incorporating the loud noise of people speaking and the rain creates the gloomy feeling that in the future that the world is going to get overpopulated and that people are going to be living on the streets as seen in the shot of the fires on the street with the homeless. Life is not going to be content in the future. Another reference to mise en scene is the shot of Tyrell’s renaissance style bedroom. It’s grand and maroon and gold colours match the time period. This wealthy looking room enhances the power he has had in society and that he is the ‘father’ and creator of the replicants. The renaissance is enhanced by the low contrast lighting that resemble candle light and imposes a Frankenstein theme on Tyrell.

In this movie it displays how everything has a consequence as developed in Isaac Newton’s third law of motion that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If the characters did not make mistakes or decisions that lead onto another situation, the narrative would not move forward. Cause and Effect moves the narrative forward and creates the story. There are many examples of this. The largest most influential example is Tyrell creating these replicants in the first place, but not creating them correctly has made the replicants rebel. As they were sent off some have come back and that is how the profession Blade Runner was created because rebel replicants have come back to kill and get more mortality. Or another perspective you can see it from is the creation of genetic engineering that allowed Tyrell to create synthetic humans and exposed him to such technology. Other examples are Deckard waiting for Tyrell he meets Rachel, who he in turn falls in love with and makes him think that him killing these replicants is wrong and then he doesn’t kill Rachel.

Question 3. Compare and contrast the function of and interrelationship between production and story elements across fictional media texts

Mise-en-scene uses actors and acting to portray a scenes character in a certain way, whereas cause and effect uses their past and personality to define character. Cause and effect causes a linear plotline (beginning and end) whereas mise-en-scene can vary reactions between scenes. Mise-en-scene is also used to highlight a scene whereas cause and effect advances a scene. As long as the narrative stays the same as well as cause and effect stays the same (as it should if the narrative does, as C+E basically makes the narrative), then the production elements and mise-en-scene are just used to represent the story and help get the storyline across.

Question 4. How is the elements (mise en scene and cause and effect) read by the audience and how does is it contribute to the narrative and meaning of the film?


The audience reads the production element of mise en scene by observation. Whether it’s consciously or subconsciously the viewers take in all the visual components that go into a scene and conclude a particular atmosphere from it. Mise en scene also contributes considerably to the narrative and meaning of a film as the audience logically determines, from visual the aspects of a scene, the location of the narrative, the emotion (from facial expression) , and personalities of characters.


Cause and effect is naturally followed by the audience and is what enthralls them initially. Viewers inspect how a character reacts to a situation, and how characters what that reaction leads to. Cause and effect does more than just contribute to the narrative, it defines the narrative, and how that narrative develops and eventuates.


Eventuating: occur as a result
Climax:The most intense, exciting, or important point of something; a culmination or apex.
Diegetic sound: sound that can be heard by the characters in their world
Non-Diegetic sound: sound that is heard only by the audience and is put in during Post Production
Isaac Newton: English mathematician and physicist; remembered for developing the calculus and for his law of gravitation and his three laws of motion (1642-1727)

By Nataleigh, Rhiannon and Paige


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