1003: Weekly Task 2- Framing Devices

I chose Mad Max: Fury Road as it is a film that only features around 40 lines of dialogue. The film utilises the show not tell method of film composition and editing and due to this I found a lot to analyse about colour usage, framing and shot type.

Framing
The film often frames the hero Furiosa in ways that highlight her separation and lack of a solid place to belong.
In her introduction she is seen entering the war rig on her own, facing away from the viewer and being the only person in the scene not showing their face.

fuirntro

Her status and isolation are very quickly established. When sharing a frame with someone there is either a physical barrier like a car or the characters positioning separating them-

relationships

Which can be seen clearer in the later scenes when she is more comfortable around the characters and the same poses are shot from the opposite angle:

relationships2

Or the shot is filmed in such a way that the characters’ faces are never in the same frame even when they’re right next to each other.

sharing-frame

sharing-frame2

By keeping Furiosa alone in all her shots the film establishes her as a main character whilst also implying her moral ambiguity by not featuring her in a scene that establishes a mutual emotional bond with someone.
Even when Furiosa is reunited with the people from her past, the film still frames her as being “alone in a crowd”. These two shots are from when she has been reunited with her childhood family:

alone_inthe_crowd

alone_in_a_crowd
In the above two scenes Furiosa’s reactions are the main focus. However even with a happy scene such as the lower image where she is being reunited with a family member, Furiosa is framed in the centre of two huge parts of her life- her old family on the left and what she’s done since then and how she’s changed are represented by the war rig on the right. This very easily establishes to the audience that she is still split between her lives and foreshadows the continuing influence and threat of the War Party.

The film also uses a similar framing style to show status, this time both shots are high but each place the subject at different extremes.
The character of Immortan Joe has his biggest establishing moment when he is controlling the water. In this shot he is framing the people and water and clearly has a lot of status and power. Filming him also from the back helps establish his emotional distance from his subjects.

In the final shot of his character he is seen from the same angle as his subjects were at the start. He’s nearly indistinct and blends into the car as much as the people blended into the desert, showing that his power and influence has been lost.

Centre Framing
Every shot in Mad Max is shot via centre framing, meaning all the action is easy to read and editing cuts can be made quicker.

madmaxcenter

This can be seen particularly well in the lower two scenes:

centre_framingcentreframing

The framing style means that the action can very quickly change without the audience losing focus of what’s happening. I particularly like how the aim of the scene changes from grabbing the weapon to accelerating with hardly any camera movement necessary. Objects in the background can very easily be brought into focus and more action can be shown in one cut.

The editing style also allows character actions to mirror each other, like in the scene below that merges two shots of the heroes with injured hands. This allows characterisation by editing and not character interaction.

bolt_knife

The framing also allows the audience to be as surprised by events as the characters, like how the centre frame switches to Furiosa running at the same time Max notices her.

editing_centre_framing_hiding_character

The editing also bends time to emphasise key plot points, like how in the below scene the head motorcyclist is killed. This is a traumatising event for the wives so it’s repeated with their reactions shown during the second time.

First Sequence

repeat

And second shot with the wives reactions. The whole event is repeated.

This shot also uses the same isolation techniques as were used on Furiosa, as Zoe Saldana’s character Toast moves in a different position to the others to reference her outsider status.

repeat2

Colour

The film has a mostly limited colour palette of yellow/brown/orange, but it does have moments when colour is used sparingly and effectively.

Blue

In film blue represents loyalty, depression and cleanliness. In the film it’s mostly used as a physical representation of Immortan Joe’s influence-

colour_bluepoison

colour_blue

The streaming lights represent the cruelty of his regime for Nux, as he’s receiving blood from an unwilling donor, and also for the child in the background how he is slowly being corrupted by the regime.

In the lower scene the heroes’ actions are being completely influenced by the villains, and it shows in how the whole scene is over-saturated in blue.

The use of white light in the blue scenes is used to show which characters are “good” and are either healing or haven’t been ruined by Immortan Joe’s influence:

White light is also used for innocence and to disguise future plot points. Such as when the character Angharad’s pregnant stomach is hidden by over-saturating the light. The baby represents hope for a lot of characters, but it’s only when the character is properly introduced later does the audience realise what the editor was hiding. I think that’s a really interesting technique as it means the director is prepared to trust the audience and not explain everything.

sun_editing

sun_editing_lightsauration
These shots directly follow each other

Green

Green represents pride, healing and perseverance. In the scene where the war rig finally works again Furiosa’s eyes are edited to be a brighter green to represent perseverance as well as movement or achievement.

green_for_go

This is also shown in the one green book, demonstrating the wives have finally managed to escape:

colour_green
green book on left shelf in line with shotgun

This place also uses red around the beds which represents desire, passion and anger. All emotions that represent the wives suffering under Immortan Joe.

The colours in these scenes all help make them “key scenes”. The blue saturation splits the film and create tension, the green shows aims being achieved, and the white represents hope and separates the characters.

In conclusion I find this film really interesting. It has a unique editing and script style. The film was originally storyboarded instead of scripted and I think that shows in how unique some of the transitions are and how visualy engaging the entire film is.

 

Gifs and research via

http://twoquickdeaths.tumblr.com/

http://kimbureh.tumblr.com/

http://bonehandledknife.tumblr.com/

How They Edited the Oscar-Nominated ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

vashivisuals.com/the-editing-of-mad-max-fury-road/

 

Advertisements

One thought on “1003: Weekly Task 2- Framing Devices

  1. Excellent work, really pleased to see you are engage with the subject and considering the use of cinematography. Looking forward to seeing how you develop this theme in the rest of your work. 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s