Hello all, and welcome back to my blog, and today I am deconstucting a shot from a movie so that I can use the knowledge gained for my World Builder project that is my main assessment for this trimester in Studio 3.
The film this shot is from is “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, produced by Disney in 2005, and is a fantasy film. It follows the story of the Pevensie siblings as they find their to Narnia and their adventure, where they met Aslan the Lion and fought the White Witch, eventually becoming Kings and Queens of Narnia. The scene I have chosen to deconstruct is when the White Witch gains her audience with Aslan. The Witch is carried through the camp and demands the blood of Edmund Pevensie, as he was a traitor. She however left, giving up her claim on Edmund, having recieved Aslan’s word on an alternative. The genre, fantasy, is quite prominent here, with the talking lion, the witch, creatures like minators, dwarves and ogres, and the medieval aspects.
With that out of the way, lets get down to deconstructing this. This was a really hard scene to find, so I apologise for the video quality.
Almost immediately we can see the White Witch, being paraded through the army camp, being watched on both sides by the Narnians, who are crowded in two coloums on either side of the path. The atmosphere is created through the forebodeing music, tense expressions and disgruntled background chatter. The viewer’s attention is drawn towards the White Witch as her entourage brings her foward.
The stark contrast between the White Witch and the blacks, browns and reds around her also draws attention to her, as she is the odd one out. Even at a different camera angle, the White Witch is still the most contrasting character in the scene, standing out amongst the earthy colours. It is important for the White Witch to stand out in this scene, as she is in her enemy’s camp, to talk with Aslan. In the whole scene, Aslan and the White Witch are the most unique characters. The main characters, the Pevensie siblings have been made to stand out slightly less in this scene too, wearing outfits that fit in more with the surrounding army.
The depth in the shot is well laid out, with Aslan in the foreground, alone, with nothing else cluttering his space, the White Witch approaching in the midground, and her contrasting colour making her stand out from the soldiers surrounding her, and then the background that doesn’t steal attention from the main focus of the shot. This allows attention to remain on Aslan and the Witch while they converse.
Colour in this scene is utilised well, the Narnians are earthy browns and blacks, keeping them comfortably placed in the scene, the White Witch is stark white against this, to show that she doesn’t fit there, that she is the enemy. The colours in this scene are also used to mute out the characters who aren’t important in the shot, and bring out the characters who are. The Narnian soldiers and the White Witch’s servants are all darker colours, while Aslan is golden brown, and, to say it again, the White Witch is dressed in white, giving the two precedence in the scene.
The light in this scene falls naturally on everyone, which prevents unnatural shadows from falling in odd places, giving more to the illusion of Narnia being a real place. The tents take advantage of the space, and are placed to create a convincing medieval style warcamp.
Now how do I bring this knowledge into my own shot? The book that my partner and I agreed on for the World Builder assessment was “The Horse and His Boy” by C.S. Lewis, the third book chronologically in “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Below I have the first pass of thumbnails created for my scene.
My main focus is the streets of Tashbaan, where Aravis, the female protagonist, discovers her old friend, and from her friend, discovers her father, whom Aravis ran away from, is in Tashbaan too. I want the focus to be on Aravis’ friend with Aravis staring on. To bring this focus more to the friend, I need to bring in more leading lines directing towards the carry litter. I also plan on giving both Aravis and her friend outfits that show their position in society, being daughters of nobles, while also fitting in with the setting of the city, being in an Ancient Persian kind of theme.
Thanks for reading this post.