Coursework: Part Five Constructed realities and the fabricated image

Project 1 Setting the scene

Mise-en-scène; this literally means ‘to put in the scene’ and refers to the process of setting a scene or a stage for a story to be enacted upon. Props, costumes, locations, actors, and even colour and tiny details, can all be part of the story. It’s important to remember that every aspect within the frame is there for a reason; things therefore adopt a heightened meaning because we know they’re there intentionally and serve a purpose.


Watch this famous scene from Goodfellas directed by Martin Scorsese in 1990: [accessed 24/02/14]

 Don’t read on until you’ve answered the following questions

  • What does this scene tell you about the main character?
  • How does it do this? List the ‘clues’.

Make some notes in your learning log

 The main character – Clues

  • Rich – Gives big tips
  • Masculine – guides the woman, emanates power
  • Confident – moves positively
  • Well known/popular – talks to people and is acknowledged, others want to say hello greet him, actions are normalised by others, sent drinks by others
  • Important – as above.
  • In control – shown respect by others, gets what he wants
  • Gets what he wants – the table being set up especially
  • Likes to impress – unusual/special entrance into club, gives big tips, makes sure the girl knows he’s a regular at the club
  • Protective or possessive of the woman – constant holding/body contact