This visual aesthetics essay is based on the film “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in particular scenes from the beginning to the fifth second of the second minute. This setting is detailed as the audience is overwhelmed with vital information which will be recurrent throughout the film as the audience is introduced to the main actor; Harry who is sitting on the train moving on a vast green woodland, pondering and marvelling at the environment. Ron is introduced to the scene as he joins Harry, both of them being about ten years of age, therefore their acting has not yet fully developed, and they seem a bit two dimensional both are depicted as polite lads but typecast since they appear more than once. The choice of green color scheme outside the train, and the polite young actors by the director asserts the purity of the actors just like nature. This paper analyzes the mise-en-scene of this clip and elucidates the explicit meaning communicated by the director by the setting, costumes, and actors here.
The choice of Harry’s costumes communicates the type of person he is; the spectacles he wears are usually idiosyncratic of inquisitive and genius minds, his casual dressing code means he is a social person. The lads’ color schemes of both beings of the same skin tone mean they will quite get along. Ron’s dressing and friendly nature mean the two will have a friendly encounter which could go far in where they are going. The makeup in the two lads is minimal to mean to augment the point that they are natural. The kind of coins Harry has, his scar in the face, the introduction of the magical frog chocolate are props which means the film will be mystical. The high-key bright light means the two boys are bright fellows in the offing. The lighting is of quality since it details every aspect that the director intends for the audience.
At 1:15, the image on focus is of the two boys sitting side by side between them a table filled with foods and other things that Harry bought from the maid. Behind the window of the train is a view of the vast woodland which is not quite clear. An imbalance difference between the boys is noticeable as Ron’s hair is brown, while Harry’s is black. In addition, Ron is busy eating while Harry is in no hurry to eat and is portrayed as trying to understand many of the things he just bought. The attention of the audience is focused on Harry’s intuitiveness. Similarly, the audience would then consider Ron quite bad mannered as he appears to be in speech with food in the mouth. In addition, the non-symmetric nature of the lads is shown as Ron sits facing the table, Harry is quite unsymmetrical and unattached to the table while his attention is on his hands working on a package of food.
While the background/outside the train is very brightly lit, where Ron and Harry are sitting is comparatively less lit but full of color which means that despite the outer undiscovered world’s allure, the boys can be happy and safe inside the train together. There is also a sharp contrast of focus of light whereby Ron is depicted to have bright colored clothing, his face appears lit, his hair very bright while the light focus on Harry shows him quite dull, pale and with dull dressing code. As Ron sits on the colored train sofa, Harry chooses to rest his back behind the window and this color contrast calls the attention of the audience to understand that Harry is not likely to sit gracefully, but is meant for great discoveries all the way, while Ron will be enjoying the journey and will be a jovial and full of happiness.
There is an eye-catching frontality between 25th second and 28th second when Ron and Harry are introducing themselves. This is the point where the actors are not only making the introduction for themselves but are similarly introducing themselves to the audience. Frontality focuses the audience on every detailed facial expression and gesture Ron and Harry and not on anything else in the environment. The audience is able to get a very clear view of Harry’s scar which Ron facial expressions shows he is full of surprise and awe as claims to have heard of the scar, and thus the audience is made aware that Harry is known far and wide and prepares the audience to comprehension of Harry’s mystical life. Ron’s assertion of consideration of the scar as weird on a positive note is a plot by the director to guide the eyes of the audience to every detail in this scene since it would be of importance in the subsequent scenes in discovering who the two boys actually are and their capabilities.
The camera movement and speed as the discourse between the boys shift systematically and focuses on the actor who is in speech or to show the audience an intended facial expression of the item for consideration. However, there is a slow movement and direction in the background of the train as the audience can see from the window. These movements draw the audience attention to what the director wants the focus to be on, that of interest is inside the train and not outside the train. The quick movements also portend the quick and swift nature of the two boys since they are still young. The combination of speed and movements are apt augmenting and understanding the traits of the actors, and absorbing every detail that the director wants them to understand and drawing much interest as well as developing a liking for a particular character.