91099 – Visual Texts 2013
Question 3: Analyse how visual or sound effects were used to emphasise a theme in the visual or oral text/s The Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont
In the film “The Shawshank Redemption” an important theme was the idea of hope and how once you have it; it can be given to others so they too can be hope filled. In various scenes throughout the duration of the film, camera work, colour and lighting have been used to emphasise this idea of hope and how it can be given to others. During the ‘tarring the licence plate factory roof’ scene we are introduced and come to understand better the character of Andy as the giver of hope through various camera shots and the use of colour and lighting. During the beginning of the scene the camera is low and this enables us to see a lot of sky. Even though they are still within the confines of the prison, the low camera angle means, you cannot see the prison walls, which encase the prisoners and keep them trapped. This enables us and the prisoners to temporarily forget that they are in prison. For the first time after Andy is sent to prison, we get to see a lot of sky (almost 2/3 of the screen). This is used to show the expanse of the area around them and this is a strong contrast to how prison usually is for them. They are usually in closed and confined areas, which mentally and physically separate them from the outside world. The expanse of sky is used to represent hope for a better life - of freedom and no restrictions. Later on in the scene, the idea of hope is further emphasised by the lighting and colour. When they are drinking their beers (obtained for the men by Andy’s courageous and intelligent confrontation with Captain Hadley) there is a golden filter over the shot. As this is taken from Red’s memory (he narrates the film) this golden overtone represents a sense of nostalgia and warmness, which is due to the fact that he recalls this memory fondly. This is because it...
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