Moving in Unison Scene Research

Moving in Unison Scene Research

Midsommar – The Feast Begins

As many scenes in our film present groups of students exhibiting identical behavior to create an eery sense of conformity, this scene from Midsommar is a great example of how that cult mentality can be depicted. While the group of people in this particular scene don’t move in perfect synchronization, their movements and their facial expressions still create an unsettling sense of conformity and mindless following.

How could we potentially use a bird’s eye view of a classroom without the capabilities that this film had?

Could a wide angle lens be effective in showing the number of students in the classroom?

Should we show our protagonist/stranger to the cult starting to give into the group behavior or should we only present a rejection of these norms?

Entire scene is completely devoid of music – making the audience uncomfortable with silence

Establishes relationship between cult leaders and followers with costume and set design (different outfits, leaders sit in throne-like chairs)

Slow dolly out to reveal the number of followers involved in this cult

Movements of each follower matches the movements of the leaders – not in perfect unison but still establishing that cult mentality and the weirdness of their mindless nature

As leaders pick up silverware and begin to eat, camera angle changes to a bird’s eye view and then pans across the table set-up to show the consecutive movements of each follower – kind of like a ripple of movement

Character seating placement at table establishes rank

All of the “follower” characters seem to be in a trance throughout the scene, all following the same behavioral patterns and moving based on the leaders’ movements

Even the characters that are strangers to this cult begin to follow the behaviors of the others – giving into that cult mentality and conformity in fear of standing out too much in this foreign environment

Blocking in every shot is almost never focused on one single character – there’s always multiple people in the shot to communicate their belonging to this group/lack of individualism

With the exception of the leaders and the strangers in this scene, the followers are depicted as a group, not as individuals – representing their loss of identity to this brainwashed cult

Sound effects: emphasis on the visible sounds of the scene like forks scraping and the minimal dialog that exists – no presence of external sounds like wind

Majority of characters are entirely emotionless, clearly in a trance

Overall, this scene is a great representation of how to shoot a large group of characters moving simultaneously, as it successfully communicates the lack of individualism in the group and the notion that this is a cult. On top of the various angles, edits, and blocking choices that add to the success of the scene, the lack of music and the emphasis on isolated sounds creates a very eerie and unsettling feeling in the viewer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar