Any element within the shot that seems to stand for more than its literal definition, because of either cultural or unconscious symbolic associations. In D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, a racist film obsessed with the fear of miscegenation, fences proliferate, standing for social barriers and internal restraints that are being overthrown. When in Hitchcock's Notorious a woman steals a key from her husband's key ring and gives it to another man, who uses it to penetrate the secrets of the husband's wine cellar, most people intuit that sometimes a key is not just a key. In the act of theft the woman has unmanned her husband. Color can be (and often is) used for symbolic effect in narrative films, as are shadows and patterns of light in the setting.
Was this article helpful?
If you have ever wanted the secrets to making your own film, here it is: Indy Film Insider Tips And Basics To Film Making. Have you ever wanted to make your own film? Is there a story you want to tell? You might even think that this is impossible. Studios make films, not the little guy. This is probably what you tell yourself. Do you watch films with more than a casual eye? You probably want to know how they were able to get perfect lighting in your favorite scene, or how to write a professional screenplay.