The Film Analysis Of M Night Shyamalan's Split?

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The collaboration needed to make a film, much less a quality film, is enormous. Many people are needed to make a production work: screenwriters, cinematographers, composers, etc. The director is one of the most important elements and his or her interpretation of a screenplay can make or break a film. As stated in Persistence of Vision: An Introduction to Film Appreciation, “An auteur is a director that has garnered enough influence that they have total artistic control over the entire production (Miller 54).” Here we will be discussing one such director, M. Night Shyamalan and his low-budget film Split (2016). Split is a thriller about a young man named Kevin that suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), more commonly known as …show more content…
Many elements must be addressed before filming can occur and these elements could take years to accomplish. In preproduction of Split, Shyamalan had an idea for a film on DID which he found “powerful and fascinating (Shyamalan 2017)” and set to writing the screenplay. He took control of financing, casting of major roles, and laying out the cinematography vision he had. He treated this film like an independent film with little financing so that he could have more control of the artistic components. As he stated in an interview on Fox News, “When you don’t take much money for the film, you feel safe to break formats.” With casting, Shyamalan tends to use actors he had worked with before such as Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard. But in this case, he went against his norm and cast James McAvoy as his lead. McAvoy is a versatile actor with many acting credits to his name such as the X-Men series, The Last King of Scotland (2006), and Atonement (2007) for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. With a certain vision for this horror/thriller film, Shyamalan called on Mike Gioulakis and his knowledge of gritty cinematography to help him complete his story. Preproduction does not always include the director, but for the auteur director, it is …show more content…
His staging of the film in the preproduction stage now comes into play to bring his vision to life. His use of low lighting gives us a suspenseful edge. The dim bulbs in basement increase shadows which increases the tension. Much of the film is shot at the Philadelphia zoo basement with some sound stage assistance. With such tight quarters at the zoo, it gave us a feeling of claustrophobia and being trapped which helps un understand the plight of the young women. A Shyamalan signature is to also use close-up shots to convey strong emotion as he did in The Village (2004) and The Sixth Sense (1999). But for Split, he not only wanted to convey strong emotion like the girls being held hostage, but to also show the many individual personalities conveyed (8 in all) by McAvoy during this movie. During this film, McAvoy’s superior acting showed distinct facial, body, and voice changes to represent each character (personality) he portrayed so we understood which character we were watching. As in other phases, production is such an important phase. Shyamalan’s use of the medium shot to show a full-length view of McAvoy and his clothing choices helps us also identify the character on the screen since all characters are one person. If the vision of the director is not captured during filming, it will make postproduction much more

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