Putting the audience in the picture: mise-en-shot and psychological immersion in audio described film

Nicole Wilken*, Jan-Louis Kruger

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Audio description (AD) often emphasises the visual elements of a film rather than the way these elements are presented. However, what is seen and the way it is shown are equally important for creating meaning in film. The term mise-en-shot refers to the way in which visual aspects are shown to the audience. In order to determine whether the stylistic elements of film created by means of mise-en-shot could influence the reception of audio described film, the article investigates the effect of the presence or absence in the AD of these elements on the immersion of a sighted audience into the fictional world. Immersion is measured by means of sub-scales on character identification as well as transportation. In order to measure the effect of stylistic elements, the self-reported immersion of one group of sighted participants who sees a scene with the original soundtrack is compared to that of another sighted group who only hears the audio-described soundtrack of the scene. The findings suggest that although the absence of some mise-en-shot elements in the audio described version of the film does not influence transportation, it does influence the way in which a sighted audience identifies with characters in the film. It would therefore seem that these stylistic elements do have an important role in the immersion of audiences, which could have significant implications for AD.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-270
    Number of pages20
    JournalAcross Languages and Cultures
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


    • audio description
    • mise-en-scene
    • mise-en-shot
    • transportation
    • identification
    • immersion


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