between them, and there is no alteration of the camera angle in order
to make Coach Boone look more powerful than his player. What the
filmmakers did do, however, is place Coach Boone on the left side of
the shot and the player on the right side of the shot. While this is a
subtle and easily unnoticeable strategy, it actually does work to evoke a
sense of power from Coach Boone because throughout the altercation,
viewers are naturally more drawn to focusing their attention on Coach
Boone than the player.
Another way in which mise-en-scène is used to signify the
importance of coaches in these films is by including scenes in which the
coach is surrounded by a group of people who all have their attention
turned toward him. This type of scene is commonly seen in the locker
room when a coach is delivering an inspirational speech or berating his
players. In these scenes and there are many examples in Coach Carter
the players will often kneel in front of the coach, which portrays the
coach as a leader and guiding figure. By having the players kneel while
the coach stands, the coach becomes the largest figure in the shot, and
this resonates with the audience, albeit likely subconsciously, as the
coach being powerful and the players being submissive to him. Even if
the players are not kneeling but are standing in a circle around the coach
instead, their bodies are all facing toward the coach, and their eyes are
all directed at him, which signifies how important his words are and
instructs the viewer to pay as much close attention to him as the players
do themselves. This type of scene occurs in Remember the Titans when
the African-American people of the town come to Coach Boone’s
house to congratulate him and support him after he receives the head
coaching job. In this scene, Boone is surrounded by the people of the
town in his front yard, and Boone is the central-most figure in the shot
as the citizens circle around him and extend their hands out toward him
to pat him on the back and hug him. This scene, in particular, portrays
Boone as being heroic; the gathering of people around him signifies his
importance, and the stretched out arms of the people in his direction
work to portray him as a leader whom people look to for guidance.
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