There are very few contemporary filmmakers who could be considered auteurs, and certainly none whose work is more instantly recognizable than director Wes Anderson’s. From just the opening scenes of any of his films, his trademark style is immediately apparent.
From the main focal points in a scene, to the small details hidden far in the background, every single shot in Anderson’s films are meticulously staged.
He’s particularly well known for using perfectly symmetrical compositions to highlight every corner of the composition; much like how a painter would with his canvas. It’s been noted that even his personal style reflects the aesthetic of his films.
“We gather all of the ingredients and we have it very prepared so that when the day comes to shoot, everything is sort of quite set in that way,” said Anderson in an interview with NPR.
While Anderson’s auteurism is undeniably derived from his compositions, his recognizable style doesn’t end with the visual elements. His films, while melancholic, are always filled with light-hearted banter and eccentric characters that lend a sense of optimism to his work.
He’s been able to maintain such a consistent style, both as an independent filmmaker and through working in the studio systems, largely because he’s retained the final cut on every single film he’s ever made in his more than 20 year career.
However, like all auteurs, his distinct style is not for everyone. Many are quick to criticize him for his exceptionally consistent style, labeling him an overly particular control freak. Yet his work with famously opinionated actors such as Owen Wilson is obvious proof that he’s more of a visionary than a control freak.
“I have my own rules, and they’re not rules that I made in order to achieve a certain effect; they’re sort of genetic. I have a sort of feeling that I want from my movies that isn’t really about just that particular movie; it’s about my movies in general,” Anderson told the Hollywood Reporter.
Anderson is the perfect example of someone who’s carved a niche in their industry and has worked tirelessly to ensure that every minute detail of his work reflects his distinct vision.
Find the signature style that works for you and stick with it unapologetically. It may not appeal to everyone, but whether you’re blogging for fun, or directing Hollywood films, your work will always be an honest reflection of you.
Mise En Scène & The Visual Themes of Wes Anderson
Image Credit: huckmagazine.com