Concrete Landscape

Sebatian Kearse '10, The Cyborg Self, Brown University, Fall 2006

The setting of any novel or movie creates the mood for the rest of the story. The best authors try to give the location of the story a life of its own. The audience then gains a sense of familiarity with the location and no further explanations are needed. In popular cyberpunk series, one can notice the common style of setting used; one giant city. With all the fabulous technology that cannot be described in the given time, a summary must be made in the shape of the setting.

The best way to illustrate the setting on a large scale is to perform an aerial view. You can see more structures from the air than you could from the ground. In the film Blade Runner, the streets looked retro for its time. One could go to a food cart and get some old fashioned noodles in a bowl. However, when you boarded a futuristic hover car, you could ascend above the rooftops and see the real advancement of human society right down to the big Coca Cola advertisement signs. Any other place except above the buildings looked like something from our time. The city creates the biggest mood for movie. This can also be seen in anime like Bubblegum Crisis, as several scenes were devoted to showing off the grand city.

When the author has to focus so much on character development, the action could overshadow the setting. An area could be well designed but the focus shifts to the advancement in the plot, and the scene changes. The author wants the audience to have the same experience, but the author already knows. It is not easy to present your point when the facts have to be given.

Course Website cyborg Body & Self

Last modified 13 November 2006