Category: Atmosphere

Atmosphere Part 3: Atmosphere Is Also Posters

So atmosphere is weather, and even background sounds.  But what do you do for atmosphere if you’re indoors?  Well, first, you can make the scene atmospheric by adding fog.  No reason not to add fog to any setting, indoors or out.

Or you can make it dark, so that most of the details are obscured and hard to see.  There’s some atmosphere for you!  (I checked out Alien, which was the #2 atmospheric movie on my list, and it was both dark and foggy.)

But what do you do if your scene has to be both indoors and brightly lit?

Hang up some posters.

Like the lip-syncing scene in Pretty in Pink.  Or, magnificently, the museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Okay, it doesn’t have to be posters.  But put something on the walls–unless the indoors has to be deliberately blank, as in Let the Right One In, in order to contrast with the (highly atmospheric) world outside.  Or make the walls themselves interesting, as in The Shining.



Atmosphere Part 1: Atmosphere Is Literally Just Fog

A thought experiment for you:

Do a Google search for “atmospheric movies.”

Check out how many of the movies had posters with some sort of fog, weather, smoke, or translucence in them.  Of the ones that don’t, if you’ve seen the movie, ask yourself, “Is some element of the weather a factor in the story?”

Now ask yourself if you liked most of those movies.  You can, of course, do the same thing for novels.

Your book doesn’t have to start with a dark and stormy night, but it doesn’t actually hurt.

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