Types of Actors.

Types of Actors

The three actors I chose to discuss from the film The Great Gatsby are Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby in this film. I believe he is a wild card. A wild card is an actor, usually a star, who is difficult to classify as one certain type, an actor who can play a wide variety of characters equally well without becoming typecast (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). I say this because DiCaprio plays his roles very well. He is difficult, for me, to classify him as just one certain type. This goes for all the films he plays in, and not just for this one.

In this clip, it is a scene where Nick meets Gatsby.

Tobey Maguire plays Nick Carraway. I believe Tobey Maguire could be classified as a character actor. A character actor is an actor who specializes in playing a wide variety of characters, most often supporting or minor roles rather than leading roles (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). I think he adapts so well to each of the roles he has held in various films. Here, Nick Carraway is telling us a story of how he met the Great Gatsby and his adventures that lead him to his alcoholism and depression.

Carey Mulligan plays Daisy Buchanan in this film. I think she is an interpreter actor. An interpreter actor is an actor that takes the material and puts their own stamp on it (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). Carey Mulligan does a fine job of portraying Daisy in this film. I think she fit the role very well.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Heffrey Brauer (2013). The Great Gatsby: I hope she’ll be a fool. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCxbZ8D7N1o

Kevvo Lightswift (2013). Nick Meets Gatsby. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBdoyPY1ELo

Markus Walter (2013). Nick Carraway Flashback Gatsby’s Past. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1uBuQfz9uI


The Function of Sound.

In an interview with Wayne Pashley, the sound design of The Great Gatsby (2013) was to protect Fitzgerald– “Basically there were two authentic approaches as described in the book. One was the truth of New York back in 1922, which was a progressive city, full of life, a city of construction. Buildings were going up faster than any other city in the world. Then there was the Long Island set which were the old rich; a sort of the palatial escape” (Farley, 2013).

The sound used in The Great Gatsby (2013) had to reflect Nick Carraway’s point of view of the world. The music used in the movie had a twist of modern flare (with artists like will.i.am, Fergie, and Jay Z) but also had the 1920’s feel to it. “The background music grabs us by the collar and forces us to sit up in our seats; it demands our attention, drawing us in from practically the first note” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). In this particular film the “score” of the film was the sounds of New York City and the 1920’s fans. Sound was a huge part in making the setting of the 1920’s in this film (Farley, 2013).

The dialogue in this film was used to reflect the 1920’s theme of the film. Speech and dialogue were used to reflect the character’s social status. Most of them are well-educated, and though Gatsby holds high social status, his speech does not reflect that. This is something that Nick Carraway points out by observing his use of “elaborate formalities” (Shmoop.com).

The overall sound of the movie reflected the 1920’s in New York very well. Although they decided to mix in a little bit of modern music into the film, it was clear what time and setting you were in.


Farley, S. (2013). Interview with Wayne Pashley. Retrieved from http://designingsound.org/2013/07/interview-with-wayne-pashley-the-great-gatsby/

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

MOVIES Coming Soon (2013). The Great Gatsby Movie Clip- You Must Know Gatsby (2013). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSWO2hiS1YM

Shmoop.com (2014). Tools of Characterization: The Great Gatsby by John Fitzgerald. Retrieved from http://www.shmoop.com/great-gatsby/characterization.html


I believe that The Great Gatsby (2013) film uses three-point lighting. Three-point lighting is  “a lighting style based upon three primary sources of light, a bright key light and slightly dimmer fill light to the upper right and left sides of the camera, aiming at the subject to create a three-dimensional appearance with soft shadows, and a back light placed behind the subject and aimed at its back to create a rim of light that separates it from the background” (Goodkoontz & Jacobs, 2014).

Here is a clip from the movie that I believe shows three-point lighting being used effectively.

The use of this kind of lighting helped with the film because the characters were meant to pop. This was a very theatrical film and the use of this kind of lighting helped portray that sense. I believe that this was a great choice of lighting and the use of any other lighting for the party scene would have thrown everything off.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Nona Shengalaia. (January 3, 2014). Epic Party – The Great Gatsby. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgcuBOVMGsg

Week 1- Narrative/Storytelling.

The Great Gatsby

Title: The Great Gatsby
Writers: Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Major Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton
Year Released: 2013

This film is based on the novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Plot & Story:

Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire) is in a sanitarium for depression and alcoholism. His doctor tells Nick to recall what put him in that situation and write about it. Nick takes it back to seven years prior to being landed in a sanitarium, when he moved to a tiny house next to the myseterious millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) on Long Island in the village of West Egg. Nick is invited to one of Gatsby’s parties and from there he takes a liking to Gatsby. Daisy (Carey Mulligan) is Nick’s cousin and her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) knows Nick from Yale. Daisy’s husband Tom is cheating on her with a woman named Myrtle from the “valley of ashes” where she lives with her husband George who owns a garage. Tom and Daisy live across the water from Nick and Gatsby. Gatsby throws these parties in hopes that one day Daisy would attend, as he is still very much in love with her from their previous relationship. After Nick attends Gatsby’s extravagant party, Gatsby asks Nick to invite Daisy to Nick’s house for tea. When Daisy arrives for tea at Nick’s house, she is surprised to see Gatsby but soon they find themselves having an affair. Trying to keep their affair a secret, Gatsby gets rid of most of servants and discontinues the parties. Daisy wants to run away from New York with him but Gatsby wants them to live a life together in his mansion. When Daisy plans to tell her husband Tom that she wants to leave him, things go horribly wrong. A fight breaks out at the Plaza when Gatsby tells Tom that Daisy doesn’t want to be him and that they have been having an affair. Tom calls out Gatsby on the way he has made his fortune, and Gatsby lashes out at Tom which frightens Daisy. Tom says he will take better care of Daisy, but Daisy reminds him of his faults in their marriage. Meanwhile, Myrtle (Tom’s mistress) had just gotten into a fight with her husband. She runs out and sees a yellow car thinking that is is Tom coming to get her where she gets struck by the car and dies immediately. When they all gathered at the garage, Tom tells Myrtle’s husband that Gatsby was the owner of that car and blames Gatsby for having an affair with Myrtle (to hide the fact that he himself was having the affair). Later, Nick finds Gatsby outside of Buchanan’s mansion where he revealed that Daisy was the one driving but he will take the blame anyway. Gatsby is sure that Daisy will call him the next day and here he reveals his identity to Nick. When Gatsby asks Nick to check up on Daisy, he overhears her conversation with Tom and though he is disappointed, he does not tell Gatsby because he knows his friend is anticipating that call from Daisy. The next day Gatsby decides to go for a swim, when the phone rings and the butler answers, Gatsby is convinced it is Daisy on the line. As Gatsby is getting out of the pool, he is shot by George, who then kills himself afterwards. When Nick calls Daisy to attend the funeral, he learns that she is leaving New York with Tom and their daughter. It is only Nick and the media who were at the funeral, where the media accused Gatsby of being Myrtles’s lover and killer. As Nick finishes his memoir back in the sanitarium, he initially titled it “Gatsby” then retitles it with “The Great Gatsby”.

This film takes a nonlinear and chronological approach as it shows Nick recounting his past as he reflects through writing suggested by his doctor. Chronological order means that the events are shown in the order they happened, and nonlinear order tells a story out of chronological order, jumping back and forth (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). The use of both nonlinear and chronological orders in this film helped to capture the audience. It starts off with Nick writing about his past as suggested by his doctor and then flashes back to the events that took place in 1922. The use of this helps the audience to truly understand Nick’s character and to discover the Great Gatsby. As Nick tells the story of his past, the audience learns more about the people he encountered in West Egg. I think the way the director presented this film was very effective in getting the audience engaged. Had the director used a different way of presenting this film, I believe the impact on the audience would have been weakened.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. This text is a Constellation™ course digital materials (CDM) title.

NA22011. (2013, August 23). The Great Gatsby 2013 Scene – Gatsby Death . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfNE-pTRTH8

The Great Gatsby. (2013). [Online image] Retrieved October 9th, 2014 from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1343092/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt