Terms in this set (87)
What is a narrative?
a story, fiction films, cinematic structure in which the filmmakers have selected and arranged events in cause and effect sequence occuring over time
act of telling the story of the film. Primary source of narration is the camera. When the word narration is used to refer to spoken narration the reference is to the commentary spoken by either an off screen or on screen voice. When the commentary is not spoken by a character in the movie it is omniscient narration. When spoken by a character in the movie it is first person narration
Who or what that tells the story of a film. may be the camera or a character in the movie or a character not in the movie
Who is the primary narrator in every movie?
The camera or the filmmaker and their creative techniques
What else can be the narrator?
First person narrator
Narration by an actual character in the movie
Voice over narration
Narration heard concurrently and over a scene but not synchronized to any character who may be talking on-screen. It can come from third person who is not a character to bring us up to date; first person commenting on the action; non fiction film- commentator
When is complex narration possible
when first person narration contrasts somehow with what we see on screen
Direct Adress Narration
a form of narration where an on screen character looks and speaks directly to the audience
Third person narrator
Narration delivered from outside the diegesis by a character who is not a character in the movie
providing a third person POV of all the movies characters and action
reveals info to the audience only as a specific character learns it
a cinematic structure in which content is selcted and arranged in a cause and effect sequence of events occuring over time
What are the two essential elements of narrative?
character pursuing a goal
An essential element of film narrative; any other beings who play functional roles within the plot, wither acting or being acted on. Characters can be flat or round, major or minor or marginal, protagonists or antagonists
a narratively significant objective pursued by the protagonist
a complex character possessing numerous subtle, repressed, or contradictory traits, Round characters often develop over the course of the story
Relatively uncomplicated character exhibiting few distinct traits. Flat characters do not change significantly as the story progresses.
the primary character whose pursuit of the goal provides the structural foundation of a movie's story
What interests viewer
protagonist actively pursuing goal in interesting way
Can a character be only round or flat
no it's a continuum
An outwardly unsympathetic protagonist pursuing a morally objectionable or otherwise undesirable goal
What provides obstacles in narrative
Events, circumstances, and actions that impede a protagonists pursuit of the goal. Obstacles often originate from an antagonist and are central to narrative conflict
What does having imperfect characters do?
gives them room to grow
Central to many movies?
What does most narrative rely on
What allows us to engage with the story?
Understanding impulses behind actions
What do some storytellers use against their audience to create specific experience of narrative?
expectations of clear character motivation
What are characters often motivated by?
Basic phsychological needs: rocky has need for self respect
What helps a story gain conflict
need being in direct conflict with a character's goal: the apartment (he needs love but wants to get promoted)
How do some screenwriters break down story
Three acts 5 acts 7 acts
sets up story and establishes normal world, sets tone, establishes character
In a narrative screenplay, the state of the character and setting before the inciting incident
The event or incident during the exposition stage of the narrative that sets the rest of the narrative in motion
What signals second act
actively pursuing the goal
What does narrative depend on?
Obstacles to prevent protagonist from reaching goal
Character, creature, or force that obstructs or resists the protagonists pursuit of their goal
What are the second acts key ingredients?
In conventional narrative, that which is at risk due to the protagonists pursuit of their goal
The development of the action of the narrative towards climax
a critical turning point in a story when the protagonist must engage a seemingly insurmountable obstacle
the highest point of conflict in conventional narrative.the protagonists ultimate attempt to attain their goal
the concluding narrative events that follow the climax and celebrate or otherwise reflect upon story outcomes.
What did aristotle say about a good story
That it needed three sequential parts. A beginning middle and end
Who thought story needed beginning, middle, and end but not necessarily in that order?
Jean Luc Godard
Two fundamental elements of narrative?
Story and plot
In a movie all the events we see or hear on sreen as well as all the events that are implicit or infer to have happened but are not explicitly presented.
the specific actions and events the filmmaker selects and the order in which they arrange those events and actions to effectively convey on screen the narrative to a viewer.
The total compilation of a story=events, characters,objects, setting, and sounds-that form the world in which the story occurs
An element- character, event, object, setting, sound- that helps form the world in which the story occurs
What does plot also include
something that we see and hear on the screen that comes from the outside world of the story such as background music, titles and credits, voice over narration
What does story exist as?
a precondition for the plot
a fictional history behind cinematic narrative that is presented on screen. Elements of the backstory can be hinted at in the movie, presented through narration, or not revealed at all
different between story order and plot order?
Plot order can be manipulated so that events are presented in non chronological sequences that emphasize importance or meaning or that establish desired expectations in audiences
what do events have in any plot?
A logical order and logical hierarchy
What does plot hierarchy consist of?
1) The events seem crucial to the plot (thus the underlying story)
2) the events play a less crucial or even a subordinate role
What do minor and subordinate events do?
enrich and complicate the diegesis
a quantity of time
Three types of duration
story duration, plot duration, screen duration
the implied amount of time taken by the entire narrative arc of a movie's story-wether or not explicitly presented on screen
the elapsed time of events within a story that a film chooses to tell
the amount of time that is taken to present a movie's plot on screen- run time.
What can be analyzed in and isolated
the relationship between three durations in the context of the entire narrative of the film and within scenes and sequences
Relationship between plot duration and story duration in smaller chunks
remains fairly stable in most hollywood films duration of plot event is equal to duration of story event which it implies
How can we characterize relationship between screen duration and plot duration?
1) summary relationship
3) Stretch relationship
a time relationship in which screen duration is shorter than plot duration
the actual time during which something takes place. In real time plot duration and screen duration are the same. Directors use it to create "reality" os.
a time relationship in which screen duration is longer than plot duraiton
How are stretch and summary relationships portrayed?
Through editing tehniques
What is often used to highlight a plot event?
Stretch relationship can be achieved with slow mo
How do director's preserve real time?
A long take
the passage of time within a movie as conveyed and manipulated by editing
a taking unawareness that is potentially shocking
anxiety brought on by partial uncertainty- the end is certain but the means are not
Important aspect of narrative form?
the number of times that a story element reoccurs in the plot. Repetition signals that a particular event has noteworthy meaning or signifigance
an image that a director periodicallt repeats in a movie (with or without variations) to help stabilize the narrative
Which ways can the familiar image be used?
1) a stabilizer within a single highly fragmented scene to help connect the complexity of the narrative elements and imagery
2) to influence how the audience interprets or experiences the narrative in multiple scenes
the time and space in which the story takes place
What does setting do?
1) gives us essential contextual info that helps us understand story events and character motivation
2) adds texture to the movies diegisis enriching our sense of the world
3) Helps reveal characters state of mind
the overall range of the story
Ship of fools convention
diverse group of ppl who must confront common danger and through that experience confront themselves as individuals and as members of a group
How else can you tell a story besides a narrator?
Visual images and dialogue
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