Presentation on theme: "Narrative Structure in Film"— Presentation transcript:
1 Narrative Structure in Film How Films Tell Stories
2 "A film is hundreds of moments photographed and joined together to create an illusion of something which did not take place.“–Michael Winner
3 Two essential terms Diegetic The world of the story, and everything that is included in it.This includes the characters, their lives, the clothes they wear, the music they play, the sounds of things dropping, the sunshine aove them.Diegesis is defined as “the (fictional) world in which the situations and events narrated occur”
4 Two essential terms Non-diegetic All material added to the story, usually done in post-productionIncludes special effects, blue screen backgrounds, soundtrack music, subtitles, voiceover/narrationThis is the “magic of moviemaking”
5 Plot vs. StoryPlot – the series of events that provide conflict, the action, the spine of a film. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. You can restate the plot by asking yourself: What happened?Everything that is on the screen in front of us, the whole package of the movieIncludes the story (characters, setting, action, dialog) AND all nondiegetic material.Does NOT include inferred events which exist in the diegesis, but aren’t actually shown to us.Plot is the WAY the story is told.
6 Plot vs. StoryStory - the emotional/philosophical content/main concept of a film. The story is inferred via the main actions/conflicts demonstrated in the plot. You can discover the story by asking: What was the filmmaker trying to tell me?The narrative, all of the events we see.Tells the world of the characters and includes all events, explicitly presented and inferred.For example, a traumatic event which happened during the childhood of a character (even if not shown) is part of the story.
7 Why should you care?Because the way the story is told has a very strong effect of us.Ex. Non-chronological = confusedEx. Dark, high-pitched music = tense, suspensefulWe are being manipulated by the filmmaker.Often, we are made to feel the same way as the main character, which gives us a very intense, authentic, and visceral experience
8 Narrative Tools in Film Narrative Structure (linear v. non-linear)MusicCamera Movement and camera angleLightingColorEditingCostume & Set DesignSpecial EffectsGenre Conventions
9 Classical Narrative (Hollywood) Temporal: organized chronologically. There’s a beginning, middle, and end, in that order (mostly)!Follows classical pattern: exposition, development, complication, climax, resolution.Spatial. Location is presented right away—we often see a detailed portrait of WHERE we are first. Emphasizes cause and effect.Sets up a main protagonist(s) who is usually the causal agent (He wants to achieve something, which drives the narrative).Relies on genre conventionsRegulates narrativeRelies on REALISM.There is usually a happy ending (when the main character gets what s/he wants).
10 Non-Narrative FilmTime is NOT necessarily linear (a straight line of time events) and can seem disorienting. Contains beginning, middle and end, but not necessarily in that order.Location may not be clear/emphasizedMeaning may be derived more from association (relating a series of images/events) than cause/effectAtypical protagonist – may be passiveFocuses more on STORY than PLOTMay defy rules of genreTends to be more experimental, not so concerned with REALISM.