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Storytelling in Hollywood

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Presentation on theme: "Storytelling in Hollywood"— Presentation transcript:

1 Storytelling in Hollywood

2 Everyone Has a Story to Tell

3 Basic Plot Map

4 But Who Says? WHY do stories have to be told in this linear fashion?
So DO they HAVE to? Where have you seen films NOT follow the plot map?

5 Examples Pulp Fiction Memento Sliding Doors 500 Days of Summer
Slumdog Millionaire Love Actually

6 Pulp Fiction - Emotional

7 Pulp Fiction - Chronologically

8 Challenge? Want to tell their story Want to tell it in unique manner
Can’t confuse the audience! Not saying they need to “dumb it down”

9 History of Storytelling (in Hollywood)
Beginnings (1910 – 1930) Independent producers / directors banding together Studio Era (1930 – 1940) 12 films a year Actors with long-term contracts Similar stories Guidelines to follow

10 New Hollywood (1960s – Present)
Change in studios Auteur (within the New Hollywood) Directors being individuals Telling stories artistically Spielberg, Coppola, Lucas, Altman

11 Return to Classical Storytelling (70s – Present)
Pattern you already and subconsciously know…

12 Plot Defined Chain of events occurring in time and space that are linked by cause and effect. Events and actions don’t happen randomly

13 Easy to Follow? Classical storytelling may be easy to follow.
But….that does not make them SIMPLE or childish!

14 Patterns Classical Storytelling Plot Mountain Three Act Structure
Intro, Body, Conclusion Hero’s Journey Remember from World Studies?

15 Understandings Movie making is TIME intensive
Most scripts don’t make it to production Multiple revisions over scripts

16 Understandings Items are WELL thought out.
Pretty much everything IS intentional Words said Order Inflection Costuming Framing

17 Characters Traits assigned at first viewing
Characters follow their traits IF they break traits, it must be explained why / how Characters are “round” and “consistent”

18 Double Goal Orientation
Character has one goal Often forced to CHANGE to another Second line is often a love-interest line

19 Examples – Double Goals
The Proposal Margaret need to marry Andrew to become “legal” Falls in love…for real Titanic Jack wants to get to America Falls in love with Rose Alien Ship is heading home from space Must fight off the Alien NO love interest

20 Cause and Effect Character has a goal or set of goals.
Most have 1 or 2 related goals Something gets in the way of the goal. Time crunch for completing goal(s)

21 Examples – Time Crunch The Proposal Titanic Back to the Future
Must be married and have info on new husband before being deported Titanic Ummm….the ship is sinking Back to the Future Must reach the goals before his messed up history causes him not to be born (fading picture) Star Wars Must destroy Death Star before Rebel base is in firing range

22 Tools to Make These Understandable
Rule of Three Important items will be repeated at least THREE times Biblical (Think back to archetypes!) May not be in the SAME EXACT method

23 180 Degree Rule

24 Sound Bridge Sound from one scene bleeds over to other scenes.
Parents talking about daughter’s piano playing ability Shot of daughter practicing Hear END of parents’ talking while visually seeing the girl practicing. Piano music starts playing before the scene of parents ends.

25 Dialogue Hook Character will say something….
That “something” pops up on the screen Silence of the Lambs Lecter: “Our little Billy must already be searching for that next special lady…” Next scene: Woman who will be the murder’s next victim

26 Dangling Cause Something you see / hear early in the film.
But….takes a while for it to return to importance

27 Dangling Cause Examples
Raiders of the Lost Ark Indy HATES snakes (plane) In vault – snakes everywhere Back to the Future Plutonium reported missing (stolen by Libyans) Radiation box seen (in Doc’s room) Plutonium needed to power the time machine WHO comes to kill Doc?

28 How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days
Andie decides she will do more research on an article she wishes to write called "how to loose a guy in ten days." Benjamin makes known the opinion that he can make any woman fall in love with him in less than ten days.

29 Motif Repeated idea, image, pattern Colors = red (Raiders)
Phrase = “pop quiz” (Speed) Item = barrels (Jaws)

30 Motif to Progress Plot Jaws… Shoot the shark with barrels
to bring him to the surface. We see the gradual adding of barrels. Don’t see the shark…just barrels!

31 Plot Holes When a dangling cause is not resolved
When a character changes unexplainably from his or her initial set-up A dumb character disarms a bomb Minority Report - precogs

32 The Four Stages! Not to be confused with…..

33 The Set-Up Meet characters Get a feel for who they are
Establish the “double goal” structure

34 Complicating Action Action goes in a new direction
New situation that the protagonist must cope with

35 Development Goals are all in place
Many incidents that create action, suspense, and delay

36 Climax and Epilogue Straight forward progress toward a resolution
Build steadily toward a point of high action Will protagonist’s goals be achieved or not? Nothing new should be introduced

37 4 Stages Roughly balanced in terms of time Cause and effect pattern

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