Narrative is…. A) the telling of a story B) the story C) the plot D) all of the above
Answer is…..A A) the telling of a storyOr-the way the story is told-message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course ofevents-a chain of events in a cause-effect relationship occurring in timeEx. Girl is lonely, goes out for coffee, gets lost, needs help, asks a manfor directions, they fancy each other, he asks her out, they go ondate, they fall in love, get married, the end. (girl in love (cause)causes things to happen (effects)
Story, plot, event STORY/PLOT =all events referenced both explicitly(clearly/obviously) in a narrative and understoodand summarized Events =something that happens in story to character,something that impacts them, (usually they havevery little control) Ex. Character getting hit by a car
Action and eventsAn action is something a character does tothemselves, an object or another character.An event is something that happens to thecharacter. (Example being hit by car (unlessanother character intentionally hit anothercharacter on purpose then it is action)A narrative is usually a serious of events andactions and the audience‟s expectations at anystage are often related to the pattern of eventsand actions taking place.
Think of narrative structure of fairytales (linear)1. (I) Once upon a time…2. (C) Girl is born to lovely parents3. (J) Girl‟s parents die in a tragedy4. (F) Girl is living her daily life as a poor girl, but she is happy, giving,beautiful and one with nature5. (G) She suffers an unfair loss, (maybe by villain) (audience feelsympathy)6. (K) A prince discovers her and falls in love with her7. (H) They separate and because they are star cross‟d lovers she runs off,but he is determined to get her8. (A) A massive heroic battle occurs between villain and prince9. (B) Prince wins and prince accepts girl for who she is and they are inlove10. (E) Prince and girl get married and she is now princess11. (D) And they lived happily ever after.
Intro to narrativeOur experiences of film and fictional TV lead us to form expectationsbased on the type of text that we are watching, which in turn enableus to make sense of what we watch and „read‟ from the text. Weform expectations based on GENRE, CHARACTER, STYLE, andFORMAT, and even the INSTITUTION that has produced the text.Our expectations regarding narrative relate to one of the most basichuman activities: storytelling, the casual relationship between oneevent and another. Just as we are able to „report‟ on our own lives,we also become skilled/familiar at a very early age at engaging withthe plot of a TV programme or film. Most fictional narratives alsofulfill another basic psychological need for a resolution to any event,although the journey toward this resolution and the time taken toreach it differ between texts, (example a drama film and a comedysit-com are different).We watch so much TV/film that we might get bored with the certainty ofthis cause/effect structure, but we enjoy anticipating the sequenceof events and the potential resolution, and there are of course, morechallenging texts which both confuse and/or amaze ourexpectations.
Where else is narrative? Think of Shakespeare, how is play divided? ACT 1 ACT 2 ACT 3… Can you think of any other narrative styles? What about books? Video games? Advertising?
Narrative theory (intro)Narrative theory involves studying the conventions andstructures of stories represented in the media. Films andfictional TV shows are comprehensible (understandable,logical, clear) and therefore enjoyable because they tellfictional stories which are organized in ways that reflect thepatterns and structures of our „real‟ lives.This pattern of events in a film reflects the chronology (order) ofreal life, but more importantly, the causality (cause – whythings happen).David Bordwell says “Action triggers reaction: each stephas an effect which in turn becomes a new cause.” It isthis motivational relationship between events that createsnarrative. We become involved with the chain of events andstart to anticipate their progress and possible conclusion.
Hollywood/mainstream filmsMost mainstream films will tend to have plots which follow thechronological chain of story events.Example: Sleeping Beauty (starts with birth, growing up, meeting andprocess of falling in love)However, many examples of films do not follow this format.Example: Momento (works backwards in time revealing past events togive clues/answers of his initial actionsThis text is a challenge to modern audiences who are stillfundamentally expecting linearity. (linear = like a line, obviousorder: beginning to end)However, it is a useful example of how narrative structures can reflectthe mood, and in this case, confusion of a story. (just like how themain character feels) If this film was told chronologically, thisnarrative would have far less impact and just be another typicalcrime film.
Linear/non-linear Linear narrative:-narrative where time is presented chronologically(in order)Non-linear narrative:-narrative where time is not presented chronically inorder to communicate desired effects(Example: film starting with a flashback) and thengoing forward in time to when was thinking aboutthat event)
Genre Whenever we receive a media text, our responseto that text are framed by the genre of the text.We expect certain things of the text, depending onthe genre. If we are receiving an action film, whatdo you expect?----
Codes and conventions Associated with any genre are codes (iconography) andconventions. This means textual codes which givemeaning to an audience and the conventions of thegenre, such as the themes, ideologies or narratives,which are used or subverted by the text. These codes and conventions are important for theaudience (because they know they are likely to be usedin a text within this genre) and also the institutionbecause there is a genre framework for the text and it ismore likely to attract audiences.
Link to Stam‟s theory Think of Grant‟s theory: “…allows audiences to identifythem specifically by their familiar and what becomerecognizable characteristics” The film industry relies on audience‟s understanding andfamiliarity of GENRE and their familiar codes andconventions.Example MARKETING: relies on audience familiarity (horror filmposters and trailers (they know we recognise the iconographyand connotations of them) Narrative is a one of the familiar codes and conventions. Youalready have expectations of how a story is going to be told
Common narrative structure(Hollywood/mainstream films) ACT 1 = (beginning) …….(set up)introduction to story/characters, everything is „ok‟ (audience feelok), end of 1 = start to „crisis‟ ACT 2 = (middle) ……….(conflict)height of crisis (audience feel worried) working towardsresolving the crisis ACT 3 = (end) ……..(resolution)happy resolution and everything is „ok‟ (audience feel happy) *Think of how relates to Grants theory = must be familiar and recognizable codes andconventions *Think of how this relates to Chomsky (to diverge audience from real problems/hard-hitting texts)
Common narrative structure -diagramConventional FilmstructureHow audience feel
PROS CONS Identify the pro‟s/con‟s…. (minimum 4 bullet points each)PROS OF CONVENTIONAL FILMNARRATIVE MODELCONS OF CONVENTIONAL FILMNARRATIVE MODEL
Task 1) How does/doesn‟t your AS opening sequence apply thisformat/structure? 2) How does/doesn‟t your A2 documentary apply thisformat/structure? 3) How does/doesn‟t your A2 ancillaries apply thisformat/structure? Extension: why has the text been formatted this way?
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