Basic DefinitionsNarrative is the telling of the story - itinvolves more than just the story itselfGenre is the kind of film – SciFi, Action Adventure, RomCom...
Narrative Thinking about narrative means thinking about...● Plot (What happens)● Setting (In time and place – when and where)● Characters (Whos involved)● Point of view and sympathy/empathy (Who do we identify with? Whos story do we follow?● Time (Flashbacks? Time lapses? Real time?)● Themes and Representations (Whats it all about?)
Genre Genre means different things in different contexts● Cinema is a genre● Fictional films are a genre● Horror, SciFi, Westerns, Gangster films, Musicals... all genres● Slasher horror, monster horror, supernatural horror.. all subgenres...● I could go on
Generic Conventions Conventions are “The unwritten rules of genre”● Iconographic conventions – Westerns have horses, six guns, wide brimmed hats...● Mise en Scene conventions – they take place in dusty streets, rough saloons, deserted towns, isolated railway lines...● Sound conventions – we hear sparse music, slide guitars, gunshots, horses hooves...
Making Meaning● Denotation – what something is – a dictionary definition. Red is a colour on the spectrum with a wavelength of 700 nanometers● Connotation – all of the different things that something might mean – Red means danger, passion, blood, fire, lust, stop, warmth, love... Most film analysis is about understanding and identifying connotations.
Cinematic Terms● Cinematography● Editing● Diagetic and Non-Diagatic Sound● Mise en Scene● Iconography● Performance
Cinematography The work of the camera. As photography is to a picture (or photo), so cinematography is to a film.● The type of shot – Extreme Close Up, High Angle Shot, 2-Shot, Establishing Shot, Master Shot● The camera movement – Pan, Tilt, Track, Cant● Light and Shadow● Colour and texture
Editing The movement from shot to shot, generally achieved in post-production.● Types of edit – Cut, Fade, Dissolve, Circle Fade, Wipe● Editing and storytelling● Editing and manipulating time and space● Parallel Editing● Seamless Editing● Montage
Sound You know what sound means. However...● Diagetic sound is made within the world of the film (the diagesis) – dialogue, traffic, gunshots, aliens in their flying saucers, music on the radio or at a concert...If you were there in the film, you would hear it.● Non-Diagetic sound is voiceover, background music and thats about it. It makes meaning for the audience but you wouldnt hear it if you were there in the film.
Mise en Scene ● Whats on the screen. Everything you see.● Locations – real ones or sets – realistic or fantasy/sci-fi● People – and their clothes, props, their arrangement on the screen, their movement● Colours, shapes, light and shadow
Iconography Significant images – things with lots of connotations● An icon was originally an image of a god● Different genres have distinctive iconography – guns and cars in gangster films, metal men and space ships in sci-fi● Icons are images loaded with meaning – short cuts to getting messages across
Performance What the actor does● How do actors create character?● How much do they act to make meaning?● Or is meaning made by the situations they are in?● Does it matter that the actor does their own stunts? Sings the songs? Dances the dance routines?
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