NOT ONLY IMPORTANT BUT ALSO INSPIRATIOAL AND
CREATIVE CHOICES: STRUCTURE, POINT OF VIEW, BALANCE,
STYLE, CASTING ETC.
MOTIVATES ACTION AND ACTIVISM
STRONG CHARACTERS, COMPELLING TENSION, CREDIBLE
UNAVOIDABLY SUBJECTIV E, NO MATTER HOW BALANCED OR
NEUTRAL THE PRESENTATION SEEKS TO BE
A) EXPOSITION- The information that grounds you: 1) good narration 2)
B) NARRATIVE SPINE OR “TRAIN” – Creative arrangement that drives
your film forward
C) THEME- resonate beyond the particulars of the event; basic lifeblood of a
D) ARC- should be organic and unforced way/s in which the events of the
story transform your character
E) DRAMATIC STORYTELLING
TOOLS OF SCREENWRITING (HOWARD, et. Al.)
1)Somebody with whom we have some empathy
2)Somebody wants something very badly
3)Something is difficult but possible to do, get or achieve
4)Story is told for maximum emotional impact and audience participation
5)Must come to a satisfactoy ending.
EVALUATING STORY IDEAS
ACCESS AND FEASIBILITY
PASSION AND CURIOSITY
ASSESSMENT OF QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIVES
ADVISORS / PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCES
THE TELLING DETAIL
STATISTICS AND OTHER FORMS OF DATA
PRINT AND ONLINE RESEARCH
GUIDELINES FOR NARRATION
WATCH OUT FOR ANACHRONISMS
LIMIT THE NUMBER OF IDEAS IN EACH BLOCK OF
F) FORESHADOW IMPORTANT INFORMATION
G) UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENT RULES PLAYED BY
NARRATION AND SYNC MATERIALS
H) USE WORDS SPARINGLY AND SPECIFICALLY
GUIDELINES FOR NARRATION
USE TELLING DETAILS
PUT INFORMATION INTO CONTEXT
GET OFF THE DIME. MOVE FORWARD
DON’T DROP NAMES
PUT LISTS IN AN ORDER THAT B UILDS OR DESCENDS
USE AN ACTIVE VOICE
HELP DIFFERENTIATE AMONG SIMILAR THINGS
DO THE MATH FOR THE AUDIENCE
KNOW WHEN TO STOP NARRATING
Are you telling a compelling and dramatic story and giving the viewer a
reason to watch?
Does your film involve the viewer in a story unfolding on screen, rather than
talk at them
Are there interesting questions being asked and answered throughout,
offering mystery, intrigue or suspense?
Are you offering a new information and unusual perspective?
Have you grounded your viewers in your story so that they can anticipate
where you’re going and will be surprised when you take unexpected turns?
Have you created a moment of discovery for the audience allowing them to
reach their own conclusions?
7) If there is a backstory in your film, have you gotten a story under way that
motivates the audience to want to go there?
8) If your subject is complex or technical, have you gotten a story under way
that motivates the audience to want to understand it?
9) Have you “cast” the film carefully with a manageable group of characters
who fairly represent the complexity of an issue and not just its extremes?
10)Do the individual characters stand out and play differentiated roles in your
overall story and film?
11)Does the story that was set up at the film’s beginning pay off at the end? Can
you articulate the story in a sentence or two?
12)Does the film see like “just another documentary” or is it something that
people might want to tell each other about the next day?
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