G321 narrative theory intro

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G321 narrative theory intro

  1. 1. AS Media Studies Foundation Portfolio Film sequence production
  2. 2. Narrative theory <ul><li>Theorist: Roland Barthes </li></ul><ul><li>Theory: Semiotics – levels of meaning </li></ul><ul><li>What it means: The world around us is full of signs – those signs have 3 levels of meaning – denotation / connotation / ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Denotation – descriptive – there is a man in the street with a knife in his hand </li></ul><ul><li>Connotation – analytical – this man is a threat to me </li></ul><ul><li>Ideology (set of shared beliefs / values) – people who carry knives are a danger and a threat </li></ul>
  3. 3. Narrative theory <ul><li>Theorist: Claude Levi-Strauss </li></ul><ul><li>Theory: Binary Oppositions </li></ul><ul><li>What it means: A conflict between two opposing forces, e.g. good versus evil, on versus off, land versus sea </li></ul><ul><li>Any narrative has binary oppositions – these exist to – produce drama and sustain interest </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict is the engine of any successful narrative – no conflict, no story </li></ul>
  4. 4. Narrative theory <ul><li>Theorist: Todorov </li></ul><ul><li>Theory: 3 act narrative structure </li></ul><ul><li>What it means: Narrative are composed of 3 acts – equilibrium / disruption / new equilibrium </li></ul><ul><li>Equilibrium – all is well, there is no conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Disruption – An event happens to introduce conflict and problems into the narrative </li></ul><ul><li>New equilibrium – all of the conflicts have been resolved and new state of order and balance come to exist </li></ul>
  5. 5. Christopher Vogler – The Hero’s Journey <ul><li>Ordinary World The hero's normal world before the story begins </li></ul><ul><li>Call to Adventure - The hero is presented with a problem, challenge or adventure to undertake </li></ul><ul><li>Refusal of the Call - The hero refuses the challenge or journey, usually out of fear </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting with the Mentor - The hero meets a mentor to gain confidence, advice or training to face the adventure </li></ul><ul><li>Crossing the First Threshold - The hero crosses the gateway that separates the ordinary world from the special world </li></ul><ul><li>Tests, Allies, Enemies - The hero faces tests, meets allies, confronts enemies & learn the rules of the Special World. </li></ul><ul><li>Approach - The hero has hit setbacks during tests & may need to reorganize his helpers or rekindle morale with mentor's rally cry. Stakes heightened. </li></ul><ul><li>Ordeal - The biggest life or death crisis – the hero faces his greatest fear & only through “death” can the hero be “reborn” experiencing even greater powers to see the journey to the end. </li></ul><ul><li>Reward - The hero has survived death, overcome his greatest fear and now earns the reward he sought. </li></ul><ul><li>The Road Back - The hero must recommit to completing the journey & travel the road back to the Ordinary World. The dramatic question is asked again. </li></ul><ul><li>Resurrection - Hero faces most dangerous meeting with death – this shows the hero can apply all the wisdom he's brought back to the Ordinary World </li></ul><ul><li>Return with Elixir - The hero returns from the journey with the “elixir”, so everyone in the world can use to heal physical or emotional wounds . </li></ul>

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