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Sequential narrative


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Sequential narrative

  1. 1. Sequential Narrative
  2. 2. Our students need a good grasp of visual storytelling and the skills to deconstruct a sequential narrative. They all, at GCSE and GCE, need to be able to analyse a moving visual text and construct one of their own, whether using storyboards or film. One way of doing this is to get them to construct their own visual narrative – if they have the skill to construct it, then it will help them develop analytical skills. Or that’s the theory…
  3. 3. The first time I attempted this, it involved googling images from a film, downloading them, putting them onto Photoshop, then laminating the sheets and cutting them out. We’d have to make six or seven sets to use in groups.
  4. 4. The students would then choose suitable images and arrange them in a narrative order with blu-tak on sugar paper, using not only at camera angles but also the content of the frames – the mise-en- scène – to create atmosphere and give the story more depth. Ideally, the groups would then present their work to the rest of the class, justifying their choices.
  5. 5. • The next step was to smarten this up and screenshot images from a movie sequence and create a template on Powerpoint. This cut out the major drawback of the previous version – losing the cards and faffing around with paper and blu- tak.
  6. 6. • This worked, but (cue fanfare) Gawen suggested a further improvement – using the Comic Life software – accessible in Shared – Media – Comic Life
  7. 7. The images are saved to a file in the shared Media area and are easily accessible, The software provides a series of templates, but it’s possible to create our own which are better suited to our purpose, so the students can annotate individual shots.
  8. 8. The images can be dragged and dropped into the template. The text box could be filled with annotation about editing, sound, camera movement – depending on the text or the level of ability. Depending on how sophisticated we want to be, we could try to construct a sequence according to Todorov’s narrative theory – which would be a practical way for the students to familiarise themselves with that before applying it to their own productions. The exercise can also be used while studying trailers – in fact, using the snip tool, students can literally pick apart existing trailers or other texts and set the task to other students, after looking at examples of the way existing texts are ordered and paced.
  9. 9. The finished work can be exported as a jpeg and posted directly on the student’s blog or put on Powerpoint and converted to a Slideshare and then posted with notes about existing texts.