• Understand what is meant by narrative in film
• Introduction to narrative theory
• Apply narrative theories to film
20 post it story
Task: You have 20 post-its. I’d like you to create your own short
You need to:
• Set out a basic situation
• Develop and introduce a complication
• Climax and resolve the problem.
You have 15 minutes to complete this!
Narrative key terminology
• Story: WHAT you’re telling/ reciting
• Narrative: HOW the story is structured
• Linear narrative: In order of time/ events/
• Non- Linear narrative: Random order of events;
maybe through parallel editing, flashbacks, flash
forwards or have a cyclical structure.
• Diegesis: The world of the film
Narrative key theorists: Syd Field
Hollywood films have a ‘three part structure’
• Act 1
Sets up location, characters, gives a general idea of what
is happening. At the end of Act 1 is a crucial event that
sets up the rest of the film.
• Act 2
Key confrontation as main protagonist faces a series of
obstacles they need to overcome. At the end of Act 2 the
end is in sight but not until one final problem is resolved.
• Act 3
All plots/ subplots are resolved.
Narrative theorist: Claude Levi
Narratives (and the world ) contain ‘binary oppositions’ that
work against each other.
• To understand the hero we need to also know the villain.
• To understand what good means we also need to know what
Can you think of other oppositions you might find in a Horror
Your story on 20 post -its
Can you apply either Syd Field or Levi Strauss to the story you
created at the beginning of the lesson?
An American Werewolf in London
We are going to watch the opening of An American Werewolf in
While you watch see if you can apply Syd Field and/ or Todorov
to the narrative (you will only see Act 1 for Field so make notes
on all the elements you see)
If you can make a list of all the iconography/ semantic elements
that link to the Horror genre.