“I like a film to have a beginning, a
middle and an end, but not
necessarily in that order”
• This area of study is about stories and how
the films tells them.
• The narrative vision is inspired through story
elements, and production elements
• Film narrative relies on
Setting being established.
Characters being developed.
An engaging plot
A beginning, middle and end (equilibrium and
• Climaxes in the story
• The Simplest narrative form is the linear narrative:
• The linear narrative structure runs chronologically,
with events happening in order in which the
characters experience them.
• In a circular narrative, the action begins and ends at the same
(text begins here)
• A popular variation of this narrative structure is the flashback
where the narrative begins at the climax and then seeks to
illustrate how this point was reached.
Narrative Structure: NON-
• Non-linear narratives are structured seemingly
randomly, but as each scene unfolds it will gradually
order the events.
‘zone of disequilibrium’
• Flash forward and even reverse telling of events are
methods of structuring story time.
• Note: Not all narratives end in equilibrium.
The Narrative Equation
• In the media, the term narrative is understood to
include the story, it’s construction and the
relationship between the audience and the text.
• All of the elements that create a narrative are as
important as each other.
• It is important to think of the elements both
individually and in conjunction with each other.
Non-technical elements that contribute to the structure of the film.
• Time Period
• Narrative possibilities
• Multiple storylines
– Links between
– Effects on each other
• Narrative progression
• Structuring of time
– Order, duration,
– Contraction and
– Linear and non-linear
• Cause and Effect
– Character motivation
• Point(s) of view
Technical elements that contribute to the construction of the film.
– Shot types
• Film stock/ Video
• Visual Composition
– Diegetic and nondiegetic
– Sound effects
• Special effects
The audience’s role in the narrative experience.
– Word of mouth
• Experience and knowledge of:
• Reception context
– Purpose for seeing text