We can consider a narrative to be a chain of events linked by cause and effect and occurring In time and space.Narrative begins with one situation; a series of changes occurs according to a pattern of cause and effect; finally a new situation arises that brings the end of the narrative.The narrative develops from an initial situation or conflict.We make sense of a narrative then by identifying its events and linking them by cause and effect, time, and space.
In sum, story and plot overlap in one respect and diverge in others. The plot explicitly presents certain story events, so these events are common to both domains. The story goes beyond the plot in suggest some diegetic events that we never witness. The plot goes beyond the story world by presenting nondiegetic images and sounds that may affect our understanding of the action.Two Perspectives: the storyteller/filmmaker and the audience. The filmmaker has the ability to emphasize whatever he wants, and cut out whatever, know they whole story. The audience must work with the plot and infer the rest of the story
Narrative depends heavily on cause and effect because that is how there is action on the film. We bring out people watching skills to narratives.If there is an accident scene as viewers we tend to imagine what might have caused it or what in turn it might cause.So we only see 3,4,5 but through the investigation the audience learns about 1,2,3
The audience constructs a story time on the basis of what the plot presents.Even if the plot is shown in chronological order the audience doesn’t see every detail most things are cut out because they are boring…irrelevant action is skipped over.FLASHBACK: such ordering doesn’t confuse us because we can mentally rearrange the events in order in which they logically occur. Common pattern for reordering story events is and alternation of past and present in the plot.Sometimes a fairly simple reordering of scenes can create complicated effects.It is possible to have a story duration of several years, a plot duration of several months and a screen duration of several hours….EXAMPLE HARRY POTTER.The filmmaker can manipulate screen duration independently of the overall story duration and plot duration.Just as plot duration selects from story duration, so screen duration selects from overall plot duration.The plot can use screen duration to override story time for example screen duration can be expanded story duration so an event that takes only moments can be presented to take minutes. The plot can also use screen duration to compress story time when a process taking hours or days is condensed into rapid serious of shots.
Movie does not just start, it begins.In media res= in the middle of things so the movie begins in the middle of action for example war moviesOther cases the film begins by telling us about the characters and their situations before any major action occurs.Expositions= the portions of the plot that lays out important story events and character trains in the opening situation.Setup is referred to the first quarter of the filmMost common general pattern= a change in knowledge
Patterns of plot development depend heavily on the ways that causes and effects create change in the character’s situation.Time and space also provide plot patterns.Space can be the basis for a plot pattern when he action is confined to a single location like a train or a house
The pattern development in the middle portion may delay and expected outcome mean girls when cady breaks the tiaraFilm doesn’t simply stop, it ends.In the climax the action is presented as having a narrow range of possible outcomes.The plot leaves us uncertain about the final consequences of the story eventsIn the climax of many films, formal resolution coincides with an emotional satisfaction
Film Form and Narrative Olivia Malinowski Liz Wendt Allie Borrego
The Concept of Form in FilmForm as System Form – the overall system of relations that we can perceive among the elements in the whole film. Cues We exercise and develop our ability to pay attention, to anticipate upcoming events, to construct a whole out of parts and to feel an emotional response to that whole.
“Form” vs. “Content”Formal Expectations From beginning to end, our involvement with a film depends largely on expectations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3f9UJTmgd0 When our expectations arent met, we may feel disoriented. Through adjusting our expectations, we look for more “appropriate” ways to engage with the films form.Conventions and Experience Prior Experience Conventions- the way things are usually done
Form and Feeling Emotions represented in artwork Emotional response felt by spectatorForm and Meaning Referential Meaning – allusion to particular items of knowledge outside the film that the viewer is expected to recognize Explicit Meaning – significance presented overtly, usually in language and often near the films beginning or end Implicit Meaning – significance left mum, for the viewer to discover upon analysis or reflection Symptomatic Meaning – significance that the film divulges, often against its will, by virtue of its historical or social context
EvaluationPersonal Taste vs. Evaluative Judgment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHX y8DpF5k0 Criteria: Realistic, Moral, Coherent, Intensity of Effect, Complexity, and Originality
Principles of Film FormFunction The role or effect of any element within the films form Not all elements purposely have a function Motivation is justificationSimilarity and Repetition Basic to our understanding of any film Use of motifs (significant repeated element) and parallelism
Principles of Film Form Cont.Difference and VariationDevelopment Governs the progression of form within a film Segmentation, or outline, is used to analyze a films pattern of developmentUnity/Disunity Unity occurs when all relationships we perceive are clearly woven together. Disunity leaves the viewer unfulfilled and incomplete
Chapter 3: Principles of Narration ConstructionWhat is Narrative?Plot and StoryCause and EffectTimeSpaceOpenings, Closings, and Patterns of Development
What is Narrative?Narrative: be a chain of events linked by cause and effect andoccurring In time and spaceNarrative is what we usually mean by the term story.Narrative begins with one situation; a series of changes occursaccording to a pattern of cause and effect; finally a new situationarises that brings the end of the narrative.Components of a narrative: causality, space and time.
Plot & StoryPlot: describes everything visibly and audibly present in the filmbefore usStory: the set of all the events in a narrative, both the ones explicitlypresents and those the viewers infersNondiegetic elements: part of the plot, elements brought in fromoutside the story world. Ex: credits, music, etc. Plot Story
Plot vs. Story Plot StoryAdded Explicitly Presumednondiegtic presented and inferredmaterial events events
Cause & EffectThe agents of cause and effect are characters, usually.The actions and reactions of the characters contribute to theaudience engagement in the film.However, not all causes and effects originate with characters. Forexample, natural disasters or health issues.The audience actively seeks to connect events by means of causeand effect.The plot can lead the audience to infer causes and effects to buildup a total story. Detective Films: 1. Crime conceived 2. Crime planned Story 3. Crime committed 4. Crime discovered Plot 5. Detectives investigate 6. Detective reveals
Cause & EffectBy withholding causes the film maker creates mystery.Whenever any film creates a mystery, it suppressescertain story causes and presents only effects in the plot.The plot may also present causes but withhold storyeffects, creating suspense and uncertainty in for theaudience. Also creates a vivid ending
TimeTemporal Order: the way in which events are presented. Flashback: a portion of a story that the plot presents out of chronological order. Flashforward: moving from present to future then back to present.Temporal Duration: the film could concentrate on a short relativelycohesive time span or highlight significant stretches of time overyears. Story Duration: how long the story spans over time. Plot Duration: how long the plot spans over time: Screen Duration: how long the film is.Temporal Frequency: the amount of times a scene is presented. Allows the audience to see the same scene in different perspectives, aims to provide the audience with new information
SpaceNormally the place of the story action is also that of theplot, but sometimes the plot leads us to infer other localesas part of the story. A character can describe a location where an event happened but it is never shown on screen. Story Space: the locations of the story Plot Space: the locations portrayed in the plot Screen Space: where the film is displayed
OpeningsThe opening provides a basis for what is to come and initiates usinto the narrative.In Media Res: the opening is a series of actions that has alreadystarted.Exposition: the portion of the plot that lays out important storyevents and character traitsSetup: the first quarter or so of a film’s plot
Patterns of DevelopmentChange in knowledge: most common general pattern, the characterlearns something new which causes a turning point in the plotGoal-oriented plot: character takes step to achieve a desired objector state.A framing situation in the present may initiate a series of flashacksshowing how events led up to the presentThe plot can create a deadline for the action. Ex: Back to TheFuturePlot can create patters of repeated action via cycles of events.
ClosingsThe pattern development in the middle portion may delay andexpected outcome.The pattern of development can also create a surprise ending.Climax: the end of a film, the high point of the development.The movie can end the chain of cause and effect or it could have adeliberately anticlimactic ending. In such films the ending remains open.
Narration: The Flow of Story InformationCarefully divulging story information at various points canarouse a viewers interest immenselyWithhold information for the sake of curiosity or surpriseCan be extremely important because it allows the directorto manipulate the viewer emotions and feelingsNarration: the plot’s way of of distributing story informationin order to achieve specific effects
NarrationNarration: the plot’s way of of distributing storyinformation in order to achieve specific effectsThe moment-by-moment process that guides usin building the story out of the plotMost important factors: range & depth of the storyand information that the plot presents
Range of Story Information: Can start with very broad range of knowledge Unrestricted narration-we know more, we see and hear more, than any of the characters can- narration is never completely unrestricted VS. Restricted narration-we don’t see or hear anything that the narration can’t see or hear Important to mystery films A completely restricted narration is not common Creates a greater curiosity and surprise for the viewer
Want to analyze the range of information?Ask whoknows whatwhen!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgn9FJcmwUY
Depth of Story Information: A plot might confine us wholly to information about what characters say and do: their external behavior. here the narration is relatively objective Plot also could give access to what characters see and hear Range and Depth of Knowledge are independent variables
Important Terms:POINT OF VIEW SHOT- taken from acharacters optical standpointSOUND PERSPECTIVE-we hear sounds asthe character wouldPERCEPTUAL SUBJECTIVITY-visual orauditory point of viewMENTAL SUBJECTIVITY-greater depth if theplot plunges into the character’s mind-voicerevealing the characters thoughts, or thecharacters inner images representingmemory, fantasy, dreams, hallucinations
More on POVPoint of view is ambiguous-it can refer to range ofknowledge or to depthWhy manipulate the depth of knowledge? It canincrease our sympathy for a character and cancue stable expectations about what thecharacters will say or doObjectivity can be an effective way of withholdinginformation
The NarratorNarration is the process by which the plotpresents story information to the spectator. Theprocess may shift from restricted and unrestrictedranges of knowledge and varying degrees ofobjectivity and subjectivityMay or may not have an actual narrator-source ofthe narrating voice could be uncertain to play oncharacter/non-character distinction
The Classical Hollywood CinemaIn “Classical Hollywood cinema”psychological causes tend to motivate mostother narrative events Strong tendency to be objective Strong degree of closure The plot will omit significant durations in order to show only events of casual importance Lengthy stable and influential
Hollywood Cinema (cont) Action springs from individual characters as casual agents Cause and effect imply change Appointment motivates Deadline makes plot duration dependent on the cause-effect chain