29/09/2011 C+W Log

Today I went through different types of narrative structure and how each of them are different in their own ways. This also ties in a bit with production techniques.

The firs thing I learnt was a simple explanation of what a narrative is, a narrative is the way in which a story is told in both fictional and non-fictional media texts. I learnt a lot about the different types of narrative structures. I have decided to put this into a list to reflect what I have learnt.

  • Open: This structure supports a small number of characters while following a series of events. Such as Buffy, Lost and Heros
  • Closed: This structure is used for such things like commentary, such as, sports events and so on.
  • Single Strand: This structure follows one character only and their events. Such as Indiana Jones.
  • Multi-Strand: This structure is following the events of key characters happening at the same time. For example, Heros
  • Linear: This structure runs the events of a story in chronological order.
  • None-Linear: This structure does the opposite where it does not follow the story events in chronological order. Maybe uses flashbacks, such as the end is shown in the beginning.
  • Investigative Narrative: This structure follows a quest or mystery being pursued or explained. (Thriller)
  • Realist: This structure supports and idea to appear plausible and coherent.
  • Anti-Realist: This structure is someone telling the story why it is happening. For example, Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption.

Some of these narrative structures can be combined. For example, Heros is both open structure and multi-strand structure. The final thing I learnt today is cause and effect in production. These tie into the narrative structures I have learnt also today. Cause and effect happens a lot throughout a program or film and must be thought about during production. I basically learnt that everything that happens in a production has an effect on something else. For example, if a plane crashes, this has an effect on the people on the plan, the people on the ground and the area around the crash is affected. This plane caused and effect and that effect will cause more effects.

The point to learning all this today was to add to my knowledge of script writing and how it could possibly turn out on screen. Narrative structure is important to know for when I create any scripts as it helps with the structure of the story and how it will be told and portrayed on screen.

I cannot comment on any task because this lesson was lecture only.

I also cannot comment on any solutions to problems or tasks because I did not get set any.

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26/09/2011 C+W – Log:

Today I was given a presentation about narrative theories. not only that but I also got told to produce an ultimate film list. The other tasks I got given today was to complete the amended script.

I learnt a lot about narrative theory as well as loads of example. A narrative theory is how the sequence of events of a production should be portray in a certain order. An example I learnt was that there are 3 main acts in a production, the beginning, the middle and the end. The beginning is where the setting of the film is put in place, such as locations, characters and so on. The middle is for the main conflict and action. The end is where theres the big showdown and a solution to the story is made. I learnt that there are different versions of these 3 acts, all follow the 3 acts ‘rule’ but break them down into much more detailed sections. For example, in Syd Field’s explanation of narrative theory he suggests there should be a number of turning points and pinches throughout to keep the story interesting.

The point to learning this was to help me with my script writing. I am going to need to know how to write a script from beginning to end and what goes into each act. I do not need to follow any specific technique, only the one that suites me. The information I got today will help me greatly with the writing of scrips as it gives me ideas of how to make the script progress throughout the writing process.

Thanks to the things I have learnt today, the script I amended turned out really well I thought. The script was only for one scene but it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Not only that but I followed one of the simple setups for the script, starting with the setting, then a conflict and then a conclusion. I think, that because I followed what I had learnt, that the script I wrote was great. The technique I used for this script reflect the technique I learnt about today. That is why I consider this method successful as others have used it before. I also thought that the script I wrote was quite creative in the fact of the revised theme and dialog.

I think, that with my next script, I should make sure I stick to the brief but more importantly, research on more creative methods to writing scripts. Even though todays task was very small, I struggled a little bit at time from ideas. If it was a long script of a whole act or even a whole production, I might struggle a lot. Therefore, researching for better methods and ideas could be very beneficial in future scripts.

22/09/2011 C+W – Log:

Again, I did not do much in the way of work today, only a few little tasks. Some of my class mates read out two small scripts, which I have print outs of. Not only that but I actually read out the last script myself.

I learnt quite a lot in todays lessons. The first thing I learnt was what a monologue was and what is included in a monologue. Another word for a monologue is the ‘Character Makeup’. This means that when an actor comes for an audition they are given the monologue/character makeup so the actor has an idea what character he/she is playing. To be more clear, the character makeup includes the name, gender, hobbies, back-story, age, goal, habits, marital status, relationships, occupation and appearance of the character in the script. An actor will need to know all this to be able to portray the character correctly. I also learnt a bit about film genres. I learnt that a sub genre is a film that has two genres. For example, a film can be both action and thriller, making the film and action-thriller. I learnt what intertextualality means as well, which is where a film or similar sort of media refers to another film or text. An example of this a a game I have played called Resident Evil, during the opening scene there is a zombie with a t-shirt that has the film ‘Shaun of the Dead’ on it. The slugline in a script is a line at the top of the script which outlines the place and time of day of the scene. I also know now, the layout of a script and even what fonts to use and so on.

The point of todays small tasks was to give me some experience with reading lines of a script. This will help me when I am behind the camera as a director and will let me know what I want from other actors. Not only that, but reading out the script gives me an idea oh how I want the script to be put forward. For example, the tone of voice used and so on. The point of learning about the monologue/character markup is so that when it comes to creating and filming my own production, I can create my own monologue. The point of learning some bit about the genres was that I will need to choose a genre when I create my own production and scripts. Not only that but it allows me to target a specific audience such as people who like action-thriller films. Intertextualality proved to be very useful also as it allows for additional advertising using other films and so on.

I cannot talk about the success side again as I have not been given any sort of tasks so far.

I also cannot talk about solutions to the task, again because I have not received any.