What Is ?

• A cinematic structure in which the filmmakers have selected and arranged events in a cause-and-effect sequence occurring over time • Narrative movie – a , as opposed to other movies modes, such as documentary or experimental • – the act of telling the story • The Narrator – who or what tells the story

1 The Primary Narrator

• In every movie, the camera is the primary narrator • Its narration consists of the many visual elements it captures and arranges in every composition in every shot • Other cinematic elements such as lighting, set design, makeup, performance, and editing contribute to the narrative

2 Narration

• 1st Person Narration • Voice-Over Narration (VO) • Direct-Address Narration • 3rd Person Narration • Omniscient Narration • Restricted Narration • “The Narrative” (The story)

3 Characters

• Characters pursue a goal • Characters meet obstacles pursuing that goal • Round Characters • Flat Characters

4 , Part 1

Most structures can be broken down to: • Beginning (Act I) – sets up the story and establishes the normal world – a • Middle (Act II) – longest section that develops the story • End (Act III) – resolves the story

5 Narrative Structure, Part 2

• A Catalyst • Stakes • Rising • A Crisis • A • The Resolution

6 The Screenwriter

• Creates the movie’s story and writes the in its various stages either from scratch or by adapting another source • Builds the narrative structure and devises characters, action, dialogue, and settings • Adheres to a precisely prescribed format so that each page equals one minute to a minute and a half of screen time • Most scripts are rewritten many times before they go into production • A Script Doctor? 7 Story vs

• A movie’s story consists of: • 1) All narrative events that are explicitly presented on-screen plus, • 2) All the events that are implicit, or we infer to have happened but are not explicitly presented. • The plot: • 1) The specific actions and events the the filmmaker selects and, • 2) the order in which those events are arranged to

effectively convey the narrative to the viewer. 8 Diegetic vs Nondiegetic

• Diegetic: • Those things seen and heard that the characters in the film can also see and/or hear. • They are a part of the specific film world. • Example: Stagecoach (1939) Near the and of the film when Dallas and Ringo walk through the town we hear the sounds of different pianos playing as they walk by salons and cathouses.

9 Diegetic vs Nondiegetic

• Nondiegetic: • Those things seen and heard that the characters in the film can not also see and/or hear. • They are not a part of the specific film world. • Example: Stagecoach (1939) During the attack on the stagecoach the music that is playing on the soundtrack which helps make the scene more exciting than just the visuals alone would. • Another example could be lettering on the screen over images or a black screen; i.e., “Sacramento-1884” 10 Elements of Narrative: vs. Surprise

• Surprise – taken unaware, can be shocking. Our emotional response is generally short-lived and can only happen in the same way once • Suspense – anxiety brought on by partial uncertainty or even knowing what is going to happen. The means by which its created is uncertain, and we want to warn and protect the empathetic characters

11 Elements of Narrative: Repetition

• Repetition – the number of times a story element recurs in a narrative plot • Familiar image – an audio or visual image that a director periodically repeats in a movie to stabilize its narrative • By its repetition, the image calls attention to itself as a narrative element. • May be symbolic

12 Elements of Narrative:

• What happened before the story that we are watching • Might or might not be presented to : • Dialogue of actors, • Narration – Visual or Aural • Most actors want and/or need backstory to help them understand and thus their … even if it’s not given to them in a screenplay

13 Elements of Narrative: Order

• What is the order of the plot? • Linear? • Linear with a few flashbacks? • Linear with a lot of flashbacks? • Very jumbled time wise? • From ending to beginning? (Memento (2000) and Irreversible (2002)

14 Elements of Narrative: Events

• Major events propel the story • Minor events can help tell the story or flesh out characters • One of the major difference between Director Editions and Theatrical Editions of is that the Theatrical Version usually eliminates minor events due to running time restraints.

15 Elements of Narrative: Duration - 1

• Story Duration: • The amount of time that the implied story takes to occur • Plot Duration: • The elapsed time of those events within the story that the film explicitly presents • Screen Duration: • The movie’s “running time.”

16 Elements of Narrative: Duration - 2

• Summary Relationship: • The screen time is shorter than the plot’s duration • Real Time: • The screen time is the same as the plot’s duration • Stretch Time: • The screen time is longer than the plot’s duration

17 Stagecoach: Characters

• Antagonist – , but for Ringo, the Plummers • Protagonist – Ringo • Major (round) characters – Dallas, Ringo, Dr. Boone, and Lucy are all multi-dimensional characters inside the stagecoach • Minor (flat) characters – Hatfield, Peacock, Gatewood, Buck Rickabaugh, and Marshall Wilcox

18 Stagecoach: Narrative Structure

• Act I – establishes the world of Tonto, the characters’ reasons for going to Lordsburg, and their common goal • Act II – we see that what’s at stake, delay and danger, are introduced to the obstacles, and the characters’ actions • Act III – Ringo’s crisis is resolved and several other story items are resolved

19 Stagecoach: Plot

• Covers the two-day trip from Tonto to Lordsburg • Developed in a strictly chronological way • Events follow each other coherently and logically • Relations of cause-and-effect action are easy to discern

20 Stagecoach: Order

• Maintains strict chronological order • The journey provides chronological and geographical markers • Reveals a clear pattern of cause and effect

21 Stagecoach: Diegetic and Nondiegetic Elements

• Nondiegetic elements – opening and closing titles and credits; background music • Important diegetic element – American folk music

22 Stagecoach: Events

• 12 major events • Minor plot events add texture and complexity to characters and events Let’s look at the 12 major events in Stagecoach

23 Stagecoach: Duration

• Story duration – what we know and what we infer from the total lives of all the characters • Plot duration – the two-day trip from Tonto to Lordsburg • Screen duration (running time): 96 minutes

24 Stagecoach: Repetition

• No story events recur in Stagecoach • Repetition and transformation of character traits • Repetition of familiar images (three-part editing pattern) about a dozen times • 1. long shot of the stagecoach • 2. two-shot of Curly and Buck on the driver’s seat • 3. middle shot, or close-up, of the passengers inside

25 Stagecoach: Suspense

• Fear of an imminent Apache attack • Will Lucy stop like a spoiled rich woman? • Will Dr. Boone sober up in time to deliver Lucy’s child? • Will Dallas accept Ringo’s proposal?

26 Stagecoach: Settings, Part 1 • Settings were constructed on Hollywood sound stages, and Ford used actual locations in Monument Valley, Arizona • Interior and exteriors of the stagecoach • The desert • Tonto and Lordsburg • Dry Fork Station

27 Stagecoach: Scope

• Broad overall range of time and place • Presents a historical, social, and mythical vision of American civilization in the 1880s. • Envelopes the social themes of (the idea of the United States territoral expanse into the West…it was God’s will.) • Presented the push-pull of civilization vs rugged individualism and freedom.