Monthly Archives: April 2016

Locations for my Narrative


I wanted my film to be relatable to everyone and specifically a younger audience. Therefore I decided to use locations which were familiar and accessible.

I chose a high street which could be any high street anywhere in the country and a park which again could be any park. I feel this really helps the audience identify with the character because it could be you who is the character in the film.

In the end I chose Tooting High Street and Southwark Park.

Tooting High Street

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 20.27.09


Southwark Park

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 20.28.25

Digital Narrative Dreams Scene

Digital Narrative


Scene 1:

Camera pans down from the sky to a crowd of people walking.


Scene 2:

As the people are walking empty dream clouds pop up from a few heads. There will be a narrator in the background talking about how everyone has different dreams.


Scene 3:

Camera will then show me walking in the park. As I am walking I turn my head to see boys playing football. Narrator will say I had dreams when I was young and there will be a flashback to my childhood.


Scene 4: 

A younger version of myself (my younger brother will play me) is shown as a goalkeeper playing a match. I save a goal and a dream cloud appears and shows an animation of the dream of me being the number one goalkeeper for England. All of a sudden I let in a goal and the dream cloud bursts.


Scene 5:

 Flash forward to me again shaking my head and looking down and out.


Scene 6:

Continue walking and see a group of schoolboys. Another flashback to me sitting in class listening to the sound of a teacher giving a boring lesson. A dream cloud appears and shows an animation of a rocket depicting me as wanting to be an astronaut. Teacher calls my name and dream cloud bursts.


Scene 7:

Flash forward to me again walking as if all is lost and have been a failure in life.


Scene 8: 

Continue walking and see a beggar on the street. Another flashback to my past showing me watching a programme about the lifestyles of rich people. A dream cloud appears showing different currencies and loads of money. News broadcast talks about the future and how there will be a recession for the next few years. Cloud bursts.


Scene 9: 

Flash forward to me again watching the beggar.


Scene 10:

Narrator talking ‘did any of my dreams come true?’

Scene showing me with trophies saying I might not have become England’s goalkeeper but I did ok and won trophies throughout my life.

Next showing me saying I might not have become an astronaut but I did Ok and became an airline pilot. Scene shows an aircraft.

Next showing that I might not have become a millionaire but I have been successful enough to live a good life.


Scene 11:

Final scene shows people walking again with the narrator saying dreams don’t always come true as you wish but never give up on them and anything is possible.




Digital Narrative – Week 5


  • Narrative that breaks the rules
  • Story is deconstructed
  • Story told through methods eg symbolism montage
  • It is easy to recognise an anti narrative
  • Contradictory chronologies
  • Collapsed narrative voices, therefore you don’t know who is speaking

Classic Cinema-Easy to follow and identify

Counter Cinema-Stories are ambiguous and more complex to understand

Surrealism- a strong emphasis on anti-narrative, something unreal and either dreamlike or nightmarish. Very popular in the 1920s when film makers rejected conventional narrative forms. 

Non-linear narrative

  • story is not told in order
  • overlaps, super-imposes, reverses and layers chronologies
  • mimics human recall and memory
  • can show multi perspective or multi narratives
  • demand a lot from the audience but is pleasurable to watch
  • non predictable
  • challenging to watch but manageable






Digital Narrative – Week 4

Montage and Film

Montage films are a juxtaposition of images. By interconnecting these images you create meaning that you would not expect.

  • Disorientating in terms of time and space
  • More experimental and challenging
  • Reveals the condtruction
  • Viewer has to put the fragments together to create meaning
  • Can be abrupt and visually shocking

Early Pioneers:

 Montage was experimented with in Russia in the 1920s:

Lev Kuleshov- Through his experiments and research, he discovered that depending on how shots are assembled the audience will attach a specific meaning or emotion to it. In this experiment, he cut an actor with shots of three different subjects: a hot plate of soup, a girl in a coffin, and a pretty woman lying in a couch. The footage of the actor was the same expressionless gaze. Yet the audience raved his performance, saying first he looked hungry, then sad, then lustful.

Dziga Vertov- He started assembling clips of film without regard for formal continuity, time, or even logic itself to achieve a ‘poetic’ effect which would grab the viewers. He directed Man with a movie camera (1929), a montage of the urban life in and around a Russian city.

Sergei Eisenstein- Einstein believed that film montage could create ideas or have an impact beyond the individual images. Two or more images edited together create a third thing that makes the whole greater that the sum of its individual parts.

Montage in Contemporary Cinema

 Darren Aronofsky-Requiem for a dream (2000)- Images and sound work together.

Stills Telling Stories

Gregory Crewdson- Twilight (1998-2002) Photo cinema-Still cryptic photographs tell stories.

Duane Michals- Photofictions – The Fallen Angel (1968)- Multi image narrative sequences often incorporating text to examine emotions.

Sequential Narrative

Stories told through images and sequencing these.

Enki Bilal- French comic book artist- The Woman Trap from The Nikopal Trilogy (1980-1992)

Scott McCloud- Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art (1993)

Chris Marker- His films resembled literary essays or epistles more than traditional documentaries, finding room for quirky personal observations, wit and seeming irrelevances. One of his earliest films, Letter from Siberia (1958), began exactly like a travel writer’s letter home: “I am writing to you from a far country…”

This was an interesting but complex lecture. I had never given any thought to montage films but as the lecture progressed this idea of images colliding or narrative sequencing opened my eyes as to how a narrative can be made much more interesting and exciting to watch.

Digital Narrative – Week 3

Week 3

More Narrative 

Diegesis-This is how the ‘world’ is constructed.

Constructing the diegesis-It is important to construct a world where the audiences ‘belief is suspended’ to immerse them in that space.

How to construct the diegesis:

 Semiotics: The Study of SignsCinematic Code-These signs communicate meaning through visuals and audio. Everything is an ‘artifice’ (false world) so needs to be constructed to convince the audience that what they are watching is real.

Text-Anything which creates meaning, therefore the semiotics.

Once the diegesis is constructed focus is then put on the narrative.

Continuity errors can break the diegesis eg seeing a camera reflection or change in clothes.


Combinations of Visual Signs-Costumes, characters.

Combinations of Audio Signs-Dialogue,Sound effects.

These two groups almost always support one another.


Visual Signs


The Long Shot

  • Establishes the environment
  • Setting
  • Characters in their environment


The Mid Shot

  • Establishes relationships between characters
  • Also includes more environmental details


The Close Up

  • Important in any diegesis
  • Establishes emotions, motivations and reactions of characters
  • A good actor can totally draw you into the diegesis


Audio Signs

  • Dialogue-explains characters motivations and reactions

-clarifies events in the film

  • Sound Effects-some are diegetic, therefore within the world

-some are non-diegetic, therefore sounds which the      audience can hear but characters within the diegetic may not be able to hear

-Music and soundtracks are completely non diegetic. Real people do not have a sound track following them around.

-Sometimes music can be moved from the diegesis to the non diegesis eg. Character listens to the radio and then it becomes the soundtrack.



Mise-En-Scene: Everything in the scene


This is crucial because:

1) Allows the audience to focus on and be drawn into the narrative.

2) Audience is able to identify with the film and its conventions.

3) It can communicate ideas about the characters and the events through the ‘look’ of the film. Sometimes there can be no dialogue and the visual signs and mise-en-scene tell the story.


Main Elements:

  • Set/props
  • Lighting/colour
  • Costume, hair and make-up
  • Facial expressions and body language
  • Position of characters eg Have a big desk and a character made to look small because they are ‘nobody.


Sometimes there can be problems in creating the mise-en-scene. For example cost or outdoor shoots.


Continuity System


Special Awareness and Narrative-Viewing a scene from a different perspective throws the diegesis off and the audience is made aware that it is a construction. The construction has to be invisible. Without continuity the diegesis is lost.


Rules for Continuity


  • Establishing Shot-Usually the camera does not cross the line into the mise-en-scene.
  • 180 degree axis-otherwise the audience feels like they have gonw behind the characters.
  • Shot/Reverse Shots-Character dialogue from one to another.
  • Cross Cutting-Sound, panning and transition scenes are required if the actor is made to travel from place to place or between time.
  • Eyeline Match-Seeing what the character sees.
  • Graphic Match– eg Clock in one scene dissolves into a round object in a different location.
  • Dissolves-To close gaps in time and space.
  • Bridging sound-Ensure sound is used correctly throughout.

Digital Narrative – Week 2

The Narrative

There are many ways to put a narrative together including logically and chronologically. The reader needs to identify with the narrative. Cinema uses narrative models, which have been around for a long time. Celtic myths, Nordic myths, Greek and Roman epics all share similar models.

All stories have the same formula but do not have to follow the same structure.

  • Beginning- Starts the story
  • Middle- Action takes place
  • End- Resolution takes place (but not always)

S Todorov felt the 3 act formula was limiting. He used equilibrium and disequilibrium. He believed there were 5 transformations.

1) State of equilibrium

2) Disruption occurs

3) Audience recognises something has changed to the narrative. Eg. Text on screen, dialogue or a disruption has taken place.

4) Lead character tries to repair the damage.

5) Return to equilibrium but not necessarily the same balance.

Levi Strauss and binary oppositions

Strauss was a French anthropologist. He said narratives had a repetition called binary opposition where things are in opposition to each other. For example good and bad, male and female or hero/villain. Film noir in the 50s had binary oppositions.

Vladimir Propp- Morphology of the folk writer. He looked at folk tales, which used traditional methods. Folk tales are driven by character so different characters have different functions.

  • The hero
  • The villain
  • The donor- gives the hero something to help him.
  • The dispatcher-Sends the hero on his way with a message
  • False hero- Might be working for the villain.
  • The helper- helps the hero
  • The princess- object of the hero’s affection and reward
  • The father- rewards the hero for his actions

These characters can also be defined today. Propp also talks about the action in the folk tale.

  • Preparation- Hero gets ready to go on his quest
  • Complication- eg Member of the family is harmed
  • Transference- Major change takes place
  • Struggle- between hero and villain
  • Return- Hero returns and resolution has taken place.

Classical Hollywood Narrative

Began in the 1940sand the model is still used today.

  • Action- Character driven with a desire for something to take place and therefore actions occur.
  • Desire-The character is driven by desire eg love, wealth
  • Conflict- These occur to keep the audience interested. The desire meets conflict.
  • Change-All expect change to occur from cause and effect.
  • Time- Can be used to compress time or fill in time gaps. Ellipses means compressing time eg, 1 year later
  • Chronology- Flashbacks
  • Closure- Everything is resolved