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RTF 317 Midterm Review

by: Cassidy Schap

RTF 317 Midterm Review RTF 317

Marketplace > University of Texas at Austin > Film > RTF 317 > RTF 317 Midterm Review
Cassidy Schap
GPA 3.78
Narrative Strategies in Film and Television
Michael Rennett

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About this Document

Review for the midterm.
Narrative Strategies in Film and Television
Michael Rennett
Study Guide
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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Cassidy Schap on Sunday September 27, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to RTF 317 at University of Texas at Austin taught by Michael Rennett in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 57 views. For similar materials see Narrative Strategies in Film and Television in Film at University of Texas at Austin.


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Date Created: 09/27/15
RTF 317 Narrative Strategies Spring 2015 Midterm Review Exam Format You must answer 2 out of 3 short essay answer questions and 2 out of 3 long essay questions You are expected to write a short paragraph 45 sentences in response to short essay questions Long essay questions will either be based on film clips that were gone over in lecture or the relationship between broader concepts Clips will be shown twice during the exam once at the start once at the midway point These questions will usually ask you to consider the clip in relation to 34 specific concepts from lecturereading You are expected to write 2 4 paragraphs in response Exam Advice Be on time You will miss important instructions at the start of the exam and will also have less time to complete your work Bring two pens with you to class Pen is easier to read than pencil and you should make sure to have a backup This is all you will need for the exam You DO NOT need a Blue Book or Scantron Be specific and explain your examples Most points are lost on exams because answers are too vague or ideas are not followed all the way through to conclusion Budget your time Don t spend too much time on one question if you re having trouble move on to finish the rest of the exam and then come back Use the vocabulary that you have learned in class Take notes while watching the clips This will aid you in writing your long essay answers Follow the instructions Don t answer more questions than instructed and answer all required parts of a question Read each part of the question thoroughly circle or underline important elements Think before you write and be concise The points you make should be organized clear and easily understood Write in complete sentences and write Iegibly If we can t read it we can t grade it Ask for clarification If something about an exam question is unclear ask me Study Advice This is not a multiple choice or fillintheblank exam and as such cramming the day before and depending on fact recall is not going to help This exam depends upon your demonstration of a complete understanding of the topic at hand Some approaches Write your own exam If you were the teacher what kinds of questions might you ask about this material This helps you divine what is most important and aids you in thinking through the topic If possible review film clips from class What did we discuss after viewing them Are there concepts from later on in the semester that you can now apply to a discussion of this clip Get together with a partner Write a sample exam question for your partner and have them write one for you Grade one another s answers and then discuss Make flashcards of the most important concepts from class Get together with a partner and practice explaining the concepts to one another Apply the concepts from class to another film from class or to a film from outside class If you can do it with a film from outside class you should definitely be able to do it with a film we ve already gone over in detail in lecture Starting Assignment 2 would help in this regard Use penpencil and paper not your computer The exam will be handwritten and your thought processes while typing are different than when writing by hand Films The Treasure of the Sierra Madre d Huston 1948 The Graduate d Nichols 1967 Last Year at Marienbad d Resnais 1962 Aliens d Cameron 1986 Marvel s The Avengers d Whedon 2012 Lost in Translation d Coppola 2003 Key readings Bordwell amp Thompson Seger Bordwell on ArtCinema Schatz Wood Boggs Jenkins King Narrative amp Film Form Narrative involves both story and process of tellinct Filmmaking as a rulebound storytelling process a language 0 Film form as the overall system of relations among the elements in the whole film Bordwell amp Thompson on Causeeffect chain of events occurring in time and space Fundamental interrelationship between form and content Plot versus story what s onscreen versus what we construct in our heads Temporal order usually linear chronological and duration Omniscient objective unrestricted versus restricted subjective narration Elements of Film Stvle Command of the camera and point of view Who gets the closeups POV shots Glanceobject and shotreverseshot editing eyeline matches Miseenscene How the director stages the event for the camera The diegesis internal world of the narrative Key aspects Set design Expressive lighting StagingBlocking Performance CostumeMakeup Cinematography the shot Photographic aspects lens choice depth of fieldfocus etc Framing aspects frame dimensionaspect ratio onscreenoffscreen space camera position frame mobilitycamera movement duration esp re long take 0 Editing relations between shots Graphic relations purely pictorial Rhythmic relations patterns of shot lengths Spatial relations implied continuity within scenes and from sceneto scene Temporal relations implied continuity within scenes and from sceneto scene Spatial amp Temporal gt Continuity editing 180degree rule eyeline match matchonaction glanceobject etc Axis of action or dramatic axis mm Diegetic versus nondiegetic sound Three basic categories of film sound dialogue sound effects and musical score Classical Design Narrative agency and character in classical threeact structure 0 Classical design as characterbased McKee Classical design involves an active protagonist with conscious desires goals who struggles against forces of antagonism to the end of the line Realism and continuity via characterbased causalitv ie narrative as a cause effect chain of events determined by the goals intentions of characters 0 Character as Goaloriented protagonist Agent of intention with agenda desires needs goals and agency capacity to get what heshe wants to quotmake things happenquot Threeact structure Act I Exposition Establish operating rules and given circumstances 0 Establish conflict via goaloriented protagonist vs antagonist agenda agency capacities of each Seger the setup 0 Start with an image 0 quotCatalystquot get the story going McKee inciting incident Raise the quotcentral questionquot which can only be answered via the climax irst turnina point point at which governing conflicts central question stakes are clearly set usually via an ultimatum the protagonists decisive action Act II Progressive Complication Intensify the conflict raise the stakes hero39s weakness antagonist39s strengths difficulty of attaining goal etc 0 Introduce a time factor steadily diminishing options for the protagonist Second turnina point climactic confrontation now inevitable usually via deadline decisive action Act III Resolution Build to a climactic event Climax resolves the primary conflicts answers the central question Generally followed by quotdenouementquot falling action aftermath Importance of closure For Wood Genre amp ldeoloav Ideology Shared systems of generally unexamined beliefs that seem natural and real but are in fact social and cultural Genre 0 ln film imprecise informal shared sense of how certain films resemble one another in significant ways 0 No genre can be defined in a single hardandfast way Rooted in ideological tensions Auteurs may take up and become associated with certain genres amp ideologies w Modernism is a selfconscious break from the past ie All that has come before should be disregarded as art we need new forms of expression More challenging or difficult to grasp Elite culture rather than masspopular culture High art rather than low art Privileges the great artist the individual genius Usually a white heterosexual Western man 0 Qualities of Modernist Cinema Director is an auteur Jump cuts long takes freeze frames etc Nonlinear Disruption of Three Act Structure Loose Causality Passive Protagonist Open Ending Music has temporal spatial uses etc For Bordwell ModernismArtCinema Narration Three major schemas for discussing modernism in film 1 Obiectivity gt a more objective realism documentary techniques more tenuous causality gaps in the plot lack of explicit deadlines openended story 2 Subiectivity gt a more subjective expressive realism goalbereft protagonist internal as well as or instead of external conflicts film techniques to express mental state 3 Authorit gt highly selfconscious narration process of storytelling itself becomes a guiding question demands a more conscious reading and higherlevel interpretation Overt intrusive vs invisible selfeffacing narration Narrative complexity ambiguity uncertainty For Boaa Postmodernim o The postmodern condition Key factorscauses conglomeration convergence globalization digitization Key characteristics mediasaturated environment triumph of consumer culture blurring of distinctions between entertainment advertising news andinformation globalization via Hollywood cinema Key paradoxes concentration of ownership versus entrepreneurship market consolidation versus fragmentation mass marketing versus niche marketing 0 Qualities of postmodern cinema Disjointed rapidly shifting narratives Rapid andor chaotic camera work rapid editing Dystopic images and scenarios themes of mayhem and social breakdown Heavy reliance on technological wizardry digital effects Cultural pastiche indiscriminate blending of genre styles For Jenkins Transmedia Storvtellind Media convergence flow of product synergy between industries niche audiences markets Participatory culture importance of consumer behavior consumers gt producers Collective intelligence new modes of cooperation collaboration 0 The blockbuster franchise The Matrix LOTR Harry Potter et al as a new paradigm o Transmedia Storytelling Unfolds across multiple media platforms Appeals to multiple constituencies audiences market segments Reading the franchise across media deepens the story and motivates consumption Each installment advances the narrative yet each installment also a self contained story Genre blending layers of meaning play of references to other movies media Creation of a world that cannot be contained win a single film or media industry For King lndiewood O lndiewood as industrial concept Indie divisions created or purchased by major Hollywood studios Or films released by major studios designed to appeal to indie audiences Blend of creativity commerce Blend of artcinema and classical Hollywood Appeal to mainstream as well as niche audiences Sample Questions Short answer Explain how popular music might be used to demonstrate a temporality and b character psychology Provide an illustrative example of how this is utilized in a specific scene from The Graduate Long answer Clip Captain America in the Gym Discuss this clip in terms of a sound design b editing 0 transmedia storytelling and d character development Short answer explain what is meant by the term genre mixing and provide a detailed example of how this technique is used in Aliens Put the de nition rst genre mixing is when there is the presence of more than one genre in one lm though the aspects of one genre may be more prominent than others In Aliens there are aspects of sci which are the predominant themes throughout the lm provide examples There are also aspects of war movies as well as family drama that add depth and nuance to the lm beyond the idea of quotspace aliens attack quot In the scene in which Ripley confronts the Alien mother sci the alien meets suspensethriller escapingblowing up the eggs and family drama Ripley being hellbent on saving Newt her surrogate child gure from the aliens Long essay captain America in the Gym discuss in terms of a sound design B editing ctransmedia storytelling and dcharacter development Try to answer them in order not looking for structure though it does help in terms of grading Answer the points and see how they build as a system Intense battle music ashbacks to war to him going into the ice to the tesseract to peggy dialogue from when hes in the ice end of background music when steven destroys the punching back shots from underneath as he s punching the bag the only sound is steve The music is building toward a crescendo and then when the bag drops out when the sound cuts off The bag breaking is the climax of the scene making it clear that the act of punching the bag is the focal point but the sound bridge between the punching and the gun shots in his ashback connect the sound to the editing of the shots This links the fact that his present the bag is tied to the ashbacks that are being cut in with shots of him in the gym revealing his mindset and the fact that he s currently dealing with two different time periods of his life The ashbacks move us in time as well as space taking us back to the past and out of the gym then to the present and to the gym The fast past editing means that the cuts are getting faster more abrupt at which point the bag breaks and it all slows down again rmly settling us back into the present and breaking the tension Fastpaced editing is a theme from postmodernism which is also going to deal with the dystopian and less pleasant themes that Cap is dealing with The ashbacks are not just editing but they provide the transmedia link from the Avengers to Captain America For people that haven t seen the rst Cap it provides backstory and reasonable knowledge of the character that makes sense within the new story The ashbacks are not new clips they re actual clips from the rst Captain America that are being reused in The Avengers This ties directly into the character development of Cap across the MCU The events at the end of The First Avenger provide context for the psychological trauma the deep anger and aggression that Cap is displaying in the gym The editing and sound design come together with these other elements in the critical point in the scene when the bag breaks and ies across the room His anger and frustration have built to a climax as the sound gets louder and editing gets faster and the climactic moment shows the break in Steve s aggression when it reaches the peak point in which the bag can no longer handle it and neither can Steve


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