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Week 1 & 2

by: Nicholas Spriggs

Week 1 & 2 Com 316

Nicholas Spriggs
Elon University
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About this Document

These notes cover the first two weeks
Writing for TV and Cinema
Youssef Osman
Class Notes
Sequence-Breakdowns, premise, Loglines




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicholas Spriggs on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Com 316 at Elon University taught by Youssef Osman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Writing for TV and Cinema in Communications at Elon University.

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Date Created: 09/13/16
Writing For Cinema and Television Weeks 1 & 2 Basic Grammar of Cinema A shot is the smallest unit of film. It is composed of 24 frames per second When put together a group of shots produce a scene. Any change in location or time is a new scene. A sequence is a series of scenes An act is a series of sequences There is debate regarding the number of acts in a film Some suggest that there are three acts Act 1: Set up Act 2: Conflict Act 3: Resolution While others believe that there are 8, 15-minute acts, each serving as their own miniature film A Hollywood script is anywhere between 90 and 110 pages A subplot is a side story meant to support the main story and give the audience some variety so they don’t get bored with film How to Do a Movie Breakdown 1. List Scenes: A page of a Hollywood script usually translates to a minute of screen time. This means, on average, your scene breakdown should consist of 80-100 scenes. It’s not necessary to include scenes lasting less than 5 seconds. 2. Breakdown Analysis: Summarize the sequences as succinctly as possible and identify the major plots points Sequence A: Usually contains the Inciting Incident which is the action that starts the story and pushes the protagonist into an unfamiliar situation Sequence B: Introduces the Page 17 Mistake which is an action that will come back to haunt the protagonist some time in the next 15 minutes st Sequence C: 1 False Epiphany, which is a moment when the protagonist thinks he’s safe and secure only for that same security to be ripped away as quickly as it was introduced. Sequence D: Midpoint this is the middle of a film and the moment when the protagonist officially goes from passive to active. Sequence E: (Varies) nd Sequence F: 2 False Epiphany The second time the protagonist thinks they’re safe only for their hopes to be crushed. This false epiphany is usually more brutal than the first and serves to push the film towards its conclusion. Sequence G: Big Gloom The protagonist darkest moment. In many cases this is around the film’s climax. Sequence H: Resolution self-explanatory 3. Sequence Breakdown This is essentially a retreat of the last step. Describe the sequences in greater detail and elaborate on why you identified the plot points that you did. Premise “a proposition hypothetically supposed or held to be true; a basis of argument” A premise is the purpose behind a story. It explains what a story means not just what its about. For Example: Animal Farm is about animals overthrowing their owners, but its premise is about how socialism leads to corruption and inequality rather than eliminating it. Premises usually deal with universal themes Components of a premise 1. Central Theme 2. Action (Conflict) 3. Fulfillment of the idea or value There are three types of emotions filmmakers must exploit in cinematic storytelling: 1. Voyeuristic: emotions relating to the audience’s curiosity about new worlds or information 2. Vicarious: the audience’s desire for escapism 3. Visceral: the audience’s desire to feel something A logline tells the reader who must do what in order to prevent ________ from happening Short Films vs Feature Films There are 3 main differences 1) Unity. Most short films take place in one location and consist of a single story 2) Character. The character arcs in short films are much more simple and usually consist of no more than three distinctive traits 3) Endings. The endings are much more intense and memorable “Begin writing only after you have the ending in mind” -Edgar Allen Poe


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