Turning NARRATIVE into FILM
Films are Stories of course! So there is no trouble here.
We are all familiar with the elements of a written story – a narrative.
So, how CAN the elements of a Narrative be interpreted through Film?
The author, through the narrative, gives WRITTEN descriptions of the story.
To translate this into film, the filmmaker takes the narrative and translates it into FILM LANGUAGE,
this requires a knowledge of basic storytelling techniques/devices used film.
The Filmmaker visualises all aspects of the film and decides how best to represent the author’s intention.
The Filmmaker TRANSLATES the WRITTEN narrative into the VISUAL narrative.
Here are some ideas to get you started, in no particular order:
Setting – Extreme Wide Shot - EWS Through an EWS we can establish the location, time of day, culture, climate and much more.
Character/s Wide Shot - WS to establish the physical characteristics and
Close-ups - CU can be used for Emotions.
Plot – Is propelled by using camera moves such as tracking, panning and tilting, and later by editing to match the pace of the story.
Conflict – This is enhanced by quick action shots, steadicam, and fast-paced cutting in the editing room.
Point of View – POV Is provided by the camera angle and position. The point of view POV, can be seen through the eyes of one of the characters, or omnipresent from all points of view.
We could also add
Mood – Which is supported by the music and SFX. It might be epic, calming, active, uplifting, energetic, sad, melancholy, humorous, suspenseful, dark, or pensive etc.
In the words attributed to the master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock
“Drama is real life with the dull bits cut out”.
And this is the job of a good editor.