Waaaaaaaaaay back in DZ-5, Stu and Chas examined how shifting narrative point of view (i.e. what the audience knows in relation to the characters on screen) heightens emotions in any given scene. We’ve now taken that micro idea and applied it to the macro: how can deciding what the audience knows and when in relation to the characters organise your story? Are whole sequences or even acts driven by the audience following a character, feeling concerned about a character, empathising with a character or being absorbed in the irony of knowing more than all the characters interacting on screen.
To tackle this topic, Stu and Chas dive in to films that make very conscious structural choices in relation to narrative POV, namely: GET OUT, DUNKIRK and the underrated German film THE LIVES OF OTHERS (with honourable mentions to LA CONFIDENTIAL and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA).
How can your first act effectively establish your character journey? First Acts are hard. They have to set so much in motion, especially setting up characters. To help them understand how to write effective first acts better, Stu and Chas turn their analytical gaze to a franchise that has been refining and reiterating its first […]
Chas and Stu are joined for the fourth time by the inestimable Stephen Cleary – this time to take a deep dive into sequences. A real deep dive. A 3+ hour deep dive.
Stephen postulates that sequences can compel the audience in different ways via the type of dramatic questions being posed. Are they plot questions (“Will she defuse the bomb?”) or character questions (“Will she understand what compels her to defuse bombs?”) or a combination of both? What is the impact on the pacing, structure of your story or audience experience of your characters by changing the type of question being asked? What happens to your story when your protagonist decides to literally abandon the plot?