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Great Moments in Film Essential Questions

Page history last edited by ms.munroe 12 years, 4 months ago

Story Narration 

To describe story in a lm, we would need to answer the following questions: 

• Where is the story set? 

• What event starts the story? 

• Who are the main characters? 

• What conict(s) do they face? What is at stake? 

• What happens to the characters as they face this conict? 

• What is the outcome of this conict? 

• What is the ultimate impact on the characters? 


Plot Narration 

To describe the plot structure of the movie, we would need to answer these questions: 

• How and when is the major conict in the story set up? 

• How and when are the main characters introduced? 

• How is the story moved along so that the characters must face the central conict? 

• How and when is the major concit set up to propel the lm to its conclusion? 

• How and when does the lm resolve most of the major conicts set up at the outset?  


Visual Storytelling 



Filmmakers usually order their shots in roughly the same way sentences are ordered in a paragraph. We begin with an introductory statement, in a movie, the establishing shot has the same function. Then we move to explanatory sentences, in a lm, the establishing shot leads to a series of medium shots, close-ups, and extreme close-ups that reveal the scene’s actions or events. You can usually search for action shots and reaction 'mug' shots. A nal long shot or extreme long shot is used in conclusion to act as a kind of punctuation mark, telling viewers that the scene is now complete. 


The impact of shooting from different angles and moving the camera

Can you identify creative ways of visual storytelling in the great moment you have picked?

Does the camera work reveal mood? Are the shots short or long? Are there image combinations and juxtapositions? How do angle choices affect perceptions of character, setting, power? How does camera movement affect time, space, orient or disorient the audience and reveal information?  


Telling story with sound 

There are two categories of sound in lm: Diegetic and Non-Diegetic. Diegetic Sound 

refers to all those audio elements that come from sources inside the world we see 

on the screen, including dialogue, doors slamming, footsteps, etc. Non-Diegetic Sound 

refers to all those audio elements that come from outside of the ctional world we 

see on screen, including the musical score and sound effects like the screeches in the 

shower scene in Psycho.


How does sound shape the film? How do elements like pitch, tempo and volume create emotions like calm, anxious or sad? Does the movie use the absence of sound at all? Is the music/soundtrack used as an audience clue or does it play against our expectations? Do you hear voice overs? Subtext?


Telling Story with lighting

Is the lighting high key? High contrast key? Low key? Why did they make that choice?

Money Money Money

How has budget affected the movie direction? Design choices, actors, set, costume, special effects???


Social Commentary

1.What messages does the movie communicate?

2. How might different people understand these message differently?  

3. What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?  

4. Why is this message being sent? 

5. Describe the overall moment created. Is this quality filmmaking?


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