Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Week 11 (Mon 17 Dec)

Today, we looked at the conecpt of the Three Act Structure: in the lecture, we watched Throne of Blood (1957), a Japanese samurai film based off the Shakespeare classic Macbeth, by legendary director Akira Kurosawa, and follows the story of a proud general who, much like the original play, after hearing a prophecy from an old woman in the woods, sets out on a murderous path that will see him become the ruler of the land, and then lose it, egged on by his scheming, manipulative wife. The film boasts some great black and white cinematography that has a very 'western' feel with its grand wide shots of the land and castle.

Afterwards, in the seminar, we looked at the 'Three Act Structure', comprised of the following elements:
  • A defined Beginning, Middle and End in the plot
  • Status Quo (the state of the world as is)
  • Inciting incident/Tilt (Something happens that changes the world)
  • Act 1 Climax: One way Door/Point of No Return (No going back/things never the same again)
  • Act 2 explores the repurcussions of the events in Act 1
  • Midpoint (where things/situations shift/change/switch)
  • Act 2 Climax: When payoffs begin/events reach crisis/breaking point
  • Scene a Faire: The payoff/resolution
  • Act 3 Climax: Restoration/establishes a new status quo/world.
Also, we took a quick look at Conflict and how it is utilised in stories: there is the Intra-Personal (inner conflict, like psychological/moral/inner demons), the Inter-Personal (Between people i.e. arguments, debates, battles of interests/ethics/ideas etc.) and the Extra-Personal (Between people and Greater Powers i.e. society, the original status quo, gods etc.)

Then, we did an exercise where, in groups, we went off and created a three act story for a major Hollywood film: my team decided to that most classic of American traditions, the sports film, with our plot focusing on an armless basketball coach who trains a team of underachievers and failures at a summer camp and, after they learn his origin (he used to be a great player, until he lost his arms in an accident) and gain respect for him, takes them all the way to the championships. However, some of his peers question his motivations, accusing him of using the team to leave out his own desires for glory. In the end, though they don't win, the team and coach have grown as people and learnt to triumph over adversity (cue the obligatory 'It's not about winning' type speech).

To close, today's sessions weredefinitely interesting, with the one-two punch of seeing a film by a master such as Kurosawa and how he interprets a classic story to suit his own cultural ideas and sensibilites, and the fun of being in a group and batting around ideas and possibilites with where could we go with a story like this, and how much we could 'Hollywood-ize' it.

No comments:

Post a Comment