Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Yr2 Week 5 (Thurs 7 Nov - Producing and Directing workshop)

Today was centered on 'Director's Homework', the planning and thought that goes into directing before we even think about shooting. In a nutshell, its the detective work that a director must do to do full justice to the screenplay he is given. Below are the steps and elements that must be considered, if we are to effectively and thoroughly, understand what the script is conveying:
  • Read the script inside and out, leaving nothing untouched.
  • Find the film's 'spine' - the main action that drives the piece.
  • Find the character 'spine' - what is their superobjective/end goal
  • Find 'the want' - what is the immediate objective in a scene
  • Find the 'Actions' - active/action verbs and transitives, like 'to greet'
  • Find the 'Activities' -  What does someone do/interact i.e. light a cigarette, shake a hand etc.
  • The Circumstances - where did the characters come from, and what are the expectations for them when going towards the next scene
  • Acting Beats - Each new action is another beat
  • Narrative Beats - the stylistic choice that highlights the theme of the piece
  • Dramatic blocks - each time the overriding idea changes, its another block
  • Fullcrum - The moment when things can go either way.
To try and understand some of these better (I myself never go into the this much detail when I normally direct, keeping more towards the practical side while also having a general understanding of the overall themes of the piece) we went off in groups and examined a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (19) and see if we could find all of these pieces. Frankly, the exercise was problematic, since I struggled, not because I didn't understand, but because some of them (such as actions and activities) tended to blend together and have similar meanings, and it wasn't until I saw the scene that it came together and I could say 'okay, now I see the difference between this and that'.

During Reading Week, we were to read the next 3 chapters of 'Directing', as well as get cracking with our individual productions. Really, I can't say much as a conclusion, since I voiced my main issue above, but I'm sure with time and practice, I'll adjust. I suppose part of my difficulty with comes from my background in standard media, where there's often a 'get on with it, and on time too' mentality, which doesn't always lend itself to the more artistic side of the film medium, but again, that will probably change.

Also, just as a reminder/refresher, my team is me, Jack, Tara and Patrick. Just to be on the safe side.

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