The rules of cinematic story telling

Culture

The good and the taboo

Bromances are chaste

Triads

The only thing better than a duality

Protagonist
Antagonist

(Christian Bale's) Batman

  1. Protagonist
  2. Antagonist
  3. Antagonist (with a Hero's Journey)

Children's stories

Comedy

Light
Dark

Seeing clearly

Misunderstandings are clarified

Identities are revealed

Lovers are united

Anima

Animus

 

Shrek

The Pixar sandwich

Finding Nemo

  • A boy is lost in the ocean
    and returns to his loving father
  • A grieving widower learns to live again

Hero's Journey

  • The hero in their world and what ails it
  • The hero attempts to heal the world and fails
  • The hero attempts to heal the world and succeeds

Compression
Decompression

Rising peril

Anatomy of a scene

Empire Strikes Back, 1980

Compression, rising tension

Scenes are divided into three acts

Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.

  • Thesis
  • Argument
  • Statement

He told me enough! He told me you killed him!

  • Counter-thesis
  • Counter-argument
  • Retort

No. I am your father.

  • Synthesis
  • Resolution
  • Escalation

The enjoyable film

  • Brings the protagonist and antagonist into conflict
  • Moves from misunderstanding to understanding
  • Is structured into three acts
  • Steadily increases tension throughout the story
    • Via alternating scenes of pressure and relief
  • Unites the anima and animus
    • Ideally in a wedding

Rules

The rules of storytelling reflect our internal demands and reinforce them

Into the woods by John Yorke

Seven basic plots by Christopher Booker

The rules of cinematic storytelling

By Robert Rees

The rules of cinematic storytelling

The basic components of how films tell stories

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