Free Essay

Understanding Plot and Story

In: Film and Music

Submitted By aceevanss
Words 542
Pages 3
MEDA14099G - HANDOUT

UNDERSTANDING PLOT AND STORY IN CINEMA
There is a lot of information available on plot and story, but most of it will only confuse the basic understanding of these terms we are trying to achieve. A lot of this information is useful as we start to think about film in greater depth, but in this course I simply want you to begin by learning these two definitions.
PLOT: The “plot” of a film is what you see in the order that you see it. It is the sequence of events (occurrences, character actions, decisions, etc.) as it unfolds onscreen. The plot is the way a film tells its story, and the final shape a plot will take is completely up to the filmmaker, who decides what event will follow what event during editing. Plot does not need to be chronological, meaning it does not need to unfold in the same manner as the story it tells.
STORY: The “story” is the full story told by a film in its precise chronological order. This means, importantly, that the story can include events we do not see on the screen, or that we only here characters make mention of. However, no matter what events the story does include, it necessarily occurs in proper chronological sequence, just like in the real worlds, where we have to experience events as they unfold, and where we cannot jump around in time focusing on that which we want to.
Both “plot” and “story” are part of the narrative of a film. Remember, our basic definition of narrative is a sequence of events occurring in space and time. The story is the full sequence of that narrative, as it would occur in the real world, that is, chronologically. The plot is the events of that narrative that a filmmaker chooses to show us, in the order he or she shows them to us.
Consider this:
A possible story:
1) The king, fearing his queen is a better leader than he, decides to poison her; 2) he poisons her; 3) the queen is found dead; 4) seeking the murderer, the royal court calls for an investigation; 5) the investigation reveals that the king is the murderer; 6) when confronted, he confesses. A possible film plot for that that same story:
1) The queen is found dead; 2) seeking the murderer, the royal court calls for an investigation;
3) the investigation reveals that the king is the murderer; 4) when confronted, he confesses; 5) his confession reveals that he plotted to kill the queen because he feared she was a better leader.
Note the difference in the first event. Chronologically, the king has to plot to murder the queen and murder her before she is found dead. However, to preserve the mystery, a filmmaker may decide to begin only once the queen is found dead, presenting the story differently for dramatic effect. This last point is ultimately why we care about the distinction between plot and story in filmmaking; understanding these two terms helps us understand how a filmmaker has chosen to tell their story, and what kinds of effects (i.e., preserving the mystery in my example) that telling has on our experience when watching a film.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

English

... The plot is the very essence of every story that can be told throughout our human existence. It reveals who, what, when, where, and why. The plot in the story entitled “Equitan” sets up the suspense and drama that Equitan, his seneschal, and the seneschal’s wife endured with each other. The plot in the story entitled “Equitan” sets up the suspense and drama that Equitan, his seneschal, and the seneschal’s wife endured with each other, it gives the reader the question of what may happen next. The author Marie de France of the text The Lias of Marie de France is the epitome of all story plots. Plots have a special way of showing the engineering template that is about to happen, without plotting it is not methodical. The following quote was stated by Marie de France. “Equitan enjoyed a fine reputation and was greatly loved in his land.” (56). This quote is important because it sets up the character and some of the character’s background. There is just enough information given in the beginning to help understand what the plot is setting up. Plotting is part of every human beings everyday life, it is the natural order of how our lives unfold. The plot in the story entitled “Equitan” sets up the suspense and drama that Equitan, his seneschal, and the seneschal’s wife endured with each other because the order of plot engrosses the reader to stay interested and suspenseful in the story. The plot is designed to set up the complicity of the story as every story has. ......

Words: 585 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Secret Life of Bees

...Book Report Options Mrs. McDonough For 8th grade D.E.C.A.L. English classes The following is a list of project types that can be created to showcase your learning and understanding of the story that you read on your own. Each marking period you will first have a book approved by Mrs. McDonough. Each marking period will have a different genre that students must read. At the end of the presentations, the new genres for the next 9 weeks will be revealed. These book report options will be presented in class during the 8th week. YOU MAY NOT REPEAT PROJECTS!  Students will be graded on the written portion of the option for a writing grade. The presentation and conversation will be graded on comprehension of the story and receive a grade for Reading. It is important that you include literary elements. In addition, you must always include the title, author, genre, setting, plot, characters, & theme. The expectations for the oral presentations is that you stand in the front of the classroom and share with the class the plot of your book, some interesting points (about the story or your project) explain the elements of your project, any opinions, and any recommendations. It is really important that you do NOT read to the class. The objective of a presentation is your ability to talk about something to the class, not to read things to us. – PLEASE ASK......

Words: 1505 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Math

...exist. There is a story to be uncovered behind all data - a story that has characters, plots, and problems in the data. The questions or problems addressed by the data and their story can be disappointing, exciting, or just plain ordinary! This module is about stories that begin with data. Classwork Example 1: Graphs Data are often summarized by graphs; the graphs are the first indicator of variability in the data. Dot plots: A plot of each data value on a scale or number line. * Histograms: A graph of data that groups the data based on intervals and represents the data in each interval by a bar. * Box plots: A graph that provides a picture of the data ordered and divided into four intervals that each contains approximately 25% of the data. * Exercises Answer the questions that accompany each graph to begin your understanding of the story behind the data. Transportation officials collect data on flight delays (the number of minutes a past the scheduled departure time that a flight takes off).Consider the dot plot of the delay times for sixty BigAir flights during December 2012. | What do you think this graph is telling us about the flight delays for these sixty flights? * * * * * * * * Can you think of a reason why the data presented by this graph provides important information? Who might be interested in this data distribution? * * * * * * Based on your previous work with dot plots, would you......

Words: 877 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Teaching Middle and High School Students Literature

...Outline: I. Short Stories a) Activating Prior Knowledge b) Responding to the Selection c) Short Story Selections 1. Suggested Activities to use with Various Groups II. Oral Tradition Literature – Tall Tales and Folktales a) Analyze characteristics and plots of Folktales and Tall Tales b) Understanding Hyperbole c) Writing a Tall Tale d) Selections of Oral Tradition Literature III. Novel Studies a) Previewing the novel b) Defining and Understanding Elements of c) Character Analysis d) Problems and Solutions of the story IV. Historical Fiction a) Activating background/prior knowledge b) Setting a purpose for reading c) Writing about historical fiction V. Realistic Fiction a) Evaluating Realistic Fiction b) Responding to the selection c) Distinguishing between Fact and Opinion d) Summarizing the Story Chapter 1 – Short Stories: A short story is, like the name says, a short literary composition. The action is compact and every single event is crucial to the development of the plot. The time span covered within the action of a short story could vary from a few hours to days or years. A short story could have......

Words: 7115 - Pages: 29

Premium Essay

Most Dangerous Game vs. Young Goodman Brown

...Dangerous Game vs. Young Goodman Brown In two of the most well-known short stories, “The Most Dangerous Game” and “Young Goodman Brown”, there are ironic similarities portraying evil between their settings, characterization, and plot. I. There happen to be different settings in both of the short stories but both of the settings adapt well with their plots. a. In the short story, “The Most Dangerous Game” the setting takes place in the early 1920’s after the First World War on a small tropical island somewhere in the Caribbean, known as Ship-Trap Island by the sailors. b. Whereas, in the short story, “Young Goodman Brown” the story is set in the late seventeenth century in Salem, a small town northeast of Boston in Massachusetts around the time of the Salem witch trials. II. The characters in both of these short stories have close similarities to each other as they both demonstrate good and evil traits, which help the plot flow. a. The main characters in “The Most Dangerous Game” are Sanger Rainsford, General Zaroff, Whitney, and Ivan. b. The main characters in the story “Young Goodman Brown” are Goodman Brown, Faith, The Old Man/Devil Figure, The Minister, Goody Cloyse, and Deakon Gookin. III. The plot of the short stories, although they are different, both exhibit evil conflicts that develop throughout the story. a. The plot in “The Most Dangerous Game” is about hunting. b. In the plot of “Young Goodman Brown” Goodman Brown has to leave one night but his......

Words: 2292 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Patricia Glintons

...storyteller and novelist who use detailed and graphical techniques. In the text An Evening in Guanima, two stories that best illustrate the idea “Each one helping one- leaving none behind” are “Jack and the Schoolmaster” and “Jack and the Magic Eggs”. Patricia Glinton-Meicholas illustrates these two stories for me, through her powerful use of character’s action, leading to plot events, imagery and theme. In the two stories that have been mentioned, the writer creates plot events to sir come the actions of Jack and other characters. In “Jack and the Magic Eggs”, Ber Debbil insisted on deceiving Jack’s sister, Zerona. Now, Ber Debbil was demon with evil intentions and tricks. Jack not only shows unity with his mother but with others in another story. “Do not leave without these”, which she was referring to the eggs. Patricia made Jack’s character traits very courageous and helpful to her reader’s. She created a plot event to bring out the action towards Ber Debbil. “Jack flung himself from his saddle and dashed across an untidy yard ...” Patricia Glinton displayed the loving action, Jack had for his sister. This also displayed his bravery, contained with a manly action towards the conflict occurring. The short story of “Jack and the Schoolmaster”, Patricia also portrayed a plot event. A man claimed to be a schoolmaster on a small settlement. Jack assured himself later on in the story that he would save the children from Ber Debbil. Jack was very suspicious about Ber......

Words: 1113 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Unit 1 Assigment 1

...Composition II Analysis 2.1 There are many story children’s books are containing violence and sexually language. There is a mom of two kids, one of them is five, whom like to read book. The Tango, it is one story children’s book comprises the same-sex couples in it. Her parents are trying to find the best way to explain to her whenever she has raised the questions about the characters in the book because “Sam” has two moms in the story. Also the kid at that age has egocentric so they need to know why even though; it is not a big deal to adult. She explains to her kid that God took seed from two different genders for creating a child, but in this case, the father is not here yet, therefore. The kid soon forgets the question and turns to other thing. In the same way, Little Tango is the first penguin in the zoo has two daddies. This is a challenge for the parents to search information inside the book to explain for their kid at home. There is a lot of way to be a family and here is a lot of way to leave family as the birds have different feather. (Claim) The story children’s book should not contains sexually and violence because their awareness will not property into the plot of story. I agree that because children’s comprehending has a limited into a point of view. They just cannot image how could it happen and they will continually be confusing themselves by the details of story. (Rebuttal) However, if the children’s story books cover with violence and sexually......

Words: 688 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Diagnostic Essay - Movies

... Feb 6 2012 There are many great aspects to movies. Movies have an abundance of factors that can interest the audience who are viewing the film. A large factor that contributes to good movies and the emotions in movies are the actors that are chosen to play the main characters. Another factor that makes a good film is the plot of the movie because it carries the ideas and meaning of the film. The setting is the last extensive aspect of a movie because it helps the audience sense more emotion and personality. The actors, plot and setting are three immeasurable factors that add to the greatness of a film. Actors play a large role in films making the movie have feeling and interest. When you have good actors your movie is extremely interesting. Good actors make it easier to connect with the story. By seeing the actors portray the correct emotions, it adds dimension and makes it easy to connect with the film and understand the emotions being shown. When the actors learn how to work with each other and show chemistry throughout the film, it adds to the intensity of the movie and allows the audience to see the emotions in the story. When the actors show these two aspects throughout the movie, it makes you feel as if you were in the film and experienced the same things as they did. As much as a good actor can make a good movie, a bad actor can destroy one. Bad actors do not portray the character, the feelings and emotions are completely missed and it makes......

Words: 605 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Essays

..._______ Plot: Freytag’s Pyramid Gustav Freytag was a Nineteenth Century German novelist who saw common patterns in the plots of stories and novels and developed a diagram to analyze them. He diagrammed a story's plot using a pyramid like the one shown. [pic] Freytag's Pyramid: The Breakdown 1. Exposition: setting the scene. The writer introduces the characters and setting, providing description and background. 2. Inciting Incident: something happens to begin the action. A single event usually signals the beginning of the main conflict. The inciting incident is sometimes called 'the complication'. 3. Rising Action: the story builds and gets more exciting. 4. Climax: the moment of greatest tension in a story. This is often the most exciting event. It is the event that the rising action builds up to and that the falling action follows. 5. Falling Action: events happen as a result of the climax and we know that the story will soon end. 6. Resolution: the character solves the main problem/conflict or someone solves it for him or her. 7. Dénouement: (a French term, pronounced: day-noo-moh) the ending. At this point, any remaining secrets, questions or mysteries which remain after the resolution are solved by the characters or explained by the author. Sometimes the author leaves us to think about the THEME or future possibilities for the characters. You can think of the dénouement as the opposite of the exposition: instead of getting ready to tell us the story......

Words: 586 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Evolution of Comedy

...Mostellaria one can see that the two contain many comedic and structural similarities. They both have similar plot ideas and the character structures are very alike as well, but what gives both stories the ability to contain so many similarities and still appeal to their intended audiences during vastly different time periods are how they alter the content of each joke to match the knowledge, values, and norms of the society in which they were written to entertain. The first signs of similarity between "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and Mostellaria is the plot structure and the character personalities. All of the basic stock characters are easily identifiable in both stories. Both father characters are easily relatable to the "senex" stock character due to their overly lax character traits and how they both are fooled by a "servi" due to their son's ("adolescens'") mischievous actions. In addition to the similarities between the "senex" and "servi," the son in both stories confuses lust for love in the way they few a certain "meretrix" in the two stories. In a lot of ways, the two are mirror images of the same story, with the only differences being the scenario in which the problem has risen and the language and physical actions used to display humor. Besides the similarities between the characters, the plot's are very similar as well. The problem in both stories are a direct result of the "adolescens" and its up to the "servi" to fix...

Words: 1060 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Man vs. Woman

...Man VS. Woman: A Literary Analysis Of Conflicts In Two Stories Gena Jones ENG125: Introduction To Literature Instructor: Denya Ciuffo August 31, 2015 Man VS. Woman: A Literary Analysis Of Conflicts In Two Stories In the short stories “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, there is a very similar conflict of Individual vs. Individual between the men and the women that represents the constant struggle for power in the human relationship. While “Sweat” allows us to see the resolution of conflicts by the end of the story, “Hills Like White Elephants” presents us with these conflicts and does not really give us clear resolution in the end. Imagery and epiphany are techniques used in both stories to give the reader more detail as to the nature of the conflict. Plot as a literary technique is present in “Sweat,” but absent in “Hills Like White Elephants” and this has an impact on the understanding and resolution of conflict in both stories as well. Through careful analysis, I will demonstrate how plot, imagery, and epiphany as literary techniques give depth and meaning to the conflict of Individual vs. Individual in both “Sweat” and “Hills Like White Elephants. In the short story “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, we see a conflict between a lazy man and his hard-working wife. “Sweat” is about a woman named Delia Jones who picks up and launders other people’s clothes to make a living, while her husband lives off of the money she......

Words: 2228 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Essay Comparing Sonny's Blues And How It Feels To Be Colored Me

...schemas; and for those reasons can be very beneficial to use as a literary device. While the two short stories have more similarities in how they use music, they are not without their differences. “Sonny’s Blues” and “How it feels to be Colored Me” both use music similarly in that they both use music to convey certain elements, albeit how the authors used music differed in the two works. Music is used similarly between the stories as something used to surpass words when it comes to expressing your inner feelings, as well as something the narrators use to show differences between two characters. In “Sonny’s Blues” music is a focal point of the story as it is exemplifying the difference between the narrator and his brother, as well as being the thing that ends up bringing the two together (Baldwin 148). “How it feels to be Colored Me” uses music in a similar way in that it makes Zora see the differences as well as the emotional distance between herself and her white friend (Hurston 3). While...

Words: 472 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

The Three Little Pigs Paraphrased

...the story of the Three Little Pigs is the wolf, who is unable to be satisfied by his cravings and who must continue in his endless search for meaning. The story seems to portray the wolf as an imposing figure that is unconquerable by the pigs; however, in the end the wit of the third pig does indeed conquer the wolf. The wolf, in a typical role of preying on the weak, is able to blow down the houses of the first two pigs, but the third pig’s business nature and sturdy home hinders the wolf. The cycle is supposed to be a reverse full circle, with the pigs now being at the top of the food chain and in a sense, will retain the revolutionary spirit that had once been contained within the wolf, but was then passed on to the pig. All four of these stories provide their own perceptive insights into the classic tale, and shows how one story can provide four different viewpoints that are each unique and each worthy of expansion into their own universes. The Three Little Pigs This paper studies the different levels of perceived cunning between the wolf and the pig, using several examples to determine each animal’s resourcefulness. The stories of the Three Little Pigs have a single and commonly understood plot and the moral of the tale shows how productiveness and tenacity pay off in the end. The twist in these four stories is that each of the four versions has a modern twist on the plot that radically changes one’s own understanding of the original story. The first story,......

Words: 1433 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Amish Midwife Analysis

...The Amish Midwife could easily be classified as a well known book, but the question is, is this a good book? After all, just because something is well known it does not mean that the reasons for its popularity are good. So, in order to answer this question a person must first look at whether or not the plot is good, and if the follow through of this plot was done well. Then it is important to determine if the main character's goal within the book makes logical sense. After considering each of these questions and the answers given it will be simple enough to make a decision based off the information given. To begin, it would be best to start off by explaining what the plot is. This story is centered around a woman named Alexandra (or Lexie...

Words: 1075 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Farewell to Arms

...human race ever faced. The novel, Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, is one of many famous and historic novels that date back to World War One. Farewell to Arms is a well-known novel solely based on the content inside of its covers, and it has also been ‘labelled’ as one of Hemingway’s greatest novels. Although the novel is famous for its interior content, the introductory chapters in the novel are ineffective and misleading. The chapters lack relevant information, and they are abundant in insignificant amounts of material which leads the reader to struggle when understanding the plot. For example, the first two chapters spend more time explaining the surroundings and settings of the novel, rather than providing valuable information that would assist in comprehension of the novel so far. The first two chapters take place in the small Italian village where Henry lives in. Also, Hemingway struggles to express the story through the novel medium, the novel spends many chapters repetitively explaining the same event or conflict. For example, the novel spends three chapters describing Henry’s encounters with Catherine Barkley on his way to work every day. Moreover, during these encounters, no new information or drama is presented. Finally, the novel hesitates to describe characters thoroughly, and it gives a very feint interpretation of the characters that are introduced. For example, Hemingway did not teach the reader anything about Frederic until the seventh chapter where the......

Words: 1810 - Pages: 8