This workshop with David was a crash course in the analytical nature of story telling. To give us a more scientific method of understanding the nature of story telling and creating our animations, both in terms of plot, camera work, and planning.
Chsitpoher Booker – The 7 Plots
The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories is a 2004 book by Christopher Booker, it is an analysis of stories and their psychological meaning. Booker’s theory is that in every written story since Greek Mythology, there have been seven plot outlines that have encompassed them all. They are:
- Overcoming the monster
- Rags to riches
- The quest
- Voyage and return
- Comedy (slightly more complex as comedy can be subjective)
This was a simple lesson in understanding how stories are crafted. People tend to think in the same way and in this instance, stories can be encompassed into these seven broad categories.
We were asked to research in our time, the use of various established camera angles commonly used in film and television. This again is an attempt to inform our practice.
Story boarding is especially of use in a group project such as this. A story board needs to simply and clearly convey information about the intended outcome of the film. This includes, the scenery of each shot, the movement of the camera within the shot and the type of shot employed e.g (wide, close, panning, zooms, aerial shots).
For this task we were provided a link to a YouTube video in our groups and asked to illustrate it in a story board. We were asked to story board an advert for Sony entitled :
SONY BRAVIA – Foam City
Having watched the video through several times I decided it would be best to split it equally among the group to allow us to create our story board as efficiently as possible. In total there are 38 distinct shots. We therefore split them 13 / 13 / 12. I was to do the first 13, Jenny the second 13 and Kieran the final 12.
Each of these frames refers to a single shot in the advert. From number 1 to 13. The red arrows surrounding some of the images point to the direction of the camera and the manor in which it moves the arrows within the frames point to the direction of things moving within the shot. For example in the final frame the camera is still but filming is from within a moving train above the street. Those frames without arrows are stills.
It was a challenge to illustrate some frames with the enormous blanket of foam that covered the shots, making them almost entirely white. But I enjoyed the experience. I fell that this workshop really helped me to understand the topic. Anyone can understand film making in layman’s terms. But to make my work more than entirely amateur this was necessary research. In a later post I will research further into the topic of camera angles.