Narrative Arc stop motion

Above is a 30 second clip of our stop motion animation. The basic story line follows along as a man who was surfing at sea who got lost and fell off his board. His is petrified as he begins to be circled by a shark. Just before he gets attacked a man in a grey suit comes past on his boat and finds him, saves him from the sharks jaws before taking him off back to land safely.
The narrative to our stop motion is a lost and found sketch.

  • Does it fulfill the traditional narrative structure?

I believe our stop motion production did fulfill the traditional narrative structure as the premise of the story was to find someone or something that was lost. We achieved this by loosing a man at sea and then allowing him to be found again by the man on the boat.

  • Do the characters fulfill conventional character types?

Conventional character types in a story like this would probably involve the typical ‘damsel in distress’ scenario whereby a women or girl is trapped or worried about her and then the hero of the story comes in the save the day and get the girl who usually turns out to be his reward. We went against this typical stereotypical story type in our story by having a man in distress being saved by the other man in the metal suit who’s origins are unknown. He could be a hero or villain and we cant decide as we never see his face or emotions when he finds and saves the man. All we can assume is he saved him good, not evil.

  • Are there binary oppositions?

The binary opposition in our story would be nature (the shark) Vs man (the two men and their boat). These two oppose each other throughout the entirety of the story with the shark having the power in the beginning to man having the power in the end with their boat being able to beat the shark if it attacked them. The man in the grey suit also had a fishing rod showing that he intended to catch the shark before using it to save the man showing he came out with the power at the end or the situation.

  • Explain how Music Video narratives can differ from these conventional ideas.

Todorov discussed the conventional ideas of a story had a beginning, middle and end and followed the basic plan of having a bad guy and a good guy (who is the star). He normally has a mentor who dies so that the main star can fulfill his potential and he usually has to save a girl who becomes his ‘prize’ for saving the day. Music video narratives differ from this as their is normally not enough time in the song to film out an entire story with no spoken parts at has a clear beginning, middle and end. They therefore normally dive in to a specific part of a story rather than filming the whole whole thing. The audience still get a good idea of whats happening in the story by the messages it is sending out but they wont get to know character names and backstory’s which they would in something slightly more conventional.

This will all be useful to me when filming my music video clips as it’s given me the idea to film the narrative as a story and then I will be able to break it up and choose the clips that display the story for the music video in premiere pro when I edit it. This should create narrative around the performance and hopefully lead to a sense of suspense of what is happening to the lead singer of the band.

Preliminary Task 2 – Tell me a story

In this task, I was challenged with filming a short narrative sequence with no dialogue. I tried to include different shots and editing techniques to help me create a realistic looking sequence. I learnt how to hold a steady shot, how to frame a shot correctly and how to shoot from a variety of different lengths.

Strength in my video include:

  • Using different filming techniques. For example, I used shot reverse shot on Ciaren’s face at the end of the video to evoke a dramatic ending to the clip.
  • I also used a variety of different shots. For instance, I used a close up of Ciaren’s face at the end of the clip to show his emotions after he had been tripped up and the paper had fallen on top of him. By doing this, the audience got a real insight into the emotions of the characters which make them relate to them and feel closer to them.
  • My editing throughout the video was good as it allowed the footage to come together as a story that was easy to follow for the audience and did not lead to confusion about what was happening in each shot. This meant that the audience could follow the story along with no uncertainty with what is happening in each scene.

Weaknesses in my video include:

  • The quality of the recording when Ciaren is running through the school refectory. Ideally this would be one smooth transition, but instead I had to zoom out in sections to keep the attention on Ciaren running and not the surrounding environment.
  • I could put a real bell at the beginning of the video rather than the cartoon bell to add realistic sense to the clip. I could have also used a clock. This would have given a sense of time in the clip which would be useful as the story involves a child being late for school.
  • I could have given my actors more of a direction. This would have allowed for a more realistic scene as their facial expressions and body language would seem more authentic. For example, when Amie knocks Ciaren on the floor it may look more real if she had tripped him as it does look like he has just fallen by himself.

Underneath my short sequence, Is my plan. On each post it note, I described what the scene would look like and drew an image to help visually explain it too. I also described the kind of shot I would use for each scene to get the best out of the short amount of time we had to film this in.

In this task I have learnt numerous camera skills, techniques and framing shots allowing me to put together a realistic and interesting sequence. I have also learnt how to use the editing software premiere pro and how to use its feature to cut down and edit clip or import clips from the internet to my sequence. For example, the bell at the beginning.

Preliminary Continuity Task 1

In this task, I have created a short conversation between two people. While doing this I learnt how to use premiere pro which is and editing software that allowed me to cut clips out and put them together to make an effective conversation. I also used different camera techniques that I have been learning about like close up to show facial expressionless and emotion as well as shot reverse shot. To put this piece together I took many takes of the same clip and lots of different angle to get it looking as smooth as possible and to ensure I had covered all the camera angle I needed for editing.

  • I have used the following camera techniques: I used many different shots including framing shots on a tripod and filmed from behind my actors shoulders as well as beginning with an establishing shot to set the scene.
  • I used these techniques to create a sense of/that the actors were engaging in conversation with each other. Aiming a camera directly at each stars face meant the viewers would get a sense of there emotions and therefore added atmosphere to the scene.
  • I have learnt to use the following continuity editing rules: The 180 degree rule. I also used shot reverse shot and created eye line matches to show a connection between the two characters. I also used close up to show facial expressions and emotions between the characters.
  • I used these rules to: help maintain the scene in a video. Not obeying the 180 degree rule would lead to confusion of the setting of the scene. Eye line matches and shot reverse shot also help create meaning and emotion in the scene.
  • I have learnt to use the following tools/techniques in Premiere Pro: I have learnt how to use the razor tool which allows me to cut parts of different clips out and then put them together to make a story line.
  • I used these tools to: to cut and crop video to ensure I am only left with the bits I definitely need and get rid of any parts that are unnecessary.
  • If I was to do this project again I would do some things differently: If I was to do this again I would try using different and more interesting shot angles to add a deeper meaning to the video and well as building a tenser atmosphere.

Below are the planning documents we made prior to filming the conversation. Next to each some parts of the document we wrote about the kind of shot we would use to take this. For example, we decided that for the first bit of the conversation we would use an establishing shot to give the audience an idea of the environment that the character were in. Lower down we used shot reverse shot to switch between the character quickly giving a sense of thew emotions they were showing.