Narrative Arc Stop Motion

To help us have an idea of how a narrative structure is put together, we made a stop motion video on ‘Lost and Found’ to show the conflict in narrative.


  • Does it fulfill the traditional narrative structure?

A typical narrative structure generally follows the idea of what the theorist Todorov says about narratives and includes equilibrium, disruption, climax, revelation, then finally equilibrium again. Our stop motion animation loosely follows this in the sense that there is equilibrium at the beginning where the two friends are together, then there is disruption when the octopus goes missing which then is resolved when the girl finds her octopus and equilibrium is shown again. A problem about our video however is that there isn’t much to differentiate the climax and the resolution making the story blur the lines of this narrative structure in places.

  • Do the characters fulfill conventional character types?

Propp was a structuralist who understood narrative through the characters and their roles which usually includes the protagonist, the antagonist, the helpers, the princess (heroine), the dispatcher and the donor. My video only included two of these roles, as I only had two characters, which is the protagonist being the little girl who has to find her lost octopus and the octopus is like the princess who is the reward for the protagonist finding it.

  • Are there binary oppositions?

This video includes the binary oppositions that were developed by Claude Levi-Strauss of lost and found where the protagonist (the little girl) has to go on an adventure to find her lost octopus which she eventually finds. Levi-Strauss discovered that you need to explore conflicts and resolution to understand more fully the theme or message that the story is trying to communicate.

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

Our music video’s narrative may differ from this traditional narrative structure as it will not necessarily have a chronological timeline and may not have a distinct ending so make the video repeatable so the audience will want to watch it again. As there is only a short amount of time in a music video to tell a story, it will only be able to include snippets of the story meaning it can be quite hard to follow and will be intriguing to the audience.

Prelim Task 2- Tell A Story

For prelim 2, we had to create a story with no dialogue and film and edit it to make a short film that tells the story we had created. Me and my partner decided on a story called ‘glitter card’ where the boy pranks a girl by giving her a card that she at first is pleased about but however is full of glitter and gives her a fright once she opens it. The technical assessment for this was:

1. Holding a shot steady
2. Framing a shot
3. (Shooting a) variety of shot distances

Things I Did Well:

  • Used close ups of the reactions of the actors
  • Told a continuous story that makes narrative sense
  • Stuck to the 180 degrees rule

Thing I Need To Improve Upon:

  • Take a wider variety of action and reaction shots from different angles and distances to allow me to cut more to give more variety and interest into an exciting and well structured narrative
  • Keep a constant lighting as it changes half way through
  • Keep the camera running for a few seconds after the take is over as turning it off causes the screen to shake a bit

To get ideas for our short film, we created a storyboard using post it notes so we could change up the order of scenes as we made it. Doing this allowed us to plan out each of the shots we were going to take, describe what camera techniques would be used for those shots, and make sure that the film makes narrative sense to the audience.

I feel that with this storyboard we could have gone into more detail to allow the filming to have gone more smoothly by putting in more shots of different angles of the same actions to create a more exciting narrative.

Preliminary Continuity Task 1

We worked in groups to film and edit our first video, called ‘Present Face’, to help us get used to using the hardware and software. In this video, we used camera techniques like shot reverse shot, match on action, close ups and mid shots.

One of the most important thing we had to be conscious of during the filming of this video was to follow the 180 degree rule to prevent the actors from swapping sides on the screen and confusing the audience. We also had to make sure that the clips were edited with the use of continuity editing which is sequencing individual shots into something that makes sense to an audience and has to be in chronological order which follows the story of the script in the order it was intended.

When editing, we had to learnt to use techniques such as the split tool to cut a video into two, allowing us to delete parts of a video and keep the bits we want. By doing this, I was able to create a match on action where we cut from one shot of our actor walking out the room to another view that match the first shot’s action of her walking out from a different angle. Additionally, we learnt to use a text effect as the title of our video and a fade out effect at the end to prevent the ending from stopping abruptly.

If I were to do this project again I would add in more reaction shots to show the reactions and emotions of the actor listening to the one speaking. This would allow the audience to empathize with my characters better and create a greater feeling of immersion. Furthermore, I would make sure my lighting was brighter and more crisp as the video came out to be a bit grainy from the dark lighting.