The Classic Hollywood Narrative Style
- A style determines how the film is organized with the elements of story, sets, scenes, shots, sound.
- A plot is the sequence of actions in chronological order.
- A story is the narrative, or cause-and-effect chain of events, sometimes unseen and able to change time and space.
- A character has certain traits and reacts to certain situations as an agent of action and decision.
- A protagonist is the central character, active, goal-oriented, positive motivations. The antagonist is in conflict with the central character's effort to solve a problem.
- A story must have resolution, an ending, closure for characters and situations.
- Editing is the physical rearrangement of frames of film and the adding of effects such as sound
- Continuity is the arrangement of shots to tell a consistent story.
- Genre is a standard formula for a particular kind of story.
- Auteur is the filmmaker.
- Mis-en-scene is the arrangement of space, to "place on stage" the characters, props, lighting.
- Chiaroscuro is the range of lighting from dark to bright.
- Montage is the arrangement of images for effect.
- Metaphor is a symbolic construction
- Primitive cinema imitated the novel and theater and vaudeville
- Pre-Hollywood cinema emphazied short playlets based on a single incident
- Feature films of D. W. Griffith integrated multiple incidents, created suspense with editing, added intertitles, used subtle gestures and expressions in closeup shots
- D. W. Griffith - the "father of the American cinema"
- Cecil B. DeMille - "embraced" the Classic rules
Alternatives to the Classic Style
revised 9/25/05 by Steven Schoenherr | Birth of the Movies | Filmnotes