Build a Scene

Anatomy of Story – Building scene elements from shots

Building scenes with a set up, development and resolution is always important. But when we build a scene from a  few shots that we didn’t plan, we need to make lots of decisions quickly: What’s it about? What order do we reveal information? For how long? What elements do we use to reveal information? How will it fit with other scenes in the story? The video below is an example of how you might use a series of nondescript shots, which you may have scraped, plus just one piece of narration, to build a short scene. It’s always easier to plan a scene from scratch – with a beginning, middle and an end; one that has a solid set up, character and story development and resolution. But creating something from a series of shots that will form part of a longer story, is also fun. You could use this series of shots and the narration in many different ways. This scene will be in the middle of a longer series of scenes in your story.  You could add more than one piece of narration and maybe a stand up. But not for this exercise which is about using what you have with just one voice over.  How and when you choose to reveal information will impact your scene as will the number of times you use narration and sync to create your story bounce. This short scene will have a bounce to it, but it will also be part of a story bounce that includes many scenes which provide information that creates the story and which work to a resolution. More complete story anatomy video will be released soon to accompany the book and be available online at the publishers URL (TBA). I hope this is useful.


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