A quick thought for Monday.
Many authors I know swear by screen writing books like Story by Robert McKee. There is so much to learn about narrative structure in cinema.
Recently I read a piece about how Joe Wright, director of Atonement and Anna Karenina, is soon to debut as a theatre director. He was amazed to discover that his actors were totally comfortable in the language of film:
"When we started rehearsals, I was trying to talk in theatre terms, and the actors just thought I was weird. One day I happened to say, 'Oh, that's a wide shot,' and they knew exactly what I meant. So now I've dropped trying to talk a language I don't really speak, and use film terms: this is a closeup so everybody focus; we're in a wide shot so everyone come alive." Read the article in the GuardianWell isn't that a powerful nugget for anyone struggling over a scene?
Decide: Is it a close up? Are you homing in on a moment, an emotion, something really specific in your story?
Or is it a wide shot? Are you showing your character against the broad landscape of the setting, the mood, the event?
Frame that shot. Frame that scene.
The images above are screenshots from my baby brother Armand's film Reel Life starring his son, Matthew. Can't see the film? View it here