Course: DC 205, Foundations of Cinema
Instructor: Dan Pal
Office: Daley 200B
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 12 PM 1:15 PM, 4:45-6:00 PM; Thursdays 12 PM 1:30 PM
This course will examine the craft, technology, and aesthetic prin
Film to view: Moonstruck (1987, Norman Jewison)
1. How is the setting of the film typical of romantic comedies?
This film is set in New York which is one of the most common settings for romantic
comedies. Most romantic comedies
Sound & Music
Film to view: Alien (Directed by Ridley Scott, 1979)
Give an example of a scene that features the following and describe the sounds. What mood is
created by the sounds in the scene? Why is it effective?
1. Diegetic Sound
Film to view: Side By Side (2012, Christopher Kenneally)
1. According to the documentary, is film gone? Why?
No, film is always changing and growing and will continue to do so for years to come. In
some aspects, old film
Film to be viewed: Psycho (1960, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)
1. Describe the editing transitions and techniques used in the films opening shots (after
After the initial credits, the place date and time are all show
Shot of the two boys playing together outside as kids
Then we see a a man lying on the ground bleeding out from a bullet wound, and everyone
outside running away.
Inciting incident is the
Six Feet Under
Six Feet Under is an HBO series that follows the lives of the Fisher family, who
are grieving the loss of a father and husband in a car accident. The pilot, which
represents the structure of an
Dallas 1978 Pilot
CBS 1978 television series, Dallas, is a soap opera that revolves around a Texan family,
both wealthy and feuding, The Ewings, who own Ewing Oil, an independent oil company. The
THE OFFICE (2005-2013)
Created by: Greg Daniels
Genre: Single-camera network sitcom and mockumentary
Premise: Depiction of the everyday life of the staff at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, in
Style and Tone: No real moral t
Theme Paper South Park Margaritaville
South Parks episode, Margaritaville, is all about the American economys rise
and decline. This episode started off with Stan Marsh trying to deposit a check he
Intro to Sound Design
Paper #2- Film Sequence Sound Analysis
In the movie Inception, Richard King selectively designs sound to guide the audience
through complex dream levels. Applauded for his work in the War of the Worlds, Master and
Act II- The Confrontation
Plot Point 1- Point of No Return, lunches into Act II
Introduction of B Story
Secondary Story Line (Plays between the want and need aspect)
Generally Relationship Based (Romantic, Friendship Family)
Helps openly explore the theme
THE Ultimate Story Structure Worksheet|1
H. R. DCosta, scribemeetsworld.com
THE Ultimate Story Structure Worksheet|2
H. R. DCosta, scribemeetsworld.com
The Writers Toolbox Part 1
What is one thing that the whole story is about? (Love? Revenge? Family?)
The theme is often explicitly stated (and often in the opening few minutes)
Tied to CHARACTER ARC
usually expressed through Protagonist Arc
Snyders Screenplay Physics
1.) Save the Cat
The main character must DO something to endear his/herself to the audience
Must get to know the character right away
The screenwriter must be mindful of getting the audience in sync with the plight of the hero
Mid-term Study Guide
What is a screenplay?
Dramatic blueprint for a film, written in a highly specific format that can be
easily streamlined for production. HIGHLY VISUAL, uses codified language, and
adheres to the specific layout.
Script/Logline > Acts > Sequences (Singular Idea) > Scenes
Goal= Create Subtext
Life under the surface
Use the subtext to bounce the beats back and forth through ACTION and unexpected
At the end
-KNOW YOUR CHARACTER
A character is what makes a story unique.
is the essential foundation
the SOUL of the screenplay
Who is the story about? Which character is the main character?
Who is the character whose actions drive the film?
Genre- systems of story classification based on shared elements
Defined by practice, not theory
Conventions verses Cliche
Must have to be in the genre vs. elements that are overused
Horror- designed to invoke our deepest fears
Uncanny- source of horror is
Syd Field Reading Notes- Questions for Character Bio Background
What is the dramatic premise of the film? This incident is what ultimately reveals and
illuminates the character.
If male, how old is he when the story begins? Where does he live, what city o
Syd Field Reading Notes - Character Bio Questions - Personal Life
Personal: Is your main character married, single, widowed, divorced, or separated? Is
your character in a relationship when the story begins? If so, who is he/she with and
how long have the
Act I- The Set Up
Story moves forward from SETUP to RESOLUTION-regardless of how linear the story is
Setup- very important, when people decide whether or not they will continue to watch
In a normal movie- its page 1-30 of the screenplay
For us- 1-5 pages
Syd Field Reading Notes- Character Bio - Professional Life
Professional: What does your main character do for a living? You need to know this. As
mentioned, if you don't know your character, who does? Where does he or she work? Is
she the vice president o
Syd Field Reading Notes- Character Bio - Private Life and Misc. Questions
Private: What does your character do when he or she is alone? Watch a lot of TV?
Exercisetraining for a triathlon competition? Is he into sports, and goes to the gym
three times a w
This week, debate and discuss what is learned through exposition, what conflicts are
present, where the climax falls, or what is resolved during Act 3. Does the film
seem to follow Classical Hollywood Narrative structure? How does it vary, if at all?
Discuss and DEBATE some of the issues associated with Charlie! Debate when and
why the narrative we watch changes. Debate and discuss who Donald is!
Remember that each week you are required to make two significant and
relevant contributions to the discuss
For the first week, discuss the film Living in Oblivion. What kind of director is Nick?
What are some of the issues he faces? What could he do differently as a director?
How do the other crew members affect his work?
Remember that each week you are requir
Classical Narrative Form
Film to view: Little Miss Sunshine (2006, Dayton & Faris)
1. What details concerning each of the main characters and the setting do we
learn about during the Exposition?
2. What are the conflicts? Which are th