Studio – May 1

Notes: Clarifying Terms

Reflection on work so far has shown a misunderstanding or too broad of an understanding of key terms used in this course. Today’s studio went over these to make sure we were all on the same page for project four.


– aim to tell a story

– relationship  between shots

– cause and effect pattern (story and in editing)

– begins with one situation, and a series of changes occur according to cause and effect within temporal constraints

– most documentaries are narrative; some are non-narrative

– idea of time is important in narrative form


– categorial – Leni Reifenstahl, grouping things to categories used to determine structure

– rhetorical – argumentative, move audience towards pov

– abstract – colours, shapes, etc. (ballet mechanique), works with repetition, abstract organisation of shots, juxtapositional shots

– associational – illogical relationships

Linear/multilinear narrative and non-narrative

Open structures

– no film can avoid formal structure all together

– work becomes formless

– very difficult to make sense of this work and find patterns

– Wiseman – no storyboard; organic process


What is the narrative form of our case study?

– linear non-narrative (lacks cause and effect, non-fictional)

What type of non-narrative?

– Maybe rhetorical – works towards arguing whether a product is good or bad, to influence pov of viewer


Informational vs. entertainment works


Reflection: It gets confusing classifying genres. For example, the genre of online cooking video we discussed in class isn’t fictional, but it is linear and there is evidence of cause and effect. It is informational, but could also be considered as entertainment (such is the purpose of many lifestyle shows). It’s difficult to put this style of video into a type of non-narrative practice, but through some discussion we came to the conclusion that it is likely to fit into the categorial style of non-narrative video. However it was difficult for everyone to agree on / come to this conclusion, because there are more prominent, definite connections in a cooking show than in the example of Leni Reifenstahl’s work shown in class, and yet they apparently could belong to the same form of video.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *