Patterns Of Screen Writing/Planning/Viewer's PerspectiveEdit
|“||There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.||”|
Make and break information asymmetry between audience and the characters.
Also Known AsEdit
Mystery; Suspense; Dramatic irony; Tension release laughter; Comic distance; Emotional Rhythm
It is necessary to be aware which crucial elements of the plot have been revealed to which characters and if the audience is also in the know.
It is possible to create a powerful dynamic within the story simply by controlling the flow of information regarding (an incident). In the most basic form it is possible to dramatizing the effect as it is revealed to a sequence of characters. In the next level of sophistication individuals will face a dilemma whether to disseminate or to withhold crucial knowledge.
A single incident can elicit curiosity, mystery, suspense, dread, and comic release. The emotional reactions created depends on how the action is presented to the viewers. These are discussed in detail in /pathos/mystery /pathos/suspense and /pathos/dramatic irony patterns.
Many aspects of the viewers point of view , the largest and most readily perceptible is information. It depends on different Ideally, each is present in some degree in every story. These ingredients can be created by manipulating the view’s point of view. By auditing the information made available to the viewers you can change their point of view.
Many of the dramatic effects in a story depend on how the story unfolds.
- limited gamut of emotions
- too much or too little information
- too predictable
- undermined by insufficient emotional variety
- jumping conflict
- foreshadowing too brief
If X is the character, whose point of view owns the current narrative line, then:
Technique 1. Narrative PerspectiveEdit
When the audience discovers information together with character X we say they are in narrative perspective. This perspective generates suspense. This by far the most common technique used to hold the compel the viewer’s interest. They have anxiety over the ending and fear for the protagonist fate.
Technique 2. Inferior PerspectiveEdit
When the audience knows less than characters X say they are in inferior position to X. This perspective elicits curiosity and mystery. Breaking to narrative perspective by revealing the missing information end the mystery. It is possible to create a false sense of inferior perspective, by offering the audience a false clues using an intermediatry (an unreliable narrator) or directly (confunding). It is difficult to sustain mystery overtime unless you are working on a Murder Mystery.
Technique 3. Superior PerspectiveEdit
When the audience knows more than characters X say they are in superior position to X. This perspective produces suspense and dread of the discovery of what we already know. It can also sustain curiosity since the viewer’s information is limited. The question is how it will happen? the question of how Breaking to narrative creates relief, but before we break we could increase out superior perspective make his situation effectively worse a couple of times
Technique 4. ForeshadowingEdit
The Exposition/Foreshadowing/ pattern is yet another method that can be used to alter the viewer's perspective. Since foreshadowing is the promise future conflict it should be used to build up the action gradually.
Technique 5. Comic distanceEdit
The comic perspective means suspending empathy.
One of the main aspect of comedy is that no matter the misfortune inflicted on the characters we can look at at it and laugh. If empathy would not be suspended we would cry at their misfortunes.
Technique 6. DiminishingEdit
Repeated application of the same techniques twice will have diminished results the second time. The third time it can have a reversed effect. In some genres, this has become a convention. Hitchcock NNW uses this type of pattern. Following the second set piece. It ends in an impasse that Thornhill must overcome though action.
Technique 7. Reversal into LaughterEdit
Repeated application of the same techniques more than twice will numb the viewers and can be used to produce comic distance. When this is the intended effect it is called a reversal into Laughter. In some genres, this has become a convention. Hitchcock NNW uses this type of pattern. Following the second set piece. It ends in an impasse that Thornhill must overcome though action.
|“||A lot of recent films seem unsatisfied unless they can add final scenes that redefine the reality of everything that has gone before; call it the Keyser Söze syndrome.||”|
—Roger Ebert 
A narrator who misinforms his listeners is called a unreliable narrator. The misinformation places the audience in an inferior position. Such a situation can then be dramatically reversed as follows:
- By revealing the narrator's lie without revealing the secret. (maintains inferior position).
- By revealing the lie and reveling the truth but only to the viewers. (Switching to superior position).
- By revealing the lie to the viewers and the point of view character. (Switching to narrative position).
- By creating ambiguity by creating revealing alternative version of the truth without passing judgment on the narrator. (maintains inferior position).
Some classical examples illuminate these possibilities:
A mentally impaired narrator may describe the world as they perceive it rather than as it really is. A similar effect can be arise from the narration by a child (naive) Except that a child's point of view is much more amiable to empathy - we were all once more naive and can take some humour from this point of view while a mentally defective point of view is harder to empathise with.
The most elusive and probably the hardest to or prehaps the most elusive - is a reluctent narrator - one who is unreliable because he or she chooses to ignore the truth.
By tracking the viewer's perspective in relation to each character you will:
- Detect and eliminate illogical story holes due to information.
- Root your narratives dynamic in exposition as opposed to action. This is required to produce the most powerful turning points.
- Create interest by eliciting basic emotions.
Uses & AbusesEdit
Once the auteur is in full control of his medium, he will utilize these basic techniques as well as other aspects like music, cinematography and so on to layers of emotions. This way the emotional message can be pure color, uses many hues of the same color or create secondary or tertiary effect by mixing different or even conflicting effects. While today this type of layering is still outside the realm of the screenwriter, a solid foundation in weaving the emotional overlay will allow the script to suggest more advanced emotional layering.
- Eastwood, C. (Director). (2003). Mystic River. [Motion picture]. http://www.imdb.com/title/0327056/.
- Lehman E. (Writer); Hitchcock, A. (Director). (1959). North by Northwest. [Motion picture]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/.
- Kurosawa, A. (Director). (1950). Rashomon. [Motion picture]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/.
- Bryan Singer (Director) Christopher McQuarrie (Writer). (1995). The Usual Suspects. [Motion picture]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/.
- Peter Shaffer (Writer) Milos Forman (Director). (1999). Amadeus. [Motion picture]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086879/.
- Jim Uhls (Adaptation) David Fincher (Director). (1999). Fight Club. [Motion picture]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/.
- Kazuo Ishiguro (Novel), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Screenplay), James Ivory(Director). (1993). The Remains of the Day. [Motion picture]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107943/.
- Sean Penn
- Tim Robbins
- Kevin Bacon
- Carry Grant
- Kevin Spacey
- F. Murray Abraham
- Brad Pitt
- Anthony Hopkins
- Emma Thompson
- wikipedia article
- Fight Club, review by Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, October 15, 1999, accessed February 15, 2008