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Old June 19 2012, 05:31 AM   #112
Maurice
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

The problem with a lot of critiques of why a rule should be rejected is that they frequently ignore why the rule exists in the first place. Sure, there are lots of ways to tell stories, and—as I pointed out much earlier in this thread when I diagrammed a couple of shows—they don't always fall perfectly neatly into a 3-act structure.

BUT it's also true that many many popular story types hold to the basic tenets of the 3-act, which, as before, break down to:
  1. Introduction = Introduce Problem
  2. Exposition = Complicate Problem
  3. Climax = Overcome or fail to overcome problem (often tied to a decision)
One can rightfully quibble over things like whether there really are such things as "inciting incidents" or whatnot, but when you boil it down to the 1, 2, 3 above, that really does cover an awful lot of stories.

Many rules are rules because they work. This applies to writing, lighting, editing, etc.

Cinematography rules weren't concocted by cinematographers with a penchant for making up structure, but came out of practical observation of what worked on the screen. You can go back to the early silent era and find some of the action hard to follow because the filmmakers hadn't yet noticed which kinds of shots worked together to make a coherent narrative. Do you know why camera coverage in a scene tends to be closer to directly in an actor's eyeline the closer the shot is to them? There IS a reason, and I bet you can guess it since I just raised it as an issue, but absent that knowledge you're not making as informed a decision as you could be, ergo you're less likely to producing an effective scene than you would if you knew the rules.
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Last edited by Maurice; June 19 2012 at 08:38 PM.
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