3. Narrative Structure

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  Zahra Inayat Narrative theory/structureTodorov Theory: Todorov invented the narrative theory/structure. He believesthat for a film to be successful or well put together it hasto include 5 stages. These include: Equilibrium, Disruption,Recognition, Attempt to Repair and New Equilibrium.1. The EquilibriumThis is the part of the film where everything is neutral.Everything is balanced and there is no problems that theaudience can visually see or are aware of. Generally the moodsat this set time are happy, peaceful and enjoyable. Often filminclude happy or exciting music which brings up the mood aswell as creates a sense of normality.2. The DisruptionThe level of happiness starts to change. The audience, at thispoint, start to see the change. An event happens which causesthis change to happen and it seems to the audience that theremaining of the film will be focused on trying to solve thisproblem. This usually takes up the bulk of the movie.3. The RecognitionThis is the point of the film where the characters of the filmbegin to notice the change and a character (usually theprotagonist) will attempt to fix the problem after severalattempts. This is a goal which is normally weaved through thefilm and is eventually reached towards the end of the film.4. Attempt to RepairAttempt to repair includes the characters coming together toresolve the situation and try to achieve the equilibrium stageagain. They work as a team/group to resolve the problem asthey all want the best for the future. This is generally thepart whereby the audience see a ‘good vs evil’ scenehappening.  Zahra Inayat 5. New EquilibriumThe problem has finally been fixed. The happy and peacefulmood which was present at the start of the film (Equilibrium)has returned. This is the part of the film when all the ‘good’people achieve their goal and the ‘bad’ people/person is leftto suffer and face the consequences. How does Todorov’s theory fit in our production? Our production does not start with Equilibrium, this is due tothe fact that it starts with Hannah waking up in the forest.This is not a happy scene to begin with. We have chosen tostart our production in this way because it creates tension aswell as shows the audience that our production in unique inthe fact that it starts in a different way to mostproductions. This allows the audience to see Hannah and thestate that she is in so they can, later, connect to thecharacter (Hannah) when she ends up in trouble.Disruption:As Hannah gets up from the ground and tries to find her wayaround or to find her way out, the audience know something badis going to happen. The camera shots of the protagonist givethe audience a clear indication as to the fact that somethingbad is going to happen e.g. several close up shots are used.The sense of tension is created by facial expressions, thecostumes as well as the different camera angles and shotswhich are used throughout the remaining of our sequence. Theaudience are most likely to now be aware that the remaining ofthe opening sequence will focus on the event that is currentlybeing shown (Hannah running through the forest). Roland Barthes Roland Barthes was a French literary philosopher. He believeda similar idea to Todorov, which included the fact that anarrative had to be split into 5 different codes. These wereused to evaluate the different dimensions of realism.1.The Hermeneutic code (HER):This is a story, which has no explanation, leaving theaudience clueless as well as guessing as to what is going to  Zahra Inayat happen throughout the film. This is done by not revealing anyfacts or information. This code is frequently being used as itmakes the audiences eager to know what is going to happen, asthey are likely to find out what happens towards the end, whenthe hidden feature or memory is revealed.2.The Proairetic code (ACT):Used to create tension and gives an impression to the audiencethat something bad is going to happen. At this point, theaudience are still unaware of what is going to happen.3.The Semantic code (SEM):This code shows an element in the sequence that suggests aparticular and often additional connotation.4.The Symbolic code (SYM):This is similar to the Semantic code in the fact that theyboth focus on studying connotations. Symbolic code allows thedirector to develop more ideas e.g. conflict and opposition.5.The Cultural code:This code looks at the audience’s cultural knowledge, moralityand ideology. How does Roland Barthes theory fit in our production? Both the Hermeneutic code (HER) and the Proairetic code (ACT)relate to our opening sequence.Hermeneutic code:Our opening sequence begins with the Hermeneutic code (HER).This is shown at the very start of our sequence as theaudience see Hannah in a horrible state and are confused as towhy she is in this state. As she is getting up because she isunaware of what is happening, the audience get more of an ideathat she is in trouble. Our group has made sure that we do notgive away any facts or information to inform the audience ofwhat is happening; we leave it to them to guess.Proairetic code:The opening sequence also includes the Proairetic code (ACT).This is used when Hannah realises that she is not the only onein the forest and that she is about to get chased by anunusual creature. This shows the audience that she is not safe  Zahra Inayat in the forest and she is not as aware as she should be as towhat is going to happen if she does not find a way out of theforest.
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