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The Elements Of A Film

Sep 11, 2008
The movies that we see take a real situation and magnify it so that it gives us an intense personal look into a situation. The audience is led to identify with the characters in the film and feel a connection with them. It offers the audience an escape from their own lives and a way to get away from things for a little while and that is what drives a person to go to the movies.

Before it was possible to watch a full feature film without interruption in the comfort of your home, the only place to see films was in a movie theater. The experience of watching a movie in the dark theater with the giant screen and a bucket of hot buttered popcorn is something that is very hard to duplicate.

If you are studying the theater, watching the films that were created in the 1930's and 1940's is almost the equivalent of getting a degree in the art of filmmaking. Some of the best directors that have ever worked in Hollywood came out of that generation of films. The stories were all well structured with the focus on the emotions of the characters.

With all of that being said, the focus of the filmmaker should be on the ability to stir the emotions of the audience. They must find a way to get into the hearts and minds of the people who are watching their work.

To accomplish this, the filmmaker will control the pace of the film and give the piece meaning and direction. The film should show the experiences that the characters in the movie encounter as they move through the scenes. The characters should also be on a path toward a goal or pursuit in which obstacles confront them.

Through the story the character should grow and change from the person that he was in the beginning of the film. This how a movie becomes meaningful. When characters in a movie do not change and grow the film will not become one of the memorable films that we all know and love.

The story is told through the different scenes in the movie. It is up to the filmmaker to determine what scenes should be in the film and which ones should be left out. Each scene must do its part to move the events of the plot forward and if the filmmaker determines that a scene does not meet those criteria then it should be eliminated.

Some of the things that will determine if a scene should be included in a film are the ability of the scene to move the plot forward. To determine if something is important the filmmaker might ask what would happen if the scene were not included in the film. Would the movie be less meaningful without the inclusion of the scene?

All movies start with a question at the beginning and a solution when it finishes. All of the dialogue and action in the movie will be a part of finding the answer to that question. It is the filmmaker's job to interest and engage the audience enough so that they care about the solution.

It is up to the director to find a way to make the audience care about the answer to the question or the problem that the main character must solve. Why should anyone care about this person and the issues that they are facing? Making them appear real and relatable is one of the ways that the director engages the audience.
About the Author
Fred Bailey has an extensive list of credits to his name and his experience as a director, screenwriter and actor. He is a mentor at Asia's Premier Film School, the International Academy of Film and Television.
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