Elements of Story

Here’s a short film clip by Liam Thomson that illustrates how images alone can tell a story.
 


 

It’s interesting to dissect the piece.  In the first sequence (0:00-0:45), we have a character,  a setting, and emotion (some unidentified tension & conflict) — but we don’t yet have a story.  Only the second sequence (at around 1:25) — the backstory color section — do we have enough information to establish story.

Interestingly, the ending sequence reverts back to B&W (2:10) to continue the original sequence — but now we have enough information (character, setting and emotion plus backstory) to have a rudimentary story.  A full story?  No.  But just enough to have some story.

And importantly, the cinematographer Thomson has created one other element: questions.  You can’t watch this sequence without wondering more about the context of the struggle between these two characters.  We see how the given situation is resolved, and the resolution (death and mourning over that death) suggests a connection between those characters that would pull us forward into the next sequence.

One final note: above I said “images alone” tell the story.  But that’s not quite true, is it?  There’s also a soundtrack.  Ask yourself, what if Thomson eliminated the sound?  Or replaced it with an upbeat, chipper soundtrack?

 

Speak Your Mind

*