More on Story Structure
I think it is of the upmost importance to learn and recognize story structure especially because I will shortly be writing my own script. This formula of a film gives me a place to start with ideas and ensures that my story is well-designed and well-developed. The specifically defined steps of a story also are important because they can solve writers block and help guide a story into what comes next. What is also really helpful from the article is the multitude of story examples that the author uses to explain story structure. Each example is labeled with numbers to symbolize each step of the story. This makes it very easy to read and understand. One aspect of the article I found interesting is step 5 which is called "Meeting with the Goddess". Yet it doesn't actually mean meeting with a goddess. That is the confusing part of the article, because this step actually means to settle into the conflict or new kind of life or destiny. Its hard to use words to describe something so broad that it can cover every type of story, but through examples we can learn the concept that the words are trying to describe. Also, action movies seem to have the most identifiable steps in a story. That is why action/adventure films are used most often as examples. I wonder if story makers use the story outline from the article. Do they study this outline for a story and then devise an idea? Or do they create an idea and edit it to fit this storyline? Or lastly, do people just come up with a good story and it fits this outline perfectly without even realizing it? I think the last option is the most plausible, but educated filmmakers may have studied this concept already. In addition, I think the concept the author of this article is talking about applies not just to films but to the stories we tell our friends everyday. If one day at lunch I told a story about how I was just walking along and the next second I tripped, it wouldn't be a very exciting story. But if I told the story of the circumstance of the fall including what happened afterward, it could be a very entertaining story.
The second article was very funny and hard to take seriously because it was about how to make a crappy film. However, it actually teaches you exactly what to do for a good video by telling you what not to do. Sometimes it was confusing because I felt the urge to take the advice seriously but I had to remind myself that the advise was only written to provide some humor. Overall, both articles made me want to explore what Channel 101 is about and learn more about film.
Good question about writers studying the outline before creating their own script. There is actually a screenwriting software program that helps write your story for you. That is evil.
The Tao of poop article had a very…different perspective. At first I thought Dan Harmon was just making a joke about some poorly made submissions, but as I kept reading it seemed like he was giving tips in the form of bad advice. HE pretty much gave 10 tips on 10 things that would make a bad film, which most people would not find useful. However, if you took it from the opposite perspective and looked at those ten things as ten things you shouldn’t have in your film or story then they help to improve your story. In the previous article by Dan Harmon he explained the guidelines needed to give sufficient information to your audience so they can understand the plot, but he also explained that his advice is very general since he can’t help everyone with their specific storylines. Here he still unable to get specific with more good things that you can add to a story, because he can’t tell a person what to put in their story. The type of language that Dan Harmon uses in his articles is also very interesting to me. The language is very informal, often with words you wouldn’t even dare to use in many conversations; however it comes across as easy to read. There is utter simplicity in reading and understanding what he is trying to point out. He obviously has no need to use very big words to try and seem very intelligent because people are not reading his posts to see his language, but to understand his techniques and advice that he must somehow communicate easily and that is something he does well.
In Story Structure 104 Dan Harmon creates 8 tables of contents which are:
1. You (a character is in a zone of comfort)
2. . Need (but they want something)
3. . Go (they enter an unfamiliar situation)
4. . Search (adapt to it)
5. . Find (find what they wanted)
6. . Take (pay its price)
7. . Return (and go back to where they started)
8. . Change (now capable of change)
Through these 8 steps Harmon explains how structure is much different than style and in order to create a good story structure the steps listed above is the key to success. In the first step Harmon explains how the audience are like ghosts floating until you give them a place to land, in other words the protagonist in the movie must connect to the audience in order to get the audience attention. The second step is the “Need”, this according to Harmon is where something off balance needs to happen within the movie. An example that Harmon gave was if the movies was about war between earth and mars this would be when the alien ships enter earth. The third step is “Go” which explains what is happening in the story and how you can advertise the movie to get audience attention. The fourth step is “Search” and according to Joseph Cambell it is referred to the “Road of Trails” since it is less specific. The 5th step is the “Find”. The road of trails is too lead the protagonist into this meeting since he/she found what they were looking for. The 6th step is the “take” which is where something happens to the protagonist to make them pay the price. The 7th step is “return” in which through the actions that the protagonist played he/she returns to their previous stage very similar to falling action in literary terms. The final step is “Change” known as the “showdown” where the protagonist decides to be a hero and take out the bad guy climbing his/her way back to the top.
I agree with Dan Harmon’s story structure since it is the structure that almost all films use and the audience never realizes while watching. I will use Dan Harmon’s method on story structures in my own film since of how well the organization and the composition of the structure are laid out and how it will help my movie have a higher interest to the eyes of the viewers.
This Mr. Smith's blog page for PASB IB Film. Welcome.