Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Unit 4: Story Telling OGR Part 1

Unit 4 OGR Presentation.1 


  1. Hi Amrit, its Jackie here...I'm the learning support assistant in CGAA. I am not sure if you might be a bit late for Phil to look at your OGR, but I had a couple of questions. Why does the lighthouseman need to be a Kung Fu master, and his wife a travelling saleswoman? Why is there a trampoline by the lighthouse? These sort of questions need to be fully resolved in such a short story for it to work successfully.

  2. OGR 15/02/2012

    Hey Amrit,

    I think it's significant that Jackie was prompted to leave a comment in which she expresses some confusion at some of the decisions you've taken here. I have a feeling that this process is going to prove quite challenging for you - and combining these story components effectively IS a challenge. Put simply, there doesn't seem to be any reason why your lighthouse man is a martial arts expert. How does this relate to his job as a lighthouse man - and why is it important to the story that his wife is a traveling saleswoman? Neither of these details contribute to your narrative; your lighthouse man could be a fireman, and his wife an astronaut for all the difference it makes to what happens. The idea too that the trampoline is just 'beside' the lighthouse is a bit lame - why would there be a trampoline beside the lighthouse in the first place? I think when we talked before, I suggested the trampoline could be a 'rubber dinghy' - because it would function in exactly the same way as a trampoline.

    You know - in truth, I don't think you've 'got it' yet, Amrit, so it's time for a rethink of your scenario.

    How about this as a starting point. If you were to live and work in a lighthouse, chances are you'd get very bored. So how might a lighthouse man make his life more exciting? What might he try to keep himself entertained? He might take up a hobby - such as sword swallowing or trampolining - and what sort of trouble might this bring him? Or how might these new skills come in handy on the night of the big storm when the light at the top of the lantern goes out and he has to somehow re-light it before the ship crashes on the rocks...

    Go back to basics, Amrit - think about all the different ways your components might combine and spark off each other - and look again at the 'Story-Making' presentation on myUCA.

  3. Regarding the Unit 4 written assignment - some general advice:

    1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement, editing, and order of scenes.

    Okay - so while the challenge of the assignment doesn’t state it explicitly, as soon as you start to discuss narrative, editing or sorts of shots, you’ll be using a technical or specialist language – with specific terms with specific histories and contexts. Therefore, in common with all your assignments so far (and all future assignments!), you need to introduce and define your specialist/technical terms BEFORE you start discussing your specific film or case-study.

    For example, if you were planning to discuss the famous shower scene from Psycho, which is an example of ‘montage editing’ – you would first need to introduce and define the term ‘montage editing’ – and in so doing, refer to its origins and cultural ancestry (i.e. its broadest context). In written assignments you have to ‘show that you know’ – you have to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject area by showing that YOU understand its various components. You couldn’t discuss Psycho’s shower scene effectively WITHOUT referencing Sergei Eisenstein (the ‘father’ of montage editing), and, by extension, the ‘rules’ of Hollywood ‘invisible editing’ (from which Eisensteinian editing was such a departure).

    Likewise, if you were interested in the ‘continuous take’ of ‘Rope’ – then in order to discuss this technique in context, you’d still have to introduce and define ‘editing’ in general terms, in order to prove Rope’s distinctiveness.

    If you’re dealing with narrative structures – i.e. the ‘non-linear’ structures of Christopher Nolan’s Momento or Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, you first need to demonstrate your awareness and understanding of the ideas and uses of ‘non-linearity’ in story more generally.

    Another reoccurring weakness in your assignments is your introductions; remember, there is no actual content in your introduction.

    Your very first line should state plainly and clearly what the investigative thrust is of your assignment – and that’s all. “This assignment analyses critically the use of non-linear narrative in film, with particular reference to Christopher Nolan’s Momento (2000).”

    Job done! That’s it. No more – nothing else.

    Next, you list the KEY research sources you’ve used (i.e. the ones your essay will now go on to reference), and your reasons for consulting them (i.e. their usefulness to your argument). You should be specific here – give titles, authors and publishing date etc. Put your titles in italics. There should be no waffle here at all, so avoid sentences like ‘Sources include websites, books and films…’ Also, you don’t need to give the film you’re studying as a source, because that’s been made obvious by the first line of your introduction. If, however, you’re looking at some associated films, then you should include them here – but always give your reason for their usefulness to your discussion.

    Finally – your intro should offer the reader a summary of points – the logical sequence of subject matter that will take your reader from ‘not knowing’ about your subject to ‘understanding’ your subject. This is where you – the writer – must give this ‘logical sequence’ some proper thought – get this bit right and your assignment will flow from one point to the next in a satisfying way.