Film Sequence Analysis

A film sequence is a collection of shots strategically set in relation to each other. Prior to embarking on your written analysis. you should view your sequence as a breakdown of individual shots. Consider how these shots impact on the sequence as a whole. How do they form narrative, or build rhythm within the sequence? Within the shot, you may choose to consider mise en scene (‘in the frame) and cinematography (including lighting, position and movement of the camera, and duration). Montage/Editing In Bordwell and Thompson, the concept of montage (shots in relation to each other) is covered under “The Relation of Shot to Shot”. What is the ‘montage strategy’ employed in the sequence you have chosen? Is the sequence founded upon a series of shots building ‘continuity’, ‘discontinuity’ or a combination of the two? And what is the effect of this series of cuts within your chosen sequence? Sound and Music Consider the effect of diegetic and non-diegetic sound in your sequence. In what way does sound work with (or even against) the visual field? What is the overall effect of sound on your engagement with the sequence as a whole? Can sound enhance the function of visual formal elements? Can sound work autonomously — that is, can its function ever separated from the visual image of film? Narrative Mainstream film has evolved primarily as a narrative form. However, narrative is more than simply ‘story and character’. In your analysis, consider the how of storytelling. How does your sequence reveal a ‘narrational strategy’ above and beyond story. character and theme? How is this story being told to us? And what is the purpose of this mode of storytelling?