how to write a scene analysis
Next, watch the scene again, but this time, take notes as you watch. Note camera angles, shots, lighting, sound, narrative. All of these will help you to analyze the scene. You must learn to interpret how film constructs meaning by both traditional and non-traditional methods. Once you learn to look for how film constructs meaning, then you can begin to examine the scene as an opportunity for analysis.
Ways to Proceed : First, pick a scene for analysis. It should be one that is important in terms of plot development as well as one that uses filmic apparatuses to artfully construct meaning in the film.
- Move the story forward: They keep us engaged, asking ‘what happens next?’
- Establish characters’ arcs or cause and effect. This links to the first point. For example, a scene might begin with a character missing a train. As a result, the character may be late for a meeting. The reader wonders what impact this small misfortune will have
- Reveal consequences of earlier events. A subsequent scene following the missed train, for example, might show the consequences for the character when they are late for a crucial meeting
- Make a story easier to follow. Scenes chunk what could be a narrative mess into digestible units of action and event. They allow us to play with how we release information to the reader (for example, a scene resolving an earlier subplot might only take place much later in a novel. As writers we can make some plot gratification instant and some delayed)
Knowing how to start a scene is important. When crafting a scene opening, think about the purpose of the scene, how long you want it to be and the kind of mood you want to convey to the reader.
Scenes require conflict and that conflict ratchets up until the protagonist no longer knows how to handle the situation. In other words, scenes have progressive complications that culminate at a turning point which gives rise to a crisis. The active change in life value happens through the turning point, crisis and climax of the scene. At the end of the scene (the resolution) the protagonist is in a different place than he was at the beginning (the inciting incident).
What is the essential action of what the characters are doing in the scene? In sharing the news about Mr. Bingley, Mrs. Bennet is trying to get her husband to visit him. Watch the scene again and pay attention to Mr. Bennet. You can see that he knows exactly why his wife is telling him that Netherfield Park has been rented, but he refuses to let on. He doesn’t want to go (his essential action) and so teases his wife, ultimately making her confess her true reason (her essential action) for talking about Mr. Bingley in the first place.
Guest post by C.S. Lakin
First: scene types vary depending on where each is placed over the span of a novel.
Along with the literary elements such as plot, setting, characterization, structure, and theme, which make up the text or screenplay, there are many different film techniques used to tell the story or narrative. Attention is paid to sound, music, lighting, camera angles, and editing. What is important is to focus on how all the elements are used together in making a good film.
In films imagery are the elements used to create pictures in our minds. They may include: